AUGUST 2017 LCBA Cares About Enthusiasms
A HAVEN FOR
HOOFS AND HEARTS
A young attorney's passion defines a life
Touring Pine Island Sound
with John D. Mills
THE OFFICIAL AWARD-WINNING PUBLICATION OF THE LEE COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION
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On The Cover: Tiffany Pereira, Esq. hugs a AD DIRECTORY
rescued dairy cow, one of the many grateful
critters on her beautiful Cape Coral farm. Boyle & Leonard, P.A. 42
Photo credit: Jim Jett Photography
Brad Jessen, Edward Jones 11
Brodeur Carvell 29
Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC IFC
Business Observer 41
Calvo & Calvo Attorneys at Law 9
Compass Law Firm 35
CONRIC PR & Marketing | Publishing 33
22 DeMine Immigration Law Firm 33
features Denise Kennedy 17
22 A haven for hoofs and Donna Tisch 11
hearts Edison National Bank BC
A young attorney's passion Experience Real Estate Group, LLC 17
defines a life
by Sara Fitzpatrick Comito First Florida Investigations 11
Fort Myers Court Reporting 41
Garvin Law Firm 36
Get Smart Bail Bonds 34
30 Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A. 39
Joe Viacava Law IBC
Kempton P. Logan 29
departments King's Kitchen 39
Kushner Building 41
6 Letter from the President 32 LCBA Judges Care Kushner & Kushner Attorneys 33
by Kelly L. Fayer, Esq.
Magistrate Gilberto Perez Law Firm of Scott T. Moorey 27
8 Letter from Executive Director
by David A. Seitz 34 LCBA Members Care Law Offices of Dennis L. Webb 27
10 Calendar of Events Kristalyn Loson, Esq. Law Offices of Kevin Jursinski 17
12 Ethically Speaking
36 LCBA Members Care LCBA Foundation 13
by Henry Lee Paul, Esq.
Justin B. Mazzara, Esq. Leonard P. Reina 15
14 RPPTL Practice Section
by Kara Jursinski Murphy, Esq. 37 100 Club Leslea Ellis, LLC 9
16 YLD Spotlight 40 In the News Livingston Loeffler, P.A. 9
News and happenings McHale, P.A. 15
Merit Court Reporting, Inc. 19
Musca Law Office, Inc. 3
Panther Printing 35
Patterson Eskin & Ball 33
Roetzel & Andress 37
Sanibel Captiva Community Bank 32
18 APEX Finalists Sheldon E. Finman, P.A. 13
Simon Harrison 13
20 Super Lawyers and Rising Spivey Law Firm, P.A. 5
Stars The North Law Firm, P.A. 19
28 Legal Lens TriNet 29
Out and about Veranda Restaurant 27
30 The Dish Our advertisers support the LCBA. Von Ahn & Associates 15
Please do your best to
Cabbage Key support them in return! William DeForest Thompson Jr., LLC 35
4 RES GESTAE | AUGUST 2017
Maximum Referral Fees Paid
Letter from the President LEE COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION
This month, I’d like to dedicate this space to ADMINISTRATION
highlight some recent – and enthusiastic! – Executive Director ~ David Seitz
recognition of the LCBA by The Florida Bar. Administrative Coordinator ~ Lisa Poulin
We hear President Michael Higer’s tweet hand
is strong, and we’re thrilled he had such a EXECUTIVE COUNCIL
great time with us at the Inaugural Diversity President ~ Kelly L. Fayer, Esq.
Workshop. Vice-President ~ Daniel Endrizal, Esq.
Speaking of passion, we know you’ll enjoy Secretary ~ John Webb, Esq.
this issue of Res Gestae, especially the story Treasurer ~ Matthew Roepstorff, Esq.
of young legal eagles dedicating their lives
outside the law to rehabilitate broken animals. Board Members:
Alongside our colleagues sharing their Kathleen Smith, Esq. ~ Spencer Cordell, Esq.
knowledge on important law-related topics, Scot Goldberg, Esq. ~ Blake Hampton, Esq.
attorney John D. Mills generously shares his
enthusiasm for fishing, fiction writing and President Emeritus ~ Scott Atwood, Esq.
beautiful Cabbage Key in this month’s "Dish." YLD President ~ Kayla Richmond, Esq.
SAVE THE DATE: The Bench-Bar Gala returns Oct. 13! The enthusiasm is contagious.
Kelly L. Fayer, Esq. History
Kelly@FayerLaw.net | 239.415.3434 E. Bruce Strayhorn, Esq. & Jenna Persons, Esq.
Law Related Education
T. Rankin Terry, Esq.
Hon. John S. Carlin
Indera DeMine, Esq. & Maria Berrette, Esq.
Hon. Kathy Sturgis & Mary A. Cosmo, Esq.
Annual Charity Golf Tournament
Lee County Legal Aid & Shannon Puopolo, Esq.
Danielle Butler, Esq.
Diversity and Inclusion
Ita Neymotin, Esq. & Timothy McCan, II, Esq.
LCBA Family Bar-B-Que
Scot Goldberg, Esq
Random Acts of Kindness
Amanda Bartley, Esq. & Shirlarian Williams, Esq.
RES GESTAE MAGAZINE
Beverly Grady, Esq., Editor
PRACTICE SECTION CHAIRS
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Anne Dalton, Esq. & Bill Merchant, Esq.
Alex Brockmeyer, Esq. & Matthew Irwin, Esq.
Marisa Boysen, Esq. & Stephanie Russell, Esq.
Dustin Butler, Esq. & Ryan O’Halloran, Esq.
General Civil & Business Litigation
George Knott, Esq. & Carlos Kelly, Esq.
Land Use & Governmental Law
Amanda Brock, Esq. & Erica Woods, Esq.
Real Property, Probate & Trust Law
Kenneth Kemp, Esq. & Matthew Linde, Esq.
Solo and Small Practice Section
Jason Gunter, Esq. & Conor Foley, Esq.
Preston John (PJ) Scheiner, Esq.
