first_imgRecipients of the 2006 Pro Bono Awards Recipients of the 2006 Pro Bono Awards The Distinguished Judicial Service Awar d 2006 Presented by the Chief Justice A judge is in a unique position to contribute to the improvement of the law, the legal system, and the administration of justice. The support of pro bono services improves the judicial system as a whole. This award is for outstanding and sustained service to the public, especially as it relates to support of pro bono legal services. Chief Judge Charles A. Francis, Second Judicial Circuit, Tallahassee Judge Charles A. Francis was born in St. Petersburg. He received his B.A. from Florida State University in 1969, and his J.D.with honors,from Florida State University College of Law in 1972. Francis is in his second term as chief judge of the Second Judicial Circuit.Chief Judge Francis practiced in Tallahassee for 27 years prior to his judicial appointment in 1999. While a practicing attorney, he was a Florida Bar Board Certified real estate attorney, a certified circuit court civil mediator, and a member of The Florida Bar Board of Governors from 1992-1998. Leadership positions Chief Judge Francis has held include: president of the Tallahassee Bar Association; president of the Tallahassee Legal Aid Foundation; chair of the Bar Ethics Committee; chair of the Bar Budget Committee; chair of the Second Judicial Circuit Grievance Committee; and a member of the Second Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission.The American Board of Trial Advocates (Tallahassee Chapter) named Francis Trial Judge of the Year in 2004. He also received the Bar’s Young Lawyers Division Outstanding Jurist Award, the Florida Council on Crime and Delinquency Distinguished Judicial Services Award, as well as special recognition for his leadership and contributions to the judiciary from the Supreme Court of Florida, the Florida Conference of Circuit Court Judges, the Conference of County Court Judges, and the American Board of Trial Advocates, both the Florida and Tallahassee Chapters.Chief Judge Francis serves on the executive committee of the Conference of Circuit Court Judges and the Trial Court Budget Commission. He is also chair of both the Florida Courts Technology Commission and the Article V Technology Board. The Law Firm Commendation Presented by the Chief Justice The purpose of the Law Firm Commendation is to recognize, when appropriate, a law firm which has demonstrated a significant contribution in the delivery of legal services to individuals or groups on a pro bono basis. Johnson, Pope, Bokor, Ruppel & Burns, LLP, Clearwater & Tampa, Florida Founded more than 30 years ago, Johnson, Pope, Bokor, Ruppel & Burns is a full service firm committed to providing high-quality representation to businesses and individuals throughout Florida. Since its inception, the firm has consistently grown, and is now the largest law firm in Pinellas County. The firm has offices in both Clearwater and in the heart of downtown Tampa. The firm is proud of its deep roots and excellent reputation in Florida’s Tampa Bay area. ­­The firm’s attorneys dedicate their practices to providing high-quality, client-driven legal services with the utmost professional integrity. ­The firm’s clients include commercial lenders, local governments and special districts, a variety of local and national businesses, real estate developers, medical professionals, accounting and engineering firms, and religious institutions, as well as individuals and consumers. ­The firm’s lawyers believe that service to their communities is a vital component of their profession. To that end, they have served on numerous non-profit boards and are active in local area Chambers of Commerce, educational institutions, the arts, and cultural and community events.The Voluntary Bar Association Pro Bono Service Award Presented by the Chief Justice The purpose of the Voluntary Bar Association Pro Bono Service Award is to recognize, when appropriate, a voluntary bar which has demonstrated a significant contribution in the delivery of legal services to individuals or groups on a pro bono basis. Hispanic Bar Association, Stetson University College of Law The Hispanic Bar Association of the Stetson University College of Law is a student organization developed to increase awareness of the Hispanic community in the Tampa Bay area.HBA sponsors luncheons for the entire student body serving traditional Hispanic foods paired with Latin music and World Cup viewings in addition to its bi-weekly meetings. These events are open to the entire school and allow members to both celebrate their culture among themselves and share their culture with their peers.The HBA also serves the community by helping local attorneys translate for non-Spanish speaking attorneys in order to help them communicate with Spanish-speaking clients.The Florida Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Award The Florida Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Award was established in 1981. Its purpose is twofold: “to