Honoring the Heroes Among Us

ST. PETERSBURG BAR PARACLETE THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH The Magazine For The Legal Professional www.stpetebar.com | Issue dec 2013/jan 2014 Honoring the ...
Author: Zoe Craig
4 downloads 0 Views 9MB Size
ST. PETERSBURG BAR

PARACLETE THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH

The Magazine For The Legal Professional

www.stpetebar.com | Issue dec 2013/jan 2014

Honoring the Heroes Among Us

HON. Robert H. Dillinger

seymour A. gordon

and rising star

kristina E. feher

FOCUS

Trayvon Martin and the Right of Publicity in Florida By David Roy Ellis

Hello Daubert, Where do we go from here? By Hutch Pinder

Mediations: complying with recent rule changes and local rules By Shannon Zetrouer

contents ST. PETERSBURG BAR ASSOCIATION EDITOR’S LETTER

PARACLETE: The Spirit of Truth December 2013/January 2014

FEATURES

8

Trayvon Martin and the Right of Publicity in Florida By David Roy Ellis

10 Mediations: complying with recent rule changes and local rules 12 family law attorney: in it to win it or best interest of your client? 14 the honorable lauren c laughlin 16 18 preparing your client for a per curiam decision from conception to fruition: a collaborative effort to bring ssd/ssi 25 educational videos to the community Hello Daubert, Where do we go from here? By Hutch Pinder



By Shannon L. Zetrouer



By Tara J. Scott

By Shannon L. Zetrouer



By Caroline Johnson Levine

St. Petersburg Bar Association 2880 First Avenue North St. Petersburg, FL 33713-8604 Phone: 727.823.7474 • Fax: 727.823.8166 E-mail: [email protected] Lawyer Referral Service: 727.821.5450 The mission of the St. Petersburg Bar Association is to serve the legal community, to strengthen the noble calling of the practice of law, and to foster excellence in the profession.

Executive Director D. C. “Chip” Collins 727.823.7474 [email protected]

Editor Regina Kardash 727.258.0229 [email protected]

By Amy G. Bellhorn



AROUND THE BAR

15

BAR AND COURT NEWS

20 the heroes among us 2014

17 oktoberfest

Paraclete Advertising JoAnn Knight 727.823.7474 [email protected]

Design & Production 727.239.3713 [email protected]

IN EVERY ISSUE

4

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

32 34 36

COMMUNITY LAW PROGRAM

6 st petersburg bar foundation wHAT’S UP AND WHO’S NEW 26 pfawl CLASSIFIEDS 28 38 EDITOR’S NOTE

30

Stetson review

young lawyers’ corner

Editorial Policy: The Paraclete is published for the members of the St. Petersburg Bar Association. The magazine is published 10 times per year and welcomes submissions for publication. Publishing and editorial decisions are based on the editors’ judgment of the quality of the writing, the timeliness of the article, and the potential interest to the readers of the magazine. From time to time the Paraclete publishes articles dealing with controversial issues. The views expressed in the Paraclete are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the editors, executive committee or officers of the St. Petersburg Bar Association. No endorsement of those views should be inferred unless specifically identified as the official policy of the St. Petersburg Bar Association. Advertising copy is reviewed, but publication herein does not imply endorsement of any product, service or opinion advertised. Advertising rate cards are available upon request by calling 727-823-7474 and may be downloaded at www.stpetebar.com. © 2007 St. Petersburg Bar Association.

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE By Raleigh “Lee” Greene

In considering subject matter that might be of interest to you, collaborative law came to mind. Whether you practice in the world of litigation or in any other legal capacity, all of us, inevitably, are involved in some sort of dispute resolution. For informational purposes, within Pinellas County, the average case load for a Judge in the Civil Division is 1600 and in the Family Division is 550. A reasonable estimate is that well over 80% of these cases settle before trial. A cursory review of the numbers evidences the fact that our judicial system would crash absent a very high percentage of pretrial settlements. One reason for the high settlement percentage is the evolution of the mediation requirement, in virtually all civil matters, prior to trial. Over the last decade or so, the judicial system has embraced this process with great success. As we all know, the concept behind the mediation requirement is that the parties are much better determiners of their ultimate disputes than even the best trier of fact. Well, since the great percentage of cases settle, with or without mediation, isn’t there merit in starting the process with a bias towards settlement as opposed to the adversary nature of the litigation process? Often, the answer J

is yes. This creates the next question; namely how? A collaborative law approach offers the how. At the beginning, each party in a dispute selects a lawyer to represent them. Each lawyer’s job is to facilitate the creation of a broader range of possible settlement alternatives for both parties than would otherwise be available in court. This process provides higher quality individualized solutions to emerge in each collaborative case. The key to success in collaborative law is to have attorneys and other professionals involved, those others being financial experts and mental health facilitators, who enjoy a high degree of trust and respect between and among one another. The reason that is so important is because the collaborative concept eliminates discovery disputes and is predicated upon the complete, honest, and timely provision of any and all documentation and other information reasonably necessary to consider and evaluate the issues between the parties. At the beginning of a collaborative case, the parties and their counsel enter an actual agreement, typically known as a Collaborative Law Participation Agreement, within which they commit their best efforts to settle the matter in a non-adversarial

context. The agreement makes it very clear there is no way to assure that the collaborative process works. Obviously, no agreement can stop people from deciding to litigate. So, what’s the downside? The downside is the teeth in the agreement. That downside is the fact that the parties’ lawyers must withdraw if either party decides to abandon the process. This distribution of shared risk is a very powerful tool. We often call this having skin in the game. In the event of withdrawal, the participation agreement typically gives the participants the option of retaining or not retaining the other professionals, which usually have been identified as joint experts. While collaborative law is relatively new to most of us, it has already proven beneficial, particularly in the family law area. In a well-managed collaboration, each spouse is provided the opportunity to play a primary role in the creation, design, and implementation of a quality solution to their marital dissolution disputes in a controlled and emotionally safe process. If you would like further information about collaborative law and local collaborative law groups, please see www.tampabaycollaborative.com and www.collaborativedivorcetampabay. com.

DECEMBER 2013/JANUARY 2014

MEMBER APPRECIATION RAFFLE WINNER

Alexis Upton Sponsored by 4

5

ST PETERBURG BAR ASSOCIATION • ISSUE DECEMBER 2013/JANUARY 2014

EDITOR’S NOTE By Regina A. Kardash

“Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it.” ~ John Adams I was privileged to participate in the filming of Micheline Berry’s Liquid Asana Live1 DVD series for the first two weeks of November in Sofia, Bulgaria. I was one of forty yogis and yoginis, along with twelve musicians, who gathered from around the world to take part in the shoot funded by Udaya Entertainment. The movie studio was Nu Boyana Film Studios, nestled at the base of Mount Vitosha, and was the site of feature films such as The Expendables, and included film sets ranging from ancient Rome, Sumaria, downtown New York City, New Orleans and even Baghdad. The experience was incredible, both in terms of the yoga and the cultural immersion. While I was in Sofia, I also had the opportunity to learn about the protests taking place on the streets of the capital city of Bulgaria and in universities across their country. On my first night there as I walked past the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and the parliament building, I was greeted by chants of “Ostavka!” with barricades and armored vehicles surrounding the city block ahead. On the steps of the University of Sofia, crowds of people were gathered in front of a small stage where musicians were playing. The crowd appeared relaxed and resembled 6

more of a festival scene with vendors, musicians and performers rather than a political protest.2 However, that would quickly change in the days to come. Their chants, meaning “resignation,” were calling for the government to resign and relinquish control of the country back to people. The protests and unrest here have been persistent since last February, when the controlling political party gave up their seats, and the power shift was followed by democratic elections held in May. The socialist party that took office was accused of being controlled by the mafia and business-backed big government which perceptually did little to address the concerns of the citizens. When you talk to the protesters and other citizens supporting the protests, they all want the same thing: the chance to earn a decent living; an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work. By many accounts, the country is turning into a state of educated beggars with people continuing to graduate with advanced degrees in their fields and unable to find employment. Sound familiar?

The average monthly salary in Bulgaria is less than $700 USD3, forcing many in the country to look elsewhere in the European Union and around the world for suitable employment. More people leave the country every year than there are new jobs created, which will do little to preserve the nation from economic and political collapse. While walking through the grocery store there I saw little difference in food prices versus what we would find in a local store here, and observed very few locals in the restaurants. Although, on a side note, I will mention that there was no surcharge for “certified organic” foods as the country has an abundance of locally grown, non-GMO produce, nor do they inject their livestock with growth hormones. No matter where you go in the world, most people just want the chance to live their lives in peace, to provide for their families and to know that the next generations will have the chance to do the same. Some countries have become complacent, and here, despite much ridicule, there was little consequence over the United States’ recent government shutdown. I cannot help but wonder to myself what the people’s reaction would have been in Bulgaria had the politicians there behaved like our Congress. With this year drawing to a close, this journey has given me a chance to reflect on everything that I have been given in life, everything that I have worked for over the years, and recognize both my blessings and perseverance. However, nothing has meant as much to me over time as the love I have received from family and friends. Sometimes, much like governments, families go through crises that will force us to recognize that

Attorney Regina Kardash graduated from Stetson College of Law in 2007, and has continued to serve the local communities of Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties. She has practiced primarily in the areas of Criminal, Family and Local Government Law. More information about Regina can be found at her website: www. ReginaKardash.com

1 While I cannot go into detail about the contents, I can say that it will be a twelve DVD set available on the Udaya Entertainment website www.Udaya. com. I also filmed a short Slow Flo teaching segment, which will be a part of Udaya’s regularly available content. 2 Everything I experienced in Sofia was peaceful, and I saw no signs of violence either by protesters or police. Unfortunately, it has not been that way at all times, and some demonstrations have included gun violence, Molotov cocktails, and even self-immolations, with a report of nine people burning themselves to death in protest. BBC News: Bulgaria Protests, Students Lock up Sofia University, http://www.bbc. co.uk/news/world-europe-24896793 (November 11, 2013). 3 National Statistical Institute, Average Monthly Wages and Salaries of Employees Under Labor Contract 2013, http://www.nsi.bg/otrasalen.php?otr=5 1&a1=2005&a2=2006&a3=2010&a4 =2011#cont (November 8, 2013).

ST PETERBURG BAR ASSOCIATION • ISSUE DECEMBER 2013/JANUARY 2014

we are not perfect and have to make room for growth and change. Many times the people that surround us can be our greatest inspiration, like the Heroes Among Us that are recognized each year by the St. Petersburg Bar Foundation. As I move into the New Year, I will celebrate the blessings of 2013 with family and friends, leaving behind those things which did not serve a positive purpose in my life. I would encourage you to do the same. Enjoy the holidays and see you next year!

