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T h e m a g a z i n e o f f l o r i d a C OA S T AL S C H OOL OF LA W


Myths, Truths and Consequences of Health Care Reform


greetings from Coastal Law

Drafting my latest welcome note for Coastal Law Magazine’s summer 2012 issue, I reflect on what we have recently learned from the 2012 Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE). As those of us in legal academia know, the LSSSE focuses squarely on many promising teaching and learning practices, as well as other law school attributes that are thought to be linked to high levels of student performance.

intracoastal SUMMER 2012 | VOL. 5, NO. 1

More than 140,000 law students so far have completed the survey, making it one of the largest contemporary databases on legal education.

C. Peter Goplerud III, Dean and Professor of Law


This year Coastal Law met or exceeded the national average for all law schools in virtually every category, even outclassing benchmarks measuring student satisfaction with the development of practical legal skills, career development support, student interaction and collaboration with faculty and other students, and the emphasis of ethics and personal values inside and outside of the classroom. I am particularly pleased to learn Coastal Law student satisfaction and engagement ethics has risen 16 percent since 2007. In addition to participating in the LSSSE survey, since 2008 Coastal Law has administered an anonymous survey to members of the Florida Bar, in all circuits and practice areas, to learn which law school attributes are most important to them.

School Introduces Family Newsletter

Our LSSSE results confirm our students model the most desirable attributes. When asked to assess the importance of the various attributes of legal education in 2011, the lawyers surveyed said it was important for law schools to produce graduates who have high ethical standards and engage in professional practices and behaviors that reflect these standards. Ninety-four percent of the approximately 800 attorneys reported this attribute was very important or extremely important. This has remained the case since 2009, regardless of region of practice, employing organization, or size of private law firm. The legal community survey also revealed the second most important attribute: law school graduate students who are prepared to work collaboratively. Once again, Coastal Law surpassed the national benchmark. The school scored well when reviewing responses to questions in the LSSSE that ask to what extent schools encourage contact among students from different economic, social, sexual orientation, and racial or ethnic backgrounds, and measure the quality of relationships with other students, faculty members and with administrative staff and offices. At Coastal Law, we remain ever committed to our focus on student outcome. Learning our students appreciate and respond to this commitment confirms we are on the right track. To us, their satisfaction and engagement are more important than any other ranking out there. Whether you are a former student, a law school contemporary, or a current or prospective student, thank you for your continued support of Coastal Law. I hope you enjoy the latest issue of Coastal Law Magazine.

Issue focus:



News & Events

20  Faculty Spotlight 22  Alumni 30 Special Feature 32 Snapshots 34  Q&A

Infringed Benefits... Myths, Truths and Consequences of Health Care Reform for the Poor and Disabled

Rock Legend Drums up Panel Discussion


By Sara Sullivan Illustrations: Tony Rodriques Tact Designs


C. Peter Goplerud III


Coastal Law Magazine | Summer 2012

Coastal Law Magazine | Summer 2012




Publisher C. Peter Goplerud III, Dean and Professor of Law

BOARD OF ADVISORS F L O R I D A C O A S TA L SCHOOL OF L AW Barbara “Babs” Strickland, Chair The Suddath Companies Audrey McKibbin Moran Senior Vice President of Social Responsibility and Community Advocacy Baptist Health Henry M. Coxe III Director Bedell, Dittmar, DeVault, Pillans & Coxe, P.A. Paul I. Perez Executive Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer Fidelity National Title Group, Inc. Robert M. Rhodes Of Counsel Foley & Lardner LLP Kenneth L. Shropshire David W. Hauck Professor Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania Paul Vance Senior Vice President of Football Operations and General Counsel Jacksonville Jaguars


Editor J. Brooks Terry, Director of Marketing and Communications Managing Editor Margaret Widman Dees, Director of Institutional Advancement Contributors Susanna Barton Lauren Griffith Alan Smodic Design and production BroadBased Communications, Inc. Photography Jim LaBranche Heather Blanton Daniel Cohn


NOVEMBER 15 5:30 - 7 PM The Florida Coastal School of Law Student Atrium

At Coastal Law, we encourage our students to seek the advice of seasoned legal professionals so they can prepare early and get on the right track toward starting successful careers no perspectives to our 1L class, while demonstrating the versatility of the Juris Doctor degree. For information, please contact the Coastal Law Career Services Department at (904) 680-7744 or

MAIN NUMBER 904.680.7700 admissions 904.680.7710 alumni 904.256.1212 Marketing and communications 904.680.7730 registrar 904.680.7631

Need more copies or back issues? Contact the Alumni office at (904) 256-1212 or FCSLALUMNI@FCSL.EDU

institutional Advancement 904.680.7649 Coastal Law Magazine is published by the Florida Coastal School of Law Office of Institutional Advancement. Address correspondence to: 8787 Baypine Rd., Jacksonville, FL 32256 Telephone: 904.256.1212 Fax: 904.256.1104 Email: Web: or


Coastal Law Magazine | Summer 2012

Coastal Law Magazine | Summer 2012



Appellate courtroom renamed in honor of landmark gift

Florida Coastal School of Law’s appellate courtroom has been named The Martha and Irving Sonnenschein Appellate Courtroom following a generous donation from one of the law school’s earliest advocates. Irving Sonnenschein, a 93-year-old attorney living in Manhattan, put seed money toward the school when it was first established and has stayed in touch with its leadership over the years. In memory of his wife, Martha, Sonnenschein made a $250,000 endowed scholarship gift to the school that will generate scholarships for students for years to come. In honor of his gift and his appreciation for the accomplishments of Coastal Law’s nationally ranked Moot Court team, the appellate courtroom will be renamed in his honor and in memory of his wife, Martha. “My wife was interested in Florida Coastal because she thought it was interesting to see how this law school had grown from a thought in the minds of unrelated people to this building with people and professors and students — the school came to mean a lot to her,” Sonnenschein said. “When she died, I thought it would be something she would appreciate — to name the moot courtroom after her and me, that’s why I did it.” Sonnenschein has been practicing law, primarily real estate law, for more than 70 years. He received his degree from Columbia Law School in New York City. Sonnenschein is


Coastal Law Magazine | Summer 2012

a member of the New York State Bar and was a longtime partner in Sonnenschein Sherman & Deutsch LLP. His wife, Martha, passed away two years ago. The Florida Coastal School of Law Foundation’s scholarship committee is in the process of advertising for applicants, and the school hopes to make its first-ever fund distribution to students before summer’s end. The scholarship will be given annually to students who exhibit leadership in legal education through their academics and extracurricular activities — including law review, pro bono service, mock trial and moot court participation. The school’s moot court team, which has consistently maintained a top ranking, this year ahead of schools like Columbia and Duke universities, is an example of what Florida Coastal is doing right to prepare students for success in the legal field, according to Sonnenschein. Many prestigious law schools around the country have historically lacked a focus on gaining practical courtroom experience prior to graduation, Sonnenschein said. “One of the problems with many law school educations — at least when I went to law school 70 years ago — is that you didn’t get much practical experience; you did not get the equivalent of what a doctor gets in an internship,” Sonnenschein said. “The moot court does give you at least some of that —

the moot court experience is an important part of learning to become a lawyer.” Margaret Dees, director of institutional advancement for Florida Coastal, said the courtroom name and scholarship are a gratifying “statement of approval for what we do and how we do it.” “It is an amazing gift for such a young school to get such a generous donation,” Dees said. The fact that Sonnenschein has no Jacksonville connection with the exception of his initial gift speaks well for the school and its accomplishments. “It feels good that somebody thought well enough of what we’re doing here and how we’re doing it that they’re willing to support the school’s future at this level.” Florida Coastal officials hope to host Sonnenschein on campus in the coming year to meet students and faculty. Sonnenschein also is expected to play a lead role in selecting scholarship recipients. “You don’t get gifts like this unless you’re doing something right,” Dees said. “It is even more special that it comes from someone who didn’t go to school here and has decades of experience practicing law, but could see the quality of the work and lawyers we are producing.” Illustration by Karen Kurycki

