October 2016

THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH The Magazine For The Legal Professional | www.stpetebar.com | Issue September/October 2016 Prime Home Equity Line of Credit Our ...
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THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH The Magazine For The Legal Professional | www.stpetebar.com | Issue September/October 2016

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P. O. Box 172 St. Petersburg, FL 33731 Phone: 727.823.7474 • Fax:727.823.8166 E-mail: [email protected] The mission of the St. Petersburg Bar Association is to serve the legal community, to strengthen the

St. Petersburg Bar Association

By Marcia F. Person


50 Year Member Profile By Charles M. Samaha

noble calling of the practice of law, and to foster excellence in the profession.

Executive Director Melissa Byers 727.823.7474 [email protected] Editor Mercy Roberg 727.562.7898




[email protected] Paraclete Advertising JoAnn Knight 727.823.7474 [email protected] Design & Production Martin Friedman 727.481.4985 [email protected] Editorial Policy: The Paraclete is published for the members of the St. Petersburg Bar Association. The magazine is published 6 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. © 2016 St. Petersburg Bar Association.



By Erica K. Smith I am writing this President’s Message from my room at the Beresford Arms Hotel near Union Square in San Francisco. I have traveled to San Francisco for the annual conference of the National Council of Bar Presidents, which is a part of the 2016 ABA Annual Conference. I am excited for this particular meeting of Bar leaders, as it will allow me to discuss issues with presidents from state and local bar associations around the country and to attend seminars focused on some of the most important matters currently facing attorneys and our bars. The two previous Bar leadership conferences I have attended, organized by The Florida Bar and the ABA, have each been topical and inspiring, and I expect no less from the NCBP conference.

and/or information available on the SPBA website) about such topics as efficient office practices, technology to aid legal practice, how to start your own law practice, how to wind down a law practice, etc. National bar surveys are showing that lawyers today want their local bars to be a “partner in practice” as much, if not more than, they want the Bar to provide substantive legal education regarding various practice areas. c. Advocate responsibly to defend the judiciary, protect legal access for the vulnerable, and ensure the ability of attorneys to serve clients professionally (while still earning an appropriate living). What does it mean for the SPBA to advocate “responsibly”? We must advance those ideals important to our profession while moderating our responses to those issues on which our members do not share a common vision.

I have come to San Francisco feeling particularly energized about this year for our SPBA. I am joined this year in leadership by our exceptionally capable executive director and eleven other amazing attorney board members, all of whom continuously reveal their enthusiasm for bar service, commitment to our Association, creative thinking, and capacity for problem-solving. We hit the ground running with our annual Board Training and Strategic Planning meeting in late July. During the planning session, we affirmed our commitment to the SPBA mission statement, which directs our Association and its members to (1) serve the legal community; (2) strengthen the noble calling of the practice of law; and (3) foster excellence in the profession. What does each part of the mission statement call our Bar to do and how can we, as a board, improve the extent to which the SPBA is meeting that call?

d. Promote wellness and mental health among members of the legal community in ways that are realistic, effective, and meaningful.

2. Strengthen the Noble Calling of the Practice of Law. a. Ensure access to justice by prioritizing pro bono and low bono service by attorneys and by creating and promoting opportunities for such service. We must also determine our vision for the SPBA Lawyer Referral Service and how to best implement this vision.

1. Serve the Legal Community. a. Know what the community (all of you, as members) want and need from the Bar and create our board priorities based on that information. You will notice us reaching out to you this year during General Membership lunches, as well as other times, for feedback and suggestions. As board members, each of us are committed to being available to you for questions, (constructive) criticism, comments on things you like, new ideas, and other communications you want shared with the rest of the board. b. Increase the amount of information that the SPBA provides to members (via CLEs, seminars, articles, 4

b. Endeavor to improve the public perception of the legal profession by raising the visibility of good works done by the SPBA and its individual attorney members. To accomplish this we must develop more meaningful media relations and actively promote the noble endeavors of our profession.

3. Foster Excellence in the Profession. a. Offer timely, relevant, and informative CLEs on topics of substantive law and legal ethics.

b. Increase SPBA involvement and interaction with Stetson law students and meaningfully support the SPBA Young Lawyers Section. c. Reinvigorate the SPBA’s role in providing opportunities for mentoring and professional coaching. We must expand our traditional notion of mentoring (seasoned attorney mentoring brand new attorney) to encompass equally valuable peerto-peer mentoring. C



All of these are worthy goals we hear on a regular basis – the true test of the SPBA’s effectiveness and creativity will be our ability to reach (or at least advance towards) these goals. Our board meetings this year will include in-depth discussion of these issues and development of ideas to meet these goals. I look forward to sharing our ideas with you and to hearing your feedback. For now, I am off to attend the first event of the NCBP conference! I look forward to seeing you at the next SPBA event! CM





Erica K. Smith is an attorney at Fisher & Sauls, P.A., where she practices in the areas of Wills, Trusts, and Estates. She can be reached at (727) 822-2033 or [email protected]

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Professionalism, Attitude is Everything There is an abundance of chatter in the legal community about the state of professionalism between attorneys. Yes, there are attorneys who walk the line between civility and unprofessional conduct, but if we spend the bulk of our time complaining about the few unprofessional individuals we encounter, we overlook the numerous acts of professionalism we see on a daily basis. By isolating the negative behavior and applying that to the profession as a whole, we fail to see the true state of our profession—one that shows a tremendous amount of respect for one another and our clients. Take a moment to reflect on the professionalism we encounter and observe daily. What about the opposing counsel that takes the time to respond to our afterhours emails when we are up against a deadline? Or the attorney who sends us a referral, even though we have never met him or her in person? Even a gesture as small as a colleague remembering to ask about our family before starting work, or the judge who acknowledges our mistake

By Mercy Roberg, Esq.

as a teachable moment without embarrassment? These are the kind of moments we, as attorneys, should reflect on, but instead these moments are overshadowed by the occasional unprofessional encounter. I challenge you to take stock of your quality experiences versus the ones that make you want to call The Florida Bar. How do they stack up? I would guess our profession leaves you with more quality experiences over negative ones. So take a deep breath, next time a fellow attorney needs some professionalism coaching, remember that Florida has been working on professionalism since 1989. Stop and realize that continued growth is the goal. In order to make the margin between professional and unprofessional moments even smaller, our industry must focus on growth and not just dwell on negative moments. In 2013, The Supreme Court of Florida adopted the Local Professionalism Panel plan presented by the Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism.

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This plan consisted of the following: “The Professionalism Commission has proposed that a local committee in each circuit be activated to receive, screen and act upon any and all complaints of unprofessional conduct and to resolve those complaints informally, if possible, or refer to The Florida Bar if necessary.”1 These panels are not meant to substitute the Attorney Consumer Assistance and Intake Program (ACAP), but serve as a supplement. The panels are in place to help attorneys solve issues of professionalism at the circuit level, before initiation of a formal grievance. Please find information on the panels located on The Florida Bar website. There you will find information on each circuit, as well as contact information for attorneys serving on each panel. As you go through life in your personal and professional capacity, remember to reflect on the positive versus the negative, this attitude will eventually surround you with colleagues who all also reflect joy and respect in our profession. 1. In Re: Code for Resolving Professionalism Complaints, No. SC13-688 (June 6, 2013).

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Excess Liability Insurance & Opportunities within a Group Plan With a name like Wallace Welch and Willingham, people often mistake us for an attorney’s office. In reality, our businesses, while vastly different, are uniquely aligned. We are a local independent insurance agency that represents many different carriers and offers all types of insurance. As an attorney, you more than likely know the value of excess liability protection. In fact, you might even have a personal umbrella policy in place for yourself and your family. If not, then now is a great time to consider one. Let’s review how this type of coverage can protect your estate and future earnings.

Case # 1 While taking items to his trash, a man was attacked by a neighbor’s three dogs, which had escaped through an open gate on the neighbor’s property. The man sustained multiple lacerations to both legs and a lower back injury. Judgment: $7.7 million State jurisdiction: Florida Case #2 After completing his work in the attic of a customer, a heating and cooling service technician fell through the floor of the attic, falling nearly 20 feet. He sustained injuries to his back, hand, foot, ribs, shoulder, and wrist.

