The Florida bar president's pro bono service award recipients.
First Judicial Circuit
A. Richard Troell III was raised in Houston, Texas, and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Texas and his law degree from the Oklahoma City University School of Law. He was admitted to practice law in Oklahoma in 1988. He moved to Florida and was admitted to The Florida Bar in 1989. He remains a member of both the Oklahoma Bar Association and The Florida Bar.
Troell began his Florida legal practice with the Law Offices of Dana C. Matthews, P.A. In 1996, he opened his own law office in Crestview, where he currently practices criminal and family law. He served two years as the president of Okaloosa County Legal Aid, Inc., and is on standby to accept pro bono cases relating to dissolution of marriage matters for Shelter House, Inc., an area shelter for battered and abused women.
Since 1999, Troell also has accepted pro bono case referrals from Legal Services of North Florida, Inc. In one instance, his involvement in a child support case stretched over three years and required 52 hours of his time. After a favorable decision was rendered for his client, the decision was appealed and Troell then defended the appeal pro bono. In another instance, he accepted a case that required him to travel 40 miles each way to attend court hearings.
In addition to his pro bono representation of clients in criminal and family law matters, Troell has worked tirelessly for the elderly.
Troell is married and the father of three children.
Walter E. Forehand
Second Judicial Circuit
Born in Nashville, Tennessee, Walter E. Forehand received his B.A. and M.A. in Classics in 1963 and 1964, respectively, from the University of Florida. In 1968, he earned a Ph.D. in Classics from the University of Texas at Austin.
Prior to receiving his J.D. with highest honors from Florida State University in 1988, Forehand held all academic ranks in the Florida State University Department of Classics, including department chair. His academic publications include a book in the fields of Greek and Latin literature.
Forehand began his legal practice in 1989. He was a partner/ shareholder at Myers, Forehand & Fuller, P.A., until 2001 when he joined Lewis, Longman & Walker, P.A., as a senior attorney.
Since 1990, Forehand has provided pro bono legal services for the parents and family members of mentally and/or physically disabled persons in more than 150 dependency cases, representing more than 1,000 hours of service.
Forehand's admissions include Florida; the Northern, Middle and Southern Districts of Florida; the District of Colorado; the U.S. Supreme Court; and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second, Fourth, Sixth, 10th and 11th circuits. He is married, and has two children and two grandchildren.
In a letter in support of Forehand's nomination, Circuit Judge Jonathan Sjostrom said that those represented in indigent guardianships "truly represent the most vulnerable among us. Walter served because it was right to serve and because his clients needed him, with no hope of any other benefit to himself. ... Walter Forehand's service profoundly exemplifies the highest ideals of the profession."
Nancy C. Holliday-Fields
Third Judicial Circuit
Nancy C. Holliday-Fields received her J.D. from the University of Missouri at Kansas City in 1992. While still pursuing her professional education, Holliday-Fields was the assistant editor of Family Court Review and president of the law council.
Holliday-Fields joined the Third Judicial Circuit in 1994 as an attorney for the guardian ad litem program. From 1994-1998 she also practiced family law in the Fields & Jones Law Firm in Lake City. From 1998 to 2001, she served the Third Judicial Circuit as coordinator of the Domestic Violence Program and the Family Law and Self-Help Program, which she created. She currently serves as the Third Circuit's family court manager and deputy court administrator.
Although her work with the court does not permit her to provide direct legal representation to litigants, Holliday-Fields volunteers her time and expertise to low-income individuals. As a member of Altrusa International of Lake City, Holliday-Fields has provided services to the parents of children in dependency cases by creating and implementing a series of life skills classes so that parents may obtain employment in higher-paying positions. She also participates in service projects, including those providing skills training to middle school girls and the promotion of literacy programs.
Holliday-Fields is an active member of the Homeless Coalition Strategic Planning Committee and has been instrumental in creating new services for Columbia County's homeless. She has been a board member of Three Rivers Legal Services since 1995 and served as board chair since February 2001. During her tenure on the Three Rivers board, she has devoted more than 100 hours to the pursuit of providing legal services to the poor and disadvantaged.
Thomas Murray Jenks
Fourth Judicial Circuit
Thomas Murray Jenks is a native of Jacksonville and has been practicing law in Florida for 25 years. He is a graduate of the University of Florida (B.S. 1978) and Florida State University (J.D., with honors, 1981). He was admitted to The Florida Bar in 1981. He also is a member of the Jacksonville Bar Association and the ABA.
