Tom Regnier, 69, died Tuesday, April 14, 2020 at the Plantation General Hospital in Plantation, FL from complications due to Covid-19. Tom had lived in the Miami area for the past nine years, working as an appellate lawyer, most recently with the law firm of Kramer, Green, Zuckerman, Greene & Buchsbaum.
Born in Little Rock, AR in 1950, the oldest child of George and Betty Regnier, Tom graduated from Hall High School in 1968. He went on to receive a bachelor of arts degree from Trinity College in Hartford, CT, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. After graduating, Tom moved to New York to pursue an acting career, which included a stint with the New Jersey Shakespeare Festival.
From there, Tom made his first move to Florida, but also spent time assisting his parents with their retirement in Mountain Home, AR. Tom returned to Florida to earn a law degree, summa cum laude, from the University of Miami School of Law, and soon began practicing appellate law in that state. In 2009, Tom earned a master of laws from the Columbia Law School in New York, where he was a Harlan F. Stone scholar.
As a lawyer, Tom has won 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. Tom clerked 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.
Additionally, Tom taught as an adjunct professor at University of Miami School of Law and at Chicago’s John Marshall Law School. Tom’s scholarly articles have appeared in NYU Journal of Legislation and Public Policy, Santa Clara Law Review, and UMKC Law Review, among others.
Tom was politically active as well in the Libertarian Party of Florida, where he served a term as the organization’s state secretary and vice chairman. In 1997-98, Tom managed the Libertarian Party’s successful campaign to achieve equal ballot access for minor parties in Florida by amending the state constitution.
Always passionate about theater, the arts in general and Shakespeare in particular, Tom served a term as president of the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship, and was named Oxfordian of the Year in 2016. The organization “explores the evidence that the works of Shakespeare were written by Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford.” A noted speaker, several of Tom’s lectures on the authorship question can be found on YouTube, including “Hamlet and the Law of Homicide.”
Tom also served as a panelist evaluating local theater productions for the Carbonell Awards, South Florida’s theater and arts honors.
Tom is survived by his three siblings: Janie Regnier, J.G. Regnier and wife Billie, and John Regnier and wife Kate; as well as five nieces and nephews: Charlie Waybright and Emma, Noah, Brennan and Roan Regnier.
Tom will be dearly missed by all of his business associates, family, relatives and his many close friends, especially his partner, Angel Acosta.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship https://shakespeareoxfordfellowship.org/product/donations/