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GRAND ACHIEVEMENT A total of 254 Stetson law school students celebrated 2017 Commencement at Stetson University College of Law on May 13. The ceremony was held in the Plaza Mayor courtyard on Stetson’s Gulfport, Florida, campus. Among the graduates were 28 part-time J.D. students, 12 J.D./M.B.A. students, two J.D./MINTEC students, one J.D./LL.M. student, two J.D./Grado students, eight LL.M.s in Advocacy, two joint J.D./LL.M.s in Advocacy, seven LL.M.s in Elder Law and 12 LL.M.s in International Law.


A LETTER FROM THE DEAN Building the Future of Advocacy at Stetson

Practice makes perfect – and advocacy practice began at Stetson 117 years ago. In 1887, the Florida Legislature granted a charter to DeLand University and its Board of Trustees to establish “schools of every description … and departments devoted to instruction in theology, law, medicine, general or particular sciences, and literature of the arts.” The College of Law was founded 13 years later in DeLand as the first law school in Florida, with five students. In 1954, the College of Law moved from the DeLand campus to the former Rolyat Hotel in Gulfport. (See Page 46.) At its founding, the College of Law was the first law school in the United States to require each student to enroll in a course called “Practice Court,” a hands-on trial advocacy course. In 1963, the United States Supreme Court decided Gideon v. Wainwright (argued by Dean Emeritus Christopher M. Pietruszkiewicz and Professor of Law Bruce R. Jacob), which mandated that indigent defendants charged with a felony were entitled to counsel. As a result, the College of Law proposed a rule to the Florida Supreme Court (and adopted as Rule 2), authorizing law students to represent indigent defendants charged with felonies under the supervision of the public defender. While no other law schools participated, the College of Law established the first clinic in the state of Florida – the Public Defender Clinic – and, shortly thereafter, the Prosecution Clinic, training Stetson students to be trial lawyers. In 1979, Stetson began teaching “trial advocacy” in small class sizes with 85 to 90 percent of eligible students enrolled in the elective course. In 1989, Stetson won its first national trial advocacy title. That same year, Stetson won its first client-skills (Dispute Resolution) national title and, a year later, its first national championship in a moot court competition. During a three-year period in the 1990s, Stetson won more national-level trial competition championships than all other law schools nationwide combined. And there have been more than 200 national, regional and state titles, and 150 best oralist awards since that time. In 1995, U.S. News & World Report announced its first ranking in trial advocacy – and Stetson was No. 1 in the country. Nearly 117 years after the creation of its Practice Court in 1900, the Trial Team, Moot Court Board and Dispute Resolution Board – our advocacy programs – are unparalleled. U.S. News & World Report has now ranked our advocacy program No. 1 in the United States 19 times in 23 years. It has simply been an incredible journey. So, what is next for Stetson? Advocacy has been our past and will be our future. It is time for Stetson to build an Advocacy Building that matches our worldclass advocacy program, which includes six new courtrooms on campus that are dedicated to our advocacy program and provides space for our students and teams to collaborate and practice. There are many law schools that want to use the Stetson method in their advocacy programs. There are many law schools that have built advocacy buildings to attract students to match the Stetson advocacy program. If we are to continue to attract the best faculty and student advocates in the country, it is time to build a facility that will help the next 117 years of Stetson students and faculty define what it is to be an advocate. With your help, we will do it, because there is only one Stetson Law. I hope you enjoy this edition of the Stetson Lawyer.

Christopher M. Pietruszkiewicz Dean and Professor of Law Stetson University College of Law



FEATURES Born to Litigate Family Legacy Paying It Forward Taking Both Sides Change of Plans Rich Influence Case Closed Passionate Pursuit No Disputing Success Student Achievement Students Then, Professors Now

18 20 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 30 32

DEPARTMENTS Beginnings Letter from the Dean Briefs Faculty Forum Philanthropy Events Class Notes Parting Shot

2 4 6 14 16 36 42 46

STETSON UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF LAW Wendy B. Libby, President Christopher M. Pietruszkiewicz, Dean Kevin Hughes, Assistant Dean, Development & Alumni Relations Brandi Palmer, News Editor Lisa Diliberto, Director of Communications and Marketing Michael Candelaria, Jack Roth, Editors Laura Cheek, Tomeka Jackson, Contributing Editors Rebecca Hagen, Cover Designer Stetson Lawyer design and layout by Sky Lake Design Studio Stetson Lawyer magazine is published for alumni and friends of Stetson University College of Law. Stetson University College of Law, Florida’s first law school, has prepared lawyers and leaders since 1900. Today, Stetson leads the nation in blending legal doctrine with practical training, evidenced by its top-ranked programs in advocacy and legal writing, Through our academically rigorous curriculum and commitment to social responsibility, Stetson lawyers are ethical advocates ready to succeed in the legal profession.






n Aug. 3, the U.S. Senate confirmed Michael P. Allen,  Stetson University College of Law Veterans Law Institute director and professor of law, as a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, based in Washington, D.C. Allen is a renowned expert on the law of veterans’ benefits, and has testified before Congress and written widely on veterans’ benefits issues. “I have to acknowledge the thousands of students I’ve taught at Stetson University College of Law,” Allen told the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs during the hearing on his nomination on July 19 in Washington, D.C. “I can assure you that they’ve given me far more than I ever taught them.” Allen has served in a variety of roles at Stetson since 2001, receiving numerous awards for excellence in scholarship, and teaching as a professor for 16 years and as an associate dean for four years, overseeing both academic affairs and faculty and strategic initiatives. Stetson’s Veterans Law Institute, founded in 2012, increases legal services available to the growing population of military members, veterans and their families in the Tampa Bay, Florida, region by bringing together volunteers, faculty, students and other community organizations. Stetson’s Veterans Advocacy Clinic, as part of the Institute, provides representation to Tampa Bay veterans who are appealing decisions denying Veterans Administration disability benefits.

DID YOU KNOW? Stetson Law alumnus James M. Byrne J.D. ’95 was confirmed as Department of Veterans Affairs general counsel on Aug. 3. Byrne most recently served as associate general counsel and chief privacy officer at Lockheed Martin Corp., where he also was the company’s lead cyber and counterintelligence attorney. 6

Stetson Law Professor Michael P. Allen



he winter 2017 issue of National Jurist magazine lists Stetson University College of Law’s Moot Court Board among the best 20 programs in the nation during this decade. Stetson’s Moot Court Board is ranked No. 3 on the list of the top 16 moot court programs for 2016-2017 and is ranked sixth among the 20 best moot courts of the decade. (Stetson ranks No. 1 for trial advocacy, according to the U.S. News and World Report. See Page 9.) In addition, the fall 2016 Best Value Law Schools issue of preLaw magazine lists Stetson University College of Law’s Moot Court Board among the best in the nation. The magazine analyzed seven years of scores and rankings provided by the University of Houston Law Center for the article. “Participating in moot court provides students with an opportunity to further develop and practice the fundamental lawyering skills of communication — both written and oral, a foundation that’s essential to the practice of law,” commented Brooke Bowman, Stetson professor of legal skills and Moot Court Board director.

Stetson students won honorable mention awards in three categories— claimant’s memorandum, respondent’s memorandum and oralist – at the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot (East) Competition held this spring in Hong Kong. From left: Reshma Pharsi, Dale Tan, Associate Dean Stephanie Vaughan, Kara Rogers, Professor Kristen Adams, Bart Kubiak, Vanessa Denk.



tetson University College of Law alumnus Gary R. Trombley J.D. ’73 of Trombley & Hanes, P.A. in Tampa has been elected to the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and was honored with the Goldburg-Cacciatore Inn of Court Award. The International Academy of Trial Lawyers seeks out, identifies, acknowledges and Gary R. Trombley ’73 honors those who have achieved a career of excellence through demonstrated skill and ability in jury trials, trials before the court and appellate practice. The Academy invites only lawyers who have attained the highest level of advocacy. Trombley was inducted into Stetson Law’s Hall of Fame in 2010 and is a past-president of the Stetson Lawyers Association, as well as a member of the Stetson Board of Overseers and a recipient of Stetson’s Paul M. May Meritorious Award. He has served on numerous federal, state and local bar association committees,

was president of the Trial Lawyers Section of the Hillsborough County Bar Association, and chairman of the 13th Circuit Judicial Nominating Committee and Criminal Law Committee. He was a member of the Florida Bar Board of Governors for four years and served on the board’s legislative committee. Also, he is past-president of the Herbert G. Goldburg Criminal Law American Inn of Court Middle District of Florida. “Gary Trombley is a terrific lawyer, person and someone who has done an incredible amount for Stetson University College of Law,” said Professor of Law Ellen Podgor, the Gary R. Trombley Family White-Collar Research Professor at Stetson. A Florida native, Trombley began his legal career as an assistant U.S. attorney, where he received the Attorney General’s “Outstanding Performance in Trial Practice Award.” He then entered private practice and participated as defense counsel in criminal cases, including “The Bank of Credit and Commerce” case, one of the largest criminal cases included among historical exhibits of major cases in the Tampa federal courthouse.



Professor Ellen S. Podgor’s clemency class, top row from left: Allyson Holca, Starcee Brown, Dan Diaco, Daniel Chehouri, Robert Glenn. Bottom row from left: Podgor, federal defender Donna Elm, Jennifer Wilson, Juliann Welch and Dean Christopher M. Pietruszkiewicz. Other members of the class not shown: Nathan Bruemmer, Victor Meza and Monica Strady.

BIG CLEMENCY WINS Ten College of Law students participated in a class designed to assist the 2014 Clemency Project — and one of the 1,300 clemency grants out of a total of 16,000 petitions was prepared by Stetson Law students in that class. “The very fact that you, as a student, may be one of the last remaining hopes for an individual to have his life sentence reduced is an incredible burden. However, it’s an honor to be given that responsibility,” commented Victor Meza J.D. ’16 after completing the class. “It was by far the most practical course I had at Stetson Law.” Stetson’s Gary R. Trombley Family White-Collar Crime Research Professor Ellen S. Podgor and federal defender Donna Elm created the class in fall 2015. According to Jennifer Wilson J.D./LL.M. in Advocacy ’16, a student in Stetson’s part-time law program who worked with the federal legislature before heading to law school, taking the class taught her firsthand how the legislative changes in federal-sentencing guidelines impacted people and revealed the realities of disparate treatment in sentencing policies. “It’s a unique kind of advocacy,” Wilson said. “You’re arguing fairness and trying to convince a decision-maker that the law is different today … .” In addition to receiving a crash course in clemency and learning how to write drafts of petitions, the Stetson students had an opportunity to work in-depth on cases with Elm, the lead federal public defender for the Middle District of Florida.


Students learned how federal sentences are given, as well as techniques used to revisit sentences. After completing the class, practicing surgeon Dr. Daniel Diaco J.D. ’16 drafted two clemency grants, one for a man sentenced to life in prison and another for a person sentenced to 20 years. “For 25 years, I’ve saved lives as a doctor, but I never saved a life with a pen,” said Diaco. “I never dreamed I would be able to save a life this way and get so much gratification.” Several Stetson Law alumni also had successful clemency cases, including Brandon Breslow J.D. ’16; Theresa N. Jean-Pierre Coy J.D. ’04; Dominique Heller J.D. ’07, whose firm had three successful clemency cases; Adam LaBonte J.D. ’13; Brian Tannebaum J.D. ’94; Katherine Earle Yanes J.D. ’97, who received more than 44 clemency grants; and Rachel May Zysk J.D. ’04. The 2014 Clemency Project was created in response to former President Barack Obama’s initiative to review the sentences of federal prisoners who were given lengthy sentences for nonviolent offenses. The criteria for clemency included prisoners who had served 10 years or more in prison, were convicted of nonviolent crimes, and if sentenced today, their sentences would be substantially lower.




or the 19th time in 23 years, U.S. News & World Report has ranked Stetson University College of Law No. 1 in Trial Advocacy. Stetson ranked fourth in the nation for Legal Writing and has consistently ranked among the top six legal writing programs since the inception of the Legal Writing rankings. “At Stetson, we’re dedicated to teaching the key skills lawyers need as advocates and communicators,” said Stetson University President Wendy B. Libby, Ph.D. “Stetson alumni bear the distinction of graduating from a law school that’s nationally recognized for its advocacy and legal writing programs.” “The Stetson educational experience ensures the next generation of Stetson lawyers have the ability to advocate, to speak on behalf of others,” said Charles H. Rose III, professor of excellence in trial advocacy and director of the Center for Excellence in Advocacy at Stetson. “They learn to do so with a level of competency, compassion and professionalism — protecting the rights of all of us with every client they serve.” Stetson also is listed among the Most Diverse Law Schools in the United States. Its part-time law school program ranks No. 24, and Stetson is listed among the top 100 law schools.