School introduces new parent, spouse newsletter In an effort to better connect families to their students’ experiences in law school, earlier this year Florida Coastal School of Law launched Coastal CURRENTS — a monthly newsletter exclusively for parents and spouses. According to the latest figures, approximately 225 parents and spouses have signed up to receive information about upcoming events, important deadlines, and other items of interest to law students and their loved ones. “Realizing parents and other family members want to be involved and informed, we knew we needed to create a platform for them to regularly receive the information we can share,” said Brooks Terry, director of marketing and communications for the law school. “Additionally, we understand families often play significant roles in helping students make a number of important choices, including which classes to take, how much money to borrow, and how to spend their summers wisely. We wanted to bring them

in and make them as informed as we possibly can.” Florida Coastal School of Law is not alone in its exploration of ways to include and involve parents in their students’ lives without violating privacy regulations. Higher education conferences around the country have addressed ways to draw more parents and spouses into the fold, as trends have shown families — parents in particular — remain highly influential throughout the student experience. “To ignore that highly engaged audience is unwise,” Terry said. Terry added each newsletter’s open rates — the number of times a subscriber elects to read it — hovers much higher than the industry high of 14.5 percent. Coastal CURRENTS emailed newsletters, he said, have an open rate of more than 50 percent. As the first year of Coastal CURRENTS comes to a close, he said it is in the process

Additionally, we understand families often play significant roles in helping students make a number of important choices.

of being refined even further. By next year, he said families will receive newsletter editions that are tailor-made for their student’s year of study at Florida Coastal School of Law. “This was a pilot year for us,” Terry said, “and as pleased as we are with the results, we want to continuously improve and make the newsletter as targeted and strategic as we can. Each year in law school presents an entirely new set of opportunities and challenges, so we have to be effective, we have to be current — no pun intended.” Parents and spouses can sign up to receive Coastal CURRENTS at andfamilies.

Coastal Law Magazine | Summer 2012


news & events

moot court maintains top national billing

Lt. Governor makes campus visit during Black History Month Florida Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll was on campus in late February to address students during Black History Month. She spoke to an enthusiastic crowd of more than 100 students about ways they can learn from her political and personal experiences — and their connection to the legal profession. Second-year law student Chelsi P. Henry helped organize the visit, which was sponsored by the Republican Legal Society in partnership with the Women’s Law Student Association, Military Law Student Association and the Black Law Student Association.

“She was able to hit on many different topics from being an African-American to being a woman — she talked about her journey from the Navy to politics,” Henry said. Henry added Carroll “shared many personal moments with the Coastal Law community, including lessons she learned along the way and how she sees the importance of attorneys today.” Carroll is Florida’s 18th lieutenant governor and holds special prominence as the first female and first African-American lieutenant governor in the state of Florida. Described as “the American Dream come true,” Carroll was

born in Trinidad and joined the Navy in 1979. Since then she has been a seven-year state legislator, a small business owner and former executive director of the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs. In her current role, she also oversees the state Department of Military Affairs, the state Department of Veterans Affairs, the Governor Designee on the Florida Defense Support Task Force and is chairperson of Space Florida. Black History Month began in early February with a ceremony and closed at the end of the month with another special gathering of students and faculty.

Florida Coastal School of Law is known around the world for its many strengths, but perhaps none so distinctive as its success in Moot Court. For years recognized as one of the strongest and winningest advocacy programs in the country, Coastal Law’s Moot Court program maintained a national first place standing throughout the spring and fall semesters, and reached top-four status at the Moot Court National Championship in February 2012. “Florida Coastal School of Law is one of the strongest — and most diverse — programs in

The Jacksonville legal community recognized Florida Coastal School of Law in early 2012 for its dedication to representing citizens in all income brackets. Jacksonville Area Legal Aid honored the school with the 2011 Robert J. Beckham Equal Justice Award.

Michael Freed, Jacksonville Bar Association president and managing partner for Jacksonville-based Brennan, Manna & Diamond, emceed the event. “The Jacksonville Bar Association is proud of its regular association with Florida Coastal School of Law on the provision of legal services to those who cannot afford it,” Freed said. “Such outreach is critical to the workings of our justice system.” He said Coastal Law “wisely instills this commitment” in its students, who

Coastal Law Magazine | Summer 2012

Each year the Moot Court National Championship invites the top 16 schools in the country to participate. And while law schools at Columbia University, Duke University, George Washington University and the University of Texas create a competitive field, Coastal Law has ranked in the final four of the competition for the past two years. The national championship is one of a number of national competitions in which the school participates throughout the year. Florida Coastal School of Law students, Moody said, command the respect of student peers around the country. “It’s rewarding because our students are treated like royalty — they come in to the competitions with a tremendous

School receives equal justicE award from legal aid

Jacksonville Area Legal Aid presented the award during its annual gathering in January, which highlights local organizations’ and individuals’ pro bono work for the legal aid community. On hand to receive the award were Coastal Law Dean Peter Goplerud, Vice Dean Terri Davlantes and Professors Laura Boeckman, Ericka Curran and Karen Millard, director of the school’s pro bono program.


the country,” said Professor Sander Moody, faculty advisor for the Moot Court Honor Board. “And it starts and ends with our students’ hard work.”

have a well-known reputation for community service work and involvement. Millard said the class of 2012 performed more than 39,000 volunteer hours at graduation — a school record. “That’s a significant jump,” Millard said, “up from the 26,000 hours last year’s class contributed to community service endeavors.” Students worked with many non-profit organizations, including Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, public defenders’ offices across the state, and other groups including the Clara White Mission and the Sulzbacher Center, Millard said. “One thing to keep in mind is that the U.S. Census Bureau reported the number of those living below the poverty level had increased to 46.9 million — that means one person out of seven is living below the poverty rate,” Millard said, adding it is the highest rate the U.S. has seen in two decades. “This work comes at a time when it is desperately needed.”

history of success,” he said. Consistent with the National Championship success, Florida Coastal’s performances at two other national competitions shine additional light on the school’s impressive moot court program. Teams from Coastal Law won the Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition’s Southeast Regional championship title in January, and later outpaced 150 competing teams to claim top honors at Nationals. Last September, the team also won the National Latino Law Students Association Moot Court competition in New Orleans. “Diversity is a core value at the law school,” Moody said. “And the success in these competitions shows that the law school is committed to it.”

One of Florida Coastal School of Law’s fundamental pillars, she said, is service to the underserved. The lessons students are learning about pro bono work and commitment to the community through their experiences will serve them well — and help further the school’s mission. “They’re learning right now what their responsibilities are as attorneys — they’re already putting it into action,” Millard said. “Students at Florida Coastal School of Law already are doing more than what some attorneys are doing in their practice.” Kathy Para, pro bono development coordinator at Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, said the class of 2012 contributed a greatly needed service to the Northeast Florida community. “Florida Coastal is doing its part to develop and instill in our next generation of attorneys how important it is that they share their unique legal skills with people in need,” she said.

Coastal Law Magazine | Summer 2012


news & events


12 Things You Need to Know to Be a Successful Lawyer

t and n e pm o l ve Client de ip building: sh ert relation sts national exp o School h Nationally recognized legal consultant William J. “Bill” Flannery Jr. spoke during an April Lunch and Learn that is being described by many as one of the most well-received programs hosted by the school in years. The presentation was organized by the school’s Career Services Department, the Small Business Administration and the Corporate and Business Law Society. According to Ellen Kiefer Sefton, director of Coastal Law’s Career Services Department, a second-year student respondent who was so moved by the experience suggested Flannery be a graduation speaker. A third-year student, she said, claimed it was the “most practical, relevant and helpful presentation” ever attended. Why the excited response? Let’s just say Flannery spoke on one of the legal profession’s most critical points — getting a job. “He is clearly considered the ‘go-to’ person nationally in the area of relationship and client development in law firms,” said Sefton. Flannery is president of The WJF Institute, based in Austin, Texas. During the past 23 years Flannery’s firm has conducted small group training sessions for more than 16,000 lawyers around the world. Flannery built his career at IBM, where he was instrumental in developing a marketing group that created technology systems for the legal profession, according to his bio. Flannery received his Juris Doctorate in 1973 while working at IBM.


Coastal Law Magazine | Summer 2012

1. Think like a client. 2. Take a marketing and sales course.

3. Understand the business of law.

He is clearly considered the ‘go-to’ person nationally in the area of relationship and client development in law firms.

His Florida Coastal School of Law presentation encouraged students to think about the employer rather than their resume. He said employers hire candidates who understand their practice and its unique challenges. Another tip? He said employers want candidates they like and can trust, and that building rapport is an important key to finding a job. In his presentation, Flannery laid the groundwork for the tough hiring competitions students will soon face. He encouraged students to have a process, beginning with a plan, some face-to-face interviewing, and a follow-up plan. He added there is an emergence of new roles for law schools. In addition to the standards, he said there should be an added focus on counseling students on the reality of the law firm culture, the business of law, clients and client service, leadership, and how to get hired and keep your job. “We were so fortunate to have him on campus,” Sefton said. “He was so gracious, and I feel confident he’ll be back.”

