The Florida Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Awards
THE FLORIDA BAR PRESIDENT’S PRO BONO SERVICE AWARD
Recipients of the pro bono service awards pictured during the January 28 ceremony at the Supreme Court with the justices and Bar leaders.
PRESIDENT’S PRO BONO
SERVICE AWARD RECIPIENTS
Robert Steven Goldman
Second Judicial Circuit
Robert Steven Goldman is a managing attorney at the law firm of Madsen Goldman and Holcomb LLP in Tallahassee. His principal areas of focus are state and local tax fields, including: audits, protests, litigation, rule-making, tax planning, and legislation. He has been a Florida Bar member since 1977, with experience in industries ranging from retail and hospitality to telecommunications and transportation.
Goldman has been active doing pro bono works in conjunction with the Legal Aid Foundation of the Tallahassee Bar Association, Inc. and with Legal Aid clients and Legal Aid Guardian ad Litem. He spearheaded drafting and successfully shepherding legislation to amend a statute allowing the Tallahassee Bar’s Legal Aid Foundation and similar nonprofit legal organizations to train non-attorneys to serve as guardians ad litem for children in family cases. This was a three-year pro bono endeavor.
Even though Goldman is primarily a tax attorney, he has represented low-income clients in family law cases for more than 20 years. Sometimes he even exceeds what the Tallahassee Bar Association’s bylaws require because of his commitment to the pro bono service oath, which states “never to reject, from any consideration personal to myself, the cause of the defenseless or oppressed.”
During his legal career, he has assisted more than 55 clients through the Legal Aid Foundation and numerous others in various avenues, accounting for more than 660 pro bono hours. He’s served on countless boards and in leadership roles.
Third Judicial Circuit
Monica Taibl is both an assistant public defender and a sole practitioner in Madison. Taibl’s principal areas of practice are civil litigation, real estate, contracts, employment, deeds, foreclosures, dependency, guardianship, probate, wills, trusts, personal injury, bankruptcy, and family law. She has been a member of The Florida Bar since April 2007 and is active in The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division.
Taibl’s pro bono contributions have been through participating at Three Rivers Legal Services, Inc., in Lake City. She has accepted several pro bono cases in the areas of wills, real estate, and family law.
In 2008, she contributed 18 hours of pro bono representation to the Three Rivers Legal Services Volunteer Attorney Program. She gave 20 hours in 2009, in addition to attending pro bono trainings on wills and Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Committed to providing pro bono legal services to the poor with compassion and dedication, she is always willing to accept a referral even in an unfamiliar area of law.
Professional affiliations include: a member in the Third Circuit Bar Association; a founding member and secretary of the Third Judicial Circuit Association for Women Lawyers, a newly launched chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers; Madison Chamber of Commerce; Martindale-Hubble; attorney ad litem; and Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. She began her career with more than eight years of legal assistant work, learning how to prepare motions, orders, ordinances, resolutions, discovery documents, and depositions.
Rebeccah Lee Beller
Fourth Judicial Circuit
Rebeccah Lee Beller is a partner at Beller & Bustamante, P.L., law firm in Jacksonville. Her principal areas of practice are probate and trust law, property, family, and consumer law. She has been a member of The Florida Bar since April 1997, and is a member of The Florida Bar Real Property Probate and Trust Law Section.
A large portion of her pro bono service has been through work at Jacksonville Area Legal Aid (JALA). Her representation of clients on a pro bono basis spans her 12 years in legal practice. Dozens of low-income JALA clients seeking dissolutions of marriage, wills, probate assistance, representation in consumer matters, and guardianship have all received her generous charity.
Her compassion and high regard for all ensures that her pro bono clients receive not only favorable final judgments, but legal representation that empowers them to pursue their goals for themselves and their families. She is also instrumental in training and supporting other pro bono attorneys through CLE seminars, including teaching elder law seminars. Serving the cause of the oppressed is what she lives and models, which explains her 160 hours of pro bono service in 2009.
Beller is a member of various organizations including: the St. Johns County Bar and Jacksonville Associations; Family Law Inns of Court; JALA Board of Directors; National Association of Consumer Advocates; and the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys.
