Res Gestae - September 2021

Page 1

HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH Attorneys and judges celebrate their Hispanic legacy

Cubans Be Like Restaurant brings the taste of Cuba to SW Florida


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contents on the cover


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Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month Keith Grossman, Esq.

special features


9 Simple Tips for Working Remotely Keith Grossman, Esq.


departments 6 Letter from the President

Blake Hampton, Esq.

8 Letter from the Executive Director

Lauren Baugh

10 Calendar of Events 12 Ethically Speaking

Henry Lee Paul, Esq.

14 Practice Section

Immigration Law

Indera DeMine, Esq. & Nirupa Netram, Esq.

16 YLD Spotlight

30 The Dish

Cubans Be Like

Lauren Baugh

32 New Members 34 5 Things You Don't Know

About Me

Daniel Garza, Esq.

34 5 Things You Don't Know

About Me

Colby Keefe, Esq.

36 100 Club 38 In The News

Katherine Camadeco, Esq.

28 Guest Attorney

Myth Busting: Applying & Contesting Foreign Law in Florida Family Law

Luis Insignares, Esq.

13 IBC 17 15 9 19 25 24 13 36 35 37 19 BC 7 28 32 19 35 11 IFC 33 13 15 11 35 17 9 17 34 3 25 33 37 5 25 18 33

It is the policy of the Lee County Bar Association to hold meetings only in those facilities that do not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, physical or mental disability, or religion. The Association will engage in a good-faith interactive process with any employee, prospective employee, member or invitee to determine if a reasonable accommodation is needed and will make reasonable efforts to provide such accommodations. Any requests for accommodation should be directed to the executive director of the Lee County Bar Association, Lauren Baugh at or 239-334-0047.


Agoston Law Group Aloia, Roland, Lubell & Morgan, PLLC Barbara Pizzolato Bounds Law Group Boy, Agnew, Potanovic Business Observer Calvo & Calvo Attorneys at Law CONRIC pr + marketing Dal Lago Law DeMine Immigration Law Firm Denise Kennedy Direct Impressions Donna Tisch Edison National Bank First Street Biz Frank Piazza, P.A. Get Smart Bail Bonds Gulf Shore Investigations Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A. Kelleher Law, PA Lake Michigan Credit Union Law Firm of Scott T. Moorey Law Office of Carolann A. Swanson Law Offices of Dennis L. Webb LCBA Bench Bar Gala Leonard P. Reina Mark B. Yeslow Markham Norton Mosteller Wright & Company PA McHale, P.A. Men's Rights Law Firm Musca Law Office, Inc. REAS, Real Estate Advisory Services, LLC Roetzel & Andress Sheldon E. Finman, P.A. Spivey Law Firm Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. Stockman Mediation The North Law Firm, P.A. Wright Mediation

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president's letter September is one of my favorite months of the year for one simple reason…the return of college football. I know I’m not the only one who has been waiting! Although I am a Florida Gator, I’m also a Florida native and someone who has family and many colleagues who attended Florida State. So, I think we should all tip our garnet and gold hats in honor of the legend that was Bobby Bowden. Okay, now back to bleeding orange and blue…


Executive Director - Lauren Baugh Administrative Assistant - Mairelis Tamayo

executive council SECRETARY

Kathleen Smith, Esq.



Tiffany Pereira, Esq.

Spencer Cordell, Esq.

YLD President - Shirlarian "Shae" Williams, Esq. President Emeritus - Matthew Roepstorff, Esq BOARD MEMBERS

Peter Knize, Esq. Michael Anthony Pica, Esq.

This month’s LCBA programming focuses on Hispanic Heritage Month. When I think of Hispanic leaders in our legal profession, one person comes strongly to mind, Miguel Fernandez III. When Kelly Fayer was President of the LCBA, she told me I needed to meet attorney Miguel Fernandez III because he was such an exceptional, inspiring individual who was a true ‘mover and shaker’ in the legal community. Thankfully, I was able to get to know him and even had the pleasure to serve on a committee with Miguel, who more than lived up to the “hype” surrounding him. He was kind, extremely mindful and lived and worked with great passion. Miguel was proud of his Hispanic culture, having been born in Cuba, and we will honor his memory at our Hispanic Heritage Luncheon this September. Since food plays such an important role in all cultures, we felt it was important to continue the Latin theme at the September luncheon. Therefore, the main dish for the Hispanic Heritage Luncheon will be ropa vieja. We hope you all enjoy! Fun Fact: Although ropa vieja is the national dish of Cuba, its origins are traced to Sephardic Jews on the Iberian Peninsula. Its popularity extends beyond Cuba to other Caribbean and South American countries as well.


Blake Hampton, Esq.

committee chairs BENCH-BAR GALA


Danielle Butler, Esq.

T. Rankin Terry, Esq.



Kelly L. Fayer, Esq. and Ita Neymotin, Esq.

Hon. John S. Carlin



John Miller, Esq. and Joel Hyatt, Esq.

Shannon Puopolo, Esq. and Kenneth A. Jones, Esq.



Jenna Persons, Esq. and E. Bruce Strayhorn, Esq.

Shaina Zuppke, Esq. and Eunice Gedeon, Esq. PRO BONO

Andrew Banyai, Esq.



Anne Dalton, Esq. and Bill Merchant, Esq.

Indera DeMine, Esq. and Nirupa Netram, Esq.



Alex Brockmeyer, Esq.

Luca Hickman, Esq. and Mark Nieds, Esq.

I’m sure by now most of you have recognized the focus I’ve wanted to place on different cultures and diversity this year. These causes are close to my heart because I believe the future of the legal profession needs to reflect the society we live in. To accurately represent our clients, attorneys must REPRESENT our clients. Thank you for coming with me on this journey. As I look ahead at the last few months of the year and of my presidency, we still have some impactful programming in store for you. I hope to see you all at Pro Bono Day and the upcoming luncheons.


Mairin Roepstorff, Esq. and Alicia Olivo, Esq.



Sarah Spector, Esq. and Erica Woods, Esq.