Dean Christopher M. Pietruszkiewicz

DID YOU KNOW? In January, Stetson Law’s 17th International Wildlife Law Conference was held in Pune, India. Presented for the first time in Asia, the conference was coordinated by the College of Law’s Institute for Biodiversity Law and Policy and the Institute of Environment Education and Research at the Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University in Pune, along with the chair of the International Master of Environmental Sciences program at the University of Cologne, Germany. The conference brought together international wildlife law experts from governmental, nongovernmental and academic sectors.



n March, College of Law Dean Christopher M. Pietruszkiewicz joined 160-plus other deans from public and private law schools across the country in signing a letter in support of continuing funding for the Legal Services Corp. The publicly funded LSC program is the largest source of support for civil legal aid organizations nationwide, with approximately 1 million low-income Americans depending on those organizations for access to legal services. More than 30 years ago, longtime Stetson adjunct law professor and Stetson Hall of Fame inductee Wm. Reece Smith Jr., thenpresident of the American Bar Association, encouraged lawyers and former ABA presidents to send letters to Congress in support of continuing public funding for the LSC program, which also was in danger of losing public funding. 9


DID YOU KNOW? Stetson Law has won the Chester Bedell Trial Competition 22 times in 34 years. This year, Stetson sent two teams to the premier state competition, which both advanced to compete against each other in the final round. Twenty teams of students from 10 law schools across Florida competed. The Stetson team of Colby Connell, Kaitlyn Dugas, Joseph Sise and Skylar Stewart outscored the Stetson team of Ethan Dunn, Courtney Olivier, Alexis Petrosino and Carolina Suazo in the final round. Petrosino was named Best Advocate. In the preliminary rounds, both Stetson teams received multiple perfect scores for advocacy and professionalism from the competition judges. (See Page 30.)



n February, Stetson’s Veterans Law Institute celebrated the launch of a new medicallegal partnership with the nearby Bay Pines Veterans Administration Healthcare System, Bay Area Legal Services and Gulfcoast Legal Services. Qualifying low-income veterans in the area now have greater access to free civil legal services. They can secure legal assistance for a variety of noncriminal offenses, ranging from veterans benefits and Social Security disability benefits to family law matters, guardianship Dean Christopher M. Pietruszkiewicz signs a new medical-legal partnership to help veterans. and landlord-tenant disputes. (The service to veterans is available in the Main Medical Center Building 100, Embler provides civil legal services to veterans through Bay Area Room 1E-241 at the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center, Legal Services. 10000 Bay Pines Blvd., Bay Pines.) “This partnership is a win-win for all involved,” said Trista Miller Stetson Law students work with VA social workers and legal aid J.D. ’11, the staff attorney with the Veterans Advocacy Clinic at attorneys Cherilyn Hansen J.D. ’16 and Julie Ann Embler J.D. Stetson who helped spearhead the new program. “The veterans ’14 to assist veterans with their civil legal needs twice weekly. have greater access to affordable legal services, law students are Hansen is an Equal Justice Works Fellow at Gulfcoast Legal provided a rich environment to put their legal learning into Services, who helps veterans with their VA disability benefits. practice, and the capacity of our legal aid partners is expanded.”



Professor Stacey-Rae Simcox meets with students working with the Veterans Advocacy Clinic at Stetson.



tetson Law has joined a consortium of veterans’ clinics at law schools nationwide to improve legal representation for military veterans.

The National Law School Veterans Clinic Consortium formed two years ago as an informal resource for the country’s law school veterans’ programs. In November 2016, the resource, with approximately 30 law school members, transitioned into an official nonprofit organization. Stetson joins the College of William and Mary School of Law and the John Marshall Law School in spearheading the effort to grow the new consortium, which helps law schools launch new clinics by offering guidance and technical assistance. The number of veterans’ clinics at law schools has increased from seven in 2008 to more than 50 today, with more on the way. Some clinics assist veterans in obtaining VA benefits, while others offer civil legal aid to veterans or represent them in veterans treatment courts. “The consortium is a hub of knowledge where clinics can learn from each other what works best in helping veterans navigating a difficult claims process,” said Professor Stacey-Rae Simcox, who directs the Veterans Advocacy Clinic at Stetson and is a consortium board member. “The consortium also helps law clinics work together to train future lawyers who may either practice in veterans advocacy or volunteer pro bono time to the effort.” Additionally, the consortium acts as a national referral network to help law schools assist veterans outside their geographic areas or with legal issues outside their scope.

Campus growth: Stetson’s Veterans Law Institute and Veterans Advocacy Clinic continue to expand their impact.

Two years ago, Stetson Law and the University of South Florida joined forces to help Florida veterans negotiate an oftencomplex system, so they may secure disability benefits to which they are entitled. The partnership is believed to be the first of its kind pairing students and faculty from a law school and an academic health center to help serve veterans. Stetson’s Veterans Law Institute and Veterans Advocacy Clinic were dedicated in 2012.




Highlights from the Institute for Biodiversity Law and Policy

Professor Royal Gardner, director of the Institute for Biodiversity Law and Policy


tetson Law continues to provide support to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, an intergovernmental treaty that promotes the wise use and conservation of wetlands. The Ramsar Convention has 169 Contracting Parties worldwide, and Stetson is the only law school that has a memorandum of cooperation with the Convention’s Secretariat. First signed in 2010, Stetson and the Ramsar Secretariat renewed and extended the memorandum in 2016. Professor Royal Gardner, director of the Institute for Biodiversity Law and Policy, serves as the chair of the Ramsar Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP) for 2016–2018, having been reappointed after serving as chair for 2013-2015. The STRP is the Convention’s scientific advisory body.

@@ In November 2016, Gardner was approached by the Natural Resources Defense Council and the National Wildlife Federation to serve as the lead attorney for a 6th Circuit Court of Appeals amici brief on behalf of water and wetland scientists to support the Obama administration’s Clean Water Rule. The 12 scientists included Kirsten Work, Ph.D., and Benjamin Tanner, Ph.D., of Stetson University in DeLand. Steph Tai, Ph.D., of the University of Wisconsin and Erin Okuno, the institute’s Foreman Biodiversity Fellow, were co-authors of the amici brief, which was submitted in January. After the brief was submitted, the Society of Wetland Scientists and six other scientific societies endorsed the Clean Water Rule and the brief. Their endorsement received widespread news coverage. @@ Stetson’s Environmental Law Institute and Biodiversity Institute received a two-year Wetland Program Development Grant from the Environmental Protection Agency for a project to support the ability of states, tribes, and local governments to develop rigorous in-lieu fee (ILF) mitigation programs that yield ecologically effective and sustainable compensatory mitigation. Stetson will have the lead on reviewing and analyzing ILF program instruments for all approved ILF programs.

An STRP workshop in the Netherlands produced a policy brief on integrating wetland values into decision-making. 12

@@ In May, Gardner and Okuno presented at the 20th annual National Mitigation and Ecosystem Banking Conference in Sacramento, California. Gardner discussed the status of the Clean Water Rule in his presentation, “What’s up with


WOTUS?” and Okuno discussed how ILF programs plan for long-term stewardship of aquatic compensatory mitigation sites in her presentation, “Planning for Perpetuity: LongTerm Stewardship for In-Lieu Fee Programs.” @@ Professor Paul Boudreaux continued to perform volunteer work for a number of environmental advocacy groups on both Florida and federal environmental law, while Professor Lance Long (with student volunteers) provided research and drafted pleadings in connection with climate-change litigation brought by Our Children’s Trust. Long also published an article, “Washington v. Professor Paul Boudreaux Brockway: One Small Step Closer to Climate Necessity,” in the McGill International Journal of Sustainable Development Law and Policy. The article argues that the court in Washington v. Brockway, a case involving activists who blocked an oil train, improperly refused to let the jury hear the activists’ necessity defense. @@ During the recent academic year, Stetson Law students participated in environmental law externships across the United States, where the students had opportunities to practice hands-on legal skills. Placements included a variety of private and governmental organizations: the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Ocean Conservancy, the Center for Biological Diversity, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County, and Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo. @@ Professor Long taught Environmental Advocacy in spring 2017. Students in the class learned about the art and skill of persuasion in the environmental arena. Students chose a particular environmental issue and designed a project that included a FOIA request; media advocacy; and either a collaborative project with a public or private entity, a draft of a citizen’s suit, or legislative advocacy. The local projects included innovative and successful projects by students Breanne Professor Lance Long Whited, Kris Galloway, Alex Avera and Dale Tan. Whited worked with the homeowners association at Golfview Condominiums and successfully convinced the HOA to adopt recycling. Galloway convinced the county to install a test recycling bin on the Pinellas Trail near Boca Ciega High School. Avera started a community committee that now works with the Gulfport City Council to adopt policies and ordinances for restricting environmentally unsustainable chain stores from entering the historic downtown area. Tan worked with the City of St. Petersburg and the Saturday Farmers Market to eliminate the use of plastic bags at the market.


In spring 2017, Stetson Law hosted the 21st annual International Finals of the Stetson International Environmental Moot Court Competition. Founded by Stetson Law in 1996, it is now the world’s largest moot court competition devoted exclusively to global environmental issues. This year’s topic focused on ocean fertilization and marine biodiversity. The winning team was from Gujarat National Law University in India (team members shown with Stetson Law Professor Royal Gardner).

The Environmental Advocacy class is a model for combining theory, skills and experiential learning. @@ Thanks to the continued, generous support of Bonnie Foreman, the Biodiversity Institute offered the Edward and Bonnie Foreman Biodiversity Lecture Series again during the 2016-2017 academic year. The lecture series is free and open to the Stetson and Tampa Bay communities. Numerous scientists, attorneys, judges, policymakers and other experts have presented at the lecture series, which fosters a dialogue about important environmental issues and has created meaningful connections and opportunities for students and other attendees over the years. The speakers this past year included Naomi A. Rose, Ph.D., (marine mammal scientist, Animal Welfare Institute); Jeanne Christie (executive director, Association of State Wetland Managers); Jaclyn Lopez (Florida director, Center for Biological Diversity); Song Gao, Ph.D. (associate professor of Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences, Stetson University); and Judge Anthony Lucky (International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea).




professor of law, has become the editor-in-chief for the Uniform Commercial Code Law Journal, published by Thomson Reuters.


professor of law and director of the Veterans Law Institute, testified about the death penalty before the Judiciary Committee of the Florida House of Representatives. Allen also was awarded a commission to co-author a scholarly book about the history of the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. (See Page 6.)

MARK BAUER, professor of law, was elected to the executive board of the American Association of Law Schools’ section on Property Law. He also attended an intensive economics training on the rule of law, hosted by the George Mason Law & Economics Center. Also, Bauer was selected to serve as the faculty liaison to the College of Law Board of Overseers. JASON BENT, associate professor of law, presented at a symposium on the new Restatement of Employment Law, hosted by the Labor Law Group at the University of Indiana-Bloomington. In connection with the symposium, his paper “Searching for Common


Law Amid the Statutes: Report on the Restatement of Employment Law, Chapter 4” was scheduled to be published in the Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal, as well as another one of his papers, “Hope for Zimmerism: Overcoming the Empathy Problem in Antidiscrimination Law.”


professor of legal skills, associate director for the Center for Excellence in Advocacy and director of the Moot Court Board, hosted the 2017 American Moot Court Association National Tournament. Also, Bowman continues to serve as a member of the ABA Competition Committee, specifically the National Appellate Advocacy Competition subcommittee.

