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YLD Board of Governors Candidates’ Platform Statements

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Here are the platform statements for the 2022 candidates for The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division Board of Governors. Ballots for the election will be mailed or emailed on March 1, and must be returned no later than 11:59 p.m. March 21.

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

This year’s balloting has one race in the 20th Circuit. The winners will be sworn in during the June Annual Convention.

20th Circuit

Joseph Coleman

Joseph Coleman

Joseph Coleman

My name is Joseph Coleman, and I am seeking to represent the 20th Judicial Circuit as a governor of The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division Board of Governors. The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division serves the young lawyers of The Florida Bar statewide, offering programs, like CLEs and webinars, and grants for programs to assist young lawyers. I would like to discuss my experience and my vision if I am elected again.

Concerning my experience, as the incumbent, I have served on the board since 2016. I advocated for the passing of a resolution which asks the young lawyer’s board to support partial student loan forgiveness and better wages for young lawyers working for the government. Additionally, I have served on the Young Lawyers Section of the Collier County Bar Association since 2016 and was elected president in 2021. As president of the Young Lawyers Section, our section has put on numerous CLEs for ethics and technology CLE credit, we have hosted happy hours, and we have hosted diverse and significant speakers including the chief justice of the Florida Supreme Court, The Florida Bar president, and the public defender for the 20th Judicial Circuit. During my presidency, our Young Lawyers Section has been nominated as The Florida Bar Young Lawyer’s Best Small Affiliate of the Year, and the winner will be announced at the annual Affiliate Outreach Conference in February.

Concerning my vision, The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division is an amazing organization, but just because something is amazing does not mean it cannot be even better. I love serving our circuit with some of the most creative, passionate, kind, and selfless attorneys I have ever met, and together we have and can continue to accomplish great things. Specifically, if re-elected, I would advocate for:

1. Standardizing the BASIC CLE courses and making the online platform more intuitive and user-friendly;

2. Less red tape for small affiliates to be involved in the Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division;

3. Adding a financial literacy component to the Practicing with Professionalism program;

4. Working with the Board of Governors and the Professionalism Committee to create a standardized statewide Rules of Professional Conduct;

5. Adding more webinars for free or discounted tech CLE credit to The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division website; and

6. Creating a survey and database of anonymous young lawyer’s salaries and wages across all counties and practice areas, so young lawyers could better negotiate with employers based upon transparent and easily accessible information.

I would not be asking to be re-elected if I did not genuinely believe I have the experience and insight necessary to continue serving our community as our representative. I ask my constituents for the honor to continue serving them and our community. Thank you.

Francesca Passidomo

Francesca Passidomo

Francesca Passidomo

The opportunity for mentorship called me to submit my candidacy for the Young Lawyers Division Board of Governors, Seat 2 of the 20th Judicial Circuit, the place of my roots and where I returned to practice real estate and land use law with Coleman, Yovanovich & Koester, PA.

In the course of my career, I have learned there is no meaningful way to practice the legal craft in isolation. I’ve grown up in this Firm shaped by incredibly impactful mentors and a mentality of leadership and teamwork. As our Firm continues to attract young, talented associates, I have been provided with the most rewarding component of what it means to be a counselor—the role I am now so fortunate to have inherited, as mentor to those who have come after me.

The Florida Bar, and the YLD Section in particular, play a critical role in shaping the values of our legal community, as natural incubators of the type of interpersonal and professional relationships I’ve developed with the young associates in my Firm.

I see the Young Lawyers Division as an extension of what I love to do and what I find so important. The brain of a young lawyer thrives when it is engaged intellectually and connected socially. A good mentor, which I am privileged to have experienced in my own career, will read how a young lawyer learns, how a young lawyer feels supported, and how a young lawyer becomes empowered to serve the client’s objectives with effectiveness. To further these relationships, I propose YLD education programs and communication hubs that activate and energize the vast personal reservoir of diverse perspective and unique experience arising from each and every young lawyer.

I believe the most urgent issues facing the Bar and its members today center on ethics and balance. There is an incredible amount of pressure and stress from the demands on all of young lawyers.  YLD can and should be the nexus that tethers the support between peers — from intellectual, professional and social standpoints.  Continuing education (targeted especially on ethical issues), networking events, civic engagement, and promoting dialogue across our varied profession are examples of action items that build toward this objective of providing essential support mechanisms to young lawyers in a way only other young lawyers acting through YLD can effectively provide.

If granted this opportunity, I would see it as my purpose to represent all young lawyers — to help incite the spark, to help them be great — by bolstering connections between different practice areas for collective growth, by bridging the professional and personal, and by honestly recognizing the challenges and rewards that flow from hard work.

I respectfully ask for your endorsement of my candidacy to the Young Lawyers Division Board of Governors.

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