The Florida Bar

Florida Bar To Recognize 21 Lawyers For Outstanding Pro Bono Work

January 12, 2007
Creston Nelson-Morrill,
The Florida Bar

The Florida Bar will recognize 21 lawyers for their work on behalf of poor and indigent clients at a January 25 ceremony at the Florida Supreme Court.

The Florida Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Award was established in 1981. It is intended to encourage lawyers to volunteer free legal services to the poor by recognizing those who make public service commitments and to raise public awareness of the substantial volunteer services provided by Florida lawyers to those who cannot afford legal fees. President Henry M. Coxe, III, of Jacksonville, will present the 2007 awards.

The award recognizes pro bono service in each of Florida’s 20 judicial circuits and one Florida Bar member practicing outside the state of Florida. It is presented annually in conjunction with the Tobias Simon Pro Bono Service Award, which is given by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of Florida.

By circuit, the 2007 recipients are: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, Out of State.

A. Richard Troell
First Judicial Circuit (Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton)

A. Richard Troell, III, 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.

Troell also accepts 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 by the state agency involved and Troell then defended the appeal pro bono. In another instance, he handled a case that required him to travel 40 miles each way to attend court hearings.

Walter E. Forehand
Second Judicial Circuit (Franklin, Gadsden, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, and Wakulla counties)

The practice of law is a second career for Walter E. Forehand Ph.D., J.D.

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.

Nancy C. Holliday-Fields
Third Judicial Circuit (Columbia, Dixie, Hamilton, Lafayette, Madison, Suwannee and Taylor)
Live Oak

Nancy C. Holliday-Fields practiced family law in the Fields & Jones Law Firm in Lake City from 1994-1998, at the same time serving as an attorney for the Guardian ad Litem Program. From 1998 to 2001, she served the Third Judicial Circuit as coordinator of the Domestic Violence and the Family Law and Self-Help programs, which she founded. 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, she launched a series of Life Skills classes for the parents of children in dependency cases. 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 served as board chairman of Three Rivers Legal Services since 2001.

Thomas Murray Jenks
Fourth Judicial Circuit (Clay, Duval and Nassau)

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).

Jenks is one of the managing partners of the law firm of Pappas Metcalf Jenks & Miller, P.A. He specializes 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 serves on the Board of Directors of the Downtown Kiwanis Club.

Rollin E. Tomberlin
Fifth Judicial Circuit (Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Marion and Sumter)

Rollin E. Tomberlin 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 pro bono assistance with family law mediations involving indigent clients of Community Legal Services of North Florida.

William L. Penrose
Sixth Judicial Circuit (Pasco and Pinellas)
St. Petersburg

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 contributed 95 hours of pro bono work, providing free legal advice to clients of the Community Law Program’s Wednesday walk-in clinic and handling family law cases.

Philip Henry Elliott, Jr.
Seventh Judicial Circuit (Flagler, Putnam, St. Johns and Volusia)
Daytona Beach

A native of Roanoke, Virginia, Phillip H. Elliott, Jr. has been practicing law in Florida for 48 years. 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 for two hours with clients at the Daytona Beach Legal Advice Clinics. He also has provided free assistance to and through local churches and through legal advice clinics.

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.

Frank E. Maloney, Jr.
Eighth Judicial Circuit (Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Gilchrist, Levy, and Union)

Frank E. Maloney, Jr. is an avid supporter of the Eighth Judicial Circuit’s Volunteer Attorney Program.

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 long-time work with Jacksonville Area Legal Aid and, subsequently, Three Rivers Legal Services. When Three Rivers began providing services in rural Baker County, he expressed his willingness 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, he has accepted seven family law cases, all of them difficult cases with unique issues. Maloney also is an avid supporter of the Eighth Judicial Circuit’s Volunteer Attorney Program.

Susan V. Stucker
Ninth Judicial Circuit (Orange and Osceola)

Susan V. Stucker is senior counsel in the legal department of Sprint Nextel (formerly United Telephone), where she practices employment and labor law.

Stucker has consistently dedicated her time and expertise to helping children. After joining the Orange County Bar Association in 1985, she became a mediator with the organization’s Citizen Dispute Settlement Program. She accepted her first Guardian ad Litem appointment in 1986. Over the course of her career, she has served as a Guardian ad Litem for 71 children, donating more than 3,600 pro bono hours in closed cases, alone.

Kelly B. Hardwick, III
Tenth Judicial Circuit (Hardee, Highlands, and Polk)

With a heart for dependency cases, Kelly B. Hardwick, III’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 frequently takes cases from outlying areas that require significant travel time.

Hardwick has served the Guardian ad Litem program as a pro bono program attorney and 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 board member and past president of the Bartow Rotary Club.