7

Trayvon Martin and the Right of Publicity in Florida By David Roy Ellis Recently I was interviewed on Florida Public Radio about a situation in which shirts with pictures of Trayvon Martin were being made and sold in north Florida. Some of the shirts were sold as a promotional tool for a cause – repealing Florida’s “stand your ground law.” That was the law that figured prominently in the trial of George Zimmerman, who shot and killed the 17-year old Martin after following him around as a self-styled vigilante for a neighborhood watch group. Zimmerman was subsequently acquitted in a widely publicized trial in Sanford. Although some of the shirts were being sold by groups like the Dream Defenders, an advocacy group that occupied the Florida Capitol for a month after Zimmerman was acquitted of the charges against him, other shirts with Martin’s images were sold by ordinary retail shops. Some people felt that the retailers selling shirts with the teen’s image were profiting from the tragedy, and that they should only do so if Martin’s family approved of the sales and possibly benefited financially from the sales. The question that was raised was whether the sellers of the shirts with Martin’s image needed the family’s permission before they could sell them. The answer can be found in Florida’s right of publicity law, Section 540.08 of the Florida Statutes, which prohibits the unauthorized publication of a person’s name or likeness for commercial purposes. The law states that “no person shall publish, print, display or otherwise publicly use for purposes of trade or for 8

any commercial or advertising purpose the name, portrait, photograph, or other likeness of any natural person without the express written or oral consent” of that person, or certain others such as licensees to whom the individual has granted such rights, or to specific named survivors if the individual is deceased. In Florida, a person’s publicity rights do not automatically descend to his heirs or pass through his estate. This is different from most other states, such as California, home of a variety of deceased entertainers, and Tennessee, venue for numerous lawsuits involving a deceased entertainer named Elvis. See my article, “Is It Now Or Never? A Performer’s Right Of Publicity May Endure Although He Has Left The Stage Forever” (with Sharon Ellis). http://pd.lawyers. com/%7E/media/Firm%20Galleries/ Organizations/6/6/3/7/663736/ IS%20IT%20NOW%20OR%20NEVER. ashx;http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www. stpetebar.com/resource/resmgr/ Docs/Paraclete_12-2003.pdf Under the Florida statute, publicity rights possessed by a person at the time of his death can be exercised only by the decedent’s surviving spouse or children if he was married or had children at the time of his death. The teenager Trayvon Martin did not have a widow or children at the time of his death, nor had he licensed his name or image while he was alive, so no one is entitled to assert Martin’s postmortem publicity rights. As a result, it does not appear that the family can do anything about

merchandise that has already been sold. It is possible, however, that family members can trademark his name or image as a “historical figure,” and prevent such use without their permission. Also, perhaps they can claim copyright in photographs or other images of Martin that were reproduced on the shirts, either because they are family photos or because the family is able to obtain rights in the pictures from other photographers. Under those circumstances, family members might be able to assert some measure of control over the future use of Martin’s name or likeness and thereby stop stores from selling shirts with his name or image without their permission and financial gain. Copyright © 2013 David R. Ellis All rights reserved David Ellis is a Largo attorney practicing trademarks, copyrights, patents, trade secrets, and intellectual property law; computer and cyberspace law; business, entertainment and arts law; and franchise, licensing and contract law. A graduate of M.I.T. and Harvard Law School, he is a registered patent attorney and Board Certified in Intellectual Property Law by the Florida Bar. He is the author of the book, A Computer Law Primer, and has taught Intellectual Property and Computer Law as an Adjunct Professor at the law schools of the University of Florida and Stetson University. For more information, see www.davidellislaw.com, or email [email protected]

9

ST PETERBURG BAR ASSOCIATION • ISSUE DECEMBER 2013/JANUARY 2014

Hello Daubert, Where Do We Go From Here? By Hutch Pinder It has been said that “laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made.”1 After a trip to Tallahassee during this past legislative session I gained a new appreciation for these remarks. Legislative Background Late in the afternoon on Friday, April 26, 2013, the Florida Legislature passed House Bill 7015: Expert Testimony.2 This bill, in its third year up for vote, substantively alters the requirements of Florida Statute Section 90.702. HB 7015: “a witness qualified as expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education may testify in form of an opinion as to the facts at issue in a case under certain circumstances; requiring the courts of this state to interpret and apply the principles of expert testimony in conformity with specified U.S. Supreme Court decisions; subjecting pure opinion testimony to such requirements; amending s. 90.704, F.S.; providing that facts or data that are otherwise inadmissible in evidence may not be disclosed to the jury by proponent of the opinion or inference unless the court determines that the probative value of the facts or data in assisting the jury to evaluate the expert’s opinion substantially outweighs the prejudicial effect.”3 In other words, the bill directs Florida courts to adopt the Daubert standard followed in Federal courts instead of Florida’s long standing adherence to Frye. Each of the state’s twenty elected State Attorneys, represented by 10

The Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association opposed this bill, stating that a change to the Daubert standard would create an increase in workload resulting in an estimated fiscal impact of nearly $1.1 million.4 Yet, the bill passed and was approved by the Governor on June 4, 2013 with an effective date of July 1, 2013.5 The inclusion of the July 1, 2013 effective date indicates that the law is not intended to apply retroactively. Even though the bill has been passed into law, it is possible that the Florida Supreme Court could reject the changes this bill seeks to impose. The Florida Evidence Code provides that evidence rules may, in some instances be substantive law and, therefore, the sole responsibility of the legislature but they can also be procedural and therefore, the sole responsibility of the Court.6 It remains to be seen whether the Florida Supreme Court will deem the changes to be substantive or procedural. At the time of publication of this article, the Florida Supreme Court has yet to adopt the rule in its present form.7 Frye and its Progeny To whom does this law apply? An expert witness is a person who, through education or experience, has developed a skill or knowledge in a particular subject, so that he or she may form an opinion that will assist the finder of fact.8 Following the 1923 decision in Frye v. United States both Federal and Florida courts used the standard set out by Frye to determine whether scientific and expert testimony could be admitted into evidence.9 The Frye court established a test regarding the admissibility of new or novel theories, determining that in order to introduce such scientific or expert testimony deduced from a scientific principle or

discovery, the principle or discovery “must be sufficiently established to have gained general acceptance in the particular field or study in which it belongs.”10 Under the Frye standard a judge must evaluate and determine whether the basic underlying principles of scientific evidence have been tested and accepted by the scientific community. Federal Courts continued to use the Frye standard until 1993, when the United States Supreme Court held in Daubert11 that the Frye standard had been superseded by the Federal Rules of Evidence which provide that an expert may only testify if: (1) the expert’s knowledge, skill, experience, training, education or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand or determine a fact in issue; (2) the testimony is based upon sufficient facts or data; (3) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods; and (4) the witness has applied the principles and methods reliably to the facts of the case.12 The Florida Evidence Code replaces and supersedes existing statutory or common law in conflict with its provisions. Florida Statute § 90.702 relates to the admissibility of expert opinion testimony and prior to July 1, 2013 provided that: “If scientific, technical or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact in understanding the evidence or determining a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education may testify about it in the form of opinion; however, the opinion is

Florida Post-Daubert Even after Daubert was decided the Florida Supreme Court consistently applied the Frye test as the proper standard for admitting novel scientific evidence in Florida.15 Yet the Florida Supreme Court recognized that the standard set forth in Frye is inapplicable in the vast majority of cases.16 This is in part due to the Florida Supreme Court’s determination that the Frye test does not apply if the theory relied upon by the expert is not new or novel.17 Additionally, Frye does not apply to pure opinion testimony that is based upon the expert’s personal experience and training.18 This interpretation differs greatly from the federal mandate that all expert testimony be subjected to Daubert.19 Application Going forward practitioners and the courts must remain cognizant of these issues and more regarding the application of Daubert. Will the Florida

Supreme Court refuse to adopt HB 7015 as a rule of evidence? If so, how will appellate courts interpret these changes in the absence of further clarification from the Florida Supreme Court? Practitioners should also recall that an abuse of discretion standard applies to the review of a trial court’s determination of admissibility under Daubert, while the appropriate standard for review of a Frye issue is de novo.20 A trial attorney must be aware of all these different factors when trying their case. Much like sausage and politics, the process may not be pretty, but, in the end, time will tell exactly how these recent legislative changes will impact our trials. Hutch Pinder is a trial attorney at The Whittemore Law Group, P.A., practicing primarily in the representation of plaintiffs in personal injury claims and complex product liability litigation. Hutch can be reached at 727-8218752 or [email protected] com.

1 Often attributed to Otto Von Bismark, German Prussian politician, (1815-1898). 2 H.B. 7015, Florida Regular Session 2013 (FL 2013). 3 Id. 4 Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association Analysis Report, HB 7015, Buddy Jacobs, March 4, 2013. 5 Id. at Footnote 2. 6 See In re Fla. Evidence Code, 372 So.2d 1369 (Fla. 1979), decision clarified, 376 So.2d 1161 (Fla. 1979). 7 See Jones v. RJ Reynolds, 830 So.2d 854 (2d DCA, Fla. 2002) (wherein the Florida Supreme Court refused to adopt Fl Stat. 803(22) as a rule of evidence). 8 Bryan A. Garner, Black’s Law Dictionary, 9th Edition (West Publishing Co. 2009) (defining an “expert”). 9 See Frye v. United States, 293 F. 1013 (D.C. Cir. 1923). 10 Id. at 1013. 11 See Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, 509 U.S. 579 (1993). 12 See Rule 702, Federal Rules of Evidence. 13 See Florida Statute 90.102. 14 See Section 90.702, Florida Statutes (prior to the July 1, 2013 amendment). 15 See Marsh v. Valyou, 977 So.2d 543 (Fla. 2007). 16 Id. at 547. 17 Id. at 547-548. 18 Id. 19 See Kumho Tire Co. v. Carmichael, 526 U.S. 137 (U.S. 1998). 20 See Joiner v. General Electric Co., U.S., 522 U.S. 136 (1997) and Brim v. State, 695 So.2d 268 (Fla. 1997).

ST PETERBURG BAR ASSOCIATION • ISSUE DECEMBER 2013/JANUARY 2014

admissible only if it can be applied to the evidence produced at trial.”14

11

Mediations: Complying with Recent Rule Changes and Local Rules As mediation has continued to be used more heavily in the litigation process, the rules governing mediation practices have evolved. Mediation is required in almost all types of litigation cases before any matter can progress to the point of holding a trial. There have been some substantial changes made in the rules governing mediation over the past year with which practitioners should be familiar with. Additionally, local rules and requirements of Judges, Circuits, Divisions, and Districts can all differ widely, so it is wise to check any local rules that may apply to your mediation before you select a mediator or try to schedule one.

