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RES GESTAE

THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE LEE COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION

JANUARY 2014

The Year of Practice Building The EC’s mission for 2014

Meet the YLD Board

Focusing on growth and community service SERVING THE CITIZENS AND LEGAL COMMUNITY OF LEE COUNTY SINCE 1949


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Contents features The Year of Practice Bulding

New Executive Council brings disciplined approach for 2014

by Sara Fitzpatrick Comito

24

re s g e s ta e

THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE LEE COUNTY FLORIDA BAR ASSOCIATION

22

departments

Meet the YLD Board New leadership focuses on continued growth and community service

by Sara Fitzpatrick Comito

6

Letter from the President

8

Letter from the Editor

Staff Box

by Nanci DuBois

10 Family Law Matters

“Supportive relationships” by Luis E. Insignares, Esq.

12 Community Connection City of Cape Coral Municipal Charter

22

by John D. Agnew, Esq.

Schools Foundation by Sara Fitzpatrick Comito

14 How Do You Spell Success? This year, resolve to grow

your business

by Dan Regelski

16 Dean Milhizer’s Side Bar Why Ave Maria School of Law is

suing the Obama Administration by Dean Eugene R. Milhizer

19 The Dish List

20

Where to Meet and Eat

20 The Dish

Sweet Magnolias Coffee House & Marketplace

28 On the Bench

Hon. Kathy Sturgis

29 From the Bar

David R. Linn, Esq.

30 Legal Lens Social Scene Photos 32 Real Estate

30

35 Legal Briefs

News and Happenings

42 Calendar of Events Introducing

The Real Estate Section, Page 32! BUY, SELL, LEASE & Find Other Valuable Real Estate Related Services

4

RES GESTAE | January 2014

239.334.0047 resgestae@leebar.org

PUBLISHER Connie Ramos-Williams 239.690.9840 EXECUTIVE EDITOR Nanci DuBois 239.334.0047 ASSOCIATE EDITOR Sara Fitzpatrick Comito CREATIVE DIRECTOR April Bordeaux LAYOUT AND DESIGN Kat Godina ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Linda Fiore 239.690.9840 CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Sara Fitzpatrick Comito Nanci DuBois John D. Agnew, Esq. Luis E. Insignares, Esq. Dean Eugene R. Milhizer Dan Regelski BILLING INQUIRIES 239.334.0047 Res Gestae is published monthly by CONRIC Publishing in partnership with 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 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. On The Cover: LCBA’s 2014 Executive Council at the Sidney & Berne Davis Arts Center. From left: Scott Atwood, Anne Dalton, John Agnew, Mary Evans, Kelly Fayer and Dan Endrizal Cover Photo: Kat Godina Copyright© 2014. 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 Nanci DuBois, Executive Director of the Lee County Bar Association at info@leebar.org.


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Note from the President When I was elected as Member-atLarge in November 2010, I expected my ascension to President of the LCBA would take four years and seem even longer. In fact, after one of the EC members ahead of me resigned to take a magistrate position, it was only three years, and it felt even quicker. Much work has been done, but there is still much to do, and I am excited about what is before me for 2014. Statistics tell us roughly half of Americans make New Year’s Resolutions each year. I do not personally make them with regularity, but I did make several for the LCBA. Three of them are as follows: (1) Provide a tangible theme for 2014. Each President is asked to develop a theme for his or her year at the helm. For me, I settled on “Practice Building.” Although a handful of different ideas were appealing, rallying around the notion of improving one’s practice is natural and has broad appeal. We will deliver on that theme by providing a variety of lunch speakers and CLEs, on topics such as the logistics of starting a new practice, strategic planning, marketing and legal branding, HR and employment law concerns in a law office, advertising compliance, and panel discussions with our judiciary and our more seasoned practitioners. Heather Christie, one of our LCBA members and an accomplished business coach, is first in the batting order and will be the keynote speaker at our January 17 meeting. (2) Give the people what they want. Coming soon is a detailed survey crafted by the Membership Committee. Watch your e-mail inbox for the online survey or feel free to download a copy from our website. Survey responses are due by February 14. In some form or fashion, please take the time to complete and return the survey. Our aim is to give our members what they want. To the extent the LCBA has not been meeting your needs or expectations, this is the constructive tool you can use to let us know how we can improve. (3) Increase attendance at monthly lunches. As mentioned already, we will deliver on the promise to provide meaningful and entertaining programming. Further, as anyone will attest who has attended our lunches since their move to Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center, the food being served has been excellent and on time. Better still, beginning in January, we are dropping the cost of attendance for members from $20 to $15. All that, and we promise to start promptly at noon and end by 1:00 p.m. My door is always open. I look forward to working with you and for you over the course of the next year.

John D. Agnew, Esq. john.agnew@henlaw.com | (239) 344-1364 6

RES GESTAE | January 2014

LEE COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION ADMINISTRATIVE TEAM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Nanci G. DuBois EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Lisa Poulin LAWYER REFERRAL & PRO BONO COORDINATOR Kathy Robinson

EXECUTIVE COUNCIL PRESIDENT John D. Agnew, Esq. VICE-PRESIDENT Anne Dalton, Esq. SECRETARY Scott Atwood, Esq. TREASURER Kelly Fayer, Esq. MEMBER-AT-LARGE Daniel Endrizal, Esq.

YOUNG LAWYERS DIVISION PRESIDENT Shannon Puopolo, Esq.

COMMITTEES HISTORY E. Bruce Strayhorn, Esq. & Jenna Persons, Esq. LAW RELATED EDUCATION Jaime Maurer, Esq. & Scott Atwood, Esq. LAW WEEK Hon. John S. Carlin LIBRARY Robert L. Donald, Esq. MOCK TRIAL Mary C. Evans, Esq. PAST PRESIDENT Mary C. Evans, Esq. PRO BONO Audrey Singelton, Esq. & Katie Berkey, Esq. MEMBERSHIP Carlos Kelly, Esq. SOCIAL EVENTS Amanda Mitteer-Bartley, Esq. & Theresa Daniels, Esq. TECHNOLOGY Michael E. Chionopoulos, Esq.

PRACTICE SECTION CHAIRS ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION Anne Dalton, Esq. APPELLATE LAW Margaret White-Small, Esq. CRIMINAL LAW Keith Upson, Esq. REAL PROPERTY, PROBATE & TRUST LAW Kenneth Kemp, Esq. GENERAL CIVIL & BUSINESS LITIGATION VACANT TORT LITIGATION Preston John (PJ) Scheiner, Esq. FAMILY LAW Rana Holz, Esq. & Jo Ellen Kane, Esq. LAND USE & GOVERNMENTAL LAW Russell Schropp, Esq.


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Letter from the Editor With the opening meeting of the Lee County Bar Association on January 17th, we launch a full year of educational programs focused entirely upon practice building. Our 2014 President John Agnew has embraced the Practice Building theme as a way to link all members in a common cause that is both timely and of the widest interest to our membership. Strategic Planning is the topic of our January 17th program, with a short presentation from Action Coach and LCBA member, Heather Christie. This will be followed in early February with a morning CLE program with Ms. Christie. Then, in February and March we will have a unique couple of CLE events with the author of the Little Black Book series, Paula Black. February’s meeting on the 21st will be a one-hour CLE, and on March 21st we will have a 3-hour CLE following our President’s Luncheon Meeting. Here’s a little teaser of what you may expect from this dynamic national speaker and legal business consultant: Legal Business Development: 3 Requirements of Effective Strategy - by Paula Black “I’m getting my name out there.” I hear that a lot. That isn’t a strategy! Strategy doesn’t have to be long and complicated. But... there are 3 simple requirements of an effective strategy. 1. Determine the WHY. Why are you doing this initiative... whether it’s a new blog or a meeting with a potential referral source? You have to start with the why. The global why is to develop business but you have to get more specific than that. If it’s a new blog, are you trying to build credibility so that when potential clients and referral sources Google you, they can see that you know what you’re talking about, and it gives them a strong reason to hire you over others?  Or are you doing it solely for search engine optimization purposes to drive traffic to your website? Your answer, even if it is both, will drive the content focus of your blog differently. 2. Determine WHO is your target market. The key word here is target. I once asked an audience of lawyers... Who is your target audience? And someone in the back of the room said...”Anyone in a hospital.” I’m sure he was just being a “wise guy” but the sad truth is that most lawyers think on that big of a scale instead of narrowing their focus. You cannot market to everyone... when you try to do that, you connect with no one. 3. Determine WHEN you will meet milestones, and when the initiative will be completed. A specific timeframe is important to keep you on track. This is easier when the timeline is a day or two, but can be more difficult when the initiative requires more time. Setting milestone deadlines will be very helpful in keeping you focused and giving you a sense of progress. I would caution you not to let tools, like blogs, websites and social media drive your goals and strategy. They are simple tools to help you achieve credibility, visibility and differentiation from the rest of the lawyers who work in your practice area. Give your potential clients a reason to hire you. And make sure that you’ve determined the WHY, the WHO, and the WHEN before you begin! Nanci G. DuBois info@leebar.org | (239) 334-0047 ext. 102 8

