Spring 2009 Class Notes


Robert D. Melton of Orlando, Fla., hasbeen certified as a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

Roland Gomez was honored by the Henry Latimer Center for Professionalism of The Florida Bar and the Standing Committee on Professionalism for acts of outstanding professionalism.


Gerald F. Richman, shareholder with Richman Greer, PA, has been named to the Most Effective Lawyers 2008 by the Daily Business Review in the class action category.


Leroy H. Moe retired at the end of 2008 after serving 36 years as a circuit judge in Broward County, Fla. When he retired, Judge Moe was the senior circuit judge in Florida. Alan J. Rubinstein has been selected for Best Lawyers in America for more than 20 years and has been named as a top attorney in Florida for 2009 by Florida Super Lawyers magazine. He has received that distinction for more than 10 years.


Charles L. Brown has retired as circuit court judge for the 10th Judicial Circuit of Florida. Judge Brown was elected to the Polk County court in 1996 and appointed to the circuit court in 2000. He will continue to serve as a senior judge.


Alan G. Greer, a shareholder with Richman Greer, PA, has been named to the Most Effective Lawyers 2008 by the Daily Business Review in the regulatory litigation category.

Bennie Lazzara, of Wilkes & McHugh, PA, along with firm attorney Jim Freeman, secured $65 million in damages in a personal injury lawsuit against a trucking company at fault in an accident that left the 21-year-old victim with brain damage. It is believed to be one of the largest verdicts in Polk County, Fla., history.

Donald D. Slesnick II, mayor of Coral Gables, Fla., has been appointed to chair the National League of Cities (NLC) City Futures Panel on Democratic Governance in 2009.


W. C. Gentry was honored as the Jacksonville Daily Record Lawyer of the Year. The award has honored 22 previous recipients and was first given in 1986. The award is given each year to a lawyer who has made a difference to the Jacksonville community in terms of the profession and in impacting the lives of people.


Circuit Judge Bruce W. Jacobus was named Trial Judge of the Year by the Central Florida Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). The award honored Judge Jacobus for exemplifying the highest ideals of the judiciary.

Gerald A. Rosenthal, senior partner of Rosenthal, Levy & Simon, PA, in West Palm Beach, Fla., has been named to The Best Lawyers in America 2009 for the 15th consecutive year. He was also inducted into the College of Workers’ Compensation Attorneys.


Robert T. Cunningham Jr., of Cunningham Bounds, LLC, was named the “Mobile Best Lawyers Personal Injury Litigator of the Year” and has been named to Lawdragon magazine’s esteemed “500 Leading Lawyers in America 2008” for a second time. In addition, Lawdragon magazine listed him as one of the “Leading Litigators in America” in 2006. Cunningham was also one of the lead counsels in a case against Ineos Americas LLC and Ineos Phenol for $192 million in compensatory damages. The verdict, recently upheld by the circuit court in Mobile, Ala., stands as one of the top 10 verdicts awarded in the country in 2008.


Marva L. Crenshaw was appointed to the 2nd District Court of Appeal by Gov. Charlie Crist. Wayne E. Flowers, shareholder at Lewis, Longman & Walker, PA, gave a presentation to the Volusia County Association for Responsible Development on the relationship between Volusia County’s manatee protection plan and the state’s requirements for permitting marinas on March 20, 2009, in Daytona Beach, Fla. He also presented “Florida Department of Environmental Protection and St. Johns River Water Management District Wetlands Permitting Issues” in Jacksonville, Fla., as part of a Lorman Education Services seminar entitled “Wetland Regulation in Florida.”


Michael J. Dewberry, rejoined Rogers Towers, PA, of Jacksonville, Fla., and will practice in the business litigation department.


Kenneth J. Hirsh has been appointed the director of the law library and information technology, and clinical professor of law, at the University of Cincinnati College of Law. Previously, Hirsh had been director of computing services at the Duke University School of Law.

Charles S. Modell was named by Minnesota Law & Politics Magazine as a Super Lawyer in 2008 for his work in franchise law, and as a Top 100 Super Lawyer in the state of Minnesota. He was also recognized in the 2009 international Who’s Who in Franchising Law.