Why have a personal insurance umbrella Judgment: $8.9 million policy? State jurisdiction: New York The main purpose of a personal Case #3 insurance umbrella policy is to provide higher limits that pay above your home, While riding his motorcycle down a highway, a man was struck by a vehicle auto, and other primary policy liability traveling the wrong way. He sustained limits. In addition, personal umbrella multiple physical injuries, as well as policies may at times, even eliminate mental anguish, and lost wages. The potential gaps in coverage. vehicle occupants, all minors, were The following incidents are recent intoxicated at the time and had left a examples of actual liability claims in party at the defendant’s home, where excess of a policyholder’s primary liability alcohol was being served. limit. These scenarios represent only a sampling of the types of claims that can Judgment: $47.5 million State jurisdiction: Florida occur every day.

Who might need personal umbrella protection? Your family and your daily activities result in lawsuit exposures every day. Especially consider a personal umbrella policy if:       

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What is your practice area? How long have you been in Practice? I primarily practice consumer protection law (i.e., I sue creditors, debt collectors, and credit reporting agencies for unlawful harassment and credit reporting errors). I have been practicing since 2011. When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Does that play into your life/ legal practice at all? I originally wanted to be a professional football or baseball player. Unfortunately, I stopped growing at 5’7”. The same competitive drive, however, leads to zealous advocacy on behalf of consumers. Essentially, I like fighting on behalf of the little guy. What motivated you to go into the practice of law? I originally wanted to represent children affected by abuse, abandonment, and neglect. After a summer internship, however, I quickly realized that I could not leave that type of work at the office each day. Now, I still represent those in trying times, and although it may be cliché, we really do make a difference. What has been the most rewarding part of your career as a lawyer? The most challenging? The most rewarding part about consumer protection law is standing up for what is right. I have saved client’s homes, helped them pay for 10

necessary medical care, and helped families obtain financing for their first house after helping them fix errors on their credit reports. On the other hand, it is very challenging fighting billion dollar corporations who have the resources to create nightmares for consumers. That causes a lot of long nights and working weekends, so finding the right life/work balance is always challenging. If you could change one thing about the practice of law what would it be? E-mails. I receive over 150 e-mails a day, and clients and opposing counsel often e-mail late at night. Simply managing my inbox could be a full-time job, let alone the real legal work that must be done every day. If I could, I would try to find a way to minimize the use of e-mail in the practice of law. Lawyers somehow succeeded before e-mail, and there must be a way to reduce the use of e-mail in the practice of law today. What was the best piece of advice you got as a new attorney and/or what advice would you give to new attorneys? A mentor, who is now a judge, once told me that you have a finite amount of energy, so you must find a way to most effectively use your talents and resources each day. Once that energy is used up, focus on yourself and recharging physically and mentally for the next day. I give the same advice now to new attorneys and law students whenever I can.

What do you like to do when you are not practicing law? I read a lot and am currently on pace to eclipse my New Year’s Resolution of one book per week. I also like to work out, play cards, take my dog Penny to Fort Desoto, and frequent many of St. Petersburg’s awesome restaurants and breweries. What is the best vacation you have ever taken and why? (Or What do you like about living in St. Pete?) I have snorkeled in the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia, gone on a safari in Africa, and drank champagne at the top of the Eiffel Tower. While there are amazing experiences to be had all around the world, I can honestly say I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. St. Petersburg is home. Do you have any personal heroes? My parents. Without them, I would not be where I am today. What is one thing people would be surprised to learn about you? I have 10 tattoos. Aaron Swift is a senior associate at Leavengood, Dauval, Boyle & Meyer, P.A. (“LeavenLaw”) and dedicates his practice to fighting for consumers throughout Florida.  Aaron was born in St. Petersburg, Florida and raised in Pennsylvania. After graduating with honors from Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA, Aaron attended Stetson University College of Law, earning his J.D. in 2011.

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Employers Must Prepare for New Overtime Exemption Rules By Matthew D. Westerman The U.S Labor Department (USDOL) recently released its final regulations relating to the exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).1 These new rules apply to most employers and will require businesses to evaluate whether they may continue to classify certain employees as “exempt” from the overtime and minimum wage requirement of the FLSA.

Background The FLSA is the federal wage and hour law that requires employers to pay covered employees a minimum wage2 for all hours worked and time and a half overtime compensation3 for hours worked over forty (40) in a workweek. Exempt from these requirements are employees that work in a bona fide executive, administrative or professional capacity.4 The USDOL has created specific tests for determining whether employees may be classified as exempt pursuant to the executive, administrative or professional exemptions.5 The regulations for each of these “white collar” exemptions contain both a salary test (i.e. the manner in which the employee is compensated) and a duties test (i.e. the nature of the employee’s work). An employer must establish that the employee satisfies both of these tests to take advantage of an exemption. USDOL last updated the regulations in 2004.

Overview of the New Regulations The USDOL’s new regulations6 make the following changes to the definitions of executive, administrative, professional exemptions under the FLSA: • The minimum salary threshold 12

is increasing to $913 per week, which annualizes to $47,476 (up from $455 per week, or $23,660 per year). • The minimum salary requirement will now be “updated” every three years (meaning that it will likely increase with each update), beginning on January 1, 2020. The USDOL will announce these changes 150 days in advance of any update. • Employers will be able to satisfy up to 10% of this new salary threshold through nondiscretionary bonuses and other incentive payments, including commissions, provided that the payments are made at least quarterly. This crediting will not be permitted as to the salaries paid to individuals treated as exempt “highly compensated” employees. • The total-annual-compensation requirement for “highly compensated” employees will increase from $100,000 to $134,004. This threshold will also be “updated” every three years. These rules will become effective on December 1, 2016. Unless postponed, employers will have until December to determine how these changes will impact their operations.

The Bottom Line The USDOL has essentially doubled the current salary threshold for “white collar” employees. This move was intended to both reduce the proportion of

exempt workers in the United States while increasing the compensation of many who will remain exempt. In addition, for the first time in the history of the FLSA, the USDOL will publish automatic “updates” to the minimum salary threshold. The USDOL did not change any of the exemptions’ requirements as they relate to the kinds or amounts of work necessary to sustain exempt status (the “duties test”). Before the new regulations were issued, the USDOL had asked for comments directed to whether there should be a strict 50% or more requirement for exempt work. The agency determined that this was not necessary in light of the increased salary requirements.

What Should Employers Do Now? Some in Congress are still considering action aimed at stopping

these changes, and it is possible that lawsuits will be filed with the same goal. While one or more of these challenges may be successful, employers should assume for the time being that the new requirements will take effect as scheduled.

Right now, employers must: • Determine which of their current employees are affected by the new salary requirements; • For exempt employees that make less than the new salary threshold, evaluate whether it is more cost effective to increase the affected employees’ salaries or convert them to non-exempt employees; • Evaluate whether operational changes can be made to the affected job classifications so that the incumbent employees may be

treated as exempt in the future; • Consider the possible application of alternative FLSA exemptions; and • Develop FLSA-compliant pay plans for employees who have been treated as exempt but who no longer will be under the new rules. In addition to the forgoing, it is a great time for companies to evaluate their pay practices as a whole and correct any potential problems. For employees whose duties may be in the “grey area” as to whether or not they should be classified as exempt, now it is a perfect opportunity to make changes to comply with the FLSA. December will be here before we know it and being proactive is the only way for businesses to avoid costly federal litigation and compliance audits from the USDOL.

Matthew D. Westerman is an attorney with Fisher & Phillips LLP, a law firm representing employers throughout the country in labor, employment, employee benefits, business immigration, workplace safety and civil rights matters. Matt is Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law. Matt can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 769-7516.