6 RES GESTAE | AUGUST 2017
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Includes Service & Supply Contract
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Letter from the Executive Director SERVING THE CITIZENS AND LEGAL COMMUNITY
OF LEE COUNTY SINCE 1949
In last month’s issue, we highlighted
some of the various career paths 239.334.0047
that our members pursued before firstname.lastname@example.org
they practiced law. Some of those
conversations uncovered interesting Staff Box
side projects, or “enthusiasms” to quote
Al Capone in “The Untouchables,” that PUBLISHER
our members enjoy while practicing Connie Ramos-Williams
their chosen profession.
Anyone “billing time” can tell you what
it’s worth in terms of a dollar, but what’s ASSOCIATE EDITOR
especially noteworthy is to discover Sara Fitzpatrick Comito
how that elusive “free time” gets spent.
I’ve heard some tall hunting and fishing CREATIVE DIRECTOR
tales, discussed computer projects and April Bordeaux
exchanged some killer recipes. I’ve had
the pleasure of discussing car projects ADVERTISING DIRECTOR
and even learned about a member whose golf cart records speeds of 40+ Linda Fiore
mph! This past year, the common theme among our members is passion.
Whether it’s ballroom dance or acquiring the next critter for the farm, it’s 239.690.9840
truly inspiring to see individuals bursting with excitement about their
enthusiasms. CONTRIBUTING WRITERS
Kelly Fayer, Esq.
By now, you’ve probably heard about our #KindLee project and we sure hope David Seitz
you’ve felt the contagious energy of giving spirits. Toward the back of the
magazine, you may also notice member spotlights highlighting nonprofit Hnery Lee Paul, Esq.
and community organizations that our members believe in. With the goal of Kara Jursinski Murphy, Esq.
inspiring ALL of Southwest Florida to participate in kind acts, from the onset
of #KindLee, we’ve showcased good works right here in our community. Kayla Richmond, Esq.
It’s as simple as posting a tweet, sharing a pic to Instagram, updating a Sara Fitzpatrick Comito
Facebook status – all to display a sign of appreciation.
Recently, the LCBA Young Lawyers Division proved a shining example of 239.334.0047
#KindLee. The Try-athlon and Holidays in July, both of which benefit foster
children from the Children’s Network of SWFL, showcase how doing small Res Gestae is an award winning magazine
acts makes a big difference. With the support of The Florida Bar and the published monthly by CONRIC Publishing in
LCBA, the YLD took children bowling, enjoyed putt-putt and explored the partnership with the Lee County Bar Association.
Imaginarium, where they got a visit from Summer Santa. We’d like to give a All editorial, advertising and photos may be
huge shout-out to Spencer Cordell for donning the suit again this year! To submitted for consideration through email to:
wrap up the Try-athlon, we’re adventuring to our beautiful beaches and will email@example.com.
help restore some dune plantings. The goal with this last event is to teach We make every effort to ensure the accuracy of
these kids that they, too, can give back while also having fun at the beach. the information published, but cannot be held
responsible for any consequences arising from
On Saturday, August 26, the LCBA Foundation will host a Guided Wine omissions or errors. Opinions expressed by
Tasting at the City Pier Building downtown. This will be the first event to our writers and advertisers are not necessarily
promote and support the Foundation, and we hope you’ll join us. We only opinions shared by the LCBA, Res Gestae, or
have seats (and wine!) for 40, so sign up early at LeeBarFoundation.org/ CONRIC Publishing.
wine and please consider becoming a vine sponsor. The Foundation will also Copyright© 2017. Lee County Bar Association, Inc.
be wrapping up its first grant cycle, and I’m excited to see which projects All Rights Reserved. No portion of the publication
receive funding. Join us for the luncheon on September 15 at the Marina at may be reproduced in part or in whole without
Edison Ford to find out! prior written permission of the Lee County Bar
Association. To inquire about such permission,
David A. Seitz, Executive Director please contact the Lee County Bar Association at
DSeitz@leebar.org | 239.334.0047 firstname.lastname@example.org.
8 RES GESTAE | AUGUST 2017 6216 Whiskey Creek Drive, Suite B
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AUGUST 2017 | RES GESTAE 9
Calendar of Events
Some dates for 2017 Section Meetings have not been confirmed - Check our website for details!
August 2 email@example.com for more September 29
Young Lawyers Division Yom Kippur
Meeting August 31
LCBA Office CLOSED
Noon – 1 p.m. King’s Kitchen, 2150 Land Use and
W First St, Fort Myers. William “Bud” Governmental Law October 13
Elliott, Esq., founder and editor-in-chief Practice Section Meeting
of TomahawkNation.com, will give a PLCraBcAtiCcreiSmeincatlioLnawMeeting
“college football” speech. Noon – 1 p.m., Lee County Public
Works, 1500 Monroe St., Fort Myers. Noon – 1 p.m., The Barrel Room, 2214
August 7 $10 to attend Bay St., Fort Myers.
LCBA Summer Blood Drive September 1 Bench Bar Gala
8 a.m. – 3 p.m. The Lee Health Young Lawyers Division 6 – 10 p.m. Sidney & Berne Davis Art
Bloodmobile will be parked at the SE meeting Center, 2301 First Street, Fort Myers.