further encourage lawyers to volunteer free legal services to the poor by recognizing those who make such public service commitments, and to communicate to the public some sense of the substantial volunteer services provided by Florida lawyers to those who cannot afford legal fees.”This award recognizes individual lawyer service in each of Florida’s specific judicial circuits. It is presented annually in conjunction with the Tobias Simon Pro Bono Service Award given by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of Florida. Michael J. Stebbins Pensacola, Florida First Judicial Circuit Michael J. Stebbins was born in Framingham, Mass. He received his B.A. cum laude from Brandeis University in 1978 and his J.D. from Western New England College School of Law in 1983.He moved to Pensacola in 1984 and began practicing law in the U.S. Navy as a member of the Judge Advocate General Corps. In 1989, Stebbins joined the law firm of Ray & Kievit and later became a partner. In 1995, he completed an inter-service transfer from the U.S. Navy Reserve to the U.S. Air Force Reserve. In 1999, Stebbins received the Meritorious Service Medal by the U.S. Air Force for his outstanding service as a reserve judge advocate. He was also presented the Gen. Jerry Scott Award that same year for his development of the Eglin AFB Law Center Web site.Stebbins is a member of The Florida Bar, and the Massachussetts and Pennsylvania bars, the Bar for the Federal District Court of the Northern District of Florida, and the Escambia-Santa Rosa Bar.As a member of the Escambia-Santa Rosa Bar, Stebbins has held various leadership positions including: president, vice president, and treasurer. He has also served as chair and member of several committees. Stebbins is a member of the Northwest Florida Legal Services Board of Trustees and served as its president from 1997-1999. He has also served as its treasurer and vice president.Stebbins was appointed as a traffic court magistrate in April 2000 to hear traffic court cases in Escambia County. Gwendolyn Palmer Adkins Tallahassee Second Judicial Circuit A native of Tallahassee, Gwen Adkins is a graduate with honors of Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Ga. and Florida State University College of Law. She became a member of The Florida Bar in 1992.Adkins is a shareholder with the Tallahassee law firm of Coppins Monroe Adkins Dincman & Spellman. She has served as a representative on The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division Board of Governors and as a member of the board for the Tallahassee Bar Association’s Legal Aid Foundation. Currently, Adkins serves as secretary to the William H. Stafford American Inns of Court. She is also a member of the Tallahassee Bar Association, and The Florida Association of Police Attorneys.Adkins comes from a large, close-knit family, and is a wife and mother to three children, 6-year-old twin boys and a 4-year-old girl. She gives to the community through her service on the board of directors for Easter Seals of North Florida and through her pro bono legal work. Since 1992, Adkins has provided legal services to indigent persons through the Legal Aid Foundation. In 2001, Adkins represented a grandmother fighting to adopt her grandchildren, a case most said was a losing battle. After more than three years and 170 hours, an appeal, and an evidentiary hearing, the grandmother brought her grandchildren home. The case laid the foundation for a subsequent case decided by the Florida Supreme Court which clarified the rights of adoptive parents. John J. Kendron Lake City Third Judicial Circuit John J. Kendron was born in Evanston, Ill., and raised in Lakeland. He graduated from Lakeland High School, then Florida State University where he acquired his undergraduate degree and his J.D., both with honors. Upon graduating from law school in 2000, he moved to Lake City to join the firm of Brannon, Brown, Haley, Robinson & Bullock. In January of 2005, Kendron and three other attorneys left their firm and formed the new firm of Robinson, Kennon & Kendron.Kendron practices in the areas of estate planning, probate, trust, and guardianship administration and elder law. He is a member the Third Circuit Bar Association, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and the Florida Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. He was also a member of the U.S. Marine Corps for eight years. In his community he served as the teen court judge for Columbia County and currently serves on the board of directors of Columbia County Senior Services, Inc. Kendron has dedicated numerous pro bono hours to clients of Three Rivers Legal Services, Inc., with estate planning, probate and real estate issues.Kendron’s pro bono work includes estate planning for indigent families in his community and for the Veterans of Foreign War. He has provided assistance with public benefits eligibility for families in his community and served as attorney ad litem for children in dependency proceedings. Kendron also has administered probate