KIRSTEN DAVIS, professor of law and director of the Institute for the Advancement of Legal Communication, served as the organizer of Stetson’s Law, Rhetoric, and Legal Writing Seminar and Workshop, an event that included faculty from across the United States. CAROL HENDERSON,

professor of law and founding director of Stetson’s National Clearinghouse for Science, Technology and the Law, published “Sleuthing Scientific Evidence Information on the Internet,” 106 J. Crim. L &

Criminology 59 (2016). (The work was done with Diana Botluk, director of research at the National Clearinghouse for Science, Technology and the Law.) Henderson was the plenary speaker at the American Academy of Forensic Sciences’ 69th annual Scientific Meeting. She presented at the International Academy of Forensic and Legal Medicine and at the Australia and New Zealand Forensic Science Society Symposium. She was honored at the Expert Witness Testimony Pilot Project. Also, she spoke at the Commission on Forensic Sciences.

LANCE LONG, professor of legal skills, participated in two panel presentations at the 2017 Public Interest Environmental Law Conference, held at the University of Oregon. His panels addressed effective advocacy for environmental professionals and the necessity defense in climate-change civil disobedience cases. REBECCA MORGAN,

professor of law, Boston Asset Management Chair in Elder Law and co-director of the Center for Excellence in Elder Law, spoke at the University of Texas CLE Annual SNT Conference and the Colorado Bar elder law section’s Advanced Elder Law Biennial. Also, Morgan joined the board of the American Society on

Aging. While on sabbatical, she worked on chapters for Bankruptcy in Context and two law review articles (one on elder abuse prosecutions; the other on guardianships, the courts and 2030).


professor of law, spoke on “Transborder Crime, Corruption, and the Collusion of Latin America’s Elites” at a conference on Transnational Criminal Law in the Americas, hosted by the University of Windsor Law School in Ontario, Canada. Nagle presented in Brazil on “Embracing Diversity to Create Institutions that Improve Inclusiveness in Societies.” She spoke on illegal organ trafficking in Costa Rica, and her presentations and work were featured in La Nación and Cromos. She presented at Washington University Law School on integrating international criminal court jurisprudence more firmly into the U.S. law school curriculum. She wrote “Understanding Human Trafficking, Corruption, and the Optics of Misconduct in the Public, Private, and NGO Sectors: Causes, Actors, and Solutions,” coming in September 2017 from Carolina Academic Press.

ANN PICCARD, professor of legal skills, published the book “U.S. Legal Writing for International Lawyers

and Law Students” (West Academic Pub. 2017). Also, Piccard presented (along with Professor Adams) at Stetson’s 2017 Inclusive Excellence in Teaching Symposium.

ELLEN PODGOR, professor of law and Gary R. Trombley Family White-Collar Crime Research Professor, was a discussant and moderator at the Arizona State University Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law Conference on Scholarship and Criminal Justice Reform. Also, she coordinated the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ 5th White Collar Criminal Defense College at Stetson. THERESA PULLEY RADWAN, professor of law,

wrote and had published “Not So Friendly to Frenville: The Split Among Courts Regarding Accrual of Claims in Bankruptcy,” 68 Baylor L. Rev. 728 (2016).


visiting assistant professor of law, presented her article “Conceptualizing Cryptolaw” at the Internet Law Works in Progress conference in Santa Clara, California.


associate professor of legal skills and director of the Veterans Advocacy Clinic, continued her service as reporter for the Uniform Law

Commission’s Committee on the Veterans Courts Act in Chicago. Simcox was a presenter at Duquesne University Law School’s Athletes, Veterans, and Neuroscience Symposium on Traumatic Brain Injury. Also, she was a panelist for the National Organization of Veterans Advocates Annual Conference to discuss “Mentoring the Next Generation: Lawyers and Law Schools Working Together to Provide Help to Veterans.”


associate professor of law, was elected chair of the Association of American Law Schools’ Election Law section. Her scholarship was cited in the federal court opinion, USA v. Blavatnik, 168 F.Supp.3d 36 (2016). Also, she spoke at the Federalist Society's 2017 National Student Symposium, on a panel called "Campaign Finance and Free Speech," at Columbia Law School.


professor of law and Dolly & Homer Hand Law Library director, joined an American Bar Association siteinspection team. Her areas of responsibility include library, facilities and technology.


professor of law, presented "Separation of Powers in the New Administration" for the 96th Annual Meeting

L-R: Professor of Law Luz Nagle with Professor of Law Joanna Harrington of the University of Alberta.

of the Tau Epsilon Rho Law Society. Virelli was named co-managing editor of Administrative Law and Regulatory News, quarterly newsletter of the ABA Section on Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice. Also, Virelli was elected to the board of the Southeastern Association of Law Schools.


Associate Dean for Faculty and Strategic Initiatives, Attorneys Title Insurance Fund Professor of Law and co-director of the Institute for Caribbean Law & Policy, supervised Stetson’s participation in the American Caribbean Law Clinic, which included presentations to members of the judiciary at the attorney general’s offices

in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago. Also, Wilson was appointed by the City Council to serve another three-year term as chair of the Code Enforcement Commission for the City of St. Petersburg and Pinellas County.


professor of law, co-produced a webinar (along with Professor Adams) for the American Bar Association, Business Law Section’s In The Know series, titled “International Purchase and Sale of Goods – What Every Lawyer Needs to Know.”



G R A D U AT I O N 2 0 1 7

MIND OV The gracious scholarships I was blessed to receive gave me the boost I needed to enroll in the hands-on practical opportunities Stetson is so well known for. —Carolina Suazo J.D. ’17



OVER MATTER Scholarship helps student advocate find balance in law school: Carolina Suazo encourages others to find opportunities. BY KAI SU Carolina Suazo J.D. ’17 is dedicated to service. Entering law school with an undergraduate degree in psychology, Suazo wanted to utilize her education to affect change in the area of juvenile justice. Events such as the Andrea Yates trial and the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting were greatly impactful, motivating her to pursue law school. “I wanted to share with the legal realm what psychology was about and bring my expertise into the legal field,” Suazo said. Between graduating from the University of West Florida in 2012 and starting at Stetson University College of Law in 2014, Suazo worked as a paralegal and yoga teacher. While researching and applying to law schools, she learned about Stetson’s advocacy program. She liked what she saw. “I wanted to be part of that legacy of professionalism that Stetson is known for,” she commented. Suazo, who instructed weekly yoga classes while at Stetson, believes maintaining a balance between mind and body is crucial to succeeding in law school. Her leadership role as president of the Student Wellness Society allowed her to give back, and she is glad to have been able to hold a space for people to manage stress and take care of their mental health through yoga. Likewise, Suazo believes her background in psychology has helped her communicate with all types of people. “My acquired knowledge in the science of human behavior, relationships and cross-cultural communication have been key elements and skills needed to effectively relate to laypeople in a jury box,” she explained. A self-described kinesthetic learner, Suazo said she learns by doing, watching and mirroring, which is another reason Stetson’s advocacy program appealed to her. Suazo was a member of the Dispute Resolution Board and Mock Trial Team. Suazo received the Judge Raphael Steinhardt Family Public Interest Scholarship during her second year at Stetson and the

Professor Lee Coppock Trial Team Scholarship during her third year. The scholarships, she said, provided the opportunity to invest in her education, including multiple clinical opportunities. Suazo completed two externships and two Certified Legal Internship Clinics while at Stetson: the Children’s Legal Services Externship in the Attorney General’s Office; the Criminal Appellate Externship with the Honorable Judge Thane B. Covery; the Child Advocacy Clinic in the 6th Judicial Circuit, Public Defender’s Office; and the Tampa Prosecution Clinic at the 13th Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office. “The gracious scholarships I was blessed to receive gave me the boost I needed to enroll in the hands-on practical opportunities Stetson is so well known for,” said Suazo. “Without the help of donors and scholarship, my successes may not have been as stellar or even possible.” Suazo was hesitant early in her law school career to attend a private university because she and her family did not have the funding for tuition, but through her diligent academic work and willingness to pursue scholarship support, she made it possible. Following commencement in May, Suazo was intent on completing the remainder of her LL.M. in Advocacy part time while pursuing a full-time career as an assistant state attorney or assistant attorney general, performing prosecutorial or dependency work. Suazo encourages students who are hesitant about seeking scholarships to not be afraid, to not feel vulnerable and to not give up trying – because someone will listen. “To be humble, you have to put your pride aside and ask for help when you need it the most,” concluded Suazo, a firstgeneration American and the first in her family to graduate from law school. “Every student who has received a scholarship had the humility to share their story, and every donor listened.”



G R A D U AT I O N 2 0 1 7

BORN TO LITIGATE BY JACK ROTH The Florin four, from left: Parker, Wil, Chad and Chase

An outstanding plaintiffs attorney, Wil Florin has provided legal services to clients for many years. Today, he feels privileged to be continuing that tradition with his sons.



t the age of 5, Wil Florin J.D. ’80 realized he did not want to be a firefighter anymore. Instead, he knew he wanted to become a trial lawyer.

After receiving his B.A. from Ball State University in Indiana, his work took him to Europe, but he soon started looking at law schools. As fate would have it, Stetson was one of only five or six schools that started students in January. And, because Florin wanted to start right away, Stetson was a perfect fit. “It was a fateful decision,” he remembers. “Stetson wasn’t quite the trial powerhouse it is today, but it had what I was looking for, and it turned out to be the right choice.” Florin excelled in trial advocacy and won the university’s moot court competition; he was a state moot court finalist, too. After moving to Texas for a short stint, he returned to Florida and founded Florin Roebig in 1985. The firm, headquartered in Palm Harbor, now has a renowned reputation, with additional offices in Jacksonville, Minneapolis and Denver. Over the years, Florin and his partner, Tommy Roebig J.D. ’86, have dedicated themselves to protecting and fighting for their clients, many of whom have been faced with losses and personal injury caused by either negligence or the wrongful behavior of others. Shortly after founding Florin Roebig, Florin became one of the youngest lawyers in the United States to obtain a multimillion-dollar jury verdict. Since then, he has secured more than 60 multimillion-dollar verdicts and settlements on behalf of his clients.


I have a renewed sense of purpose with all three of them being here with me. It’s an indescribable feeling as a father being able to work alongside my children. –Wil Florin J.D. ’80 “You have to fight for your clients and not take the easy way out by settling,” explains Florin, who has a reputation for not being afraid to take cases to trial. “You can’t get a good settlement unless attorneys on the other side know you’re willing to go all the way to the courtroom.”

Stetson Ties Florin, who has garnered several professional accolades from his peers over the years (Best Lawyers in America, Leading American Attorneys, Florida Super Lawyers and America’s Leading Plaintiff’s Lawyers), credits Stetson Professor of Law Emeritus Bob Bickel with helping him grow as an attorney and recommending he hire his future law partner, who started with the firm as a law clerk. “Bob is a true friend and mentor, and he always complimented us as a firm even though we hadn’t done much yet,” Florin offers. “He convinced a lot of people to give us a chance and enabled us to grow and succeed.” (See Page 38.) Florin has remained actively involved with Stetson over the years, having served as an adjunct professor in trial practice, a host and keynote speaker for the annual Friends and Family Day event, along with serving as a member of the Stetson University College of Law Board of Overseers. In 1993, at the behest of Bickel, Florin and Roebig donated the funds to build the Florin Roebig Courtroom, one of the nation’s most technologically advanced teaching courtrooms. “It's a great centerpiece for the school’s trial advocacy program, which is one of the finest in the country,” says Florin. “It’s a unique teaching classroom that has developed substantially since it was originally built in 1993.” In 2007, the Stetson Lawyers Association awarded both Florin and Roebig the Paul May Meritorious Service Award, the law school’s honor for most outstanding alumni.

All in the Family

Florin’s strong connection to Stetson has been cemented by the fact that his three sons, Chase J.D. ’12, Chad J.D./LL.M. ’15

and Parker J.D./LL.M. ’17, all have graduated from Stetson College of Law and work with him at the firm. Additionally, his daughter, Logan, is engaged to one of the firm’s attorneys, Stetson Law graduate Nicholas Costantino J.D. ’15. “In my junior year at [the University of Central Florida],” says Chase, “I became more aware of the reputation my father and Tommy Roebig had in the community. And I wanted to emulate that. I still hope I can at some point in my legal career.” Interestingly, all of his sons came to the law profession differently. Chase took legal studies classes while an undergraduate at UCF and loved it. Chad originally studied finance but went back to school to receive his law degree when the financial markets crashed in 2007. Parker was halfway through a doctoral program in psychology when he decided to switch to law school. Chad remembers breaking the good news to his father at a “fish joint” near Gulfport. He believes the next time he saw his father that happy was when he and his brothers were sworn in as attorneys. As far as working with his father and brothers on a daily basis, Chad would not change it for anything. “Beyond all the jokes about which storage closet would become Parker’s office, there’s something amazing about waking up in the morning and knowing you can help make a difference in someone’s life with your family by your side,” he says. As a father, Wil Florin feels incredibly fortunate. “I have a renewed sense of purpose with all three of them being here with me. It’s an indescribable feeling as a father being able to work alongside my children,” he says. Also, Florin agrees with Chad that there is something even more special in this case because they are all advocating for people who need help. “As a family, we feel like we’re doing important work,” Florin concludes. “There’s a great deal of satisfaction having the opportunity to have a positive impact on someone’s life when you’re doing it with your kids.”