Dennis Wall of Winter Springs and Orlando, Fla., has written “CAT Claims: Insurance Coverage for Disasters.” The third edition of his book Litigation and Prevention of Insurer Bad Faith has also recently been published.


Robert E. Holden, of Liskow & Lewis in New Orleans, La., was named to the Louisiana Super Lawyers 2009.

Scott N. Richardson of Scott N. Richardson, PA, participated as a visiting professor of law through the Center for International Legal Studies in Salzburg, Austria. Under the auspices of CILS, he has taught courses in white collar crime at Vytautus Magnus University School of Law in Kaunas, Lithuania, in 2006, in the American legal system at Ukrainian Academy of Customs in Dnepropetrovsk, Urkraine, in 2007 and in American criminal law and procedure at Novosibirsk State University in Novosibirsk, Russia, in 2008.


John J. “Jeff” Scroggin, AEP, JD, LLMT, was elected chairman of the Friends of Barrington Hall Inc. He also authored “Estate Planning — It’s All About Your Legacy,” which was published in the Wall Street Journal. Scroggin was also selected as a Georgia Super Lawyer for 2009.


Philippe Jeck, of Jeck, Harris, Raynor & Jones, PA, has been elected treasurer of the Palm Healthcare Foundation, Inc. He also serves on the foundation’s executive committee.


Luis A. Abreu has been selected by Virginia Business magazine as one of Virginia’s Legal Elite for his practice in family law. He has received this honor for the past seven years. Judge Nelly N. Khouzam was appointed by Gov. Charlie Crist to the 2nd District Court of Appeal. Prior to joining the 2nd District, she served for 14 years as a circuit court judge in the 6th Judicial Circuit, which is comprised of Pinellas and Pasco counties in Florida. The Hon. Martha Ann Lott has been elected chief judge of the 8th Judicial Circuit.


Terence J. “Terry” Delahunty Jr. has joined the Orlando, Fla. office of GrayRobinson, P.A. as a shareholder in the real estate practice group. Delahunty is the first LEED accredited professional to join the firm. Prior to joining GrayRobinson, Delahunty owned a private commercial real estate practice for 24 years, where he specialized in real estate development, land use, mortgage financing, commercial real estate transactions and title insurance.

Linda R. Getzen was elected president of the Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida for a second two-year term.

Joel D. Rosen, Esq., a partner at High Swartz LLP in Norristown, Pa., has been elected chairman of the board of the Hepatitis B Foundation, located in Doylestown, Pa.


Robert H. Dellecker, a partner with the law firm Dellecker, Wilson, King, McKenna & Ruffier, has been elected president of the board of directors for the Central Florida Division of the March of Dimes Florida Chapter.

David C. Willis, a partner with Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell, PA, has been appointed vice chair of the Business Litigation Certification Committee of The Florida Bar for the term of July 2009 to June 2010.


Ronald Levitt (LLMT), of Sirote & Permutt, was selected as a “Top Attorney” by Birmingham Magazine.


Mark W. Klingensmith was elected chairman of the Martin County Republican Party in December 2008. In March 2009, he was elected as vice mayor of Sewall’s Point, Fla.

John Elliott Leighton has launched a new firm, Leighton Law, PA. The Miami trial firm specializes in catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death and violent crime/ inadequate security litigation. Leighton was formerly senior partner in Miami’s Leesfield Leighton & Partners, PA. Leighton was also recently re-elected as chairman of the Academy of Trial Advocacy, a national invitationonly association of the nation’s leading catastrophic injury trial lawyers. Leighton’s two-volume treatise, Litigating Premises Security Cases, was recently published by Thomson-West.

Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda, a professor of legal studies at Tallahassee Community College, was elected to the Florida House of Representatives from District 9 in Tallahassee, which represents parts of Leon and Jefferson counties.


Jeffrey Brickman has been named a partner at Ballard, Spahr, Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP, where he specializes in state and federal criminal defense. Prior to joining Ballard Spahr, he served as district attorney for DeKalb. County, Ga., and assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, and an assistant district attorney for DeKalb County, Ga., Jeffrey was named a Georgia Super Lawyer from 2006-2008.


