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JANUARY 2019

NEW LEADERSHIP NEW ENERGY

President John Webb has BIG plans for membership

THE OFFICIAL AWARD-WINNING PUBLICATION OF THE LEE COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION


CopyLady congratulates outgoing LCBA president Dan Endrizal on a successful 2018 and welcomes John Webb as the new president. We are so excited to see what John and the new executive council will accomplish this year, and we wish them nothing but the very best! We look forward to continuing our support and partnership in 2019.

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President, Cynthia Duff, President

Cynthia Duff


Contents AD DIRECTORY

features 20 New leadership, new energy

President John Webb has big plans for membership

Photos credit: Megan DiPiero Photography

Barbara Pizzolato

23

Brad Jessen, Edward Jones

11

Business Observer

33

Calvo & Calvo Attorneys at Law

35

Camp Fit

38

20

Copy IT

23

DeMine Immigration Law Firm

19

Denise Kennedy

11

Direct Impressions

37

Donna Tisch

31

departments

Edison National Bank

BC

Fort Myers Court Reporting

15

6

Garvin Law Firm

34

Letter from the President by John Webb, Esq.

Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A. 11 Joe Viacava Law

8

Letter from the Executive Director

by Lisa Poulin

10 Calendar of Events 12 Ethically Speaking by Henry Lee Paul, Esq.

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14 Practice Section

18 Advertiser's Spotlight

Joe Viacava Law Firm

24 Legal Lens

LCBA Bench Bar Gala

28 Legal Lens

30 The Dish

Coastal Dayz Brewery

32 LCBA Judges Spotlight

Hon. Gilberto Perez

33 #KindLee Spotlight

Bob Shearman, Esq.

34 LCBA Members Spotlight

Peter Knize, Esq.

38 In The News RES GESTAE

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Kempton P. Logan

33

Law Firm of Scott T. Moorey

16

Law Offices of Dennis L. Webb

23

Leonard P. Reina

37

Leslea Ellis, LLC

27

30

9

McHale, P.A.

35

Men's Rights Law Firm

32

Merit Court Reporting, Inc.

37

Morgan & Morgan

7

Musca Law Office, Inc.

3

Robins/Kaplan, LLP

17

Roetzel & Andress

36

Sexto Productions

29

Sheldon E. Finman, P.A.

13

Spivey Law Firm, P.A.

LCBA Holiday Party

IBC

Kelleher Firm

Livingston Loeffler, P.A.

Continuing Legal Education by T. Rankin Terry, Esq.

16 YLD Spotlight by Nicole Brunswick, Esq.

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29

CopyLady IFC

by Chuck Myron

On the cover: John C. Webb, Esq.

All Native Construction

5

Sproat Workplace Investigations

17

Stockman Mediation

19

The North Law Firm, P.A. Total QuickBooks Solutions Veranda Restaurant

9 27 9

Von Ahn & Associates

13

William DeForest Thompson Jr., LLC

15

Our advertisers support the LCBA. Please do your best to support them in return!


SERIOUS INJURY AND DEATH CASES Auto Accidents Motorcycle Accidents Wrongful Death Slip and Falls Victims of Drunk Drivers

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Letter from the president As I begin my term as the 69th LCBA president, I look forward to many enjoyable events, learning opportunities, and collaboration with current and new friends. Although my term officially commences January 18, planning began several months ago, and we have many great things on the horizon. By the time you read this, we will have celebrated our annual Holiday Party for 2018. The previous week, in conjunction with the Office of Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional Counsel for the Second District Court of Appeal, we hosted the Families, Children, Mental Health, Professionalism and the Courts Educational Seminar. Both events were great successes and I am sure enjoyed by all in attendance. We will continue to seek opportunities for education and interaction between the local business and legal communities. Many exciting events are happening in January, including the first LCBA Social on Thursday, January 10 from 5:307:30 p.m. at Downtown Social House in Fort Myers. For a complete list and details, please visit leebar.org. Planning is not an easy feat with everyone’s busy schedules, and we thank all of our members who logged many hours coordinating and volunteering. Additionally, our committees and practice sections are hard at work planning to provide more opportunities for engagement between LCBA members. One of the first committee events this year is the Lee County High School Mock Trial Competition, to be held on February 1 and 2. I encourage any member wanting to be involved or participate in any way with our committees, practice sections, Lawyer Referral Service, or planning our social events to contact the LCBA office at 239-334-0047. Our association is located in one of the best places in the world to practice law, and our legal community is made up of some of the best people I have had the pleasure to know. The LCBA was formed almost 70 years ago by only a dozen or so members, and it has grown over the years in a concerted effort to address the advancement of the legal profession in our community. The Executive Council is committed to continuing this mission. I look forward to an amazing year, and I welcome the input and suggestions of all of our members. John C. Webb, Esq. john@johnwebblegal.com | 239.313.7362

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LEE COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION ADMINISTRATION

Executive Director ~ Lisa Poulin Lawyer Referral Service Coordinator ~ Kheila Perez

EXECUTIVE COUNCIL

President ~ John Webb, Esq. Vice President ~ Matt Roepstorff, Esq. Secretary ~ Tiffany Pereira, Esq. Treasurer ~ Blake Hampton, Esq. Board Members: Kathy Smith, Esq. • Spencer Cordell, Esq. Peter Knize, Esq. • Michael-Anthony Pica, Esq. President Emeritus ~ Daniel J. Endrizal III, Esq. YLD President ~ Nicole Brunswick, Esq.

COMMITTEE CHAIRS Bench-Bar Gala Danielle Butler, Esq. Diversity and Inclusion Ita Neymotin, Esq. & R. Noelle Branning, Esq. Health & Wellness John Miller, Esq. & Joel Hyatt, Esq. #KindLee Amanda Bartley, Esq. & Kelly L. Fayer, Esq. Law Related Education T. Rankin Terry, Esq. Law Week Hon. John S. Carlin LCBA Foundation Charity Golf Tournament Shannon Puopolo, Esq. & Kenneth A. Jones, Esq. Mock Trial Shaina Zuppke, Esq. & Eunice Gedeon, Esq. Pro Bono Andrew Banyai, Esq. & Blair DeMinico, Esq.