corner of Monroe St. and Dr. Martin More information TBA
Luther King, Jr. Blvd. Noon – 1 p.m., Barrel Room, 2214 Bay
St., Fort Myers October 26
September 4 Land Use and
LPCraBcAtiCcreiSmeincatlioLnawMeeting PGroavcetricnme eSnectatlioLnawMeeting
Noon – 1 p.m., Twisted Vine Bistro, Noon – 1 p.m., Lee County Public
2214 Bay St., Fort Myers LCBA Office CLOSED Works, 1500 Monroe St., Fort Myers
August 17 September 14 November 10
YLD Happy Hour LCBA Criminal Law Veteran’s Day
5:30 – 7 p.m., Downtown Social House, LCBA Office CLOSED
1406 Hendry St., Fort Myers. 5:30 – 7 p.m. The Barrel Room, 2214
Bay St., Fort Myers November 3
September 15 Young Lawyers Division
Young Lawyers Division meeting
Try-athlon LCBA Membership Meeting
Noon – 1 p.m., The Barrel Room, 2214
9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Castle Golf, 7400 11:45 a.m. – 1 p.m., The Marina at Bay St., Fort Myers
Gladiolus Dr, Fort Myers. Putt-Putt Edison Ford (Pinchers), 2360 W. First
with Pals from the Children’s Network St., Fort Myers. Members $20, non- November 16
of SWFL. Email Kristalyn Loson to Members $30
volunteer, Kristalynloson@gmail.com LCBA Criminal Law
September 28 Practice Social
LCBA Foundation Guided
Wine Tasting Land Use and 5:30 – 7 p.m., The Barrel Room, 2214
Governmental Law Bay St., Fort Myers
5 p.m., expedition departs from Practice Section Meeting
Fort Myers City Pier building. Visit November 22 – 24
leebarfoundation.org/wine or email Noon – 1 p.m., Lee County Public
Works, 1500 Monroe St., Fort Myers Thanksgiving
LCBA Office CLOSED
Visit us online at leebar.org to see the entire LCBA Annual Calendar. You can conveniently RSVP for upcoming events.
Would You Like to Submit an Event? Email your event submission to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank You to our Annual Sponsors for 2017
10 RES GESTAE | AUGUST 2017
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MOVING THE DIVIDING LINE
The proposal to change the fee sharing prohibition
By Henry Lee Paul
Florida Bar members are prohibited Practice of Law) and the requirements with non-lawyers. See, ABA Model Rule 5-4
from sharing fees with non-lawyers of Rule 4-1.5 (Fees and Costs for Legal (a)(4), Connecticut Rule 5.4, Utah Ethics
pursuant to Rule 4-5.4 (Professional Services). Opinion 02-07.
Independence of a Lawyer). This prohibition
has caused particular concern for division of If the proposed opinion is adopted, it will It is certain that the regulation of fee
contingent fees with lawyers in the District put The Florida Bar in line with the ABA. sharing with non-lawyers will continue
of Columbia and the state of Washington, The ABA adopted Formal Opinion 464 in to be subject to extensive review and
which are the only jurisdictions in the 2013, which was referenced in the text of litigation. Non-lawyer referral arrangements
United States to allow non-lawyers to be the Florida proposed advisory opinion. with for-profit companies such as AVVO and
members of a law firm. Numerous other jurisdictions have also Legal Zoom will continue to test restrictions
adopted the position of the ABA on this on division of fees with non-lawyers, as
The Professional Ethics Committee has issue. well as restrictions on advertising and
issued a proposed Advisory Opinion that solicitation. RG
takes the position that a Florida lawyer Other issues regarding fee sharing with
should be allowed to share contingent fees non-lawyers remain the subject of much Henry Lee Paul is
with a law firm in the District of Columbia controversy. The sharing of fees with former Bar Counsel
and Washington that have non-lawyer non-lawyers in Florida is strictly regulated who now represents
members, provided their independence is pursuant to Rule 4-5.4. For example, lawyers in all matters
not otherwise compromised. compensation paid to a paralegal or before The Florida
other non-lawyer cannot be based on Bar and offers
Interested members may submit comments performance of the firm or tied to client risk management
to Elizabeth Clark Tarbert, Ethics Counsel, retention or fees obtained from clients. services on all legal
The Florida Bar, postmarked no later than Florida allows compensation to a non- practice matters. He also represents
August 15, 2017, in advance of the October lawyer based on firm performance only applicants in all matters before The
13, 2017 meeting of the Professional Ethics in relation to a “qualified pension, profit- Florida Board of Bar Examiners.
Committee, which will further consider the sharing, or retirement plan.” See, Rule
proposed opinion. If approved, the advisory 4-5.4(b).
opinion will be considered by the Board of
Governors. Numerous other jurisdictions have more
liberal allowance for general profit sharing
Florida has been among the most
conservative states in restricting the
division of fees with out of state lawyers.
See, Chandris v Yanakakis, 868 So. 2d 180
(Fla. 1995). The restrictions are based not
only on Rule 4-5.4, but also the prohibition
against aiding the unlicensed practice of
law in violation of Rule 4-5.5 (Unlicensed
12 RES GESTAE | AUGUST 2017
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RPPTL Practice Section
Is Your Involuntary Sale of Real Property Really Final?
Creditor Rights to Levy on Real Property in Florida and the Bankruptcy Code
By Kara Jursinski Murphy
When seeking to satisfy a surfacing in a bankruptcy proceeding. a distress-type sale, such as a levy, will result
judgment by liquidating a Many litigators refer post-judgment efforts in a lower price than a private, arms-length
debtor’s non-exempt to collection specialists because the process transaction. As stated by the United States
real property, is foreign to them. However, the execution, Supreme Court in BFP v. Resolution Trust
practitioners levy and sale process is straightforward Corp., “reasonably equivalent value” and
representing creditors and does not require the lengthy process “fair market value” are not the same.
should consider the interplay involved in a mortgage foreclosure.
between the aggressive creditor’s Executing a judgment on real property is Courts are split as to what is deemed
rights and the rights of other creditors “reasonably equivalent value” in a
especially beneficial if the creditor buys forced-sale context. Most courts will do a
the property at the sheriff’s auction and comparison between true fair market value
the value of the property sold is worth and the forced sale price to determine the
percentage of value (This would not apply
significantly more than the underlying to tax liens and tax sales as the amount of
judgment. The concern is when the the tax lien has no true bearing on the fair
debtor is insolvent at the time of the market value of the property.).