RES GESTAE | January 2014

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Family Law Matters

“Supportive Relationships” Is what’s good for the goose good for the gander? by Luis E. Insignares

In the first three editions of this column we looked at how the “alimony reform” movement (whose biggest statewide lobbying group is called “Florida Alimony Reform,” or FAR) first kicked into high gear in Florida in 2010, and culminated in the 2013 veto of a bill which was too extreme even for Governor Scott, who is not known as a shrinking violet when it comes to passing edgy legislation. Which brings us to the present, and leaves me fresh out of ways to work “FAR” into a punny title for this piece. Having completed this recent “trilogy” of sorts, however, we can go a bit further back in time and find a “prequel,” if you will, to “alimony reform” in Florida, in the “supportive relationship” statute. This provision, a portion of the alimony modification statute, originated with 2005 Senate Bill 152, sponsored by Orlando Democrat Gary Siplin, who subsequently became known for supporting traditionally conservative measures such as legislative attempts to promote prayer in public schools, and to tie public school teachers’ livelihoods to standardized test scores. The Senate Staff Analysis and Economic Impact Statement (“Staff Analysis” hereinafter) for Bill 152 summarizes the legislation thusly: This committee substitute authorizes the court to reduce or terminate an award of alimony where the court has made specific written findings, through a preponderance-of-theevidence showing by the obligor, that a de facto marriage exists between the obligee and a person of the opposite sex. Provisions in this committee substitute identify a variety of criteria to be used in determining whether a de facto marriage exists. …These provisions provide an alternate method to a court to reduce or terminate alimony, without requiring the court to make a threshold determination of a change in financial circumstance, as is currently law. – Staff Analysis, at p.1. Interestingly, the above analysis notes the lack of a “threshold determination” about a change in financial circumstances, but if in fact the legislation was meant to make alimony law more economically fair and equitable, 10

RES GESTAE | January 2014

then the new statute would necessarily still require that the obligee’s financial circumstances have changed as a result of entering into a “supportive relationship,” at some point in the analysis. In other words, if the new statute merely moved the requirement of a substantial change in financial circumstances from the “front end” to the “back end” of the analysis, query whether any real net change would be effected by the statute’s passage? From the obligee’s standpoint, the only difference effected by Senate Bill 152’s removal of a “threshold determination of a change in financial circumstance” would be to give the obligor a license to go poking about in her (or his) postmarital personal living arrangements, without requiring that such investigation be based on any economic change relevant to the obligor’s duty of support. (I note this concern only because this very same criticism has subsequently been voiced in response to suggestions that any “de facto marriage” provision, in order to comport with basic standards of equality and fairness, must necessarily apply both to obliges and obligors.) At any rate, there is no doubt that the factual scenario of an obligee ex-spouse “shacking up” with a new paramour, in order to avoid having alimony end due to remarriage, is a recurring one that has long vexed obligors. However, this raises the question whether Florida law didn’t already provide obligors a remedy, making the “supportive relationship” statute an unnecessary incursion on trial courts’ ability and discretion to modify a support duty in response to such a change in circumstances. I would posit that such a remedy already clearly did exist. For example, in Reno v. Reno, 884 So. 2d 462 (Fla. 4th DCA 2004), a former husband was granted a reduction in alimony where the former wife’s fiancé was paying all her living expenses except for her cell phone bill. See also, Bridges v. Bridges, 842 So. 2d 983 (Fla. 1st DCA 2003) (former wife who was cohabitating with man failed to meet burden of showing continued need for alimony, and thus,


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11


Community Connection

Featuring Robert C. Adamski By Sara Fitzpatrick Comito

“Tedious and lonely and very fulfilling.” That’s how Robert C. Adamski describes the process of writing a novel. Sugabob, a Bluesman is his second novel. Part of the sense of fulfillment comes from the fact that all of the proceeds from sale of the book will go to some worthy causes. The Raise the Roof Campaign to help build the Blues Hall of Robert C. Adamski Fame will receive 25 percent of the net sale proceeds. GRIOT Arts, Inc., which provides arts education to at-risk children in Clarksdale, Miss., receives 25 percent. The Kiwanis International Eliminate Project, which works to eradicate maternal and neonatal tetanus, will also get a quarter. The music programs in the Cape Coral Charter Schools will use their 25 percent to provide instruments and other learning tools. Adamski divides his time between Cape Coral and his second home in Clarksdale. He’s immersed himself in the delta blues culture, which he describes as being like another country. Sugabob is a composite of some of the old mud-inthe-blood bluesmen he’s been fortunate to get to know. “The lives of these men in 10 or 20 years will be over,” Adamski said. “So I decided to write about that particular bit of human history that might be lost.” 12

RES GESTAE | January 2014

Just as Sugabob uses his talent to earn his way off the plantation, Adamski uses his to lift up the lives in the communities he calls home. He served as president of the City of Cape Coral Municipal Charter Schools Foundation for three years and still actively supports its mission of supplementing the educational needs of the city’s students. The charter schools are owned by the City of Cape Coral and were formed in response to the need for more institutions than the public school system could provide. “The charter schools do not receive the same amount of money as the public schools,” Adamski explained. “They’re operating at a disadvantage, although I think they run more efficiently.” He feels the teachers are unusually invested in the education of their students. Being part of a smaller, independent school system, they’re able to have more input into the process than perhaps they otherwise would. Major activities of the foundation include scholarship awards for graduating seniors, based largely on need. “These kids, they come from all walks of life and some don’t have the advantages that others do,” Adamski offered. The charter schools act as a kind of socioeconomic equalizer. “You don’t have to be rich to go there and receive an excellent education.” Regardless of which side of the proverbial tracks a student comes from, he or she has a great shot at success. Adamski explained FCAT scores at the Cape Coral charter schools consistently rank close to the top. The Lighthouse Award program is the equivalent of the Lee County School District’s Golden Apple program, which does not count charter school teachers as eligible for that recognition of above-and-beyond dedication. The


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13


How Do You Spell

This year, resolve to grow your business by Dan Regelski

Florida Gulf Coast University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has been helping business start, grow and succeed for over 18 years in SW FL; we have seen business owners experience success in many different ways. Going it on your own is not a life style adjustment nor is it the road to immediate financial success – it is a way to be in control, exhibit quality service or products and be paid for your quality, time and investment. Too often we work with owners who are in repair instead of on an upward trajectory. That repair is based on simply not investing the time and effort on the front end of their business. There is no question that a successful business owner who plans, and is experienced and knowledgeable about his product will have a great opportunity to succeed. Some thoughts to put into action as you start, grow and begin to spell success for any kind of business (adapted from a Wall Street Journal article dated 3-19-13) is immediately below. Think of these as your new year’s business resolutions. Information specific to law firms follows this first list: Distance yourself from emotion before deciding. – Emotion fueled decisions are rarely good ones. They can be very costly and I do not want you to lose your money in a business. Prepare to be wrong – Overconfidence is one of the welldocumented biases in psychology. To be overconfident is to have too much faith in your predictions. The amount of luck involved in business success is amazingly helpful – but you cannot predict luck – so plan! Avoid confirmation basis – We tend to seek out information that flatters our existing beliefs while avoiding 14

RES GESTAE | January 2014

contrary evidence. If your projection says that you will lose $10K and then you lose $10k what about your prediction did you not understand? When you couple the abundance of data with the “mere exposure” effect, you get a situation where you will find it easy to defend irrational choices. Honor your core priorities – When we make decisions, we have a tendency to get lost in the “muck” and get distracted from our core priorities. An MIT study found that a group of managers had no trouble identifying the top problems they were facing at work; a follow up question revealed that none of them had spent a single minute in the previous week trying to solve those problems. Be clear on what you want to achieve.

