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Board candidates' platform statements.

Here are the platform statements for the 2008 candidates for The Florida Bar Board of Governors and the Young Lawyers Division Board of Governors. Ballots for the election will be mailed on March 1, and must be returned no later than midnight March 21.

If a runoff is necessary, ballots will be mailed around April 1 and must be returned by midnight April 21.

Bar members will have the choice of voting by the mailed paper ballot or voting online by following instructions with the mailed ballot.

The winners will be sworn in during the June Annual Meeting.

The platform statements are also posted on the Bar's Web site at

Ninth Circuit

Seat 3

William Hancock II

* Member of the Florida Bar since 1988.

* Trial practice with the Public Defender's

* Office for nearly 20 years.

* Over 140 jury trials.

* Certified in Criminal Trial.

I have been a member of the Traffic Court Rules Committee; I currently belong to the Orange County Bar Association, Central Florida Hispanic Bar, CFACDL, and FACDL.


Prior to working with the Public Defender's Office I worked with a sole practitioner for two years doing general civil work. I spent 17 months working as a staff attorney for the judges of the Ninth Judicial Circuit and for the past three years have taught Business Law in the spring semesters at Valencia Community College. I am currently assigned to the Major Crimes Division at the Public Defender's Office for the Ninth Circuit.

I would like to add my experience as a hardworking, in-the-trenches attorney to the Board of Governors. My primary goal is to serve the legal profession as a hardworking and dedicated lawyer. There are many issues, including difficult ethical issues, facing Florida lawyers. I want to jump in and help lawyers face these challenges and uphold the integrity of our fine profession.

I knew I wanted to be a lawyer since I was 10 years old. I worked hard to become a lawyer and it was because I believed the law to be a noble profession, practiced by noble men. I want to help foster that image with the community we serve.

Scott R. McMillen

My decision to run for the open Ninth Circuit seat on the Board of Governors was an easy one. Not only am I proud to be a lawyer, I am especially proud to be a member of the Central Florida legal community. I grew up in Orlando, raised four children here, and I have been involved in civil trial practice here for 28 years. I can even say I have given my first-born child to the Orlando legal community because my daughter has recently graduated from law school and joined my law practice.


A seat on The Florida Bar Board of Governors takes an enormous amount of time and dedication, and my history of service to the Bar on all levels demonstrates my commitment. Locally, my service to the Orange County Bar Association has included work on many committees, frequently serving as chair. After serving on the Executive Council, I was elected president of the Orange County Bar for 1999-2000. Before that I was on the Board of Directors of the Legal Aid Society, and served as its president in 1996-97. In 2006, I was president of the Central Florida Trial Lawyers Association. Statewide, my service to The Florida Bar has also included work on several committees, including a technology task force in 2002, a special committee on Web site advertising rules in 2006, and a local grievance committee, for which I also served one year as chair. I held a four-year term on the Fifth District Court of Appeal Judicial Nominating Commission, including one year as chair. I have also been active statewide for the Florida Justice Association and have served on its Board of Directors.

The most important issues facing Florida's lawyers have changed little in the last several years. Repeated assaults on the independence of the judicial branch must remain a central focus of The Florida Bar, because judges cannot speak out on these topics. The attempts of certain politicians to demonize judges and our system of justice solely for political gain seem never-ending. While every lawyer individually must speak out and educate the public against these frivolous attacks, the charge can best be led by the organized Bar. Adequate court funding must also remain a high priority.

On another front, the struggle between the constitutional rights of attorneys who advertise and The Florida Bar's legitimate goal of protecting the public from fraudulent or misleading claims has not yet found a steady balance. This is evidenced not only by the federal court lawsuit recently filed against the Bar, but also by a growing alienation felt by many Bar members due to a perception of confusing advertising regulations, or a perception of uneven enforcement. The Florida Bar's emphasis on a statewide professionalism movement will help with every one of these problems and I would like to see us continue these efforts.

I would be proud to serve on your Board of Governors and if elected will work hard on each of these issues. I will be equally accessible to every member of this circuit. I would appreciate your vote and would welcome your phone calls (407-843-0126), or e-mails (, at any time.

11th Circuit

Seat 7

John H. (Jack) Hickey



Together we can make The Florida Bar better and more responsive to you and me, the everyday, hardworking lawyer. The Florida Bar should be a mentor and an advocate ... for us.