estates for indigent families in his community and administered guardianships for indigent wards in his community. John S. Mills Jacksonville Fourth Judicial Circuit John S. Mills is a fifth-generation Floridian. He received his undergraduate degree from Florida State University and his J.D., summa cum laude, from The University of Georgia. After serving as a law clerk for Judge Gerald B. Tjoflat of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit and practicing in Foley & Lardner’s Jacksonville office, Mills formed an appellate litigation boutique in North Florida in 2002.Mills accepts pro bono appeals from indigent parties who contact him directly, from Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, and also by appointment from the Supreme Court, and the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. He files amicus briefs on a pro bono basis for public interest groups, including the Educational Fund to End Gun Violence, the National Security Archive, and the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers. His most high-profile pro bono matter included a victory in the Supreme Court in favor of approximately 1,200 “Mariel” Cubans challenging indefinite detention, which also resulted in the 11th Circuit’s subsequent recognition of the right to court-appointed counsel under the Criminal Justice Act for habeas petitioners in immigration matters. He received the pro bono award of The Florida Bar Appellate Practice Section (2005), and his firm has received the Fourth Judicial Circuit Public Good Champion Award (2004 and 2005). Mills also devotes a portion of his practice to representing lower income clients and the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission on a reduced fee basis. Mary B. Steddom Ocala Fifth Judicial Circuit Mary B. Steddom has been practicing in Ocala since 1973. She was a legal secretary for 20 years prior to entering law school. Steddom received her J.D. from the University of Florida College of Law and after graduating, returned to Ocala to practice with William G. O’Neill prior to opening her solo practice in 1980.Steddom has handled pro bono cases referred by Withlacoochee Area Legal Services, Inc., and has also taken on pro bono clients independently. She has served in numerous volunteer capacities in Ocala, including a four-year term as a trustee of Central Florida Community College; six years on the CFCC Foundation Board; and is now a foundation board member emeritus. Steddom has been honored as a distinguished graduate of CFCC. For 10 years she served on the board of the Fifth Circuit Public Guardian Corporation. She currently serves on the board of Church Without Walls, where she has tutored incarcerated youth at Marion County’s juvenile correction facility. Steddom also has volunteered with the Nursing Home Ombudsman Committee, Red Cross, Marion County Senior Services, and Act II Counseling.Steddom has also been active in her church, serving on its governing board and acting on various committees. She spent three years working with the Permanent Judicial Committee, Presbyterian Church, U.S.A.Steddom was born in New York City, but has lived in Florida since 1948. Elise K. Winters Clearwater Sixth Judicial Circuit Elise K. Winters is a sole practitioner in Clearwater, focusing on the areas of business, commercial real estate, construction, and commercial landlord/tenant law. She earned her undergraduate degree and J.D., with honors, from the University of Florida.Winters has provided pro bono representation and assistance in a wide variety of legal matters. She has conducted intake interviews and case placement for Gulf Coast Legal Services and the Clearwater Bar Foundation and participated in clinics sponsored by Gulf Coast Legal Services, the Clearwater Bar Foundation, the Pinellas County Clerk of Court, and the Clearwater Bar Association.Winters strongly believes in the importance of educating the public about the court system. She is the coordinator for the Clearwater Bar’s Peoples’ Law School, the north county coordinator for the High School Speakers Program, and serves on the speakers bureau for Pinellas County Schools. Winters is currently a member of the Clearwater Bar’s Pro Bono Committee. She has served as president of the Clearwater Bar Foundation, the Clearwater Bar, and the Florida Council of Voluntary Bar Association Presidents. She has also served as chair of the Sixth Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission, the Spouse Abuse Shelter Board, and the City of Clearwater Downtown Development Board. She has been a member of the Sixth Circuit Grievance Committee, the Sixth Circuit Pro Se Committee, the Sixth Circuit Committee on Professionalism, the Pinellas County Charitable Solicitations Board, the Pinellas County Social Action Funding Committee, the Samaritan Center Board of Trustees, and the Helpline Committee of Family Resources, Inc. Julia Soerpeboel Palm Coast Seventh Judicial Circuit Julia A. Soerpeboel received her B.A. from the University of Michigan and her J.D. from