PRACTICE SECTION CHAIRS Alternative Dispute Resolution Anne Dalton, Esq. & Bill Merchant, Esq. Appellate Alex Brockmeyer, Esq. & Matthew Irwin, Esq. Criminal Law Marisa Boysen, Esq. & Leah Harwood, Esq. Elder Law Blake Hampton, Esq. & Amy McGarry, Esq. Family Law Magistrate Gilberto Perez & Kati Calvo, Esq. General Civil & Business Litigation George Knott, Esq. & Carlos Kelly, Esq. Land Use & Governmental Law Erica Woods, Esq. & Sarah Spector, Esq. Real Property, Probate & Trust Law Kenneth Kemp, Esq. & Jennifer Hammond, Esq. Solo & Small Firm Jason Gunter, Esq. & Conor Foley, Esq. Tort Litigation Preston John (PJ) Scheiner, Esq.


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Letter from the executive director The LCBA provides members and business owners valuable sponsorship opportunities throughout the year, and 2019 is no exception. Sponsorships are one of the keys to success for the LCBA and our members. They help cover the high cost of events, enable us to offer even more perks for our members, and provide a valuable marketing and promotional opportunity to grow your business and build real relationships with our professional attorney member base. The LCBA gives sponsors the chance to speak at events, CLEs and socials that they sponsor, as well as distribute promotional items to those in attendance. As we move into 2019, event and annual sponsors will also be added to our website and mentioned in the weekly “News You Can Use” e-blasts that go out to our members and advertisers. We are fortunate to have several businesses and law firms that have already pledged their commitment to support the LCBA in 2019, but more sponsors are necessary for us to continue building a stronger foundation on which we can grow. If your firm or company is interested in more exposure, more recognition, and more face time with the legal community, please contact me right away. I would love to speak with you and learn what your interests are and how we can get you involved with us. In 2019, we will be bringing back our LCBA Socials. Our first New Year social will be Thursday, January 10 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at SoHo, 1406 Hendry St., Fort Myers. This social will be sponsored by Michael Covey Davis with Merrill Lynch. Hope you join us! Also in January will be our Swearing In Ceremony. This will be on Friday, January 18 at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center from Noon-1 p.m. At this luncheon, we will be swearing in our 2019 Executive Council. The cost to attend will be $25 for members, $30 for advertisers, $35 for non-members and free for judges. For more information regarding our events and registration, please visit our website at www.leebar.org/ events/calendar/.

SERVING THE CITIZENS AND LEGAL COMMUNITY OF LEE COUNTY SINCE 1949

239.334.0047 resgestae@leebar.org

Staff

PUBLISHER

Connie Ramos-Williams | 239.690.9840

EDITOR-IN-LAW

Tiffany Pereira, Esq.

MANAGING EDITOR Chuck Myron

CREATIVE DIRECTOR April Bordeaux

ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Linda Fiore | 239.690.9840

FEATURE WRITER Chuck Myron

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS John Webb, Esq. Lisa Poulin Henry Lee Paul, Esq. T. Rankin Terry, Esq. Robert Shearman, Esq. Nicole R. Brunswick, Esq. Tiffany Pereira, Esq. Magistrate Gilberto Perez Peter Knize, Esq.

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER Jim Jett Photography

BILLING INQUIRIES 239.334.0047

Res Gestae is an award-winning magazine published monthly by CONRIC Publishing in partnership with the Lee County Bar Association. All editorial, advertising and photos may be submitted for consideration through email to resgestae@leebar.org. We make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information published, but we cannot be held responsible for any consequences arising from omissions or errors. Opinions expressed by our writers and advertisers are not necessarily opinions shared by the LCBA, Res Gestae or CONRIC Publishing. Copyright© 2019 Lee County Bar Association Inc. All Rights Reserved. No portion of the publication may be reproduced in part or in whole without prior written permission of the Lee County Bar Association. To inquire about such permission, please contact the Lee County Bar Association at info@leebar.org.

With all these exciting events in store, I am looking forward to another great year. ⚖ Lisa Poulin, Executive Director LPoulin@leebar.org | 239.334.0047

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calendar of events Dates of some practice section meetings have not been confirmed. Check leebar.org for details!

JANUARY

$25 for all other LCBA members, $30 for non-member advertisers and $35 for everyone else.

21 Best Wishes for a Happy New Year 23 4 26 10 1 17 1

NEW YEAR’S DAY

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day

LCBA and courts closed

LCBA office and courts closed

Alternative Dispute Resolution Practice Section Meeting

Young Lawyers Division Monthly Lunch Meeting

Noon-1 p.m., Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP, 2400 First St., Suite 300, Fort Myers. All attorneys under age 35 or in their first five years of practice are invited to attend.

Noon-1 p.m., Hearing Room 4O, Lee County Justice Center, 1700 Monroe St., Fort Myers. The Hon. Judge Alane Laboda will appear.

LCBA Bowling

Time TBA, HeadPinz Entertainment Center, 14513 Global Parkway, Fort Myers.

LCBA Social

5:30-7:30 p.m., Downtown Social House, 1406 Hendry St., Fort Myers. Event sponsored by Merrill Lynch financial consultant Michael Covey Davis. There is no cost to attend.

Family Law Practice Section Brown Bag Lunch Meeting

11:45 a.m.-1 p.m., Lee County Justice Center, Courtroom 5C, 1700 Monroe St., Fort Myers.