Rock legend drums up panel discussion

4. Take a course on interviewing and being interviewed. 5. Become knowledgeable on technology. 6. Take a course on interpersonal communications and presentations. 7. Video yourself making a presentation and having a faceto-face interview. 8. Select a career direction and be prepared to change. 9. Select an industry and study the economics of the practice. 10. Market yourself by asking what the buyer is looking for. 11. Expect and embrace change. 12. Learn to bring in business no matter what the law firm tells you!

Jacksonville native Bobby Ingram runs in some rockin’ circles. As lead guitarist of legendary southern rock band Molly Hatchet, Ingram counts people like Don Henley and Journey’s Neal Schon as longtime friends. When he tells stories of his music business beginnings, it’s impossible to do so without mentioning the rich context of his experience. Bands like Boston, AC/DC, Cheap Trick, The Eagles and The Who are all connected to Ingram through music production, record labels, fans and the vibe defining music of the 1970s and 1980s. Ingram and Molly Hatchet — and all the musical legends of that time — were part of rock’s evolution. On more than one occasion, Ingram said he had no idea where all the money he was making went. While he acquired all the trademark rights to Molly Hatchet 15 years ago, he still wasn’t 100 percent sure what his rights were as the owner. His experience also includes financial worries — and questions about intellectual property rights.

of musicians from different generations in the music business. All of the panelists were from Jacksonville, which Ingram describes as the Mecca of southern rock. “We were all from different genres but there was a common denominator — we didn’t know much about the contracts we were signing,” Ingram said. “We just trusted our attorneys.”

Now he’s at Florida Coastal School of Law to learn. Ingram came to the law school last year to take a class, and he has made himself right at home. This spring, he participated in, and helped organize, an entertainment law panel discussion dissecting the pitfalls of contract negotiations. Called “Fame & Fortune: A Multi-Platinum View of Music Contracts,” the event was moderated by Professor Carolyn Herman. In addition to Ingram, panelists included Ronnie Winter of Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Paul Phillips from the band Puddle of Mudd and Bobby Amaru from the band Saliva.

His experience also includes financial worries — and questions about intellectual property rights.

“When I came here in the fall of 2011, I immediately saw the school had an entertainment law society — so I worked every event,” Ingram said. When society leaders asked if he would help organize an artist panel, Ingram said he jumped right in and was happy to phone a few friends. “These were some of the musicians in town I knew would be available.”

Another panel event is scheduled for Spring 2013, and Ingram is already looking to pals Henley and Schon for some help on that front. “I’ve had so many amazing experiences during my first year in law school,” Ingram said. “I’m getting the knowledge and perspective I always knew I needed. I’m sold on learning more about the law.”

Ingram said the panel was an interesting mix

Illustration by Karen Kurycki

Coastal Law Magazine | Summer 2012


cover story

Infringed Benefits. . .

Myths, Truths and Consequences of Health Care Reform for the Poor and Disabled. By Sarah Sullivan

When discussing the sweeping federal health care reform of today, we can’t help but hear the political pundits’ constitutional perspective, the political perspective, and even the corporate “health care as a business” perspective. Coverage of the health care

reform debate is on every television news network, Internet blog, and print medium in the galaxy. Set within the context of our current recession, most individuals are worried about their own bottom line and less concerned with contributing to the common good.

Assistant Professor of Professional Skills

Illustrations by Tony Rodrigues Tact Designs


Coastal Law Magazine | Summer 2012

Coastal Law Magazine | Summer 2012



In such a financially perilous time, Congress has enacted the most comprehensive overhaul of health care delivery our nation has witnessed since Congress established Medicare and Medicaid in 1965.1

In contrast, Medicare is a federal health insurance program for individuals age 65 or older and individuals with disabilities receiving Social Security disability income. Medicare’s original purpose was to provide older Americans with health care services.

Ironically, for those of us insured with private employersponsored health care coverage, how we access our health care will not change dramatically.2 However, for those uninsured, under insured and those enrolled in Medicaid and Medicare, the Patient Responsibility and Affordable Care Act of 2010 expands insurance coverage while tackling the intrepid goals of increasing coverage while driving down the exponential growth of health care costs in the United States - two goals that are traditionally thought to be disparate.

Disabled individuals were not added to the program until 1972 and, to-date, disabled individuals have to wait two years after their Social Security disability determination to begin receiving Medicare coverage.11 The only two exceptions are for end-stage renal disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The end-stage renal disease exception was created in 1972 at the same time disabled individuals became entitled to Medicare.12 The ALS exception was created by Congress in 2000.13 All other disabled individuals must wait the 24-month period for Medicare coverage and, unfortunately, four percent die waiting for Medicare coverage.14

Within the morass of individual concern about the costs (both in dollars and in liberty) and amid the 1,000-plus pages of the mammoth legislation lies the health care grail for the poor and disabled. So, why is the Affordable Care Act so good for the poor and disabled? An initial understanding of how the current Medicaid and Medicare systems operate is important to answering this question.

Medicaid Medicaid was established in 1965 within the Social Security Act with the goal of standardizing different state health care programs for the poor and disabled. 3 It is a joint state-federal health insurance program. You can only receive Medicaid if you are financially eligible.4 The federal government sets guidelines for state Medicaid programs (called state plans) and provides a portion of funding for the programs.5 Each state promulgates its own rules on how to administer the program and also pay a portion of funding. States may also choose to expand coverage to other non-mandatory individuals and may also make financial eligibility requirements more generous.6 Medicaid eligibility is determined by an individual’s income and assets.7 Almost 62 million individuals currently receive Medicaid in this country through their state programs.8 Of those, almost half these recipients are children, who comprise the largest pool of Medicaid recipients. The other recipients are adult caretakers of children, adult disabled individuals and low-income elderly adults.9 As Medicaid roles rise, so does the federal government’s financial contribution to state Medicaid programs. Each state has a different ratio of federal-to-state spending, but the federal portion of Medicaid subsidy is anywhere from 50-75 percent of each state’s Medicaid budget.10


Coastal Law Magazine | Summer 2012


is the Affordable Care Act so good for the poor and disabled?

Medicare includes hospital insurance (Part A), doctors visits (Part B), supplemental insurance (Part C) and prescription drug coverage (Part D). Part A is mandatory, and all individuals enroll in Part A without having to pay monthly premiums. Part B is optional and requires payment of a monthly premium. If an individual is on traditional Medicare and receiving Social Security benefits, the $99.90 premium is deducted from the beneficiary’s check before being mailed.15 If a person chooses not to enroll in Part B, a 10 percent penalty is imposed for each 12-month period an individual fails to enroll for Part B, if the individual chooses later to enroll.16 Supplemental insurance (also known as Part C) is not required but may cover some of the everyday health care expenses not covered by Part B, such as vision and dental care. These Part C benefits can be Medigap insurance policies (through the federal government) or Medicare Advantage Plans (privatized managed care of Parts A-D). Supplemental insurance benefits vary widely, and as benefits increase, so do the monthly premiums. Part D was created during President George W. Bush’s tenure and signaled the largest expansion of Medicare since the creation of the program by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965.17 Prescription drug coverage is offered either as individual policies or as benefits of Medicare advantage plans (privatized Medicare).18 Additional premiums apply, and the program is privatized, meaning that it is administered through private health insurance companies rather than the federal government.19

The Uninsured Although all individuals, regardless of income, receive Medicare at age 65, and although Medicaid is available to qualified indigent persons, a huge swath exists of Americans who are either under insured or uninsured.20 The Affordable Care Act’s main goals include reining in health care expenditures generated by under insured and uninsured Americans while expanding health care insurance coverage and access to them.21 Changes to Medicaid and Medicare will provide better coverage to more individuals beyond the current scope of coverage as well as reducing some consumer expenses such as the Part D coverage gap, known as the “donut hole,” and demanding more efficiency for health care delivery.