FAMILY LEGACY Harley Look Jr. loves being an attorney so much that his son and daughter have followed in his footsteps — with great success. BY JACK ROTH



s an equity shareholder of the law firm Katz, Look & Onorato in Denver, Colorado, Harley Look Jr. J.D. ’78 practices tax, estate planning and elder law. His approach to estate and tax planning issues is grounded in knowledge and the fact he is a real people person. He enjoys helping his clients, and he sums up estate planning in one word: choice.

manifest. People have choices in making these important life decisions, and my job is to give them the professional guidance and support they need to make the most informed decisions,” he explains.

“I find what I do extremely rewarding because I help my clients solve problems before they

“I talked up Stetson for so many years as they were growing up, and I reiterated the fact it has such a phenomenal passing rate for the bar exam and great

Look Jr. certainly loves what he does, but going to work every day is even more satisfying thanks to the fact he gets to work with his son, Harley Look III (J.D. ’07); his daughter, Krista Look (J.D. ’09); and his daughter-in-law, Tanja Leung (J.D. ’07). Being an attorney is all in the family. And each graduated from Stetson University College of Law.


professors,” says Look Jr. “It’s no surprise that my kids eventually decided to go there. We all came away from Stetson with great experiences.” Harley III is a shareholder at the firm who focuses on estate planning, trusts, elder law, estate and trust administration, and business planning. He received his Bachelor of Business Administration from Kent State University in 2001 and Master of Business from Denver University in 2004. Not only did he go on to get his law degree from Stetson, but he also met his wife, Tanja, there. Tanja also is a shareholder at the firm who focuses on estate planning, elder law and estate administration. She graduated magna cum laude from North Dakota State University with a Bachelor of Arts in English in 2002 before continuing on to get her law degree at Stetson.

flexibility to do what my clients want. With estate planning, you get to put your clients’ goals and concerns first.” Krista recalls an extremely positive experience at Stetson, touting her knowledgeable professors and aesthetic learning environment on the west coast of Florida. “Stetson was my first choice, as I was well aware of the school’s reputation thanks to my dad. My brother loved it there, too, and meeting his wife there was an added bonus,” she describes. Working every day with family members can be challenging, but not for the Looks. For Krista, it is about establishing long-term, trusting relationships with her clients, and she knows nothing will ever be left in the hands of strangers. The tightknit family works together with clients who, in turn, are treated like family, which creates an ideal professional dynamic.

Krista, the youngest of the Look attorneys, shares the same professional specialty – estate planning for taxable and nontaxable estates, estate and trust administration, and elder law. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Colorado in 2005 prior to Stetson.

“It’s great my children graduated from the same school as I did, but it’s even more satisfying knowing they’re contributing members of society,” Look Jr. comments.

“While in college, I started to think about law school and getting into estate planning,” notes Krista, also a shareholder, who clerked at the firm for about a year while at the University of Colorado. “I liked not being bound by courts and having the

“When I retire, these relationships will transfer to my children, and I’m confident they will honor those relationships,” Look Jr. concludes. “Our work helping others will be our family legacy.”

He’s always told his children to do right for their clients. It’s the only way to approach estate planning and elder law, he believes.

Left to right: Harley Look, Jr. J.D. ’78 , Krista Look (J.D. ’09); Harley Look III (J.D. ’07); and Tanja Leung (J.D. ’07).




Tamara Clay is using her J.D. and M.B.A. degrees from Stetson to make the world a better (and faster) place.


n her role as director of human resources for Hyperloop Technologies Inc., Tamara Clay J.D. ’10/M.B.A. ’15 works on compliance issues, including the development and implementation of tools and processes to enhance operational performance. The company, which is building a super-fast transportation solution based on an idea by billionaire Elon Musk, is revolutionizing terrestrial transportation as we know it. In turn, Clay is using her skills honed at Stetson to help move people forward. “Like most people who decide to become lawyers, I’m motivated by helping others,” says Clay. “I feel like I’m making a difference here, and not just for our employees, but for the entire world.” Clay works with a team of engineers and experts to reinvent transportation and eliminate barriers of time and distance to move cargo and passengers safely, efficiently and sustainably. The technology uses magnetic levitation in low-pressure tubes to transport people and goods at airplane-like speeds. According to the company’s website: “Think: broadband for transportation.” “As a result of this technology, communities will be more connected, travel will be on demand, businesses will flourish, and cities and ports will be greener,” she asserts. Clay started at Hyperloop as the assistant general counsel and HR manager when the company had only 13 employees. Today, it has more than 270 employees, with offices in California, Nevada, Dubai and the United Kingdom. Also, it has a full legal and talent operations team.

Tamara Clay J.D. ‘10/M.B.A. ‘15

I feel like I’m making a difference here, and not just for our employees, but for the entire world. –Tamara Clay J.D. ’10/M.B.A. ’15 22

Clay credits Stetson with positioning her to work at the Los Angeles-based company and sees her degrees as the perfect combination for anyone interested in corporate law. “Stetson is unique because it provides a supportive environment both while you’re in school and after graduation,” comments Clay, who finds the time to perform pro bono activities in the Los Angeles area. “It isn’t simply about getting degrees at Stetson, either. The school really promotes ethics, integrity and character with its pro bono graduation requirement and leadership-development program.” Clay has nurtured a network of Stetson colleagues and friends, whom she keeps in touch with on a regular basis. She also remains in contact with professors and administrators who have played a major role in helping her grow professionally. The fact that they still support her years later both encourages and inspires her. “You can get a J.D. or M.B.A. from anywhere, but when you get your degree from Stetson, you’re joining a lifelong support network of people who really care about you as a person.” — Jack Roth



Vincent Citro’s diverse professional roles bring uncommon perspective but a common cause.


uring his career, Vincent Citro B.B.A. ’98, J.D./ M.B.A. ’00 has met some fascinating people on both ends of the moral spectrum. He’s sat across from international contract killers capable of horrible crimes, and he’s met people dedicated to the law and justice. “I’ve seen some horrific things, the worst of the worst society has to offer, but I’ve also seen the amazing side of humanity,” Citro says. “As an attorney, I can’t get too caught up in either. My job is to protect the Constitution, and I have to constantly keep that in mind.”

he oversaw and prosecuted matters in coordination with DOJ’s Counterterrorism Section and Counterintelligence and Export Control Section.

“If you had told me in law school I would experience the things I have, I couldn’t have envisioned it,” he says. “I have to pinch myself when I think about where I’ve been and who I’ve met.”

Citro, who picked Stetson because of its trial advocacy program, –Vincent A. Citro B.B.A. ’98, J.D./M.B.A. ’00 leaned toward criminal law early on. He knew he wanted to be in the courtroom, and he In 2015, after 14 years working for learned how to conduct himself the government, Citro returned to in one as a law student. “These the private sector, joining The Law are critical, nuanced skills you Offices of Mark. L. Horwitz, P.A. as don’t learn at every law school,” a criminal defense attorney. he notes. “Stetson, on the other Vincent A. Citro B.B.A. ’98, J.D./M.B.A. ’00 hand, excels at teaching courtroom “To be a good defense attorney, you wherewithal.”After spending a few have to be a good prosecutor and vice versa,” Citro continues. years in the private sector, Citro became a federal prosecutor “Today, as a defense attorney, I use my prosecutorial experience with the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., and to see weaknesses in an investigation and determine where Orlando, Florida. During his tenure at the DOJ’s U.S. Attorney’s defense attorneys might attack. You have to think both ways and Office from 2002 to 2010, he prosecuted an array of federal get used to processing things that way.” crimes, including national security, drug trafficking, firearms, As far as Stetson is concerned, Citro credits his education with cyber, export, public corruption and child exploitation offenses. enabling him to do what he has done. He received the Stetson “I got a good idea of how criminals work on a global level,” Citro College of Law’s 2013 Distinguished Alumnus Award for service explains. “Foreign nationals, terrorists, drug lords … I worked to the university as well as the legal profession. in an alternate reality but learned just how amazing, albeit not “I owe it all to Stetson because it prepared me for all of it, perfect, our criminal justice system is.” especially the trial advocacy side of things,” Citro concludes. “It From 2011 to 2015, he supervised the United States Attorneys helped set my ambitions.” — Jack Roth Offices’ national security program. As its first national security cyber specialist and anti-terrorism advisory council coordinator,



CHANGE OF PLANS Simone Marstiller’s legal career has been a distinguished one, but it almost did not happen at all.


hen Simone Marstiller B.B.A. ’88/J.D. ’96 attended Stetson two decades ago, she had no intention of actually practicing law. A publishing industry professional, Marstiller wanted to obtain a graduate degree to increase her professional opportunities. Something happened, though, on the way to that story. During her final semester, she took an appellate litigation class and realized practicing law was what she wanted to do. Today, having recently retired as a judge from Florida’s 1st District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee, she enjoyed a long and distinguished legal career that almost exclusively was in service to the State of Florida. She started her own law practice in Tampa and has since joined the Gunster law firm. “I had no intention of practicing law, and certainly not at the government level,” Marstiller concedes. “Let’s just say, a lot of unexpected things happened in a short period of time.” It all started with that appellate law class, which she wholly embraced because writing appeals and making 20-minute arguments to judges was something that really appealed to her (no pun intended). “I always loved writing and researching, but I also discovered I love presenting well-thought-out and researched arguments,” she explains.

As a class requirement, Marstiller made an oral argument in front of actual judges, and one of them asked her if she ever considered appellate law as a profession. Her answer of, yes, served as the affirmation she needed to continue moving in that direction. “Finding that one case that proves your point takes a lot of work but is very gratifying,” Marstiller continues. “Building and structuring your argument to present in front of judges is like putting the pieces of a puzzle together.” After serving as a judicial law clerk in the Florida 5th District Court of Appeal and as an appellate counsel for the Agency for Health Care Administration, she became assistant general counsel to then-Gov. Jeb Bush. In this role, she assisted in overseeing the legal operations of the governor’s agencies and advising him on a wide variety of legal and policy issues. Then, following stints as Florida’s chief information officer, secretary of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, and associate deputy attorney general for the State of Florida, Marstiller was appointed as a judge to the 1st District Court of Appeal in 2010 by then-Gov. Charlie Crist. “When I became a judge, I was on the other side, listening to oral arguments by appellate attorneys and having to remain objective every time,” she says. “Everything came full circle.” Marstiller, who serves on Stetson Law’s Board of Overseers, recently taught a Florida Administrative Law class in the same classroom she sat in as a student 20 years earlier. “Stetson was exactly where I was supposed to be,” she concludes. “The school has played a huge role in my life, and I love still being connected to the administration and students.” — Jack Roth

Stetson Law Overseer Simone Marstiller B.B.A. ’88/J.D. ’96



RICH INFLUENCE Private wealth services attorney Mark Haranzo possesses an abundance of professional passion.


t Stetson, Mark Haranzo J.D. ’85 gravitated toward trust and estate law for two reasons: His father was a trust and estate attorney, and Haranzo enjoyed his professors in those particular classes.

More than anything, however, he relished the idea of making a difference, even if people didn’t quite see the need for help. “There are a number of important considerations when it comes to trusts, estate planning, wills and powers of attorney. But most people don’t realize they need to plan for retirement and the inevitabilities of old age,” says Haranzo, a partner at Holland & Knight in New York. Haranzo considers private wealth management a long-term look into the future during which people must prepare for life’s unknowns. They also need to revisit plans they may already have in place because things are constantly changing. He sees his job as helping people put things into perspective and approaches the role intent on establishing long-term relationships through both honesty and directness.