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LCBA Annual Membership Meeting

Noon-1 p.m., Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center, 2301 First Street, Fort Myers. New LCBA officers will be sworn in. Lunch will be provided. The cost is free for judges and magistrates,

FEBRUARY

Young Lawyers Division Monthly Lunch Meeting

Noon-1 p.m., Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP, 2400 First St., Suite 300, Fort Myers. All attorneys under age 35 or in their first five years of practice are invited to attend.

1-2

Lee County High School Mock Trial Competition

All day, Lee County Justice Center, Courtrooms TBA, 1700 Monroe St. Fort Myers.

Visit us online at leebar.org to see more calendar items. You can conveniently RSVP for upcoming events. Would you like to submit an event? Email your event submission to resgestae@leebar.org

Thank You to our Annual Sponsors for 2018

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Ethically speaking BY HENRY LEE PAUL, ESQ.

Decision lets judges, attorneys be Facebook friends — with caution

T

he Florida Supreme Court ruled that Facebook “friendship” between a judge and an attorney appearing before a judge does not, in itself, constitute a legally sufficient basis to require recusal of the judge.

A deeply divided court issued the opinion in Law offices of Herssein and Herssein, P.A. v. United Services Automobile Association, SC17-848 (Fla. 11/15/2018). Justice Charles T. Canady wrote the majority opinion with concurrence from Justices Ricky Polston, Alan Lawson and Jorge LaBarga. Justice LaBarga authored an opinion in concurrence with the majority opinion. Justice Barbara J. Pariente authored the dissenting opinion that was joined in by Justices R. Fred Lewis and Peggy A. Quince. The court resolved a conflict between the Third District Court of Appeal and the Fourth District Court of Appeal. However, even Justice LaBarga, in quoting the dissenting opinion, warned that “participation in Facebook by members of the Judiciary ‘is fraught with risk that could undermine confidence in the judge’s ability to be a neutral arbiter.’” The majority analysis considered that a Facebook friendship does not in itself reveal the nature of an actual friendship and that a Facebook friend may be a complete stranger. The court also cited a line of cases stating that mere casual friendship alone is not a legally sufficient basis of recusal. The court gave examples of association by membership in the same church or religious congregation, fraternity, former classmates or neighbors that did not, in themselves, create a basis for recusal as a matter of law. The opinion noted that its position was consistent with the position taken in a majority of other states. The dissent quoted Florida Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee ethics opinions that previously advised that a judge was prohibited from being a Facebook friend with

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an attorney who appeared in front of the judge because it created the appearance of impropriety. The dissent further referenced authorities in the minority of other states that have taken positions consistent with the dissent. Justice Pariente noted that deeper inquiry into circumstances related to a social media contact might reveal to what personal information a judge would be privy and who the judge declined to friend. Such information might provide evidence of an appearance of impropriety. Together, the opinions provide an outstanding analysis of the issues. They also leave much room for further uncertainty regarding the issue of social media and judicial recusal. For example, a party might explore issues raised by the dissent and inquire whether social media posts provide evidence of a more intimate and disqualifying relationship. Such proof might still be considered in support of recusal. Other social media platforms were not specifically addressed. All the opinions provide valuable guidance in the exploration of bias in relation to other social media communications such as contacts between a litigant or witness and a judge. Regardless of how future litigation involving judicial participation in social media is resolved, practitioners should heed the warning expressed in all the opinions that mutual participation in social media by a judge and lawyer who appears in front of the judge creates risk of the appearance of impropriety. ⚖

Henry Lee Paul is a former Bar Counsel for the Florida Bar who now represents lawyers in all matters before The Florida Bar and offers risk management services on all legal practice matters. He also represents applicants in all matters before The Florida Board of Bar Examiners.


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January 2019 âš– RES GESTAE

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continuing legal education BY T. RANKIN TERRY JR., ESQ.

Continuous evolution taking place in CLE lending library

F

or years, the LCBA has provided a CLE lending library as a benefit to members. The library has undergone myriad changes over the years to reflect CLE rule changes and the wants and needs of members. Those changes continue today. The association website, leebar.org, shows the “current” holdings. “Current” means, with respect to Florida Bar accredited materials, 18 months after the last presentation of the program. Several years ago, The Florida Bar eliminated the “live hour requirement,” a rule that mandated a certain number of CLE hours an attorney submitted had to include attendance at live presentations, and extended the reporting period from one year to three years. However, carryover is no longer allowed. That means if you have more than the required number of hours when your three-year cycle ends, you may not carry over the excess to the next three-year cycle. The net of all of this is that getting CLE credits has been made easier, but the three-year cycle often catches up with people. For the past few years, we have only purchased CLE discs from The Florida Bar. Other providers will gladly sell us the discs but then complain about our free distribution to members. Rather than deal with intellectual property issues, we confine our purchases to The Florida Bar. However, if anyone knows of another seller of Florida Bar accredited discs, we will consider them. Cost is often a factor with other vendors since the accreditation runs out after 18 months. For example, the annual Civil Trial Certification Course costs in the $500 range, but that is for a two-day course. We try to buy the certification exam review courses if we can. The reason is that many subjects are covered by the courses. You can borrow the discs and only listen to the subjects you are interested in. Many people ask for more criminal and family law courses.