Jenks is one of the managing partners of the law firm of Pappas Metcalf Jenks & Miller, P.A. He concentrates in commercial real estate law, condominiums, and homeowners associations, is a certified mediator, and is an approved arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association.
During the course of his career, Jenks has devoted many hours of volunteer service to the Jacksonville community. He currently serves as chair of the board of directors of the DePaul School and is very active in the First Presbyterian Church of Jacksonville. He also serves on the board of directors of the Downtown Kiwanis Club and regularly participates in their fundraising programs.
Jenks is an avid outdoorsman and has a special love for deep sea fishing and the Florida Gators. He resides in Jacksonville with his wife of 27 years, Shirley, and has three sons. Two of his sons, Davis and Chase, attend high school and junior college, respectively, and reside at home. His oldest son, Tom, is currently attending law school at the University of Oregon.
Rollin E. Tomberlin
Fifth Judicial Circuit
Rollin E. Tomberlin graduated magna cum laude from the University of Central Florida with a B.S. in Business Administration before obtaining his law degree from the University of Florida College of Law in 1983. He worked with the Marion County Public Defender's Office until 1986, when he became an associate with Bond, Arnett & Phelan, P.A. He has been in private practice with J. Herbert Williams since 1992, specializing in marital and family law.
In 1991, Tomberlin was certified as a family law mediator. Since that time, he has consistently supported the work of legal services through pro se divorce clinics offered by the Pro Bono Program of Mid-Florida, and by offering mediation services to indigent clients. In recent years, Tomberlin also has provided continuous pro bono assistance with all family law mediations needed for indigent clients of Community Legal Services of North Florida. He serves as a mentor to legal aid attorneys.
A member of the board of directors of the Florida Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, Tomberlin has been a member of the D.R. Smith Inns of Court and the Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee of The Florida Bar.
Circuit Judge Raymond T. McNeal calls Tomberlin "a good man, a good lawyer, and a good friend. He gives every client his best even if they are not paying his fee."
In recognition of his dedication to pro bono work, which exceeds 400 hours over the course of his 22 years in legal practice, Tomberlin was awarded the 2006 Richard D. Custureri Pro Bono Service Award. This is the highest award in Marion County recognizing pro bono service.
William L. Penrose
Sixth Judicial Circuit
William L. Penrose has been in private practice in St. Petersburg for more than 30 years. A 1966 graduate of the Stetson University College of Law, he has been board certified in marital and family law since 1991. He also is certified as a matrimonial arbitrator by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.
Since 1994, Penrose has contributed more than 450 hours of pro bono legal services to indigent clients. In that time, he has handled a total of 28 extended family law cases. In 2003, alone, he provided 95 hours of pro bono work, giving free legal advice to clients of the Community Law Program's Wednesday walk-in clinic and handling family law cases.
In a case typical of Penrose's pro bono work with the Community Law Program, he represented a mother who, because she could not afford an attorney, had a default judgment entered against her awarding her husband sole parental responsibility for their minor child.
Penrose succeeded in having the default judgment set aside and the woman was awarded shared parental responsibility. Penrose encourages associate attorneys in his office to do pro bono work. He is a frequent speaker on individual rights and is a generous contributor to, and frequent sponsor of, special events benefiting the Community Law Program.
In a letter in support of Penrose's nomination, Community Law Program Executive Director Kimberly Rodgers said that his years of dedication to providing free legal assistance to the poor "should serve as a benchmark to encourage other attorneys to lend their time and talents to helping those who otherwise would not be able to afford representation."
Philip Henry Elliott, Jr.
Seventh Judicial Circuit
A native of Roanoke, Virginia, Phillip H. Elliott, Jr., has been practicing law in Florida for 48 years. Prior to his graduation from the University of Virginia with an L.L.B. now J.D.) in 1958, Elliot spent four years on active duty in the U.S. Navy. Subsequently, he joined the Naval Reserve, eventually serving as the commanding officer of a military detachment based in Daytona Beach. It was there, in 1964, that Elliot began practicing law with the firm of Parkinson and Sessions.