I’ll always appreciate the quality of my professors and their sincere love of the law. They instilled that love in their students, and they definitely instilled in me my desire to take the path I did.

— Mark Haranzo J.D. ‘85

“I have a lot of wealthy clients who are used to doing things their way, but I make it clear to them they need to place more emphasis on estate planning,” Haranzo explains. “I tell them they will die one day, they are in fact not immortal and they need to account for their families.”

Stetson Law Overseer Mark Haranzo J.D. ‘85

Haranzo, a new member of Stetson Law’s Board of Overseers, maintains strong ties to the university. He is excited to participate in the management of the law school and give back to the place that gave him so much. “I’ll always appreciate the quality of my professors and their sincere love of the law,” he comments. “They instilled that love in their students, and they definitely instilled in me my desire to take the path I did.” For the past few years, Haranzo has guest lectured in a Documents of the Deal class at Stetson, where, along with estate and trust insight, he seeks to provide motivation. Whenever he engages with students, he stresses how meaningful his practice is to him; it’s an attempt to pay that passion forward to them. Haranzo, who has accumulated 25 years of professional experience, says that Stetson provided an appreciation and love of law that still inspires him. His words: “I practice in New York with attorneys who graduated from some of the most prestigious law schools in the country, including Harvard and Yale. And I can tell you with confidence that my education at Stetson was on par with all of them.” — Jack Roth




Tracy Gunn ’93 loves making a strong argument for her clients.


racy Gunn ’93 was one of those fortunate children whose parents always encouraged her to support herself in a career she loved. Make what you do your passion, not just your job, they would tell her.

Always a focused student, Gunn attended a private liberal arts school from the fourth grade until she graduated from high school. Her exposure to history, writing and critical analysis made adults comment that she would be a good lawyer. And truth be told, being a lawyer was all she ever wanted. “My parents were always very supportive when it came to following my passion in life,” Gunn said. “I always saw myself as an attorney, and having a strong liberal arts background prepared me well for law school.”

My experiences at Stetson gave me a realistic view of what appellate law was like. … As an appellate lawyer, you have to have a strong understanding of the law and be a good researcher, writer and analytical thinker – everything I love to do.

— Tracy Gunn J.D. ‘93

After graduating from the University of South Florida in 1990 with a liberal arts degree, Gunn knew where she wanted to attend law school and didn’t apply anywhere else. She was headed to Stetson, which had a great reputation and was located in her hometown. While at Stetson, Gunn got an internship with the 2nd District Court of Appeal, and it solidified her love of appellate law. “My experiences at Stetson gave me a realistic view of what appellate law was like,” she described. “I love having to be creative with legal arguments. As an appellate lawyer, you have to 26

Stetson Law Overseer Tracy Gunn J.D. ’93

have a strong understanding of the law and be a good researcher, writer and analytical thinker – everything I love to do.” Gunn graduated and went to work at Fowler White Boggs Banker, P.A., in Tampa, Florida, where she honed her craft and wrote articles for various law publications, including the Florida Bar Journal, Stetson Law Review and Florida Appellate Practice. In 2008, she went out on her own and founded Gunn Appellate Practice, P.A., in Tampa, where she helps clients with their appeals. “If I make a strong argument, that court opinion can be cited in future cases, and part of my brief can actually become law,” said Gunn. “I have an obligation to write the best brief possible and make a strong oral argument in front of the judges if they have questions about what’s in my brief. Preparation is critical as an appellate attorney.” Gunn concedes that another critical part of her job is to actually convince clients not to pursue appeals when there are no valid arguments for them. “Remember that a jury has already made its decision on the case, so unless there’s a good reason to appeal, it’s an uphill battle,” she explained. Unlike many practicing attorneys who found law school to be a serious grind and no fun at all, Gunn absolutely loved her time at Stetson. “I really enjoyed my professors; they were so enthusiastic about teaching and accessible,” she recounted. “I also competed in great competitions, which allowed me to develop the specific skills necessary for this type of practice.” Now, as an incoming member of the Board of Overseers, Gunn is excited to invest in current and potential students, as well as alumni. “It’s fun for me being engaged on this campus,” she said. “It was a great experience for me, and I want to do what I can to make it a great experience for others.” — Jack Roth


I’ve always wanted to change laws, not accept things as they are, and look for different and better ways of doing things. I was never a conformist, and my passion has always been finding ways around a problem.

— Michael Marder J.D. ‘77

PASSIONATE PURSUIT After 39 years of practicing law, Michael Marder is as enthusiastic as ever about representing his profession.


n the 1970s, Stetson University College of Law was a lot different from today. Attending classes and studying was done “old school,” with no laptops, video conferencing and search engines to enhance research and communications. Michael Marder J.D. ’77 admits that lugging dozens of books and making endless copies of cases was a drag, but looking back, he appreciates what a Stetson Law education gave him. These days, Marder is a shareholder and cofounder of Greenspoon Marder in Orlando, Florida. Since establishing the firm in 1981 with partner Gerald Greenspoon, Marder has focused on commercial litigation and timeshare and resort law. Through the years, he has literally shaped the timeshare industry, drafting the Florida Vacation Plan and Timeshare Act and its amendments. He has created processes to support and guide his clients through project planning, structure, regulatory, financing, title, associations and administration of their properties. He was a natural. “Growing up, I was defiant of authority, so as a lawyer I’ve always wanted to change laws, not accept things as they are, and look for different and better ways of doing things,” he explained. “I was never a conformist, and my passion

has always been finding ways around a problem. At the end of the day, that’s what we’re supposed to be doing.” In 1977, Marder never imagined he would have accomplished so much during his career. He simply concentrated on graduating and getting employed. He always enjoyed litigation and complex cases, but his professional journey has been a step-by-step process. One thing led to another, with the firm growing from two people and one practice area to hundreds of employees, several offices across the country and 60 practice areas.

Stetson Law Overseer MIchael Marder J.D. ‘77

“With hospitality and timeshare clients, it spreads out into many different practice areas,” he said, pointing to regulations, employment, tax estate planning, corporate litigation and banking, among others. “I initially thought I was going to be a full-time trial lawyer, but there are so many other areas of law I’m involved in.” Practicing law has never gotten old for Marder. Putting clients first, he says, is always foremost in his mind. He also has the same philosophy regarding friends and family, and he believes if more people put others before themselves, the world would be a better place. His words: “I tell my kids to be selfless, not selfish.” As an incoming member of the Stetson Board of Overseers, Marder is excited to get more involved with university affairs. His son, Ellis, recently finished his first year of law school at Stetson, and it has made Dad reflect back fondly and appreciate his time as a student. He’s also amazed at how Stetson has evolved during the years. “More than anything, my professors at Stetson taught me what our purpose should be as attorneys,” Marder said. “This is very important because we should always represent the profession in the right way, meaning our first priority is helping other people. I’m proud to have gone to Stetson; I truly believe it’s a hidden gem in the realm of law schools.” — Jack Roth 27



The creation and evolution of Stetson’s Dispute Resolution Board has left little doubt: Students are the big winners.

B Y P RO F E S S O R K E L LY M . F E E L E Y J . D . ’ 9 5


no idea what I was getting myself into, I knew how much I enjoyed and thrived on the Trial Team and the Moot Court Board while a student, and I loved the idea of offering greater opportunities to students to compete and be part of Stetson’s advocacy program, which already had a solid foundation.

s a student at Stetson in the early 1990s, when you thought of advocacy, you thought of the Trial Team, which was the most popular and well-known competition team on campus. At the time, the Moot Court Board was composed of about 10 to 12 students and was lesser known. The Dispute Resolution Board had not yet even been created. Back then, one professor coached client counseling, another coached mediation and a third coached the negotiation team. Thus, the general message was that advocacy meant trial advocacy. In 2001, however, that all changed. I had been teaching at Stetson for one year when Dean Darby Dickerson sent me a twosentence email, asking if I would be interested in advising an advocacy board she wanted to create: the Client Skills Board. The dean recognized that advocacy went beyond the courtroom and into every lawyer’s office and every aspect of a lawyer’s day. Although I had


I said, yes, and that began 14 of the toughest – and most rewarding – years of my teaching career.

Kelly M. Feeley, a professor of legal skills at Stetson University College of Law, received her Juris Doctor degree from Stetson in 1995. For more, see Page 34.

The Client Skills Board, or CSB, would be the umbrella organization for the client counseling, mediation and negotiation teams – bringing them all together. And, as soon as the CSB was created, students became interested and excited, with more than 100 students trying out for spots on the board during its inaugural year. Over time, we tweaked the tryout process, along with the board policies and procedures, and added competitions as they became available. Also, we changed the board’s name to the Alternative Dispute Resolution Board and, subsequently, to its current name, the Dispute Resolution (DR) Board.


The essence of the board, though, always remained the same: Stay focused on honing the skills lawyers need and use every day when dealing with clients, opposing counsel, judges, insurance adjusters, witnesses, law enforcement, experts and others. The competitions also lent themselves to teaching students to work as a team, preparing for different scenarios, knowing their client’s facts inside and out, and understanding their audience experience, because each competition was unique. The board did open up those additional opportunities to more students, as I had hoped, and also did so for students with different skill sets from trial attorneys. Not everyone is destined to be, or desires to be, in the courtroom. And, more importantly, most of the practice of law takes place outside of the courtroom. Today, the DR Board allows students to showcase their interviewing and counseling skills with mock clients they have never met before and know very little about in terms of case or background. That means building rapport, asking questions, interpreting both the verbal and nonverbal responses and reactions, and determining legal and nonlegal options. Additionally, competitions could mean advocating for a client during a mediation, where half the students play the client and the other half play the attorneys, and with the help of a mediator each side navigates its way through the client’s needs, wants and emotions. Plus, with the addition of a mediator competition, it means helping the attorneys and clients find some common ground, help air their grievances, and even recognize they are too far apart to come to an agreement.

Law school classes can prepare students to a certain degree, but the immersive nature of weeks of practice to prepare for a competition represents a unique learning opportunity. The competitions could also involve negotiating with a partner against another two-person team and juggling explicit and nonexplicit client instructions, understanding the contingent nature of issues, and being willing to make detailed offers or demands when the time is right – all while recognizing the other team members have a client who has placed similar responsibilities and restrictions on them. Or, they could involve an arbitration, where the students learn both sides of an arbitration dispute and must conduct a full arbitration with opening statements, direct and cross examinations, evidence presentation, and closing statements that include answering the arbitrators’ questions.

Legacy of excellence: Since 1980, Stetson has won five international championships, 69 national championships, 80 regional championships, 46 state championships, 55 brief awards, five professionalism awards and 150 best oralist/best advocate awards. All of these competitions are conducted within a limited time frame and in front of a panel of attorneys, judges and other professionals who are evaluating each statement, offer, question, and response. Through the years, with much hard work and success at competitions regionally, nationally and even internationally, the DR Board has matured into an integral part of Stetson and has become more synonymous with “advocacy.” Simply, the education aspects are invaluable. Students on the DR Board learn a great deal about the law, process, teamwork and clients, as well as themselves. Law school classes can prepare students to a certain degree, but the immersive nature of weeks of practice to prepare for a competition represents a unique learning opportunity. This does not mean the students will be perfect lawyers when they graduate. There is no such thing as a perfect lawyer, but the DR Board gives students additional tools in their toolbox they can use to deal with different types of clients, issues, situations, opposing counsel, judges and more. Instead of waiting to be exposed to a hostile client on day one of their first legal job, students might have already dealt with such a client during competition. This creates the type of confidence and experience that makes a better lawyer and better advocate. In 2015, I stepped down as the ADR Board faculty adviser. I realized that, like most things, new blood, energy and perspective would help drive the board progress into its next phase. I did so with a heavy heart and mixed feelings. Those emotions were purely personal. Professionally, I could not be more pleased that with the DR Board currently in the extremely capable hands of Professor Kristen Adams, it is thriving. And, best of all, that means our students are thriving on their way to future success.





rofessor of Trial Advocacy and Director of the Center for Excellence in Advocacy Charles Rose said it best: “Stetson University College of Law understands the importance of teaching excellence in advocacy from the moment the client walks into the door until the final appellate argument is made. Our teams work together across disciplines to create synergies in the conference room, the courtroom and beyond.”