Some tips to assist new or relocated law practices: 1.  You have a passion or specialty for a specific segment of the Law – make sure that you spend your practice around


the “heart” of what it is that you are really good at – the market will find you through your work. 2. Build a website that mirrors the professional that you are – use a web master with expertise in building the site with words that are going to be the answers to most of the questions that your clients need help with. If someone is searching for an  Attorney that understands small business retail – and that is what you are good at – build it into the site so the search engine finds you first. 3. Being paid for your services is important – as an attorney, you have bills and expenses just like the business owner you are providing legal advice to – make your policy easy to understand and stay firm to your invoices and being paid promptly. You do not want to be chasing your clients for money. You have more pressing things to be doing in relation to your clients. If your bill is at the end of the engagement then provide the opportunity to recoup your amount due. 4.  Evaluate the feasibility of the project that the client is providing for you. After you do your work and collect your payment – is the concept and commercialization of the

product or business feasible? Be very honest with the client up front – saves them money and you time. 5.  There is a big difference between a divorce attorney and a patent attorney – each has very specific skills and experience – one does not necessarily have the experience and skills to do both well. An attorney should be selected for his or her skills. No other reason should come into play. 6.  People do business with people that they know, trust and believe in – both parties (client and attorney) need to have these characteristics so you can get the information they need and then be provided with the help. Wishing You Lots of Success! RG Dan Regelski has been the Director of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Florida Gulf Coast University for more than 17 years. He is a member of the Lutgert College of Business Leadership Team and a member of the Management Department’s faculty team. Throughout his career, Dan taught in colleges and universities about the essential of business management, marketing and entrepreneurship.

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15


Dean Milhizer’s Side Bar

by Dean Eugene R. Milhizer

By now you have likely seen the announcement that Ave Maria School of Law is suing the Obama Administration challenging the constitutionality of its mandate that religious employers provide insurance coverage for abortion inducing drugs, sterilization and contraception to employees regardless of religious or moral objections. In some sense this might seem unremarkable. After all, one could assume that it is in a law school’s DNA to sue to obtain relief. Also, many lawsuits have already been filed against the mandate, and thus we may appear to be simply late to the party. These are false perceptions. Our law school’s decision to sue is a last resort, which was undertaken to address a crisis not of our making. But no one should mistake our reticence for a lack of determination or certainty about the rightness of our position. We sue because the cause is so important – for our school and our country – and because we have no other choice. When the Obama Administration first announced the HHS Mandate, it was widely seen as a shocking departure from the respect that had traditionally been accorded to religious liberty by the executive and legislative branches of government. The mandate compels religious institutions, like Ave Maria School of Law, to choose between violating its deeply held religious and moral convictions and suffering brutal penalties that threaten its continued existence. These are the stakes, and they couldn’t be higher. There was an immediate and passionate outcry against the mandate from a variety of sources, and our law school was among the most vocal opponents. The administration responded that it would “fix” the mandate so that it properly respected religious liberty and conscience. Since then, two so-called accommodations have been proffered that sadly fail to provide relief and instead reflect a profound disrespect for religious liberty. We gave the administration a chance to fix the mandate and it didn’t do it. Our only option was to sue. We sue to vindicate our Godgiven rights and enjoy our constitutional protections. And our continued existence may hang in the balance. This is not hyperbole. If the mandate is allowed to stand, we would either have to pay crippling fines, close our doors, or surrender our religious identity. While this fight is not of our choosing, we cannot shrink from it. We must take a stand. The stakes extend far beyond our school. If the government can dictate to a religious institution like ours, which of its deeply 16

RES GESTAE | January 2014

held beliefs it cannot follow, then its power to undermine religious liberty has no limits. It could require women priests or same-sex marriage. It could disapprove of religious-based dietary requirements. It could edit scripture for political correctness. These possibilities may seem far-fetched but, regrettably, they are not. Just a few years ago, the HHS Mandate would have been unimaginable. Today, it is a terrible reality. The list of once unimaginable horribles is only a step or two further down this road. I have come to think of our lawsuit as more than an expression of our religious beliefs. It is an act of patriotism. By suing, we are defending the Constitution and trying to preserve our hard-fought freedoms for future generations of American. It is a worthy cause that deserves our best efforts.RG Ave Maria School of Law President and Dean, Eugene R. Milhizer, has presented lectures, speeches, and seminars at law schools and other venues across the country, and his legal scholarship has been published in many prestigious law journals. He can be reached at ermilhizer@avemarialaw. edu, or at 239-687-5305. www.avemarialaw.edu.


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Family Law Matters ex-husband’s request to reduce alimony would be granted such that ex-wife would receive nominal $1 monthly). It is an economic fact that, although a former spouse in a long-term marriage who has sacrificed her or his employability in order to raise the children (or otherwise) must be supported in the marital lifestyle, but that (because two cannot live separately as cheaply as they can together) frequently a payor spouse is unable to provide such support. If the obligee is prohibited from “shacking up” without inquiry into whether her need has changed, should not the same rule apply to such an obligor’s ability to pay? Or should what’s good for the goose not be good for the gander? Meanwhile, seek justice. RG

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RES GESTAE | January 2014


where to meet & eat

The Dish List

The Veranda

Hotel Indigo

(239) 332-2065 2122 Second Street, Fort Myers www.verandarestaurant.com The Veranda’s romantic setting in two turn-of-the-century homes, combined with our Southern Regional Cuisine, an extensive wine list, and first class service staff will provide you with the most unique dining experience in Southwest Florida.

239-337-3446 1520 Broadway Ave, Fort Myers www.hotelindigo.com The Hotel Indigo Fort Myers provides an escape from the ordinary, offering premium services, a casually-sophisticated ambiance. Breakfast, lunch and dinner served daily in the Broadway Bistro. Happy Hour Monday through Friday 2pm - 8pm.

Ford’s Garage 239-332-3673 2207 First Street, Fort Myers www.fordsgaragefl.com Ford’s Garage is your neighborhood burger and beer joint, where everyone is welcome. Located in Historic Downtown Fort Myers, Cape Coral & soon in Miromar Outlets. Drop in for an Ice Cold Craft Beer, Cocktail or Wine and enjoy a Prime Burger.

Morgan House Restaurant 239-945-0405 33 Patio De Leon, Fort Myers www.morganhouserestaurant.com Discover the natural flavors of Old Florida. Experience The Morgan House Restaurant, where everything “old is new again”, while The Morgan House’s catering and culinary professionals bring legendary hospitality to you. A perfect place for entertaining and socializing.

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January 2014 | RES GESTAE

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The Dish

by Sara Fitzpatrick Comito The simple white bloom of a magnolia symbolizes southern hospitality, the promise of renewal in the spring, the celebration of feminine beauty. On a Cape Coral street corner, there’s a magnolia that also symbolizes an enhanced quality of life for single moms. And you can help with that mission. How? Enjoy a delicious cup of coffee at Sweet Magnolias Coffee House & Marketplace. Or try a fresh baked muffin. Every salad, soup or sandwich means a chance for a single mom to get a better footing in her often-difficult situation.