1. 29 U.S.C. § 201, et. seq. 2. 29 U.S.C. § 206(a)(1). 3. 29 U.S.C. § 207(a)(1). 4. 29 U.S.C. § 213(a)(1). 5. 29 C.F.R. § 541.100 (general test for the executive exemption); 29 C.F.R. § 541.200 (general test for the administrative exemption); 29 C.F.R. § 541.200 (general test for the professional exemption). 6. https://federalregister. gov/a/2016-11754



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Federal Trade Secret Cause of Action And Enforcing Patent Rights In Florida: What you need to know By Woodrow Pollack, Esq. If you or your clients deal with trade secrets and new technology on a regular basis, the last few months have had some important changes you should note. On the federal level, misappropriation of trade secret has become a federally protected right. Here in Florida, if you enforce patent rights or defend against such allegations, the Patent Troll Prevention Act has been significantly revised to better enable business-to-business communication.

Federal Defense of Trade Secrets Act Congress has amended the Economic Espionage Act to explicitly provide for the protection of trade secrets as a matter of federal law. No longer do you need diversity jurisdiction if you’re looking to enforce or defend your trade secrets in a federal court. The “Defend Trade Secrets Act” (“DTSA”) amends 18 U.S.C. § 1836(b), providing a private civil action to “an owner of a trade secret that has been misappropriated … if the trade secret is related to a product or service used in, or intended for use in, interstate or foreign commerce.” Prior to this amendment, trade secret misappropriation was a product of various state laws. A number of states, including Florida,1 substantially adopted the Uniform Trade Secret Act (“UTSA”). But the UTSA provided for potential inconsistent interpretation among the states. Notably, the DTSA does not preempt any state trade secret law. And the DTSA vests the federal courts with subject mater jurisdiction to resolve a trade secret dispute, but that jurisdiction is not exclusive jurisdiction, meaning parties can still use the state 16

courts to enforce and defend their trade secret claims. This means that parties in a trade secret dispute now have an additional tool to use and consider in their enforcement and defense strategies. For example, Florida law and the DTSA provide similar, but not identical, definitions of a “trade secret.” Under Florida law, a trade secret is: information, including a formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique, or process2 While the DTSA defines it as: all forms and types of financial, business, scientific, technical, economic, or engineering information, including patterns, plans, compilations, program devices, formulas, designs, prototypes, methods, techniques, processes, procedures, programs, or codes, whether tangible or intangible, and whether or how stored, compiled, or memorialized physically, electronically, graphically, photographically, or in writing3 The DTSA does provide a significant additional tool for trade secret owners to use in extraordinary circumstances. Namely, ex parte civil seizure.4 While Florida law provides for injunctive relief,5 the DTSA allows a court, in extraordinary circumstances, to issue an order calling for “the seizure of property necessary to prevent the propagation or dissemination of the trade secret that is the subject of the action.” This may provide an excellent tool to the business whose disgruntled ex-employee has just absconded with

the company’s valuable trade secrets, but time will tell how the courts enforce this remedy.

Florida Patent Troll Prevention Act What is a “patent troll?” Neither the courts nor the various state legislatures have provided a consistent definition. On the one hand, there are parties that use expensive patent litigation as a means of extracting large (and potentially unwarranted) settlements out of small defendants. On the other hand, the Constitution itself provides for the protection of inventions, which business and individuals have relied on for generations to protect and defend their innovations. Like many states, Florida enacted a “Patent Troll Prevention Act” two years ago.6 The act did not define a “patent troll,” but instead sought to address “bad faith assertion” of patent rights. The law then provided factors for a court to consider in addressing what was a bad faith assertion of a patent.7 If an allegation of patent infringement was deemed to be “bad faith” under the law, the party asserting the patent might be forced to post a bond (of up to $250,000) simply to pursue the patent claim.8 Not surprisingly, almost every attempt to enforce a patent in Florida resulted in an analysis of this law. Those in the business community that own and use patent rights to protect their innovations were particularly troubled because any time they sought to discourage a competitor or infringer in Florida, they were subjected to a potential requirement to post a significant bond at the outset of litigation.

Florida addressed this issue last year, and amended the “Patent Troll Prevention Act.” Three significant changes were implemented with this new act. First, the bond provision was removed. Second, the revised law spells out what a patent owner can do to properly make an allegation of patent infringement, including: identifying the patent at issue, identifying the party that owns the patent, and identify at least one product or service that is infringing. Third, the act makes clear that a patent owner can still seek to license its patent rights in Florida. Admittedly, it is difficult to draw a complete balance between the interests on the patent enforcement side and those businesses that must regularly deal with what they perceive as inappropriate enforcement of patent rights. But Florida’s revised law appears to be a significant step towards drawing those boundaries.

Woody is a Board Certified Intellectual Property Attorney who limits his practice exclusively to intellectual property. Woody has a Masters in Computer Science from Stanford University and worked in Silicon Valley as a software engineer before becoming a lawyer. Woody currently serves as co-chair of the St. Pete Bar’s Business Section, and formerly chaired the Florida Bar Business Law Section’s Intellectual Property Committee.

Tara Scott Lynn, Esq. Marital/Family Law

1. Fla. Stat. §688.001, et seq. 2. Fla. Stat. § 668.002(4). 3. 18 U.S.C. § 1839(3). 4. 18 U.S.C. § 1836(b)(2). 5. Fla. Stat. § 688.003. 6. Fla. Stat. § 501.991 et seq. (2015) 7. Fla. Stat. § 501.993. (2015) 8. Fla. Stat. § 501.994. (2015)

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DANIEL H. KELLY, WMS Associate Vice President, Investments [email protected]

One Progress Plaza, Suite 165 // St. Petersburg, FL 33701 // P 727.551.5222 // TF 800.624.6369 // stpetewealth.com Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® and CDFA™ are trademarks of the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts™ in the U.S. and/or other countries. ©2016 Raymond James & Associates, Inc., member New York Stock Exchange/SIPC 16-BR33A-0124 TA 1/16


Reduce the Fear Factor - Financial Planning for Your Divorcing Clients By Marcia F. Person, CDFA™

These can include but are not limited to: • cash accounts which include savings, checking, and money market • retirement accounts including IRAs, 401(K)s, defined benefits, and pension plans

{Thank you to St. Petersburg Bar Association Annual Corporate Sponsor St Pete Wealth Management Group of Raymond James for providing the following article.}

Dealing with the unknown is one of the biggest sources of stress for clients going through a divorce, and it is the uncertainty of their economic future that is often the worst aspect of this difficult process. Financial struggles can tear a marriage apart and can be a primary issue that leads to divorce. If resolving monetary issues was challenging when the marriage was working, it is unlikely critical financial disputes will be easily resolved when the relationship has fallen apart. While the family law attorney has many roles in a divorce case, including educating the client on the legal process, filing legal documents, and representing the client in court; the job of the lawyer does not include the creation of a detailed financial plan for the future. A CDFA™ can be instrumental in assisting attorneys and their clients in understanding how the financial decisions they make today will impact their monetary future. It is the financial planning undertaken at the time of the divorce which may help protect the client’s financial well-being 18

long into the future. The first meeting between the client and the financial advisor consists of fact finding, education, and counseling. Once the advisor determines the client’s level of financial understanding, the advisor helps the client set realistic fiscal expectations for the future. It starts with a review of the fundamentals of asset allocation and the difference between the asset classes. The discussion often moves into an overview of inflation, risk, and expected rates of return. Empowering the client with knowledge is the first step toward informed decision-making and gives the attorney information that can be used as roadmap for crafting the agreement. From there, everything is broken down into the four categories that are most often considered in the marital settlement agreement.

ASSETS Assets can have a mysterious way of disappearing during the process of divorce. One of the first items on the financial advisor’s agenda is to have the client compile a list of the assets they believe are held either individually or jointly.

• non-retirement accounts including mutual funds, brokerage accounts, annuities, cash value life insurance, CDs, stocks, and bonds • employer sponsored plans such as stock options, employee stock purchase plans, restricted stock, banked sick and vacation days

REAL ESTATE Account statements should be readily available to support a handcompiled list. These documents are produced on different schedules but should be available monthly, quarterly, or annually. When not available, the CDFA™ can generally obtain them from the administrator of a plan or the financial advisor handling the accounts. The financial advisor uses this information to help the client understand the characteristics of their assets and the levels of risk associated with each. As the advisor gets more familiar with the situation and long term needs and goals, they can help determine what assets and income sources are appropriate for the client.