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Unfortunately, the Criminal Law Section and the Family Law Section do not present their certification exam review programs through The Florida Bar and discs are not made available. For many years we have purchased the Florida Bar’s “Masters of DUI” seminar, but are going to drop it for lack of use. The current version’s accreditation runs until October 27, 2019. Unless there has been a major change in the law, we generally buy the certification exam programs every two years. They have an approximately 16-month life (18 months less production and mail time). There are exceptions, and the Civil Trial program is one. Due to the recent tax law changes, we may purchase the 2019 Wills, Trusts, & Estates Certification course. Please review the CLE CD disc offerings on The Florida Bar website and do not be afraid to suggest the purchase of other courses. We are not allowed to purchase and replay the webinars and other non-plastic media programs – we have tried! We do not buy DVDs as they are more expensive and we assume that most CLE programs are listened to in the car or when the eyes are doing something else. CME requirements for mediator recertification are different. The certification time is only two years, and there is a “live hour” requirement that only allows six CD or DVD hours, but the discs never expire. Our current plan is to purchase the discs every two years. If you have any thoughts or comments on our CLE lending library program, drop me an email. I am also a member of the Florida Bar CLE Committee and will field discussions of the broader CLE issues. ⚖ T. Rankin Terry, Jr. is the chair of the Lee County Bar Association’s CLE Committee and a member of The Florida Bar CLE Committee. He can be reached at 239-332-4533 and trterry@gmail.com.


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January 2019 ⚖ RES GESTAE

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YLD spotlight

YLD continues focus on member engagement, service to children

A

s this year’s president of the Young Lawyers Division of the Lee County Bar Association, known to many as the Lee YLD, I am thrilled to continue with the Lee YLD’s history and mission of giving back to the community through philanthropic projects dedicated to helping children. This past year, under the leadership of 2018 Lee YLD President Joel Hyatt, we furthered this mission by working with the Children’s Network of Southwest Florida for our annual “Holidays in July” event and with the Early Learning Coalition of Southwest Florida’s Literacy Buddy Program. Both partnerships were a huge success with increased participation from both the Lee YLD and our legal community. Our partnership with the Literacy Buddy Program allowed us to provide over 100 highquality books to children in the community. Thank you, Joel, for all of your hard work and another great year for the Lee YLD. On December 18, the Lee YLD celebrated the close of another successful year at its Holiday Happy Hour at Downtown Social House. This was a festive evening and served as a great opportunity for young lawyers to get together, network and catch up before the bustle of the upcoming holidays. I am excited to continue this momentum in the new year with the help of my fellow Lee YLD Executive

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Board members. We have incorporated the new position of Law Student Liaison, filled this year by Kati Cook, to allow local law students the opportunity to serve on the board as long as they are LCBA members in good standing. By adding this position, we hope to garner more participation and involvement from those who will become practicing attorneys in the community. Currently, we are shifting our focus to this month’s 2019 Florida Bar YLD Affiliate Outreach Conference, where we will present a new service project with Child Care of Southwest Florida in an effort to receive grant funding. We have already obtained grant funding from the Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division, which allows us to host two significant events: Holidays in July, which provides presents, food and activities for local foster children; and our third annual “Day at the Courthouse,” where we provide an opportunity for new lawyers and local law students to tour the courthouse and become familiar with the practice of law in Lee County. This year we will continue to engage members through monthly lunch meetings with guest speakers, as well as happy hour/networking socials for those young lawyers who have trouble slipping away from the office for our lunch meetings. We are looking forward to another great year for the Lee YLD. To stay informed about future events or get involved, follow us on Facebook and contact Secretary Eunice Gedeon at Eunice. Gedeon@leecountylegalaid.org to be added to our email list. ⚖ Nicole R. Brunswick is an associate at the Simmons Law Firm, P.A. Nicole focuses her practice in family law. Nicole grew up in Fort Myers and later went on to earn her Juris Doctor from Stetson University College of Law. In addition to serving as President of the LCBA YLD, Nicole serves as a Board Member on the Association of Family Law Professionals Board of Directors and the Lee County Legal Aid Society Board of Directors.


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#KindLee Turkey Drive

Thank you

For Thanksgiving, #KindLee was able to help and feed 165 families! We collected 68 turkeys and $1,870 in donations in just 3 days. Our LCBA attorneys, firms and business friends are nothing short of amazing! This drive was motivated by our late esteemed colleague, Miguel C. Fernandez III, who I am sure is proud of what we accomplished. — Karla Y. Campos-Andersen, Esq. Donors: Amanda Bartley • Karla Y. Campos-Andersen Anne Dalton • Frank Depena • Nanci Dubois Kelly L. Fayer • Denise Fernandez Noelle Melanson • Tiffany Pereira • Connie Ramos-Williams Carolyn Roebuck • Stacy Sherman • Kristianna Soto Hal Stevens • Hon. Carolyn Swift Steve Taminosian • Shaina Zuppke All Injuries Law Firm • Barraco and Associates Inc. CopyLady Inc. • Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice and Purtz Eric and Karen Chase • Brian and Brittany Fox Matt and Tara Paluilis • Michael and Michelle Pefito Sean Rowland

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January 2019 ⚖ RES GESTAE

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Advertiser's spotlight JOE VIACAVA, ESQ.

Fighting spirit fuels Joe Viacava's relentless pursuit of justice

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assion. It burns in the soul of Joe Viacava, and it never stops.

“I’m a true believer,” he said. “My law license is my breath. It’s everything.” The hard-charging force of his character is evident in his voice as he talks. Where most people pause or trail off, he delivers only more breathy excitement. It’s befitting a man who had a quintessentially New York upbringing in Massapequa on Long Island, but it’s much more than geography that shaped the longtime Fort Myers attorney who now runs his own practice, dubbed simply the Joe Viacava Law Firm. Viacava concentrates on personal injury and criminal defense law and goes to trial in state and federal courts. He dives headfirst into each case with a mission to give strength to those unjustly placed in positions of weakness. “I am not the biggest fan of authority,” Viacava said. “I never understood why one group of people had power over another.” He fights a public perception of criminal defendants that he believes is much too prejudicial, even within the legal profession. To him, “innocent until proven guilty” is forgotten far too often. “It’s almost as if their lives are completely irrelevant,” Viacava said. “They call them ‘these people.’ That’s always offended me.” He calls what he does giving “wings to those who have none,” and it’s a line that makes perfect sense when he reveals the reason he went to law school: animal rights. “It’s probably my No. 1 calling in life,” Viacava said. There was never enough of a market for him to become a full-time animal rights attorney, but he still feels just as ardently about it as he did growing up. “To me, the dog was the same thing as my parents, my brother,” he said. “I’d look at my dog and say, these animals are even more sophisticated than we are. If you throw me out in the woods, I wouldn’t know how to survive.” These days, he has four dogs and a fish, but over the years he’s had just about every pet imaginable — even an iguana that was potty-trained.