There are thousands of uninsured individuals suffering from pre-existing or disabling conditions that aren’t covered by Medicaid and Medicare.22 Individuals can wait as long as 36 months for a disability determination from the Social Security Administration without any health insurance coverage,23 and once approved, wait an additional two years if they will receive Medicare as stated above.24 Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies will no longer be able to deny coverage based on a pre-existing condition.25 Therefore, individuals previously “uninsurable” will have options in the private market through health care exchanges, or through Medicaid.26 Each state has already implemented a temporary “high-risk pool” insurance option for chronically ill individuals if they have been uninsured for over six months.27 Non-disabled adults without children were ineligible for Medicaid, even if they were financially eligible prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act.28 As of 2014, anyone with income within 133 percent of the federal poverty level may apply and receive Medicaid, regardless of family status or disability.29 Increasing the financial eligibility standards and allowing “healthy” individuals access to Medicaid health coverage will expand coverage to previously uninsured individuals and will ultimately curb health care costs by providing preventative care and avoiding costly uncovered health care services to chronically ill, uninsured individuals.30

Coastal Law Magazine | Summer 2012


States with ever-shrinking budgets but ever-expanding Medicaid costs balk at the prospect of more individuals receiving eligibility under the Affordable Care Act.31 Anticipating reticence from state governments, the Affordable Care Act increases the ratio of federal dollars paid to state governments to pay for 100 percent of the Medicaid expansion for 10 years.32 The Affordable Care Act puts restrictions on the growth of payments to medical providers and hospitals with the goal of slowing growth of Medicare costs.33 The tighter rein on health care providers results in slower increases in Part B premiums as well as lower copayments and coinsurance for individual beneficiaries.34 By eliminating the Part D “donut hole,” the Affordable Care Act will save beneficiaries thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses.35 This “phase-out” is expected to save Part D beneficiaries from $631.00 in 2011 to almost $2,400.00 in 2026.36

Medicaid Waivers State governments have focused on reforming Medicaid recently to address increasing growth in Medicaid costs. Privatization through health maintenance organizations, establishment of medical homes and fraud/abuse reduction measures serve as innovative vehicles to achieve program cost containment. Each state has a Medicaid state plan that conforms to federal requirements under Section 1905(a) of the Social Security Act. If a state wishes to amend its state plan, it must complete the state plan amendment process through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).37 State Plan Amendments are required when federal law creates new Medicaid requirements such as the Deficit and Reduction Act of 2005. If states wish to offer Medicaid coverage outside of the federal guidelines, they must get permission from the federal government in the form of a waiver. There are several types of waivers, but those that affect Medicaid redesign are generally covered under Section 1115 of the Social Security Act. Called research and demonstration waivers, 1115 waivers can be requested by states that wish to offer an innovative, experimental program.38


Coastal Law Magazine | Summer 2012

The waivers must be budget neutral (meaning that it cannot cost the federal government more than the regular state plan Medicaid). These waivers have a specific timeline, reporting requirements and a research component with goals of curbing costs, expanding coverage to otherwise ineligible beneficiaries or providing tailored Medicaid benefits to a specific population. It gives states the opportunity to try new programs within a definite time period without a long-term state plan commitment.39 Additionally, when the federal government is only required to provide as little as 50 percent in matching funds toward each Medicaid state plan, federal contributions to a 1115 waiver can reach 80 percent of the total cost of the waiver, making it an attractive cost-saving incentive for state Medicaid budgets.40

State Reform Efforts Back in 2005, Florida launched the Medicaid Reform Research and Demonstration Waiver, a pilot program based on Medicaid privatization and consumer choice.41 The original pilot covered four counties. In 2011, Governor Rick Scott signed legislation that would expand Medicaid reform across the state. The program eliminates the traditional fee-for-service Medicaid payment model and, instead, pays private health insurance companies a per-beneficiary fee for managing care called “capitation.” In reform, managed care plans that provide for services on a prepaid, capitated basis agree to accept the capitation payment and assume financial risk for delivering all covered services. A major concern of this approach is that chronically ill Medicaid beneficiaries will be refused necessary services if their medical expenses exceed the capitated rates.42 California cut Medicaid spending by reducing services for in-home supports and increasing beneficiary copayments and premiums in 2010.43 Additional cuts included caps on services as well as reductions to provider rates.44 Innovations to Medicaid delivery include amendment of California’s 1115 Comprehensive Demonstration Waiver as a “bridge to reform,” whereby the state implements federal health care reform measures early with an added benefit of increased federal dollars.45 California’s “bridge to reform” enables federal money to flow to the state to create a smoother transition in 2014 when the Medicaid expansion takes place.46

Improving quality, improving health and reducing Medicaid costs are the three main goals of New York’s Medicaid reform initiatives.47 New York’s 1115 waiver application, which implements a global Medicaid spending cap, was recently approved by the federal government. This cap differs from individual capitated plans. This “cap” refers to the state Medicaid budget. If costs exceed the cap, the Secretary of Health has the discretion to adjust provider reimbursement and incorporate other cost-saving measures to radically reduce spending.48 This “cap” creates an incentive for providers and health management entities to efficiently manage care to meet the Medicaid budget to avoid reimbursement reductions.

In the shadow of Affordable Care Act implementation, many state leaders propose Medicaid block grants to take the regulation of federal Medicaid powers away from the federal government and shift them primarily to states. Despite radical differences in ideologies, most health care reforms focus on better coordination of care, reduction of health care fraud and controlling the rising costs of health care. The Affordable Care Act creates tools to meet those goals while also providing for expansion of coverage to under- or uninsured individuals through reforms of the Medicaid and Medicare programs. Because many of the initiatives of the Affordable Care Act are in various stages of implementation, the overturn of the landmark legislation will create logistical issues forcing Congress to readdress federal health care reform legislation. Without the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the state and federal governments will have to continue partnering to solve the health care crisis affecting so many poor Americans. Entitlement reforms are inevitable as our government stretches to meet the ever-increasing health care needs of the most vulnerable.


42 USC §§1395, 1396 (1965).


45 CFR 147.140 (2011).


42 U.S.C. §1396-1 (1965).




42 U.S.C. §1396a (2012).


States may participate in “optional” programs to individuals designated in 42 U.S.C. 1396d(a).


42 U.S.C. §1396a(a)(10)(i)(2011).


Total Medicaid Enrollment, FY 2009, jsp?ind=198&cat=4 (last update April 19, 2012).




76 FR 74061 (November 30, 2011).


42 U.S.C. 426 (2012).






Bob Williams, Adrianne Dulio, Henry Claypool, Michael J. Perry and Barbara S. Cooper, “Waiting for Medicare: Experiences of Uninsured People with Disabilities in the Two-year Waiting Period for Medicare,” The Commonwealth Fund and Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation (October 2004).


76 Fed. Reg. 67,572 (November 1, 2011). Individuals earning more than $85,000.00 pay a larger premium.


73 Fed. Reg. 36,463 (June 27, 2008).


Supra n. 1.


42 U.S.C. 1395w (2012)


Department of Health and Human Services Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services, “Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C),” part-c.aspx (accessed June 11, 2012).


The Kaiser Commission on the Uninsured, “The Uninsured, a Primer. Key Facts About Individuals With out Health Insurance,” (October 2011).


U.S. Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services, “Reducing Costs, Protecting Consumers: The Affordable Care Act on the One Year Anniversary of the Patient’s Bill of Rights, gov/law/resources/reports/patients-bill-of-rights09232011a.html (September 23, 2011).


Emily Carrier, Tracy Yee, and Rachel L. Garfield, “The Uninsured and Their Health Care Needs: How Have They Changed Since the Recession?” Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured (October 2011).


United States House of Representatives, Serial No. 111-38 (HOUSE Hearing) – “Clearing the Disability Claims Backlogs: The Social Security Administration’s Progress and New Challenges Arising From the Recession.” (November 19, 2009).


Supra n. 11. Ironically, individuals that haven’t “paid into the system” receiving SSI receive Medicaid automatically upon a successful disability determination.


42 U.S.C. 18001 (2010).


Supra n. 20.


45 CFR 152.2 (2011).


Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, “Where Are States Today? Medicaid and CHIP Eligibility Levels for Children and Non-Disabled Adults” (March 2012).


77 Fed. Reg. 17,144 (March 23, 2012 ).


42 CFR Parts 431, 433, 435, and 457 (2012).


27 States filed suits in Federal Court regarding the Medicaid expansion based on a states’ rights argument.


76 Fed. Reg. 51,148 (August 17, 2011).


76 Fed. Reg. 73,026 (November 28, 2011).


United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, “Medicare Beneficiary Savings and the Affordable Care Act” (February 2, 2012).






Department of Health & Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Letter to State Medicaid Directors and State Health Officials. SMD #10-020, SMD/MedicaidSPAReviewProcess10-01-10.pdf (October 1, 2010).