Kathleen Fitzgeorge, Esq. and Leah Harwood, Esq. ELDER LAW

Blake Hampton, Esq. and Amy McGarry, Esq. FAMILY LAW

Christina Holly, Esq. and Mellany Marquez-Kelly, Esq. GENERAL CIVIL AND BUSINESS LITIGATION

Carlos Kelly, Esq. and George Knott, Esq.

Blake P. Hampton, Esq. | 239.309.0090



John Miller, III, Esq. Andrea Pleimling Smith, Esq.


Jennifer Hammond, Esq., Kenneth Kemp, Esq., and Peter Knize, J.D., L.L.M. SOLO & SMALL FIRM


Dawn Maselli, Esq.

executive director's letter August was a great month! I celebrated my 2-year anniversary as our LCBA Executive Director and the anniversary of my 21st birthday.

The official award-winning publication of the Lee County Bar Association, which serves citizens and the legal community since 1949.


In August, we also had a phenomenal program where we heard from some of our very own LCBA members who moonlight as board members of Captains for Clean Water. They informed us about the legal side of the water crisis in Southwest Florida. We also had our first social of the year. Thanks to Spencer Cordell for lending us his Mighty Mussels Suite. My daughter and I, among the other 20 people that were there had a great time, we will be doing this again, it was a homerun of an event!


Connie Ramos-Williams | 239.690.9840 Ext. 1001


Tiffany Pereira, Esq.

MANAGING EDITOR Keith Grossman, Esq.


ADVERTISING ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Lisa Doyle-Mitchell | 239.851.4729

It is now September, and is anyone else ready for some fall weather? This is the time of year where we get super excited as we have some amazing programming coming up. You are not going to want to miss out! Between Member at Large nominations, our section and committee CLEs and our Hispanic Heritage in Law Luncheon, we have a packed calendar and are always adding to it.


Keith Grossman, Esq.

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Blake Hampton, Esq. Lauren Baugh Henry Lee Paul, Esq. Indera DeMine, Esq. Nirupa Netram, Esq. Katherine Camadeco, Esq. Luis Insignares, Esq. Daniel Garza, Esq. Colby Keefe, Esq.

Activities get even more amped up in October! On October 2, we are hosting our 32nd Annual Bench Bar Gala, where the theme is “The Future is Bright”. We could not be more excited to host this event at the Edison and Ford Winter Estates. Be on the lookout for your invitation. If you would like to be a part of this event, please let me know. We have some amazing sponsorship opportunities to help you get your name out to the public. We also have our Pro Bono Awards Luncheon in October. We will honor those LCBA members who have been nominated by their peers to be recognized as Pro Bono Superstars in our legal community. We are in the process of planning out our 2022 year, if you have the desire to be involved let us know, we are seeking various chairs for both our Committees and Sections, also welcoming new speakers for our CLE programs we are designing for said years programming, so if you know someone or are someone worthy of providing a CLE to our membership, please reach out, so we can get that slated for 2022!



Res Gestae is an award-winning magazine published monthly by CONRIC pr + marketing in partnership with the Lee County Bar Association. All editorial, advertising and photos may be submitted for consideration through email to 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 pr + marketing. Copyright©2021 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 from the Lee County Bar Association. To inquire about such permission, please contact the Lee County Bar Association at

As always, please reach out to me if you want to get more involved, ask about membership or sponsorship, or simply have a CLE idea! I always appreciate participation and feedback; after all, this is your Bar association. Lauren Baugh, Executive Director | 239.334.0047 Ext. 102



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September 2021



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

6 7 8


LCBA Criminal Law Section CLE and Lunch

Labor Day

LCBA office and courts closed

Rosh Hashanah

Courts closed

LCBA Elder Law Section Virtual CLE

Noon - 1 p.m. Topic: Superpowers of Durable Powers of Attorney: Why they are important for Elder Law Attorneys" Speakers: Heidi Brown, Esq. and Amy McGarry, Esq.

Noon - 1 p.m. Lee County Justice Center, Courtroom 5H Topic: Criminal Law…Work, Life, Balance Speaker: Tracey Redd, Esq. Sponsored by: Gervaris Leaphart Bail Bonds, LLC. Register at


LCBA RPPTL Law Section Virtual CLE

Noon - 1 p.m. Topic: Elective Share Speaker: Robbie Merriman, Esq. Register at

16 22

Yom Kippur

Courts closed

LCBA YLD Hybrid Lunch and Learn CLE

Noon – 1 p.m. Topic: “Get a grip on your financial situation: on your mark, get set…GO!” Speaker: Stacey Adams, Financial Advisor Register at


LCBA ADR Section Virtual CLE

Noon - 1 p.m. Topic: Ethical Considerations and Virtual Practice Speaker: Henry Lee Paul, Esq. Register at

Visit us online at to see more calendar items and RSVP for upcoming events. Would you like to submit an event? Email your event submission to

Thank You to Our 2021 Annual Sponsors



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September 2021

Patrick Kelleher, Esq.



ethically speaking



he 2d DCA has soundly rejected the outdated policy articulated in Frates v. Nichols, 167 So. 2d 77 (Fla. 3d DCA 1964) and its progeny. Some former firms have relied upon these cases to argue a shareholder who departed with a contingent personal injury firm client must award the former firm compensation based on the terms of the shareholder agreement. In Scherer v. Austin, Roe, Basquill, P.A., et al, 2d DCA20-1116, the Court rejected the argument that the quantum meruit analysis articulated in Rosenberg v. Levin, 409 So. 2d 1016 (Fla. 1982) was inapplicable to departed shareholders. The Scherer opinion issued on June 16, 2021, has not been released for publication as of the writing of this article. In Scherer, after the underlying personal injury case settled, the former firm claimed entitlement to the entire contingency minus the amount that would have been due to the departed lawyer pursuant to the shareholder’s agreement. The former firm argued the departed lawyer “owed fiduciary duties of loyalty and care to [the former firm] as a shareholder, officer, and director…” that made the quantum meruit standard established in Rosenberg inapplicable. The former firm’s argument was based on



