Giving Back. Pro Bono Week 2014

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1 Giving Back Pro Bono Week 2014 Pro Bono Cases: November October 2014

2 Pro Bono Policy at a Glance The firm has adopted the following policy, which is derived from Rule 6.1 of the ABA s Model Rules of Professional Conduct and the Guidelines of the ABA s Challenge Program. All attorneys at Carlton Fields Jorden Burt should render at least fifty (50) hours per year of pro bono services. This responsibility may be fulfilled by providing legal services at no fee or a substantially reduced fee to (a) persons of limited means or to charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental, and educational organizations in matters which are designed primarily to address the needs of persons of limited means; (b) individuals, groups or organizations seeking to secure or protect civil rights, civil liberties or public rights; or (c) charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental or educational organizations in matters in furtherance of their organizational purposes, where the payment of standard legal fees would significantly deplete the organization s economic resources or would be otherwise inappropriate. At least twenty (20) hours of an attorney s pro bono services annually (or forty (40) hours bi-annually) should satisfy the more limited criteria for pro bono services set forth in Rule of The Florida Bar s Rules, which is as follows: (a) Handling without charge or expectation of a fee civil matters for persons with income at or below 125% of the federal poverty standard, as adjusted annually, and handling without charge criminal matters for such persons in which there is no constitutional obligation to provide funds for representation; and (b) free legal services to charitable, religious, civic and educational organizations in matters which are designed predominantly to address the needs of poor persons.

3 Pro Bono HIGHLIGHT Marriage Equality Case A team of Carlton Fields Jorden Burt attorneys represented six same-sex couples who applied for marriage licenses from the Clerk of the Miami-Dade County Court. The Clerk refused to issue the licenses because Florida s statutes and Constitution deny same-sex couples the right to legally marry. On January 21, 2014, the firm filed suit in Miami-Dade County Circuit Court on behalf of the couples and the Equality Florida Institute. They sought a judgment compelling the Clerk to issue the licenses and a judicial declaration that Florida s marriage laws violate the due process and equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Cohen Prats Walbolt Coutroulis Faggianelli Alonso The Carlton Fields Jorden Burt team included Jeffrey Michael Cohen (Miami); Sylvia H. Walbolt (Tampa); Nancy J. Faggianelli (Tampa); Luis Prats (Tampa); Chris S. Coutroulis (Tampa); and Cristina Alonso (Miami). Attorneys Edith G. Osman (Miami), Alexandra D. Blye (West Palm Beach), Amanda Romfh Jesteadt (West Palm Beach), Jessica Zagier Wallace (Miami), Ellen Koehler Lyons (Tampa), and Alana E. Zorilla-Gaston (West Palm Beach) provided assistance. Legal administrative assistants Patricia Parrey (Tampa), Patricia Watson (Miami), and Cindy M. Schmidle (Miami) provided support. Shannon P. Minter, Legal Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights; Elizabeth F. Schwartz, P.A.; and Mary Meeks, P.A., also served as co-counsel for the plaintiffs. Osman Zagier Wallace Blye Lyons Jesteadt Zorilla-Gaston The Clerk of the Court defended the action and, pursuant to Florida law, the State of Florida intervened to assert that Florida s marriage ban does not violate the U.S. Constitution. Groups including Florida Family Action, Inc., Florida Democratic League, Inc., and People United To Lead the Struggle for Equality, Inc. sought to intervene to oppose the relief sought Parrey Watson Schmidle by the plaintiffs. Circuit Judge Sarah Zabel denied the motions to intervene but permitted the groups to submit amicus briefs and appear at the hearing to argue against the complaint. Judge Zabel also allowed the Christian Family Coalition to appear at the hearing to argue that plaintiffs should not be granted relief. The Cities of Miami Beach and Orlando submitted an amicus brief and argued at the hearing in support of the plaintiffs. Former Florida Governor Charlie Crist submitted an amicus brief arguing that same-sex marriage should be permitted. On July 25, 2014, Judge Zabel entered summary judgment for the plaintiffs granting all of the relief requested in the complaint. Judge Zabel held that: Florida s statutory and constitutional restrictions on same-sex marriage violate the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the United States Constitution. They improperly infringe upon the plaintiffs ability to exercise their fundamental right to marry the person of their choice, and upon their liberty interests regarding personal autonomy, family integrity, association, and dignity. They also unlawfully discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. Preventing couples from marrying solely on the basis of their sexual orientation serves no governmental interest. It serves only to hurt, to discriminate, to deprive same-sex couples and their families of equal dignity, to label and treat them as second-class citizens, and to deem them unworthy of participation in one of the fundamental institutions of our society. Giving Back: Pro Bono Week 2014 Newsletter 3