It’s a welcoming spot, and easy to pass by. But once you find it, you’ll be intrigued. Part furniture resale shop, part handcrafted goods boutique, part restaurant, part life skills education center, Sweet Magnolias is all heart. And every penny you spend there goes to helping single moms in the community. It was founded in April of 2013 as a 501(c)3 charity by Debbie and Allen Legg. Debbie had previously been involved with teen girls through a juvenile detention ministry and also a pregnancy crisis center. 20

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“Both groups of girls gave me exactly the same story,” she said, indicating poverty was usually a root cause for their troubles. She added the girls in detention would make progress through counseling, only to revert to their old patterns upon returning to the original situation with their families. Sweet Magnolias offers job and life skills training, income opportunities, daycare assistance, personal hygiene items, a free meal when needed, companionship, and a safe, judgment-free environment for moms from all walks of life. “We can touch moms, we can touch kids, and make a change in the community,” she explained. Donations of furniture for sale are the primary funding stream for the charity. On a recent visit, I enjoyed a lobster and shrimp salad croissant, blue cheese and chicken on a green salad, and fresh brewed iced tea while seated at one of several farmhouse-style wooden tables in view of the marketplace’s wares. I for one love a leisurely breakfast or lunch and a trip to a resale shop. In that way, Sweet Magnolias is a one-stop proposition. The food is good and very fresh, the atmosphere inviting, the conversation warm. In Don Quixote, Cervantes wrote, “Hunger is the best sauce in the world.” I agree. But there’s also something most sweet and savory about enjoying a luscious meal that also goes toward helping people. Everyone’s got to eat anyway, right? Isolation and loneliness are real problems for many single mothers, whether they’re widowed, divorced, or simply just doing all the heavy lifting of parenthood on their own for whatever reason. Marci Asmonda is mom to an 11-year-old, and she has always been single and works full time. She’s a talented artist whose handiwork is available for sale in the marketplace. Sweet Magnolias has become a second home to her. Since meeting with the other moms there and extending her family circle in this way, she’s gained recognition for her


The Dish talents, which include jewelry making, sewing and painting. She has also decided to bring her experience full circle by offering workshops to the other moms, who meet regularly as a group. The Leggs have never owned a restaurant before, but they value southern-style hospitality, which Debbie said, combined with the needs of single moms, “left a thumbprint on my heart.” If you have room on your own heart for such a loving thumbprint, plan a visit to Sweet Magnolias, conveniently located in downtown Cape Coral. The space is available for meetings free of charge, and Debbie has a knack for planning events such as bridal showers. Catering is available, too. An afternoon popcorn dessert buffet happy hour would be a fun treat for your office staff.

In addition, the Leggs would like to offer their charity as a resource for those in the legal community who are interested in exploring alternative solutions for the single moms they work with. As those TV spots tell us, “For the price of a cup of coffee, you can change a life.” Wouldn’t it be sweet to change a life for a mother and her children right here in your own community? RG

Sweet Magnolias Coffee House & Marketplace www.sweetmagnoliascoffeehouse.com 239-542-6667 (MOMS) 909 SE 47th Terrace Cape Coral, FL Monday - Friday: 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. Saturday: 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Good For Groups Take Out Catering

Sara Fitzpatrick Comito is content writer and publications editor for CONRIC PR & Marketing | Publishing, and associate editor of Res Gestae magazine. For suggestions and comments on this regular feature, contact Sara at Sara@ConricHoldings.com. The popcorn buffet is a fun way to end a meal, especially with a gourmet latte

January 2014 | RES GESTAE

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The Year of Practice Building

New Executive Council brings disciplined approach for 2014 by Sara Fitzpatrick Comito

“Improving your trade and your bottom line is something in which all our members have a vested interest,” said new LCBA President John Agnew. It’s why he’s latched onto “practice building” as the theme for his year at the helm. The new Executive Council is made up of Anne Dalton as vice president, Scott Atwood as secretary, Kelly Fayer as treasurer and Dan Endrizal as member-at-large. Agnew considers the officers’ individual strengths to be complementary, although some would seem to be polar opposites. Dalton and Atwood, according to Agnew, are the “yin” and “yang” of the organization. “Scott’s biggest strengths lie in his vision and ideals, which are largely big-picture in nature. Anne’s biggest strengths are her focus on the details and her pragmatic approach.” He said those differences make for some interesting and heated discussions, but the dynamic of the disparate personalities ultimately serves to get a lot done. Agnew pointed out that Fayer truly is as energetic and enthusiastic as she appears to be on the surface. “She brings fresh ideas to the table and also a big motor to follow through and implement them.” It’s also not news that Endrizal’s passion is helping. “His reputation as being selfless and Lee County’s most prolific pro bono giver precede him,” Agnew said, adding he looks forward to Endrizal’s fresh perspective. Outgoing President Mary Evans will remain active with the bar, and has signed on as chair of the Mock Trial Committee. “Mary is fun and lighthearted, but she is also a tireless worker,” Agnew said.  “Her easy demeanor relaxes those around her and encourages them to let their guard down and get to work in a productive way.  Her year (and certainly her entertaining monthly columns) will  be remembered as being outside the box, just as she hoped.” 22

RES GESTAE | January 2014

Honing in on success

Agnew describes practice building as “a comprehensive process of improving and expanding your business, through strategic planning, marketing and networking and by further honing your legal skills.” To that end, the Executive Council has lined up accomplished speakers to focus on one or more of the elements of practice building at upcoming monthly meetings. Multiple CLE opportunities promise to delve deeper into those topics. Practice sections will meet more frequently and offer more practice-specific CLEs. “Finally, recognizing some of our best networking sources are often other attorneys, we have several non-traditional socials  and volunteer opportunities in the works which we hope will appeal to a broad spectrum of our membership.” Agnew believes the strength of any organization is in its members – and he’d like the LCBA to better leverage that strength and encourage members to become part of the process. “We have some excellent judges and some extraordinarily successful attorneys and firms in the area, and we also have plenty of relatively inexperienced attorneys.  It is a matter of figuring out the best way to create a flow of information from one group to the other.  If the already-accomplished folks would  consider speaking to the membership at large or to a practice section, I would be grateful to assist in making that happen. Simply  showing up for your fellow LCBA members at the already-planned functions,  however, will enhance the experience for all. Your professional organization can only help you build your practice if you take advantage of the opportunities it present. One doesn’t get physically fit just by having the gym membership in one’s wallet, correct?


That analogy has appeared in the pages of this publication before. Agnew is of the same belief and regularly seeks out a variety of competitive physical events to keep him goaloriented. In physical as well as professional practice, he contended, a high level of success can be attained by “making a solid plan for reaching the goal, being dedicated to sticking with the plan, then being flexible enough to tailor your plan when unexpected hurdles inevitably arise.”

Heavy lifting His success in fitness and leadership got off to a solid start in the Army, where he competed in regional and national competitions, including the multi-day Best Ranger Competition. He started his military career in the 75th Ranger Regiment, a special operations unit with some of the best leaders in the Army. “I received formal leadership training in several multiweek courses, including Ranger School, Primary Leadership Development Course, Basic Non-Commissioned  Officer

Course, Advanced Non-Commissioned Officer Course and the Infantry Officer Basic Course,” he recalled. First as a noncommissioned officer and later as an officer, he served in a variety of leadership roles in infantry units for 12 of the 14 years he served – about half of those being on active duty. He said there are a good deal of commonalities between military leadership and civilian sector leadership. Given his history, LCBA members can expect a disciplined approach to the practice building theme, although no one will be compelled to do pushups at a monthly meeting. The rewards for Agnew will be the gratification of knowing he left the LCBA in a better immediate and long-term position at the end of 2014 than when he arrived to the EC four years ago. “I am confident the short-term goals have been or will be met. The greatest challenge will be achieving some of the longer-term goals or otherwise obtaining enough support for those long-term goals so that progress continues to be made until they are accomplished, even after I am no longer on the EC.” RG All photos courtesy of Kat Godina

Meet Your 2014 LCBA Executive Council Vice-President

Secretary

President Past President

Anne Dalton, Esq.

