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Sarasota FAWL Honors Icon: Sonia Pressman Fuentes, co-founder of the National Organization of Women, recently became the first honorary member of the Sarasota FAWL chapter. President Brenda Nelms presented the certificate of honorary membership to Fuentes in December.

PDs visit Barry: Aproximately 40 public defenders from across the state gathered in December at the Barry University School of Law in Orlando to take part in a training program to help them become more effective in representing children accused of crimes in Florida’s juvenile delinquency system. The program was put on by the school’s Juvenile Justice Center, which trains lawyers and students on juvenile advocacy.

Palm Beach Professionalism: The Palm Beach County Bar recently honored Jane Kreusler-Walsh with its 10th Annual Professionalism Award. “Jane has the admiration and respect from colleagues that the award symbolizes,” said Ryon McCabe, chair of the association’s Professionalism Committee.

Choctawhatchee High Gets Gift: ASG Litigation Group attorneys Larry Keefe and A. Benjamin Gordon recently donated $25,000 Choctawhatchee High School, their alma mater, that will take the form of an Enhancement Fund and Take Stock in Children Scholarship Fund. “It is a blessing to have dedicated professionals like Larry Keefe and Ben Gordon supporting Choctaw High School,” said Choctaw Principal Cindy Masserelli, adding the donation will help ensure that school’s needs do not go unmet this year. “Ben and I owe Choctaw, its principals, teachers, and coaches for all that they did for us,” said Larry Keefe. “It is time to say thanks to them and to give a little back in their honor. We cherish the Choctaw tradition and want to see it continue and thrive.”

Wine Tasting Benefits Foster Care: The Coral Gables Bar in conjunction with the South Miami Kendall Bar recently held a wine tasting event at Bacchus Wine Bar in South Miami that raised $1,500 for Foster Care Review, a nonprofit organization that helps the juvenile court provide oversight for the welfare of over 4,000 Miami-Dade children who have been removed from their homes because of abuse and neglect and are under the jurisdiction of the court.

Henderson Franklin Gets Involved: Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt has partnered with Ft. Myers High School to provide training for its mock trial competition, and will also provide a scholarship to a graduate of the FMHS Academy of Law. For the past three years, Douglas Waldorf and Scott Beatty of Henderson Franklin, together with Howard Wright, director of the law academy, have organized the firm’s efforts in having four attorneys spend over 80 hours helping train the mock trial team members at FMHS. To enhance the experience, Henderson Franklin also has donated a $1,500 scholarship for this year’s graduates of the academy.

Stetson Wins: A team of three Stetson law students defeated teams from across the U.K., India, and the U.S. to win the International Criminal Court Moot Court Competition in White Plains, N.Y. Students Stephanie Ciechanowksi, Chris Winkelman, and Ahmad Yakzan progressed to the final round in the competition and argued against teams from Louisiana State University and New York Law School for the victory. Winkelman was named best oralist. Stetson professor Ann Piccard coached the winning team.

Coastal Law Victorious:A team from Florida Coastal School of Law won its second national moot court competition recently taking top honors at The Chicago Bar Association National Constitutional Law Moot Court Competition. Coastal’s championship team is comprised of oralists Jason Sexton and Amy Delauter, and brief writer Drew Sutter. They bested teams from John Marshall, University of the Pacific, and Loyola in the preliminary rounds. In the out-rounds, they beat Chicago Kent, Texas Tech, and Pepperdine in the finals. The team was coached by professor Sander Moody and Nick Martino, a coastal alumnus and local attorney.

FIU Gets a Championship: A Florida International University College of Law negotiation team was named the Southeast Regional Champion and will now be competing in the national competition later this year. The competed in the ABA Regional Negotiation Competition at the Emory Law School in Atlanta. “This is quite an accomplishment for such a young law school,” said Dean Leonard Strickman. “We are delighted that year after year the students’ efforts in this competition have been so successful.” FIU’s Arielle Capuano and Tyler Tuszynski took on a team from Campbell University and beat them to become the Southeast Regional Champions.

Children First Elects Officers: Howard Talenfeld, one of the original founders of Florida’s Children First, was elected president of the nonprofit child advocacy organization. Other officers incude Brian Cabrey, vice president; Jay Kassack, secretary; and Karen Gievers, treasurer. “FCF keeps making wonderful strides in children’s causes thanks to their dedication and our amazing volunteers and supporters,” said Andrea Moore, executive director of Florida’s Children First.

Stearns Weaver Creates Fellows Program: Legal Services of Greater Miami recently unveiled the Summer Fellows Program founded by Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson to provide three internships at LSGMI for students from the University of Miami, Florida International, and St. Thomas. The firm also pledged an annual contribution to the Chesterfield Smith Society for Equal Justice, which provides general support to LSGMI; and has agreed to provide 100 hours of pro bono legal services to LSGMI clients each year. 

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