Changes to Fla. R. Cir. P. 1.720 Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.720 governs mediation procedures in Florida Circuit and County Cases. The rule was amended effective January 1, 2012, and the two most notable changes are: 1) the requirement of all parties to attend mediation in person; and 2) the requirement of filing a Certificate of Attendance and Authority. Per Fla. R. Cir. P. 1.720(b), physical presence is now required at mediation by the following parties, unless a court order or stipulation by all parties in writing is entered otherwise:

carrier’s outside counsel, and who has full authority to settle in an amount up to the amount of the plaintiff’s last demand or policy limits, whichever is less, without further consultation.

days prior to appearing at a mediation conference, shall file with the court and serve all parties a written notice identifying the person or persons who will be attending the mediation conference as a party representative or as an insurance carrier representative, and confirming that those persons have the authority required by subdivision (b).

Following the Local Rules

The change in the 2011 amendment was the addition of the word “and” after items 1 and 2, making it possible that three people could be required to attend on behalf of one party at mediation. Prior to this change in the rule, it was common for parties to attend mediation telephonically, or for corporate representatives to attend who may or may not have been familiar with the case. The rule has been made more specific to ensure the representative attending has actual authority to settle the matter, without the necessity of involving a party not present.

2. The party’s counsel of record, if any; and

In addition to the change in subdivision (b) to Rule 1.720, a new subdivision (e) was added, requiring a Certificate of Attendance and Authority to be filed in advance of the mediation conference, identifying all individuals who will be attending the mediation and confirming they have the authority to settle the case. The new subdivision reads:

3. A representative of the insurance carrier for any insured party who is not such

(e) Certification of Authority. Unless otherwise stipulated by the parties, each party, 10

1. The party or representative having full authority to settle without consulting with anyone else;

12

By Shannon L. Zetrouer

In addition to being familiar with the most recent changes to the rules in mediation procedures, it is important to consult any and all local rules or specific judge’s practice requirements to hold a mediation conference. Some common issues that may arise are: 1. Is the mediation courtordered? Often, there are different rules that apply to the mediation conference, depending on whether the mediation has been ordered by the court yet or not. If the mediation has been courtordered, review the order carefully for any requirements. 2. If the parties have agreed to allow a party to attend telephonically, do the local rules require a court order, or is a stipulation of the parties sufficient? While the Rules of Civil Procedure state that parties can stipulate OR it can be court ordered, some judges may require a motion and order to allow a party to attend by phone, even if all parties are in agreement.

3. Can you continue the mediation without court approval? If so, for how long? Certain sections and/or judges allow for a continuance, but only for a certain length of time, while others require a motion and order to continue a mediation conference.

Shannon L. Zetrouer is a partner with Westerman White Zetrouer, PA, located in downtown St. Petersburg. Ms. Zetrouer’s practice focuses on real estate and estate planning. Her real estate practice includes condominium, timeshare, and homeowners association matters, landlord tenant issues, construction defects, and other contractual matters. Ms. Zetrouer is a Florida Gator and graduated from Stetson College of Law. She currently resides in St. Petersburg with her husband Trevor.

Morning at the Courthouse & Meet the Judges Luncheon October 17, 2013 St. Pete Judicial Building Thank you to all of the Judges and Judicial Assistants for your participation. We had a great turnout and appreciate all of the support from the local judiciary. Also, thank you Ken Burke, Clerk of Court and to all the speakers for your thoughtful insight.

Special Thanks to our sponsors for making this event possible. GOLD SPONSORS:

Denmon and Denmon The Florida Bar Gallagher and Associates Law Firm, P.A.,

SILVER SPONSORS:

Goodis, Thompson & Miller, P.A. Trenam Kemker

ST PETERBURG BAR ASSOCIATION • ISSUE DECEMBER 2013/JANUARY 2014

When you are planning a mediation conference, as with any aspect of your practice, making sure you are aware of any recent changes to procedural rules. Familiarizing yourself with the local rules governing practice requirements is paramount to a successful mediation conference.

Pictured from left to right: Judge Kathleen T. Hessinger, Judge Walt Fullerton with TK the Guide Dog, Senior Judge John C. Lenderman, Judge Amy M. Williams and Judge Pamela A.M. Campbell

13

Family Law Attorney: In it To Win it Or Best Interest of Your Client? By Tara J. Scott First, do no harm. Many recognize this phrase as the oath a physician takes upon entering the practice of medicine. However, do family law attorneys have a similar promise to our clients? The answer is yes. The Florida Legislature and Florida Supreme Court mandate that family law attorneys, and all individuals involved in the family law court system, treat this area of law differently. This treatment is due to the issues we must deal with and the impact on those trying to survive their experience in family court. Florida Statute 61.001 (2013) mandates chapter 61 “should be liberally construed and applied and its purposes are: (a) to preserve the integrity of marriage and to safeguard meaningful relationships; (b) to promote the amicable settlement of disputes that arise between parties to a marriage; and (c) to mitigate the potential harm to the spouses and their children caused by the process of legal dissolution of marriage.” The Florida Supreme Court stresses that, in family law cases, the courts should “embrace methods of resolving disputes that do not cause additional emotional harm to the children and families who are required to interact with the judicial system,” In re Report of the Family Court Steering Committee, 794 So.2d 518 (Fla. 2001). Upon reading the statute and opinion, a family law attorney should ask himself or herself; do I abide by the law in the representation of my client? Based on my experiences with many family law attorneys in the St. Petersburg area, the majority of us have this philosophy. We can sit down, just the attorneys, and “problemsolve” for our clients to reach a result 14

that saves all involved emotional and financial pain. I have been very proud of these times due to the positive impact we, as attorneys, made in the lives of our clients. Unfortunately, there have been several instances where opposing counsel appears to be “in it to win it.” The behavior was competitive, overly-aggressive, and focused on winning. This type of advocacy may be appropriate for some areas of the law, but not for family law. I have heard some state that strong, aggressive advocacy is in the best interest of the client. However, is it really? Is it best for the client to leave the family law court system with emotional and psychological scars? Is it best for the client to have their children come through the process with their own scars? Is it best for the client to suffer financially with astronomical amounts of attorneys’ fees and litigation costs? Representing a client’s best interest in a family law case is more than just strong advocacy, it is educating our client as to the real consequences of the process. The following are some suggestions on ways I have found to represent a family law client: 1. Diffuse the situation: There are two ways to diffuse a hostile family law situation. First, the attorneys need to work together. If the attorneys work together as diplomats, this can set the standard for the parties. Second, the attorney can counsel the client to diffuse the situation with the other party. This can be extremely hard for the client when in such an emotional situation. However, I try to remind them that aggressive representation is very expensive financially and emotionally. Further, if there are children involved,

does the client really want the child to become dysfunctional and suffer due to the client’s own selfish desire. 2. Proffer hearing: If you have a difficult client who won’t listen to any logical advice, a proffer hearing with a different judge can help. Using this tool, the client gets to hear a judge explain a neutral perspective that may open the eyes of a client. 3. Appointment of mental health professional for family counseling or early parent coordination: Prior to the parties entering into a mud throwing contest, early intervention by a professional to help the parties work together is very beneficial. 4. Don’t escalate with opposing counsel: If the opposing counsel is one who believes that good advocacy equals winning, do not react. When in opposition with an attorney that has this philosophy, it is so tempting to fight fire with fire. I have found this one the hardest for me. The best way to react is to keep the conversation minimal and have “no comment.” This is the first of several articles that will outline and analyze the recommendations of the Family Court Steering Committee as adopted by the Florida Supreme Court. I hope through these articles, more discussion will occur in the family law section on ways to “first do no harm.” Tara J. Scott is a solo practitioner in St. Petersburg. She focuses her practice in the areas of family law and debtor bankruptcy. She currently serves as cochair and young lawyers representative for the Family Law Section of the St. Petersburg Bar. Ms. Scott is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Stetson College of Law.

Bar and Court News ASSOCIATION OF LEGAL ADMINISTRATORS - PINELLAS COUNTY CHAPTER OF THE FLORIDA PINELLAS county chapter of the SUNCOAST CHAPTER: ASSOCIATION FOR WOMEN LAWYERS: paralegal association of florida:

Date: Time: Program: Speaker: Topic: Location:

Wednesday, January 8, 2014 11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. General Membership Meeting J.S. Gagnon of Baldwin Krystyn Sherman The latest provisions of the Affordable Care Act The Centre Club 123 S. Westshore Blvd. Tampa, FL 33609

Date: Thursday, February 13, 2014 Time: 11:45 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Event: Round table discussion of current topics of concern to our members Location: Bascom’s Chop House 3665 Ulmerton Rd Clearwater, FL 33762

PFAWL meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 6:00 p.m. at different locations each month. There is no RSVP requirement. For more information on events contact Marcelana Anthony at [email protected] For membership inquires contact Joann Grages at [email protected]

Date: Time: Program: Location:

Monthly meetings for the Pinellas County Chapter of PAF, Inc. are on the second Tuesday of each month. Paralegals, student paralegals, non-members and attorneys are always welcome. For further information or to make reservations, please contact Crystal Siegel: [email protected] or Glenda Sasser. For more information on the local chapter contact Glenda Sasser at [email protected] or visit the Paralegal Association of Florida website at www.pafinc.org. The next meeting is:

Tuesday, January 7, 2014 6:00 p.m. Monthly Social - No RSVP required Besa Grill 2542 McMullen Booth Rd. Date: Clearwater, FL 33761 Time: Speaker: Program: Date: Tuesday, February 4, 2014 Location: Time: 6:00 p.m. Program: Monthly Social - No RSVP required Location: St. Petersburg Hilton Date: Tangerine Room Time: 333 1st Street South Speaker: St. Petesburg, FL 33701 Location:

PINELLAS ASSOCIATION OF CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYERS: The PACDL monthly meetings are held the second Wednesday of each month. Locations vary, but are frequently at the Criminal Justice Center from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. Lunch is typically provided. For more information on PACDL please contact Garry L. Potts for the location or more information at [email protected] com or (727)538-4166. All attorneys are welcome to attend.



Tuesday, January 14, 2014 6:00 p.m. Caroline Johnson Levine The Evolution of Equality Antonio’s Pasta Grille 2755 Ulmerton Rd. Clearwater, FL 33762 Tuesday, February 11, 2014 6:00 p.m. To Be Announced Antonio’s Pasta Grille 2755 Ulmerton Rd. Clearwater, FL 33762

ST. PETERSBURG ASSOCIATION OF LEGAL SUPPORT SPECIALISTS SPALSS is in the process of restructuring. Currrently there are no meeting dates on their calendar at this time. All legal support staff and attorneys are welcome. For more information contact Interim President, Roslyn Anderson at [email protected] or Susan Batchelder at 727-502-8219.