Valparaiso University School of Law in Indiana. Soerpeboel is eligible to practice in Michigan and Florida.Soerpeboel began her career at the multi-national company, Norsk Hydro Aluminum, where she handled labor relations and human resources matters. She was in private practice for some time in the areas of labor relations, employment, Fair Labor Standard Act, and family law. Soerpeboel then returned to the human resources arena where she was the human resources director for a retirement community which encompassed independent, assisted, and nursing care and employed more than 300 employees. While practicing in Michigan, Soerpeboel was a certified community dispute resolution mediator assisting potential litigants in satisfactorily resolving disputes outside of the court system.Soerpeboel is a member of the Flagler County Bar. She has performed pro bono legal service through Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida and the Volunteer Lawyers Project. Once a month for the past two years Soerpeboel has provided assistance at evening family law advice clinics in Palm Coast. P. Ause Brown Gainesville Eighth Judicial Circuit P. Ause Brown attended the University of Florida, where he earned a B.S. in 1953. Prior to his collegiate career, he served in the U.S. Army for two years. In 1964, he earned his J.D. from the University of Florida College of Law. After graduation, Brown joined the firm of Barton & Burwell. His career experience includes Brown & John-son (1972-1991); P. Ause Brown, P.A. (1991-1995); Bates & Brown (1995-2004). Currently he is self-employed.With more than 40 years of experience, Brown has served the legal community in many capacities. He has been a Florida Supreme Court Mediator, and a mediator for the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida. He has also participated in Alternative Dispute Resolution since 1975.As a legal practitioner since 1964, Brown first provided pro service as a member of the legal aid committee of the Eighth Circuit Bar. Since the early 1970s, Brown has represented clients through Three Rivers Legal Services Volunteer Attorney Program. Over the past several years, he has accepted numerous cases both independently and through legal aid organizations and has provided more than 200 hours of free legal services.Active in his community, Brown serves on the boards for the Red Cross and Santa Fe River Baptist Association. In addition, he is a member of the Gainesville Gator Exchange Club, the American Legion of Newberry, the board of deacons for Parkview Baptist Church, and the Democratic Executive Committee. Matthew G. Brenner Orlando Ninth Judicial Circuit Matt Brenner was born in the Bronx., and grew up in Spring Valley, N.Y. He received bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Economics from Colgate University, and received his J.D. from The College of William and Mary School of Law. Brenner is a partner at Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, focusing on litigation of real estate, banking, and business matters. As a member of the Orange County Bar he has chaired its Judicial Relations and Federal/State Trial Practice committees. He has also chaired a Florida Bar grievance committee for the Ninth Judicial Circuit.Throughout his career, Brenner has provided a variety of pro bono services. He has served as guardian ad litem for neglected and abused children, and has aided clients in a variety of other legal matters. Brenner has taught the Pro Se Divorce Clinic and has participated in Orange County’s Teen Court Diversion Program. Currently, Brenner is providing legal services to Habitat for Humanity. Brenner is his firm’s Pro Bono Committee chair, and has served on the boards of The Pace Center for Girls and Seniors First, Inc.Brenner received The Orange County Legal Aid Society’s New Attorney Award of Excellence in 1990, and the Award of Excellence in 1996. In 2005, he received the Judge J.C. “Jake” Stone Distinguished Service Award from the OCLAS. Stephen R. Senn Lakeland 10th Judicial Circuit Stephen R. Senn earned a B.S. in 1986 from Florida State University and remained at FSU for his legal education, where he served as article and Notes editor for the Florida State University Law Review. In 1989, he received his J.D. with high honors. After graduation, Mr. Senn served as a law clerk to U.S. District Judge William J. Castagna.Senn currently practices in the Lakeland office of Peterson & Myers. His practice includes appeals, federal litigation, employment disputes, and complex commercial and business disputes. He is Board Certified in Appellate Law. Additionally, he chairs the Advisory Committee on Rules for the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida.Since 1998, he has been a member of the board of directors for Florida Rural Legal Services, Inc., and presently serves as secretary. Senn also is a member of the board of directors and secretary of the Florida Equal Justice Center. He has served on the Pro Bono Committee for the 10th Circuit since 1999. Senn has handled a