LIABILITIES Liabilities, unlike assets, may suddenly appear when a divorce is pending. Other than a list of outstanding debt, it is important for the client to keep track of excessive increases in

spending or debt levels by the spouse.

INCOME Determining the client’s total household income is the next step. The most recent tax return can help the CDFA™ discover additional income from sources such as investments, rentals, as well as any “missing” assets.

EXPENSES The last area of focus normally proves to be the most difficult for the client. Often in the financial planning process clients are assisted with calculating a budget for the purposes of retirement planning. With a divorcing client, the CDFA™ will assist with computing a current budget as well as a realistic post-divorce budget in an attempt to help avoid financial struggles in the future. It is the uncertainty about upcoming living expenses that presents the greatest challenge. Another difficulty for

some divorcing clients is the significant change in the financial picture once the spouses set up permanent, separate residences. Now they must budget the existing income to support two households. By investing time on pre-divorce financial counseling, the client is armed with a well-developed understanding of their assets, income and the resources necessary for the future. At this point, the client may be better prepared to meet with the attorney and arrive at a settlement that is better understood by all involved. The final step in the process is the review of the proposed settlement agreement. Once a proposal is presented, the CDFA™ utilizes specialized software to illustrate the long-term effects of various divorce settlement options. They will take into account comparisons of taxable vs. tax-deferred accounts, future tax liabilities, lump sum distributions vs. alimony, and vari-

ous other considerations. With this information in hand the client can confidently approach the future with an understanding of their financial future. Divorce can be emotionally devastating and the added concern of financial uncertainty may simply add to the stress. With a CDFA™ and financial advisor working side-by-side with the client and their attorney, the path becomes a little easier to navigate – and those who don’t utilize the ser vices of a financial planner may wish they had once the ink is dry. Marcia Person, Senior Vice President, Investments, has been a financial advisor for 22 years. As a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA™) and partner of St Pete Wealth Management Group of Raymond James, Marcy specializes in divorce planning and general financial planning for her clients. For more information, Marcy can be reached at [email protected]


By Rachel L. Drude, Esq. LL.M.

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own Once upon arriving at a beachfront condo in Destin, my eight-year old brother got so excited he ran out to the balcony and smacked right into the sliding glass door. Most days I get almost that excited thinking about a nice dinner out, especially after a grueling work week kept alive by protein bars, tomato soup, and turkey sandwiches. I imagine many of you are guilty of the same bland, utilitarian diet, if you remember to eat at all among cascading emails, client meetings, and court appearances. For me, looking forward to lingering over a luxurious dinner out usually melts away all of the daily stress. Lately, however, I noticed my child-like culinary enthusiasm waning, and I became determined to find out why.

Born and raised in New Orleans, I admit that sometimes the culinary landscapes of other cities leave something to be desired, and I realize I have a difficult time articulating exactly what that is. Every city has at least a few fresh seafood joints, so it’s not that. I’ve never expected to find decent Cajun or Creole cuisine anywhere but in a Louisiana kitchen, so it’s not that either. And, optimistically, I can usually find something good to say about any restaurant that’s putting forth half an effort, so it’s not that I’m a food snob. I began to notice a pattern when I answered the all-to-familiar question, “Where do you want to eat tonight?” • I want something delicious but not pretentious. • I want somewhere cozy but not crowded.

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• I don’t want to be rushed. • I don’t want to go to Beach Drive, again. Broad translation: I want to go somewhere authentic with great ambiance, where I can leisurely sip an aperitif and enjoy my company, without being rushed into the first course surrounded by tourists. Better translation: I want to go where the food is exquisite, where you can feel the love and passion in every bite, and I want to savor it at my own pace. Ah, that’s it! That’s the thing I experience so often in New Orleans restaurants that seems to elude me most everywhere else. The kind of experience that feeds both body and soul. Call it what you want, but I have found two spectacular examples of my culinary “je ne sais quoi” in St. Petersburg that have restored my

ebullience for our culinary landscape, and coincidentally they are within a block of each other:

Il Ritorno Located at 449 Central Avenue, Il Ritorno describes its menu as “Italian for the discerning palate.” Cozy and perfectly lit, the restaurant fills up fast, so reservations are highly recommended. I first experienced Il Ritorno by way of its Chef’s Tasting Menu, which included seven courses of delicacies like smoked bone marrow with watermelon radish and zucchini toast, paired with a crisp white wine blend. About a month later, we wandered in late, around closing time, absolutely famished. The server graciously offered us a table not the least bit miffed by our tardiness. We shared the Caprese salad (creamy burrata with bright heirloom tomatoes) and some fresh blue points with mignonette, followed by the Tagliatelle Nero (long, flat ribbons of pasta with rock shrimp, orange zest and a spicy Italian sausage) and Short Rib Mezzaluna (half-moon shaped pasta purses filled with tender short rib in a white truffle sauce). Although the Chef’s Tasting Menu was quite impressive, it was this second (last-minute) meal that made me feel as if I had been magically transported to New Orleans – the food so rich, yet so fresh; artfully plated, yet unpretentious. Needless to say, Il Ritorno has become one of our weekly mainstays that never disappoints.

Brick & Mortar – Kitchen & Wine Bar Located at 539 Central Avenue, Brick & Mortar’s menu is decidedly eclectic with daily specials dictated by what’s fresh. The ambience at Brick & Mortar is more rustic than at Il Ritorno, yet still clean

and elegant. The space is small set with a soft glow, lending the cozy feel I crave. Don’t be surprised if the owners, Jason and Hope, stop by to personally welcome you. On our first trip, we started with the Slow Braised Octopus Two Ways on the recommendation of a friend, along with Beef Carpaccio with House Made Ravioli. The octopus, charred and sliced one way, and marinated tiridito-style the other, melted in our mouths. We sliced into the poached-egg-stuffed ravioli, and creamy warm yolk ran over the

paper-thin carpaccio. Absolute heaven. As for larger plates, favorites include: Slow Braised Ox Tail with Saffron Goat Cheese Mousse (which also employs the ravioli-egg-heaven technique on top); Seared Espresso Rubbed Slow Braised Short Rib (fall-apart tender over seared polenta cake); and a daily special a few weeks ago that involved squid-ink pasta and mussels. Thankfully, the ever-changing menu at Brick & Mortar is sure to cure any foodie’s culinary doldrums.

Thank You to the Paraclete Editorial Committee Mercy Roberg, Editor Pamela D. Cichon Cynthia Hawkins DeBose Rachel L. Drude Courtney L. Fernald Summer R. Goldman Barbara M. Hernando Gay L. Inskeep Jennifer J. Kennedy Caroline Johnson Levine Robyn B. Rusignuolo Charles M. Samaha John V. Tucker Matthew D. Westerman Shannon L. Zetrouer


By Christopher M. Pietruszkiewicz Dean and Professor of Law, Stetson University College of Law

Ethics and Professionalism Training at Stetson Law The focus of this issue of the Paraclete is on ethics and professionalism. Ethics and professional responsibility are more than curriculor offerings at Stetson Law. High ethical standards are implicit in every aspect of training for students and practitioners alike. I proudly serve on the Florida Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism and served on the Sixth Judicial Circuit Professionalism Committee. As a member of a number of national organizations, I can assure you that Stetson is unique among law schools for the way ethics professionalism training is woven through our programs for students, members of bar associations, and our judiciary. At orientation, Stetson students take an oath to uphold Stetson’s academic Honor Code and Code of Professionalism and Conduct. In addition to our Professional Responsibility course, Stetson Law offers specialized courses that build upon this knowledge, including a Bioethics Seminar, White Collar Advocacy, Business Ethics, Elder Law Ethics, and Ethics and the Practice of Criminal Law. In addition to our student training program, you might be surprised at the wide array of training programs Stetson offers the legal community. “We think it’s important law school to continue to practitioners even after they from law school. We want 22