I am excited about this opportunity. I want to represent you, your interests, and your concerns. I know what it means as an associate to meet monthly billable hour requirements and to worry about making partner; as a partner in a firm to manage and bring in business; as a trial lawyer to prepare a case for trial and to try the case; and as a small firm owner to pay the rent and payroll.


Mentor. The Florida Bar should be the leading bar in the nation in its programs for minority lawyers, for woman lawyers, for the sole practitioner, and for lawyers in the large and medium-sized firms.

Advocate. The Florida Bar should be our advocate. We need an organization which speaks for us to the legislature, to the executive branch, to the judiciary, and to the public. We need an organization which will go to our legislators and educate them about the laws they propose, about the pay and resources which our judges and judicial system need, and about the challenges lawyers face.

Do you remember the day you were sworn in as a Florida lawyer? I do. I was so proud. (And of course relieved.) Then we got jobs and realized that this is a tough, hardworking profession. This is a profession in which The Florida Bar should be there for us. We can make it better. Together we can.


* President, Dade County Bar Association (2003-2004)

* Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer by The Florida Bar and the National Board of Trial Advocacy

* Lifetime Member, Florida Council of Bar Association Presidents

* Fellow and Lifetime Member, The Florida Bar Foundation

* Past Chair, Florida Bar Grievance Committee 11-L

* Past Chair, Florida Bar 11th Circuit Fee Arbitration Committee

* Past Chair, Florida Bar Admiralty Law Committee

* Testified before Congress regarding cruise lines and maritime law, March, 2007

* Member, Florida Bar Judicial Nominating Procedures Committee

* Member, Cuban American Bar Association (CABA)

* Member, Florida Association for Women Lawyers (FAWL)


I was born and raised in Miami. I graduated from Florida State University (B.A. Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and Duke Law School. After that, I came back to Miami and started my career as an insurance defense and commercial lawyer who for 17 years billed by the hour. For the last 11 years, I have been a trial lawyer on the plaintiff's side in personal injury cases and in commercial litigation.

I want to use my leadership and experience to make this vision a reality. The Florida Bar will mail the ballots on March 1. I am asking that you e-mail your friends now and tell them to vote for me, JOHN H. (JACK) HICKEY, for SEAT 7. EVERY VOTE COUNTS.

Thank you.

Jorge A. Mestre

The Board of Governors is the elected body that protects the interests of all Florida Bar members. Electing its members is your chance to shape the policies and direction for the Bar. If you honor me with your vote, I will be a voice for lawyers from both small and large firms, public and private practice alike. What's more, I believe that The Florida Bar should increase its efforts to encourage international companies to have their legal matters handled in Miami, thus generating work for many able Miami lawyers.


It is said that Miami's cultural diversity is a model for what many cities in the United States will become during this century. agree, and I know we can do even better. As result, I am committed to expanding the Bar's diversity initiatives and will work to make a core part of The Florida Bar's agenda, particularly with respect to promoting diversity and opportunities both within the profession and in the admission and retention of diverse students and faculty in law schools.

I am qualified because of my record of service to the legal community, both through The Florida Bar and through local and national voluntary bar associations. Among other things, I am currently a member of The Florida Bar's Civil Procedure Rules Committee, vice-chair of the Civil Litigation Committee of the Dade County Bar Association, a member of the Board of Governors of the Hispanic National Bar Association, and member of the CABA Pro Bono Committee. also previously served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Dade County Bar Association and as vice-president and a director of the Cuban American Bar Association. Through my voluntary bar service I had the privilege to co-author a Petition Against Human Rights Violations Committed by the Cuban Government, which was filed with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. I also had the privilege to co-author an amicus curiae brief in support of the United States of America filed in the "Cuban Spy" case.

I was born and raised in Miami, and graduated with honors from the Florida State University School of Law. Since graduating from law school I have worked at both large and small firms and have represented both plaintiffs and defendants, and individuals and corporations. Currently, my law firm, Rivero Palmer & Mestre, located in Coral Gables, engages primarily in a commercial litigation practice, including international litigation and arbitration. I have had articles published in The Florida Bar Journal, the University of Florida Journal of International Law, and CABA Briefs. My wife Nicole (also a Bar member and a CABA director) and I are the proud parents of two little girls.