Before becoming a general practitioner, she held positions of education coordinator, securities compliance coordinator, and trial attorney at the Public Defender’s Office.
Michael Jordan Cooper
Fifth Judicial Circuit
Michael Jordan Cooper is a sole practitioner in Ocala. Cooper’s principal areas of practice include real estate law, corporate and business law, wills and estates, personal injury, collections, real estate litigation, construction litigation, and business litigation. He has been a member of The Florida Bar since November 1976. He’s also a member of four Florida Bar sections: Business Law; General Practice, Solo and Small Firm; Real Property, Probate and Trust Law; and Trial Lawyers.
Cooper primarily participates in two pro bono programs: Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida Volunteer Lawyers Project, and Foreclosure Legal Advice Clinics and Foreclosure Community Education Program. In 2008, he took a pro bono case for a senior citizen who was a co-signer to her granddaughter’s newly purchased vehicle. After the vehicle was repossessed, the grandmother was harassed by phone and threatened to have her home taken and Social Security benefits garnished. Cooper quickly agreed to represent her and numerous others since. He has participated in foreclosure community legal education workshops, in which his unique perspective of foreclosure has helped attendees navigate the maze of contacting their lenders to request loan modifications and other workout options. He has also provided legal advice and pro se assistance in foreclosure legal advice clinics, sometimes providing full representation in particular cases.
Cooper began his legal career in West Palm Beach practicing insurance defense. He then became a general practitioner for a few years in Ocala, where he’s been nearly 30 years now. His varied interests are reflected in the diverse organizations that he participates in, such as: Marion County Builders Association, Ocala Civic Theater, Ocala Runners Club, Marion County Chamber of Commerce, Marion County Economic Development Council, and The United Way.
William G. Bostick, Jr.
Sixth Judicial Circuit
William G. Bostick, Jr., is a Martindale-Hubbell BV-rated sole practitioner in St. Petersburg. His principal areas of practice are marital and family law litigation, probate, estate planning, real estate, Social Security, and commercial transactions. He was admitted to The Florida Bar in April 1980 and is a member of the Family Law Section.
Bostick has made pro bono service a priority in his life for much of the last two decades by his work with The Community Law Program, Inc. Bostick has been a volunteer with the program for nearly 15 years, and he has contributed a significant amount of time to providing free legal assistance to the poor by representing individual clients and participating in legal advice clinics in the areas of family law, general civil law, and probate.
Annually, he has devoted an average of 45 hours in assistance through legal advice clinics.
In addition, Bostick has accepted 21 individual pro bono cases, mostly involving contested family law matters. The cases have accounted for 191 hours, and 17 of the cases have been concluded.
A former colleague says that Bostick has never been there for the glory, but is there for the client, for the righteous cause, and for his love of the law. He treats pro bono clients the same as paying clients, tirelessly preparing their cases and giving them the best representation possible. He said his favorite pro bono cases are like good novels because they have RMA (romance, mystery, and adventure). He has donated more than 675 hours to the Community Law Program and has also accepted pro bono cases in his private practice.
Bostick has been a solo attorney for a large portion of his career. He has also been a mediator and an arbitrator. Currently, he is a member of: Delta Theta Phi legal fraternity, Attorneys Title Insurance Fund, Who’s Who in American Law, St. Petersburg Bar Association, and guardian ad litem volunteer attorney.
The married father of seven boys is involved in coaching youth football and likes carpentry, music, and running.
Raven Elizabeth Sword
Seventh Judicial Circuit
Raven Elizabeth Sword is an attorney at Rice & Rose Law Firm in Daytona Beach. Her principal areas of practice currently are foreclosure and bankruptcy, but she also covered areas such as personal injury, commercial real estate, shareholder litigation, and general contract disputes. She has been a Florida Bar member since April 2007 and is also licensed to practice in Michigan and Indiana. She is a member of The Florida Bar Business Law Section and Young Lawyers Division.
Sword donates her time and experience for pro bono at Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida Volunteer Lawyer Project and Legal Advice Clinics, Full Representation, and Community Legal Education Workshops. In response to the foreclosure crisis, she volunteered at weekly foreclosure and bankruptcy legal advice clinics for the last year and a half. She provided legal advice and pro se assistance to 75 low-income clients, and has fully represented two clients. Her foreclosure workshops have extended to the communities of Flagler and Volusia counties. In 2009 alone, Sword gave more than 150 hours of pro bono legal services to the Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida’s Volunteer Lawyers Project. She was selected as “Pro Bono Guardian of the Year” at a recent event in her area.