Frates and its progeny. This line of cases, in my opinion, is bad law and inherently in conflict with the policy articulated in Rosenberg that a client may hire and fire a lawyer without penalty. Restricting the compensation to the departed lawyer, in conflict with Rosenberg, is recognized as an impermissible restriction on the right of a client to hire and fire a lawyer. In rejecting Frates, the Scherer opinion recognized Frates is essentially obsolete in that it was decided before Rosenberg and before Rule 4-5.8 (Procedures for Lawyers Leaving Law Firms) was adopted. The Scherer Court rejected the Frates reasoning and proclaimed “Rosenberg… and rule 4-5.8 both clearly establish that clients hold the right to decide where their files travel, and in exercising that right, clients may terminate the initial lawyer or law firm without cause before the contingency fee arises. When this occurs prior to the contingency, the discharged law firm is entitled only to an award vis-a-vis quantum meruit.” The Scherer Court also reaffirmed the primacy of the interests of the client in the division of fees among lawyers. The 2d DCA rejected the trial court’s finding that the client had no standing to dispute the division of fees and said, “the interested parties to an attorney’s

charging lien proceeding necessarily include both the attorney who seeks to enforce the charging lien and the client with whom the attorney or firm contracted to perform services and from whom payment is being sought.” The Scherer Court rejected the archaic concepts of Frates and its progeny. Our profession embraces the obligation of a lawyer to serve the client, as well stated in the comment to Rule 4-1.17 (Sale of Law Practice) which recognizes “The practice of law is a profession, not merely a business. Clients are not commodities that can be purchased and sold at will.” The specter of the dead hand of Frates has finally been removed from departed lawyers and their tag-along clients.

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September 2021



practice section: immigration law

The Immigration Law Practice Section is at the Forefront of this Continually Evolving Area of Law

by indera demine, esq. and nirupa netram, esq.


ast year, when we launched the Immigration Law Practice Section, we did so with the intent of providing information and the latest immigration updates to Bar members. We held our kickoff virtual CLE in March 2020, at the start of the pandemic, which we incorrectly assumed would be shortlived. Over the years, attorneys that practice criminal, family law, employment law, and several other areas of law have reached out about a client who may face some immigration consequences because of an arrest, a divorce, or some change of circumstance. We realized there was a great need to disperse critical information and explain the overlap between a noncitizen’s immigration case and their current situation. Accordingly, on July 30, 2021, the Immigration Law Practice Section hosted a virtual CLE titled, “Immigration Consequences of Criminal Convictions.” We were very pleased with a great turnout, insightful questions, and interest for future events. In 2019, there were more than 44.9 million immigrants living in the United States, a record-high since census tracking began, and those numbers are seemingly rising. Florida is home to more



than 4.5 million immigrant residents in 2019. People migrate for a variety of reasons, such as human rights, poverty, climate change, etc. Immigration law is continually evolving. With a new administration, we have seen a change in enforcement and removal priority. Additionally, there are constantly new federal court decisions that affect a noncitizen’s ability to apply for certain benefits. For example, on July 16, 2021, a federal judge found the DACA program as “illegal” and issued a permanent injunction prohibiting the government from continuing to accept first-time DACA filers. This ruling has left thousands of first-time DACA filers in limbo. The goal of the Immigration Law Practice Section is to bring you the immigration updates, like this, as they become available. Immigration is an important, ongoing issue facing our state, country, and world. We look forward to the future of this practice section. And we want to hear from you! We encourage you to reach out to us directly, so we can plan programming that is relevant to your area(s) of practice. One of the potential ideas we are considering is launching a survey to members to collect your ideas for such events. In Florida, there were more than 394,000 immigrant entrepreneurs, who generated

138.6 billion in income, paid $33.2 billion in taxes, and held $105.4 billion in total spending power in 2019. Based on these figures, another potential idea is learning about local immigrant-owned businesses and supporting them by highlighting their work, successes, and sacrifices. We could even hold lunch and learn sessions at restaurants owned by immigrants. As we look to the future, we hope to collaborate with other practice sections because immigration intersects with and often overlaps with many other areas of law. We invite you to join the Immigration Law Practice Section and join us on our journey to educate ourselves about immigration law, support immigrant entrepreneurs, and diversify our networks. See you all soon!

Indera DeMine, Esq. is an immigration attorney with DeMine Immigration Law Firm in Downtown Fort Myers. She also co-chairs the Immigration Practice Section.

Nirupa Netram, Esq. is an accomplished 23-year attorney, mediator, arbitrator, and social entrepreneur, with experience in multiple sectors. She is the founder and CEO of Lotus Solutions LLC. and cochairs the Immigration Practice Section.

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September 2021



YLD spotlight

Make your health a priority by katherine camadeco, esq.


ife in the legal profession is often rigorous and demanding. It is often famously quoted, “the law is a jealous mistress.” Between client demands, meeting deadlines, developing and maintaining business, pro bono hours and other professional obligations, there is often time for little else. With all the demands and pressures, you need to take care of your own health and wellness so you can enjoy a long, prosperous and satisfying career. To some, health and wellness is hokey; to others it is a millennial thing; and to still others, it seems unattainable. Yet the Florida Bar’s Health and Wellness Center provides staggering statistics of a profession in need: •

21-36% of attorneys qualify as problem drinkers,

28% report mild or higher depressions symptoms,

23% report mild or high symptoms of stress and

19% report mild or high symptoms of anxiety.



And most alarming, lawyers rank fourth in proportion of suicides by profession.