for our educate graduate to be a

resource for lawyers,” said Professor Roberta Flowers, co-director of Stetson’s Center for Excellence in Elder Law and a nationally recognized educator in the area of ethics and professionalism. Professor Flowers says the Stetson faculty is unique because of their involvement with the legal profession. Faculty serve on various state bar association committees and present at individual law firms, at regional and national conferences, and around the world. Professor Flowers writes a regular column on “Practical Ethics” in the NAELA News. During the Florida Bar Annual Convention in June, she and Stetson alumnus Ed Boyer conducted a three-hour presentation on the ethical issues of representing clients with diminished capacity. “Stetson is committed to the practice of law and to helping educate legal professionals,” said Professor Flowers. She also teaches in our program in Oxford, England. “Stetson’s goal is to help students see rules of professional conduct in the real world, in the clients they serve, in the corporations they assemble, and in their pro bono work. The same principles are presented to the greater legal community.” Each December, the Center for Excellence in Elder Law offers a practical ethics webinar to help attorneys work through complex ethical issues. Professor Charles Rose, our director of the Center for Excellence in Advocacy,

teaches the Stetson Advocacy method at conferences and legal events throughout the United States and Europe. Legal practitioners, law professors and their students traveled to Nottingham, England, and Dublin, Ireland, to hear his presentations. “We teach that professionalism and ethics is part and parcel of the practice of law,” Professor Rose said. “Professionalism is a strand that is woven into every single topic that we teach. We have taken that approach in our skills programs and in the Advocacy Center, Elder Law Center and in our doctrinal courses.” Professor Kirsten Davis served on the Working Group of the Florida Bar’s Standing Committee on Professionalism that drafted the “Expectations” reminding lawyers of professional legal communication behaviors, including principles for effectively using social media. There are a number of Stetson sponsored events that are open to the legal community, including the Inns of Court Banquet and William Reece Smith, Jr. Distinguished Lecture. This annual event brings together students, judges and members of the Tampa Bay American Inns of Court Chapters to hear from distinguished lecturers—frequently on the topic of professionalism. Back on campus, we conduct programs specifically designed to elevate professionalism among our future lawyers.

Our Career Development Office produces a comprehensive legal preparation guide called a “Toolkit.” This Toolkit includes a student self-assessment process to continually define “who you are, who you are becoming, and how you are likely to behave and respond in career situations.” As part of this self-assessment process, the office is certified to offer all students the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). This introspective questionnaire is used to help students discover their natural preferences for communicating, information processing and decision making, leading to stronger communications and teamwork. Armed with a strong ability to advocate for themselves, students are better prepared to advocate professionally and ethically for others. The Career Development Office produces a variety of other programs, including last year’s critically acclaimed “Inclusion Summit,” which invited Tampa

Bay’s legal community to develop cultural competence. We believe Stetson’s commitment to professional training is legally and socially appropriate.

Many students complete three to four times that requirement. Collectively, our students average more than 25,000 hours annually.

A few other examples of Stetson programs that integrate ethics and professionalism include:

As you can see, ethics and professionalism training are woven through all aspects of Stetson programs. A professional and ethically minded attorney is much more effective for their clients than an attorney who has not thought about their professional demeanor as part of their development.

Professionalism components in our internships/clinics: Our internships and clinics emphasize professionalism in the classroom and during clinical activities. Students act in pairs under the mentorship of a local criminal defense attorney to investigate the claims of innocence. Innocence Initiative and Innocence Clinic at Stetson University College of Law: These two projects provide students the opportunity to serve individuals who claim actual innocence. 

I am fully aware that everybody has a right to succeed, and success should be with ethics.

Pro Bono Service. Stetson students are required to complete 60 hours of pro bono service prior to graduation.

~ Sharad Pawar


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

By Ronald W. Gregory, II St. Petersburg Bar Foundation, President The St. Petersburg Bar Foundation has already had three major events to further our mission to fund, develop and promote efforts which enhance the legal profession and encourage better public understanding of and access to the judicial system. The first event, the Evening with the Rays, enabled us to raise funds to further our mission as well as allow for a relaxed environment for the members of the legal community and their families to get to know each other. Events like this improve the legal profession by enabling us to truly know one another outside of the pressures of the courtroom or closing a transaction. Even if you are not a person who


regularly attends baseball games it is a great event and you should plan to attend the next one and have a great time with us. I give great thanks to the Rays organization, the sponsors, and to Chandra Tracy, our executive director, for all of her help. The next great event was Holidays in July, which was lead by co-chairs Beth Casey and Erin Barnett. Holidays in July is a lot of fun and provides underprivileged children the opportunity for a day of fun, presents, lunch, and a visit from Santa. This is one of the many philanthropic works of our Foundation and it enables us to showcase to the community the caring nature of the

attorneys in St. Petersburg. The third event, Oktoberfest, lead by co-chairs Caitlin Docherty Szematowicz and Gina M. Pellegrino, will be held September 16, 2016. This event provides an excellent opportunity to mingle with both our fellow members of the Bar as well as the general community coming out to enjoy an evening on the water side at Horan Park. If you are not aware of this event, I encourage you to attend and better yet, get involved next year by sponsoring a table of food or drinks that you can share with the attendees. I talked Maria, my wife, into helping me have a sangria booth, since it has been a hit at past Business Law

Section meetings and the Foundation investiture events. If you attended, I hope you liked it. Who knows if you join in with a booth of your own, you could be the winner of the booth with the best creativity, food, quality, and decorations! Another great event is our annual Professionalism Seminar, Changes in Latitudes/Changes in Attitudes Friday, February 10, 2017 from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. at Stetson University College of Law. We will have great speakers, as well as an interactive team component, working to find the answers that will allow us to improve ourselves so that we can provide great quality legal services and maintain a work life balance and avoid or at least lessen compassion fatigue. I am hopeful that by the next Paraclete article, the Foundation will have great news on the revitalization and relocation of the Liberty Bell monument which is

involved in a committee, sponsoring an upcoming event, and at the very least attending one of our upcoming events. You can contribute through your annual renewal with the St. Petersburg Bar Association or the Foundation website: www.stpetebarfoundation.org. Every effort makes a difference in the Foundation and its mission.

leaving its old home in the city block of the Pheil Hotel at 424 Central Avenue. There are many great initiatives to further our mission and I welcome your financial support and your time and talent. I urge you all to consider getting

Ronald W. Gregory, II, is engaged in practice with the GREGORY LAW FIRM, P.L. in St. Petersburg (www.GregoryLaw. net). Mr. Gregory, a former partner with Englander Fischer with an AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell, continues to represent owner/operator business people in the formation and structure of their entity (LLC, corp., etc); the creation of agreements to protect the interests of business , buy or sell land, lease or build out space (construction).

Proud to support The St. Petersburg Bar Association. synovusbankfl.com Banking products are provided by Synovus Bank, Member FDIC. Divisions of Synovus Bank operate under multiple trade names across the Southeast.


PFAWL installed its 2016-2017 Officers and Directors on July 13, 2016 at the Clearwater Yacht Club. Thank you to Judge George Greer for performing the swearing-in ceremony. Please welcome the new officers and directors: Regina A. Kardash, President; Carmen Johnson, President-Elect; Kristina Feher, Secretary; Elise K. Winters, Treasurer; Marcelana Anthony, Immediate Past President; Joann Grages Burnett, Chapter Representative; Erica G. Pless, Social Programs Director; Shavarne Dahlquist, Public Relations Director; Laura Jo Lieffers, Membership Director; Mercedes Buntz, Awards Director; Vanessa Albaum, CLE Programs Director; Megan Hurchalla, From left to right: Marcelana Anthony; Mercedes Buntz; Megan Hurchalla; Carmen Johnson; Elise Winters; Kristina Feher; Shavarne Dahlquist; Vanessa Albaum; Joann Grages Burnett; Cindy Campbell; Erica Pless; Regina Kardash; Judge George Greer.

look forward to another exciting year with the incoming board members and officers. Thank you to Elise K Winters, P.A. and Pearlman & Clark, P.A. for sponsoring the event!

From left to right: Leora Freire; Marcelana Anthony; Regina Kardash.