ST PETERBURG BAR ASSOCIATION • ISSUE DECEMBER 2013/JANUARY 2014

The Suncoast Chapter of the ALA meets on the second Wednesday of each month. For more information please contact Meeting/Education Co-Chairs, Elaine Stinson at [email protected] or Valerie Tolisano at [email protected] or visit the ALA website at http://alasuncoast.org/ for more information. The next meetings are:

15

The Honorable Lauren C. Laughlin By Shannon L. Zetrouer The Honorable Lauren C. Laughlin has served a total of 17 years on the bench as a Circuit Court Judge for the Sixth Judicial Circuit. Elected in 1997, Judge Laughlin began her judicial career at the Pinellas County Justice Center in Clearwater in the criminal division. From there she spent a year in the family law division, before moving to the probate division, where she has presided for the past 8 years. In 2001, while serving in the criminal division, Judge Laughlin helped initiate the Sixth Judicial Circuit Adult Drug Court. Judge Laughlin spent 4 years presiding over the Sixth Judicial Circuit Adult Drug Court and credits its success to the continued hardwork and dedication of judges like the Honorable Deanna Farnell. Through this initiative, she developed a strong respect for Operation PAR, Inc., which provides integrated addiction and mental health services to citizens of Sixth Judicial Circuit. Although she no longer presides over the Sixth Judicial Circuit Adult Drug Court, Judge Laughlin remains a huge supporter of Operation Par, Inc. and all the services it provides to the local community. In 2006, Judge Laughlin moved to the probate division. The probate division has provided her with a number of notable cases, including ones unfortunately involving attorney ethics violations. In 2008, she wrote an order ruling that a local attorney had unduly influenced his client into including him and his legal assistant in her will where they would receive $7-million of the estate. In a separate case, just a year later, she issued a bench warrant after finding a local attorney in criminal contempt for failure to appear in court to answer questions regarding a number of estates he was handling. This came following the discovery 16

of a number of unauthorized cash withdrawals from one of his client’s estates. Although troublesome, Judge Laughlin acknowledges that cases like these are common especially in the probate division. However, with the recent legislative enactment of Florida Statute § 732.806, Judge Laughlin is hopeful that attorneys will now be deterred from engaging in ethical violations like improperly including the drafting attorney in their client’s will.

believes is fostered by skilled attorneys mentoring the inexperienced. When asked what she enjoys most about her job, Judge Laughlin readily admits that she loves the aspect of learning that accompanies being a judge. She enjoys addressing new issues and dealing with questions that have not yet been answered. Furthermore, Judge Laughlin values the interesting work and cases she encounters on a daily basis. With a bookshelf full of the University of Florida memorabilia, Judge Laughlin’s pride for her alma mater is evident as soon you enter her chambers. She received both her B.A. and J.D. from the University of Florida. In between receiving her undergraduate degree and attending law school, Judge Laughlin worked for a number of years in advertising. Prior to taking the bench in 1997, Judge Laughlin served as staff counsel for the Sixth Judicial Circuit in the probate division.

After spending over a decade on the bench, Judge Laughlin provides sensible advice to practicing attorneys: there is always room for improvement. Never be afraid to ask what you did wrong or how you could have done something better. Judge Laughlin even recommends attorneys consider asking the judge what they could have done better following a hearing or trial. However, at the same time she advises that attorneys should never expect a judge to tell you how to do your job. For younger attorneys, Judge Laughlin stresses the importance of mentoring and the value of gaining experience through observing more experienced attorneys. She values the learning process in the profession, which she

Judge Laughlin resides in St. Petersburg, Florida. She currently serves on the St. Petersburg Bar Association’s Bench & Bar Committee. She supports the Rays and an enhanced pier and waterfront for St. Pete. In her spare time, Judge Laughlin enjoys traveling, and recently returned from a trip to Italy. Shannon L. Zetrouer is a partner with Westerman White Zetrouer, PA, located in downtown St. Petersburg. Ms. Zetrouer’s practice focuses on real estate and estate planning. Her real estate practice includes condominium, timeshare, and homeowners association matters, landlord tenant issues, construction defects, and other contractual matters. Ms. Zetrouer is a Florida Gator and graduated from Stetson College of Law. She currently resides in St. Petersburg with her husband Trevor.

YOUNG LAWYERS SECTION October 26, 2013 Horan Park St. Pete Beach Community Center 2013 St. Pete Bar OKTOBERFEST SILVER SPONSORS Buckley Law Firm, P.A. Carlton Fields, P.A. R.W. Greene, III, P.A. BRONZE SPONSORS

TABLE SPONSORS Barnett Woolums, P.A. Bassett Law Offices, P.A. Feher Law, PLLC McCloskey & Associates McDermott Law Firm, P.A. My World Therapeutic Recreation Services, LLC Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes, P.A. Raymond James Trust Shocklee & Paolino St. Pete Bar Foundation Surpass Your Goal Sweet Olivia’s Treats

BAND SPONSOR Kravitz Law Group, P.A. PHOTOGRAPHER & SPONSOR Kyle Fleming Photography

ST PETERBURG BAR ASSOCIATION • ISSUE DECEMBER 2013/JANUARY 2014

D & D Reporting Service Regina A. Kardash, P.A. Ken Lark for Circuit Judge Maxey Law Offices, PLLC Regions

17

Preparing Your Client for a Per Curiam Decision By Caroline Johnson Levine An interesting dilemma can occur for an attorney when he or she is hired by a client who is highly motivated to win his case on appeal and indicates that he is in it for the long haul, when he exclaims “I want to take this case all the way to the Supreme Court!” Your client may be very emotional as he has just weathered a very difficult civil trial, a combative divorce and custody case, or is facing many years in Florida State Prison. As the appellate attorney, you are now the client’s only hope of curing what your client perceives to be a grave injustice. As difficult as it may be, you may need to explain to the client in the beginning of your business relationship that appealing his case to the Florida Supreme Court may not be an option if the district court of appeal issues a per curiam affirmance or denial, rather than a written decision. This information may be of particular importance to your client, considering that the district courts of appeal issue per curiam decisions in approximately sixty percent of appellate cases. When a district court of appeal issues a decision that is unfavorable to your case, many practitioners believe that they can simply appeal the opinion to the Florida Supreme Court. However, the Florida Constitution has granted only limited jurisdiction to the Supreme Court to hear appeals from the district court. The five categories of jurisdiction are 1) mandatory appellate jurisdiction, 2) discretionary review jurisdiction, 3) discretionary original jurisdiction, 4) exclusive jurisdiction, and 5) advisory opinions.1 Many of these jurisdictional categories are very specific and limited in scope, such as “mandatory 18

appellate” jurisdiction, which is limited to appeals of death penalty cases, validation of public revenue bonds, Florida Public Service Commission decisions, and a district court declaration of the invalidity of a statute or Constitutional provision. Therefore, many practitioners believe that the best opportunity to obtain Supreme Court review is to proceed under the “catchall” category of “discretionary review” jurisdiction.

accepts or postpones jurisdiction, the appellant must serve the initial “merits” brief within twenty days.7 Importantly, the jurisdictional brief is limited to 10 pages, must contain no citation to the trial record, and include an appendix of the conflicting opinions.8 Because the Supreme Court can refuse to exercise its discretion, jurisdictional briefs should strongly convince the Court of the significance of the legal issues at stake.

The Supreme Court may review district court of appeal opinions which contain a written decision that details the court’s reasoning and which “expressly and directly conflict[s] with a decision of another district court of appeal or of the supreme court on the same question of law.”2 Fundamentally, the conflicting opinions must “appear within the four corners of the majority decision.”3 “That is, the opinion must contain a statement or citation effectively establishing a point of law upon which the decision rests.”4 Therefore, unless the Appellant can substantially argue that the holding is in irreconcilable conflict with another jurisdiction’s opinion or that the district court erroneously misapplied case precedent, the chance of obtaining “discretionary review” is severely limited.

A per curiam decision from the district court of appeal, which does not contain a written decision or citation, is problematic because the supreme court has held “that article V, section 3(b)(1) of the Florida Constitution does not authorize this Court’s jurisdiction over unelaborated per curiam decisions issued by a district court of appeal.”9 This is due to the principle that a per curiam decision is issued when the law is so well settled that there is no necessity for a written opinion.10 However, an appellant can be assured that his or her constitutional rights have been considered when a district court rules on the merits of the appeal by issuing a per curiam decision.11

Procedurally, upon receiving the district court’s decision, the appellant must file a motion for rehearing and clarification within fifteen days. If the district court denies this motion, the appellant must file in the district court, a notice of appeal to invoke discretionary jurisdiction within thirty days.5 Subsequently, the appellant must file a “jurisdiction” brief in the Supreme Court within ten days of the notice of appeal.6 Finally, if the Supreme Court

Once you receive a per curiam decision, you may make one attempt at obtaining a written decision from the district court of appeal. “When a decision is entered without opinion, and a party believes that a written opinion would provide a legitimate basis for Supreme Court review, [a] motion may include a request that the [district] court issue a written opinion.”12 However, the Rule does not mandate “that a district court of appeal issue a written opinion upon request of a party.”13 Further, the Supreme Court lacks the authority to compel the district court of appeal to issue a written opinion.14

Caroline Johnson Levine was employed as a criminal prosecutor for ten years and currently practices civil litigation defense. She frequently speaks to educational groups in order to share civics lessons. Additionally, she is a member of The Florida Bar’s Standing Committee on Professionalism.

1 See Florida Constitution, Article V, § 3(b).

9 See Jackson v. State, 926 So.2d 1262 (Fla. 2006).

2 See FLA. R. APP. P. 9.030(2)(iv); see also Florida Constitution, Article V, § 3(b) (3).

10 See Whipple v. State, 431 So.2d 1011 (Fla. 2nd DCA 1983).

3 See Reaves v. State, 485 So.2d 829 (Fla. 1986). 4 See The Florida Star v. B.J.F., 530 So.2d 286 (Fla. 1988). 5 See FLA. R. APP. P. 9.120(b). 6 See FLA. R. APP. P. 9.120(d). 7 See FLA. R. APP. P. 9.120(f). 8 See FLA. R. APP. P. 9.210(a)(5).

11 See Elliot v. Elliot, 648 So.2d 137 (Fla. 4th DCA 1994). 12 See Rules of Appellate Procedure 9.330 (a). 13 See R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company v. Kenyon, 882 So.2d 986, 989 (Fla. 2004). 14 See School Board of Pinellas County v. District Court of Appeal, 467 So.2d 985, 986 (Fla. 1985).

The Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners declared October 20-27 Pro Bono Week by presentation of a proclamation on October 8, 2013, at the Clearwater Courthouse. Representing the legal community were left to right: Connie Daniels, Clerk of Court’s Office; Elizabeth Porcelli, Community Law Program; Jim Bennett, Pinellas County Attorney; Myriam Irizarry, Clearwater Bar President; Chip Collins, St. Pete Bar Executive Director; Commissioner Kenneth Welch; Jane Helms, Gulfcoast Pro Bono Coordinator; Ken Burke, Clerk of Court; Karen France, Clearwater Bar Executive Director, and CBA President Elect Josh Chilson.