You need to develop healthy habits early in your career. A few beneficial habits to develop are identifying your priorities, establishing a schedule, taking care of yourself and maintaining a positive attitude. Development of healthy habits early will serve you well as your career grows. It was poignant when Judge Andrew Swett spoke to us at our career pathways panel in June about how important it was to him to spend time with his children each night. His message was to identify your priorities. Establish your schedule to make time for those priorities, whether it’s an exercise class, counseling session or date night with a significant other. Block the time off on your schedule like a work appointment, and do not cancel on yourself. Taking care of yourself should be a nobrainer, but sometimes in the daily rush, we forget to eat or we eat unhealthy foods on the run. Eating healthy food, getting exercise, and maintaining a regular sleep schedule are a few

important, yet simple ways to take care of yourself every day. We encourage you to utilize the resources found at the Florida Bar’s Health and Wellness Center, which includes a wealth of CLE videos, podcasts, news articles and other suggested readings. You may also reach out to the Florida Lawyers Helpline at (833) 351-9355 for free and confidential services that will connect you to a professional counselor and provide you with up to 3 free telehealth counseling sessions per year. The Florida Bar also offers discounts on the Calm Meditation and Sleep App, Waking Up with Sam Harris and Fresh Meal Plan. We also recommend Mark Eiglarsh’s book "Be Happy By Choice". Mark is a South Florida veteran trial attorney who shares his journey and effective strategies to live a happier life.

Katherine E. Camadeco is the PresidentElect of the Young Lawyers Divsion of the Lee County Bar Association and an attorney at O’Halloran & Simmons, PLLC where she practices in the area of Marital and Family Law.

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100 club Is your firm part of the 100 Club? Any firm with two or more attorneys and 100% membership in the LCBA qualifies. Absolute Law, P.A. Aloia, Roland, Lubell & Morgan, PLLC. Arend & Sisk, P.A. Associates & Bruce L. Scheiner, P.A. Banker, Lopez & Gassler, P.A. Boy Agnew Potanovic, PLLC. Boyle & Leonard & Anderson, P.A. Burandt, Adamski, Feichthaler & Sanchez, PLLC. Calvo & Calvo, Attorneys at Law Cole Scott & Kissane, P.A. - Fort Myers Coleman & Coleman, PLC. Freidin & Inglis, P.A. Garvin Law Firm Geraghty, Dougherty, Edwards & Stockman, P.A. Goldberg|Noone|Abraham Personal Injury Atttorneys

Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz, P.A. GrayRobinson, P.A. Green, Schoenfeld & Kyle, LLP Hahn, Loeser & Parks, LLP Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A. John Webb Legal Group, P.L. Kelleher Law Knott Ebelini Hart Law Offices of Dennis L. Webb, P.A. Law Offices of Michael M. Raheb, Criminal Lawyer Law Offices of Scott T. Moorey Lee County Legal Aid Society, Inc. Light Path Law, P.A. Men's Rights Law Firm O'Halloran & Simmons, PLLC

Osterhout & McKinney, P.A. Patrone, Kemp & Bentley, P.A. Pavese Law Firm Roetzel & Andress, L.P.A. Rubinstein & Holz Scarmozzino / King Trial Lawyers Sheldon E. Finman, P.A. Sheppard, Brett, Stewart, Hersch, Kinsey & Hill, P.A. Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. Strayhorn and Persons, P.L. Viles & Beckman, LLC Wilbur Smith, LLC Zinn Law

If you feel your firm is eligible, email a listing of your attorneys to and we will let you know.

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Hispanic Heritage Month LCBA members share their stories of what Hispanic Heritage Month means to them.

“ My parents taught me to never give up and to always

believe that my future could be whatever I dreamt it to be.


Susana Martinez, first Hispanic female elected governor in the history of the United States


ispanics have contributed to our national story since the early Spanish explorers began reaching our shores starting in 1513 with Juan Ponce de Leon. They fought in every war since the American Revolution. They have been small business owners, veterans, teachers, public servants, and attorneys, just to name a few professions. In 1822, Joseph Marion Hernández became the first Hispanic American to serve in the United States Congress. He was a Delegate from the Florida Territory and had become an American citizen when Florida became an American territory. In 1928, Octaviano Ambrosio Larrazolo became the country’s first Hispanic senator. He was born in Mexico and immigrated to the United States when he was a boy. He was an attorney and resided in New Mexico. In 2009, Sonia Sotomayor was sworn in as the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 60.6 million Hispanics in the United States as of July 2019. This constitutes 18.5% of the country’s population, making people of Hispanic origin the nation’s largest ethnic or racial minority. Since the beginning, they brought with them traditions and culture from Mexico, Spain, Cuba, Puerto Rico and


other Latin American and Iberian nations. Hispanic Heritage Month allows us to recognize their achievements and contributions to our country. National Hispanic/Latino Heritage Month has its origins in 1968 when Congress authorized and requested President Lyndon Johnson to issue an annual proclamation designating the week which included September 15 and 16 as National Hispanic Heritage Week. By directing that this week should include these dates, we would celebrate Hispanic/Latino Americans and the anniversaries of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Mexico. Between 1969 and 1988, Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter issued a series of annual proclamations that designated a week in September including September 15 and 16 as National Hispanic Heritage Week. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan expanded the celebration to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988. In Lee County, we have our own attorneys and judges whose stories and memories are woven into the fabric of our nation.

Judge Maria E. Gonzalez “As a Cuban-born American, I grew up in a family very grateful to this country, its opportunities, and freedoms. 51 years later, we are even more grateful. My parents and grandmother were/are hardworking people who sacrificed a tremendous amount for a better life. Getting a good education was very important. We’ve had strong faith in God, spoke Spanish at home, ate Cuban food, and enjoyed great music. So we kept our culture and traditions very much alive. But it was equally important that we assimilated to our new country.”

Judge Gilberto Perez “As a first generation American of Cuban descent, I was fortunate to be exposed to both the Cuban culture that my parents chose to leave behind and the American culture they adopted in their new home. Learning of, and understanding the importance of family, and the rich history of my heritage, has created a deep appreciation for the freedom and liberty I enjoy as a result of my parents’ sacrifice. Passing the knowledge of our traditions, family history and storytelling is a true blessing I received from my parents. My parents raised me with faith in God, love of family, strong work ethic and enormous gratitude to this country that embraced them. This gratitude plays a major role in my desire to continue to serve my community.” Photos right: Honorable Gilberto Perez, Gilberto with his parents at graduation.