Charles Milligan, “Section 1115 Waivers and Budget Neutrality: Using Medicaid Funds,” The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (May 2001).






Florida Statutes, § 409.91211 (2012).




California Budget Project, “Recent Cuts to Medicaid Services Have Impaired Access to Services,” (June 10, 2011).


Medicaid rates are already the lowest rates paid to providers.


Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, “California’s ‘Bridge to Reform’ Medicaid Demonstration Waiver” (October 2011 update).




New York State Department of Health, “A Plan to Transform the Empire State’s Medicaid Program” (accessed June 11, 2012).



Coastal Law Magazine | Summer 2012



in practice

Law student makes personal interest in infertility a work of ART Jessica Hoffman, a family law student clinician and juris doctor candidate slated to graduate in December, is an active contributor on the national Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) scene. She recently produced a session for the ABA’s Family Law section’s Las Vegas conference, and has been asked to help plan and produce another this fall – her fourth for the section. But despite her work earning national recognition, her fight for the cause began on a much more personal stage. “A dear friend of mine suffered from infertility, and I helped her through the emotional and financial hurdles infertile women face,” Hoffman said. Hoffman’s friend eventually became pregnant, but died when she was four months along because of her body being unable to handle the physical stress of the pregnancy. Not long after her friend’s death, Hoffman faced another lifealtering disappointment — her own fertility issues. Hoffman experienced several failed pregnancies in her attempts to carry a baby to term. After one health scare, Hoffman landed in the hospital. Her doctors told her to “prepare for the worst.” “The first night, my husband and I had a long talk about our 11 years of wonderful experiences,” she said. “By the second night, the discussion turned into what I would do if I made it through the night. I said I wanted to honor my friend Rachel’s memory by using a surrogate to carry our baby.” Hoffman also told her husband she would become a lawyer and help others who faced the same intimidating legal hurdles of ART. “Surprisingly, my vitals started to improve the next day, and several months later I began law school,” Hoffman said. She also found a willing surrogate in her husband’s sister, who carried their


Coastal Law Magazine | Summer 2012

daughter, Lilly, to delivery. Lilly is now a healthy 10-month-old baby. Hoffman wants other women to have the same opportunities to experience childbirth, adoption, infertility treatments or surrogacy, and is working hard to protect them through her study of law at Florida Coastal. “I worry that, someday, the community may have a vote on whether to allow women to use some forms of assisted reproductive technology,” Hoffman said, “and I want those strangers to think of me and my daughter — instead of the OctoMom.” Hoffman began her studies in Professor Quince Hopkins’ Adoption course, and wrote her first paper about ART. Through her research, Hoffman said she realized there were very few ART legal counselors in Jacksonville — but a growing consortium around the country. She investigated attorneys and firms who were players on the national ART scene and discovered a serendipitous upcoming event — a committee of ART attorneys was meeting locally to brainstorm revisions to the ABA ART Model Act.

Elizabeth Shaw can discuss pulmonary rehabilitation with as much fluency as she addresses health law and its current trends. A former coronary care nurse, this charter graduate of Florida Coastal School of Law has successfully blended a career in health care with a passion for health law.

Jessica Hoffman, class of 2012 as well as fertility doctors and medical insurance specialists. “I was sure I’d get kicked out!” Hoffman recalled. “But instead I was welcomed into a committee of people who were passionate about ART and creating the legal structure around it.” Through this experience, Hoffman is now helping reformat the Model Act. She is also an avid volunteer who raises her hand for any task.

I worry that, someday, the community may have a vote on whether to allow women to use some forms of assisted reproductive technology.

“I have worked and shared meals with the people across the globe who are making ART possible. I feel so energized after these meetings and with the mentorship I receive, and I can’t wait until the next conference in the fall. The experience has been an invaluable networking opportunity for my career and a practical supplement to my legal education.”

Hoffman decided to just show up and, upon arrival, realized the meeting was an intimate gathering of just 19 people. Undaunted, she scooted her chair up to the small conference table with confidence, and listened to the attendees — many of them authors of articles she had read in her ART research for Florida Coastal. The gathering included legal professionals,

Professor Hopkins called Hoffman’s story “fascinating.” “Here you have a burgeoning young professional who is on the cutting edge of this new field even before she graduates,” she said. “Most faculty do not have the honor to be asked by the ABA to be so involved in a committee, and almost never are students EVER (from any school) asked to participate in any ABA committee the way she has been.”

Nurse-turned-attorney has pulse on health law

Specifically, Shaw represents physicians and health care providers, home health agencies, health care clinics, diagnostic imaging centers, pharmacies and clinical labs and handles corporate work in transaction and regulatory health law. She also assists clients in analyzing and structuring complex health care transactions to comply with applicable laws, including, but not limited to, Stark, Anti-Kickback, Fee-Splitting and Patient Self-Referral laws. Key transactions include the combination, sale and acquisition of physician practices; formation of physician networks; preparation of employment agreements and responses to Medicare and Medicaid audits. Shaw also is a frequent lecturer and author on various health care topics and is a member of the Health Law Section of The Florida Bar, the Health Law Section of the Jacksonville Bar Association and the American Health Lawyers Association. “As I was preparing for law school, I really wanted to build on my experience,” said Shaw, a former St. Vincent’s nurse and Coastal Law’s first board-certified health law attorney with the local firm Reznicsek, Fraser, White & Shaffer, P.A. Shaw is not alone in her career strategy. A growing number of professionals from fields outside of law have been pursuing a second career in the legal field. Last fall 45 percent of Coastal Law’s incoming class was age 25 years or older. The percentage of students

who came to law school aged 30 or older was 11 percent. Current Florida Coastal School of Law student Bobby Ingram, for example, has enjoyed a long, profitable career in performance music through his band Molly Hatchet. But an interest in the details of contract law drew him to the field, and he is now pursuing a degree (see story on page 11). Whether it’s the music business or health care, knowing an industry inside and out can help second-career attorneys stand apart in their practice. Speaking their clients’ language is another perk. For Shaw, her health care experience has made it easier to communicate. “I think clients are very comfortable with me, especially when dealing with reimbursement issues, informed consent, and discharging a patient from practice — any of those things that tend to happen at a doctor’s office or at the hospital,” said Shaw. “They can use medical terminology and don’t have to explain it to me — it gives them a good comfort level.” After graduation, Shaw worked briefly for a local practice before employing her new skills at Memorial Hospital where she was hired as director of risk management. In that role, she provided legal opinions to the hospital and medical staff and represented the hospital at depositions, mediations and trials, among other responsibilities. Later, Shaw moved into private practice health law. Since 2006 she has been at Reznicsek, Fraser, White & Shaffer.

Elizabeth Sha

w, class of 1 99


“There is an increase in hospitals purchasing physician practices and employing the physicians,” she said. “With the Affordable Care Act, they’re really pushing for these integrated delivery systems where the hope is to decrease cost and increase quality of care. So you see more and more physicians who are selling their practices.”

As I was preparing for law school, I really wanted to build on my experience.

Regardless, there are still plenty of areas for Shaw to apply her experience and health law expertise. She represents individual providers before various boards and helps physicians who are forming multispecialty groups to maintain control of their practice. “When you’re presented with a set of new challenges,” she said. “You just expand your scope.”

But career success and satisfaction aside, Shaw admits this isn’t the easiest of times to be practicing health law. Representing physicians has become increasingly difficult because of the consolidation of health care providers.

Coastal Law Magazine | Summer 2012


faculty spotlight

Hogshead-Makar reflects on 40 years of Title IX In April, Olympic gold medalist and Coastal Law Professor Nancy Hogshead-Makar moderated a panel of industry experts who discussed the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act — more widely known as Title IX. Now in its 40th year, the legislation generated conversation on several related topics, including the commercialization of intercollegiate athletics and athletes’ publicity rights. Panelists included Amy Perko, executive director of the Knight Commission; Kristen Galles, civil rights attorney and plaintiff’s counsel in several key Title IX cases; and Robert Wierenga, antitrust defense counsel for the NCAA. Hogshead-Makar, national advocate for Title IX, said the event drew a crowd of more than 100. “It’s been a bumpy ride over the years,” she said. “The statute itself was passed 40 years ago and then re-passed in 1988. And since that time there have been several cases go to the Supreme Court.” For years, Hoghead-Makar has been heavily involved Title IX legal action and education. She has testified in Congress numerous times, written several scholarly and lay articles, and has been a frequent guest on

Professor Roederer named Fulbright Scholar

national news programs on the topic, including “60 Minutes,” Fox News, CNN, ESPN, NPR and network morning news programming. In 2007 Sports Illustrated magazine listed her as one of the most influential people in the 35-year history of Title IX and, in 2009, she challenged the Florida High School Athletic Association over its cuts to competitive sports and the discrimination against female athletes that resulted.