On October 10, 2013, Mayor David Foster presented a proclamation naming October 20-26, 2013 Pro Bono Week in the City of St. Petersburg. Pictured left to right are: Mayor David Foster; Kimberly Rodgers, Community Law Program Executive Director; Elizabeth Porcelli, Community Law Program; Eric Ludin, St. Pete Bar Foundation President; and Chip Collins; St. Pete Bar Executive Director.

ST PETERBURG BAR ASSOCIATION • ISSUE DECEMBER 2013/JANUARY 2014

Therefore, due to very specific jurisdictional law regarding appeals, you may need to inform your client that appealing a case to the Supreme Court may not always be possible.

19

Honoring the Heroes Among Us Hon. Robert H. Dillinger By Mary Repper Bob Dillinger was born and raised in the Daytona Beach area, where he attended Mainland High School. He began achieving “firsts” at that early age. He was the first sophomore in the history of the school to make the varsity basketball team, which that year went to the state championship. He graduated magna cum laude and was voted most likely to succeed. He then went to Columbia University, where he played freshman basketball with now-Attorney General Eric Holder. He graduated with a degree in environmental sciences.

“Heroes are ordinary people who make themselves extraordinary.” ~ Gerard Way

20

Dillinger cut short his journeys in the Ivy League and returned to Florida to be near his father, who was seriously ill. It was the start of a life he has since devoted to life and death matters. His uncle agreed to pay Dillinger’s tuition at the Stetson College of Law in Gulfport so he could be near his family to help with the health issue. Unfortunately, however, his uncle thought law school was only for one year, so Dillinger found himself needing a job. He ended up working full-time at a funeral home in order to pay tuition, which at the time was $2,000 a year. Life -- and death. He took the Public Defender Clinic and graduated in 1976 and immediately went to the PD office as an assistant. There, he became heavily involved in capital cases and was the co-editor of the first Life over Death capital training manual and a co-founder of the Life over Death training seminar. His creation continues to this day and is the largest capital training seminar in the South. Dillinger left for private practice in 1981 but continued to try capital cases, as well as having an active civil and criminal trial practice in state and federal court. In 1995, he began devoting himself to a reform campaign for the elected Public Defender and, in 1996, he was chosen by voters as the

6th Judicial Circuit’s Public Defender. He has been re-elected every four years since then. Upon taking office, Dillinger began making changes that have distinguished his office as one of the most active and forward-thinking in the nation. He created a mental health division to divert mentally ill clients from jail. He received several million dollars from the federal government to get the program started and, to date, it has taken 4,000 mentally ill people out of the jails with a success rate of 92 percent. He created a homeless diversion team with funding from the sheriff’s office to address the flow of hundreds of homeless people into the jail each year. He has been the legislative chairman for the Florida Public Defender Association since 1998 and is active in Tallahassee fighting for the rights of the innocent and the hopeless, fighting for simple justice. In that role, and with the help of Sen. Jack Latvala and Rep. John Morroni, he changed the composition of the region’s Juvenile Welfare Board, adding the State Attorney and the Public Defender. He became aware of Pinellas receiving a new mobile medical unit to serve the homeless and uninsured and was successful in having the nonprofit Leadership Pasco buy the old unit and give it to the PD’s office to help its mission in treating Pasco’s homeless population. With the assistance of then-Senator Mike Fasano and currentSpeaker Will Weatherford, he obtained funding to staff the mobile unit with a nurse practitioner, a paramedic and a homeless outreach attorney. The unit serves more than a thousand homeless children and adults a year while also delivering more than 1,000 flu injections a year to the homeless and uninsured. The Pasco homeless coalition recently turned over a mobile shower unit to his office to further serve that population. A mobile dental unit to serve the children

in Pinellas County, he and Kay Dillinger started the Nourish to Flourish Dillinger has known great highs in his program to feed hungry elementary professional life, but he and his wife, school children who have little or no Kay, also suffered great lows after the food on the weekends. They started tragic death of their only child, Beth, out feeding 10 children in the summer in 2006. He and Kay created the Beth of 2012 and are now feeding over 500 Dillinger Foundation to benefit at-risk every weekend. youth in the region. There are currently four branches of this foundation. Dillinger has received numerous Beth’s Closet at PACE Center for Girls awards, too many to mention here, in Pinellas Park was the beginning and serves on more boards and of the foundation. This fuscia pink organizations that a normal resume clothes closet is filled with anything could hold. The towering man and everything a teenage girl could (remember, he was a basketball player want. It is also used as an incentive for in high school) is a major presence in good behavior in which one girl each Florida’s criminal justice system, but month receives the Beth’s Kindness down deep is committed not to the award and can pay a visit to the closet. trappings of power and authority but There are also “closet days” centered to humbly empowering the homeless, around a theme and each PACE the ill, the poor, the innocent and participant can chose two items from others who often do not receive the closet to take home. The second this nation’s full blessings and legal part of the foundation is the Beth protections. Upon his first swearingDillinger Scholarship, which partners in in 1997, Dillinger read a charge to with the Pinellas Education Foundation his office, called “We are the HOPE.” to provide two-year scholarships to He urged them to become the hope “of any accredited university, college or the people we represent.” Dillinger’s technical school. As of this spring career has given hope to countless more than 100 scholarships will have people in Pinellas-Pasco, in Tampa Bay, been awarded to youth who otherwise in Florida and throughout the nation. would not be able to continue on to In his free time, he likes to spend higher education. The third branch time at their weekend place on the is three Hope Chest clothes closets that have been created at the Public Withlacoochee river in Hernando Defender Offices in Clearwater, New County. There he is an adamant catch Port Richey and Dade City for boys and release bass fisherman. He and and girls in the foster care system. These closets contain shoes, clothing, hygiene products, jewelry, pajamas, books and bus passes for youth who are sometimes removed from their homes with only the clothing on their backs. The fourth and newest part of the Beth Dillinger Foundation started in the summer of 2012. When Dillinger heard there were more than 7,000 chronically hungry children just

his wife also are recumbent bike riders on the Rails to Trails bike trail as that trail is the largest paved trail in Florida. The author of this article also lives near the Dillinger’s and is a gourmet cook. The “rough” weekend consists of fishing in the morning, bike riding in the afternoon and then gourmet food and wine at dinner. It is a tough life in the country!! Mary Repper of Mary Repper & Associates, a Political and Corporate Consulting Firm. She began working in formal politics in 1960 when she worked on John F. Kenney’s campaign. She is also a gourmet cook and a neighbor of Bob’s.

ST PETERBURG BAR ASSOCIATION • ISSUE DECEMBER 2013/JANUARY 2014

of Pasco is in the works.

21

Seymour Gordon What Makes a Hero Among Us By Charles M. Samaha Seymour Gordon was selfdeprecating when he learned the St. Petersburg Bar Foundation picked him as one of its “heroes,” who will be honored at its 2014 Heroes Among Us annual dinner on Saturday, January 18, 2014. He rightly pondered that the term was reserved for the police and soldiers who put their lives on the line for this country, the firefighters who run into burning buildings, and the judges who hear and decide thousands of cases for our fellow residents. He ruminated why he was chosen as he was only doing what other lawyers did for their community. Allow the elucidation.

“Nurture your minds with great thoughts. To believe in the heroic makes heroes.”

~Benjamin Disraeli

When Seymour was a young, inchoate attorney, William “Bill” Gay, his former law partner, encouraged Seymour to render services to the community. Due to that spark, he has left a lengthy trail of community service spanning over 50 years. He has served the St. Petersburg Bar in several capacities since the early 1960s, including service on many committees and as president. He also gifted time to the Community Law Program, where he handled many pro bono estate cases for individuals who otherwise could not afford competent legal representation. However, his community service extended beyond the legal realm. He served on the board of Hospice of the Florida Suncoast and was its president for three terms. Hospice’s

22

concept is amazing as it allows someone to die with dignity in their home rather than in the sterile environment of a hospital. A hospice team provides benefits to anyone who has fewer than six months to live, regardless of income or health insurance. These caregivers bring love and warmth to the individual and Seymour could not be prouder of his involvement with this stellar organization. Seymour continues service with the Kiwanis Club of St. Petersburg. The organization raises money for disadvantaged students and provides college scholarships and other programs to them, such as free dental care and gifts at Christmas. Seymour acknowledged these programs contribute to the welfare of the younger generations. The great work of Goodwill Industries is well known and Seymour served on its executive board for two years. The organization not only provides benefits and services to the underprivileged, but gives disadvantaged people employment opportunities within the organization, a fact that Seymour extols. Seymour brightened when he discussed his over 20 years of service at the Museum of Fine Arts, where he has been a member on its Board of Trustees, its president for three years, a pro bono attorney, and more recently a docent. The

He has met lifelong friends and wonderful people while volunteering. At each organization, he brought his legal talents to bear when he analyzed situations, which benefited not only the organization but his fellow board members and friends. Not only does Seymour continue to operate a busy law practice and volunteer his services to the community, but he has audited a number of classes at the St. Petersburg campus of the University of South Florida. He enrolled in classes anent art history, world literature, American history, and conversational French. These classes have supplemented his knowledge of art history, which has resultantly benefited his services at the museum. Part of the criteria when selecting an attorney as a “hero” is one who gives their time and talents to the community and beyond. The definition fits Seymour quite snugly, thank you very much. Plus, he made time for our community while raising a wonderful family with his wife, Susan. They have two daughters who are both attorneys.

Seymour, you are a hero in our community and after 53 years of service the time to honor you is now. Félicitations, mon ami.

Copyright © 2013 by Charles M. Samaha all rights reserved.

For a previous profile on Seymour, see Samaha, Charles M., Seymour Gordon: The Well Balanced Attorney. (2011, November). Paraclete p. 8.

ST PETERBURG BAR ASSOCIATION • ISSUE DECEMBER 2013/JANUARY 2014

museum is one of St. Petersburg’s cultural gems, with art spanning 4,500 years and Seymour helped make it possible. In 2015, the museum will celebrate its 50th anniversary. Be sure to stop in and have Seymour give you a tour.