While still a law student, Sword was selected as a law clerk for the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., in the Federal Torts Claims Act Office. During this time, she was involved in the trial preparation in the Waco trial. She served as a White House intern in the Domestic Policy Council in her collegiate days. Sword started her professional legal career as a deputy prosecutor, in which she handled all aspects of criminal trials and tried felony and misdemeanor cases. She has also worked as a litigation associate at a large firm in Detroit. The married mother of two enjoys reading, exercising, family time, and watching football and basketball games.
Robert Anthony Rush
Eighth Judicial Circuit
Robert Anthony Rush is a senior partner at Rush & Glassman in Gainesville. His principal areas of practice are civil rights, criminal defense, and personal injury. He was admitted to The Florida Bar in May 1986, and is a member of The Florida Bar Trial Lawyers Section. He is a board certified criminal trial and civil trial lawyer.
Rush has contributed his legal expertise pro bono through the Eighth Judicial Circuit Bar Association. He has handled serious and arduous cases. In one case, a 17-year-old was charged with robbery with a firearm with enhancements because of a mask, and he faced a 10-20-life sentence.
Rush’s strategy led to an extraordinary resolution of the young man being sentenced as a youthful offender to a youth boot camp program, as opposed to the first degree felony charge, punishable by life for an adult felon.
Rush has taken cases including: sexual misconduct by jail guards on a mentally ill inmate, an indigent young adult charged with drug crimes, and a teenager unlawfully attacked by a police K-9 dog. Defending disadvantaged people with disabilities and youth is important to him. Between 1990 and today, Rush has consistently taken on pro bono cases and has set an exemplary example for other attorneys.
Rush began his legal career as a legal intern, then became an assistant public defender, a sole proprietor, and now a partner of a firm. He is also an adjunct professor, guest lecturer, and a legal trial team coach at his alma mater. His bar association memberships include: the Eighth Judicial Circuit Bar Association, Florida Academy of Trial Lawyers, the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the American Trial Lawyers Association.
Robert Lee Dietz
Ninth Judicial Circuit
Robert Lee Dietz is a board certified attorney at the law firm of Zimmerman Kiser & Sutcliffe, P.A., in Orlando. Dietz’ principal areas of practice are workers’ compensation, civil mediation, and appellate practice. He has been a Florida Bar member since May 1984. Dietz received his board certification in 1992, and he’s also a Florida Bar Workers’ Compensation Section member. In 1995, he became a Supreme Court Certified Circuit Civil Mediator.
Dietz has performed a large portion of his pro bono work at the Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Inc., participating in its pro bono panel for more than 20 years, while additionally providing service as a guardian ad litem for children in the juvenile dependency system over the last 23 years. Guardian ad litem pro bono service has taken on a special meaning for him. Because many of the children suffer cognitively and psychologically; lack parental and familial care; were abused, neglected, and harmed in various ways; they become extremely close to the guardian ad litem. Over the years, Dietz has served as a guardian ad litem for more than 100 children. Dietz has done an excellent job of bringing joy to the guardian ad litem children by doing things such as: taking them roller-skating, organizing Christmas gift drives, going out for pizza, and a group trip to Sea World. He has used his skills as a litigator to free children from dangerous and harmful households. Cumulatively, he has donated more than 1,130 hours to guardian ad litem pro bono work, and he even recruits other lawyers to do pro bono service.
Dietz is a participant in several organizations such as: Open House Ministries, Touching Miami with Love, ABA TIPS Workers’ Compensation and Employer Liability Committee, the Florida Defense Lawyers’ Association, and a Fellow of The College of Workers’ Compensation. Through his civic affiliation with Civitan International, he organizes and runs a golf tournament to assist developmentally disabled children. He also serves on the PTA/SAC Committee at the middle school where his wife works and is active in church ministries with his two children.