Scott Atwood, Esq.

Treasurer

Member-at-Large

Mary C. Evans, Esq.

John D. Agnew, Esq.

Kelly Fayer, Esq.

Daniel Endrizal, Esq. January 2014 | RES GESTAE

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Meet the YLD Board New leadership focuses on continued growth and community service by Sara Fitzpatrick Comito

From left: Tom Coleman, Shannon Puopolo, Kim Bocelli and Robert Anderson


As the new Executive Council assumes the reins of the LCBA, a new board has also taken shape for the Young Lawyers’ Division. Shannon Puopolo steps up to the presidency and Past President John Miller promises to stay very much involved. Rounding out the roster are Kimberly Davis-Bocelli, vice president; Robert Anderson, who returns as treasurer; and Tom Coleman, who was again elected as secretary. Kim Bocelli  is the newest member of the board.  Puopolo described her as a hard worker and very responsible, and she brings innovation and energy to the organization. “She had the great idea of doing a bake sale at the November LBCA luncheon, which ended up being one of our most successful fundraisers for Holidays in January.” Puopolo said Rob Anderson is level headed and is a calming force on the board. “Rob has one of the most difficult positions, as he is responsible for keeping track of our general account as well as our funds for charitable events.” She attributed organizational skills and a positive attitude to Tom Coleman. “Tom always has a smile on his face, even after spending hours gift wrapping for Holidays in January.” The YLD intends to adopt Executive Council President John Agnew’s theme of “practice building.” John Miller reflected, “To me practice building  means the establishment  or development of a legal practice through client development, professional development, and continuing legal education.” Those components are held very near and dear by the YLD. Puopolo promised, “In an effort to enhance the theme of practice building,  we will dedicate the last few minutes of YLD meetings to discuss important changes in case law, local rules, or other topics of interest to the membership.” Miller noted the YLD’s recent exponential growth. “Our membership  growth has been one of the most rewarding aspects of  participating with the organization over the last

few years.” He said having greater participation means the organization has been able to do more community outreach projects and become more involved at the state level.   Incidentally, Leland Taylor, who has served our area for the last two years on the State Young Lawyers Division Board of Governors, is stepping down, and Miller has been asked to be considered for the position. “If elected, I will be attending all local YLD meetings and serving as a liaison between our local YLD and the state.” “John has been a tremendous asset to the YLD and it will be hard to fill his shoes,” Puopolo attested. “The YLD membership grew significantly during John’s term as president and I hope to  further increase  participation by holding more events specifically tailored to young lawyers, including opportunities for CLE credits, charitable activities and networking events.”    Those charitable activities focus on children in our local community. The major one is Holidays in January, which provides a holiday experience for children in foster care. It will be held on January 11 at the Imaginarium. Thirty to 40 children are expected to attend. “The YLD fundraises throughout the year to purchase presents for the children and pay for the facilities,” Puopolo explained.  “LCBA members can get involved with this great event by making a donation or dropping off toys or gift wrapping supplies to the LCBA office.”  Miller concluded, “I expect under the new YLD leadership that the organization will continue to see growth and continue to expand its reach and impact in the community.” The Young Lawyers Division meets on the first Friday of every month at noon at The Connection Bar & Grill (formerly The French Connection Café). RG January 2014 | RES GESTAE

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Community Connection

Lighthouse Awards are given during the spring semester following a lengthy screening process. It includes a cash prize and is a morale booster for the entire school system. “The institution of the lighthouse awards is a big game changer for the prestige of the educators,� Adamski said. “It

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The foundation also provides mini grants for teachers who apply for funding for classroom projects. Additionally, the foundation is working to help with construction of a new public sports and cultural complex to be built on cityowned land in the next few years. Events such as fishing tournaments provide funding to the foundation, as do donations from private individuals. Volunteers are always needed. “They can offer whatever skills they have to the schools,� said Adamski, suggesting his LCBA peers would be welcome to share their talents by volunteering as guest speakers in the classrooms. “Even if they don’t have children in the school system they can volunteer.� Also, the foundation is instituting an advisory board that is in need of members to help bring ideas and new energy to the organization and the schools. Adamski’s kids were in band in school, and the investment required wasn’t small. “The book sale proceeds are meant to supplement the needs of the underserved, the kids who can’t afford instruments.� To immerse yourself in the fascinating culture of Mississippi’s delta blues and help improve a lot of children’s lives, order the book at www.Sugabob.com. RG

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RES GESTAE | January 2014

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On the Bench The Hon. Kathy Sturgis Judge Kathy Sturgis was appointed a Judge of Compensation Claims for the Fort Myers District by Governor Jeb Bush in 2006. She presides over cases for Lee, Collier, Charlotte and De Soto counties, as well as video teleconference trials for Miami and Lakeland cases. She served 10 years as the workers’ compensation state mediator for her predecessor, Judge Daniel Turnbull, who encouraged her to apply for the opening created by his retirement. She did so embracing the opportunity and the challenges it presented. There are plenty of challenges. All final hearings in workers’ compensation cases are bench trials. There are many depositions to read, complex medical issues, and nuanced legal issues. In addition, every final hearing requires a detailed written order. Each day on the bench Judge Sturgis silently reads a Socrates quote taped to her microphone, “Four things belong to the judge: to listen courteously, answer wisely, consider soberly and decide fairly.” This serves as a constant reminder of what she strives to do as a judge. Judge Sturgis’ advice to attorneys practicing before her focuses on professionalism. “Personally speak to opposing counsel throughout the case, be prepared, and read the orders I’ve issued in the case.” She places a premium on respect for all the players in the process; “that kind of professionalism goes a long way toward helping the system work the way it’s supposed to”. She is on the executive committee of the Calusa Inn of Court, which promotes mentoring and professionalism in the practice of law in Lee and Charlotte counties. Judge Sturgis is originally from New York City. She graduated from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, and after being married to now-retired County Judge Rad Sturgis for seven years began Stetson University law school. She started her legal career in commercial and real estate law, before becoming a certified circuit civil and family court mediator. She served as president of the LCBA in 1992. The Judges Sturgi, as their son Skye sometimes to refer to them, are die hard sports fans, from FSU football to ice hockey. Kathy Sturgis is an avid ballroom dancer. In her spare time she is involved with several local not-for-profit organizations and Ave Maria Law School. RG

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From the Bar David R. Linn, Esq. “I’ve known what I wanted to do since I was old enough to follow my grandfather around,” David Linn remembered. “He was a country lawyer in Tennessee.” Today the attorney enjoys his chosen area of personal injury law, especially “the luxury of dealing one on one with clients I like and believe in. Also, the challenge of making the justice system work for real people even when the opponents are massive institutions.” He said his clients, having sustained serious physical problems, inspire him with their courage and determination in overcoming their challenges. He’s also inspired and unfailingly encouraged by his wife. “Irene is not only movie star beautiful but smart (a Golden Apple teacher), funny and cheerful.” Linn has been in private practice with Mark Steinberg since 1995, but the roots of their partnership run much deeper. “We’ve been working together even longer; pretty much our whole professional lives, and we know each other really well.” They deeply value trust. “We keep it radically simple. If either of us is uncomfortable with something, that’s a veto and we don’t do it. We have lots of lively discussions about many subjects, but we’ve never had an ‘argument.’” He got his start as a prosecutor at the State Attorney’s Office for the Twentieth Judicial Circuit in 1978, which he explained offered him “boot camp” training in trial work, and helped him learn to get things done under pressure. He counts former ASA Ralph Elver as an early mentor. His major lesson from that experience: “You really can hold perpetrators who hurt people responsible, and get at least some justice for their victims, but it takes dedication and hard work.” He and his wife like to travel and spend time with their grandchildren. This summer they combined both, bringing grandchildren on their trip to Alaska. Linn’s fellow LCBA members might be surprised to know he played rock guitar in college. RG

January 2014 | RES GESTAE

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Legal Lens 1

2

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3

3 4

5

6

6

Social LCBA Holiday Party Scene Pictures 1 Annual Sponsor Cynthia Duff of CopyLady, Sharon Orzech   and Kayla Ramey of Bernardo Injury Law 2  Lee Hillman showing team and holiday spirit!