sale and there are other creditors Other factors considered are the good faith
lurking in the background. In such of the parties and whether the transaction
a case, the forced sale could be was arm’s length. Some Courts have held
that 70 percent of the fair market value
avoided by a bankruptcy trustee establishes the range for a reasonably
if certain requirements are met. equivalent value basis while other courts
analyze the issues by looking at the
A forced sale can be set aside specifics of each transaction. In essence,
based upon a finding of it’s not whether the debtor receives
constructive fraud under “dollar-for-dollar benefit” or fair market
§548 of the Bankruptcy value but rather the analysis is whether
Code. Even if there the debtor benefited within the range of
is no actual fraud, an arm’s-length transaction. One should
a bankruptcy be cognizant that while a creditor may
trustee can avoid a obtain title to property in order to satisfy a
debtor’s involuntary judgment, the “transfer” may be avoided,
transfer if: 1) the even up to two years later. RG
debtor had an
interest in Kara Jursinski Murphy
property; is a partner with the
2) the Law Office of Kevin F.
transfer of that Jursinski & Associates.
interest occurred within She focuses her area
of practice on Real
two years of the filing of the Estate, Business and
bankruptcy petition; 3) the debtor was Commercial Litigation,
insolvent at the time of the transfer; and as well as Transactional
4) that the debtor received “less than a matters to include residential and commercial
reasonably equivalent value in exchange properties. Kara is a member of Attorneys’
for such transfer.” Title Fund Services, LLC and also has an
LL.M. in Real Property Development.
The term “fair market value,” which is the
default term when describing property
value, does not appear in §548. Inherently,
14 RES GESTAE | AUGUST 2017
• Expert Witness Testimony
• Forensic Accounting
• Litigation Support Experience Makes
• Bankruptcy Matters
• Distressed Business
Leonard P. Reina, P.A. LPReina@LPReina.com
Attorney ■ Mediator ■ Arbitrator ■ Special Master
AUGUST 2017 | RES GESTAE 15
PINS, PUTTS AND ANOTHER FLORIDA BAR VICTORY
The Lee YLD has been B-U-S-Y! First a big The Lee YLD recently joined
thank you to Tiffany Pereira of the Pereira with the Ronald McDonald
Law Firm. This local young lawyer was the House’s Red Shoe Society to
producer of the Lee YLD Health & Wellness host a networking social at
video that captured our May Kayaking the Barrel Room in downtown
Adventure – in such an awesome way Fort Myers. Attendees had a
that the Lee YLD was the winner of The great time learning about the
Florida Bar YLD Health & Wellness video other organization and sharing
competition AND the recipient of $500 personal experiences as young
to present to a local charity of our choice. professionals trying to forge
Join us at the LCBA August Lunch to find a path. If your organization
out the lucky recipient! If you missed the is looking to co-sponsor a
video, check it out at bit.ly/YLDvideo. networking event in the future,
please do not hesitate to reach out
Also in June, the Lee YLD kicked off our to us – we’d love to meet you. Our
TRY-athlon series of events with Bowling next networking/social event will
for Buddies at Gator Lanes. We had a lot take place August 17 at the newly
of fun with the children of the Children’s opened Downtown Social House in
Network of Southwest Florida learning the former Spirits of Bacchus space!
to bowl, eating pizza and playing games.
Thank you to the volunteers who spent For more information on the YLD:
their Saturday supporting a wonderful read this column, attend our
cause and providing a new, fun and monthly lunches, visit our
positive experience for children from our Facebook page, or contact
community. The Lee YLD again got to work Danielle Seitz, Esq. at dseitz@
with the Children’s Network at Holidays floridaleglarights.com to be
in July at the Imaginarium, and is looking added to our email list. Our
forward to our final two TRY-athlon events. next monthly lunch meeting
Volunteer with us at Putt-Putt with Pals, is Friday, September 1 from
scheduled for Saturday August 26 at Castle noon to 1 p.m. at the Barrel
Golf in Fort Myers. Room at Twisted Vine. See
you there! RG
16 RES GESTAE | AUGUST 2017
MEDIATION, ARBITRATIONS AND GLOBAL
SETTLEMENT CONFERENCES IN:
>> PERSONAL INJURY
>> NURSING HOME
>> INSURANCE DISPUTES
>> CONTRACT DISPUTES
>> REAL PROPERTY
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CERTIFIED CIRCUIT-CIVIL MEDIATOR | QUALIFIED ARBITRATOR
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>> BOARD CERTIFIED IN CIVIL TRIAL LAW (1995)
>> AVAILABLE THROUGHOUT 20TH AND 12TH JUDICIAL CIRCUITS
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AUGUST 2017 | RES GESTAE 17
The LCBA would like to take this opportunity to congratulate four of our members and
one of our loyal annual sponsors who were finalists for the prestigious
2017 Apex Award, presented by the Greater Fort Myers Chamber Women in Business.
Kelly L. Fayer
Christina Harris Schwinn
and Cynthia Duff
18 RES GESTAE | AUGUST 2017
The North Law Firm, P.A.
Accident & Injury Attorneys
Call Joe to Refer a Client: (239)337-1191
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Apartment Shootings School Accidents
Gun Violence Cases Slip and Fall Accidents
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Standard Six-Day Transcript Delivery
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Depositions, Hearings & Mediations
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Realtime • Free Wireless Access • Videographers
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Free ASCIIs, CDs, Keyword Indexes,
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South Fort Myers: 6213 Presidential Court, Suite 100 • Fort Myers, FL 33919
Downtown: 2022 Hendry Street, Suite 104 • Fort Myers, FL 33901
Naples: 1415 Panther Lane • Naples, FL 34109
AUGUST 2017 | RES GESTAE 19
Rising Stars and Super Lawyers
The LCBA congratulates the following attorneys selected to the Florida Rising Stars and Super Lawyers Lists
2017 who list offices in Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Fort Myers and Sanibel. See all of your colleagues who
made the cut at www.superlawyers.com.
RISING STARS SUPER LAWYERS
Bonita Springs Jordan L. Chaikin Bonita Springs
Patrick Boland Chaikin Firm PLLC Ronald A. Eisenberg
Cole Scott & Kissane PA Bill Dillon Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A.
Jason Hamilton Mikes Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC William N. Horowitz
Hamilton Mikes, P.A. Leland E. Garvin Cummings & Lockwood LLC
Benjamin Yormak Garvin Law Firm Howard M. Hujsa
Yormak Employment & Disability Law
Jesse T. Gubernat Cummings & Lockwood LLC
Cape Coral Banker Lopez Gassler P.A. G. Donald Thomson
Joel W. Hyatt Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A.
