David Lycurgus “D.L.” Middlebrooks, Jr. joined our law firm in 1974, where he practiced until his death 23 years later. He was a Pensacola native, born on June 27, 1926. In 1944, at the age of 18, he enlisted in the United States Navy, where he remained in service as a petty officer for two years.
Upon being discharged, he took advantage of the G.I. Bill to earn his Bachelor of Science Degree at Florida State University, where he completed his undergraduate studies in 1950. Shortly after the outbreak of the Korean War, D.L. voluntarily returned to the military, serving in the U.S. Air Force for the duration of the war, where he flew 55 combat missions.
Returning to Florida after his service obligation was completed, D.L. enrolled in the University of Florida College of Law (now the Fredric G. Levin College of Law), earning his LL.B. in 1956. One of the highlights of his legal career was his tenure as a federal district court judge for the Northern District of Florida.
Nominated by then-President Richard Nixon on October 6, 1969, D.L. was confirmed by the U.S. Senate two months later. He served on the bench until his resignation in August 1974, after which he returned to private practice. As a highly respected jurist, D.L had numerous offers from top law firms but he chose to work alongside Fred Levin and his law partners in an active trial practice.
Working with Fred in one high-profile case against L&N Railroad, D.L. and Fred achieved the highest personal injury compensatory verdict in United States history, as of that time. Fred remembers his colleague as a man of high integrity and “the very image of respectability.” After a short retirement, D.L. Middlebrooks sadly passed away on March 26, 1997, at the age of 70. At the time of his death, the law firm was still proudly known as Levin, Middlebrooks, Mabie, Thomas, Mayes & Mitchell, P.A.