wide variety of pro bono cases, both independently and through his firm. His extensive pro bono efforts have primarily involved litigation matters in state and federal court. In 2005, Senn was honored with the Jon H. Anderson Pro Bono Exceptional Participation Award, in recognition of exceptional commitment and contribution to pro bono legal services to benefit the lives of indigent individuals. John Kozyak Coral Gables 11th Judicial Circuit John Kozyak was born in Champaign, Ill. He attended the University of Illinois where he earned his B.S. in marketing. He received his J.D. from the Washington University of School of Law in St. Louis and moved to Miami in 1975.Kozyak is a founding partner of Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton, a 20-lawyer firm, specializing in complex commercial litigation, including bankruptcy. He is a fellow in both the American College of Bankruptcy and American College of Trial Lawyers and appears in bankruptcy courts across the country. He also serves as trustee and receiver in major cases.Kozyak’s passion for many years has been promoting minority law school students. He personally matches African-American students throughout Florida with judges and lawyers, who serve as mentors. This past fall, he organized a mentoring picnic, which attracted approximately 1,000 judges, lawyers, faculty, and minority students.Kozyak has accepted pro bono cases for more than 25 years. He has helped raise money for legal aid, and has recruited other lawyers to provide pro bono assistance to individuals. Kozyak has been recognized several times by the Dade County Bar Put Something Back Pro Bono project for his efforts. Kozyak received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Washington University and an honorary J.D. from the University of Miami for his efforts to promote diversity and inclusion. In 2004, Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton received the Chief Justice’s Law Firm Commendation. Joseph F. Summonte, Jr. Sarasota 12th Judicial Circuit Joseph F. Summonte Jr., was born and raised in New Jersey and received his B.S. in Political Science, cum laude, from Monmouth College (now Monmouth University). Summonte relocated to Florida in 1994 and received his J.D. cum laude from Stetson University College of Law in 1997. While at Stetson, he completed internships with the Hillsborough County Environmental Protection Commission, The Hillsbor-ough County Attorney’s Office, and with Judge James D. Whittemore, now a federal district court judge for the Middle District of Florida.Summonte, through the ABA-YLD Disaster Legal Services Program, provided legal assistance to those impacted by 2004 hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne throughout Florida. His work primarily involved protecting families from landlords’ refusals to return security deposits and the threat of eviction proceedings. In each case, the residents were able to remain in possession of their homes until they could locate suitable alternative housing.Summonte is a senior associate with Judd, Ulrich, Scarlett & Dean in Sarasota, where his practice includes civil trial law, commercial litigation, construction law, and condominium and homeowner association law. He has been listed in multiple editions of Who’s Who in America and the 2005-2006 edition of Who’s Who in American Law. He has also been a speaker on construction issues, providing continuing education credits for contractors, engineers, and other construction professionals.Summonte also received The Florida Bar’s Young Lawyers Division 2006 Pro Bono Service Award for his work on behalf of hurricane victims. Charles H. Scruggs III Tampa 13th Judicial Circuit Charles H. Scruggs III, was born in Birmingham, Ala. and moved to Tampa in 1945. He graduated from the University of Florida with a B.S. in 1960 and received his J.D. from the University of Mississippi.Scruggs has been a member of The Florida Bar since 1964, serving on numerous Hillsborough County Bar committees including the Legal Aid Committee. As chair of the Law Day Committee, he organized courthouse tours for school children. A former circuit judge, Scruggs left the bench in 1979, and began his private practice as a sole practitioner focusing on family law. Well-known within the Christian community for his extensive legal work with the poor, he has donated hundreds of hours as an intake attorney for Bay Area Legal Services; he also mentors less experienced attorneys through the Volunteer Lawyers Program. In recognition of these volunteer activities, he was awarded the H.A.V.E. A Heart Outstanding Pro Bono Service Award in 1999, by the Hillsborough County Bar.Active in his community, Scruggs served as co-founder and director of DWI counterattack, a local program developed to educate/rehabilitate individuals convicted of drunk driving. This program has since been adopted statewide and is statutorily mandated for reinstatement of driving privileges. As a result, the ABA awarded him its Outstanding Traffic Judge Award. Douglas Sale