Jay Howell is a Jacksonville attorney who represents victims of accidents and injuries, including all victims of criminal acts.
Howell served four years as an Assistant State Attorney in Jacksonville. As a state prosecutor, he specialized in cases involving sexual crimes and child abuse. He was the lead attorney in more than 50 cases tried before juries.
In 1981 he was appointed by Florida U.S. Senator Paula Hawkins as Chief Counsel to the United States Senate Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight. He conducted Senate investigations and drafted federal legislation addressing the issues of missing children, child kidnaping, child pornography, and the investigation and apprehension of serial murderers.
From 1984 until 1987 he founded and served as the first Executive Director of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. While serving at the National Center, Howell authored various publications concerning child safety and advocating a wide variety of state legislative initiatives designed to protect children.
Since 1987 he has been in private practice in Jacksonville representing individuals who have been hurt in automobile accidents, those who have been victimized by drunk drivers, and children and adults who are victims of assaults, sexual crimes, child abuse and other criminal activity. He provides annual training seminars for the Florida Attorney General on the rights of the victims of child abuse and other crimes.
In 1990 the Governor of Florida appointed him to represent the viewpoint of crime victims on the Florida State Crime Commission. He has chaired the Florida Bar Crime Victims Subcommittee on the Rights of Women and Children, and has drafted state and federal laws addressing the issues of sexual predators, the privacy of sexual crime victims, the protection of child witnesses, the right of the victim to speak at sentencing, the right of crime victims to enforce their rights, and other issues concerning the legal rights of crime victims.
He has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Youth Crisis Center and the Children’s Crisis Center in Jacksonville. He is a member of the Advisory Board for the Child Protection Team and the Jacksonville Committee of Florida’s Children First. He is a member of the Mayor’s Victim Assistance Advisory Council and the Northeast Florida Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
He has served as a member of the American Bar Association’s Task Force on Child Witnesses, the Board of Advisors of the National Center for the Prosecution of Child Abuse, and the Board of Advisors for the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence and the Florida Network of Victim/Witness Services. He has served as an attorney coach for Ed Lange’s Fletcher High School Mock Trial Team for over twenty years. He was the Pro Bono Attorney for the Tenant’s Advisory Council for public housing in Jacksonville.
In 1997 he was honored at the White House by the President and the Attorney General with The National Crime Victims Service Award. He has been recognized by The American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section (2009), The National Crime Victim Law Institute (2003), The Northeast Florida Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (2010), The Florida Council Against Sexual Violence (2008), The Florida Network of Victim/Witness Services (2008), and The National Organization For Victim Assistance (1996), for his work with crime victims.