Dana Yvonne Moore
10th Judicial Circuit
Dana Yvonne Moore is a sole practitioner at The Law Office of Dana Y. Moore LLC in Winter Haven. Moore’s principal areas of practice are general, civil, probate, and criminal practice. She was admitted to The Florida Bar in November 2003, and is a member of the Family Law and Real Property, Probate and Trust Law sections.
Moore has shown a passion for supporting the community through pro bono service. In her six-year career, she has participated in the following organizations’ pro bono programs: the Virgil Hawkins Bar Association, Florida Rural Legal Services, Inc., the Statewide Guardian ad Litem Program (10th Judicial Circuit), and The Florida Bar low fee panel for pro bono.
For the Virgil Hawkins Bar Association, she conducts “know your rights” seminars and family law and will seminars for churches. The Statewide Guardian ad Litem Program utilizes her services as an attorney ad litem and guardian ad litem, while she covers family law adoption pro bono cases at Florida Rural Legal Services. The Florida Bar low fee panel presents her with an array of pro bono cases, such as: incorporation of small churches and other organizations, landlord-tenant mortgage foreclosure, filing drafts for the mentally handicapped, advice to not-for-profit businesses, and accepting referrals from the Broken Chain Ministry — an organization that helps recently released ex-prisoners reentering society.
The Guardian ad Litem Program has recognized Moore’s advocacy for children. Her spirit of volunteerism for disadvantaged children includes providing pro bono parenting classes for indigent parents and serving on the board of Healthy Start.
Moore began her legal career as a legal and judicial clerk intern. She later became a felony trial court staff attorney for the 10th Judicial Circuit, then an associate for a firm, before her sole proprietor work. She is a member of the Willson American Inn of Court, Winter Haven Women’s Bar Association, and has been a vice president, secretary, and treasurer for the Vigil Hawkins Bar Association.
Gordon Charles Murray, Sr.
11th Judicial Circuit
Gordon Charles Murray, Sr., is a sole practitioner in Miami. Murray’s principal areas of practice are criminal law and family law. He was admitted to The Florida Bar in December 1985. He is also a member of The Florida Bar’s Criminal Law and Family Law sections.
The veteran attorney of 24 years has done pro bono work personally and through the Cuban American Bar Association. His pro bono caseload consists of the following: mortgage fraud, dissolution of marriage, guardianship, child support enforcement, attorney ad litem, guardian ad litem, modification action, child relocation action, dispute over rental agreement, a minor’s permanent domestic restraining order against his father, and child custody. In 2002, he accepted a voluntary attorney role with the Mental Health Association of Miami-Dade County. He contributed more than 80 pro bono hours to a case with the organization; the case was dismissed.
One of his most notable cases involved a family in a tragic car accident that left the wife comatose, a husband and son devastated, and that same husband accused of sexually abusing his wife. Murray, recognizing the client’s innocence, drove from Miami to Sebring to represent the husband, and the courts dismissed the allegations as being completely unfounded. He has contributed more than 470 hours to pro bono, not including the other cases mentioned.
Murray is active in Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Orchestra Miami, the Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr., and Cuban American Bar associations, The Haitian Lawyers Association Inc., and 5,000 Role Models of Excellence. He has been featured on national TV programs: “The Leeza Gibbons Show,” Court TV, and “HBO Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.”
He has been an adjunct professor at Miami-Dade College and is currently a legal instructor at Southeast Institute of Criminal Justice and a professor at ITT Technical Institute.
Larry Ronald Chulock
12th Judicial Circuit
Larry Ronald Chulock is a sole practitioner at Larry R. Chulock, P.A., in Bradenton. His principal areas of practice are marital and family law, banking, and commercial litigation. He was admitted into The Florida Bar in May 1996 and is also admitted to practice in Illinois, the U.S. District Courts, and the U.S. Courts of Appeals.
Chulock has been active in pro bono service, primarily through Legal Aid of Manasota, Inc. He has been volunteering with the organization for the past five years, and at any given time he will be representing several Legal Aid clients in their complex family law matters. He has been described as one of only a handful of attorneys willing to accept the most challenging cases and doesn’t limit his pro bono assistance to a single area. Some of his pro bono caseload has consisted of legal matters such as divorce, custody, visitation, child support, and paternity.