Attorney Mellany Marquez-Kelly “My Hispanic American Heritage is of utmost importance to me and to my family. When my mother came to the United States from Puerto Rico in the early 1960s, she did not speak English. She and my grandmother had very little money. They both persevered amidst much hardship, learned English and began to flourish when most people in their family didn’t believe they could. These two women are the most important part of my Hispanic Heritage pride. They are the embodiment of what it means to me as a Hispanic American. When I think about what it means to me to be a Hispanic American woman who is a successful attorney, I can’t help but think about my mother and grandmother. Their pride for their Hispanic Heritage, and their ability to teach me about my culture and traditions, has shaped me into the wife, mother and professional I am today. I am a prideful Hispanic American who is blessed to have been taught the importance of hard work through perseverance by two women who truly represent their Hispanic Heritage with pride.” Photos: Mellany Marquez-Kelly, Mellany (far right) with her mother (far left) and grandmother (center) on her grandmother's 100th birthday.

September 2021



Attorney Karla Y. Campos- Andersen “As my family is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, I am taking the time to appreciate and honor my Grandmother, “ mi Abuelita”. My Family is from El Salvador. In the mid 70s the country was in its inception of the civil war, a war that lasted 12 years and killed hundreds of thousands of people. She had the foresight to see the upcoming danger, and made her way to Los Angeles, California, to seek safe refuge for her and her family. My grandfather was not able to escape the violence and he was captured and tortured, leaving her to care for their nine children on her own. Single handedly, she brought her nine children to the United States, ranging from the ages of 7-17. My grandmother has always been a hard worker. I remember going to work with her at the midnight shift of a waffle-making factory. As a child, I was in heaven. I was able to eat the broken waffles, and the waffle aroma was heavenly as I slept through the night in a makeshift bed she made for me in a corner. When she was done at the waffle factory, she would take me to her cleaning jobs where she cleaned other people’s homes and businesses. Those homes my grandmother cleaned were grand and rich. Visiting those homes opened up a new world for me. I saw first-hand what I could achieve if I worked hard. My grandmother is one of the strongest people I know. I am honored to be her granddaughter. One of the biggest blessings I’ve had is my daughter meeting her great grandmother. The love they share is deep. I hope I am able to instill in my daughter the same working values and determination my grandmother taught me.” Photos: Karla Y. Campos-Andersen, Karla's grandmother and daughter

Attorney Pablo S. Hurtado “For many Hispanics, Hispanic Heritage Month is very closely tied to their immigration story. My father, who passed away six years ago now, is larger than ever in my life. His stories of old Bolivia and of a missionary from Pennsylvania coming to his small town and birthing in him a desire to immigrate to the U.S., and after decades of trying to make it here, finally being able to bring his wife and five kids to the U.S. and establishing himself in the land of opportunity – this is what Hispanic Heritage means to me. The no-quit attitude of immigrants. As the musical Hamilton blares out – ‘Immigrants, we get the job done.’ Some crossed oceans and others crossed deserts, but this land beckons all. My children reap the rewards of my father’s sacrifice and that is our Hispanic Heritage.” Photos left: Pablo Hurtado, Pablo with his father at graduation.


Attorney José Calvo “Hispanic Heritage Month is not something I think about often, although I live it every day. I appreciate this great country, and I especially appreciate the great sacrifices my family made so I could live a better life in a free country. The story starts in Saragossa, Spain in 1900 where my grandfather, Jose Calvo was born. When he was 14-years-old (too young to go by himself ), he convinced his older brother, Benito Calvo, to go with him to Argentina because he heard there was a lot of work and adventures to be had. The brothers got on a sailing ship and were only able to make it to Cuba. They ran out of money. For several years, they worked for others, making minimal wages. One day, they learned how to make charcoal. There was no electricity, so charcoal was used to fuel ovens, heaters, all sorts of other appliances and even large factories. My grandfather began to purchase land at a very young age. Over the years, as he purchased more land, he started farming sugar cane and tobacco. My grandfather learned how to read and write at the age of 40. He paid someone to teach him because he had never gone to school and thought it was important to learn because he wanted to read books. When my father was born in 1951, my grandfather was a wealthy landowner with a beautiful plantation in Pinar de Rio with hundreds of acres of farm land. My father’s first nine years of life was a splendid childhood with his own horse, a pond to fish in, and all the fruit trees to climb in and eat until he’d get a stomach ache. My father shared many stories about living on “la finca”, how my grandfather would treat all his employees like family and how generous he was with friends and family. In 1959, when Fidel Castro began taking control of the island, things began to worsen almost immediately. My grandfather saw the writing on the wall, so to speak. When my dad was 9-yearsold, circa 1960, his family sent him and his oldest sister to the United States by way of operation Peter Pan along with 14,000 other children to avoid the Fidel Castro regime. To this day, my father still tears up when he tells me the story. He remembers crying himself to sleep for months after coming to America because he missed his parents. After many years of hardship and work, my father became a very successful business owner. In the late 80s and 90s, his company became the go-to company for many Las Vegas hotels. He became the leading drapery manufacturer and installer in Nevada. He retired in 2002 at a young age (48) and moved to Florida. My dad taught me to work hard and that family is everything. Today, I have my own law firm. My wife, Kati, is the best partner ever, and together we’ve built a great practice helping Lee County residents with family law and criminal defense cases. We have two children, now teenagers, and I love every second I get to spend with them. My family is everything. That’s what Hispanic Heritage Month means to me.” Photos top to bottom: José Calvo, family farmlands in Cuba in the 1980s, José's grandfather at 30 years old in 1930.