7

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8 9

3  Luke Johnson and Curtiss Flexter

1 4  Hon. Josephine Gagliardi alongside Dan Endrizal 5  Merit Court Reporting sponsors Debbie Cail, Gayle Leikam, 2   Susan Simonetti and Maryanne Wagner

3

6  Carlos Kelly with Joseph Bernardo

4

7  LCBA Exec. Assistant Lisa Poulin with Theresa Daniels, 5   Social Chair

6 Kevin L. Kasarda from RE/MAX with Nicole Lang 8  9  7 April Bordeaux, Rick Williams, Trisha and Robert Ryan, and   Scott Atwood

9

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8 9


Legal Lens 1

2

3

3 4

4

LCBA Meeting & Installation of Officers

5

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1 Henderson Franklin attorneys John Lewis, Christy   O’Brien, Shannon Puopolo and Kelly Spillman Jablonski 2  Shirlarian Williams and Joanne Atkins 3  Audrey Singleton and Rebecca Skinner 4  Scott Atwood, Dan Endrizal, Kelly Fayer and Anne Dalton   being sworn into their new Executive Council positions 5  John Agnew taking his LCBA Presidential oath 6  Mayor Randy Henderson Jr. stopped by to spend time   with the LCBA 7  Mary Evans and Vera Bergermann All photos courtesy of Kat Godina and Connie Ramos-Williams

January 2014 | RES GESTAE

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Real Estate

where to buy, sell or lease

1705 Colonial Blvd. Frontage For rent either ½ unit at $500.00 or whole space at $900.00 per month plus sales tax (sewer, water, grounds maintenance and taxes included). Must furnish telephone, electrical and internet. Space approx. 1195 sq. ft. includes lobby, 3 offices, kitchen area and large conference room. Call Lili to view

239-337-2001 Possible overflow work from attorney/owner in next door unit.

OFFiCE Sharing OppOrtunity with Patterson, Eskin and Ball

Office Space for Rent HISTORIC EDISON THEATRE BUILDING 1533 HENDRY STREET ~ DOWNTOWN FORT MYERS

Available: 3rd Floor ~ 550 Sq. Ft. Call for Rates

1420 SE 47th Street Cape SE Coral, FL 33904 1420 47th Street

GREAT LOCATION! MUST SEE!

For More information please Contact

Cindy Gibson McHale Properties Company 1601 Jackson Street, Suite 200, Fort Myers, FL 33901

prime Downtown Cape Coral Location

Cape Coral, FL 33904

hal Eskin, Dixie Lee Ball or Janice Meredith at (239) 549-5551 or Email jsmere@comcast.net

For More Information Contact

239.337.4491

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION Introducing the New REAL ESTATE SECTION Your one-stop resource to BUY, SELL, LEASE & Find Other Valuable Real Estate Related Services

Offering a wide range of valuation services to include various property types from Marco Island to Bradenton and East to Okeechobee.

Reserve your piece of prime “real estate” in Res Gestae to showcase your property or service.

Specializing in expert witness testimony and litigation support. Bill Cole is a Fort Myers native with over 20 years of experience in commercial real estate. He is a State-certified general real estate appraiser and has been qualified as an expert in both circuit and federal court.

Contact Linda Fiore: 239.690.9840 or resgestae@leebar.org

239-936-4041 billcole@stephan-cole.com 4560 Via Royale, Suite 2 Fort Myers, Florida 33919 to advertise here-email resgestae@leebar.org

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RES GESTAE | January 2014


Legal Briefs Wolfendale provides HIPPA training in Ukraine Attorney Ted Wolfendale’s health care education company NEVCO was recently contracted by Boston- and Fort Myers-based software support company Softserve to bring its HIPPA Certification program to Ukraine. NEVCO certified 10 facilitators at the Softserve University in the city of Lviv. Those facilitators will in turn teach 500 Ukraine-based software engineers. Part of the 1996 federal HIPAA law mandates that entities like hospitals, doctors, pharmacists and health plans comply with certain security and privacy provisions related to protected health information of individuals. More recent iterations increased penalties and extended responsibility to ever more businesses remotely associated with those entities. Wolfendale said, “For those companies that do choose to do business in the Ukraine, it can be a positive experience. And with more US companies turning to Eastern European IT professionals for support, it becomes interesting when US Federal laws are implicated.”

CRIMINAL DEFENSE DEFENSE♦ ♦CRIMINAL

SCOTT T. MOOREY 239-275-5552

1430 Royal Palm Square Blvd. Ste. 101 Fort Myers, FL 33919

scott@GoodPeopleDoGetArrested.com Depositions Trials & Hearings 

Mediations / Arbitrations 

TRY OUR ONLINE REPOSITORY

THAT HOUSES ALL OF YOUR TRANSCRIPTS, EXHIBITS, WORD INDEXES, CONDENSED TRANSCRIPTS, INVOICES AND MORE FOR YOUR EASY ACCESS IN TEXT OR PDF FORMAT AT NO EXTRA CHARGE. HARD COPIES STILL AVAILABLE, OF COURSE Downtown Fort Myers—2271 McGregor Boulevard, 2d Floor, Fort Myers, FL  33901  South Fort Myers — 13241 University Drive, Suite 104, Fort Myers, FL  33907                   

North Naples —  5621 Strand Boulevard, Suite 201, Naples, FL  34110                                  Punta Gorda — 315 E. Olympia Avenue, Suite 221, Punta Gorda, FL  33950  PHONE: 239-332-7443 

WWW.VONAHNASSOCIATES.COM

FAX: 239-332-4066 January 2014 | RES GESTAE

35


Legal Briefs Hampton joins Sheppard, Brett, Stewart, Hersch, Kinsey & Hill, P.A. Attorney Blake P. Hampton has joined the law firm of Sheppard, Brett, Stewart, Hersch, Kinsey & Hill, P.A. as an associate of the firm, working closely with estate planning attorneys Craig R. Hersch and Michael B. Hill. He received his Juris Doctorate from Stetson University in May 2012 and holds a Master of Science in Business Administration (2009) and Bachelor of Arts (2007) from the University of Florida. Hampton was admitted to the Florida Bar on September 21, 2012 and is a member of the Elder Law, Real Property Probate and Trust Law, Tax, and Young Lawyers sections. Memberships include: Stetson Elder Law Society, University of Florida Alumni Association, Phi Alpha Theta History Honors Society, UF Chapter, Southwest Florida Gator Club, and the UF MSM Program. He is a Franklin Ethics Fellow at the University of Florida Poe Center for Business Ethics.

Goldberg, Racila, D’Alessandro & Noone announces new LaBelle office Goldberg, Racila, D’Alessandro & Noone, LLC, has announced the opening of its newest office in Labelle. The firm has been handling personal injury cases in the Hendry and Glades County court systems for more than 18 years, and has now added attorney Aliana M. Payret to handle personal injury accident cases, immigration issues and criminal defense cases in Labelle, Clewiston, Belle Glade and the surrounding areas. Fluent in Spanish and a native of Belle Glade, Payret is a graduate of both Stetson University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree, and Florida Coastal School of Law, where she received her Juris Doctor degree. The firm’s LaBelle Office is opening in association with the law firm of Kahle & Ramunni, PA, which was established by attorneys Fred Kahle and Steve Ramunni in LaBelle in 1986, and is located at 110 Main Street, a block north of Highway 80.