Chulock has donated time to a local TV station to tape a “mock mediation” focused on the new laws surrounding time-sharing and parenting plans. He was also instrumental in the reinstatement of “priority docketing,” which allows pro bono attorneys to be placed first on court dockets when representing Legal Aid clients — a useful recruitment tool used to encourage pro bono participation. Chulock has been recognized under the Florida Supreme Court pro bono lapel pin project for donating more than 20 pro bono hours per year. He has donated nearly 400 hours of pro bono work to the Legal Aid of Manasoto, Inc., rarely turning down a referral.
Chulock is very involved in the Manatee County Bar Association, serving as officer and treasurer and also volunteering as a Teen Court Judge since 2006. He is a member of the Family Court Professional Collaborative and the Family Law Advisory Group (which helped to create the revised Parenting Contact Plan Guidelines), the Illinois Bar Association, and the Manatee County Bar Association. He is a native of Chicago.
Caroline Kapusta Black
13th Judicial Circuit
Caroline Kapusta Black is a Martindale-Hubbell AV-rated partner with the law firm of Mason, Black, and Caballero, P.A. in Tampa. Black’s principal areas of practice are marital and family law, in which she has been board certified since 1995. She became a member of The Florida Bar in September 1985.
Black has performed the majority of her pro bono work through two programs: the Bay Area Volunteer Lawyers Program and the Hillsborough County Bar Association. At the Bay Area Volunteer Lawyers Program, she handles client representation, client intake and mentoring; at the Hillsborough County Bar Association, she established the Library Series, Peoples Law School, and the Series at Senior Centers. In their third year of existence, the Hillsborough County Bar programs have assisted hundreds of individuals.
Black also participates in the “Ask a Lawyer” program in conjunction with the Fox 13 TV station.
Some of her pro bono caseload is comprised of cases involving divorce and custody, contested paternity, visitation, domestic violence, child support, wills, and dissolution of marriage. Mentoring other volunteer attorneys is important to her. She has donated nearly 343 hours to pro bono work.
Black holds leadership roles in various associations including: the Hillsborough County Bar Association (former president and board of directors), American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers-Florida Chapter (board of managers), 13th Judicial Circuit Grievance Committee, International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, and Centre for Women (board of directors).
She is also a Florida Bar Family Law Section member (former chair), Long Range Planning Committee member (former chair), former Family Court Steering Committee member, and a liaison to The Florida Bar Committee on the Legal Needs of Children. She has contributed her legal knowledge to many publications and has been awarded several times for her pro bono efforts.
Stephen Lee Romine
13th Judicial Circuit
Stephen Lee Romine is a Martindale-Hubbell AV-rated partner at Cohen, Foster, & Romine, P.A., in Tampa. His principal area of practice is criminal defense. He has been a Florida Bar Board Certified Criminal Trial Lawyer since 1998. He was admitted into The Florida Bar in April 1992, and is also admitted to practice in the Middle District of Florida and the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Romine has not participated in traditional legal aid society or local bar associations’ pro bono programs, but he has still made an indelible mark on his community through his pro bono service efforts. He has handled numerous pro bono cases on a personal and referral basis.
One case in particular, though, deserves special attention in his nomination for this honor. A 17-year-old had been sentenced to 30 years in prison, solely because he received ineffective assistance of counsel. The extreme sentence and injustices of the case sparked Romine to travel several counties away to represent the young man whose appeal was denied and whose case was passed up by many other attorneys. Romine reviewed the voluminous records and transcripts and filed several motions before the appellate court. He deposed the young man’s initial two attorneys and their supervisor, the traffic homicide investigator on the original case, and a third attorney who represented him. A top-flight accident reconstruction expert helped establish the ineffective assistance of the counsel. Ultimately, after a two-day hearing to set aside conviction, the prosecution conceded, and the conviction was vacated.
At the same hearing, Romine secured the young man’s release from prison after more than three years of time served, finally resulting in probation.
In total, Romine’s pro bono representation has exceeded more than 100 hours.
Timothy Michael Warner
14th Judicial Circuit
Timothy Michael Warner is a partner attorney at Warner & Wintrode, P.A., in Panama City. Warner’s principal areas of practice are civil law, probate, and small government law. He has been a Florida Bar member since April 1987, and he is also a Louisiana Bar member.