23

By Jowita Wysocka

Rising Star Kristina Feher

In conjunction with the upcoming Heroes Among Us banquet on January 18, 2014 at The Club at Treasure Island, I am delighted to profile my good friend and colleague of several years, Kristina Feher. Kristina will be recognized at the event as the Rising Star of 2014. In addition to sharing a background in dance and Eastern European heritage, I was impressed from the outset of our friendship by Kristina’s professionalism and spirit of giving back. A native of St. Petersburg, Kristina is committed to providing pro bono service to her community. She works with Community Law Program’s bankruptcy clinics and divorce forms class in addition to representing pro bono clients in bankruptcy and family law. Her extensive work with Community Law Program earned Kristina the program’s Young Lawyer Volunteer of the Year Award for 2012. Kristina also handles pro bono work for the Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking for individuals from other countries who have been subjected to involuntary labor, servitude and debt bondage. 24

In addition to her pro bono service, Kristina volunteers within the legal community. She was Membership Director for the Pinellas County Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers (PFAWL) and remains an active member in the organization. In March, she attended FAWL Lobby Days in Tallahassee. Additionally, Kristina serves on the Sixth Circuit’s Professionalism Committee. Kristina is also the current chair of the St. Petersburg Bar Association’s Young Lawyer Section. As a member of the St. Petersburg Bar Association, Kristina became involved with this section immediately as a young lawyer and chaired the Meet the Judges Luncheon for young lawyers in 2008 and 2009. She volunteered as a Law Day Speaker in 2010 and also chaired the Judicial Reception that year. She has been an Oktoberfest Committee member and served as chair of the 2013 event. Kristina has also been a committee member for Holidays in July since 2008. Kristina also volunteers with organizations beyond the legal field. She was recently selected to be a facilitator for Alpha Phi Fraternity’s Emerging Leaders Institute and served as a facilitator in 2011. At the institute, Kristina will work with collegiate women in a five-day intensive program to help women identify their leadership skills and abilities. Kristina is also Secretary on the Board of A Vision of Hope Youth Network, an organization that

provides students in Pinellas County with after school programs with a focus on STEM subjects. Kristina also serves as a volunteer Hearing Officer with the Pinellas County Housing Authority. Despite her numerous volunteer activities, Kristina maintains a successful law practice as the managing member of Feher Law, PLLC in St. Petersburg, Florida. Kristina practices in the areas of bankruptcy, divorce, small business transactions, and immigration. Kristina received her B.S. in Criminology from Barry University and her J.D. from Thomas M.Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan. Kristina attended St. John Vianney Catholic School and the Center for Advanced Technologies (CAT) in St. Petersburg. On behalf of the St. Petersburg Bar Association, we extend our sincere appreciation for Kristina’s dedication to the community and contribution to the legal profession.

Jowita Wysocka is a partner at Kravitz Law Group, P.A., representing personal injury and medical malpractice clients throughout the Tampa Bay area. Jowita is also executive vice president and general counsel at KPT | Kravitz Pro Talent, a professional sports and modeling agency, as well as the founder of Florida Lawyers for the Arts, Inc. She may be reached at [email protected] KravitzLawGroup.com

As a former Staff Attorney in the Public Benefits and Homeless Units at Gulfcoast Legal Services, Inc. and with my own law firm since 2006, I have repeatedly noticed that people had so many unanswered questions when it came to the following: understanding the differences between Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI); and how a person should apply for these and child’s SSI benefits. While having a CAT-scan done, I thought about how it can be possible to help inform and answer these questions with simplicity and accessibility with educational videos on these subjects with the assistance of Community Law Program, Inc., Gulfcoast Legal Services, Inc. and Stetson University College of Law. The two legal non-profit organizations were eager and open to providing this information to help others, and Stetson University College of Law provided full support to film and edit the videos. The first video explains in a simple and easy to understand format what the main differences are between

SSD and SSI. In the video SSD and SSI are explained separately and the main differences are highlighted, including how Medicare goes with SSD, and Medicaid is provided for those approved for SSI. The second video explains the 3 (three) ways to apply for SSD, SSI and Child’s SSI such as: applying online at www.socialsecurity.gov, by calling the Social Security Administration (SSA) national number at (800) 772-1213 and setting up a phone interview, and finally by going to their local SSA office. The video also explains the stages of initial application, Request for Reconsideration and Request for Hearing, including the timeframes and how to appeal a decision. The links for the videos can be accessed by the following links: http://www.gulfcoastlegal.org/ legal-help/other-legal-help , http:// floridalawhelp.org/resource/videoresources. and coming soon at http://www.lawprogram.org/videos. This is the first time to my knowledge that informational and educational videos have been done by legal nonprofit organizations, and they will

By Amy G. Bellhorn provide a resource to help people in Pinellas County and throughout the State of Florida. A special thanks to the collaboration of Kimberly Rodgers, Executive Director of Community Law Program, Inc., Pamela Weiner, Esq., attorney at Gulfcoast Legal Services, Inc. and Stetson University College of Law in allowing the creation of these educational videos to help provide a resource to have these questions answered in a simple and easy to understand manner. Those who are searching for the answers; they will no longer need to search or feel confused, and they should feel informed and more comfortable with the help of the educational videos.

Amy G. Bellhorn is a sole practitioner at the Law Offices of Amy G. Bellhorn, PLLC in St. Petersburg, FL. Her practice focuses primarily in the following areas of law: Social Security Disability & SSI (including child’s SSI), Auto Accidents, Criminal, DUI & Traffic Cases, Immigration and Real Property. She is also a Florida Certified Circuit Civil Mediator. You can reach Amy at [email protected] com or (727) 822-7121.

Paraclete Article & Ad Submission Deadlines March 2014 Issue...........Copy must be receieved by noon, January 15th, 2014 April 2014 Issue...........Copy must be receieved by noon, February 15th, 2014 May 2014 Issue...........Copy must be receieved by noon, March 15th, 2014 – Copy and ads received after the deadline will run in the next issue –

ST PETERBURG BAR ASSOCIATION • ISSUE DECEMBER 2013/JANUARY 2014

From Conception to Fruition: A Collaborative Effort to Bring SSD/SSI Educational Videos to the Community

25

The mission of the St. Petersburg Bar Foundation is to fund, develop and promote efforts which enhance the legal profession and encourage better public understanding and access to the judicial system.

St. Petersburg Bar Foundation A Decade of Honoring Heroes Ten years ago, the St. Petersburg Bar Foundation had its first ever Heroes Among Us Dinner. It was originally conceived as a way to honor local attorneys who have made a difference in our community and the world by contributing their time and talents to helping others. From day one and every year since, it has been the perfect event. The dinner serves to enhance both our profession and the community. Lawyers struggle with an image problem. But, a big part of that problem is that those who serve the community outside of their practice rarely brag about it or promote themselves. The community at large is often in the dark about the contributions of our professionals. The Heroes dinner works to solve this. We enhance our image by recognizing the good works of our members. As if this is not enough reason to have this event, our dinner does so much more.

26

By Eric E. Ludin, Foundation President Since 2005, the Heroes Among Us Dinner has generated well over $200,000 to allocate to individuals deserving of scholarships and to organizations which promote the objectives of the Foundation. The mission of the St. Petersburg Bar Foundation is to fund, develop and promote efforts which enhance the legal profession and encourage better public understanding of and access to the judicial system. It allocates thousands of dollars annually to fund scholarships and legally related educational opportunities. It provides allocations to the Community Law Program and other praiseworthy organizations. This year we will honor our heroes, Public Defender Bob Dillinger and past St. Pete Bar President Seymour Gordon. We will also be honoring our rising star Kristina Feher. We could not be prouder to pay tribute such praiseworthy and deserving individuals.

In past years, we have had a keynote speaker. This year, instead of having a speaker, we will use this dinner as an opportunity to look back and celebrate the accomplishments of the St. Petersburg Bar Foundation. In addition to recognizing our honorees, we will also recognize ourselves and learn about how our allocations have changed lives. It seems like yesterday when attorney Bill Walker first suggested the idea of a Heroes dinner at one of our Foundation meetings. Nancy Biesinger has been one of the chairs or planning committee members ever since. Nancy and other dedicated committee and chair people have made sure that every year has been an enormous success. Even still, this year’s 10th Heroes Among Us Dinner promises to be one of our best. Please attend if you can. I look forward to seeing you there.

27

ST PETERBURG BAR ASSOCIATION • ISSUE DECEMBER 2013/JANUARY 2014

Pinellas County Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers Congratulations to FAWL Secretary and PFAWL member Robyn Featherston of Featherston Law Firm, P.L., who has been named by the Business Observer in the top 40 under 40. Robyn was also appointed to the Sixth Circuit Grievance Committee for a three-year term. Bravo, Ms. Featherston! PFAWL would also like to congratulate member and PFAWL Awards Director Jowita Wysocka on joining the Kravitz Law Group, P.A., and member Samantha Satish on joining Abbey, Adams, Byelick, & Mueller, LLP. PFAWL would like to thank everyone that came out to Bone Fish Grill on November 5, 2013, and donated to the RCS food drive. Thanks to the efforts of our members, we were able to collect 105 pounds of food that will be able to provide 88 meals for those in need! Thank you for continuing to serve the Pinellas County community with your generous donations. Also, thank you to our members who partnered with the St. Petersburg Bar Young Lawyers Section to go to the Salvation Army for

28

Pictured from left to right are members Agnes McCabe, Sheri Gerwe and Cindy Campbell.

the resume and interview workshops during November. This program has been a continuing success, and we need the support and participation of our members to help make it so! PFAWL is continuing to collect cash donations on behalf of PARC’s Discovery Learning Classrooms. PARC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to provide opportunities for children and adults with developmental disabilities to exercise their independence and experience life to the fullest. Please provide whatever donations you can at one of our upcoming socials or meetings.

Our next upcoming social will be January 7, 2014, 6:00PM, at Besa Grill, 2542 McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater, FL 33761. No RSVP is required. This event is open to member and non-member attorneys and law students. Please be on the look out for more information to come about our DOMA CLE in 2014! PFAWL is one of 30 chapters of FAWL, which is a voluntary bar association that provides a statewide voice for Florida’s women lawyers. PFAWL’s mission is to provide a networking opportunity to and support group for women lawyers as well as promote friendship among its members. Membership in our organization is open to every attorney that supports the organization’s mission, and we encourage both men and women to participate in and attend our socials and events. For membership inquiries, contact Joann Grages at [email protected] stetson.edu.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT LAWYERS PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY INSURANCE AND CYBER/PRIVACY BREACH INSURANCE TMG specializes in providing Lawyer’s Professional Liability Insurance, underwritten by A.M. Best “A+” rated companies. Our Lawyer’s professional liability insurance is a comprehensive and competitive insurance package. We also offer Cyber/Privacy Breach insurance designed for law firms. Please call our office so that we can provide your firm with a non-binding premium quotation to compare with your current coverage. Thank you.