It’s been a bumpy ride over the years.

The crux of the panel discussion, she said, looked at the more recent Title IX concerns — the “train wreck” of the intercollegiate athletics commercialism and educational athletics. “This is a runaway train,” she said. “All three panelists talked about what was going to be the breaking point.” Many industry analysts thought this tipping point should have been the Penn State sexual abuse scandal that made headlines nearly a year ago. Surprisingly, it did not create any major waves. “You’d think it might have been a breaking point when you have an enterprise that was so concerned about having a squeaky clean reputation that it wouldn’t report boys being sexually abused,” Hogshead-Makar said. “But no fundamental changes have been made.”

Florida Coastal School of Law Professor of Law Christopher J. Roederer is headed to South Africa on a Fulbright Scholarship, bringing his family — including wife and Coastal Law associate professor Ericka Curran and their children — with him on the fall semester program. The title of his Fulbright project is Democracy and Delict Reform; Legal Theory That Fits and Brings Value to South Africa’s Legal Tradition. Roederer will teach Delict, the Roman-Dutch law equivalent of torts, and research and write a book comparing the relationship between law reform in this legal area with the consolidation of democracy in South Africa and the United States. While there, he also will collaborate on a second edition of a book on South African legal theory, Jurisprudence, coedited with Darrel Moellendorf, he said. South Africa is not a foreign territory for Roederer, who taught law in the country for more than five years before coming to Florida Coastal in 2006. Since that time, he has continued to research and write on the relationship between tort reform, constitutional law, and democracy in the U.S. and South Africa. Published articles have appeared in The Drake Law Journal, The Columbia Journal on Human Rights, The West Virginia Law Review, and The South African Journal on Human Rights. He said he wanted to return to South Africa to renew his research and scholarship on South African law and rekindle relationships with South African scholars. “Going back to South Africa will allow me to get up to speed on developments in tort law/delict, constitutional law and democracy there,” Roederer said. “This has given me insight into American tort law, constitutional law and the limits and possibilities for our own democratic system.” Roederer added he would like to renew and expand on his previous collaborative research and scholarship on South African legal theory and on ongoing work on the consolidation of South Africa’s democracy. “This wouldn’t be adequately achieved from an armchair in Jacksonville, Florida,” he said.


Coastal Law Magazine | Summer 2012

Coastal Law Magazine | Summer 2012




class notes

Have you recently started a new job? Moved to a new city? Had an impromptu reunion with another Coastal Law graduate? Let us know so we can spread the word.

E-mail the Alumni Association at

• Scott Kinlaw has been working as the Administrator of a private Christian K-12 academy in Jacksonville, Florida since March 2000.

• Teena Strickland is engaged.

• Debbie K. Winicki writes, “My son Christian Winicki ’06 and his wife Chelsea Winicki ’06 have a baby girl, Kiely. My granddaughter was born October 2011.” • Ann Zonderman is currently working as an investigator at the California Department of Public Health in San Jose, California.


• MaRia Rogers is retired from the U.S. Navy and is a proud plank owner. Her practice in Jacksonville, Florida, MaRia Rogers, PA, focuses mainly on serving the military community – active, veterans and retired as well as their families.


• Charles “Chuck” Keller Jr. was recently promoted to Vice President Customer Service Program Management, CitiBank. Chuck has been with CitiBank for 12 years and is currently the Operations Lead Project Manager for the Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Brokerage Conversion.


• James Dixon is currently working as a team leader for the Navy’s Adversary program providing engineering and logistic support services ensuring safety of flight for F-5F/N and F-16A/B aircraft.

• David “Mac” McKeand was featured in The Wall Street Journal article “Who’s the Ostrich?” on November 28, 2011 about an international case he was working on.


Coastal Law Magazine | Summer 2012


• Tobe Karrh was promoted to Chief Assistant Public Defender of the Middle Judicial Circuit in Georgia.

• Amanda H. Meadows is pleased to announce the formation of Meadows Law Group, P.A., specializing in civil appellate, administrative law, real estate matters, and personal injury. The firm is located in St. Petersburg, Florida. Please forward all inquiries to • Following his tenure as an Assistant State Attorney in Hillsborough County, Kenneth Skinner is now in private practice at Sisco Law in Tampa, Florida.

• Jo-Anne Yau was presented the Woman of Steel award in March at Entrepreneurs Anchor Magazine’s annual Masters of the Industry awards banquet. Jo-Anne was also a finalist for the coveted Entrepreneur of the Year award, presented by the Women Business Owners of North Florida.


• Ravi Sanyal recently opened his own practice in Charleston, South Carolina, The Sanyal Law Firm, LLC.

• Larry Ables was recently reappointed as the Chief Magistrate of Hamilton County Tennessee. This is his fifth appointment in five years.

Congratulations to

Cynthia Scavelli, ’02 Esq., CCEP FIS Corporate Compliance and Ethics Counsel, for being honored as one of the Jacksonville Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 for 2012. Cindy is recognized among a variety of professionals who are succeeding in business and making a contribution to the community around them. These 40 professionals were chosen from 175 nominations. The list of honorees includes lawyers, construction and real estate professionals, entrepreneurs, marketing professionals and a doctor, among others. Scavelli has worked for FIS since 2009. She is responsible for ethics awareness, ethics training, ethics hotline investigations, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), third-party due diligence, global anti-bribery training, compliance of the company’s Document Retention and Management Policy for domestic business and monitoring legislative/regulatory changes for selected business units.


• Pamela Brown recently moved to Orlando, Florida to practice at the law firm of Broad and Cassel. • Clark Wilson and Sindy Dean of Houston, Texas were married in June at the Emory Presbyterian Church with a reception at the Piedmont Room on Piedmont Park.

• Larry Hipsh recently opened his own firm in Shalimar, Florida. • Sean Donovan recently opened his own firm in Lutz, Florida.


• Carey Carmichael is an Assistant Attorney General for Florida. He is assigned to the Revenue Litigation Bureau in the Tallahassee office. He practices in tax litigation, tax fraud, tax evasion, and business and professional regulation. • Douglas Chanco writes, “Jason Scott Smith ’05 and I attended the National College of DUI Defense lawyers annual Summer Session at Harvard Law School last summer and plan on doing the same this year.”

• Amber Austin Channell has resumed teaching paralegal courses at Everest College in Tacoma, Washington and is currently an Associate at Family Law Resolutions. • Miami Alumni Chapter President, Spencer Mallard and Kristy Westwood were married on June 2, 2012 in Miami, Florida.

Coastal Law Magazine | Summer 2012


2009 • Michelle Gomez and Daniel Hinden were married on February 25, 2012. • Ashley McKibbin has been working for Barbri as a staff attorney for the last two years in Tampa, Florida and is recently engaged to Bradley Stein.

Stacy McDuffie-Warley ’06 and Shawn Warley were married on July 12, 2011.


• Brandon Cabot was chosen for inclusion in the 2012 Super Lawyers ‘Rising Star’ section for Atlanta. Brandon is currently working for the firm James A. Rice, Jr., P.C. • Daniel Iracki recently became a partner at Block & Iracki, P.A. in Jacksonville, Florida.

• Jonathan Martin and Melissa Farmer Martin ’06 are married and have a baby girl named Eleni born February 18. He writes, “We hope to send her to FCSL!”

• Preston H. Oughton now employs two Florida Coastal alumni and two Florida Coastal students. The firm, Law Office of Preston H. Oughton, P.A. – Real Estate – Bankruptcy, is proud to introduce S. Michael Nail as our newest law clerk.

• Megan Elizabeth Richards has been practicing in the Tampa Bay area since 2010 and joined Florida Legal Group in May of 2011. She practices PIP insurance litigation, representing doctors, chiropractors, and other medical professionals.


• Neil Dhawan is currently an Associate at Weltman, Weinberg & Reis Co., LPA. Neil will be practicing in the Integrated Real Estate Default Group of the Chicago, Illinois office. • Helen Fitzpatrick is working as an Assistant District Attorney for the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In addition to her duties as a prosecutor, she was appointed by the district attorney as the LGBT Liaison for the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office.