4 Several hours after the judgment was entered, the State filed a notice of appeal to the Third District Court of Appeal. The firm has filed a motion to have the State s appeal certified to the Florida Supreme Court because the issue of marriage equality is of fundamental importance and profoundly affects same-sex couples and their children throughout the state. Moreover, certification to the Florida Supreme Court will prevent further delay, and the infringement of plaintiffs constitutional right for even minimal periods of time constitutes irreparable injury. The certification motion is now pending before the Third District Court. The State has moved to stay consideration of the certification motion and the appeal asserting that Florida courts should not address the issue of same-sex marriage until it is resolved by the United States Supreme Court. Recently the United States Supreme Court declined to hear similar cases. Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has now agreed that the Florida Supreme Court should decide whether same-sex couples can marry in Florida. The firm team developed and implemented the legal strategy for the litigation, prepared the complaint, and aggressively pursued the lawsuit to final summary judgment notwithstanding the attempts by the Clerk, the State and the potential interveners to delay or prevent the court from deciding the issues. The action proceeded from complaint to summary judgment in six months, a remarkably short time for state court lawsuits. In order to achieve the ultimate success, the team anticipated and defeated the attempts by same-sex marriage opponents to prevent the court in Florida s largest county from entering a judgment recognizing that same-sex families are truly equal. Tampa attorney Kevin P. McCoy is spearheading the firm s pro bono efforts in participation with the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Clemency Project. Nearly 20 firm attorneys including Natalie A. Napierala (New York), Heidi H. Raschke (Tampa), and Gregory Boulos (Miami) are involved in reviewing cases provided by the Department of Justice to determine if federal prisoners might be candidates for clemency petitions based on changes in sentencing guidelines for non-violent crimes. If prisoners are found eligible, the attorneys involved will prepare clemency petitions for those prisoners. The firm has committed to handling 10 cases for this project. McCoy Napierala Raschke Boulos Carlton Fields Jorden Burt attorneys Cristina Alonso (Miami), Michael P. Sampson (Orlando), Joshua D. Moore (Orlando), and Michael D. Sloan (West Palm Beach) represented a client seeking to appeal an order vacating a final judgment of adoption. The trial court set aside the final judgment of adoption after concluding that it was rendered without subject matter jurisdiction because the adoptive parent was a same-sex partner of the biological mother. The Fifth District Court of Appeal reversed, holding that the trial court had subject matter jurisdiction and the biological mother was estopped from challenging the final judgment because she had taken part in seeking and obtaining the adoption. The Florida Supreme Court later declined jurisdiction, resulting in a win for the client and reuniting the client with her child. Alonso Moore Sampson Sloan Several Tampa attorneys including Robert S. Freedman, Jason J. Quintero, Mark A. Smith, Jaret J. Fuente, and Katherine L. Heckert are working to provide real estate transactional services to a Hillsborough County non-profit organization. Tampa paralegal John P. Pelletier has provided assistance by working on two mortgage foreclosure matters for the organization. Freedman Quintero Smith Fuente Heckert Pelletier 4