Rose made the statement this spring in an article published in preLaw magazine that featured Stetson’s advocacy programs, “Top schools for trial advocacy, alternative dispute resolution, and international law.” During the 2016-2017 academic year, there was much success to report.

FALL/WINTER 2016 Stetson advocacy students – representing the Dispute Resolution, Moot Court and Trial teams – won several competitions. The Dispute Resolution team of Allison Belanger and Christina Huckfeldt won the William & Mary Law School Negotiation Tournament in Virginia. Stetson student Mary Wold won the Best Advocate Award. The teams were coached by Stetson Law alumnus Bill Greiner J.D. ’07 and Professor James Sheehan J.D. ’77. The Moot Court team of Brittnie Burns, Marissa Cioffi and Adriana Foreman won the regional round of the 67th annual National Moot Court Competition, Region V, hosted by the University of Georgia. The team also won the Best Brief Award. A second team of Stetson students, consisting of Anna Kirkpatrick, Ali Preston and Natalie Yello, was named a quarterfinalist and wrote the “Third Best Brief.” The teams were coached by Stetson professors Michael Allen and Louis Virelli. The Moot Court team of Hoyt Prindle and Taylor Ryan won the Best Respondent’s Award at the National Veterans Law Moot Court Competition, in Washington, D.C., and was named a semifinalist. The team was coached by Allen and Jason Stearns J.D. ’08. Stetson students Julia Boivin, Anne Boyle, Julius Matusewicz and Brien Squires were named finalists in the regional rounds of the ABA Law Student Division Arbitration Regional Competition, hosted by Liberty University School of Law in Virginia. Matusewicz is a member of the Trial Team; Boyle is a member of the Moot Court; and Boivin and Squires are members of the Dispute Resolution Board. Professor Kristen Adams, St. Petersburg College Dean of Public Policy and Legal Studies Susan Demers, and Professor Roberta Flowers coached the team. Erika McArdle J.D. ’12, assistant director for the Center for Excellence in Advocacy, also advised the students. Stetson competed with 15 other top advocacy teams from around the United States to win the National Civil Trial Competition in Los Angeles, California. The Stetson student trial team of Colby


Connell, Kaitlyn Dugas, Anna Pardun and Joseph Sise was undefeated in every round of competition. Connell also won the Best Advocate Award for the first three preliminary rounds. Erika McArdle J.D. ’12 coached the team along with Patrick McArdle J.D. ’12.

SPRING 2017 The Trial Team of Amara Benitez, Ethan Dunn, Christopher Hallet and Christian Romaguera won the regional qualifying round of the American Association for Justice Student Trial Advocacy Competition in Miami, Florida. Stetson students were named co-champions at the Boston Regional of the American Bar Association National Appellate Advocacy Competition. Felicia Kitzmiller and Taylor Ryan won one of the final rounds and second-best brief. Anne Boyle, Evan Dix and Jeff Keller were co-finalists, and Dix won the sixth-best oralist award. At the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot (East) Competition, Stetson students won honorablemention awards in three categories: claimant’s memorandum, respondent’s memorandum and oralist. The event was held in Hong Kong. Stetson’s team of E. Alan Brock, Vanessa Denk, Bart Kubiak, Taofikat Ninalowo, Reshma Pharsi, Kara Rogers and Ayodale (Dale) Tan was one of the only U.S. law school teams (including Harvard) that received awards in every category. Stetson won the 2017 Robert Orseck Memorial Moot Court Competition in Boca Raton, Florida. Students Kris Galloway, Christina Huckfeldt and Ali Preston argued before the justices of the Florida Supreme Court during the final round of the competition, held in conjunction with the annual Florida Bar Conference. Also, Galloway won the Best Oralist Award in the final round. Stetson Moot Court alumna and Biodiversity Fellow Erin Okuno J.D. ’13 co-coached the winning team with Brooke Bowman, Stetson professor of legal skills and moot court director.




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1. Stetson’s Dispute Resolution team at the William & Mary Law School Negotiation Tournament (L-R): Professor James Sheehan, students Christina Huckfeldt, Kira Ramirez, Mary Wold, Brigette Perl, Allison Belanger, Samantha Grizzle, coach Bill Greiner 2 . Students competed at the regionals of the Annual National Moot Court Competition. (L-R) Front row: Anna Kirkpatrick, Marissa Cioffi; back row: Brittnie Burns, Adriana Foreman, Natalie Yello, Ali Preston 3. Students Felicia Kitzmiller and Taylor Ryan won one of the final rounds of the Boston Regional of the ABA National Appellate Advocacy competition. A second team of Anne Boyle, Evan Dix and Jeff Keller were co-finalists. 4. Stetson’s team at the ABA Law Student Division Arbitration Regional Competition:

7. (L-R) Laura Rose, Courtney Olivier, Carolina Suazo, Kaitlyn Dugas, Skylar Stewart, Judge Brian Davis, Colby Connell, Erika McArdle, Ethan Dunn, Alexis Petrosino, Joseph Sise. Stetson’s team won the Chester Bedell competiton.

9 (L-R) Ivan Lys-Dobradin, Caroline Garrity, Felicia Kitzmiller, Anne Boyle, Julia Boivin, Brien Squires, Martin Musichi, Julius Matusewicz 5. (L-R) Trial team competitors: Ethan Dunn, Christopher Hallett, Amara Benitez, Christian Romaguera (two competition officials at center), Joseph Sise, Colby Connell, Kaitlyn Dugas, Haley Coet at the AAJ regional. 6. Taylor Ryan and Hoyt Prindle competed at the National Veterans Law Moot Court Competition

8. Stetson’s Trial Team won the National Civil Trial Competition. (L-R) Coaches Patrick McArdle and Erika McArdle, Kaitlyn Dugas, Professor Charles Rose, Anna Pardun, Joseph Sise, Colby Connell 9. (L-R): Front row: Kara Rogers, Reshma Pharsi, Vanessa Denk. Back row: E. Alan Brock, Associate Dean Stephanie Vaughan, Bart Kubiak, Dale Tan. Stetson’s team won honorable-mention awards in three categories at the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot (East) Competition in Hong Kong.




STUDENTS THEN, PROFESSORS NOW Stetson Law alumnae-turned-faculty have taken circuitous routes back to their alma mater — all in the name of advocacy. BY BRANDI PALMER


sk Stetson Law alumnae-turned-faculty how they define a good advocate, and the responses illustrate the ideal: A good advocate has to be a good communicator and a team player while possessing a strong sense of professionalism and work ethic. Taking a risk to make a change does not hurt, either – and expect the unexpected. Those are the common threads. Yet, for each of the professors profiled, the path to teaching was different, as was the route taken to law school. The good news is, they all came back to Stetson.



Ann Piccard J.D. ’85 Ann Piccard J.D. ’85 knew from a young age she wanted to make the world a better place. She just was not sure what that looked like. As an elementary school student, Piccard volunteered for HeadStart, a prekindergarten program for lowincome children. Years later in law school, she was more interested in her work with Stetson Law Review than courtroom litigation. Then she heard about a national fellowship with the Legal Services Corp. The fit was perfect. Piccard worked with LSC for a decade and coordinated the volunteer lawyers program at (Tampa) Bay Area Legal Services. She began teaching at St. Petersburg College in 1995 before joining the Stetson Law faculty in 1999, where she has coached more than a dozen advocacy teams. Then, at age 50, she began an LL.M. in International Human Rights Law at the University of London Queen Mary College, graduating with distinction in 2008. Today, Piccard teaches a course in international distributive justice along with legal research and writing, and co-directs Stetson’s Social Justice Advocacy Concentration and pro bono programs. Recently, she was named the Wm. Reece Smith Jr. Distinguished Professor of Law.

Her advice: Explore, experience and then decide. “I tell students it’s a good thing to not know what you want to do coming into law school,” Piccard said. “You can’t possibly know your options until you start learning and doing things.”

Brooke Bowman J.D. ’02

Ann Piccard J.D. ’85

Brooke Bowman has been teaching at Stetson for more than a decade. In addition, she is the director of the Moot Court Board. However, she never thought law would be part of her future, noting, “I didn’t grow up wanting to be a lawyer.” Instead, Bowman enjoyed a successful career managing Disney stores for nearly a Brooke Bowman J.D. ’02 decade before deciding to attend law school. While the former competitive swimmer grew up in the suburbs of Chicago in a family of educators, she was the first in her family to pursue law. As a law student, Bowman dove all-in. She held two editorial positions with Stetson Law Review, served as a teaching fellow and later student co-director for the Writing Clinic, and completed three judicial internships. She continued that dilligent pursuit as a professor. After joining Stetson’s faculty to teach research and writing, she became the faculty adviser for the Stetson Law Review and editor-in-chief of a peer-edited journal. She added work with the Moot Court Board in 2004, and she has coached dozens of student teams and competitions, including Stetson’s International Environmental Moot Court Competition.



“I knew that in order to be a good attorney, I needed to learn how to write,” said Bowman. “What makes a great advocate is an effective communicator, both orally and in writing.”

Through the clinic, Morgan found her niche helping people age 60 and older with a range of civil issues. She has been an elder law advocate ever since.

Kelly Feeley J.D. ’95

After graduating from law school, she was selected for a grantfunded position to assist elders, the first of its kind, at Gulf Coast Legal Services. With the grant, she established an elder law clinic. Then in 1985, she began teaching at Stetson.

As a student at Stetson, Kelly Feeley was a member of both the Trial Team and Moot Court Board. She remembers being given one week to prepare for her first moot court competition; she went on to help her team place second. “A good advocate has to be a team player. You can’t let ego get in the way,” Feeley commented. As a professor of legal skills, Feeley has personified such sentiment. In 2000, after five years in private practice, she joined the Stetson Law faculty. Since that time, she has taught pretrial practice, research and writing, interviewing, counseling, and negotiation. Kelly Feeley J.D. ’95 Also, she has directed Stetson’s Dispute Resolution Board as faculty adviser, plus coached several arbitration, mediation, negotiation, trial and moot court teams. In 2015, she co-authored a book, “Mastering Alternative Dispute Resolution” (with Stetson Law Professor James A. Sheehan J.D. ’77).

Not coincidentally, the Center for Excellence in Elder Law emerged at Stetson a decade later. And today, Morgan is the Boston Asset Management Chair in Elder Law and co-director of the Center for Excellence in Elder Law (with Professor Roberta Flowers). The center provides legal education to law students, attorneys and judges in the field of elder and special needs law, and produces scholarly research and writing on issues impacting those who are older and/or have special needs. Subsequently, the Elder Consumer Protection Program was created as part of the center, serving as an educational and information resource on general and legal matters regarding elder consumer fraud protection and awareness. And that was followed by the elder-friendly Eleazer Courtroom, dedicated in 2005.

Feeley is an advocate for her students while stressing the importance of listening and preparation. “I tell my students ‘your degree is my degree,’” she said. “You have to earn it.”

Rebecca Morgan J.D. ’80 During the final semester of law school, Rebecca Morgan participated in a clinic through Gulf Coast Legal Services. It forever changed the course of her career.


Rebecca Morgan J.D. ’80

Morgan has been right there each step of the way. “I knew I wanted to spend my career helping people,” Morgan said.

Nina Hayden J.D. ’03 LL.M. ’12 Nina Hayden always wanted to be a lawyer, even in elementary school. “I knew I could be a good advocate,” Hayden recounted. As a student, the Maryland native participated in the Public Defender Clinic and trial advocacy course, a handsNina Hayden J.D. ’03/LL.M. ’12 on courtroom experience she said helped prepare her Academic Success and Bar Preparation Services. for work with the public defender’s office in New Port Richey, Florida. When she first walked in the door, Hayden was faced Her intent: help all students reach their greatest potential, from with more than 200 cases. For seven years, Hayden worked with passing the bar to getting a job in an area they are passionate juveniles charged as adults. Then Hayden ran for a school-board about, and beyond. seat and decided she wanted to teach, completing an LL.M. in International Law.

Now, she is newly at Stetson, where she will be teaching multistate strategies. In addition, she is the new director of

“Whatever we can do to help students achieve those goals is the primary goal,” Hayden said. “The greatest joy of the job is to connect with and change their lives.”