Altieri Law Frim, P.A. Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP Beth T. Vogelsang
Dustin M. Butler
Martin Law Firm, P.L. Kara Jursinski Murphy Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A
Eviana J. Martin Law Office of Kevin F. Jursinski & Associates
Martin Law Firm, P.L. Cape Coral
Thomas M. Tarsia Brooke N. Martinez Bill B. Berke
Jones, Haber & Rollings Pavese Law Firm
Matthew S. Toll Berke Law Firm, PA
Traci T. McKee
Toll Law Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A. Fort Myers
Joseph E. Adams
Fort Myers John M. Miller
Suzanne M. Boy Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A. Becker & Poliakoff, PA
John D. Agnew
Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A. Jenna D. Persons
Chad T. Brazzeal Strayhorn & Persons, P.L. Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A.
Morgan & Morgan PA J. Matthew Belcastro
Amanda L. Brock Shannon M. Puopolo
Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A. Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A.
Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A. Mark A. Boyle
Charles B. Capps Kayla Richmond
Pavese Law Firm Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A. Boyle & Leonard, P.A.
Carlos J. Cavenago, III Preston J. Scheiner
Parvey & Frankel Attorneys PA Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys
for the Injured
Aloia, Roland, Lubell & Morgan PLLC
John C. Webb
John Webb Legal
20 RES GESTAE | AUGUST 2017
Jay A. Brett William T. Haverfield, II Alan J. Rubinstein
Sheppard, Brett, Stewart, Hersch, Pavese Law Firm Rubinstein Holz & King, P.A.
Kinsey & Hill, PA Craig R. Hersch Russell P. Schropp
Sheppard, Brett, Stewart, Hersch, Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A.
Herbert O. Brock, Jr.
Becker & Poliakoff, PA Kinsey & Hill, PA Robert C. Shearman
Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A.
Carl Joseph Coleman Rana Holz
Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC Rubinstein Holz & King, P.A. Christopher J. Shields
Pavese Law Firm
Michael J. Corso Luis E. Insignares
Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A. Luis E. Insignares, P.A. L. David Sims
Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A.
Sheldon E. Finman Diane L. Jensen
Sheldon E. Finman, PA Pavese Law Firm Randall L. Spivey
Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys
Jeffrey R. Garvin Kevin F. Jursinski
Garvin Law Firm Law Office of Kevin F. Jursinski & Associates Vicki L. Sproat
Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A.
Patrick E. Geraghty George H. Knott
Geraghty, Dougherty & Edwards, P.A. Knott Ebelini Hart Bruce M. Stanley, Sr.
Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A.
Paul A. Giordano Steven G. Koeppel
Roetzel & Andress, LPA Yeslow & Koeppel PA Stephen D. Thompson
Thompson Family Law PA
Scot D. Goldberg, Sanjay Kurian
Goldberg Noone, LLC Becker & Poliakoff, PA Donna J. Tisch
Attorney at Law
Britton Goodlad Swank Lance M. McKinney
Prather & Swank, P.A. Osterhout & McKinney, P.A. Theodore L. Tripp, Jr.
Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP
Beverly Grady John D. Mills
Roetzel & Andress, LPA Law Office of John D. Mills, P.A. Curtright C. Truitt
Curtright C. Truitt PA
Keith S. Grossman Neale Montgomery
Grossman Law & Conflict Management Pavese Law Firm Gregg S. Truxton
Bolanos Truxton, P.A.
Thomas H. Gunderson Denis H. Noah
Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A. Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A. Guy E. Whitesman
Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A.
Jason L. Gunter John A. Noland
Jason L. Gunter, P.A. Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A. Denise Wheeler Wright
Ford & Harrison LLP
Eric Gurgold James L. Nulman
Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A. Nulman Mediation Services, Inc. Mark B. Yeslow
Yeslow & Koeppel PA
Kim Patrick Hart John F. Potanovic, Jr.
The Law Office of Kim Patrick Hart Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A. Sanibel
David M. Platt
Beth A. Prather
Prather & Swank, P.A. Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A.
Richard L. Purtz Lyman W. Welch
Goldstein Buckley Cechman Rice & Purtz, P.A. Welch Law Office P.A.
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AUGUST 2017 | RES GESTAE 21
A HAVEN FOR HOO
A young attorney’s passion
By Sara Fitzpatrick Comito
22 RES GESTAE | AUGUST 2017
OFS AND HEARTS
defines a life
Photo credit: Jim Jett Photography
AUGUST 2017 | RES GESTAE 23
“They were broken, so I Southwest Florida runner this year. fascinating enthusiasms.
had to have them.” It’s a Then there’s Jason Gunter, who, as we all It’s a special kind of enthusiasm,
refrain friends and family know, doesn’t let his prosthetics get in
of Tiffany Pereira know well. It’s the the way of a triathlon’s addictive thrill. though, that requires bottle feeding
story of how her fiancé, Travis Russell, throughout the night. As a child, Tiffany
ended up with a miniature horse in the Horse sense Pereira visited Allan Parvey’s house to
back of his Honda Element. It’s also ride horses with his wife and daughter.
how the pair has come to convert their Outside the practice of law, lawyers She came to own a horse who became
sprawling, pine-wooded property – a nurture enthusiasms as numerous and the center of her universe. Sadly,
rarity in Cape Coral – into a haven for diverse as the enthusiasts themselves. Mickey died suddenly when Pereira
animals in need of a second chance. Jeff Garvin and Liz Kagan are among was 16, and the mourning process was
Attorneys tend to be intense our pilots. Stacy Sherman has a passion overwhelming. As a college student, she
people, and that intensity has a way for fragrant tea blends. Cedric Hall’s finally put out some feelers for a horse
of manifesting in many facets of life. intimate portrait photography, especially to lease, and ended up with a free horse
Among LCBA’s membership we have a of fellow military veterans, has featured because she was “mean.” Pereira said,
chief judge who, between juggling his prominently in this magazine. Tom “I still have her today, and she is the
endless administrative duties and the Chase is a poet and rousing raconteur. horse I trust most with children and
demand of his own docket, and despite Rana Holz is a gifted vocalist. Judge beginners.”
a series of nagging injuries, dominated Kathy Sturgis dances circles around
his first Boston Marathon. In fact, Judge a ballroom competition. It would Then came a second horse. In law
McHugh’s 3 hours, 8 minutes and 26 take a whole magazine to explore school, she took on a third. “I could
seconds was the fastest time of any our attorneys’ various and endlessly not imagine my life without horses,”
she said. Then came Travis Russell.