Jacqueline Bozzuto, a partner with the law firm of Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, was honored for the eighth time by her client OSI Restaurant Partners (Outback Steakhouse, etc) as “Purveyor of the Year.”


Brian Feldman has joined Allison & Partners in its senior leadership team. The Hon. Joe H. Pickens became the president of St. Johns River Community College in November. Mark. E. Stein, a shareholder with the intellectual property law firm, Lott & Friedland, PA, in Coral Gables, Fla., presented “Security Interests in Intellectual Property” at The Florida Bar UCC Article 9 Seminar on Feb. 12-13, 2009, in Tampa and in Miami, Fla.

Chuck Tobin, partner and chair of the firm’s national media practice team in the Washington office of Holland & Knight, has been designated chair-elect of the American Bar Association’s Forum on Communications Law. Tobin will chair the forum for the 2010-2011 term. He also serves as a senior editor of Litigation, the journal of the ABA Section of Litigation.

J. Kim Wright has launched a new Web site at http://cuttingedgelaw.com. The site touts itself as “A Movement. A Magazine. A Community. A Documentary,” and is focused on “New Lawyers Practicing Collaborative Law, Mediation, Holistic Law, Therapeutic Jurisprudence and Restorative Justice.” In the inaugural issue, Susan Daicoff (JD 83), David Utter (JD 89), and Larry Krieger (JD 78) are featured, along with UF Law faculty member Len Riskin.


Steven Bernstein has been appointed regional managing partner of the Tampa, Fla., office of Fisher & Phillips LLP.

Edwin A. Steinmeyer, a shareholder with Lewis, Longman & Walker, PA, presented “Sovereign Lands, Aquatic Preserves and Outstanding Florida Waters” at the Marine Shoreline Development & Permitting workshop on Dec. 10, 2008. Steinmeyer is also program co-chair.


Steven L. Beiley, a partner with the Coral Gables-based law firm of Adorno & Yoss, a top five law firm in south Florida, has been elected chairman of the newly-established Community Foundation of Pinecrest.

John V. Tucker of Tucker & Ludin, PA, in Clearwater, Fla., presented “ERISA liens – identifying pit falls and recognizing opportunities” at the Florida Justice Association 2009 Collateral Source Seminar in Orlando, Fla. He also presented “ERISA – Employee Benefit issues in severance and termination claims – How to steer clear of the pot holes!” to the Labor and Employment Section of the Jacksonville Bar Association.


Frank M. Petosa has joined Rosenthal, Levy & Simon, PA, in its West Palm Beach, Fla., office. He will head the firm-wide medical malpractice and nursing home neglect department.


Perry W. Doran II has been named a partner at Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP, in the firm’s Columbus, Ohio, office.


Julian “Jay” Fant has been elected board chairman of First Guaranty bank in Jacksonville, Fla. He succeeds his father, Julian “hickory” Fant, who held the position of chairman since 1971.

Gregorio “Greg” Francis, of Morgan & Morgan, PA, has been appointed by Gov. Charlie Christ to the 9th Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission. His term began Jan. 27, 2009 and ends July 1, 2012.

Bill Guthrie joined the national Golf & Resort Industry Team at Foley and Lardner LLP, in the firm’s Orlando, Fla. office. Guthrie joined firm as a partner.

Michael E. Kinney successfully argued Sasson v. Shenhar, an international abduction case, before the Supreme Court of Virginia. In the landmark ruling, the court recognized the fugitive disentitlement doctrine as a fixture of Virginia law.


Scott D. Piper, founding partner of Piper Schultz LLP, has merged his labor and employment law practice with Harris Beach PLLC of New York. He joins Harris Beach as a partner in the Labor and Employment Law Practice Group.


Dan Bachrach joined the national Golf & Resort Industry Team at Foley & Lardner LLP, in the firm’s Orlando, Fla., office. Guthrie joined the firm as a partner.