While in practice with that firm, Elliot served as city prosecutor for the City of Daytona Beach (1964) and as a judge in the Volusia County Small Claims Court (1964-1973). In 1987, Elliott joined the firm now known as Cobb & Cole and served there as counsel until 1998. He then joined the firm now known as Upchurch, Watson, White & Max where he continues a mediation practice.
During the course of his career, Elliot has devoted more than 1,900 hours to pro bono service. He has worked with the Pro Bono Program of Mid-Florida and for the past year and a half has met weekly with clients at the Daytona Beach Legal Advice Clinics. He also has provided free assistance to and through local churches.
Elliot is a member of the Volusia County Bar Association and has served as president of numerous civic organizations including Central Florida Legal Services and the East Volusia-Flagler Division of the American Cancer Society.
Elliot has a love for aviation and lives in Ormond Beach with his wife.
Frank E. Maloney, Jr.
Eighth Judicial Circuit
Frank E. Maloney, Jr., was born in Louisville, Kentucky. He graduated from Georgetown University with a B.S. in 1969 and earned his J.D. with honors from Florida State University College of Law in 1972. He also attended the College of Advocacy at the Hastings College of Law (1976).
Throughout his 34-year legal practice, which includes family, probate, elder, real estate, criminal, and municipal law, Maloney has shown his dedication to pro bono service through his longtime work with Jacksonville Area Legal Aid and, subsequently, with Three Rivers Legal Services. When Three Rivers began providing services to rural Baker County, Maloney readily volunteered to represent indigent residents there. His contributions have been critical, given the 23,000-resident county's location at the Georgia border near Jacksonville, which is underserved by the legal community.
In 2003, Maloney was awarded the Jacksonville Area Legal Aid Pro Bono Award for his tireless representation of indigent clients. Since becoming a volunteer with Three Rivers in 2004, Maloney has accepted seven cases, all difficult family law cases with unique issues. Maloney is an avid supporter of the Eighth Judicial Circuit's Volunteer Attorney Program. He has been as a member of the Eighth Judicial Circuit Bar Association Board of Directors since 1983 and served as president in 1999-2000. He also is a member of the Municipal Attorney's Association and the James C. Adkins Inns of Court. Maloney works along with his wife and office manager, Barbara, to provide much-needed legal counsel to the residents of rural counties. Together, they have accepted the challenge of helping those whose options are limited by poverty and location.
Susan V. Stucker
Ninth Judicial Circuit
Susan V. Stucker graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in government from Florida State University and went on to the FSU College of Law to earn her J.D. with high honors. During law school, she was a member of Moot Court and was a National Administrative Law Competition Semi-Finalist, which positioned her among the top four competitors in the nation.
Stucker began her legal career in Orlando in 1985 as an associate with Akerman, Senterfitt & Eidson. In 1987, she joined Baker & Hostetler as a senior associate and, in 1991, joined the legal department of Sprint Nextel (formerly United Telephone). Now the company's senior counsel, she practices employment and labor law.
Since the earliest days of her legal practice, Stucker has consistently dedicated her time and expertise to helping children. After joining the Orange County Bar Association in 1985, she began her pro bono service as a mediator with the bar-sponsored Citizen Dispute Settlement Program. After training for the guardian ad litem program, she accepted her first appointment in 1986.
In her first four years of practice, Stucker accepted seven cases, donating more than 100 hours of service. Over the course of her career, she has served as a guardian ad litem for 71 children, donating more than 3,600 hours in closed cases alone. Her previous awards include the Young Lawyer Award in 1990 and an Individual Award for Excellence in 1999, both from the Legal Aid Society. In 2006, Stucker received the organization's highest recognition, the Judge J.C. "Jake" Stone Distinguished Service Award.
Stucker is married and has a daughter, Cassidy.
Kelly B. Hardwick III
10th Judicial Circuit
Kelly B. Hardwick III is a graduate of Georgia Southern College and the University of Tennessee College of Law.
In 1976, Hardwick joined Barnett Banks Trust Co., N.A., in Winter Park, as a trust officer for the Regional Department. The following year, he accepted a position with Boswell, Boswell & Conner in Bartow, where he practiced real estate, probate, and corporate law. In 1986, he opened his current private practice in Bartow.
With a huge heart for dependency cases, Hardwick's commitment goes over and beyond, giving parents a "jump start" on the reunification process with their children. He is known for giving as much attention to pro bono cases as he does paying clients and has taken cases from outlying areas that require significant travel time. He has served pro bono as both guardian ad litem and attorney ad litem.