Continued on the next page

September 2021



Continued from previous page

Attorney Luis Rivera “To me, Hispanic Heritage month is a time to reflect upon and celebrate my family’s sacrifices and the opportunities they created for me. In 1956, my maternal grandparents left Cuba for the United States with my five-yearold mother and newborn uncle. They first arrived in Miami, but, speaking no English, knowing no one, and having little resources, they traveled to New York City in search of a new life. My grandparents spent the next five years shifting between the New York City neighborhoods of Hell’s Kitchen, the Upper East Side, and Hoboken, New Jersey working whatever jobs they could find before settling in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Sixty-five years later, I feel extremely fortunate my parents taught me the values of a strong work ethic and gave me the gifts of education and opportunity. The seeds of my education and opportunity were planted by my paternal and maternal grandparents, both of whom sacrificed to ensure their children received the best education available and used that education to raise and support children who appreciated their heritage and wanted to give back to their community. Throughout my career, I have strived to honor my family’s sacrifices by promoting the integrity of our legal system, being active in community affairs and by raising my own children to be good citizens who also appreciate their heritage. I do all of these things out of my desire to serve community—a desire to ‘give back’ and humbly serve my community as a ‘man for others’ working towards opportunity and justice for all.” Photo: Luis Rivera


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September 2021



special feature

9 simple tips for working remotely by keith grossman, esq.

Cloud Based Software


s we are moving back to in-person court hearings and face-to-face meetings, how do we feel about continuing to work remotely? Many attorneys have found more freedom and flexibility with the “work-from-anywhere” model. It has provided them a healthy work/life balance and quality time with loved ones. It also eliminates commuting time and distractions caused by being in the same office as other people. It seems remote lawyering will continue in some form. Here are nine simple tips for working remotely for the long-term:


Cloud computing is what allows us to effectively work remotely. It gives you access to your documents, your email, and even your clients on any device, including your cell phone. If you have to be in your office, you are significantly affecting your ability to work from anywhere, including visiting your clients at their workplace or attending networking events.

VoIP Phone System Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) refers to the technology used to make phone calls through a standard Internet connection. It’s a regular telephone number, but rather than being allocated to a location, it’s allocated to a person. VoIP technology makes it possible to get phone service from any location using an Internet connection, so it allows sharing a phone number across multiple devices. Calls made to that number can be answered from any device that uses the same number. Furthermore, it allows you to make phone calls from any of your connected devices so that the person receiving the call sees your office phone number, not something like your cell phone number.

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

When you are connected to a public Wi-Fi network, it is possible someone might be able to see your online activity. VPNs help secure your web traffic against anyone who wants to steal or monetize your data. The VPN creates an encrypted “tunnel” between you and a remote server that the VPN provider operates. Your true identity and location are masked in the process because your true location is hidden. The “tunnel” is secure so that prying individuals can’t access the data.

Scanner Phone App You will need to have a way to scan documents if you are not in your office. Portable scanners are an option, but then you must transport them around. Phone apps developed for mobile scanning are a good solution for a small number of pages, and most of them are set up to save the scanned document in the cloud. You and your staff can then access the document without needing your phone.

Electronic Signatures

Electronic documents and signatures satisfy legal requirements so you can record and enforce these types of documents. It’s a fast and effective way to get signatures to other people in separate locations. What could take weeks can now be completed within minutes. There are several easy-to-use software programs available on the market to facilitate electronic signatures, such as DocuSign and Adobe Sign.

the road? Most laptops now come with ports allowing you to hook up an external monitor. External monitors that are thin and light, made for remote work, and now available inexpensively. You can even use your iPad as a second monitor.

Notetaking Software

Communication Tools for Internal Use

Historically, businesses have used email for external and internal communications. However, there are some great options now for communications exclusive for internal use. One of the benefits is you can stay out of your email inbox while still communicating with your staff. You can use these tools for a chat, but you can also share files and collaborate on one document together rather than constantly emailing revised versions. These features are also available to you on your phone. Examples of these type of communication tools are Microsoft Teams and Slack.

Sure, you can type notes on your laptop or tablet, or you can carry around a traditional legal pad, but why should you? There are some great notetaking apps you can use on your tablet. Besides saving paper, these apps allow you to write, sketch, draw and diagram by hand. You can use separate colors and highlighting and even insert files, photos and live recordings. You can save your notes electronically in a cloud-based storage system and share them in realtime. Additionally, these notetaking apps allow you to easily organize your notes in different folders and subfolders, and they have robust search capabilities.


Second Monitor

Most lawyers have become accustomed to two monitors on their desk because additional monitors give you more real estate to view your open programs. So why not take that second monitor on

September 2021

Once you have your remote setup working effectively, you are going to find numerous locations to call your office. You’re in Florida, so you better pack some sunscreen!



guest attorney

Applying & Contesting Foreign Law in Florida Family Law Cases

by luis insignares, esq.


mm, on second thought, are there any “myths” out there when it comes to foreign law in family law cases? Maybe I should have thought this title through a bit more. Oh, wait, of course, there’s at least one, and it’s a whopper, so that’s arguably enough to get a foot in the proverbial door and justify the above title; then we can move into a somewhat more generalized discussion. Remember in the mid-teens when the Florida Legislature suddenly decided Florida was going to be somehow overrun with “Sharia Law” if it didn’t do something? If you don’t remember, the continued existence of Florida Statutes Section 61.0401 ought to jog your memory. Colloquially known at the time of its passage in 2014 as the “Sharia Law” provision, both the Family Law and International Law sections of the Florida Bar wrote White Papers arguing against its passage. Though it carefully avoided mentioning Sharia or any other specific foreign law1, apparently a controlling faction of the legislature determined


there was political capital with certain elements of its “base” in demonizing the Muslim community. At the time, I echoed the sentiments of one opposing legislator, that this statute constituted the dreaded “solution in search of a problem,” and I contend that such characterization is borne out by experience, both before and after the statute’s passage. When the law passed there were no reported Florida appellate family law opinions in which Sharia Law had been mentioned. Now armed with this statutory response to the purported problem, surely in six or seven years we would have seen evidence of the statute having been used to defeat the supposed impending evil of Sharia Law, wouldn’t we? That sound you’re hearing is crickets. I can find no appellate case in which the statute has been so used. Sharia Law has now at least been mentioned in a reported Florida family law case (decided just before this article was written), see Odeh v. Odeh, --- So.3d --- (Fla. 5th DCA No. 5D21-167 July 16, 2021), but Odeh makes no mention of the statute having been applied or even considered. The big problem about the statute is