Panama City 14th Judicial Circuit Douglas Sale was born and raised in Panama City. He received his B.A. with high honors in Economics and Political Science from Vanderbilt University, and his J.D. with honors from the University of Florida. He is a member of The Florida Bar and has served as president of the Bay County Bar Association and the Florida Municipal Attorney’s Association. He practices law with the firm of Harrison, Sale, McCloy & Thompson in Panama City and leads the firm’s local government group which represents several cities, community redevelopment agencies, the school board, and several special districts, including the public hospital and the airport.Sale’s pro bono work has been primarily through the Bay County Bar’s First Saturday Legal Clinic and individual referrals. Since 2000, he has served as a judge on the Bay County Teen Court. He also holds an active U.S. Merchant Marine Officer’s Master license. Larry D. Murrell, Jr. West Palm Beach 15th Judicial Circuit Larry “Donnie” Murrell received his J.D. from Florida State University College of Law in 1981. He is Board Certified in criminal trial law. His practice is exclusively criminal defense in state and federal court.Murrell has been involved in pro bono work throughout his career. He has regularly accepted cases from his local legal aid society. He was nominated for The Florida Bar President’s Pro Bono Service award specifically for his work on behalf of a young man wrongfully convicted of first degree murder. The defendant had been sentenced to life in prison at the age of 19 for a shooting he did not commit. Murrell worked for four years, traveling the state interviewing witnesses, taking depositions, and filing post-conviction motions. His work included an appeal to the Fourth DCA and a three-day evidentiary hearing in the trial court, after which the client was granted a new trial. The client was released from prison after 13 years in custody and reunited with his family.Murrell has also donated time and effort to improving the criminal justice system, working with the Indigent Services Committee of the 15th Circuit and the Prosecutor/Public Defender Trial Training Seminar, sponsored by the Criminal Law Section. He was elected as the first president of the Palm Beach Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and served as president of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Howard Talenfeld Parkland 17th Judicial Circuit Since 1981, Howard Talenfeld has practiced civil rights, personal injury, commercial, and class action litigation with Colodny, Fass, Talenfeld, Karlinsky & Abate. For years, he represented the state Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services as outside counsel in class actions concerning foster care, children’s mental health, juvenile justice, Florida’s psychiatric hospitals, and Medicaid services. In 1993, he decided to help Florida’s vulnerable populations by representing them in class action litigation and damage claims for negligence and civil rights violations.Talenfield volunteers hundreds of hours annually to protect foster children and the developmentally disabled. He represents foster children as an attorney ad litem and drafted Florida’s Bill of Goals for Dependent Children. He initiated Florida’s pilot program for attorneys ad litem for dependent children, helped create Broward’s Children’s Services Counsel, which provides $50 million annually to protect children and obtained a $12 million appropriation for the Florida Guardian Ad Litem Program. He chairs the Children’s Issues Team for Broward Days, the county’s advocacy group before the legislature and served as director for Florida’s Voice for Mental Retardation (2002-2004). In 2002, he co-founded Florida’s Children First, a nonprofit organization that advocates for at-risk children. As president, he helped obtain the passage of critical legislation for foster children to improve their representation, protect their educations, and obtain access to their records.Talenfield has been a Big Brother, director of Hurricane Relief for Miami Foster Kids, Inc., and a youth soccer and softball coach. Thomas G. Freeman Altamonte Springs 18th Judicial Circuit Thomas G. Freeman was born in Springfield, Ill. He graduated from the University of Illinois in 1960. After service in the U.S. Navy, he received his J.D. from the University of Florida in 1965.Freeman served as the Seminole County attorney, and as a municipal judge for Casselberry and Winter Springs. He was an 18th Circuit judge from 1994 to July 2003, when he retired.Freeman has represented clients of the Seminole County Bar’s Legal Aid Society with divorce, paternity, and landlord-tenant issues. In 2004, the SCBA Legal Aid Society recognized his contributions by presenting him with a Life Achievement Award. During the past two years, Freeman helped the SCBA Legal Aid Society procure a new location and pledged $5,000 towards its purchase. The facility will assist in providing indigent clients with legal help for many years.Freeman has