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Viacava is indeed one of a kind. He plays the drums and draws inspiration from such hard-rock legends as Ozzy Osbourne, but it’s clear fun and games don’t play much of a role in his life. For Viacava, it’s family and work and little else. “You cannot do this job well on a 40-hour work week,” he said. “You’ve got people’s lives in your hands.” He credits his wife, Yolande, for helping him balance the demands of being an attorney and a father to two children, now age 14 and 13. It’s tough to hit all the right notes, but, drummer as he is, Viacava always manages to keep the beat. That includes his consistent support of the LCBA, an organization dear to his heart. “The bar has a been a family member,” he said. “It’s given me everything.” ⚖


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PRESIDENTIAL PRIORITIES: John Webb lays out his vision for 2019

By Chuck Myron

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ember engagement, public service and education are cornerstones on which the LCBA was built. For 2019 President John Webb, they’re key components of his leadership plan. He’s working to forge new connections and fortify existing ones that will help the bar continue to grow and maximize its potential to uplift members and the community as a whole. We asked him to share his goals and thoughts about the year ahead. You’re the first president who came onto the Executive Council under the revised LCBA bylaws that provide a more direct path to the presidency, and you’re also younger than most of the previous bar presidents were during their terms. So, you’re bringing a relatively fresh perspective to the role. How will that perspective help you better serve the bar? The previous path to the presidency was, perhaps, more of a direct path, as officers succeeded up the ranks from secretary, to treasurer, to vice president/president-elect, to president. During my term on the Executive Council, I held both the secretary and treasurer offices, and was then elected as vice president/president-elect; so, I suppose that my path was somewhat similar to the previous path. Nevertheless, I am certainly honored to serve as president of the LCBA and am extremely excited for my coming role. I am not sure what I bring to the table solely by virtue of being “younger,” but what I do bring is a passion for leading this organization successfully into the future and energizing our membership to take advantage of the many benefits our association has to offer – through involvement in one (or more) of our committees and practice sections, participation in our Lawyer Referral Service, or by earning CLE credit through one of the videos provided in our CLE library, amongst other benefits. Much of my focus will be to accomplish these objectives, as well as to continue to provide and find opportunities for our members to serve the public. What are your goals for the bar in 2019, and what is your

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plan to accomplish them? One of the goals that I feel is critical to our organization (and goes hand-in-hand with it) is member engagement and growth, as well as ensuring our members get the most out of their membership. Some of the existing committees in which our members are able to participate include Pro Bono, Law Week, Diversity, Membership, Mock Trial, LawRelated Education and Constitution Week. Also, we are establishing a new committee – the Health and Wellness Committee, which has been an important initiative of The Florida Bar in recent years. In addition to committees, our individual practice sections provide an opportunity for members to collaborate with other attorneys practicing in similar practice areas and to hear practical considerations from members of the judiciary. They also furnish members with a chance to earn much-coveted CLE credits and garner instruction on various topics within a specific practice area. I learned something new from each practice section meeting I attended. A list of practice sections can be found on leebar.org. That’s also where to go for information about the Lawyer Referral Service, which refers members of the public to attorney participants who may be able to assist with specific legal issues. These goals are just the beginning, and I would encourage any LCBA member who would like to be involved to contact the bar office. What do you see as the most pressing issue facing members of the legal community in Lee County today? It depends on the practice area. Each has a unique set of issues, some of which may not be common in others. However, two things I believe are issues for most attorneys are the technological advancements that affect our practices and the role social media has (and will continue to have) in society. How should the bar address those issues? As for issues pertinent to technological advancements,


January 2019 âš– RES GESTAe

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the answer, which seems grossly basic but I deem to be very true, is education about utilizing the advancing technology. While potentially beneficial, technology can cause extreme headaches for those who do not understand how to properly use it. As for social media, a seemingly ever-increasing amount of misinformation is disseminated, which can cause great confusion to our clients and lead those who are without counsel down undesirable paths. Also, while social media has the potential to be a great advertising tool, it must be used responsibly and, importantly, in a manner that comports with the ethical standards of our profession. Once again, education within our community is vital. When did you know you wanted to become an attorney? It was not until my third year of college. I took a business law course that was required for my major and found it fascinating, so I applied for law school, and the rest is history. It was a great decision, as it has been an incredible journey thus far. What motivates you to continue in your work? What’s the “why” behind what you do? Every day is unique, and rarely does any given day go precisely as anticipated. Each day, I have the opportunity to interact with people from different backgrounds and experiences who seek my assistance rectifying some aspect of their life they deem important enough for an attorney’s counsel. Interestingly, Jerry Springer (yes, that Jerry Springer), who was the commencement speaker at my Northwestern Law graduation, made a point during his address I often consider. He spoke on human interaction and the importance of appreciating the circumstances and experiences a person may go through in life, which ultimately leads them to me. I do not always know who is going to appear before me seeking assistance, or what they have been through or experienced. Some situations may be far more tenable than others, but having the ability to assist a person with an issue in a way that will hopefully translate into a more positive life experience for that person is what motivates me.