that it says two very different things about applying foreign law in chapter 61 and 88 cases. First, it says (in an unnumbered “footer” at its end) that the statute codifies existing law. Traditionally, applying foreign country law in any case was already discretionary under principles of comity, whereby law contrary to our public policy could be held unenforceable, a point made in the Family Law Section’s White Paper, at §§ IV.A.-IV.C. Although the statute continues to reference public policy, the text of the statute also prohibits, at three separate places, the enforcement of foreign laws that are “unjust or unreasonable,” a new standard which cannot be squared with the bill’s preamble’s repeated protestations (echoed in that “footer” I mentioned) that the statute only codifies existing law. One of the few reported cases applying the statute reinforces this problem. In Claflin v. Claflin, 288 So.3d 774, 781 (Fla. 1st DCA 2020), the appellate court upheld the trial court, despite its flawed analysis of Filipino law, because “doing otherwise would be unjust, unreasonable, and contrary to the public policy of Florida.” The “public policy” inclusion by the appellate court, however, is extremely

tenuous, and in my opinion, the decision amounts to being based on the appellate court simply disagreeing with the result obtained under Filipino law. Should further case law bear out this opinion, the statute has ushered in a new age of uncertainty whenever foreign law becomes a question in family law cases, where a court can simply disregard any foreign country law with which it disagrees. Of course, the above analysis presumes the parties in a family law case even have the resources to prove what foreign law is. Given tight litigation budgets, often proving the substance of foreign law is next to impossible. Florida precedent does provide a stopgap answer to this problem, however, because where a party seeking to rely upon foreign law fails to demonstrate the foreign law is different from the law of Florida, the law is the same as Florida. Gustafson v. Jensen, 515 So.2d 1298, 1300 (Fla. 3d DCA 1987), citing Collins v. Collins, 160 Fla. 732, 36 So.2d

417 (1948); Coyne v. Coyne, 325 So.2d 407 (Fla. 3d DCA), cert. denied, 339 So.2d 1168 (Fla.1976); Morin v. Morin, 466 So.2d 1255 (Fla. 2d DCA 1985). Accord, Aetna Cas. & Sur. Co. v. Ciarrochi, 573 So.2d 990 (Fla. 3d DCA 1991). actual title as codified: “Application of the law of a foreign country in courts relating to matters arising out of or relating to this chapter and chapter 88” 1

Luis E. Insignares, has been practicing law for more than 20 years and is certified as a matrimonial and family law specialist by The Florida Bar. Luis holds an MBA from the University of Miami and is a certified family mediator. He also has served on the executive council of The Florida Bar Family Law Section.

September 2021



the dish


Bringing the Taste of Cuba to Southwest Florida was expecting, but I could not help scarfing down a piece immediately. It is the perfect opening to what becomes a tantalizing culinary experience.

by lauren baugh


magine driving down US 41, and you pull into a busy plaza that features a shoe store, several discount retailers, an auto mechanics shop, an abandoned restaurant, and a lake featuring dozens of Muscovy ducks! You do not expect to find an amazing Cuban restaurant, but this is the plaza where you will find just that!

Another of my favorite Cuban staples are croquettes. Those too are on the menu, so I order the ham croquettes. They arrive piping hot and crispy, cooked and seasoned to perfection. Please do yourself a favor and order these! You are welcome! Our seats give us a glimpse of the kitchen, and I can see them making each dish fresh. Nothing microwaved or taken out of a bag of frozen food. It is all scratch made.

Nestled in a back corner, you will find this hidden gem, “Cubans Be Like” Restaurant & Bar. This is the perfect place to meet, eat and talk with our publisher, Connie Ramos-Williams of CONRIC pr + marketing.

When our server brings our entrées, I am beyond giddy. I have not eaten Ropa Viejo in years and cannot wait to take a bite. I dive right in and it is like I took a trip to Cuba. The vegetables taste fresh, the beef is tender, the beans and rice are cooked to perfection and the plantains are sweet and tangy. It is simply perfection on a plate!

When I walk up to the restaurant, I see outside seating under the shade, but when I walk inside, I am taken to Cuba! The décor, the lights, the bar, the tables; it all makes me feel as if I am on the Island of Cuba.

Connie takes a healthier(ish) route and chooses the Lechon Cuban Bowl. It looks fresh and delicious as well. The lettuce

We are greeted with the friendliest of smiling faces and taken to our table. My go-to when it comes to Cuban food is Ropa Viejo, and I skim the menu to find that dish. I am not met with disappointment as it is indeed a featured item! As we begin to order our drinks, we are met with homemade garlic bread, made with fresh Cuban bread. It is not what I


Photos this page top to bottom: Interior of restaurant, interior decor, wait area swing, wait staff.

crisp, the Pico de Gallo on top freshly cut right before serving, the pulled pork (lechon) piping hot and surely packed with Cuban flavors. I stop myself from asking for a bite, but believe me, I want to. I decide I need to take a Cuban sandwich to go for Mairelis (my executive assistant). She brought me one the week before and this one seems to be superior. I do not take a bite of it on the way back to the office, but I do watch her eat her first bite. It is everything it should be and more: fresh pulled pork, ham, melty gooey cheese, mustard, mayo, all on fresh Cuban bread. Mairelis confirms it is indeed far superior to the prior sandwich. Before leaving the restaurant, I see the dessert menu and justifiably cannot leave without sampling something. It just would not be fair to try the savory fare, and not the sweet treats, so I opt for the Tres Leches cake. I never had this dessert before and underestimated it. The cake is served in a cute little cup, and while there is enough to share, I do not share it. After my first bite, I decide sharing is not an option; it is too good! This cake is a wet cake, which does not sound all that appetizing when said aloud, but it is delicious. Combined with freshly macerated strawberries, it is the word “bright” as a flavor.

Between the ambiance, the food and the friendly staff, do yourself a solid and check this place out; it will be one of the best meals you have had this side of the Isle of Cuba.