In 1992, United Way of Central Florida recognized Hardwick as Volunteer of the Year. He has served three terms on the United Way Board of Directors and is a past president and current board member of the Bartow Rotary Club. He also serves as president and board member of the Bartow Rotary Foundation, Inc., and is a board member and past president of Bartow Crime Stoppers, Inc.
Hardwick has served the guardian ad litem program as a pro bono program attorney. He also was the local chair of a Boy Scouts of America campaign fund drive. He currently serves on the Polk County STAR Advisory Board. He is retired from the Florida Army National Guard.
Hardwick and his wife, Susan, have two children.
Lawrence D. Silverman
11th Judicial Circuit
Lawrence D. Silverman graduated cum laude from the State University of New York at Geneseo in 1987, and earned both his J.D. and M.A. from Duke University in 1990. He was admitted to the New York Bar in 1991 and to The Florida Bar in 1994.
Silverman is a shareholder in Akerman Senterfitt in Miami, practicing in the areas of antitrust and trade regulation, as well as class actions and commercial litigation. He is a past chair of The Florida Bar Business Law Section, the CLE and Antitrust, Franchise and Trade Regulation committees and The Florida Bar Antitrust Legislative Amendment Committee. Since 1995, he also has served as a member of the board of Family Resource Center, Inc., which provides emergency shelter and support for children in foster care and/or situations where no parent or guardian exists.
In 2001, Silverman was presented a Miami-Dade County Bar Association "Adopt an Agency" pro bono award for his work with Shelbourne House, a not-for-profit agency providing housing to indigent, HIV-positive persons. He also has provided legal counsel to the Embrace Girls Foundation, Planned Parenthood of Greater Miami and the Keys, and the Coconut Grove Playhouse.
Silverman has donated more than 800 hours of pro bono service to the community through the Put Something Back Program of the Miami-Dade County Bar Association and through community contacts. His ongoing work assists the poor in various practice areas including litigation, and transactional and criminal appellate matters.
An adjunct professor of law and economics at Nova Southeastern University's Shepard Broad Law Center since 1999, Silverman continues to make equal access to the courts a reality for all.
Neil W. Scott
12th Judicial Circuit
Neil W. Scott is a 1979 graduate of Brown University with an B.A. in American Civilization. He received his J.D. from the Washington University Law School in St. Louis, Missouri in 1982 and his LL.M from the University of Miami Law School in 1985. In 1983-84, Scott worked as a law clerk at the Rhode Island Supreme Court for Senior Associate Justice Thomas F. Kelleher. He moved to Miami in 1985, where he worked as associate general counsel for a medical device manufacturer. He subsequently spent eight years administering trusts, estates and guardianships for two banks. He has been in private practice in Sarasota since 1997.
Scott's community involvement includes participation and leadership in Legal Aid of Manasota, the All Faiths Food Bank Foundation, Boys and Girls Clubs, and the Easter Seals Society of Southwest Florida. He also has served as an instructor at Manatee Community College for the state-mandated Guardianship Training Course.
Since 1991, Scott has served as a volunteer attorney with Legal Aid of Manasota, Inc., donating more than 2,000 hours of pro bono service to the community. In this regard, he works with indigent and low-income clients who need assistance with end-of-life documents. Many of these patients are terminally ill; some have no friends or family and very few resources.
Often, Scott's services are needed with no or short notice. In one instance, Scott traveled to Manatee County within hours of being contacted by a social worker to prepare advance directives for a hospice patient.
In 2005, the Florida Supreme Court recognized Scott for providing over 100 hours of pro bono service in a 12-month period.
Sylvia Hardaway Walbolt
13th Judicial Circuit
Sylvia Hardaway Walbolt completed her undergraduate and graduate course work at the University of Florida, earning a J.D. from the College of Law in 1963.
A shareholder and former chair of the board of directors of the Carlton Fields law firm, Walbolt has extensive experience handling appeals in all areas of the law, in both federal and state court. During the course of her more than 40-year career, she has appeared as counsel in more than 290 published opinions.
In one death penalty case, Walbolt saw the Florida Supreme Court unanimously reverse the convictions and vacate the death sentences of a man with extensive evidence of organic brain damage and mental impairment. In another case, she led a group of Carlton Fields attorneys to assist the Florida Institute of Justice and Florida Institutional Legal Services in a class action filed on behalf of prisoners assigned to "close management." A settlement in the case resulted in dramatic reforms in the close management system.
