In Memorium: Charles Papy, Jr.
The attorney of record for the Community Papers of Florida (CPF), Charles Papy, Jr., died in Miami on January 2 following a massive heart attack.

He represented CPF in Tallahassee often, where the association was successful in passing tax laws that benefit CPF members. He was successful in representing several members in tax audits and when cities were eyeing delivery ordinances.

Papy was a frequent guest of CPF at its annual conferences, where he provided seminars on labor laws and delivery ordinances as well as updates on government mandates that affected the membership.

In 1990 he worked with a lobbyist to put the free papers in the state on an equal playing field with the daily newspapers. The Florida Department of Labor had assessed CPF members with a fabrication tax for the cost of production of their publications, including paper, ink, labor and all related costs. Paid newspapers were exempt from this tax. Papy was instrumental in providing the free papers in Florida with the same exemption that daily newspapers enjoyed. This exemption is still in effect.

In 2000, the Department of Revenue audited three CPF members. The auditor determined that the revenue from inserts distributed for the past six years was subject to a county sales tax. The auditor determined that advertising inserts did not satisfy all facets for a shopper as they are unrelated to the front page banner, and lacking in conformity as to the title and general nature of content from issue to issue. According to the auditor, this ruling met the criteria of daily newspapers which again were determined exempt from the ruling. Once again, Papy entered the halls of the Department of Revenue and after several sessions, the ruling was overturned.

Countless time Papy represented members over delivery ordinances and DOR audit rulings. His success provided a great deal of profitability for the association members. Many times the association was not charged for his work.

"We will miss him," said Executive Director Dave Neuharth. "Whether he was in the office of a giant corporation talking with a corporate president or in the office of a small Mom and Pop publisher, he had a way of making friends and making everyone feel important. He was one of a kind," Neuharth said.

His success in Tallahassee is due to the fact that he served in the Florida Legislature from 1972-1978. While in the Legislature, he was the Vice Chairman of the Judiciary Committee. He also worked on the Criminal Law Enforcement, Florida Workman's Compensation, Insurance and Education Committees. He was responsible for a complete revision of the workman's compensation laws and assisted in providing funding for Jackson Memorial Hospital and the University of Miami.

A graduate of the University of Miami School of Law, he was admitted to practice in many of the high courts. He graduated with honors in 1953. Papy was the senior partner of a respected law firm in Miami - Papy, Weissenborn, Poole & Vraspic - and practiced as an active partner until his death.

One of his proudest moments was participating in his granddaughter's graduation from the University of Miami School of Law as the school's first third-generation graduate.

In 2006, the Moot Court Board at the University of Miami was named in his honor.

Papy was an avid sportsman who loved to fish, hunt, shoot skeet and golf. He had at least one golf club from each manufacturer over the last 30 years.

In the 1960s he raised cattle and enjoyed riding quarter horses with his family as well as competing in numerous horse shows throughout the Southeast.

He was also a Deacon in the Presbyterian Church, having been a member of Granada and Kendall Presbyterian. He was the president of the Presbytery of the Everglades.

He is survived by his wife, Deborah, children, grandchildren and a great grandchild.

The family requests that donations go to the Charles C. Papy, Jr., Moot Court Board, School of Law Alumni and Development, P.O. Box 248087, Coral Gables, FL 33124-8087.

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