“Once we started dating, I seemed to
24 RES GESTAE | AUGUST 2017
start gathering more animals. He dealt before, she noticed a Facebook post They were halfway to Ocala before she
with it, and eventually became a willing advertising a miniature horse for “$100 revealed the reason they weren’t going
participant. Now he is the backbone for the first person who shows up to to church. “Meanwhile, I was trying to
of this farm, and I am so grateful for get him.” Pereira recalled that she did figure out how to tell him that I planned
that.” Then came goats, then chickens, not need another project going into the on turning his car into a stall for the
pigs, ducks, cows, and whatever rescue third year of law school, but then she next few hours.” It became an amusing
dog came her way. But how did the saw the comments on the post from a story to tell friends and nosy magazine
mini-horse end up inside a compact couple who wanted to keep the animal reporters, but it’s also a remarkable story
SUV? The betrothed couple thrive in a third-story apartment. “The sellers of salvation, church or no church.
on mutual respect, cooperation and were more than willing to give this poor
communication. But there has been a baby to the couple, so I immediately “Nacho (pictured left on his way to
little subterfuge along the way. messaged them and told them I could safety) was an absolute disaster,” Pereira
be there.” said, “It took several hundred dollars
A crime of passion and two veterinarians working together
to keep him alive.” The couple took
Pereira and Russell earned J.D.s turns going to class because Nacho
from Florida Coastal School of Law in needed care around the clock. He was
2015. He works for Morgan & Morgan, being fed through a feeding tube and
while she is in practice by herself. given fluids through a catheter. During
While living in Jacksonville, the couple his recovery, a friend lent another mini
woke one Sunday for church, but she to teach Nacho the ways of the wee
had a different plan because the night equine, and three years later, Nacho
runs the roost. It was the first joint
AUGUST 2017 | RES GESTAE 25
rescue for Pereira and Russell. “Next in Bluegrass, even chickens here. We recently re-
thing you know,” she said, “I was picking and fifth in The homed a litter of puppies from a truck
up baby goats that needed bottle fed Kentucky Derby. stop, and took in several pigs from
from a gas station.” She was tossed various Domestic Animal Services in
aside, however, several different counties.” While there
Everyone has a story upon being is a great need for homes for abused
deemed a non- and neglected horses, Pine Haven is at
Visitors to Pine Haven Farm in ideal breeding capacity, with three full size equines and
northwest Cape Coral will observe candidate. “It’s a five minis.
gentle animals feeding, playing and long story how
resting on an idyllic 10 acres a world she came to me, Pine Haven is able to provide
away from Pereira’s upbringing off but let’s just say additional income to the couple, with
McGregor Blvd. The thought might I put several sales of eggs, pigs and goats – expect
occur that “haven” is one letter away hundred pounds a thorough background check and
from “heaven,” but this peaceable on her because lifestyle evaluation if you try to purchase
kingdom belies a hell that many of these she was so an animal from Pereira. But the biggest
animals endured before their young malnourished.” reward is nursing an animal back to
saviors arrived. The sire of Pereira’s third health, teaching it to trust people and
horse placed third in Preakness, fourth Two of the finding it a loving home. “I can’t lie;
mini horses came I get attached,” Pereira said. “But I
26 RES GESTAE | AUGUST 2017 from a severely understand that we can’t save them
abusive home. all, so I won’t turn down any rescue
“After several livestock that needs help, as long as I
months, we know I can find a forever home for the
earned their trust, animal. It is a lot of work around here,
and they are part but it is work we enjoy.”
of the family,”
Pereira said. There may be a fine line between
“Truth be told, passion and obsession, especially while
everyone here has managing nascent law careers. But with
a story. People Russell’s steadfast support and Pereira’s
have dumped searing intensity, which is matched by
dogs, pigs and her bright, blue eyes, the enthusiasm is
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Lewis Jones, Mira Staggers-White, Luis Insignares, Michelle Suskauer Sawyer Smith, Michelle Suskauer, Luis Insignares
Dwayne Bergmann Reception
On May 9 Luis E. Insignares, P.A. and
the Wilbur Smith Law Firm hosted
a reception to introduce Michelle
Suskauer, incoming President-elect
of the Florida Bar. Suskauer discussed
the issues facing the legal profession
in all areas of the state.
Joseph Dernbach, Charnele Tate, TJ McCann, Luis E. Insignares, About 75 lawyers and community members from Lee, Charlotte and Collier attended
Michelle Suskauer, Leland Garvin
Solo & Small Firm
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a Facebook Business Page
Management roundtable discussion
Maria Berrette, Kelly Fayer, Ingrid Fuller, Ingrid Fuller of Fuller Online Solutions led the
Shaina Zuppke discussion
Hon. Tara Paluck treated the girls at
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their careers and fielded questions.
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AUGUST 2017 | RES GESTAE 29
A boatload ofhospitality
By Sara Fitzpatrick Comito
“Ilove showing people the fishing, the sights and of course, Cabbage Key, because it’s such a
special place,” said John Mills. The attorney-novelist also enjoys a good lawyer joke. He’s seen
a lot of big sharks and therefore won’t wade more than waist-deep into our Gulf waters. A
fishing buddy told him, “Sharks would never eat you, as a professional courtesy.” Ouch. Sharks explore
by mouth, gnawing on things to see if they taste good, so better safe than sorry. Anything on the menu
at Cabbage Key’s charming and storied restaurant is going to be fresh and delicious. Getting there is the
Faster than a great white can decide if it likes the taste of surfboard, I jumped at John’s invitation for
my husband and me to join him for a half-day cruise aboard the Trophy Wife Divorce, named after
his fifth novel. His West First Street office isn’t the only place he plies his expertise in criminal
defense and divorce. These themes are also central to his books, all set against the backdrop of
scenic Southwest Florida, where he grew up, preceded by four generations of his family, and the
lively proceedings of a courtroom.