After reading a newspaper account of a St. Petersburg couple who cooked meals out of their home for the homeless and needy families, Walbolt contacted them, made a personal donation to help defray their costs, and offered to incorporate them as a nonprofit organization. Her involvement generated financial contributions from firm lawyers and staff to help fund the new corporation, We Feed the Hungry, Inc.
Walbolt is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and is the former chair of the college's Florida Access to Justice and Legal Services Committee, which serves as a leader in pro bono legal services.
Michael R. Reiter
14th Judicial Circuit
Michael R. Reiter attended Saint Leo College and the University of the State of New York, where he earned his A.A. and B.S., respectively. In 1988, he earned both his Master of Public Administration and J.D. from Florida State University.
Reiter is experienced in both civil and criminal law, and has extensive experience in the practice of family law. Although he has been in practice for only eight years, he has successfully resolved more than 150 dependency cases and litigated more than 100 cases involving dissolution of marriage, custody modification, child support, and domestic violence issues.
In his pro bono work with Legal Services of North Florida, Reiter has taken cases both directly referred by the organization and through its First Saturday Legal Clinic, which he chaired until June 2006. He also serves as a volunteer educator at Gulf Coast Community College in Panama City, teaching an Encore Adult Education class in consumer law.
Since 1999, Reiter has donated more than 260 hours of legal services. He currently is defending an elderly, blind, and physically disabled man from wrongful eviction, foreclosure and abuse of an elderly person. He also has represented clients in domestic violence cases. In his solo practice, he provides legal guidance and representation in the areas of bankruptcy and consumer protection law with an emphasis on debt collection and credit reporting.
Reiter is a member of the Bay County Bar Association and the Northern District of Florida Bankruptcy Bar Association. He has been admitted to the U.S. District Court of both the Northern and Middle Districts of Florida and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.
Elisha D. Roy
15th Judicial Circuit
West Palm Beach
Elisha D. Roy earned her B.A. in Criminal Justice from the University of Delaware and, in 2001, her J.D. from Nova Southeastern University.
While still attending law school, Roy provided more than 300 hours of pro bono service through law school clinics and at the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County. In her last year at Nova, Roy received the Gold Award for Pro Bono Hours in recognition of her exceptional commitment to making legal services available to all.
Roy works with the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County and has represented numerous children in dependency and family law cases. She has given nearly 200 hours of pro bono service in representing children in dependency and family law issues. In 2004, she was honored by the Legal Aid Society for her work in a complicated case involving four children with issues in both juvenile and family courts.
Roy also volunteers to do pro bono cases through the Family Law Section's Children's Project and serves as a family law mentor for the section in a program designed to recruit nontraditional family lawyers to take family cases. As the current president of the Palm Beach County Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers, she has made pro bono one of her priorities, creating a committee that works to promote new ways for members to provide pro bono service.
Roy has her own practice, Elisha D. Roy, PA., located in Palm Beach Gardens. She and her husband, Elliot, have one daughter, Eden.
Robert Cintron, Jr.
16th Judicial Circuit
Robert Cintron, Jr., is a 1972 graduate of Key West High School. In 1976, he earned his undergraduate degree from Florida State University and continued his graduate studies there, earning a J.D. with honors from the College of Law.
After practicing law in Tallahassee for 18 years with Dearing & Smith (1980-1984) and, as an attorney and partner, with Pennington, Moore, Wilkinson, Bell & Dunbar (1985-1998), Cintron returned to Key West, where he joined the Morgan & Hendrick law firm.
Since 1998, Mr. Cintron has provided more than 100 hours of pro bono legal assistance to Monroe County homeowners' associations and individual mobile home owners who are being displaced by the redevelopment of mobile home parks. In 2005, he began his service as the pro bono legal counsel to the nonprofit organization Fair Insurance Rates in Monroe County, Inc. FIRM). He continues to work both locally and in Tallahassee on behalf of the grassroots organization, donating about 125 hours of pro bono legal service in the fight against substantial increases in windstorm insurance rates.
Cintron also served as pro bono legal counsel to the City of Key West Civilian Review Board, a panel of private citizens that reviews complaints of misconduct by sworn law enforcement officers and makes recommendations in this regard to local government officials. He logged more than 250 pro bono hours between 2002, when the board was created, and 2005, when the general counsel became a paid position.