from a professionalism standpoint, as well as from a practice standpoint by virtue of mentorship or discussion of issues pertinent to your practice. From a broader standpoint, serving the community by taking on a pro bono case or participating in events such as Law in the Mall, where the public has an opportunity to speak with an attorney for a few minutes regarding an issue, is much more important than most of us in the law profession tend to realize. While this is, indeed, our profession and the assistance which we may provide someone, even for a brief moment, may seem uncomplicated or miniscule to us, the terminology, rules and procedure are oftentimes Greek to others not so trained in the law. Even the slightest amount of assistance could mean the world to the person to whom it is provided. In addition to these important efforts, the Lee County Bar Association Foundation Inc., which was established in 2016 during Scott Atwood’s presidency, is an IRC § 501(c)(3) exempt organization that provides for the establishment of scholarships, encourages and promotes education and community awareness of the law, promotes the provision of legal aid to the indigent, and supports and participates in charitable endeavors benefiting youth and/or underprivileged populations in Southwest Florida. Similarly, the grassroots #KindLee initiative, which was established by Past President Kelly L. Fayer, engages in efforts to encourage and celebrate acts of kindness that show the prevalence of everyday good throughout Southwest Florida. Needless to say, there are many ways to get involved, and I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to be involved. Looking at all the members of the Executive Council this year (see page 6), what do you feel is, collectively, this council’s greatest strength?

You’ve been heavily involved in the bar and the foundation for the past few years. Why do you feel it’s important to serve?

The greatest strength is in the diverse talents possessed by each member, and the positive enthusiasm I sense from them going into this year. I look forward to seeing how we, as Executive Council, can channel the strengths possessed by each in a manner that best serves the LCBA and our membership. As with anything else, talent only takes you so far, but I anticipate this group will provide great passion and effort that positively impacts the bar and leaves a lasting legacy for years to come.

Why not serve? Yes, it is a slight time commitment, but it’s definitely manageable, and you are able to build relationships with others in the legal community on a personal level. Also, collaboration between those in the legal community, in my view, produces a more effective practice of law as a whole

Primarily, I like to travel, eat good food, and exercise. I also play what some people may consider to be an unhealthy amount of softball. ⚖

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What do you like to do in your (we assume very limited) free time?


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legal lens

LCBA Bench Bar Gala LCBA members turned out in splendid finery for the annual Bench Bar Gala at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center. Guests enjoyed hors d'oeuvres, dancing and dinner and heard heartfelt speeches that preceded a $2,000 donation to the Southwest Florida Military Museum & Library.âš–

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8 1. Tiffany Pereira, Travis Russell 2. Shirlarian Williams, Starnoff Moise 3. Susan Shearman, Vanessa and Richard Akin, Bob Shearman 4. Hon. Mary Evans 5. Bill and Marrikka Stockman 6. Bruce and Cheryl Scheiner 7. Andrea and Christopher Smith 8. Madison Allen, Bruce Tanner 9. Denise Fernandez, Karla Campos-Anderson 10. Randy and Ginny Henderson, City Manager Saeed and Farzanah Kazemi

9 Photo credit: Jim Jett Photography

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LEGAL LENS

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11. Leland Garvin, Heidi Plaumann 12. Austin Turner, Ari Turner, David Fineman, Kara Murphy, John Webb 13. Scott Atwood, Beverly Grady, Dan Endrizal 14. Chuck Myron, Linda Fiore, Rick Williams, Connie Ramos-Williams, April Bordeaux 15. Dawn Maseli, Lisa Poulin, Kheila Perez 16. Doug Meurer, Gail Markham 17. Leo Kremenchuker, Ita Neymotin 18. Michael Raheb, Chené Thompson 19. Kate and Blake Hampton

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Special Feature BY CHUCK MYRON

LCBA INSPIRES FUTURE ATTORNEYS THROUGH MOCK TRIAL Volunteers, sponsors needed for annual Lee County competition

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ozens of students will once again be in and out of the courtrooms at the Lee County Justice Center for the annual Lee County High School Mock Trial Competition, set for Feb. 1 and 2 this year. And behind them will be nearly as many LCBA volunteers. Most of them serve as scorers for the competition, which pits teams from several high schools across the county in a match of legal skills. Others act as presiding judges for the fictional case the students try, and two more bar members act as facilitators, setting up courtroom security, bailiffs and administrative staff, liaising with the schools and the school district, and coordinating the rest of the volunteers. LCBA Mock Trial Committee Co-Chair Shaina Zuppke, this year’s primary facilitator, estimates she’ll spend a total of about 30 hours on this year’s competition, though that seems like a conservative figure. But she’s assisted by fellow Co-Chair Eunice Gedeon, and they’ll likely have plenty of other help. Zuppke’s goal is to recruit 64 fellow bar members as volunteers, up from 49 last year. Most will sit in for brief shifts during the two-day competition, and Zuppke’s pitch to them is simple. Zuppke’s pitch to them is simple. “It’s as little as two hours of your time one day a year, and you will get to see some amazing young adults,” Zuppke said. The students dedicate several hours each week to prepare. At Ida Baker High School, which won last year’s competition, team members practice three days a week from 1:30 p.m. until 4 or 5 p.m., said Dr. Patrick Hanrahan, their coach. “This is not an easy task,” Hanrahan said. “You’re doing adultworld work.” Students began preparing in earnest in October, when the Florida Law Related Education Association, which runs the competition on a statewide level, released the case materials for this year. It’s the same case for every team, and students have to demonstrate they know it inside and out by trying it both from the side of the prosecution and the defense. Competitors are even called to the witness stand to see if they can give credible testimony. The cases are fictional, but they tackle serious matters that put the students to a rigorous test. “It really allows students to apply critical thinking, analysis, oratory and teamwork skills,”