13300 S Cleveland Ave #21 Fort Myers, FL 33907

Wednesday - Thursday 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Friday - Saturday 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Sunday 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Monday - Tuesday Closed (239) 789-1869

Photos this page bottom left counter clockwise: garlic bread, ham croquettes, lunch special – Lechon (Cuban Style Pulled Pork) Cuban Bowl: white or brown rice, black beans, onions, tomatoes, cilantro, lettuce, sweet plantain or tostones, Ropa Vieja "The National Dish Of Cuba" shredded beef cooked in a tomato wine sauce with onions and peppers, Tres Leches cake.

10/10 would recommend Cubans Be Like for your next date night, lunch meeting or a night out. They have live music on various nights and a full liquor bar.

Lauren Baugh is the Executive Director at Lee County Bar Association and can be reached at

September 2021



new members Joseph Abreu, CCO

Kevin Karnes, COO

Katelyn "Katie" Bradford, Esq.

Adrian Lynn, Esq.

Lee County Clerk of Courts

Lee County Clerk of Courts

Zachary Miller, Esq.

Office of Criminal Conflict/Civil Regional Counsel, 2nd District

Lynn Law Group

Sawyer Smith, Esq.

Terry Cramer, III. Esq. Wilbur Smith, LLC.

Timothy "TJ" McCan, II. Esq. Wilbur Smith, LLC. Wilbur Smith, LLC. Thomas Visone, Esq.

Kenneth Erickson, III

Holly McFall, Esq.

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Daniel Garza, Esq.

Margaret McMorrow, Esq.

Wilbur Smith, LLC.

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September 2021



member spotlight

Daniel Garza, Esq.

1. I collect action figures from Marvel, DC, Star Wars, and movies (Back to the Future) among other brands. I have a room in my house dedicated to the collection, which spans over 400 figures and multiple collectible items. 2. I was my high school Prom King. It was a fairly large school, and a friend of mine and I ran against each other. The Prom Queen was not my girlfriend; she was actually a girl I barely knew, which made for the Prom King and Queen dance to be kind of awkward. 3. I recently became a father, and my daughter is now the only girl on my side of the family. My parents have two boys (my brother and I). My brother has two boys, and my uncle has three boys, and one of his sons has a baby boy. 4. I love playing games: basketball, football, dominoes, board games, trivia. I am very competitive and hope to one day be on Wheel of Fortune. 5. Most people are surprised to learn I am a criminal defense attorney. My wife is a prosecutor, and my father-in-law is a former law enforcement officer. Yes, it makes for very interesting conversations.

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239.263.2059 ■ September 2021



member spotlight

Colby Keefe, Esq.

1. I’m new here! After graduating from the University of Georgia School of Law in 2016, I returned to my college town of St. Augustine, Florida to start my legal career. I relocated to Fort Myers in February 2021 to be closer to my hometown of Englewood, Florida and join Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A.’s real estate and community association practice. 2. Recently, I took up tennis and am hoping to qualify for Wimbledon once I learn how to serve. 3. I have an adopted border collie named Duke. He was fired from his sheep herding job, but he makes a great house pet! 4. Hiking is my favorite escape. Most of my hiking has been in or around the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains, but I hope to explore many other spots (including Grand Teton) within the next few years. If you have recommendations for Florida hikes, please send them my way! 5. Attending an SEC school *may* have been a factor in my law school selection process. Go Dawgs!


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September 2021



in the news Aloia Roland partners have been recognized for the following distinctions: Ty Roland and Evan Lubell joined the ranks of The National Trial Lawyers, both named as Top 100 Civil Plaintiff Trial Lawyers in Southwest Florida. Roland was recognized in The Top 25 Motor Vehicle Trial Lawyers in Florida. Lubell was recognized in The Top 25 Brain Injury Trial Lawyers in Florida. Frank Aloia, Jr. has been given the 2021 “Best Lawyers” distinction for construction litigation. Danielle Levy Seitz has been selected to the 2021 Florida Rising Stars list.

The law firm of Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A., is pleased to announce that stockholder Scott Atwood was sworn in as Chair of the Labor & Employment (“L&E) Section at The Florida Bar’s virtual annual meeting. He has served on the Executive Council of The Florida Bar’s L&E Section for 11 years. Atwood also serves as chair of Henderson Franklin’s Labor and Employment Law Group and is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit Civil Mediator.

The law firm of Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A., announces trust and estate planning attorney Daniel (“D.J.”) Brick has joined the firm. He holds an LL.M. in Taxation from Georgetown University Law Center. Brick is admitted to practice in all state courts in Florida, Michigan, and the District of Columbia. Brick previously worked in Washington, D.C. and Grand Rapids, Michigan, counseling individuals and families on wealth planning, charitable donations, succession plans, durable powers of attorney, advance directives, revocable trusts, and multi-generational estate and transfer tax planning.

The law firm of Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A., is pleased to announce that litigation attorney Monica Schmucker has completed the required training and is now a Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit Court Civil Mediator. Schmucker is a former Deputy Attorney General in Indiana. She assists clients in the defense of negligence, personal injury, premises liability, vehicle negligence, and wrongful death claims. Schmucker has been named to the “Ones to Watch” list by Best Lawyers in America in 2021.

ZinnLaw is pleased to announce that Thomas J. Visone has joined the firm as an associate attorney. Mr. Visone obtained his law degree from the University of Dayton, and also has a Master of Science degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Johns Hopkins University. In his 11-year career, he has served as a patent examiner and a litigation attorney. Mr. Visone will concentrate his practice in the areas of contract law, real estate disputes, and construction litigation.

The Southwest Florida legal community mourns the loss of Franklyn John Aloia, who passed away on August 9, 2021. As Frank graduated from high school, his family moved to Fort Myers. Frank attended Florida Southern College. Frank served in the Army prior to graduating from Stetson College of Law in 1966. Frank began practicing law in Lee County, first as an associate attorney and then creating the first law firm in Cape Coral with two partners. He also served as a Municipal Judge. After 51 years of serving his clients, Frank fully retired from the practice of law in 2016.


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