Stephanie Vaughan J.D. ’91 As an undergraduate student, Stephanie Vaughan was recommended to Stetson by Professor Emeritus William Eleazer, namesake of the Eleazer Courtroom. Vaughan was encouraged to join the Trial Team. Instead, she chose the Stetson Law Review. After graduating, Vaughan practiced for five years as a litigator, but when she was invited to teach legal writing at Stetson as an adjunct, she fell in love with teaching. In 1996, she left her law firm to join Stetson as a full-time legal writing instructor, becoming Moot Court Board adviser in 2000. Ten years later, she was recognized by Stetson for a decade of distinction. Now Stetson’s Associate Dean for Student Engagement, Vaughan has taught more than 1,500 students in her 21 years on the faculty and coached/advised more than 250 students on the Moot Court Board. Also, Vaughan has traveled across the world with Stetson’s advocacy teams – to Belgium, Hungary, Croatia, Hong Kong and Vienna, among other locales. In 2005, she co-coached the Stetson team that won the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot. Not a single U.S. law school since that time has won the global Vis competition, held in Vienna. Stephanie Vaughan J.D. ’91

“Ideally, a good advocate is a team player – someone with strong work-ethic, passion and motivation,” Vaughan said, simply.





Supreme Court Swearing-In, December 2016: (L-R) Jason Stearns ’08, Grace Dunlap ’86, Michael Marder ’77, Bertha Burruezo ’02, Dean Christopher Pietruszkiewicz, John Ariale BA ’84/J.D. ’87, Simone Marstiller B.B.A. ’88/J.D. ’96, John Moran ’87, Charles Liberis ’67

Top: Derrick Connell ’09 and Dean Christopher Pietruszkiewicz. Above: Dean Pietruszkiewicz, Judge Charlie Roberts ’81, Mark Germain ’04

Holiday Open House: (L–R) Jonathan Hart ’14, Kayli Keough Santa ’16, Benjamin Thomas ’14, Mallory Thomas ’14, Alexandria Nicodemi ’16, Andrew Leggette ’13 Top right, this page: Nenezian Jones Cooley Scholarship Softball Game Holiday Open House: (L–R) Kevin Iurato ’00, Jenay Iurato ’00, Michele Hintson ’02, Raymond Hintson 36

Spring Scholarship Banquet: (L–R) Michelle Payne. Kayla Richmond J.D./M.B.A. ’13, Dean Bruce Jacob ’59, Brittany Showalter, Caitlein Jammo J.D./M.B.A. ’13

Spring Scholarship Banquet: (L–R) John Mitchell, Alicia Mitchell, Jean Miller, Kenneth Rodgers, Teiharhah Howell, Alexander Howell ’17, The Hon. Carleton Weidemeyer, Jeanne Weidemeyer

Spring Scholarship Banquet: (L–R) Jay Dilan Patel, Robert Aranda, Jordan Meyer, Jessica Baik, Paul Bailey, Michaela Kirn

Orlando Alumni Reception: Associate Dean Stephanie Vaughan ’91, Michou Phenelus ’15

Tampa SBA Alumni Mixer: (L–R) Brooks Fusselman ’17, Jenna Jordan, Keith Appleby J.D./M.B.A. ’04, Kathryn Bonti

Orlando Alumni Reception: (L–R) Vivien Monaco ’97, Correy Karbiener ’13, Daniel Kavanaugh ’16, Kristen Gamboa ’12

Tampa SBA Alumni Mixer: (L–R) Stephanie Mas, Ciara Willis ’16, James Jacob ’14, Alexandria Nicodemi ’16, Danielle Amico J.D./M.B.A. ’15, Jonathan Hart ’14, Matthew Ceriale


2016 HALL OF FAME Stetson University College of Law inducted three new members of its prestigious Hall of Fame at a special evening event on Oct. 22, 2016. Professor of Law Emeritus Robert D. Bickel, Florida Supreme Court Justice Peggy A. Quince and alumnus Matt Towery J.D. ’87 are the newest members of the Stetson University College of Law Hall of Fame.

Professor of Law Emeritus Robert D. Bickel Robert D. Bickel has taught at Stetson for 38 years. His national awards include the American Bar Association’s Harrison Tweed Award for Continuing Legal Education and the Florida Bar’s Faculty Professionalism Award. In 1994, he was elected to the American Law Institute, and he is a fellow of the National Association of College and University Attorneys. At Stetson, Bickel served as assistant dean and created the law school’s first federal civil procedure course. Bickel created and launched the National Conference on Law and Higher Education. Now in its 37th year, it’s the longest running national conference of its kind. In 2004, Bickel approached his colleagues to create a Constitutional Law and Civil Rights Movement course. He envisioned a traveling classroom, where students meet civil rights icons where they made history. Bickel also has invited numerous Civil Rights Movement veterans to campus. He and video production manager Stan Arthur filmed interviews with a special group of Civil Rights Movement veterans as part of a digital classroom project for the Newseum Institute in Washington, D.C. In 2012, Bickel and Stetson Law Professor Judith Scully created a concentration program in social justice advocacy, which graduated its first full class in 2014.

Professor of Law Emeriitus Robert D. Bickel stands in front, wearing a yellow tie and a red rose.



Matt Towery is third from the right.

Matt Towery J.D. ’87 Matt Towery, a longtime member of the Stetson College of Law Board of Overseers, was nominated in 2007 for the John F. Kennedy “Profiles in Courage Award” by the family of the late Martin Luther King Jr. and Ambassador Andrew Young. The nomination recognized Towery’s efforts to free a young AfricanAmerican, Genarlowe Wilson, imprisoned under an incorrect interpretation of a law that Towery authored years earlier. Georgia’s Supreme Court, including Stetson alumna Justice Carol Hunstein, agreed with Towery and freed the young man. At the age of 30, Towery was the Republican Party’s nominee for lieutenant governor of Georgia. Two years later, he was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives, becoming the first Republican since Reconstruction to preside over the state House chamber. Towery

also served as the political chairman for U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich. In addition, he was CEO of his family company Color Graphics, which was at the time of sale the largest sheet-fed printing company in the Southeast. Further, Towery founded InsiderAdvantage, a national internet news, polling and publishing company. He has enjoyed an 18-year career in network and affiliate television, and during the 2016 election year served as a political analyst for major national Fox affiliates. In fall 2015, Towery’s latest book, “Newsvesting,” soared to the top of Amazon. com’s hottest new releases. He currently splits his time between running his familyowned investment company, finishing his TV obligations and serving as chairman of governmental affairs at a major Southeastern law firm, Hall Booth Smith, which has a growing Florida presence.

John Lawless J.D. ’09 with Dean Emeritus and Hall of Famer Liz Moody

Justice Peggy A. Quince with Robert N. Davis, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims

Florida Supreme Court Justice Peggy A. Quince Honored with dozens of awards, Justice Peggy A. Quince is a Lifetime Achievement Award and Margaret Brent Women Lawyers Achievement Award recipient, and a member of the Florida Women’s Hall of Fame, which includes luminaries Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Zora Neale Hurston and Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. Justice Quince received an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Stetson University, where she has participated in a number of programs and has served on the Board of Overseers at the law school for many years.

Paige Clarke and Wil Florin J.D. ’80

Justice Peggy A. Quince is on far right. Justice Quince is the first African-American woman to lead a branch of government in Florida, serving as chief justice of Florida’s judicial branch, and the first to be appointed to both the Florida Supreme Court and Florida District Court of Appeal.

Tommy Roebig J.D. ’86 (on right) with family




From left: Richard Hirsch J.D. ’66, Lyn Hirsch, Eunice Lake J.D. ’66, Stephen Schwarz J.D. ’66, Jean Schwarz, Linda Dietz, The Honorable Peter Behuniak J.D. ’66, Lauren Aloia, Frank Aloia J.D. ’66, William Blews J.D. ’66, Tessie Blews, James Smith B.A. ’63/J.D. ’66, Dorey Scott, Robert Scott B.A. ’63/J.D. ’66, Linda McKinley B.A. ’63, Bruce McKinley B.A. ’63/J.D. ’66, Patricia Marshall, Ernest Marshall J.D. ’66, Dean Christopher Pietruszkiewicz, JoAnn Nelson, Melvyn Trute J.D. ’66

From left: Richard Hirsch J.D. ’66, Eunice Lake J.D. ’66, Stephen Schwarz J.D. ’66, The Honorable Peter Behuniak J.D. ’66, Frank Aloia J.D. ’66, William Blews J.D. ’66, James Smith B.A. ’63/J.D. ’66, Robert Scott B.A. ’63/J.D. ’66, Bruce McKinley B.A. ’63/J.D. ’66, Ernest Marshall J.D. ’66, Melvyn Trute J.D. ’66




From left: Robert Byelick J.D. ’76, Stephen Wein J.D. ’76, Leslie Stein J.D. ’76, Daniel Rock J.D. ’76, Thomas Saieva J.D. ’76, Marsha Rydberg J.D. ’76, Gary Carnal J.D. ’76, Marc Tenney J.D. ’76, Richard Gaunt J.D. ’76

From left: Paul Nessler J.D. ’86, Valerie Wilson, Deborah Tozier B.A. ’83/J.D. ’86, Doug Tozier B.A. ’83, Laurie Bello, Jack Bello J.D. ’86, The Honorable Michelle Morley J.D. ’86


From left: Andrew Salzman J.D. ’86, Joan Vecchioli J.D. ’86, Valerie Wilson, Paul Nessler J.D. ’86, The Honorable Michelle Morley J.D. ’86, Deborah Tozier B.A. ’83/J.D. ’86, Doug Tozier B.A. ’83, Jack Bello J.D. ’86, Laurie Bello

Kimberly Proano J.D. ’06, Pamela Fields J.D. ’06, Jason Braselton J.D. ’06, Natalie Wilson J.D. ’06, Terry Mason J.D. ’06, Kathryn Everlove-Stone J.D. ’06, Zackary Zuroweste J.D. ’06, Alicia Koepke J.D. ’06, Matthew Turko J.D. ’06, The Honorable Kimberly Sharpe J.D. ’06, Kevin Cooper J.D. ’06, Retley Locke J.D. ’67, Kathryn Cooper J.D. ’06, Lindsey Lamb M.B.A./J.D. ’06, Jared Krukar M.B.A./J.D. ’06, Assistant Dean Tammy Briant J.D. ’06, Karren Wilson M.B.A./J.D. ’06

Jonathan Franklin J.D. ’91, Associate Dean Stephanie Vaughan J.D. ’91



From left: Jared Krukar M.B.A./J.D. ’06, Kathryn Everlove-Stone J.D. ’06, Terry Mason J.D. ’06, Alicia Koepke J.D. ’06, Matthew Turko J.D. ’06, Jason Braselton J.D. ’06, The Honorable Kimberly Sharpe J.D. ’06, Zackary Zuroweste J.D. ’06, Kathryn Cooper J.D. ’06, Kevin Cooper J.D. ’06, Kimberly Proano J.D. ’06, Retley Locke J.D. ’67, Natalie Wilson J.D. ’06, Lindsey Lamb M.B.A./J.D. ’06, Patrick Lamb


2006 41


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defense, personal injury, wrongful death and employment litigation as a partner at Critton, Luttier & Coleman in West Palm Beach, Florida. Coleman serves on the College of Law Board of Overseers.


Benjamin P. Butterfield J.D. ’86 has joined Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed in Orlando, Florida, as of counsel in the Corporate and M&A Practice Group.

Richard B. (Dick) Collins J.D. ’73 is serving a twoyear term as president of the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys. He is a member of the Perry & Young law firm, with offices in Panama City, Tallahassee and Marianna, Florida, primarily focusing on medical malpractice claims. R. Paul Grady J.D. ’75 became president and chief executive officer of StoneMor and also joined its board of directors. W. Jay Hunston Jr. J.D. ’76 was appointed to serve a three-year term on the Florida Supreme Court’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Rules and Policy Committee. Hunston, of Stuart, Florida, has practiced law for more than 40 years and has been a Florida Certified Circuit Civil Mediator for 25-plus years. Chris Searcy J.D. ’73 received the Ben Willard Award in recognition of his humanitarian achievements that have brought distinction to himself and Stetson University College of Law. Searcy is the president and CEO of one of the nation’s


most respected personal injury law practices, Searcy, Denney, Scarola, Barnhart & Shipley. He has devoted his more than 40-year career to representing and litigating on behalf of the victims and families of catastrophic injury and wrongful death. Searcy serves as an emeritus member of the Board of Overseers.