5 A team of Carlton Fields Jorden Burt attorneys including Nancy J. Faggianelli (Tampa), Blaise N. Gamba (Tampa), Kristin A. Gore (West Palm Beach), Lauren M. Pizzo (Tampa), and Alana E. Zorilla-Gaston (West Palm Beach) co-represented a plaintiff in an action against a Florida county school board, alleging that the school board wrongfully refused to allow the plaintiff (a 17-year-old high school student) and others to participate in an annual anti-bullying observance in support of LGBT students. Faggianelli Gamba Gore Pizzo Zorilla-Gaston Carlton Fields Jorden Burt attorneys Gary L. Sasso (Tampa), Peter D. Webster (Tallahassee), and Steven Blickensderfer (Miami) represented a criminal defendant seeking to withdraw his guilty plea in a nearly decade-old trial due to newly-discovered evidence. The team prepared a brief for the Florida Supreme Court, and Blickensderfer gave oral argument. Miami attorney Jorge A. Pérez Santiago provided assistance with oral argument preparation.the Supreme Court has dismissed the state s appeal after concluding jurisdiction was improvidently granted, and the case will proceed with an evidentiary hearing. Sasso Webster Blickensderfer Pérez Santiago Tampa attorneys Kevin P. McCoy, Hywel Leonard, and Christopher Smart are representing the defendants in a pro bono property dispute in rural Hillsborough County. The defendants have been sued for unlawful detainer to remove them from land they have been occupying for decades. Tampa paralegal Kimberley Bender provided assistance in trial preparation. After defeating the plaintiff s claims that the defendants owed roughly $65,000 in damages, the team is awaiting a trial to determine who is entitled to possession and title of the land in dispute. McCoy Leonard Smart Bender Tampa attorneys Matthew J. Conigliaro and Richard C. Linquanti served as hearing officers for the St. Petersburg Housing Authority. Conigliaro Linquanti Tampa attorneys Jason J. Quintero and Katherine L. Heckert have been representing a client attempting to recover money paid for car repairs that were never performed. Heckert and Quintero are currently litigating against the car repair company, and hope to obtain final judgment in the near future. Quintero Heckert Giving Back: Pro Bono Week 2014 Newsletter 5

6 Carlton Fields Jorden Burt attorneys Dawn B. Williams (Washington, D.C.), C. Todd Willis (Orlando), and Kristen Reilly (Washington, D.C.) are representing a client seeking to obtain guardianship of her great nephew through a guardianship proceeding in D.C. Superior Court. Williams Willis Reilly Tampa attorneys Kenneth A. Tinkler, H. Ray Allen II, and Lauren M. Pizzo provided advice on preparing amendments to Hillsborough County s Human Rights Ordinance to include protections related to sexual orientation and gender identity. Tinkler Allen Pizzo Tampa attorney Lavinia J. Vaughn has handled several matters for a local chapter of a non-profit youth organization for girls. In one matter, Vaughn assisted with the sale of a property owned by the organization that could no longer be used with its camp areas. In another instance, Vaughn and Kenneth A. Tinkler (Tampa) assisted in the resolution of an issue involving encroachments onto a camp area from an adjoining property. Vaughn Tinkler Allen Vaughn and H. Ray Allen II (Tampa) helped close a transaction for peat mining activities at one of the organization s camp properties that had been in the works with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for more than eight years. Vaughn and Allen enabled the project to proceed with the issuance of DEP permits, ultimately resulting in the restoration of a pond on the property and the development of a conservation project for the girls in the organization. Washington, D.C., attorneys Roland C. Goss and Jason Brost represented a couple in the adoption of a special needs foster child who had been placed in the couple s care. The matter went to trial in the Washington, D.C., Superior Court in June. This is the second special needs child the firm has helped the couple adopt. Goss Brost Tampa attorneys Christopher Smart and Jourdan R. Haynes are working on a matter for Bay Area Legal Services involving the enforcement of a verbal agreement and written contract for the sale of a residential property. The client sold his home to the pastor of his church, but executed a Quit Claim Deed without getting an agreement in writing. When the pastor did not abide by the terms of the oral agreement, another pastor of the church intervened, and the client was able to negotiate a written contract with the first pastor Smart Haynes concerning the purchase of the property. Despite the written contract, the pastor has not been paying the client as agreed. Further, the property in which the client resides, a rental property previously occupied by the pastor, is being sold in a short sale and the client will soon have no place to live. Smart and Haynes have initiated a lawsuit and are hoping to obtain a settlement in favor of the client. 6