• Christine Parrish Palmer was recently promoted to Managing Attorney at Melville Johnson PC in Atlanta, Georgia.

• William Saltzman writes “I always enjoy working with fellow Florida Coastal alumni as opposing counsel here in the Fifth Circuit; Jarod Gilbert ’07 and Sarah Acree ’04; it’s fun to work with Stephen Teaster ’06 as well.”

• Bjorn Anderson moved in November 2011 from Alexandria, Virginia and accepted a position at McKeon, Meunier, Carlin & Curfman, an IP property law firm in Atlanta, Georgia. • Rachel Beatty has been admitted to the Washington, D.C. Bar.

• Gary Fernandez is working for Davis & Fernandes Sr., PA, in Gainesville, Florida.

• Kelly McCaffrey opened her own small law firm in San Diego, California in February 2011, Huston | McCaffrey, LLP.

• Ben Scheuring recently moved into a new home in Omaha, Nebraska. He and his wife are expecting their first child in July. Melanie Schneider ’08 writes,

thrilled to announce I have started my own “lawI am practice. I’m specializing in criminal defense and

family law. My office is based in Louisville, Kentucky (Jefferson County), but I occasionally represent clients with legal matters in surrounding counties. If you need any assistance with a legal issue in Kentucky, please contact me at I also have local contacts for personal injury, collections, bankruptcy, and wills, and I will be happy to refer you.

In January 2011, Weatherly Hulsey ’08 and her husband John Mark began putting together plans to take a sabbatical from the “(North) American Dream” and decided to move to Latin America to serve with a ministry involved with orphan care and advocacy. They decided to go through an immersion program at first to learn more about the language and the culture. They started working in Bogota, Colombia then moved to Cartagena, Colombia. They were later introduced to a great organization in Cochabamba, Bolivia called International Orphanage Union that builds, staffs and supports private orphanages. The International Orphanage Union is a non-profit organization that houses and feeds the orphaned and abandoned children in Bolivia. To read more about their adventures visit


Coastal Law Magazine | Summer 2012

Tallahassee Alumni Chapter Vice President Jennifer Shoaf Richardson ’09 has joined the appellate boutique firm of Creed & Gowdy, P.A., in Jacksonville, Florida. Richardson comes to the firm after spending three years at Florida’s First District Court of Appeal serving as a law clerk to Judge Peter D. Webster and Judge Simone Marstiller.

Coastal Law Magazine | Summer 2012


favorite coastal memory


• Laurel Harris moved to Jackson, Mississippi and is working for the Law Firm of Porter & Malouf, P.A. • Jeff Jackson recently accepted a job offer from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.

• Patrick Joyce started a job in Jacksonville, Florida as a staff attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in January 2011. Brian Serakas ’08 is currently deployed as an Army Judge Advocate with the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division in Laghman Province, Afghanistan at Forward Operating Base Methar Lam. Brian writes, “I have about nine more months of a year-long tour. I am working on the Rule of Law mission along with Counter Corruption with Task Force Mountain.”

Kristen Goetz Gaffey ’10 and Jim Gaffey were married May 21, 2011 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. She currently lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, and is working at The Charlotte School of Law as a bar passage counselor.

• On April 20, the Colorado Federal District Court entered its order certifying Andrew C. Montoya and other co-counsel as class counsel for a nationwide class action against Hollister stores nationwide. The case involves wheelchair access at Hollister stores that feature elevated porch-like entrances. More information and documents are available at http://ccdcon

• Sean Murrell recently started his own practice, Murrell Law, in the Jacksonville, Florida area. He writes, “Business is really starting to take off. It is a dream come true!”

• William Walker is now working at Edwards & Ragatz, P.A. in Jacksonville, Florida.

• Sarah Spear Sands recently married Benjamin Sands and was also recently promoted to Senior Director, Legislative Affairs, AALU.


• Eric Roffer and Caitlin Mackey Roffer were married on May 28, 2011.

• Tanya M. Williams began working as an associate attorney at Haag, Haag & Friedrich, P.A., in Inverness, Florida in January 2012. Williams writes, “I have travelled to Jacksonville several times to visit with fellow alumna Caroline Kubovy. ” Amanda Kidd Fisher ’11 recently relocated to Pensacola, Florida and is working for McConnaughhay, Duffy, Coonrod, Pope, and Weaver PA doing worker’s compensation defense litigation. Kidd and Sean Fisher ’11 were married on May 27, 2012.

Jamie Wershbale ’09 and Jon Karpman got engaged on New Year’s Eve. The wedding will be in 2013.


Coastal Law Magazine | Summer 2012

Marika C. Sevin ’09 has joined Tritt|Rendzio as an associate attorney. Her practice will focus on construction law and business litigation.

• In memoriam Mrs. Rachel Almond Kirkham, Class of 2008 from Talcott, West Virginia, passed away on Saturday, February 4, 2012. Memorial donations can be made to: Grandview Christian Church or Walk for Her Lifetime, Hinton, West Virginia.

We asked you to tell us about your favorite Coastal Memory. We received almost 100 responses, but here are the highlights! To view more, visit •

The feeling when I booked Trusts & “Estates, and Administrative Law. It

was like, ‘Hey! I absorbed more than I thought!’ - Martha Smith ’05

“ ” • “I registered for my first class in a trailer. Many great memories.”- Robert Kinlaw ’99 • “Hotdog Wednesday!”- Alec Gutierrez ’09 • “Students wearing costumes related to his/her favorite contracts case in Professor Diacoff’s contracts course.” - Arthur Grossman ’09 • Moot Court. All of it - James Brunet ’04

• When Professor Hoener called on a student in class who was checking Facebook, she told him to ask his Facebook friends to brief the next case. - Kay Allen ’11

• During Professor Shorstein’s property class she had us lease our desk. - Eric Friday ’04

• Favorite memories are most certainly the opportunity to talk with so many diverse students from such different backgrounds. It is an experience I would otherwise not have had. - Christopher Jenkins ’10

• Externship at U.S. Attorney’s office. - Joseph Kott ’04

Coastal Law Magazine | Summer 2012


chapter wrap & alumni events

Atlanta Chapter

Tallahassee Chapter

Chapter Leaders Workshop

Coastal Law’s Atlanta alumni chapter performs a community service by partnering with the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation (AVLF) in AVLF’s Saturday Lawyer program.

The Tallahassee alumni chapter competed in a Chili Cook-off on January 25, hosted by the Tallahassee Bar Association and The Legal Aid Foundation. The Tallahassee alumni chapter was a sponsor at the event. The panel of judges tasting the chili included Jorge Labarga, Florida Supreme Court justice, as well as other states’ Supreme Court justices.

Chapter leaders from New York, Washington, D.C., South Carolina, Atlanta, Tampa, Pensacola and Tallahassee traveled back to Jacksonville on October 20 for the Chapter Leaders Summit. While the group was on campus they hosted an Open House in the atrium for students interested in practicing in those areas and met with student leaders during a reception.

AVLF develops and coordinates programs that provide legal representation, education, and advocacy for at-risk, low-income individuals. They do this by tapping into the enthusiasm and commitment of volunteer legal professionals to address the unmet civil legal needs in the Atlanta community. For the Saturday Lawyer program, AVLF pre-screens potential cases. Then, lawyers who have signed up to volunteer on a given Saturday meet with the eligible clients and assist them with consumer debt, landlord-tenant disputes, and unpaid wage claims. Coastal Law’s Atlanta alumni chapter was the first law school to “sponsor” a Saturday Lawyer program by providing a complete roster of volunteers, all of whom were Coastal alums. Clark Wilson, Atlanta alumni chapter vice president was instrumental in developing this partnership with AVLF. In a success story from this pro bono effort, Coastal alum James Clifton of The Clifton Law Firm, successfully appealed a debt-buyer’s baseless suit for over $2,000 against his AVLF client! Through the leadership of Sumeet Shah, Atlanta alumni chapter president, and Clark, the chapter has now sponsored three successful Saturday events and is looking forward to their next Saturday Lawyer program event with AVLF on August 25, 2012.

Washington, D.C. Chapter Alumni Day Alumni in Washington, D.C. gathered to welcome Coastal Law faculty into town at PS7’s on October 13. More than 30 alumni attended to meet and greet faculty members, including Lynn McDowell, Marc McAllister and Cleveland Ferguson.

The Washington, D.C. chapter also hosted a holiday party on December 16 at Uno’s Chicago Grill for alumni and students home for winter break. Each attendee donated a toy to donate to Toys for Tots.