One of the reasons I love our profession is the rewarding opportunity to serve that it has given to me and gives to us all. If fellow Bar members like you elect me to the Board of Governors, I will work hard to continue to serve and to represent all Florida lawyers.

Mark Romance

I have a long and significant history of state and local bar experience which has given me the necessary qualifications, insight, and understanding needed to effectively represent you on The Florida Bar Board of Governors. Through my past service on the Board of Governors and other bar and community activities I have come to understand the opportunities and challenges facing you and have been addressing them at the local and statewide level. My collective experiences have fully prepared me to represent our circuit in The Florida Bar leadership and I ask you to elect me to serve again on the Board of Governors.


I became a shareholder with Richman Greer, P.A. (f/k/a Floyd Pearson) in 2000, and have been with the firm my entire career. My law firm has a long history of bar service, having produced several Dade County and Florida Bar presidents over the years. These bar leaders encouraged me early on to get involved in bar activities, and I quickly rose to leadership positions in local and state organizations. Some of the highlights of my bar and legal community activities include:

* Florida Bar Board of Governors (2002-2004) (Executive Committee, 2003-2004);

* President, Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division (2003-2004);

* Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division Board of Governors (1999-2004);

* Judicial Nominating Commission, 11th Judicial Circuit (2006-present);

* Florida Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism (2002-2005);

* Dade County Bar Association Young Lawyers Section Board of Directors (1995-1998);

* St. Thomas University School of Law Board of Advisors (1997--present);

* Florida Bar Civil Rules Committee (2004--present).

Through these experiences I have met and worked with lawyers who make up our diverse legal community. I have discussed the issues facing our profession with lawyers of every race, gender, and ethnicity, from small and large firm lawyers, government and non-profit lawyers, and with lawyers who engage in every area of practice. Through my bar and community work over the past 13 years I have already begun addressing these issues at the local and statewide level.

For example, as a member of The Florida Bar Board of Governors, as part of its Executive Committee, and as president of the Young Lawyers Division, I took a leadership role on important issues such as funding for our courts, maintaining and improving our disciplinary system to ensure it is expeditious and fair for both attorneys and complainants, improving diversity in our judiciary, profession, and Bar committees, improving the Bar's responsiveness to its membership, and improving Bar services, professionalism, and ethics programs. These issues affect all of us and require our focused attention.

I have been an active and consistent voice on these important issues and I have the experience to successfully represent you at The Florida Bar. I ask you to elect me to serve on the Board of Governors again so that I may continue to work to improve the practice of law in Florida.

17th Circuit

Seat 4

Jay Cohen

To talk about accomplishments is living in the past. For those who know me, you know what brings me to this point in my professional life and hopefully you can talk to others about my experience and substantial Bar work.

I want to talk about the future. It is going to be an exciting and yet challenging time for all of us in this profession. We are dealing with unprecedented attacks on who we are and what we do; funding for and the continued fight to preserve an independent judiciary; on the right to adjudication of disputes on the merits; trial by jury; and equally important, the fundamental right of all clients to equal representation by a lawyer of one's choosing.


These principles should be guarded vigorously. A board member of The Florida Bar has that duty to its members.

The stress on our professional lives must be reduced and if elected, I will work to improve the value of your membership to this great Bar. You must make sure you have an effective advocate for your protection. I want to do that because I care about this profession, this Bar, and I will be a member with you practicing law for many years to come.

I appreciate your consideration.

Keith T. Grumer

My experience stems from 23 years as a business litigator in Broward, Palm Beach, and Miami-Dade counties. My firm's diverse practice draws us into trials, both jury and non-jury, in state, federal, and bankruptcy courts. This intense view of the judicial system at work offers a unique perspective of the court system, the people who operate it, the "civilians" who seek justice from it, and the witnesses drawn into its tempest.


In drafting my platform, I recalled a movie, which expressed then why I wanted to become a lawyer, and today why I seek to be a member of the Board of Governors. While sitting for LSATs 25 years ago, "And Justice for All" was the courtroom drama du jour, but Al Pacino's message still resonates the truth: The whole system is out of order. The judicial system is a bureaucracy run by well-intentioned individuals, stressed by the demands of the day, the pressures of the job, and their own agendas. All of us need to be conscious of the ever-growing frustration that our society experiences when they encounter our system, and the disappointment, and sometimes anger, the encounter can engender.