Young Lawyers Section Director; Cindy Campbell, Pro Bono Director. We have also appointed Irene Maslanik as the Committee Sub Chair for Social Media. We thank all outgoing board members for their hard work and dedication this past year. We had an amazing year and 26

Please join PFAWL at our upcoming events. On September 13, 2016, we will be meeting at Mike’s Pizza, located at 13560 49th St. N., Clearwater, Florida 33762, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Jay Hebert, of the Hebert Law Group, P.A., will be speaking to us about his experiences as a criminal defense attorney. We will be having our annual Shrimp Boil on October 6, 2016 at the home of Elise Winters. Please check our website and Facebook for more details. Congratulations to Meredith Gaunce on the opening of her law firm, Gaunce Law. Meredith focuses her practice in

employment and business litigation. Her new office is located at 2719 1st Ave. N., St. Petersburg, Florida. Jennifer Codding has recently joined McCumber, Daniels, Buntz, Hartig & Puig, P.A. She is working in the firm’s banking and real property division. Congratulations, Jennifer! Also, a big congratulations to Jewel White who was awarded the Claude Pepper Outstanding Government Lawyer Award! This award recognizes Florida lawyers who have made exemplary contributions as practicing government lawyers. We are so proud of you, Jewel! It is time to renew your membership or if you would like to join PFAWL, please visit www.fawl.org/. For membership inquiries, please contact Laura Jo Lieffers at [email protected] gmail.com.

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 service, contact Community Law Program at 727-582-7480.

By Kimberly Rodgers

CLP Goes BOGO in October! In October, CLP is hosting two must attend events. The cost of each is a mere $100, but if you act now by purchasing a ticket for the first, we’ll throw in admission to the other one for free! It’s CLP’s buy one, get one, or BOGO! What are these “must attend” events, you might ask? The first is our chief fundraiser for the year and will be held on Friday, October 21, 2016 beginning at 6:00 p.m. at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club. For the 2nd year in a row, we are hosting “Jackpot for Justice.” This event will include a cash bar networking reception, followed by dinner and a short program, followed by Los Vegas style gaming with “fun money” for the chance to win an assortment of prizes. If gambling for fun does not appeal to you, don’t worry, you can spend your time dancing with friends and shopping for a few unique gifts and opportunities at our silent auction. Just the thought of watching me and other colleagues you know kick back on the dance floor should be worth the price of admission alone. Tickets for this event are $100 and include $5,000 of casino fun money. Sponsorship opportunities for this event are available as well by contacting me at (727) 582 – 7295. And, as I mentioned, if purchase a ticket for Jackpot for Justice, you will also receive one free admission to “Unmasking Your Client,” a CLE designed to help attorneys and their paralegals improve their interactions with and understanding of clients they might initially perceive to be challenging or even downright “scary!” In celebration of the ABA’s National

Pro Bono Week, this CLE will be held on Thursday, October 27th from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. at Stetson University College of Law, our co-sponsor along with the St. Petersburg Bar and St. Petersburg Bar Foundation. And, if you purchase a ticket to Jackpot for Justice, your admission to this CLE is free. Otherwise, it’s $100 for members of the St. Petersburg Bar Association or $110 for non-members.1 Let’s face it. For some, the thought of representing someone going through a high conflict custody case, or someone who speaks limited English, or someone who has a host of socioeconomic problems on top of his/her legal problems, or any combination thereof, does not sound appealing at first glance. Often, however, these are the very types of citizens in our community who not only need our assistance the most, but who can also be the most satisfying clients to help. So many of you in our legal community are assisting those who would otherwise have no legal help when you take on case after case pro bono through CLP, through another legal aid organiation, or on your own. Appreciating these challenges and addressing them head-on so that your pro bono experience can be even more rewarding is our underlying motivation for this CLE. Also, while we certainly cannot make this guarantee at the time this column is being written, we are going to do our best to get a portion of this CLE approved by The Florida Bar for Mental Illness Awareness & Diversity Credit, which would qualify as part of those five elusive ethics credits we all need each cycle. “Unmasking your Client” will present hypotheticals to illustrate the challenges that attorneys experience as time

pressured practitioners trying to focus on the legal issues at hand. Significant background information is often masked by mental distress, language barriers, and the formality of the attorney-client relationship. Using these hypotheticals, as well as their personal experiences, a panel of experts will help explain how client interviewing and storytelling can be more effective and rewarding. For additional information, please contact Linda Friedman Ramirez, Pro Bono Manager, Community Law Program, [email protected] or 727-5827837. This October will indeed be an exciting time for us at CLP. I hope you’ll consider joining us for this incredible BOGO opportunity. Your support of one or both of these efforts enables us to fulfill our mission of ensuring that the most vulnerable in our community have equal access to justice. 1. The CLE is also free to Leadership CLP participants. For more information about Leadership CLP, see a description of CLP’s Volunteer Opportunities at http://lawprogram.org/attorneys. aspx, or contact Linda Friedman Ramirez at [email protected]

Once you realize that you’re in something that you’ve always wanted and you don’t want to lose it, you behave differently. And that means the integrity, the professionalism, and knowing what’s right from wrong and still making choices that you probably wouldn’t have made. ~ Paul Anka 27

Howard P. Ross – The Consummate Professional 50 Year Member Profile by Charles M. Samaha In November 2016, Howard P. Ross will celebrate his 52nd year as a member of the Florida Bar.

Howard was one of the first attorneys to become board certified as a civil trial lawyer and in business litigation. He has written several chapters for CLE materials and published a book, Florida Corporations, through West Group Publishing, which was mainly a book of forms.

In 1939, Howard was born in Chicago, Illinois. His father was an American and his mother had emigrated from Eastern Europe. His sister is seven years his senior. Howard’s schooling through high school was in Chicago. In 1961, he received his undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Illinois. During Howard’s junior year in college, his parents had moved to St. Petersburg and after graduation he joined them to live at home and attend Stetson. Howard matriculated at Stetson in 1961 and shortly thereafter married his first wife, Loretta, whom he met through mutual friends. While in law school, he clerked for the firm of Parker, Parker, and Battaglia. Emerson and Carl Parker were brothers and Anthony “Tony” Battaglia was the other named partner. Howard has been with the firm ever since, which is now known as Battaglia, Ross, Dicus & McQuaid, P.A. In 1964, after Howard graduated and passed the bar examination, the firm hired him as an associate. He handled sundry matters, everything from criminal law to condominium issues, including litigation and transactional affairs. He mainly worked with Tony with whom he litigated many cases as second chair. Howard represented many lenders, developers, and contractors. One of his first noteworthy was a federal case regarding the construction of the Titan III facility at Cape Kennedy. The firm 28

represented the prime contractor who sub-contracted about 90% of the work and the sub-contractor subsequently became insolvent. The firm admirably handled the aftermath. Some other notable cases included representation of: • A contractor on the Florida Citrus Dome, a building that was supposed to look like an orange, but did not comply with specifications. • An immigrant who in effect deported himself by statute when he traveled to the Bahamas and re-entered, which created a crime. Howard cleared the matter. • Crumpton Home Builders during their Chapter XI bankruptcy. They sold pre-packaged homes. • The lessee (who became the owner) of Joe’s Creek Industrial Park when he was in a battle with the owner.

Community service activities have included teaching legal matters to new business owners at the Chamber of Commerce’s Entrepreneurial Academy for a decade, where he was known as the “dean.” He also served as chairman of the board at the Chamber. He was a member of the St. Petersburg Community Alliance, a bi-racial organization that met monthly to discuss local issues. He was president of an affordable housing not-for-profit group that utilized a nationwide program to provide housing to low-income families. And, he was a member of the St. Petersburg Police Citizens Review Committee. He enjoyed his work on several political campaigns, some of which include: • Both of Mayor Rick Baker’s mayoral campaigns • Senator Bob Dole’s presidential bid • Charlie Crist’s gubernatorial campaign • The mayoral campaign of Deveron Gibbons Some of his extracurricular activities have included tennis, scuba diving, and golf. He played tennis regularly with David Patterson, William “Bill” Patterson (both former judges), and Les Franklin. He shot trap with a shotgun in competition around the country with

Guillermo “Willy” Ruiz. Howard has two children with his former wife, Glen and Cynthia. Glen is employed at Aramark Services Inc. and Cynthia at Abilities of Florida Inc. He also has two grandchildren and one great-grandchild, all of whom live in St. Petersburg. He has one child, Ryan, with his wife of thirty-two years, Jennifer. Ryan is a student at St. Petersburg College. In November 2015, after forty years at the same location, the firm moved to the Sembler Office Building on Central Avenue to accommodate its

size. Howard works a full schedule and labors through lunch on most days and even goes in on weekends. He is the most senior member of the firm both in age and length of time with the firm. Howard noted that the practice of law has changed more than the laws have changed. He remembers a kinder and gentler state bar association and a time when all the local attorneys knew each other. Hats off to you, Howard Ross, for your numerous and valuable contributions to our community!

