Equal protection of the laws was the issue when Terrell • Hogan attorney Leslie A. Goller recently represented Jacksonville City Council District 2 candidate Dave Baldwin and obtained a decision that found unconstitutional, a Jacksonville Ordinance requiring disparate qualification requirements for district versus at-large City Council candidates.
Leslie argued the ordinance, requiring a higher percentage of petition signatures than that required by state candidates and at-large City Council candidates, violated her client’s equal protection rights. Circuit Judge Bernard Nachman agreed and invalidated that portion of the local Ordinance. The victory also allowed seven other candidates to secure places on the ballot.
“The right to vote is one of the most fundamental rights under our Constitution and includes the right to have choice in who you elect to represent you,” said Leslie. “Our constitution requires that our candidates be treated fairly and equally. If not, it is not a Democracy.”
Leslie became an attorney because she wanted to defend individual rights, and believes everyone should have access to fair legal representation. Not only has she demonstrated this through her dedication to the victims she represents, but also through the donation of her time and resources to local charitable causes and organizations as both a concerned citizen and as an attorney.
Leslie is the immediate past president of the Jacksonville Area Legal Aid Board, a not-for-profit agency that provides civil legal assistance to low income residents. She is also actively involved with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, North Florida Chapter and received the 2002 Juvenile Diabetes Foundation’s Volunteer of the Year Award. A respected member of the Jacksonville Bar Association, Leslie has served on the Florida Bar 4th Circuit Fee Arbitration Committee, the Mimi and Lee Adams Environmental Advisory Board, and the Jacksonville Environmental Protection Board.
A graduate of Duke University, she received her J.D. from Washington & Lee University. Leslie has practiced law for more than 20 years and has been with Terrell • Hogan for the past eight.