7 Miami attorneys Merrick L. Gross, Avi R. Kaufman, and Charles W. Throckmorton are handling the defense of a condominium lien foreclosure action filed in Based on the conduct of certain condominium association board members, Gross, Kaufman, and Throckmorton have filed a counterclaim and third-party claim on the defendant s behalf, asserting causes of action for breach of declaration of condominium and assault. Gross Kaufman Throckmorton The condominium association has recently initiated settlement discussions, and the team anticipates that the association will waive approximately $50,000 in past due amounts. Additionally, the condominium association board secretary is expected to agree to a restraining order, preventing him from having verbal contact with the client. Tampa attorneys Matthew R. Cogburn and Lori Baggett served as local counsel representing a California non-profit organization that provides advocacy and services for individuals with disabilities and special needs. The organization had been overbilled approximately $100,000 by a Tampa service provider, and its efforts to recoup this money without litigation had been ignored. Cogburn and Baggett helped the primary counsel negotiate a favorable settlement at mediation. Tampa paralegal Diane Dickey and Tampa legal administrative assistant LaVon Madison provided assistance. Cogburn Baggett Dickey Tampa attorneys George J. Meyer and Lauren E. Catoe assisted a local branch of a national non-profit organization with the receipt of a donated parcel of land located in Pinellas County and the eventual sale of that land to a third-party buyer. Attorneys Cristin Conley Keane (Tampa) and Yolanda Fortunato Jameson (Tampa) provided advice on the tax and corporate aspects of the donation and sale. The sale resulted in $150,000 of proceeds for the organization s various programs. Meyer and Catoe also drafted an amendment and restated bylaws for the organization, which were adopted by its Board of Trustees in May Meyer Catoe Keane Jameson Attorneys Richard J. Ovelmen (Miami) and Michael D. Sloan (West Palm Beach) drafted an amicus petition for rehearing en banc for a case involving a statute passed by the Florida Legislature that restricted the speech of physicians concerning firearms and firearm safety unless the speech met a legislatively-set relevance test. A group of physicians filed suit in the Southern District of Florida and obtained summary judgment and an injunction preventing enforcement of the law. The Eleventh Circuit reversed, holding that the statute was a legitimate regulation of professional activity by the State. Ovelmen and Sloan drafted an amicus petition for rehearing en banc on behalf of the American Bar Association, along with a motion for leave to file such a petition, which argued that the statute violated the First Amendment. Ovelmen Sloan Giving Back: Pro Bono Week 2014 Newsletter 7

8 West Palm Beach attorney Henry S. Wulf ensured that garnishment funds for a deceased former client were disbursed to the client s only child. In 2007, Wulf had represented the client in collecting on a default judgment concerning excessive force used by a police officer during the client s arrest. Subsequently, the judgment debtor s salary was successfully garnished, and the garnishment proceeds were disbursed to the client. In 2011, the client passed away without a will. However, pursuant to court order, the garnishment funds Wulf Swartsel continued to accumulate for the client, amounting to a sizeable sum. Based on the advice of attorney Vernon Swartsel (Orlando), the client s only child a daughter in her 20s was tracked down. Wulf initiated a summary probate action and secured an order allowing for the transfer of the garnishment funds to the daughter. As she was still trying to raise funds to place a gravestone on her father s grave and was facing other financial difficulties, the daughter was appreciative of the efforts made to track her down and ensure that she received the benefits of her father s judgment. Miami attorneys Richard J. Ovelmen, Namrata S. Joshi, Jason Patrick Kairalla, Justin S. Wales, and Michael N. Wolgin are representing a client in an appeal before the Eleventh Circuit Court. The client had resided on a sailboat anchored near Diner Key. Marine patrol officers, without adequate notice and without a hearing, searched and seized the client s vessel and had it destroyed, claiming it was derelict under Florida law. Prior counsel sued for constitutional violations and maritime torts. The Carlton Fields Jorden Burt team replaced prior counsel after the case was dismissed, and is attempting to revive the case with a new pleading. Ovelmen Joshi Kairalla Wales Wolgin Carlton Fields Jorden Burt attorneys Dennis J. Olle (Miami), Gary M. Pappas (Miami), and Garth T. Yearick (West Palm Beach) are part of the legal team that filed a Complaint and Motion for Preliminary Injunction against the Army Corps of Engineers on behalf of the Tropical Audubon Society, Biscayne Bay Waterkeeper, Miami-Dade Reef Guard Association, and Captain Dan Kipnis arising out of the Corps' dredging of the Miami Harbor channel. Plaintiffs allege that the Corps is violating the Endangered Species Act killing protected staghorn coral colonies and destroying critical habitat for the corals during the dredging operations. Olle Pappas Yearick Carlton Fields Jorden Burt attorneys Elizabeth M. Bohn (Miami), Diane Duhaime (Hartford), Shaunda Patterson-Strachan (Washington, D.C.), Abigail Kortz (Washington, D.C.), Christine A. Stoddard (Washington, D.C.), paralegal Mary Eastham (Hartford), and librarian Nicole Warren (Washington, D.C.) assisted a non-profit organization that raises awareness of metastatic breast cancer, raises funds for research, and provides support for patients. Bohn Duhaime Patterson- Strachan The team provided counsel concerning the non-profit s legal rights in its trademarks, and in enforcing those rights against infringers. As part of this work, the team developed a trademark protection and enforcement strategy, and prepared applications for registration of the organization s trademarks. Kortz Stoddard Eastham Warren 8