Warner has performed pro bono service all of his 25 years of practicing law, taking cases via referral, direct requests, volunteer attorney ad litem, or guardian ad litem. His pro bono caseload has entailed probate cases, estate planning, real estate transactions, dissolution of marriage, child custody, paternity, and general civil topics.
Throughout his legal career, he has contributed several hundred pro bono hours assisting countless individuals. During the last year and a half, he has recorded 62.75 hours of free legal assistance to 12 people. Also, over the last several years he has invested at least one hour per month mentoring a young man in high school. As impressive as this recorded amount of pro bono service is, Warner’s colleagues feel that it is a slim portion of his total output — “only about 10 percent of his pro bono time.” Because he freely gives of his time, and is generous and modest, he hasn’t recorded a lot of his pro bono work. To quote his award nominator, “Warner is an exemplary example of a selfless attorney who has consistently provided free legal assistance for less fortunate members of our community.”
Warner has followed an interesting path as a legal professional. He began with law clerk work in the appellate court in Louisiana; next he was an assistant district attorney in New Orleans; later he was a sole practitioner in Panama City, and lastly he has settled in as a partner in his longtime location of Panama City. Warner is happily married with two daughters, one a college graduate and the other a college student. He was ordained as a deacon in his Catholic church in 2005.
Richard Lloyd Abedon
15th Judicial Circuit
West Palm Beach
Richard Lloyd Abedon is a retired attorney from Holland & Knight LLP in West Palm Beach. Abedon also served 22 years as a probate judge in Rhode Island. He has been a member of The Florida Bar since November 1959 and is a member of The Rhode Island Bar and Federal District Court Bar. He is currently the president of Mizner Estates POA.
Abedon has shown his dedication to pro bono service through his innumerable hours of assistance to the Legal Aid Society and to the underprivileged community by his outreach work at the Urban League of Palm Beach County. He serves as a director of a joint project between the Legal Aid Society and the Urban League of Palm Beach County that he started over six years ago. He currently spends at least two days a week interviewing clients in West Palm Beach and Belle Glade/Pahokee, assessing their legal problems and screening them for eligibility for Legal Aid services. If a client has a problem that he feels he can assist him or her in resolving, Abedon will make every attempt to try to settle the problem himself. Over the past six years, Abedon has assisted hundreds of indigent individuals and provided more than 2,000 hours of pro bono service.
Along with his tremendous legal and pro bono efforts, Abedon has had an extensive professional career. He was the CEO of The Abedon Group, a leading regional provider of retirement administrative and actuarial services and employee benefits. He has served as chair and COO of Mutual Benefit Pension Corp., president of the Tiverton, Rhode Island, Town Council, chair of Tiverton Industrial Commission, Certified Family Mediator for the Supreme Court of Florida, and overseer and trustee at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. Presently, he is co-chair of the Board of Trustees of Florida Stage Theater Company, a trustee of The Glades Initiative, and a trustee of Good Samaritan Hospital. Basketball is also a huge passion. He was the owner and CEO of The Rhode Island Gulls, a U.S. Basketball League franchise, and he served as commissioner of the NBA Summer Basketball N.E. Summer League.
Thomas Edward Woods
16th Judicial Circuit
Thomas Edward Woods is a sole practitioner at The Law Office of Tom Woods in Tavernier. Woods’ principal areas of practice are criminal, contract, family law, personal injury, UCC, employment discrimination, and probate. He was admitted to The Florida Bar in October 2001, and is a member of The Florida Bar Appellate Practice and Real Property, Probate and Trust Law sections.
Woods is a highly motivated pro bono contributor. Numerous children have benefited from his pro bono service through the Statewide Guardian ad Litem and Voices for Florida Keys Children programs. Many of the cases that he has accepted have been difficult, requiring many hours and much effort. In one controversial and complex case, a child’s placement and future were at issue. Woods successfully resolved the case to the child’s betterment, despite the case going to lower tribunal courts and appellate courts. He gave more than 3,000 hours of pro bono work to this case.