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said Matthew Kaye, who coordinates the competition for the School District of Lee County. Kaye points to a key role the bar plays: providing schools with attorneys who volunteer to coach. Every team has a teacher who serves as a coach, but not everyone has an attorney working with them. Coaching is more of a commitment than other mock trial tasks are for LCBA volunteers, but it provides students with a critical advantage. “They really do need to have a solid understanding of courtroom procedures and etiquette,” Kaye said. “That’s the real value of having an attorney-coach.” Plenty is on the line during competition, including awards for best attorney and witness on both the defense and plaintiff sides, as well as best opening and closing arguments. The best closing argument award is named after the late Miguel Fernandez, who was a longtime financial backer of mock trial before he passed away this year. “He was very actively involved,” said Zuppke, adding that she’s in search of sponsors for this year’s awards. The best team gets an award, too, and the chance to compete at the 20th Judicial Circuit meet. The circuit champs advance to the state finals. Win those, and it’s on to nationals. For now, the county competition is the focus. And the question is whether Ida Baker can repeat. “Do I think they can? Yes. Do I think they will? Who knows?” Hanrahan said. “It’s like they say in football, ‘That’s why they play the games.’” Want to become a mock trial volunteer or sponsor? Reach Zuppke at Shaina@zuppkelawfl.com. ⚖


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legal lens

LCBA Holiday Party The festive spirit filled the cool evening air at The Veranda for the annual LCBA Holiday Party. Outgoing President Dan Endrizal received thanks and a special gift for his years of service to the bar as old friends and new mingled under the stars. âš–

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1. Ryan Kuhl, Frank Piazza, Jim Kelleher 2. Vera Bergermann, Steve Clarke 3. Hon. Anderw Swett, Dawn Maseli, Theresa Daniels, Hon. Archie Hayward 4. Kathy Smith, Michael-Anthony Pica 5. Scott Atwood, Spencer Cordell 6. Denise Molina, Keith Grossman, John Miller, Blake Hampton, Kayla Richmond 7. Honorable James Adams, MaryBeth Adams 8. The Lee County Legal Aid Society received a $15,000 donation from the LCBA Foundation. Pictured are Scott Atwood, Lisa Poulin, Tiffany Pereira, Kelly L. Fayer, Dan Endrizal, Shannon Puopolo, John Webb, Alina Gonzalez-Dockery, Andrew Banyai and Blair DeMinico.


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the dish BY TIFFANY PEREIRA, ESQ.

BEER, ATMOSPHERE ON POINT AT COASTAL DAYZ BREWERY

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hen looking for a casual location to wind down, relax and enjoy social engagement with friends or colleagues, look no further than Coastal Dayz Brewery, conveniently located right off McGregor near downtown. Coastal Dayz is a craft microbrewery that began with soft openings in April and May last year. Coastal now has a variety of hours and beers on tap for every palette. Originally, the brewery tapped its “First Five” at its preview event, but now it has eight staple brews on tap, including the Bimini Blonde, described as a light, easy-drinker, as well as the Seas the Day IPA and a dark Pirate’s Porter. Coastal also offers three to five seasonal and specialty brews (or “brewz,” as Coastal refers to them) at all times. Coastal does not brew ciders or sour beers but has a selection on tap from other local breweries. Upon entering, you are welcomed by a chalkboard menu on the wall displaying the beers and the smell of fresh, complimentary popcorn. There are a variety of souvenir t-shirts displayed on the walls that are available for purchase. The owners describe the coastal-themed brewery as a relaxing, breezy and comfortable environment to gather with old friends or meet new ones. To

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make the location even more appealing, it is petfriendly! A new program offered by the brewery is the monthly Customer Appreciation event. Patrons will receive 20 percent off their tab on the first Monday of each month from here on out. What better way to wind down after a Monday at the office? Coastal has a trivia night each Wednesday starting at 6:30 p.m., and the brewery also has its Thirsty Thursday happy hour from 4-6 p.m., when each pint is $1 off. Lee County Association for Women Lawyers President-Elect Andrea Smith and husband Christopher Smith ventured to Coastal one weekend and had nothing but great things to say about the environment. So, LCAWL scheduled our annual trivia event there. The event was held on October 18, with five teams participating. LCAWL ordered pizza and salad from McGregor Pizza and Deli Co., which was delicious. I hadn’t had pizza from there since I was a kid growing up off McGregor. The restaurant has changed owners several times since then, but it’s delicious! That is another Dish for another time, though. Throughout trivia, we watched as a variety of patrons entered and exited Coastal. There were several work types, loosening their ties, but also plenty of folks in casual clothes who came to sit outside and enjoy the brews. There was music, and televisions were on, but it was never too loud to hear the people across the table from you. Coastal was also wonderful in Photo top left: outdoor seating. Photo top right: Sun City Orange Wheat. Photo bottom left: LCAWL meeting.


accommodating our large party and requests, providing a microphone, trivia cards and more. The brewery even gave us gift cards for our trivia winners.

DONNA TISCH M E DI ATI ON S • ARBI TRATIONS

With the cooler Seas the Day IPA. weather now — I use the word cooler loosely here in Southwest Florida — the Coastal Dayz patio is an ideal location to meet with friends and grab a drink or two. If you are looking for a The Pirates Porter (left) and the Amberjack Amber Ale (right). location to host a small event, I would suggest Coastal as well. Cheers, and drink responsibly! ⚖

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LCBA Judges Spotlight

Hon. Magistrate Gilberto Perez

1. Since middle school I knew I wanted to be a lawyer, but after taking a psychology class as a high school junior, I knew I wanted to practice family law. 2. My obsession with TV’s “Law and Order” brought me to Southwest Florida. After practicing family and dependency law in southeast Florida, I decided I wanted to be a prosecutor. The cost of living here, and having family locally, made Fort Myers very appealing. 3. ‘80s music is my favorite, but I have eclectic taste and am an avid concertgoer, having seen Madonna, Duran Duran, Indigo Girls, Green Day, Pearl Jam, Beastie Boys, Whitney Houston, Garth Brooks and Blake Shelton, to name a few. 4. I enjoy acting, and among my favorite and most challenging roles have been when I play completely against type. For example, I played Jake, a cotton gin owner who physically abuses his much younger wife and burns down a rival’s mill in Tennessee Williams’“27 Wagons Full of Cotton.” 5. I am the first member of the family to graduate high school traditionally, but our second generation already has six college graduates, including two lawyers: My nieces Ericka Garcia, Esq., from Orlando, and Leilani M. Martinez, Esq., who practices here in Fort Myers. ⚖

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#KINDLEE COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT BY BOB SHEARMAN, ESQ.