Lawrence D. Silverman
Eleventh Judicial Circuit (Dade)

Lawrence D. Silverman has served since 1995 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, he 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. In all, 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 community contacts.

Neil W. Scott
Twelfth Judicial Circuit (DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota)

Neil W. Scott has served as a volunteer attorney with Legal Aid of Manasota, Inc. since 1991, donating more than 2,000 hours of pro bono service to the community. In this regard, he works with indigent and low-income patients who need assistance with end of life documents. Many of these patients are terminally ill, and some have no friends or family and very few resources.

Scott’s services often are needed with no or short notice. In one instance, he traveled to Manatee County within hours of being contacted by a social worker to prepare advance directives for a hospice patient. His 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.

Sylvia Hardaway Walbolt
Thirteenth Judicial Circuit (Hillsborough)

Sylvia Hardaway Walbolt is experienced in 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, Ms. Walbolt contacted them, made a personal donation to help them defray their costs and offered to incorporate them as a nonprofit organization. Her publicity within the firm generated financial contributions from firm lawyers and staff to help fund the new corporation, We Feed the Hungry, Inc.

Michael R. Reiter
Fourteenth Judicial Circuit (Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson and Washington)
Lynn Haven

Although he has been in practice for only eight years, Michael R. Reiter 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. Since 1999, he has provided more than 260 hours of pro bono legal services. He currently is defending an elderly, blind and physically disabled man from wrongful eviction, foreclosure and abuse of an elderly person. Reiter also has provided pro bono representation to clients in domestic violence cases.

Elisha D. Roy
Fifteenth Judicial Circuit (Palm Beach)
West Palm Beach

While still attending law school, Elisha D. Roy provided more than 300 hours of pro bono service through law school clinics and the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County. In her last year at Nova Southeastern University, she 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. She 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 Family Law Section in a program designed to recruit non-traditional family lawyers to take family cases.

As the current president of the Palm Beach County Chapter of the Florida Association of 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.

Robert Cintron, Jr.
Sixteenth Judicial Circuit (Monroe)
Key West

Robert Cintron, Jr. is a 1972 graduate of Key West High School. 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), he returned to Key West, where he joined the Morgan & Hendrick law firm.

Since 1998, 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 non-profit 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, logging more than 250 pro bono hours between 2002, when the board was created, and 2005, when the general counsel became a paid position.

Marian A. Lindquist
Seventeenth Judicial Circuit (Broward)
Fort Lauderdale

Marian A. Lindquist is a native of Fort Lauderdale. In her general civil practice, Marian A. Lindquist, P.A., she has been able to combine her business practice with a long history of volunteering. 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, Lundquist uses her life experience as a high school drop out as motivation for others. She participated in a project at Blanche Ely High School that assisted students with dispute resolution and twice has been a participant at Indian Ridge Middle School’s Career Day.

Deborah M. Smith
Eighteenth Judicial Circuit (Brevard and Seminole)
Satellite Beach

Deborah M. 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 Deborah M. Smith Mediations. She is in general practice with Enrique, Smith & Trent, in Melbourne.

When the Brevard County Legal Aid’s (BCLA) 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, she assists pro se litigants with family law matters, assisting people who are on the road to self-sufficiency but who face seemingly insurmountable hurtles. 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.

Margaret M. Anderson
Nineteenth Judicial Circuit (Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee and St. Lucie)
Vero Beach

Margaret M. Anderson spent seven years as an assistant public defender. In 1999, she was named Indian River County Attorney of the Year by Florida Rural Legal Services for her handling of 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, Anderson has appeared regularly as a panelist for the annual television program that allows viewers to call in and 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.

Rita C. Chansen
Twentieth Judicial Circuit (Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee)
Fort Myers

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.

Working with the Office of the State Attorney, Juvenile Division, in 1991, Ms. 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.

Wendy P. Fischman
Out of State
Rockville, Maryland

In her seven years with the Washington, D.C. firm Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP, Wendy P. 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 a complex litigation. Her clients are immigrants who sought lawful permanent residence in the U.S. They each lost a fleeting opportunity to do so under a now-expired program in the scheme, which was run by a former immigration attorney and his associate. She also represented two indigent widows of veterans in their pursuit of benefit entitlements from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

In addition to assisting in Guardian ad Litem matters, Fischman volunteers her services to the Children’s Law Center.

The awards ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday, January 25, at the Florida Supreme Court in Tallahassee.

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EDITORS: Please note The Florida Bar is not an association and "Association" is not part of our name. Proper reference is "The Florida Bar." Local bar organizations are properly termed "associations."

[Revised: 09-20-2007]