In another case, an older child expressed wishes for his representation in an estate matter, where one parent was deceased and the other parent was unavailable. He spent 300 pro bono hours on that case. In a third case, an older child in care needed help achieving independent living and getting his driver’s license. Woods found an appropriate living situation and helped the child achieve an appropriate level of independence, while contributing approximately 200 pro bono hours on his behalf.
Woods has assisted the Guardian ad Litem Program in a number of criminal and guardianship cases with legal research, consultation, and analysis. He has given more than 1,000 pro bono hours in this manner. He has also assisted on the Voices for Florida Keys Children board, which is the fund-raising arm of Monroe County’s Guardian ad Litem Program.
Juliette Ellen Lippman
17th Judicial Circuit
Juliette Ellen Lippman is a Martindale-Hubbell AV-rated partner at Kirschbaum, Birnbaum, Lippman & Gregoire, PLLC, in Ft. Lauderdale. Her principal areas of practice are marital, family, and appellate law. She has been a Florida Bar member since September 1993, and is a Family Law Section member.
Lippman has eagerly participated in pro bono programs for the Department of Labor Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Department of Education, Paralyzed Veterans Association, Broward Lawyers Care — Legal Aid Service of Broward County, Children’s Diagnostic and Treatment Center, Guardian ad Litem, and other programs for the physically and mentally ill.
Lippman’s pro bono caseload has been extensive, involving issues such as: revisions to Medicaid rules, insurance parity for individuals with mental illness, ADA compliance for the Department of Transportation, expansion of home- and community-based waivers for the developmentally disabled, brain and spinal cord injured, and mentally ill; domestic violence, custody and various guardian ad litem topics for indigent and crisis-ridden families. Most of theses cases were successfully settled. She has donated more than 200 pro bono hours to the aforementioned programs and has volunteered hundreds of additional hours to non-documented matters.
Lippman started her legal career as a law clerk, then became a staff attorney and later a senior attorney at the Advocacy Center for Persons with Disabilities, Inc. She is a member of the Broward County Bar Association and Broward County Matrimonial Lawyers and has held leadership positions at Stephen R. Boorher Inn of Court. Countless organizations have benefited from her charitable and diligent participation, and she has served in a number of judicial campaign committees for circuit and county judges. She is a guest lecturer/presenter at legal seminars and workshops and has written in several publications. She was awarded the National Public Interest Lawyers Pro Bono Award and National Philanthropy Day Broward Legal Aid Honoree.
Scott Douglas Krasny
18th Judicial Circuit
Scott Douglas Krasny is a Martindale-Hubbell AV-rated partner/shareholder at the law firm of Krasny & Dettmer in Melbourne. Krasny’s principal areas of practice are wills, trusts, estate planning, estate and trust administration and taxation, corporate and business law, and real property transactions. Krasny also handles probate, trust, and guardianship litigation. He has been a member of The Florida Bar since September 1992 and is a Colorado Bar member.
The majority of Krasny’s pro bono work has been completed through the Brevard County Legal Aid Pro Bono Program. He spearheaded an effort to create a new nonprofit organization called the Brevard Bar Foundation, which is committed to promoting access to legal services and improving public understanding of the legal system. Its contributions have greatly increased Brevard County Legal Aid’s ability to meet the legal needs of the poor. In recent years, Krasny has also provided more than 300 hours of assistance through BCLA’S Pro Bono Program to more than a dozen individual clients in need of help with probate, consumer, and housing issues.
His most impressive contribution may be assisting in Legal Aid’s recent purchase and relocation to a new office. He served as BCLA’s attorney, ultimately donating more than $20,000 in legal services.
Before law school, Krasny was an accountant with KPMG Peat Marwick in Vero Beach. He is a certified public accountant and a member of the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He is a member of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law; Trial Lawyer; and Elder Law sections of The Florida Bar and is a member of the Brevard County Estate Planning Council.
John Edward Moore III
19th Judicial Circuit
John Edward Moore III is a managing partner at Rossway Moore & Taylor in Vero Beach. His principal areas of practice are estate planning, probate, trust administration, corporate, and taxation. He was admitted into The Florida Bar in December 1986 and is a member of The Florida Bar Business Law, General Practice, Solo and Small Firm, and Real Property, Probate and Trust Law sections.