Cintron has been admitted to practice before the U.S. District courts for all districts of Florida and the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. He and his wife, Mary, live in Key West.
Marian A. Lindquist
17th Judicial Circuit
Marian A. Lindquist is a Florida native, born in Ft. Lauderdale in 1964.
Lindquist dropped out of high school in her junior year, but soon earned a GED and began attending Broward Community College. Later, she transferred to Florida Atlantic University, graduating in 1988.
While still in college, Lindquist combined her skills and strong work ethic and opened a temporary service agency providing secretarial services to more than 100 Broward County law firms. When she took the Law School Aptitude Test, she scored in the top 4 percent in the nation and was offered three law school scholarships. She began her legal studies at Mercer University and subsequently transferred to Nova Southeastern University, graduating in 1991.
Lindquist opened a general civil practice, Marian A. Lindquist, P.A., where she has been able to combine her business practice with a long history of volunteerism. From 1984-1991, she was a guardian ad litem, representing abused and neglected children. She has been associated with legal aid since 1991, where she provides legal assistance to indigent clients.
A frequent volunteer at local schools, Lindquist speaks at Atlantic Vocational Center, Broward Community College and Sheridan Vocational Center, using her life experience to motivate others. She participated in a project at Blanche Ely High School, assisting students with dispute resolution and twice has been a participant at Indian Ridge Middle School's Career Day.
Lindquist is the mother of eight-year-old Lily.
Deborah M. Smith
18th Judicial Circuit
Deborah M. Smith received her A.S. from Bryant Stratton Business Institute in Rochester, New York, and went on to earn a B.S. in Humanities from the University of Rochester. She received her J.D. from the University of Miami in 1988.
Smith began her legal career as a workers' compensation insurance defense attorney. She continues to practice in that area of the law, and currently conducts workers' compensation private mediations through her firm, Deborah M. Smith Mediations, located in Satellite Beach. In addition to her work as a mediator, she currently is in general practice with Enrique, Smith & Trent, in Melbourne.
When the Brevard County Legal Aid's clinical program was faced with having to shut down its Pro Se Project after the departure of an Equal Justice Fellow in 2004, Smith stepped in. There, Smith helps pro se litigants with family law matters, assisting people who are on the road to self-sufficiency but who face seemingly insurmountable hurdles. Over the past three years, she has donated 400 hours of her time, providing assistance to more than 250 clients. She also staffs the organization's bi-weekly clinics.
Smith sometimes encounters cases she feels so strongly about that she accepts the client for ongoing representation. Typically, these clients are facing the most urgent problems involving issues of custody, visitation, support, and distribution of assets.
In 2004, Smith was recognized by BCLA with its Outstanding Pro Bono Service award for providing more than 175 hours of pro bono service in a single year. Her selfl ess dedication to the poor and disadvantaged is a shining example for the legal profession.
Margaret M. Anderson
19th Judicial Circuit
Margaret M. Anderson is a graduate of Rutgers Law School in Camden, New Jersey, and a member of the Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Florida bars.
In private practice since 1997 concentrating on criminal, family, and domestic issues, Anderson spent seven years as an assistant public defender. In that capacity, she served as a criminal defense attorney in trial and appellate court representing juveniles and adults charged with misdemeanors, felonies and violation of probation or parole, and in actions involving involuntary commitment.
In 1999, Anderson was named Indian River County Attorney of the Year by Florida Rural Legal Services for her work on pro bono cases. She is one of a handful of area attorneys who charge a $1 "retainer fee" to indigent clients not referred by Legal Services.
As part of the Indian River County Bar Association's Law Week activities, she has appeared regularly as a panelist for the annual call-in television program that allows viewers to discuss legal questions and concerns with association attorneys. She also has been featured on CNN and in Time magazine, speaking on Florida Supreme Court litigation.
In her letter of nomination, 19th Circuit Pro Bono Coordinator Donna Graf praised Anderson's work on behalf of poor and indigent clients. "She is one of the most dedicated and hardworking attorneys who has represented the indigent. Her service ensures that equal access to justice is a reality on Florida's Treasure Coast. Ms. Anderson is one of those attorneys who help above and beyond the call of duty."