Annual Meeting of the Florida Bar Reception Alumni in Orlando and across Florida gathered at the Annual Alumni Reception during the Florida Bar Convention on July 21 at the Gaylord Palms Resort. Students competing in the Orseck Moot Court competition also attended. Thank you to our alumni sponsors: Platinum Sponsors: Michael Fox Orr ’05 and Leland M. Taylor ’05. Silver Sponsor: Preston H. Oughton ’08. Bronze Sponsors: Rebecca Black ’06, Millie Kanyar ’99, Dave Lazzaroni ’05 and Heather Reynolds ’02.

Read us online! refreshes content with each new issue and includes online extras not found in the print version. Other features of the site include: ability to search and link content, share stories via various social media sites, subscribe to news postings in your RSS reader and interact with each issue. In addition to Coastal Law Magazine’s official site, archived issues are also available at Issuu ( -- a site that displays the magazine issues in a digital format on your screen or mobile device.

Chapter Summer Send-Offs Florida Coastal Alumni Chapters around the country hosted socials this summer, where they met with local incoming 1L’s headed to Coastal Law in the fall, as well as their families and friends.

Alumni from all classes returned to the Coastal Law campus on October 21 for Alumni Day 2011. As part of the festivities, attendees had opportunities to visit with faculty members, tour the recently renovated campus, and earn CLE credit, at sessions including “How To Build A Million Dollar Solo or Small Law Firm In 36 Months Or Less,” led by RJon Robins, Esq. That evening alumni gathered at Epping Forest Yacht Club for cocktails and dinner to celebrate the honored classes of 2001 and 2006.

• July 11: Pensacola Chapter Social at the Atlas Bar. • July 26: Atlanta Chapter Social at Gardner Groff Greenwald & Villanueva, PC. • July 26: NYC Chapter Social at INC Lounge in New York City. • July 28: Washington, D.C. Chapter Social at 14K Restaurant and Lounge. • August 1: Tampa Chapter Social at Brio at International Plaza. • August 4: Charleston Chapter Social at Cork. • August 8: Jacksonville Chapter Social at Aloft in Tapestry Park.

Coming Events Saturday, August 25 from 8:30 a.m.-Noon: Atlanta Chapter Saturday Lawyer Program at Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation Thursday, October 11: Washington, D.C. Chapter Coastal Law Faculty/Alumni reception. Location TBD. Saturday, November 10: Kozyak Minority Mentoring Picnic at Amelia Earhart Park in Miami For a full list of upcoming events visit


Coastal Law Magazine | Summer 2012

Coastal Law Magazine | Summer 2012


special feature

alumni board

Foundation Launches Annual Scholarship Fund The Florida Coastal School of Law Foundation has launched the Annual Scholarship Fund this year with the goal of raising not only funds for student scholarships but also awareness of the work of the Foundation. With the impressive Sonnenschein courtroom gift as its anchor, the Annual Scholarship Fund looks to inspire alumni to give in support of students seeking their dream of becoming a lawyer. Unlike the school, which is proprietary, the Coastal Law Foundation is an independent 501(c)(3) and will be able to focus entirely on benefiting students and attorneys.

“Because of the special corporate nature of the school, we are in a unique position to launch an independent charitable organization to meet the philanthropic goals of the school, its mission, and its people – including alumni,” Board Chair and Jacksonville Regional Chamber President Wally Lee said. While its charitable activities are broader than the Annual Scholarship Fund, alumni contributions will be the cornerstone for the entire foundation. “Alumni support is the bellwether for any growing, maturing institution of higher education,” said Dean and Board Member Peter Goplerud.

The Alumni Board met for its annual meeting on May 18-19 and welcomed new members to the board. Congratulations to Michael Bateh ’99, Sumeet Shah ’08, Butch Tanner ’09 and Lindsay Dosen ’10 on joining the Alumni Board.

“As important as the money raised is the depth of the support alumni give to their alma mater. Each gift, no matter how small, is a type of ‘vote’ that says they believe in the institution and want to see it continue to offer others the opportunity they received,” Goplerud said. In addition to the Annual Scholarship Fund and the Martha Sonnenschein Memorial Scholarship, the Foundation houses scholarship monies from a variety of sources, including the Florida Bar

Rebecca Black Brad Blair Chris Cobb Bill Devereux Tim DeWitt Jim Farah Gordon Fenderson Eric Friday Stephanie Harriett Dave Lazzaroni John Leombruno Spencer Mallard Renee Maxey

With nearly 3,700 alumni nationwide, he added the Foundation has set an initial goal that focuses on participation as much as dollars raised.

“ Foundation, Florida Matrimonial Lawyers Association, as well as several privately funded scholarships. The growing number of scholarships and funding will keep Foundation Scholarship Committee Chair Linsay Warren ’07 and her committee busy. “It’s gratifying to receive the gifts and support but it is even more so to be able to assist students and support programming that benefits them,” she said.


Coastal Law Magazine | Summer 2012

As important as the money raised is the depth of the support alumni give to their alma mater. Each gift, no matter how small, is a type of ‘vote’ that says they believe in the institution and want to see it continue to offer others the opportunity they received.

The board of the Foundation meets quarterly and includes, in addition to Lee, Goplerud and Warren, attorney Jake Schickel, public relations and communications consultant Bruce Barcelo, President of the Non-Profit Center of Northeast Florida Rena Coughlin, and Community Foundation President Nina Waters. Illustration by Karen Kurycki

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t Law Panel

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The Florida Coastal Law Review hosted its annual symposium in March -“#DigitalExpressions: Exploring Free Speech in Cyberspace.”

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Coastal Law Magazine | Summer 2012

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Coastal Law Magazine | Summer 2012


q&a A conversation with L insay W arren , C oastal L aw C lass of 2 0 0 7 B oard M ember, F lorida Coastal S chool of Law Foundation Foundation

Between her full time job as assistant general counsel for the Wounded Warrior Project and serving as a coach for Coastal Law’s perennial top ranked moot court team, Linsay Warren ’07 serves on the Florida Coastal School of Law Foundation board, encouraging alumni to support the Foundation and helping award scholarships to Coastal Law students. We sat down with Linsay to talk to her a little more about the Foundation, her volunteer role on the board, and why she chose to get involved.

What is the Florida Coastal School of Law Foundation? The Florida Coastal School of Law Foundation exists to provide direct support for scholarships to Florida Coastal School of Law students. The Coastal Law Foundation is not a part of Florida Coastal School of Law. Although it works closely with the school, it has an independent board of directors made up of community leaders and supporters of the school.

Why did you get involved with the Coastal Law Foundation Board? I chose to get involved because I have a passion for helping others. One of the goals of the Foundation is to assist those Coastal Law graduates who have chosen to pursue public interest law by providing financial support. Through scholarship programs that help reduce student debt, we help ensure their success after graduation and enable more students to enter into public service positions that are traditionally on a more modest pay scale than the private sector.

What do you say to those alumni that say, “Why should I give to a for-profit school?” Really, they are giving directly to the students through a separate 501(c)(3) organization, not the school. Unlike most schools whose charitable arm is intrinsically tied to the leadership of the school and can get wrapped up in issues of bricks and mortar, paying the light bill and the like, the Coastal Law Foundation is independent and will be able to focus entirely on benefiting students and attorneys. None of the donations go to the school itself. It’s actually a better setup than the typical law school because you can always be assured your money is going to directly benefit students.

What do you miss most about being a Coastal Law student? The connections I made in law school with other students, as well with the faculty and administration are among the most important I’ve ever made. I still make it a point to stay in contact when I can, but I really miss all of the regular interaction I had with them each week.

8787 Baypine Road­­ Jacksonville, Florida 32256

Announcing the 2012-2013 Annual Fund to Support Student Scholarships Jamica


Francine Keesha



Law school tuition represents a great financial and emotional commitment, but by reducing student debt, we can help ensure student success after graduation and into practice. Through our newly launched Annual Scholarship Fund, we will now be able to provide direct support to Florida Coastal School of Law students. Our alumni and friends—leaders in the legal, business, and public arenas—are Coastal Law’s most valuable ambassadors. We ask for your gift and for your thoughtful consideration, we thank you. To make a donation or learn more visit



Florida Coastal School of Law Foundation is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization supporting student scholarships and programming at Florida Coastal School of Law. Your contribution is tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

Coastal Law Magazine, Summer 2012  

Magazine of the Florida Coastal School of Law