ST PETERBURG BAR ASSOCIATION • ISSUE DECEMBER 2013/JANUARY 2014

Robert R. Madio TMG, Inc. 888-813-4439 PH 407-574-5550 FX Email: [email protected] Website: www.themarquisgroupinsurance.com

29

By Chris Pietruszkiewicz, Dean, Stetson Law

Stetson Opens Constitution Hall Exhibit On October 26, Stetson University College of Law inducted three outstanding alumni into its Hall of Fame. Hall of Fame inductees are selected for having a profound and positive impact on Stetson Law and the legal profession. This year’s inductees included: Professor Paul Barnard JD ’58 opened the doors to practical legal education in Florida, establishing Stetson’s Public Defender Clinic to help law students develop the skills necessary to practice criminal law. It was Florida’s first clinical program, and this year (L-R): Hall of Fame inductees Paul marks the clinic’s 50th anniversary. Barnard Barnard, Judge Raphael Steinhardt and successfully petitioned the Florida Supreme James Martin Court in 1964 to allow law students in Stetson’s Public Defender Clinic to work on established a pro bono program in Miami cases under the direction of public defenders Beach and created an educational program and other counsel. The Paul Barnard Award for school children to visit live sessions of for Clinic Excellence was established in court. He has endowed several Stetson his name and presented to graduates who scholarships for veterans and students did outstanding work in Stetson’s Public serving the public interest. The Judge Defender Clinic. Professor Barnard taught Raphael Steinhardt Building is home to criminal law, criminal procedure and other Stetson’s Veterans Law Institute, and Steinhardt has received several honors law courses for 18 years at Stetson. and service awards from Dade County and Judge Raphael Steinhardt JD ’63, a senior Stetson University. He continues to volunteer judge for Florida’s 11th Judicial Circuit for many community organizations and was in Miami, has served as a distinguished a longtime member of the Dade County Preattorney and judge for 50 years. Steinhardt Trial Release Review Committee.

30

James Martin BS ’71, JD ’74 earned his undergraduate and law degrees from Stetson University, where he received the Ben C. Willard Award for humanitarian achievements. Martin helped launch Stetson’s new Constitution Hall exhibit at the Stavros Institute’s Finance Park in Pinellas County to teach middle school students about their constitutional rights and the U.S. government. As a young attorney 33 years ago, Martin was instrumental in creating the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg. Today, Martin remains an executive committee member at the museum, and he co-chaired the opening of its new facility in 2011. Martin has volunteered with more than 25 community organizations, served on the St. Petersburg City Council, and represented St. Petersburg on the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council and Pinellas County Arts Council. Martin has written eight books and published 36 articles on contracts, real estate, legal management, business organizations, legal forms and non-profit organizations. He received the Florida Bar’s Barbara Sanders Memorial Writing Competition Award and teaches law practice management as a Stetson adjunct professor.

31

ST PETERBURG BAR ASSOCIATION • ISSUE DECEMBER 2013/JANUARY 2014

Community Law Program, Inc. is a non-profit corporation formed in 1989 by members of the St. Petersburg Bar Association concerned about the civil legal needs of low income residents of Southern Pinellas County, Florida. Over the years, CLP has recruited a panel of approximately 400 St. Petersburg area attorneys who provide free assistance to thousands of people in need of civil legal assistance each year. To volunteer for pro bono servive, contact Community Law Program at 727-582-7480.

By Elizabeth Porcelli.

CLP Joined National and Statewide Efforts to Celebrate National Pro Bono Week The month of October to many means the welcoming of cooler temperatures and the end of humidity and heat. To us, the month of October also meant a time to partake in a special celebration of pro bono. Since 2009, the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono has been sponsoring this weeklong national event, and this year the celebration ran from October 20-26th. This celebration was a coordinated national effort to encourage legal service providers, individual lawyers, law schools, and bar associations to expand the delivery of pro bono legal services so that everyone has an opportunity for equal access to justice. This was the time to demonstrate how we could collectively make a difference not only nationally but also at the state and local levels, especially during these harsh and uncertain economic times. So, what did CLP do during National Pro Bono Week? CLP partnered with other legal aid organizations throughout the state in a project called “Lawyers in Libraries.” The purpose of this project was to educate local librarians and library patrons on available legal resources online and on how to access and use these resources to find out valuable information. “Access to justice is a fundamental right we have as citizens of Florida,” said Judge William Van Nortwick, chair of The Florida Bar’s Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services, “But for many people, the inability to access legal information and assistance can lead to negative results for themselves, their families, and their communities. The Florida Lawyers in Libraries program will make it easier for Florida residents to find the legal resources they need.” 32

and Gulfport Public Library. A big thank you goes to our volunteer attorneys David Blum, Jeannine Williams, Michael Singer, Katharine Zamboni, Kristina Feher, and Lawrence Markell. Then, on Thursday, October 24th, another four local libraries participated. They included: Pinellas County Main Library, Childs Park Library, Pinellas Park Library, and St. Pete Beach Library. James Runyon, Joseph Kopp, B. Kirk Eason, Michael Ziegler, and Ted Starr spent their Thursday evening assisting 29 attendees. Our 11 volunteer attorneys did a tremendous job volunteering their time and helping a total of 67 individuals during those 2 days. Again, thanks to all for helping make this a successful project. We hope to duplicate this during Law Day 2014, so be on the outlook for future Florida Lawyers in Libraries volunteer opportunities.

I am thrilled to announce that 9 southern Pinellas County libraries were eager to partner with CLP during National Pro Bono Week. On Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013, Florida Lawyers in Libraries took place in 5 libraries. Six of our volunteer attorneys participated, joined forces, and educated 38 patrons along with librarians and their staff. These events took place at Mirror Lake Library, South Branch Library, Johnson Branch Library, North Branch Library,

On a local level, we worked with the Sixth Judicial Circuit’s Pro Bono Committee chaired by Judge Muscarella to get proclamations presented by the Pinellas County Commissioners and the Mayors of St. Petersburg, Pinellas Park, and Clearwater. With CLP being a St. Petersburg based organization, it was extra special for me to attend the City of St. Petersburg’s City Council meeting and be recognized along with the St. Petersburg Bar Foundation and the St. Petersburg Bar Association for our significant contribution to our local community. Another Celebrate Pro Bono Week event included the Stetson University College of Law Pro Bono Opportunities Fair, which I attended on Wednesday, October 23rd. This Fair was a chance for students needing their 60 hours of

To conclude this perfect week, an Elder Law Outreach event was held on Friday, October 25th. CLP was invited by Martin Luther Foundation Towers in St. Petersburg. This 150bed low-income subsidized section 8 apartment building is occupied mostly by residents 62 years of age or older. CLP board member and volunteer, Ken Lark, did an outstanding job educating 23 attendees (most of whom

were medically and/or physically challenged) on the importance of wills and advance directives. The group had lots of questions for Ken, along with questions for me on services provided by CLP. We were both excited to see such a large turnout and educate so many who truly needed it. This year, CLP hit the ground running, and by using our awesome panel of volunteer attorneys, we made a huge difference in the lives of many individuals and families. So, lend your legal talents to those who need your legal assistance the most, but who are otherwise unable to afford it. Please get motivated, get involved, start thinking about 2014, and what our legal community can accomplish during next year’s National Pro Bono Celebration. If you are interested and willing to volunteer your time and/or interested in finding out more about our legal services, please contact us by phone at (727) 582-7480, or by email at [email protected]

ST PETERBURG BAR ASSOCIATION • ISSUE DECEMBER 2013/JANUARY 2014

pro bono in order to graduate to become familiar with CLP and the variety of legal pro bono options offered through our program. By parking myself by the pizza, I always manage to get the most sign ups. This fall, I had 30 students sign up to volunteer with CLP. This is a win-win event for both CLP and for law students. They receive real life experiences, and we along with our volunteer attorneys receive their help. In fact, after receiving their Florida Bar number many students come back to CLP and lend their talents as a volunteer attorney. For me, that tribute is most heart-warming.

33

By Erica K. Smith Happy Holidays from the Young Lawyers Section! Although it seems like I was just boxing up my Christmas ornaments and waiting expectantly for 2013 to arrive, it is time to get out the decorations once more! As this calendar years sprints to a close, I would like to thank everyone that joined us for the final YLS social of 2013 at the Flying Pig Taphouse, and I hope that 2013 has been happy, healthy and prosperous for each of you! With 2014 just around the corner, it is time to start thinking once more about New Year’s resolutions. I know that many people are skeptical (or downright hostile) about the idea of making resolutions, but as a hopeless perfectionist, I love the start of a new year. It is a time to start “clean” and correct the errors and bad habits of the preceding year. My “list” is usually a rather extensive cataloguing of ambitious ways in which I want to transform myself into a healthier, happier, more productive and better cultured individual. And,

although it is true that many of these goals are eventually abandoned (some more quickly than others), I usually am successful in keeping at least some of the resolutions on my list. Hopefully this means that I am improving with time, which I guess is all any of us can really ask of ourselves. When you are making resolutions for 2014, please consider adding to your list the following: “I will participate in the One Client, One Attorney, One Promise campaign of the Florida Bar and Florida Supreme Court.” By now, I think most of us are familiar with this campaign, which began in 2009. At the time the “One Campaign” began, it was estimated that lawyers were only meeting 20% (or less) of the need in the United States for pro bono service. In order to help the remaining underserved population, it was suggested that we, as a whole Florida legal community, could substantially alleviate the need if each Florida attorney committed to just one additional pro bono

case per year. Although there has been some resultant improvement in the amount of pro bono service performed by Florida attorneys in the past four years, the continued economic downturn during that time period has prevented us from making a truly significant dent in meeting the need for pro bono service. The need in 2014 for pro bono service is still great, and each of us has the knowledge and the compassion necessary to help meet this need. If you are already performing pro bono work, try to take just one more case in 2014 than you did in 2013. And if you are not already taking pro bono cases, please consider getting involved! If you do not know where to start to find a case, please contact Community Law Program, Gulf Coast Legal, or another local legal aid group – believe me, they will be able to find something for you to do! I wish each of you a holiday season that is merry and bright and a new year that is filled with happiness and success. I’ll see you in 2014!