Rita C. Chansen
20th Judicial Circuit
Rita C. Chansen came to family law after raising her four children as a single mother. At age 39, she began a 16-year academic journey, which included an associate's degree with honors from Miami-Dade Community College and bachelor's and graduate degrees, magna cum laude, from the University of Miami.
After graduation, Chansen became an instructor at Miami-Dade Community College. Eight years later, she entered the University of Miami School of Law, where she received her J.D. in 1987. She currently is a family law attorney with Thomson & Schreiber, P.A.
In the course of her legal career, Chansen has worked as a law clerk in the Third District Court of Appeal in Miami, has specialized in asbestos-related injuries at a personal injury law firm, and has accepted court appointments in dependency matters as an attorney ad litem. She also is a certified mediator.
Working with the Office of the State Attorney, Juvenile Division, in 1991, Chansen prosecuted juvenile offenders while coordinating community resources for their rehabilitation and counseling for their families. She currently uses her experience in the areas of family law and domestic violence to help clients referred to her by the Lee County Legal Aid Society. She also has provided more than 300 hours of pro bono work to clients referred to her by Florida Rural Legal Services.
In nominating Chansen, Lee County Bar Association Executive Director Nanci G. DuBois said that she has proven her dedication to pro bono service "with grace and outstanding sensitivity.... Her selflessness in defense of those in need has proven to be an inspiration to all who know her."
Wendy P. Fischman
Out of State
Wendy P. Fischman received her B.A. from the University of Florida and her J.D., with honors, from the George Washington University Law School. She is admitted to the bar in the District of Columbia and Florida.
Fischman was a litigation associate with Ruden, McClosky, Smith, Schuster & Russell, P.A., in Ft. Lauderdale before joining Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP in Washington, D.C., in 1999. Her practice there included white-collar criminal defense, internal investigations, and counseling in a variety of areas including government contracts litigation. She currently is employed by Fannie Mae.
In her seven years with the Washington firm, Fischman dedicated nearly 680 hours to pro bono efforts. She maintained her commitment to pro bono activities during maternity leave for two pregnancies. In 2006, alone, she did 278 hours of pro bono work, despite her status as a part-time associate. Fischman has represented numerous victims of an immigration fraud scheme in complex litigation. Her clients sought lawful permanent residence in the U.S., only to be caught in a scam by a former immigration attorney and his associate. Each lost a fleeting opportunity for permanent residence. She also represented two indigent widows of veterans in their pursuit of benefit entitlements from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
In another case, Fischman helped a client who suffers from Stage II Multiple Sclerosis win Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. The former school teacher eventually was awarded an $876.25 monthly benefit payment.
In addition to assisting in guardian ad litem matters, Fischman volunteers her services to the Children's Law Center.
The Florida Bar's YOUNG LAWYERS DIVISION PRO BONO SERVICE AWARD RECIPIENT
Mac Richard McCoy
Since joining Carlton Fields, P.A. in November 2003, Mac Richard McCoy has contributed more than 670 hours of legal services to the poor, primarily through the ABA Death Penalty Representation Project, Bay Area Legal Services Volunteer Lawyers, and the American Civil Liberties Union. In addition, he has spent numerous hours independently researching a potential pro bono initiative involving children with autism.
In July 2005, the ABA project asked Carlton Fields to represent a Florida death row inmate in filing a motion for post-conviction DNA evidence testing. McCoy volunteered to take the lead in evaluating, developing and directing the litigation, which required more than 458 hours. Preparation included reviewing more than 20 boxes of litigation files, depositions, court transcripts, pleadings, exhibits and other materials relating to the case.
Despite carrying a heavy caseload as a young trial lawyer, McCoy has conducted a number of intake interviews and consultation with prospective pro bono clients for Bay Area Legal Services. Most recently, much of his time has been spent representing an elderly client who was exploited, abused, and defrauded by his wife. Over the course of their three years of marriage, the client's wife evicted him from the marital home, which he had owned before the marriage, sold or gave away all of his tangible property and assets, emptied his bank accounts, and incurred thousands of dollars of loans and credit card debt in his name without his knowledge or consent. As a result, the client was rendered penniless and homeless.
Ultimately, McCoy succeeded in winning a final order restoring the client's full ownership of his home and ordering the wife to pay fraudulently incurred debts.
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|Publication:||Florida Bar News|
|Date:||Feb 15, 2007|
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