served on The Florida Bar’s Board of Governors and the Standing Committee on Professionalism. He has also served as president of the Seminole County Bar and Florida Council of Bar Presidents. He currently president of the SCBA Legal Aid Society.In 2000, he received the Williams-Johnson Award as Judge of the Year. Freeman is currently an adjunct professor at Barry University College of Law and maintains a law office in Altamonte Springs. Brian J. Connelly Vero Beach 19th Judicial Circuit Brian J. Connelly obtained his undergraduate degree from the College of the Holy Cross, and his J.D. from Stetson University College of Law. He returned to Vero Beach to practice personal injury and civil trial law in 1995. Connelly joined Gould Cooksey Fennell in 2000 focusing on the areas of personal injury, wrongful death, product liability, Social Security disability, and insurance litigation.Connelly’s commitment to practicing personal injury law has resulted in the creation of a new law in Florida involving the parameters of expert testimony for cases involving personal injury. His recent trial work with co-counsel David Carter resulted in the largest verdict in Indian River County history for a nonsurgical automobile accident case. The case was recently featured in Florida Lawyer magazine. Additionally, Mr. Connelly’s appellate court experience was instrumental in the creation of a new law in the Florida regarding the obligations of corporate and private defendants to disclose financial relationships with testifying experts.Connelly volunteers with the American Cancer Society and is a board member of the Mental Health Association of Indian River County. He also serves as secretary for the Indian River County Bar and currently serves as the Indian River County pro bono liaison for the 19th Judicial Circuit. Connelly is a member of the AB A, The Florida Bar, and the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, and is licensed to practice in the U.S. Southern District of Florida. Janeice T. Martin Naples 20th Judicial Circuit Janeice T. Martin is a partner with Berry, Day, McFee & Martin, which practices strictly in the area of criminal defense. Martin has handled cases ranging from traffic infractions to capital murder.Martin and her partners and associates have all made a commitment to assisting as many people as they can, whether it involves restoring a driver’s license, seeking help for a crippling addiction, assisting a legal aid immigration lawyer or defending a first-degree murder case on insanity grounds. Martin is grateful to her partners and associates for creating a “culture of giving” within the firm, where each member is free to share the firm’s resources with those who would otherwise be defenseless.In the fall of 1999, Martin was invited to join the board of directors for the Legal Aid Society of Collier County. At the time, LAS was a one-lawyer operation practicing in the field of family law. Since that time, Martin has helped lead LAS through the vast transformation that was required when legal services corporations were asked to regionalize with neighboring agencies. Today, LAS has quadrupled the size of its operation, and has an organized pro bono program for private attorneys to contribute their time as well.Martin is proud to work and serve in her hometown of Naples. She attended Duke University during the famed 1991 and 1992 basketball seasons, and attended the University of Florida College of Law. Bryant Richardson Washington, D.C. Out-of-State Division Bryant Richardson received his B.S. cum laude in Special Education from Florida International University in 1998 and his J.D. magna cum laude from the University of Miami in 2002. He practices in the areas of commercial real estate development and finance, commercial leasing, and real property acquisitions and dispositions. Richardson represents local and national developers on transactions, development projects and complex real estate finance. He also represents large corporate users in connection with various lease matters.Richardson was awarded DLA Piper Rudnick Pro Bono Associate of the Year (2003) for the Washington, D.C. office. He received this honor as a result of contributing more than 300 hours of work on the firm’s special education project. He also donates time to various pro bono transactional matters and pro bono matters that help children.Richardson is a member of The Florida Bar, the ABA, and the District of Columbia Bar. In 2000 he worked as a law clerk for U.S. Magistrate Judge John J. O’Sullivan of the Southern District of Florida and the following year he was a law clerk in the Appellate Division of the U.S. Attorneys’ Office for the Southern District of Florida. Richardson published an article titled “Casting Light on the Gray Area: An Analysis of the Use of Neutral Pronouns in Non-Testifying Codefendant Redacted Confessions under Bruton, Richardson, and Gray” in the University of Miami Law Review in 2001. March 1, 2006 Regular Newslast_img

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