1980s William S. Kramer J.D. ’80, a partner at Brinkley Morgan Attorneys at Law in Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton, was appointed chair of The Florida Bar’s Real Estate Certification Committee.

Murray Silverstein J.D. ’80 was reappointed by The Florida Bar to a three-year term on the board of The Florida Bar Foundation. Silverstein is an attorney at Greenspoon Marder, P.A.,

in Tampa, Florida, where he focuses his practice on commercial litigation and class actions. Robert L. Lord Jr. J.D. ’83 was named president and CEO of Martin Health System in Stuart, Florida The Honorable James V. Pierce J.D. ’83 recently had his autobiography, “From Fields to Courts,” published by Xlibris in Bloomington, Indiana. Pierce writes of his humble beginnings as the son of a single mother who lived in a three-room house with his siblings and grandparents, while his grandfather worked as a sharecropper in Valdosta, Georgia. Pierce also writes about his journey to professional success. He is an acting Circuit Court Judge in the Unified Family Court Division for the Pinellas County 6th Judicial Circuit. Gregory W. Coleman J.D. ’85 has been appointed by the Florida Supreme Court to the board of The Florida Bar Foundation. Coleman practices in the areas of commercial litigation, insurance litigation, professional malpractice

Mark Bentley J.D. ’87, one of Tampa Bay’s most widely recognized land-use lawyers, joined the Tampa office of Johnson, Pope, Bokor, Ruppel & Burns, LLP. Myra Nicholson J.D. ’87 was named legal counsel at International Assets Advisory in Orlando. Circuit Judge Raul Zambrano J.D. ’89 became the first minority ever to serve as chief judge for the 7th Circuit.

1990s Michael McNicholas J.D. ’90 was sworn in as judge in the 19th Judicial Circuit in Stuart, Florida. McNicholas won a runoff in November 2016. Tracey K. Jaensch J.D. ’91, regional managing partner of FordHarrison LLP’s seven Florida offices, was appointed to the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast Board of Directors. Jaensch has more than 25 years of experience advising hospitals and physician practices on related topics.

Mike Andrew J.D. ’95 joined Enterprise Holdings Inc. in St. Louis, Missouri, as senior vice president and general counsel. Enterprise is a privately owned company that operates Enterprise, National and Alamo Rent-A-Cars. John F. Schutz J.D. ’95 of Schutz & White, LLP in West Palm Beach was selected as a member of the National Association of Distinguished Counsel. Schutz was named one of the Nation’s Top Attorneys, consisting of less than 1 percent of U.S. practicing attorneys.

Henderson Honored for Service to Stetson


ynthia Henderson B.B.A. ’82/J.D. ’85 received the Paul M. May Meritorious Service Award in recognition of her continued support of Stetson University College of Law. Henderson practiced land-use and environmental law before serving as secretary of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation and then as secretary of the Department of Management Services in Florida. She currently works as a lawyer and lobbyist in Tallahassee, Cynthia Henderson B.B.A. ’82, J.D. ’85 Florida.

Florida Bar Professional Ethics Committee.

Jason E. Dimitris J.D. ’98 was appointed to MiamiDade County Judge in the 11th Judicial Circuit Court by Florida Gov. Rick Scott. Lynn E. Hanshaw J.D. ’99 received the 2017 Florida Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Award for the 6th Judicial Circuit.

2000s Barbara A. Hart J.D. ’01 of Stichter, Riedel, Blain and Postler, P.A. in Tampa, was listed by Tampa Bay Magazine (June 2016) as the top lawyer in banking and finance litigation, following a peer review process. Among other achievements, she also was elected to the Board of the Tampa Bay Bankruptcy Association for 2016-2017. She leads the firm’s state court loan litigation practice. Michele Leo Hintson J.D. ’02, a partner at Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick LLP in Tampa, was appointed to the

of Directors Acquisition Trust as secretary for the Orlando Museum of Art. Winship is president of Winship Law, located in Winter Park, Florida, where she practices in the areas of estates, business and tax. Jane Geddes J.D. ’06 was appointed chief executive officer of the Executive Women’s Golf Association West Palm Beach, Florida.

Jason Lambert J.D. ’02 joined the Tampa office of law firm Broad and Cassel as an associate in the Commercial Litigation Practice Group. A successful entrepreneur, Lambert started law school after founding two companies. Also, he was named president of the Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division in Clearwater, Florida. Gregory Groger J.D. ’03 has been appointed judge in the Pinellas-Pasco Judicial Circuit by Florida Gov. Rick Scott. Luis Viera J.D. ’03 was elected to Tampa City Council for District 7. Ashley C. Winship LL.M. ’04 was elected to the Board

Alison Parker J.D. ’07, was promoted within the Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s Office of General Counsel (OGC) to become deputy general counsel of administration. She received OGC’s Division Person of the Year Award in May 2017. She serves as the secretary on the executive board of the Florida Government Bar Association.

Erin Malone J.D. ’06 was promoted from associate to counsel at Phelps Dunbar LLP in Tampa. Malone has practiced law with Phelps Dunbar’s Tampa office since 2008 in the area of labor and employment. Katie Cole J.D. ’07 was appointed to the District Board of Trustees of St. Petersburg College by Florida Gov. Rick Scott. Stanley M. “Mike” Kurek, III J.D. ’07 joined the firm of Kelley Kronenberg in Tampa. He focuses his practice on mortgage banking and lending services, primarily involving mortgage foreclosure litigation.

Katherine C. Scott J.D. ’07 was named a partner of the firm Harris & Hunt, P.A. in Tampa. She will continue to practice exclusively in the area of Marital and Family Law. Patricia Carlson J.D. ’08 has joined Akerman LLP’s Intellectual Property Practice Group in West Palm Beach, Florida, where she assists



clients in selecting, securing, protecting and enforcing domestic and international intellectual property rights. Adriana Dinis J.D. ’08 of the Immigration Law Group of Florida won a law firm commendation for pro bono work by the Supreme Court of Florida. Christopher Y. Mills J.D. ’08 was named partner in charge of the new Fort Lauderdale, Florida, office of Adams and Reese LLP.

Estate “Lawyer of the Year” in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He was named “Lawyer of the Year” in Elder Law for 2016. This marked the ninth consecutive year Goodall has been listed in “Best Lawyers in America” in the category of Elder Law. He is vice president of the National Elder Law Foundation and a member and fellow of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, as well as the Elder Law Section of the Pennsylvania Bar Association. Sarah Barkley Raaymakers J.D. ’09 was named partner in the firm of Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett, P.A. in Tampa Bay.

H. Amos Goodall Jr. LL.M. ’09 was named 2017 Trust and

Stacey-Ann Saint-Hubert J.D. ’09 joined the firm of Kelley Kronenberg in Tampa. She focuses on bankruptcy litigation and creditors’ rights.


David Brickhouse J.D. ’11, an associate in Broad and Cassel’s Tampa office, was honored with a 2016 Up and Comers Award from the Tampa Bay Business Journal. Diana N. Evans J.D. ’12 joined Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP’s Tampa office as an associate in the Litigation group.

Patrick Causey J.D. ’10 joined Trenam law firm in its St. Petersburg, Florida, office in the Commercial Litigation Group. Ashley Ward-Singleton J.D. ’10 joined FordHarrison LLP, one of the country’s largest management-side labor and employment law firms, as an associate in the Tampa office. She devotes her practice to working with employers on matters ranging from day-today counseling to litigation.

Robert Fountain J.D. ’12 was promoted to deputy general counsel of Minor League Baseball in St. Petersburg. Fountain provides legal support with an emphasis on government relations, corporate governance, club transactions and intellectual property.

Wolfson receives Distinguished Alumnus Award


Stetson Law Dean Christopher Pietruszkiewicz (right) presents Jay Wolfson with the Distinguished Alumnus Award at the Florida Bar Convention.


r. Jay Wolfson J.D. ’93 received this year’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in recognition of his professional achievements, which have brought honor to himself and to the College of Law. Wolfson is the associate vice president for Health Law, Policy and Safety and the senior associate dean of the Morsani College of Medicine at the University of South Florida. He also is a national health policy consultant to several news organizations. A founding board member of, Wolfson maintains a private health law practice, where he won the largest Medicare fraud and abuse settlement involving a single physician in history.

Suzanne Eldridge Ward J.D. ’12 joined the Trenam law firm in Tampa in the Private Client Services Group (estate planning and trust administration along with a broad range of corporate matters).


Vanessa A. Braga J.D. ’14 participated as a moderator for the panel discussion “Litigating Attorney’s Fees in Employment Cases,” which was part of the Labor & Employment track of the Orange County Bar Association’s 2016 Bench Bar Conference in Orlando.

Anisha P. Patel J.D. ’14, an associate at Hill Ward Henderson in Tampa, was elected to The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division Board of Governors. Patel practices in the firm’s Litigation Group, focusing in the areas of complex litigation, including professional liability, corporate disputes and insurance cases.

in labor and employment law matters. Mariela I. Tassone J.D. ’16 has joined Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin as an associate in the firm’s

Tampa, Florida, office. A member of the Professional Liability Department, she focuses her practice on construction defect litigation and general professional liability defense.

Jacqueline O. Ellett J.D. ’15 has joined All Life Legal, P.A., in Riverview, Florida.

Bradley Muhs J.D. ’14 joined Trenam law firm in its St. Petersburg office in the Commercial Litigation Group.

Viktoryia Johnson J.D. ’16 joined FordHarrison LLP, one of the country’s largest management-side labor and employment law firms as an associate in the Tampa office. She concentrates her practice on the representation of clients

Valerie Assad J.D. ’16 and Sarah Gottlieb J.D. ’16 joined the Tampa office of Phelps Dunbar in the insurance and reinsurance group.



In Memoriam

Cornelius Demps J.D. ’10 and Deidra Brown J.D. ’13 were married on Nov. 4, 2016.

Theresa N. Jean-Pierre Coy J.D. ’04 and Travis J. Coy J.D. ’02 welcomed their first child, Thaddeus James Coy, on Jan. 23.

Leslie McLeod Jr. LL.B. ’54

Nick Paskiewicz J.D. ’12 and Natalie Paskiewicz J.D. ’12 welcomed their first child, daughter Madelyn Janice Paskiewicz, in July 2016. The couple married in October 2014. Nick is commercial and operations counsel for Ironman Triathlon in Tampa. Natalie opened Paz Mediation in 2016, where she is a certified circuit civil mediator in the Tampa Bay area.

Joe A. McClain J.D. ’55 Allen R. Samuels LL.B. ’56 David Edward O’Neil J.D. ’57 Honorable John McCormick J.D. ’58 William Strode LL.B. ’58 James Glennon Mahorner J.D. ’59 Raymond E. Rhodes LL.B. ’59 Glenn M. Woodworth LL.B. ’62 Walter E. Mackoul J.D. ’66 Robin (Roberta) Davis J.D. ’73 Earle Halliburton Spence Jr. B.B.A. ’76/J.D. ’84 Augustine “Gus” Smythe Weekley Jr. J.D. ’89 John C. Archer J.D. ’91 Kathryn Margaret Ray J.D. ’99


CHAMPIONS AT THE GATE Reportedly opened Jan. 1, 1926, with champagne flowing in the main fountain, the Hotel Rolyat now serves as home to Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, Florida. The resort hotel featured golf, riding stables and a saltwater pool, among other amenities, and attracted celebrity crowds, including baseball’s Babe Ruth and top professional golfers of the day. Rolyat is “Taylor” spelled backward, named after I.M. Jack Taylor, then owner and president of the nearby Pasadena Estates. This photo was taken 91 years later in 2017.




COLLEGE OF LAW Development & Alumni Relations 1401 61st Street South Gulfport, FL 33707




Class of 1967 Reunion Gulfport Campus 15th Annual Mad Hatter Golf Classic Bardmoor Golf & Tennis Club, Seminole, Florida



Alumni Holiday Open House Gulfport Campus

For more information on these events, please visit: and go on Alumni Events.

Stetson Lawyer - Fall 2017  
Stetson Lawyer - Fall 2017  

Alumni magazine for Stetson University College of Law.