Joanne M. Prescott was been elected to serve on the executive council of the Workers’ Compensation Section of The Florida Bar.

Stephanie Roberts has become a member of Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice PLLC, in the firm’s Winston- Salem, N.C., office.


Nicole L. Goetz of Naples, Fla., and David L. Manz of Marathon, Fla., recently co-authored an article “A Brave New Frontier: The Equitable Distribution 2008 Legislative Changes,” published in the Florida Bar Journal, December 2008. Goetz is managing shareholder of Asbell, Ho, Klaus, Goetz & Doupe, PA, and co-chair of the Equitable Distribution Committee of the Family Law Section for The Florida Bar.

Jason Lazarus was named partner at Holland & Knight LLP.

Thomas Levy has been named of counsel in the tax department in the Los Angeles, Ca., office of Jeffer Mangels Butler & Marmaro, LLP. Levy’s practice concentrates on the tax aspects of asset acquisitions and dispositions, investment funds, entity formation, business succession planning and estate planning.

Virginia Baker Norton was elected circuit court judge, group 28, for the 4th Judicial Circuit, which includes the north Florida counties of Clay, Duval and Nassau.

Peter Schoemann (LLMT) has been named partner at Broad and Cassel in the firm’s Orlando, Fla., office.


Carter R. Brothers (LLMT) was elected member of Spilman Thomas & Battle PLLC. He practices estate planning and administration, taxation, bond finance, and corporate law in the Roanoke, Va., office.

Kenneth Dante Murena was recently named partner at the law firm of Damian & Valori LLP.

Harvey E. Oyer III, a partner in the West Palm Beach, Fla., office of Shutts & Bowen LLP, has been elected to the board of directors of the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches. He also delivered a lecture on “Trade in Antiquities: U.S. and International Law and Policy,” April 3, 2009, at Vanderbilt University Law School in Nashville, Tenn. It was the second time he has been invited to deliver a lecture at the law school.

David Seifer and his wife, Rachel Klein Seifer, welcomed their third child, Amanda Blair, on Jan. 27, 2009.


Jason Z. Jones was elected partner in the Restructuring & Bankruptcy Group of Jones of Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod LLP. James A. Stepan has been named partner at Feldman Gale.


P. Alexander Gillen has joined the Didier Law Firm, PA, as a partner. The practice, based in Orlando, Fla., represents consumers against manufacturers in a broad range of product liability cases.

William R. Ponall, an associate with Kirkconnell, Lindsey, Snure & Yates, in Winter Park, Fla., was recently board certified in criminal appellate law by The Florida Bar. There are currently only 57 other attorneys in Florida who share this designation.

Craig M. Stephens (LLMT) of Sirote & Permutt, was selected as a “Top Attorney” by Birmingham Magazine.

Making the list

(Note from the editor: The individuals below self-reported their selections to the following lists.)

Chambers USA 2008
Charles S. Modell (JD 77)

Florida Trend Legal Elite/ Up & Coming
Glenn J. Waldman (JD 83)

The Best Lawyers in America 2009
Jacqueline Bozzuto (JD 88)
John M. Brumbaugh (JD 70)
Julia L. Frey (JD 82)
Richard J. Fildes (JD 77)
Alan G. Greer (JD 69)
Charles H. Johnson (JD 74)
Kimberly L. Johnson (JD 81)
Hal Kantor (JD 72)
James L. Leet (LLMT 81)
Michael A. Levey (LLMT 83)
Charles S. Modell (JD 77)
Nicholas A. Pope (JD 76)
Gerald F. Richman (LLB 64)
Gary R. Soles (JD 86)
Norma Stanley (LLMT 91)
John “Jay” White III (JD 83)
Terry C. Young (JD 75)

Florida Super Lawyers 2008
R. Scott Costantino (JD 88)
Glenn J. Waldman (JD 83)

2009 South Florida Legal Guide “Top Lawyers”
John M. Brumbaugh (JD 70)
Melissa Fernandez (JD 03)
Alan G. Greer (JD 69)
Leslie J. Lott (JD 74)
Gerald F. Richman (LLB 64)

Gustavo A. Bravo has been made managing partner of Salomon Bravo, PL, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., firm focusing on personal injury, insurance litigation, small business solutions, and criminal defense. Bravo has also been appointed to The Florida Bar’s Code & Rules of Evidence Committee. His three-year term begins July 1, 2009.

