|October 1, 1950
Little Rock, AR
|April 14, 2020 (aged 69)
|Juris Doctor, University of Miami, Miami; LLM, Columbia School of Law, New York
|Attorney, Writer, Thespian
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Thomas "Tom" G. Regnier (October 1, 1950–April 14, 2020) was an appellate attorney with the law firm of Kramer, Green, Zuckerman, Greene & Buchsbaum, in Hollywood, Florida, a libertarian passionate about individual liberties, and a lover of Shakespeare, serving as President of the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship from 2014-2018.
Early Life and Education
Regnier was born on October 1, 1950, in Little Rock, Arkansas, the oldest child of George and Betty Regnier. Regnier graduated from Hall High School in 1968 and later attended Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, where he earned a bachelor of arts degree and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. After completing his undergraduate studies, Regnier pursued an acting career in New York, including a period with the New Jersey Shakespeare Festival.
Regnier later moved to Florida, where he assisted his parents with their retirement in Mountain Home, AR, and subsequently earned a law degree, summa cum laude, from the University of Miami School of Law. He began his career as an appellate attorney in Florida, and over the years, he achieved numerous successes, winning appeals in the Florida Supreme Court, all five of Florida’s District Courts of Appeal, and the U.S. Court of Appeals in the Eleventh Circuit. Regnier also had the opportunity to clerk for Judge Melvia Green in Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal and for Judge Harry Leinenweber in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Illinois.
In 2009, Regnier pursued further studies and earned a master of laws from the Columbia Law School in New York, where he was recognized as a Harlan F. Stone scholar. Alongside his legal practice, he taught as an adjunct professor at the University of Miami School of Law and Chicago’s John Marshall Law School. His legal expertise and insights were shared through scholarly articles published in esteemed journals such as the NYU Journal of Legislation and Public Policy, Santa Clara Law Review, and UMKC Law Review, among others.
Activism and Political Involvement
Throughout his life, Regnier was an active member of the Libertarian Party of Florida, holding positions such as state secretary and vice chairman. In 1997-98, he managed the party’s successful campaign to amend the Florida Constitution, ensuring equal ballot access for minor parties in the state.
Regnier believed passionately in individual liberty, equality, privacy, constitutional rights, and the rule of law. Most of his law review articles focused on constitutional rights such as those guaranteed by the First Amendment and the Fourth Amendment.
Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship
Regnier was deeply involved in the arts and, in particular, had a profound love for Shakespearean literature. Regnier served as the President of the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship from 2014 to 2018 and was honored as the Oxfordian of the Year in 2016 by the organization. The fellowship explored the possibility that the works of Shakespeare were authored by Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford.
An eloquent speaker, Regnier gave lectures on the authorship question and other topics related to Shakespeare, some of which can still be found on YouTube, including "Hamlet and the Law of Homicide."
Furthermore, Regnier contributed to the arts community in South Florida, serving as a panelist to evaluate local theater productions for the Carbonell Awards, an organization that honors excellence in theater and the arts in the region.
- President of Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship (2014-2018)
- Oxfordian of the Year (2016)
Personal Life and Passing
Regnier's interests and contributions extended beyond his professional and political life. He cherished his family and was survived by three siblings: Janie Regnier, J.G. Regnier and his wife Billie, and John Regnier and his wife Kate. Additionally, he was fondly remembered by five nieces and nephews: Charlie Waybright, Emma, Noah, Brennan, and Roan Regnier.
Tragically, Regnier's life was cut short due to complications from Covid-19. He passed away on April 14, 2020, at the age of 69, at Plantation General Hospital in Plantation, FL. Throughout his life, Regnier's business associates, family, relatives, and close friends, especially his partner Angel Acosta, cherished his memory and mourned the loss of a passionate individual who made significant contributions to the fields of law, politics, and the arts.