30 RES GESTAE | AUGUST 2017
John is a frequent customer at Cabbage breeze, and was almost as hospitable as Superchilled key lime pie
Key, where he sometimes stays overnight the staff. The backs of their T-shirts provide
in one of several guest rooms or cottages answers to the top 10 questions that visitors light, fresh take on rice and beans.
as part of Team Trophy Wife Divorce in a ask -- $70,000 is the amount of money Floridians know key lime pie isn’t green,
fishing tournament. He’s even featured on on the walls. Fishermen used to write and the one at Cabbage Key is super chilled
their blog, and his books are for sale in the their names on the bills and affix them to so it doesn’t melt on the plate. I’d be hard
gift shop! He started coming to the inn as a the wall so they would have beer money pressed to think of a more refreshing
child while staying at his family’s fish house, when they returned. Tourists keep up the palate cleanser. Maybe a frozen margarita
which, sadly was burned down in 1995. tradition. When money falls, it is collected to go with a cheeseburger in paradise? I
for charity, a cool $15K to $20K a year!
We put our fishing poles down when we understand it’s worth writing
saw the ferries approaching the island so Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner seven a song about. John’s busy
we could beat the Fourth of July weekend days a week, the historic restaurant has writing his seventh
crowd. I wonder how long Chené and Judge only a tiny kitchen to work in. The menu novel instead. RG
Nick Thompson had to wait with their is therefore limited, but represents a nice
family, as we saw them docking later. Even mix of choices. For our table, we had clam
so, we didn’t arrive in time to sit in the main chowder for starters, which warmed the
room, which is air conditioned. This is the cockles of my New England heart. Then
one that’s famously festooned with $1 bills. there was peeled, chilled pink
Gulf shrimp, a blackened
The front room is the old porch of the inn, mahi sandwich and a
offering a view of the marina and a blessed
Cabbage Key Sara Fitzpatrick
cabbagekey.com | (239) 283-2278 Comito is the
Channel Marker 60 editor for CONRIC
Latitude N 26º 39’ 24.162” Longitude W 82º 13’ 20.635” PR & Marketing and
associate editor of
Breakfast: 7:30-9 a.m. Mon.-Sat., until 10 Sundays Res Gestae magazine.
Lunch: 11:15 a.m.-3 p.m. Mon.-Fri., until 4 Sat.-Sun. For suggestions
Dinner: 6-8:30 p.m. Mon.-Sun., dinner reservations recommended and comments on this regular feature,
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AUGUST 2017 | RES GESTAE 31
LCBA JUDGES CARE
Magistrate Gilberto Perez
Laboratory Theater of Florida, board member
Twenty-five years after last being on stage, an audition notice for a community
theater caught my eye, I was cast, and once again bitten by the acting bug. After a
few years of volunteering on and off stage, I was invited by Annette Trossbach to
join the board of directors of her Laboratory Theater of Florida.
The Laboratory Theater of Florida is a non-profit theater dedicated to the
promotion of the performing arts, through live performance, education,
community outreach, experimentation and
the development of ensemble work. These are
exhilarating times in our theater’s history. We have
partnered with local agencies to bring awareness
of issues affecting Southwest Florida. After years of
renting, we are in the process of completely retrofitting
our newly-purchased building into a true theater and
Being a part of the team which brings so much to the
local community is very rewarding. Although nowadays
I’m much more involved behind the scenes in the
business of being a board member and volunteer for
Lab Theater, that acting bug is hard to shake and you
never know when you might catch me back on stage. To
learn more about Lab Theater, please visit their website
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LCBA MEMBERS CARE
Kristalyn Loson, Esq.
Valerie's House, board member
When I moved to Fort Myers and met Angela Melvin, she was pursuing her
dream of starting an organization for grieving children. Her own mother
died when Angela was 10. I was drawn to Angela’s vision, but remember
thinking that the idea of childhood grief was just so sad.
Fast forward two years and if you visit Valerie’s House in Dean Park, “sad”
is not a word that would initially cross your mind. Sure, there are some
tissues as the kids talk about their grief during a weekly group support
session, but there is also a lot of laughter, playing and normal kid stuff.
Most importantly, children learn they are not alone.
Likewise, Valerie’s House offers groups for parents and grandparents
raising these remarkable children. This family approach helps connect
caregivers who may be struggling to readjust to life
without their loved one. Families and volunteers share
many special moments, from our summer picnic, to
a trip to a baseball game, to a Monday night potluck
dinner before group.
Valerie’s House now offers groups in Fort Myers, Cape
Coral and Naples and is always looking for volunteers.
Additionally, Valerie’s House is seeking a new house with
room to grow. To volunteer or to help with our home
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LCBA MEMBERS CARE
Justin B. Mazzara, Esq.
Culligan City of Palms Classic, board member
Having grown up and played basketball in Southwest Florida, the Culligan City
of Palms Classic has always meant a lot to me. Aside from the national attention
it garners, the tournament is a great holiday tradition for our community. Since
1973, the City of Palms Classic has been made possible with the overwhelming
support of the volunteers, sponsors and fans who create an electric atmosphere
for top-notch basketball.
As a board member, I get to work with some amazingly talented leaders and
play a role in the continuance of this unique Southwest Florida event that
many enjoy, including all of us at Grant Fridkin Pearson. Now in its 45th year,
the not-for-profit organization Classic Basketball, Inc. will soon host another
slate of premier high school players and teams from around the nation. The
event will take place December 18 to 23, at the
new Suncoast Credit Union Arena on the campus
To view the schedule, team information and
purchase tickets visit CityofPalmsClassic.
com. There you can also discover sponsorship
opportunities, sign up for the eNewsletter,
purview the tournament bracket, scores, stats and
more. Hope to see many of my LCBA friends out at
Suncoast Credit Union Arena in December!