Enjoy the Benefits of The St. Petersburg Bar Association Renew Your Membership!

Copyright © 2016, by Charles M. Samaha, all rights reserved.


What’s Up & Who’s New September/October 2016 The Florida Bar Board of Bar Examiners wishes to acknowledge with appreciation the following St. Pete Bar volunteers for their assistance in proctoring the Bar Examination held July 26-27, 2016, at the Tampa Convention Center: William Bonezzi, Robert Burguieres, Kevin Morris, Stan Morrow, Judge Stephen Rosen and Geoffrey Vance. The success of the examination was due in no small part to their able assistance. Brian P. Battaglia, President of Brian Battaglia Law, St. Petersburg, Florida, has been nominated for the William R. Ming Advocacy Award. Robert Ming was born on May 7, 1911 in Chicago, Illinois. He received a PHD degree in 1931 and his J.D. in 1933 from the University of Chicago School of Law. In addition, to being a distinguished lawyer and professor at the Law Schools of Howard University and University of Chicago, Robert Ming was one of the architects of the strategy leading to the historic decision in Brown v. Board of Education, and other landmark decisions. The Ming Award was created by the NAACP National Board of directors in April 1974 and is awarded

annually to a lawyer who exemplifies the spirit of financial and personal sacrifice that Mr. Ming displayed in his legal work. Brian P. Battaglia’s nomination was made by the St. Petersburg Branch of the NAACP. The law firm of Tanney & Griffith, P.A. is proud to announce that Ryan Bresler has become a partner of the firm. The firm will now be known as Tanney, Griffith & Bresler, P.A. Mr. Bresler will continue to focus his practice on personal injury matters. Lewis Longman Walker attorney Jennifer Cowan was recently selected to join the 2017 Class of Leadership Pinellas. Leadership Pinellas is an issues-oriented learning program that promotes personal growth, leadership opportunities, interchange of ideas about Pinellas County and enthusiasm for services to the local community. Ms. Cowan’s practice focuses on local government, public pension, land use, and litigation. She currently serves as City Attorney for the City of Treasure Island. Meredith Gaunce has hung her own shingle and started a law firm specializing in Employment and Business Law. Gaunce Law opened on July 18, 2016 and is located in Kenwood. Meredith has been practicing law for nearly a decade. She was an associate with the leading Labor and Employment firm of Ogletree Deakins before joining a corporation as their in-house counsel three years ago specializing in employment and contract law disputes. www.Gaunce Law.com. Trenam Law is pleased to announce that two associates have joined the firm’s St. Petersburg office. Patrick Causey and Bradley Muhs will practice in the Commercial Litigation Group. Patrick’s practice focuses on complex commercial litigation, professional malpractice defense, intellectual property, breach of contract, business tort claims and class actions. Bradley will also practice in the Commercial Litigation Group. Prior to joining the firm, Bradley served as a Law Clerk at the Florida Second District Court of Appeal. The Whittemore Law Group, P.A. is pleased to announce that former prosecutor, Scott Vieth, has joined the firm as an associate and will focus his practice on product liability, personal injury, and criminal cases. Scott served seven years as an Assistant State Attorney for Pinellas County, including the past four years spent as a Special Prosecutor in the Economic Crimes Unit. Scott attended The University of Florida as an undergraduate and New York Law School.


New & Reinstated Members BARNETT, ERIN K. 110 Pinellas Way N. St. Petersburg, FL 33710 Phone: 727-525-0200 Fax: 727-525-0211 Email: [email protected]

CHILSON, JOSHUA T. 133 N. Ft. Harrison Ave. Clearwater, FL 33755 Phone: 727-441-4947 Fax: 727-447-3158 Email: [email protected]

B.S. from Florida Southern College; J.D. from Stetson University College of Law. Admitted to The Florida Bar in 2002. Ms. Barnett a partner with Barnett Woolums, P.A.

Undergraduate degree from Newman University; J.D. from St. Thomas University School of Law. Admitted to The Florida Bar in 2006. Mr. Chilson is a partner with Kwall, Showers, Barack & Chilson, P.A.

CASEY, BETH JENKINS 1401 61st St. S. Gulfport, FL 33707 Phone: 727-562-7961 Fax: 727-347-5692 Email: [email protected]

CLARK, COLLIN R. 130 47th St. N. St. Petersburg, FL 33713 Phone: 727-266-5356 Email: [email protected]

B.S. from University of Florida; J.D. from Stetson University College of Law. Admitted to The Florida Bar in 2009. Ms. Casey is an Assistant Director of Career Development with Stetson University College of Law.

B.S. from University of South Florida; J.D. from Cooley Law School; LL.M. Taxation from University of Florida. Admitted to The Florida Bar in 2015. Mr. Clark is a sole practitioner with Collin Clark Law, PLLC.

DAHLQUIST, SHAVARNE B. 880 Carillon Parkway St. Petersburg, FL 33716 Phone: 727-567-4345 Fax: 727-567-3922 Email: [email protected] B.S. and B.A. from University of Florida; J.D from Barry University School of Law. Admitted to The Florida Bar in 2006. Ms. Dahlquist is a Fiduciary Consultant with Raymond James Trust, N.A.

ELLISON, JASON M. 200 Central Ave., STE 2000 St. Petersburg, FL 33701 Phone: 727-362-6151 Fax: 727-362-6131 Email: [email protected] B.A. from Stetson University; J.D. from Stetson University College of Law. Admitted to The Florida Bar in 2007. Mr. Ellison is a partner with Ellison | Lazenby.


FAUGHT, ELLIS R., III 206 Mason St. Brandon, FL 33511 Phone: 813-681-4246 Fax: 813-653-9668 Email: [email protected] B.A. from University of Florida; J.D. from John Marshall Law School, Atlanta. Admitted to The Florida Bar in 2010. Mr. Faught is Managing Attorney and partner with the Law Office of Ellis R. Faught, III, P.A.

Classifieds OFFICE SPACE: ST. PETERSBURG: Great downtown office space available, right off interstate 175 at 405 6th Street South, 6 blocks from courthouse, 1 block from hospitals. Free Parking! Call 727-894-3262. ST. PETERSBURG & 275 at 54th Avenue North: Offices available to sublet within our suite. Welcoming reception area with receptionist, beautiful conference room, kitchen, fax, copier, wireless internet and more. Very convenient to St. Pete and Tampa courthouses. Month to month or long term welcome. Call Melissa @727343-8959 or [email protected] ST. PETERSBURG: Senior Practitioner has office space for lease with amenities. Large offices less than 1 block from St. Petersburg Courthouse with assigned off street parking space. Common use of reception area, Florida library, closing and break rooms, utilities except telephone, included. Contact Joe Lang 727-894-0676 for more details.

Classified Advertising is available to St. Pete Bar Members for $25 per month, up to 50 words. The cost for Non-Members is $50 per month. For ads over 50 words – add $1 per word. Contact JoAnn Knight, Paraclete Advertising at [email protected] stpetebar.com for more information. 32

FULLER, JEFFREY R. P.O. Box 47668 St. Petersburg, FL 33743-7668 Phone: 727-430-0203 Email: [email protected] B.A. from Westminster College; J.D. from Stetson University College of Law. Admitted to The Florida Bar in 1976 and also a member of the District of Columbia Bar. Mr. Fuller is a sole practitioner and certified mediator with Fuller ADR.

GAUNCE, MEREDITH S. 2719 1st Ave. N. St. Petersburg, FL 33713 Phone: 727-614-0550 Fax: 727-614-1290 Email: [email protected] B.A. from Emory University; J.D. from University of Georgia School of Law. Admitted to The Florida Bar in 2011. Ms. Gaunce is a sole practitioner with Gaunce Law.