Supreme Court Certified, Circuit, Civil, Family, County and Dependency Mediator

• Personal Injury

Available to Mediate throughout the 20th Judicial Circuit

• Real Estate

Competitive in Rates No Charge for Travel

36

RES GESTAE | January 2014

Mediation in:

Florida Bar Member for 37 Years

• Family Law

• Probate • Foreclosure • Business and Contract Disputes


Legal Briefs Schott joins Henderson Franklin real estate team Attorney Bernard “Ben” Schott has joined Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A., firm as an associate in the Real Estate practice area. He handles real estate matters, including commercial and residential leases, title issues, and purchase and sale agreements. Schott served as a summer associate with Henderson Franklin in 2012. While in law school, he served as a law clerk for Judge Michael A. Robinson in the 17th Judicial Circuit and was a research assistant for two law school professors. Prior to law school, he worked in the financial services industry and was a private banker with Wells Fargo in Tampa. Schott is a member of the Lee County Bar Association and the Real Estate Investment Society (REIS). He received his undergraduate degree from Florida State University and his law degree from the University of Florida.

Hagen receives AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating Real Estate Attorney Mike Hagen of the Hagen Law Firm has received an AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating by Martindale Hubbell. During the peer review process, lawyers are rated on their legal ability in five areas: legal knowledge, analytical capabilities, judgment, communication ability, and legal experience. The rating demonstrates that a lawyer has earned the highest rating available for their legal ability and professional ethics. Hagen provides a full range of real estate-related law services to clients in Southwest Florida in the areas of buyer and seller representation, real estate closings and title insurance services, estate planning/ probate, short sale representation, foreclosure defense, code enforcement, property tax consulting and appeals, agricultural exemptions, formation of LLCs and corporations, landlord representation and bankruptcy.

All Civil Jury and Non-Jury Trial Work Flat Fees • Contingencies • Hourly Rates Available

Trust Litigation Hearing Coverage

Guardianships Real Estate

Estate Planning

(Transactional/Litigation)

Probate

239.333.4529

6720 Winkler Road · Fort Myers, FL 33919 · www.KuhnLegal.com January 2014 | RES GESTAE

37


Legal Briefs Maurer Receives AV Martindale-Hubbell ranking Roetzel & Andress partner Jaime A. Maurer has received an AV Preeminent Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review ranking. Maurer focuses her practice on representing employers in disputes and counseling with respect to any and all employment law issues. She has litigation experience in employment, business and commercial law at the federal, state and local levels and routinely handles cases involving discrimination law, alleged breaches of employment contracts, wage and hour compliance, potential violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and other federal and state employment laws. A frequent speaker at seminars on employment law, Maurer earned her J.D. from Brooklyn law school and her undergraduate degree from Vassar College.

Laird A. Lile, P.A. receives first-tier Best Law Firms ranking The Naples-based law firm of Laird A. Lile, P.A. received first-tier rankings for litigation, trusts and estates for the fourth consecutive year from U.S. News – Best Lawyers, a peer-review legal publication. The first-tier ranking was determined through the firm’s overall evaluation, derived from a combination of client feedback, surveys and Best Lawyers peer review. The 2013-2014 Best Law Firms ranking was featured in the December issue of U.S. News and World Report’s Money issue; the national and metropolitan first-tier rankings were also slated to appear in the “Best Law Firm” stand-alone publication. Best Lawyers lists are excerpted in a wide range of general interest, business and legal publication worldwide, reaching an audience of more than 17 million readers.

Molly Ann Chafe

Boyle, Gentile, Leonard & Crockett, PA

Mark T. Dlugokienski Law Office of Kevin F. Jursinski & Associates

Markus Josef Horner

Donald Grayson Peterson Law Office of Kevin F. Jursinski & Associates

Ernest A. Ricci

20th Judicial Circuit - Staff Attorney's Office

Amanda L. Siefman

Markus J. Horner Attorney at Law

20th Judicial Circuit - Staff Attorney's Office

Aliana Milagros Payret

Shirlarian Nicole Williams

Goldberg, Racila, D'Allessandro & Noone, LLC

38

Law Office of Guirchard St. Surin, PA

RES GESTAE | January 2014


Legal Briefs Sanchez Joins Burandt, Adamski & Feichthaler, P.L. Alvaro C. Sanchez has joined Burandt, Adamski & Feichthaler, P.L. Sanchez attended law school at Ave Maria School of Law, obtaining his Juris Doctorate in May 2013. Shortly after passing the Florida Bar in September of 2013, he joined the firm as an attorney. Sanchez specializes in civil litigation and real estate and probate litigation. Prior to attending law school, Sanchez earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in International Business at Rollins College in 2008. During his undergraduate studies, he worked as a Real Estate Agent and Intern with a real estate firm in Orlando. Prior to joining the firm, Sanchez worked as a law clerk at three different law firms in Florida. He first became interested in the law profession while working as a Project Assistant for El Laurel Corporation, where he assisted the CEO in preparing oceanfront vacant land for development, which included legal work, operating budget, sale negotiations, and office management.

Schwinn elected to HRMA Southwest Florida board Pavese Law Firm partner Christina Harris Schwinn has been elected to the board of directors and named legislative chair for 2014 for HRMA Southwest Florida, Inc. the local chapter of the national Society for Human Resource Management. Schwinn and the other members of the board of directors promote and advance the understanding and application of every phase of human resource management by hosting monthly meetings with speakers, educational programs and numerous networking opportunities. As legislative chair, Schwinn will monitor and evaluate pending legislative, regulatory and legal action at all levels of government that may have an impact on the management of human resources. Her responsibilities include updating her fellow Chapter members with legislative information, and informing elected officials of SHRM’s position on legislation affecting the human resources profession. Schwinn’s primary practice areas are employment law, business transactions, community association law and real estate law.

January 2014 | RES GESTAE

39


Congratulations to the Members of the Lee County Bar Association’s

100 Club

Aloia Roland & Lubell, LLP

Goldberg, Racila, D’Alessandro & Noone, LLC

Prather and Swank, P.A.

Arend & Sisk, P.A.

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

Patrone & Kemp, PA

Bonita Springs City Attorney’s Office

Green, Schoenfeld & Kyle, LLP

Pavese Law Firm

Costello Royston & Wicker, P.A.

Grossman Law & Conflict Management

Rhodes Tucker

Boyle Gentile Leonard & Crockett P.A.

Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP

Bruno & Prado, PLLC

Rubinstein & Holz, P.A.

Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A.

Burandt, Adamski & Feichthaler, P.L.

Sheppard, Brett, Stewart, Hersch, Kinsey & Hill, P.A.

The Law Offices of Kevin F. Jursinski, P.A.

Calvo & Calvo

Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys PA

Knott Ebelini Hart

Coleman & Coleman

Steinberg & Linn, P.A.

Kuhn Law Firm, PA

Strayhorn and Persons, P.L.

Engvalson & Associates, P.A.

Kushner & Kushner

Fort Myers City Attorney’s Office

Lee County Legal Aid Society, Inc.

Fowler White Boggs, P.A.

McQuagge Law Firm

Freidin • Dobrinsky

North Law Firm, P.A.

Fried & Fried, P.A.

O’Halloran & O’Halloran, Attorneys at Law

Weldon & Rothman, P.L.

Garvin Law Firm

Osterhout & McKinney, P.A.

The Wilbur Smith Law Firm, PLLC

Geraghty, Dougherty, Edwards, P.A.

Parvey & Frankel

Yeslow & Koeppel, P.A.

Toll Law Viles & Beckman, LLC Webb & Scarmozzino, P.A.

Is your firm part of the 100 Club? Any firm with 2 or more attorneys and 100% membership in the LCBA qualifies. If you feel your firm is eligible fax a listing of your attorneys to (239) 334-0523 and we will let you know.