As the father of three daughters, my toughest advocacy often occurs at home. But my greatest challenge is explaining to my children how formidable and risky the judicial system can be, how haphazard events can cascade into life altering consequences, and how great a challenge it is to accomplish justice. I remind them that we are fortunate to live in a society where there is a system, which strives for such lofty goals, and they see how much hard work it takes to achieve it.

As a member of the Board of Governors, my goal would be to remind members of the judicial system of the power they have, the impact of their roles on peoples' lives, and their capacity and obligation to make a difference. Each person needs to leave our system believing they have been heard, and it is that perception of fairness that sustains us.

Young Lawyers Division

20th Circuit

Seat 1

Cedric Hall

I am a candidate for the Young Lawyers Division Board of Governors, Seat 1, for the 20th Judicial Circuit. I graduated from Stetson University College of Law, after first obtaining a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Tennessee State University. I have been a public servant since 2001. As an educator in the Lee County School district, I had the opportunity to help shape and mold the futures of tomorrow. I am now currently with the State Attorney's Office in Fort Myers. Since 2001, I have served as an educator and now as a state attorney. Through my service in this community I believe that communication with my peers is an important tool for learning.


I would love to have the opportunity to help other young attorneys in this circuit covering Southwest Florida. If given this chance, I will ensure that the lines of communication are strengthened in this circuit. I believe that communication is important to the growth of young attorneys.

My past experience serving in the United States Army is a valuable asset that will help this circuit. "Be All You Can Be" was the Army's slogan a while ago. I believe that we should strive to give you the opportunity to achieve that slogan. As a Board of Governors member, I will help ensure that we can be all that we can be in this circuit as well as the State of Florida. Thank you in advance for giving me this opportunity to help you.

Carlo F. Zampogna

Carlo F. Zampogna, an associate of the law firm of Woodward, Pires and Lombardo P.A., in Naples, is running for the Young Lawyers Division Board of Governors, Seat 1, for the 20th Judicial Circuit. Carlo is active in the community as, among other things, the secretary of the Collier County Young Lawyers Section, a member of the local chapter of Inns of Court, coach of a mock trial team, and youth soccer coach. Carlo is fluent in Italian and proficient in Spanish. Carlo has a diverse practice including general civil and commercial litigation, real estate, and business transactions.


My platform for the Young Lawyers Division Board of Governors is threefold. First, I want to focus on bettering the quality of life of the young lawyers throughout the state by emphasizing balance between a focus on personal health, well-being, as well as a young lawyer's obvious primary focus of career advancement. I feel strongly that caring for one's body and mind by working out, or just relaxing and spending time with family and friends, are requirements to live a happy and healthy life. Ultimately, if one does not feel well, he or she will not perform well. To better the quality of the young lawyer's practice, I want to increase the support systems available to new attorneys, especially those attorneys who are in smaller offices or solo practitioners, by augmenting the mentoring system currently established by The Florida Bar to better serve the young attorneys of the 20th Judicial Circuit and further acknowledging the efforts of the mentors who share their experience and wisdom.

Second, I want to enhance the existing system of Internet/online privacy standards for court documents that are made available to the public. A uniform, statewide system would implement stricter standards of disclosure in order to prevent the access to personal information described in court documents, including dates of birth, Social Security numbers, and home addresses, thereby preventing potential identity theft or other crimes. Specifically, that includes preventing the public disclosure of marital agreements which potentially may include specific information about children, their schools, visitation schedules, birthdays, and Social Security numbers in order to prevent the child from becoming a victim of a predator.

Third, I want to increase membership and involvement of young lawyers in an effort to advance the growth, diversity, professionalism, and charitable activities of the local bar associations. In addition, I would like to have the local affiliates join with local law schools in order to get law students involved in the legal community early on, promoting an easy transition to remain involved after they are admitted to the Bar.

I will work hard to ensure that the Board of Governors is aware of the needs and concerns of our circuit and make certain that young lawyers are informed to take advantage of programs and opportunities available to them through the Young Lawyers Division. I intend to represent you zealously and with the professionalism and integrity that my experience has taught me.
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Title Annotation:Florida Bar Board of Governors and the Young Lawyers Division Board of Governors
Publication:Florida Bar News
Geographic Code:1U5FL
Date:Feb 15, 2008
Previous Article:Admissions panel appointment available.
Next Article:JNC training set for September: proposal made to revise judicial applications.

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