Bridgit M. DePietto has joined Jones Walker as a tax, trusts & estates special counsel in the firm’s New Orleans, La., office.

Matthew B. Lerner was named a partner of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP. He practices in the firm’s Atlanta, Ga., office in the areas of commercial litigation and product liability litigation.

Glennys Ortega Rubin has been named partner at Shutts & Bowen LLP. Rubin is a member of the Labor and Employment Practice Group.

Marc. S. Shuster has been named a shareholder of the Florida business law firm Berger Singerman.

Jennifer Walker, Esq., has rejoined the law firm of Ruden McClosky at its Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., office.


Cathrine Hunter has joined Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, PA.

Jesse H. Little, Esq. (LLMT) has joined Morris Law Group. His practice focuses on estate planning, wealth preservation planning and business planning.


Larry R. Fleurantin of Larry R. Fleurantin & Associates recently published an article entitled, “Immigration Law: Nowhere to Turn — Illegal Aliens Cannot Use the Freedom of Information Act as a Discovery Tool to Fight Unfair Removal Hearings,” in the Cardozo Journal of International and Comparative Law.

Nicole “Nikki” Fried has joined Merino Law Firm as an associate. She will be heading the foreclosure defense litigation department.

Lauren C. Heatwole was elevated to senior associate at Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed by the board of directors.

Marsha A. McCoy has joined the law firm of Gunster Yoakley as an associate in the firm’s Jacksonville, Fla., office.

Jameil C. McWhorter has been named partner at Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed. Beverly Pascoe has rejoined Rogers Towers, PA, and will continue her practice in the firm’s health law department after spending 18 months as general counsel and chief compliance officer of Community Hospice of Northeast Florida.

Sarah Elizabeth Rumpf served as the campaign manager for Lawson L. Lamar’s (JD 72) campaign for re-election as the state attorney for the Florida’s 9th Judicial Circuit, which includes Orange and Osceola counties. Lamar was reelected with 66 percent of the vote.


Justin S. Flippen was elected to the Wilton Manors, Fla., City Commission. Flippen has also served as the city’s vice mayor.

Tiffani Fernandez Miller was elevated to senior associate at Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed by the board of directors.

Jonathan D. Simpson was elevated to senior associate at Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed by the board of directors.

James E. Walson was elevated to senior associate at Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed by the board of directors.


Robin Kathleen Brown-Blake’s daughter, Sophie, 1.5 years, is under treatment for histiocytosis, a rare blood disorder and may need a liver transplant. For more information on Sophie’s condition, visit Sophie’s Web site through the Children’s Organ Transplant Association at http://cotaforsophietemperanceb.com.

Jarrett R. Hoffman recruited into the Executive Compensation and Benefits group at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP.


Kelly Lyon Davis, an attorney in Quarles & Brady’s Litigation group in Naples, Fla., received the Special Recognition Legal Aid Award from the Legal Aid Service of Collier County (LASCC). Kelly received the award for her pro bono efforts with the Collier County Foreclosure Task Force Working Group and for her support of LASCC’s mission to provide free legal services to the county’s low-income population.

Jessica DeBianchi has joined Gunster Yoakley in the firm’s Fort Lauderdale, Fla., office. She is a member of both the Corporate Practice Group and the Technology and Emerging Companies Practice Group.

Justin B. Mazzara has joined Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP as an associate in the Fort Myers, Fla., office. Mazzara has practiced in the area of commercial litigation in Southwest Florida for the past two years and will continue his practice at Hahn Loeser in Litigation.


Carl C. Lammers has joined Greenebaum Doll & McDonald PLLC as an associate in the Estate Planning, Health & Insurance Practice Group in the firm’s Louisville, Ky., office.

Robert K. Tucker II has joined Roetzel & Andress in the firm’s Fort Lauderdale, Fla., office as an associate.