Pro Bono Service Committee ANNOUNCEMENT Attorneys Jess W. Levins, Esq. Scott A. Cummings, Esq.

PrActice AreAs Wills ∙ Trusts ∙ Probate Trust Administration ∙ Guardianship Foreclosures ∙ Social Security Benefits Corporations ∙ Real Estate ∙ Bankruptcy Asset Protection ∙ Pre and Postnuptial

P: (239) 437-1197 F: (239) 437-1196 www.LevinsLegal.com 6843 Porto Fino Circle Fort Myers, FL 33912

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RES GESTAE | January 2014

ANONYMOUS DONOR SEEKS MATCHING GIFTS FROM LOCAL LAW OFFICES TO BENEFIT PRO BONO SERVICES ORGANIZATION! In a true spirit of giving during the holiday season, one of our prominent local law firms has made a gift to Lee County Legal Aid Society in the amount of $3,500. A special appeal has been made by the anonymous donor that other law firms consider following with matching gifts to this family law organization that provides pro bono legal services to the indigent. Donations may be made directly to Lee County Legal Aid Society 2211 Widman Way, Fort Myers, FL 33901


Best Nurses Award 2012 & 2013

RNs/LPNs/CNAs/HHAs are available 24/7 to you, your family and your clients.

Fort Myers / Naples 1st Home Health Agency • No Assessment Fee. • State Licensed and Insured. • Long Term Insurance Accepted. • All Employees Tested for Competency, Fully Screened, and Supervised by an RN.

Patent • Trademark • Copyright Franchise & Related Business Law and Litigation

Over 34 years serving the residents of Lee and Collier Counties. Dial-a-Nurse® of Fort Myers

3949 Evans Ave., Suite 303, Fort Myers, FL 33901 239.939.1228

800-548-4332 • 239-262-8502

Dial-a-Nurse® of Naples

599 9th St., N, Suite 207, Naples, FL 34102 239.434.8000

www.TheLivingstonFirm.com

HHALic# HHA20304096 Registry Lic# 30211116

www.dialanurse.com

Offices in Naples and Fort Myers

10% Discount on Transcripts Ordered at Time of Deposition or Hearings/Trials Standard Six-Day Transcript Delivery Two Convenient Locations in Fort Myers Depositions, Hearings & Mediations Courtsmart Transcription Conference Rooms Available for Mediation Realtime • Free Wireless Access • Videographers Video Text Sync at No Charge • Interpreters

www.meritcourtreporting.net 239.481.1300

Free ASCIIs, CDs, Keyword Indexes, and Condensed Transcripts

South Fort Myers: 6213 Presidential Court, Suite 100 • Fort Myers, FL 33919 Downtown: 2022 Hendry Street, Suite 104 • Fort Myers, FL 33901 January 2014 | RES GESTAE

41


Calendar of Events Adding Value; Adding Exposure A “Vendor Expo” will surround the meeting room for each Membership Luncheon Meeting of the Lee County Bar. Visit the tables of those who provide services and products our legal community uses, and learn more!

Jan 3 Jan 16

Jan 17

Jan 22

Young Lawyers Division Lunch Meeting The Connection Bar and Grill upstairs Noon

RPPTL Practice Section Lunch

Courtroom 5C, 5th FL Justice Center, 1700 Monroe St. Speaker: Hon. R. Thomas Corbin, “It’s Only Temporary – Temporary Relief in Family Court.” Noon Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center, 2301 1st Street 11:45 – 1 President John Agnew with “Practice Building” theme for 2014. Guest Speaker: Heather Christie, Esq., Action Coach. Register online. NEW Member Rate for luncheons in 2014! $15 Members; $25 Non-Members

Executive Council Meeting

Henderson Franklin Starnes & Holt Conference Room 5:30pm

“Holidays in January” for foster care children in The Children’s Network

Jan 30

Land Use & Governmental Law Practice Section Lunch Meeting

at The Imaginarium

at Lee County Public Works, 1st FL Conference Room Noon

Young Lawyers Division Lunch Meeting The Connection Bar and Grill upstairs Noon

Lee County Mock Trial High School Competition

Feb 7&8 Feb 20 Feb 21

Volunteer judges needed: mary@maryevanslawyer.com

Family Law Practice Section Lunch Meeting

Noon, Courtroom 5C, 5th FL Justice Center, Topic TBA

Morning CLE with Heather Christie ”Practice Building: Focus on Strategic Planning” Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center $60 Course fee for Members - $85 fee for Non-Members Registration at 8 with refreshments, CLE 8:30 – 11:30

LCBA Membership Meeting

LCBA Membership Meeting Guest Speaker: Paula Black Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center, 2301 1st Street 11:45 – 1

Feb 26 Feb 27 Feb 28 & Mar 1

42

rtisers . e v d a BA Our the LC est to t r o p ur b sup ’s do o return! t e l e Pleas rt them in suppo

LCBA Membership Meeting

Jan TBA

Feb 7

Visit us online at leebar.org to see the entire LCBA Annual Calendar and conveniently RSVP for upcoming events. Would You Like to Submit an Event? Email your event submission to resgestae@leebar.org

Tort Litigation Practice Section Meeting Sasse’s, 3651 Evans Ave, #101, Fort Myers 5:30 – 8:00

Land Use & Governmental Law Practice Section Lunch Meeting at Lee County Public Works, 1st FL Conference Room Noon

Twentieth Circuit Mock Trial High School Competition

Volunteer judges needed: mary@maryevanslawyer.com

RES GESTAE | January 2014

Career Opportunity...

Local personal injury and criminal defense law firm seeking experienced Executive Legal Assistant for Managing Partner. Must be experienced in all Microsoft Office applications, be able to handle fast-paced environment and oversee appointment scheduling and calendar management. Excellent phone and professional correspondence skills a must, legal office experience preferred. Salary commensurate with experience. Reply in confidence to: info@leebar.org


Child Injuries • Personal Injury • Wrongful Death • Slip-and-Falls Negligent Security • Automobile Accidents • DUI Accidents Referral Fees Paid

No Fee or Costs If No Recovery Home or Hospital Visits Anytime

is proud to announce that Andrea S. Pleimling, Esq. has joined our law firm. Ms. Pleimling concentrates in the areas of civil and real estate litigation, and commercial and insurance law.

239-791-7950 1-855-SWFL-BIZ (1-855-793-5249) • www.FloridaLegalRights.com 2254 1st Street, Fort Myers, FL 33901 | 1716 Cape Coral Parkway, Cape Coral, FL 33904


PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE

PAID

FT. MYERS, FL PERMIT NO. 147

P.O. BOX 1387 | FORT MYERS, FL 33902-1387 (239) 334-0047 | FAX (239) 334-0523 WWW.LEEBAR.ORG

Here for you… yesterday, today and tomorrow Lending Team – From left bottom row: Pam Edwards, Vice President, Lending; Leah Kirby, Vice President, River District Office Manager; Robbie Roepstorff, President From left middle row: Willy Ocasio, Captiva Office Manager; Rob Lisenbee, Vice President, Sanibel Office Manager; Kim Nyberg, Vice President, Professional & Executive Banking; Liz Aurensan, Vice President, Lending From left back row: Geoff Roepstorff, CEO; John Ammons, Vice President, Cleveland Avenue Office Manager

Some things should never change, and the commitment and dedication of your bank is one of them. As the oldest locally-owned and operated bank in Lee County, we have been here for you for decades with quality service, personal care and local decision making. That is something you can always bank on. See us for a business loan or a fixed rate residential loan to purchase or refinance. Now is the time to invest in the future, with your local bank. Our customers enjoy the cost savings of Free Online Banking and Free Bill Pay, the convenience of an expanded ATM network and mobile banking.

We make banking about YOU! An Equal Housing Lender • Member FDIC Bank of the Islands is an office of Edison National Bank.

For our convenient locations and services provided, please visit www.edisonnationalbank.com

Res Gestae - January 2014  

Lee County Bar Association magazine January 2014

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