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Arend & Sisk, P.A. Green, Schoenfeld & Kyle, LLP Pavese Law Firm
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Boyle & Leonard, P.A. Kuhn Law Firm, PA Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys P.A.
Burandt, Adamski & Feichthaler Kushner & Kushner
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Calvo & Calvo Law Offices of Michael M. Raheb, P.A. The Law Office of Brantley Oakey
Coleman & Coleman LaDonna J. Cody, P.A., Attorney at Law
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Cole Scott & Kissane, P.A., Bonita Springs Office Lee County Legal Aid Society, Inc. Toll Law
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In The News
Luis E. Rivera successfully met all the requirements and earned national certification as a Consumer
Bankruptcy Specialist from the American Board of Certification. He earned certification as a Business
Bankruptcy Specialist in 2016 and is now one of only 11 attorneys in Florida who hold these dual
certifications by the American Board of Certification.
Rivera has broad experience in business litigation, bankruptcy, creditors’ rights and insolvency
counseling. In addition to his law practice at Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A., he serves as a
U.S. Bankruptcy Trustee for the Middle District of Florida.
Shirlarian Williams has been named by The National Black Lawyers as one of its “Top 40 Under 40.”
Membership in The National Black Lawyers’ Top 40 Under 40 is invitation-only and is limited to the top 40
black attorneys under the age of 40 from each state or region who have demonstrated excellence in their
legal practice. The selection process included peer nominations combined with third party research.
Williams focuses on civil litigation, criminal, family and personal injury at The Law Office of Shirlarian N.
Williams, P.A. in Fort Myers.
Carlos J. Cavenago III was elected to be a director of the Rotary Club of Fort Myers, Southwest Florida’s
largest and oldest Rotary Club, which benefits from the membership of many lawyers and judges who
volunteer their time and talent. Rotary is a 501(c )(3) nonprofit civic organization dedicated to “service
A Southwest Florida native, Cavenago is an attorney at Parvey & Frankel focusing on litigation and
mediation in the areas of personal injury, uninsured motorist coverage, strict liability, negligent security,
insurance disputes. He graduated from St. Thomas University School of Law in 2004.
Bonita Springs attorney Scott A. Beatty has been elected to serve on the Executive Committee of
Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A., for a three-year term. He joined Henderson Franklin in June
2003 and focuses his litigation practice in business disputes, construction and lien law litigation, contract
disputes, collections and foreclosures. He also has an active real estate litigation practice, handling
boundary and border disputes, as well as title insurance claims.
Beatty is also a founding member and performer with Square One Improv, a comedy improv group
performing throughout Southwest Florida. He is also active with the Boy Scouts of America.
Pavese Law Firm Partner Christina Harris Schwinn is the 2017-2018 board chair for Junior Achievement
of Southwest Florida. A long-term JA supporter and advocate, Schwinn is a founding chair of JA Law Day,
held in February each year in partnership with the LCBA. Junior Achievement educates youths about
workforce readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy through volunteer-led, experiential, hands-
on programs to own their economic success.
Schwinn joined Pavese Law Firm in 2005 and focuses on employment law, business transactions,
community association law and real estate law.
Roetzel Partner Beverly Grady was a featured presenter at the recent Florida Planning and Zoning
Association’s (FPZA) 2017 Annual State Conference. Co-presented with planner Jim LaRue, “Ethics Session:
Doing What’s Right,” covered the three Rs of ethics: respect, responsibility and results, and explored the
AICP’s code of ethics, case studies, model constructs and determining whether a decision is ethical.
A nonprofit organization dedicated to planning and developing a quality Florida, FPZA was formed with a
mission to “furnish a medium for interchange of information and mutual assistance among those interested
in planning and zoning.”
40 RES GESTAE | AUGUST 2017
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Phone: 239.334.1411 | Fax: 239.334.1476
2180 West First Street, Suite 120, Fort Myers, FL 33901
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PUBLISH YOUR LEGAL NOTICE Executive suites available starting at $500.00 per month.
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Insurance Recovery Advocates
Our firm routinely handles and accepts referrals of appellate matters in both state and federal courts.
Legal advocates for the rights of policyholders in insurance recovery, risk transfer, additional insured
coverage, coverage disputes and denials, claim representation, and bad faith litigation.
Representing buyers and sellers in all of their commercial and residential
real estate transaction and litigation needs.
Mark A. Boyle, Esq. Michael W. Leonard, Esq. Amanda K. Anderson, Esq.
Molly Chafe Brockmeyer, Esq. Justin M. Thomas, Esq. Ellen G. Smith, Esq.
Alexander L. Brockmeyer, Esq. Gregory L. Evans, Esq. Meagan R. Cyrus, Esq.
2050 McGregor Boulevard • Fort Myers, FL 33901 309 S. Fielding Avenue • Tampa, FL 33606
Ph: 239-337-1303 • Fax: 239-337-7674 Ph: 813-254-1122
SouthweSt Florida’S Criminal deFenSe lawyer
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Payment Plans • Aggressive and Thorough Investigation
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Free, in-depth, personal initial consultation
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Main (239) 288-5969 • Cell (239) 410-8292 • Fax (239) 288-5572
Available 24/7 - “calls are put directly through to me, not an associate”
Calls accepted ANYTIME from ANYPLACE TROUBLE may be found.
2036 McGregor Boulevard • Fort Myers, FL 33901
FT. MYERS, FL
PERMIT NO. 147
P.O. Box 1387 | Fort Myers, FL 33902-1387
(239) 334-0047 | Fax (239) 334-0523
WE MAKE BANKING ABOUT YOU!
“BANKING ISN’T ABOUT NUMBERS. It’s about people.”
— Geoff Roepstorff, CEO and Robbie Roepstorff, President
Like Thomas Edison, we believe there
is always “a better way.” We embrace a
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Publix® Presto! ATM
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For our convenient locations
and services provided, please visit
or call 239.466.1800
An Equal Housing Lender | Member FDIC | Bank of the Islands is an office of Edison National Bank.