Through Florida Rural Legal Services, many individuals have received his assistance in the areas of real estate, probate, estate planning, dissolution of marriage, and guardianships.
One case that stands out occurred in January 2009, where he volunteered to handle a dissolution of marriage matter for a woman who had been a domestic violence victim. The wife had two minors and was pregnant with her third child after 14 years of marriage. She had no ability to adequately support her children and herself and was seeking child and spousal support, as well as limited contact with the father. After nine months and 38 pro bono hours, the parties settled before trial and the mother regained independence and a violence-free home.
When the local Mental Health Collaborative called upon him this year, Moore provided guidance for the proper legal and financial structure of the organization, as well as assistance with employer/employee issues and drafting various documents for them. Moore has personally provided more than 1,500 hours of pro bono services, and has overseen about 1,000 hours on projects such as: Adopt A Family, Beyond Borders, Christian Outreach International, Coalition for the Homeless, Crisis Pregnancy Center, Healthy Start Coalition, Indian River Medical Center and Foundation, among others.
Kathleen C. Passidomo
20th Judicial Circuit
Kathleen C. Passidomo is a partner/shareholder at Kelly Passidomo & Alba LLP in Naples. Her principal area of practice is real estate. She was admitted into The Florida Bar in July 1979. The Martindale-Hubbell AV-rated attorney is board certified in real estate and is a member of The Florida Bar Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section.
Passidomo contributed most of her pro bono service through the Legal Aid Service of Collier County — Collier Lawyers Care and the Collier County Foreclosure Task Force. Recognizing a looming crisis, Passidomo and other area attorneys mobilized the task force early in 2008 including attorneys, credit counselors, mortgage lenders, law enforcement officers,and Legal Aid Services of Collier County. The task force began shifting its focus from educational foreclosure workshops to legal counseling and foreclosure intervention, as the crisis progressed.
As one of the founders and lecturers in the task force’s educational programs, Passidomo has reached out to thousands, in person and on video. She was also instrumental in developing “Matrix of Resources,” a comprehensive list of foreclosure assistance resources available in three languages to Collier County residents and via Internet. Passidomo has provided direct legal counseling to dozens through the task force’s legal clinics. Outside of the program, she has taken on short-sales, prepared foreclosure defenses, and assisted with deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure cases. She has donated approximately 200 hours of pro bono work since the inception of the task force.
Passidomo is a past president of the Board of Directors of the Collier County Bar Association and of the Collier County Women’s Bar Association. She coordinated the Court Procedures Intern Program of the Collier County Bar and the Collier County Public Schools and is a founding member of a juvenile justice board.
Kerry M. Donahue
Kerry M. Donahue is a partner in private practice at Bellinger & Donahue, Attorneys at Law in Dublin, Ohio. Donahue’s principal areas of practice are civil litigation, criminal defense, and state and federal appellate work. He was admitted to The Florida Bar in October 1991 and is also an Ohio Bar member. He is a Florida Bar Criminal Law Section member.
Donahue has taken a hands-on approach with his pro bono work, personally assisting in many cases from beginning to completion. In one case, he represented a nonprofit advocacy group in litigation in two cases in the Federal District Court, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court. The representation involved more than 1,000 hours. Another case had Donahue representing an individual against 30 serious felony counts through a lengthy trial. He spent more than 150 hours on the case.
The largest and most extensive pro bono project that Donahue has participated in is the representation of the prostate cancer advocacy group, CareToLive. The organization’s plight is to help late-stage prostate cancer-ridden men who have been denied access to a safe and effective immuno-therapy treatment in a timely manner.
The case requires challenging the Food and Drug Administration to get this treatment option approved quickly for men with no other viable treatment options available. The Sixth Circuit Court Appellant’s brief in the case of CareToLive vs. FDA was a 60-hour project.
Over the last two and a half years, he has spent between 250 to 300 total hours of pro bono work on this case.
Donahue started his legal career in circuit court defense, adult felony arraignments, and municipal court trial work at the Office of the Public Defender in West Palm Beach. Soon after, he became an assistant prosecutor at the Prosecutor’s Office in Columbus, Ohio. In that role, he covered juvenile rotation, grand jury presentations, and felony trial staff.
He also has bar membership in the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.