GARCIA, NIKOLE D. 200 Central Ave., STE 1600 St. Petersburg, FL 33701 Phone: 813-227-7421 Email: [email protected]

HOWARD, MARY J. 600 N. West Shore Blvd., STE 1200 Tampa, FL 33609-1117 Phone: 813-637-6183 Email: [email protected]

Undergraduate degree from University of Florida; J.D. from University of Florida Levin College of Law. Admitted to The Florida Bar in 2000. Ms. Garcia is a partner with Trenam Law.

B.A. from University of Notre Dame; J.D. from University of Miami. Admitted to The Florida Bar in 2009 and the Illinois State Bar in 2010. Ms. Howard is Compliance Counsel for Amscot Financial. JAHN, MATTANIAH P.O. Box 2338 Oldsmar, FL 34677 Phone: 941-685-3770 Fax: 866-392-3536 Email: [email protected] B.S. from USF – Sarasota Manatee; J.D. from Stetson University College of Law. Admitted to The Florida Bar in 2013. Mr. Jahn is a sole practitioner with Mpowered Law. MARCOSKI, VERONIKA 15845 Redington Dr. Redington Beach, FL 33708-1743 Phone: 727-515-8284 Email: [email protected] Undergraduate degree from Rollins College; J.D from University of Miami Law School. Admitted to The Florida Bar in 2012. Ms. Marcoski is a sole practitioner.

MORROW, STANLEY L.  Phone: 201-316-7895 Email: [email protected] B.A. from S.U.N.Y. at Buffalo; J.D. from Yeshiva University Benjamin Cardozo School of Law. Admitted to The Florida Bar in 1990 and also admitted to the New Jersey and the New York State Bar Associations. SCOTT, SEAN W. 3233 East Bay Dr., STE 104 Largo, FL 33771 Phone: 727-539-0181 Fax: 727-539-0281 Email: [email protected] Undergraduate degree from University of South Florida; J.D. from Stetson University College of Law. Admitted to The Florida Bar in 1990. Mr. Scott is a sole practitioner with Sean W. Scott Elder Law. STEWART, ALEXANDER 126 3rd Ave. N. STE 207 Safety Harbor, FL 34695 Phone: 727-325-5785 Email: [email protected] B.A. from Lee University; J.D. from Stetson University College of Law. Admitted to The Florida Bar in 2016. Mr. Stewart is a partner with Itzkowitz& Stewart, PLLC. SZEMATOWICZ, BRETT 120 N. Franklin St., STE 102 Tampa, FL 33602 Phone: 813-444-2244 Fax: 813-658-6000 Email: [email protected] B.A. from The American University; J.D. from South Texas College of Law. Admitted to The Florida Bar in 2007 and the Middle District of Florida. Mr. Szematowicz is owner/partner with Greater Tampa Law, P.L.

VIETH, SCOTT W. 100 2nd Ave. S., STE 304S St. Petersburg, FL 33701 Phone: 727-821-8752 Fax: 727-821-8324 Email: [email protected] B.S. from University of Florida; J.D. from New York Law School. Admitted to The Florida Bar in 2008. Mr. Vieth is an associate with The Whittemore Law Group, P.A. ZUCCARO, CHRISTINA Concourse Center 4 3507 E. Frontage Rd., STE 200 Tampa, FL 33607 Phone: 813-287-7910 Fax: 813-281-5501 Email: [email protected] Undergraduate degree from Michigan State University; J.D. from University of Miami. Admitted to The Florida Bar in 2009 and the Middle District of Florida. Ms. Zuccaro is an Assistant Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General, State of Florida.

Student Members CERVELLERA, CHRIS Email: [email protected] Undergraduate degree from University of South Florida. Mr. Cervellera is currently attending Stetson University College of Law.

Congratulations Congratulations to Raleigh “Lee” Greene and Judge J. Thomas McGrady on being honored as the 2016 Gator Greats by The University of Florida Alumni Association and the Pinellas County Gator Club. Lee Greene and Judge McGrady were honored at the 26th Annual Emerson Celebration of Scholarships held June 7, 2016 at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club.

HICKMAN, MILES H. Email: [email protected] Undergraduate degree from University of Central Florida. Mr. Hickman is currently attending Stetson University College of Law.


Association of Legal Administrators – Suncoast Chapter The Suncoast Chapter of the ALA meets on the second Wednesday of each month for the meetings held in Tampa and on the second Thursday of each month for the meetings held in St. Petersburg. For more information please contact Meetings/Education Chair, Terri Johnson [email protected] or visit the ALA website at http:// alasuncoast.org/ for more information. Date: Time: Program: Location:

Thursday, October 13, 2016 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. General Membership Meeting Bascom’s Chop House 3655 Ulmerton Rd. Clearwater, FL 33762

Date: Time: Program: Location:

Wednesday, November 9, 2016 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. General Membership Meeting To be announced – Tampa, FL

Pinellas Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers The PACDL meets the third Thursday of each month the Pinellas County Justice Center from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. Lunch is provided for members. Meetings are open to members and those who come to join. We usually have one hour of CLE. Memberships are also available for law students. For more information on PACDL please contact Bruce Denson at [email protected] or (727) 8967000. Visit: PACDL.com for more information.

Pinellas County Chapter of the Florida Association For Women Lawyers PFAWL meets on the 1st Tuesday of each month at 6:00 p.m. at different locations each month. No RSVP is needed. For more information on events contact Membership Socials Director, Erica Pless at [email protected] For membership inquires contact Membership Director, Laura Jo Lieffers at [email protected] The next socials are: Date: Time: Program: Location:

Thursday, October 6, 2016 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Annual Shrimp Boil Home of Elise K. Winters

Date: Tuesday, November 1, 2016 Time: 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Program: PFAWL Social Location: Hofbrauhaus 123 4th St. S. St. Petersburg, FL 33701 34

Bar and Court


Pinellas County Chapter of The Paralegal Association Of Florida 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 Erin Garcia at [email protected] For more information on the local chapter contact Ellie Glenn, President at [email protected] or visit the Paralegal Association of Florida website at www.pafinc.org. Date/Time: Speaker: Topic: Location:

Tuesday, October 11, 2016 – 5:45 p.m. Jonathon W. Douglas, Good Thompson & Miller To be announced. Crafted Plate at the Marriott 12600 Roosevelt Blvd. N. St. Petersburg, FL 33716

Date/Time: Speaker: Topic: Location:

Tuesday, November 8, 2016 – 5:45 p.m. Samantha Tracy, Baskin Fleece Ethic presentation/to be announced. Crafted Plate at the Marriott 12600 Roosevelt Blvd. N. St. Petersburg, FL 33716

St. Petersburg Association of Legal Support Specialists (SPALSS) Please join us for dinner and camaraderie at our next quarterly meeting. For more information about the meetings or SPALSS, or to RSVP please contact Debora Shirley, President at (727) 417-0524. The next quarterly meeting is: Date/Time: Tuesday, October 4, 2016 – 7:00 p.m. Program: 13th Annual Judicial Assistants Appreciation Banquet Location: Courtside Grille 110 Fountain Parkway St. Petersburg, FL 33716 Date/Time: Tuesday, November 1, 2016 – 7:00 p.m. ABC Auction/Fundraiser to benefit the Program: Student Grant Program for a St. Pete College Paralegal Degree Location: Orange Blossom Catering 220 4th St. N. St. Petersburg, FL 33701

St. Pete Bar First Friday August 5, 2016 Join fellow Bar members for informal lunch networking at Acropolis Greek Taverna, the first Friday of every month, 12-1pm. (1st Friday not held in months that membership luncheons are held.)


2016 Holidays In July The St. Petersburg Bar Foundation and Young Lawyer's Section of the St. Petersburg Bar Association would like to thank our sponsors and volunteers for another fantastic year!

Presenting Sponsor Abbey Adams Byelick & Mueller

Gold Sponsors Adams & Reese, LLP ALA Suncoast Chapter Barnett Woolums, P. A. Moyer Law Group Quarles & Brady, LLP

Silver Sponsors Baskin Fleece, P. A. The Horner Family Johnson Pope Bokor Ruppel & Burns, LLP The Kasper Company Kmart The Moyer Family Publix Supermarket