MEDIATION & ARBITRATION

RICK DALAN

Mediation Services in all Florida Circuits Rick Dalan: ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer Florida State Certified Circuit Civil Mediator Florida State Certified Appellate Mediator Certified Federal Court Mediator , Mid. Dist. Florida Qualified Court Appointed Arbitrator Thirty years trial experience and AV rated Twenty years as Circuit Civil Mediator Guardian Ad Litem Services

Mediation Services for:

● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

Construction Litigation Sinkhole Claims Professional Malpractice Wrongful Death and Injury Claims Products Liability Commercial Litigation Discrimination and Labor Claims First Party Insurance Claims

Experienced in:

● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

Construction Litigation Insurance Defense Plaintiff Personal Injury Premises Liability Coverage Litigation Products Liability UM Claims Auto Negligence

Online Calendaring http://www.floridamediators.org/rick-dalan 2633 McCormick Drive, Suite 101  Clearwater, Florida 33759 Phone: (727) 796-1000 or (800) 538-4173  Facsimile: (727) 797-2200 34

35

ST PETERBURG BAR ASSOCIATION • ISSUE DECEMBER 2013/JANUARY 2014

What’s Up and Who’s New December 2013/January 2014 Tucker & Ludin, P.A. - which includes attorneys John V. Tucker, Eric E. Ludin, William C. Demas, and Ahmad Yakzan - has moved its main office from Clearwater to St. Petersburg. The firm will operate out of its newly renovated building at: 5235 16th Street North, St. Petersburg, FL 33703-2611. The firm’s phone number shall remain (727) 572-5000. The Barney Masterson Inn of Court is pleased to announce the following 2013-2014 appointments: Joelle Schultz, Esq. of Palm Harbor, has been appointed to the Executive Board; Robyn Featherston, Esq. of St. Petersburg, has been appointed as Treasurer; and Brittany Maxey, Esq. of St. Petersburg, has been appointed as Communications Chair. The law firms of Carlton Fields, PA and Jorden Burt, LLP are pleased to announce that, on October 7, 2013, they entered into a definitive agreement to merge the firms. For a transition period after the merger, the name of the combined firm will be Carlton Fields Jorden Burt. The new firm will include more than 370 lawyers and government consultants in 10 offices. Closing of the merger and full operational integration is expected at the beginning of 2014. Carlton Fields CEO, Gary Sasso, will serve as CEO of the combined firm Debra J. Gell, Esq. and Nicholas J. Fiorentino, Esq. of Ciarciaglino, Gell & Fiorentino, P.A. are pleased to announce that we have purchased a new building and have relocated our office to 2111 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N, St. Petersburg, FL 33704. Our phone number remains 727-8988000. Lewis, Longman & Walker, P.A. recently received the 2014 “Best Law Firms” Ranking by U.S. News Media Group and Best Lawyers®. The firm’s 36

Jacksonville Tallahassee and West Palm Beach offices received Tier 1 ranking in Environmental Law. The Tallahassee and West Palm Beach offices also received a Tier 1 ranking in Environmental Litigation. Rankings are determined by a combination of hard data, peer reviews and client assessments. NEW AND REINSTATED MEMBERS BARR, SYLVIA ANN 3356 49th St. N. St. Petersburg, FL 33710 Phone: 727-528-2882 Fax: 727-527-4329 E-mail: [email protected] B.A. from the University of South Florida; J.D. from Mercer University. Admitted to The Florida Bar in 1983. Ms. Barr is a sole practitioner. DALZIEL, CHELSEA ANN 10401 Harborbluff Way Tampa, FL 33615 Phone: 330-635-9381 E-mail: [email protected] B.A. from the University of Akron; J.D. from Charlotte School of Law. Admitted to The Florida Bar in 2013. Ms. Dalziel is currently working on an LLM from the University of Florida – Levin College of Law. FINLAYSON, IV, WILLIAM DANIEL 360 Central Ave., STE 1000 St. Petersburg, FL 33701 Phone: 727-898-8100 Fax: 727-898-4838 E-mail:[email protected] B.A. from the University of North Florida; J.D. from Stetson University College of Law. Admitted to The Florida Bar in 2009. Mr. Finlayson is an associate with Traub, Lieberman, Straus & Shrewsberry, LLP. FOLKENFLIK, DAVID 5742 54th Ave. N. St. Petersburg, FL 33709 Phone: 727-548-4529 Fax: 727545-0073 [email protected]

B.A. from the University of South Florida; J.D. from the University of Florida. Admitted to The Florida Bar in 1993. Mr. Folkenflik is a sole practitioner. HOWARD, MARY J. P.O. Box 3342 St. Petersburg, FL 33731-3342 Phone: 727-825-7600 Fax: 727-552-2231 [email protected] Undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame; J.D. from the University of Miami. Admitted to the Florida Bar in 2009. Ms. Howard is Assistant Attorney General in the Office of the Attorney General, State of Florida. KELLY, SEAN M. 1401 8th Ave. West Bradenton, FL 34205 Phone: 941-748-2216 Fax: 941-748-2218 E-mail: [email protected] B.S. from Florida State University; J.D. from Stetson University College of Law. Admitted to The Florida Bar in 2013. Mr. Kelly is an associate with Najmy Thompson, P.L. LAMBERT, JASON STEVEN 35111 US Hwy. 19 N., STE 302 Palm Harbor, FL 34684 Phone: 727-787-3121 Fax: 727-787-3231 E-mail: [email protected] B.A.A. from Stetson University; J.D. from Stetson University College of Law. Admitted to The Florida Bar in 2012. Mr. Lambert is an associate with Zinzow Law. MORRIS, ANNE MARIE 306 East Tyler St. Tampa, FL 33602 Phone: 813-443-5100 Fax: 813-443-5102 E-mail:[email protected] B.S. from the University of Florida; J.D. from Loyola University of New Orleans. Admitted to The Florida Bar in 2010. Ms. Morris is an associate with Isaak Law, Pllc.

QUARLES, PATRICK 600 Bypass Dr., STE 100 Clearwater, FL 33764 Phone: 727-443-5190 Fax: 727-474-9949 Undergraduate degree from George Mason University; J.D. from Stetson University College of Law. Admitted to The Florida Bar in 2013. Mr. Quarles is an associate with M. Faehner, Esq., LLC. SALTER, JENNIFER LEIGH 3356 49th St. N. St. Petersburg, FL 33710 Phone: 727-528-2882 Fax: 727-527-4329 E-mail: [email protected] B.S. and J.D. from the University of Florida. Admitted to The Florida Bar in 1998. Ms. Salter is an associate with The Law Office of Sylvia A. Barr. STUDENT MEMBERS ADANG, ELENA PAULINE Phone: 407-353-1825 E-mail: [email protected] B.A. from Florida State University. Currently attending Stetson University College of Law. COSTA, CAITLIN Phone: 727-460-2488 E-mail: [email protected] B.S. from the University of Central Florida. Currently attending Stetson University College of Law. HORNE, ANDREW CHARLES Phone: 727-433-3521 E-mail: [email protected] Undergraduate degree from Saginaw Valley State University. Currently attending Michigan State University College of Law.

JARRETT, MEGAN MCCABE Phone: 216-577-5910 E-mail: [email protected] B.A. from the University of South Florida. Currently attending Stetson University College of Law.

B.S.M from Tulane University. Mr. Wax is President & CEO of Waller & Wax Advisors, Inc.

PUTTICK, TYLER Phone: 727-713-7532 E-mail: [email protected] B.A. from the University of Florida. Currently attending Stetson University College of Law. ASSOCIATE MEMBERS CORRIVEAU, LAUREL M. 101 East Kennedy Blvd. Tampa, FL 33602 Phone: 813-227-5538 Fax: 813-402-2887 E-mail: [email protected] Ms. Corriveau is the Business Development Manager with Adams and Reese, LLP. PRESCOTT, VICTORIA MARIE 2248 Kingfisher Ln. Clearwater, FL 33762 Phone: 317-402-0340 E-mail:[email protected] B.S. from Indiana University School of Business; J.D. from Southern Methodist University School of Law. Ms. Prescott is a member of the State Bar of California and the Indiana State Bar. She is the CEO of McBroom Consulting, LLC. AFFILIATE MEMBERS STEVENS, BRADLEY 503 E. Jackson St. #340 Tampa, FL 33602 Phone: 813-748-8644 E-mail:[email protected] Mr. Bradley is self employed with Affiliated Financial Specialists. WAX, JON 100 n. Tampa Street, STE 2150 Tampa, FL 33602 Phone: 813-221-1956 Fax: 813-221-1747 E-mail: [email protected]

ST PETERBURG BAR ASSOCIATION • ISSUE DECEMBER 2013/JANUARY 2014

PAUTLER, ELISE 7702 Bayshore Dr. Treasure Island, FL 33706 Phone: 813-335-2547 Email: [email protected] B.S. from the University of South Florida; J.D. from Stetson University College of Law. Admitted to The Florida Bar in 2013. Ms. Pautler is a sole practitioner.

37

Classifieds Office Space: ST. PETERSBURG – DOWNTOWN: “The Paramount” 721 First Avenue North. One Block from courthouse/county building. Virtual offices from $250/month. “NEW” Art Deco construction. Receptionist in stunning atrium waiting area. Beautifully appointed conference rooms. Fax/ copiers, state of the art telephone system, gorgeous kitchen/lounge, much more! Ali Curtis 727-898-7210. ST. PETERSBURG – JUST 100 FEET FROM COURTHOUSE. Courthouse Square, 600 1st Ave. N. Newly remodeled. Single office $595/mo.; conference room; space for secretary. Whole suites or floor available at $16/ SF Full service Gross. Free Parking. What you save in travel to/from court easily covers your office rent. Contact Charlie Gantz, KW Commercial Tampa Bay 727379-2764.

38

Lawyers for Literacy, Inc. Seeks Volunteer Tutors Lawyers for Literacy, Inc., a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization which solicits, trains and coordinates volunteer lawyers, judges, law students and other professionals to serve as reading tutors for struggling Tampa Bay area third graders is looking for volunteer tutors. The organization provides books, reading improvement materials, and one-on-one tutoring for 3rd grade students struggling to read, and at-risk of failing the FCAT. Tutoring begins in mid-January and goes through early April 2014. A brief and easy tutor orientation session is held in early January. Currently there are 120 tutors and we would like 30 more before January. The need to help these children is great! Sign up now! For more information or to sign up contact Steve Graves, Executive Director, Lawyers for Literacy at 727-323-4020, email: [email protected] Lawyers for Literacy, Inc. Helping Children Read to Succeed Lucas Fleming, Founder & President www.LawyersForLiteracy.org

39

ST PETERBURG BAR ASSOCIATION • ISSUE DECEMBER 2013/JANUARY 2014

Thank You Sponsors! 2013 WILD, WILD WEST BENCH & BAR-B-QUE BENCH & BAR CONFERENCE PRESENTED BY THE ST. PETERSBURG & CLEARWATER BAR ASSOCIATIONS CORPORATE SPONSOR

MASTER Affinity Consulting DEX Canon Florida Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company Guardian Trust Johnson, Pope, Bokor, Ruppel & Burns, LLP PDR Certified Public Accountants Regions Bank Stevens & Stevens BRM, Inc. SUMMIT Medical Litigation Consulting, Inc. BARRISTER Aging Wisely/Easy Living Buckley Law Group, P.A. Ciarciaglino, Gell & Fiorentino, P.A. Fisher and Wilsey, P.A. Roger Futerman & Associates OurFamilyWizard.com Thompson Studios Thank you to Stetson College of Law