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ost of us, if we know there is a need, and we know we can make a difference, won’t hesitate to help. As lawyers, we are conditioned to sift through facts, apply sound reasoning, and resolve our client’s problems. But when looking at the needs of a whole community, the problems can seem so diverse and overwhelming, it’s difficult to know where to start. That’s where the United Way comes in. United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee brings people and organizations together to create a powerful partnership. Last year United Way 211 operators fielded over 98,000 calls to connect people in need to available services. Over 4,700 tax returns were filed for working families for free through the VITA program. Over 365,781 client visits were made to United Way houses and clinics. Over 1,400 veterans received support through Mission United. More than 50,000 hours of volunteer service helped hurricane survivors recover, children flourish in school, seniors receive meals, and more. My work with the United Way introduced me to people whose lives had been changed. They were no longer statistics but real people who were homeless or hungry or desperate. They didn’t see a way forward but found one because someone cared enough to make a pledge, which funded a program that gave them shelter or food or hope. Giving need a face

and a name and a heartbeat made it impossible to ignore. I realized I can make a real difference in the lives of real people. It made me ask, “If not me – then who?” The magic of the United Way is that it pairs someone like me, who started with modest expectations and a modest contribution, with another, and another, to give all of us the confidence that what we give is going where it needs to go, doing what we want it to do. This is the “Power of U,” the theme of this year’s campaign. ⚖

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LCBA Members spotlight

Peter Knize, Esq.

1. Verdict rendered, fait accompli! Having recently been elected an LCBA Member-At-Large, I must admit the many faults that nature generously embellished upon me! I believe the mental health of our fellow legal brethren merits our attention. Solutions are within reach. We have much to do. 2. In another life, I was a neonatal respiratory therapist. My first job was at Arnold Palmer’s Children’s Hospital, where I remember watching a young girl dying from leukemia. Working there teaches that what seems important is often trivial. Don't sweat the small stuff! 3. I want to help community-based support flourish! As vice president of the 20th Judicial Circuit’s Guardian ad Litem Foundation, I have learned communities thrive by our wisest citizens helping others. That success is measured one child at a time. 4. I’ve never taken the intended road. What seems to be the path forward often sends me in entirely new directions. Luckily, the tipsy coachman doctrine has ruled in my favor. 5. My advice: Take pause! I believe our profession often pushes even the hardiest of us beyond our limits. Remember Socrates’ admonition: “Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” ⚖

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Leland

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Lee County Bar Association's 100 Club Absolute Law

Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz, P.A.

The North Law Firm, P.A.

Aloia, Roland, Lubell & Morgan, PLLC

Grant Fridkin Pearson

O’Halloran & O’Halloran, Attorneys at Law

Arend & Sisk, P.A.

GrayRobinson, P.A.

Osterhout & McKinney, P.A.

Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, P.A.

Green, Schoenfeld & Kyle, LLP

Parvey & Frankel Attorneys, PA

Avery, Whigham & Winesett, P.A.

Grossman Law & Conflict Management

Prather and Swank, P.A.

Bergermann Law Firm

Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A.

Patrone & Kemp, PA

Bonita Springs City Attorney’s Office Boyle & Leonard, P.A. Burandt, Adamski, Feichthaler & Sanchez, PLLC

John Webb Legal Group, P.L.

Pavese Law Firm Richard Johnston Law

Kelleher Firm

Robert Harris Law Firm

Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC

Knott Ebelini Hart

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Kuhn Law Firm, PA

Cody & Linde, PLLC

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LaDonna J. Cody, P.A., Attorney at Law

Cole Scott & Kissane, P.A., Bonita Springs Office DeBoest, Stockman, Decker, Hagan, Cheffer & Webb-Martin, P.A.

The Law Office of Brantley Oakey The Law Office of Michael M. Raheb, P.A.

Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys P.A.

Law Offices of Dennis L. Webb, P.A.

Strayhorn and Persons, P.L.

Florida Rural Legal Services

Lee County Legal Aid Society, Inc.

Toll Law

Fort Myers City Attorney’s Office

Levins & Associates, LLC

Vernis & Bowling of Southwest Florida, P.A.

Garvin Law Firm

Maughan Law Group

Viacava & Cantor Attorneys at Law

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McQuagge Law Firm

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In The news

Kaylee Tuck has joined Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A. as an associate in the real estate department as well as the land use and environmental law department. The Sebring native is focusing her practice in commercial and residential sales and leases, development, land use, and survey matters. Tuck received her undergraduate degree from Florida State University and became a cum laude graduate of Stetson University College of Law earlier this year. While at Stetson, she worked as an intern for the legal department of the St. Petersburg Police Department.

Joseph Cerino of the Law Office of Joseph Cerino recently delivered continuing education seminars to medical professionals titled “Domestic Violence: The Role of the Health Care Professional in Assessment, Screening, and Intervention.” The sessions took place on November 10 at Gulf Coast Medical Center and on December 1 at Cape Coral Hospital. Cerino concentrates his practice on family law as well as criminal defense and appeals. He received his bachelor’s and law degrees from Florida State University and opened his private practice in 2012.

Remember to send us your news at ResGestae@LeeBar.org. See more LCBA members in the news at LeeBar.org/in-the-news.

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RES GESTAE

⚖ January 2019


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RES GESTAE

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Profile for Lee County Bar Association, Lee County, FL

Res Gestae - January 2019  

January 2019 issue of Res Gestae.

Res Gestae - January 2019  

January 2019 issue of Res Gestae.

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