100-year-old Florida lawyer may be oldest practicing attorney in the state - 96.9 WINK FM

100-year-old Florida lawyer may be oldest practicing attorney in the state


At the dawn of the Roaring Twenties, Babe Ruth was a player with the New York Yankees, radio became a fixture in American homes, travel by airplanes became more than a curiosity, prohibition was in full swing and scandal-scarred Warren Harding was president. In 1922, Jay Simons was born and would later embark on a legal career spanning decades and continuing into 2022.

Even though he’s a centenarian, Simons said he has no plans to hang up his legal filings.

Jay Simons is 100 years old and still practicing law.

“I like what I do,” he said. “I love what I do.”

At 100 years old and still working, Simons could be the oldest practicing attorney in Florida — if not the U.S.

After serving in World War II, Simons enrolled at the University of Miami before graduating with a law degree.

He was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1950 and started a private practice in Fort Lauderdale specializing in personal injury and medical malpractice.

Working at a practice with attorney Sheldon Schlessinger, the firm of J. Jay Simons & Sheldon J. Schlesinger was among Broward County’s top personal injury and medical malpractice firms.

Simons also served as a municipal judge for Broward County, where he was known as Judge JJ.

After years in the courtroom and on the bench, Simons has built a reputation as one of Broward’s best-known mediators.

“I am good at it,” he said. “I can do almost the impossible with two people, and they agree. It is a lot easier than going to court.”

Simons is working as a mediator through Zoom, an online tool that allows him to make full use of his legal prowess through 21st-century technology.

His prolific law career continues on the web with him handling mostly insurance cases.

The 100-year-old attorney obtains plenty of work from longtime connections in the Broward legal community by using Zoom to everyone’s advantage.

“It does work, and it saves a lot of money and a lot of time,” Simons said.

Married to his wife Nancy for 69 years, both are serious collectors of Western art.

When asked what the secret to his longevity is, he has a simple answer.

“My wife says I procrastinate, and I have used it to my advantage because I am 100,” he said.


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