9 Pro Bono HIGHLIGHT Cruz v. California Carlton Fields Jorden Burt attorneys Mark Neubauer (Los Angeles), Kyle D. Whitehead (Washington, D.C.), and Dawn B. Williams (Washington, D.C.), Los Angeles Director of Administration Susan McLoughlin, and legal administrative assistant Maria Rodriguez provided pro bono support to Public Counsel and the ACLU Foundation of Southern California in Cruz v. California, a class-action lawsuit challenging the state of California s failure to provide meaningful learning time to students. Neubauer Whitehead Williams In a landmark verdict in California on Wednesday, October 8, a California Superior Court issued a temporary restraining order requiring the state to McLoughlin ensure that students who are academically behind or missing courses necessary for graduation or college entry are not placed into content-less service classes or sent home. The order also requires that the state ensure students are not placed into courses they have already passed, and do not attend overcrowded classes. Rodriguez Atlanta attorney Catherine Salinas Acree handled an adult guardianship matter for an 18-year-old disabled man. Acree also represented the mother of a seriously disabled, wheelchair-dependent child seeking to require an apartment complex to add a wheelchair ramp next to its handicapped parking signs. The matter was settled successfully in favor of the client, and a wheelchair ramp was built on the property. Acree Additionally, Acree serves as President of the Board of Directors of the Atlanta Legal Aid Society for Tampa attorney Radha V. Bachman has been assisting a non-profit medical humanitarian organization with its application for tax-exempt status. Bachman Attorney F. Xavier Balderas (Atlanta) represented a client, the mother of a young autistic adult, who sought permanent guardianship of her son. In addition to being autistic, the son suffered from several other health issues that made it unlikely he could care for himself after his graduation from high school. Balderas was able to secure the adult guardianship for the mother, and petitioned the court to waive all court fees and costs since the mother lived below the poverty line. In another matter, Balderas represented grandparents who sought semi-permanent custody of their three granddaughters. Unable to speak English, the grandparents have faced difficulties in keeping their granddaughters in school and ensuring that their granddaughters receive appropriate medical care. The problems are compounded by the fact that the girls' parents have not had contact with them for several days. Balderas is anticipating a final custody hearing in the near future. Balderas Giving Back: Pro Bono Week 2014 Newsletter 9

10 Attorney Patricia S. Calhoun (Tampa) is a volunteer at Bay Area Legal Services intake, where she has been working to screen potential clients, report to the Bay Area Legal Services team, and communicate the team s recommendations. Calhoun also is a member of the Tampa Chapter of the ACLU legal panel where she screens requests for ACLU assistance, investigates allegations, provides advice and support, and provides representation for selected cases. Calhoun Tallahassee attorney Martha H. Chumbler has has been handling an ongoing guardian ad litem case. Five siblings, aged three to 13, were removed from their mother (who has significant mental health issues) and placed into the foster care system three years ago. The middle child has significant physical and mental disabilities, and the mother agreed to give up her parental rights as to that child. An attempt was made to reunite the other four children over the last year, but the children had to be removed from their home again in July. It is likely that the Department of Children and Families will seek to terminate the mother s parental rights as to the other four children. Chumbler As a guardian ad litem for the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit, West Palm Beach attorney Sarah Cortvriend was appointed guardian ad litem to three teenage siblings who were adjudicated dependants of the State of Florida as a result of their mother s substance abuse. Though the children are still living with their mother under supervision from the state and the guardian ad litem office, Cortvriend has visited with the children on a regular basis, worked to obtain school tutoring for the children, advocated for after-school care programs, and testified as to the children s best interests at several hearings. Cortvriend Tampa attorney Thomas (T.J.) Ferrante assisted a non-profit organization based in St. Petersburg with its application for tax-exempt status. Ferrante not only facilitated and organized the process for completing and filing the IRS Form 1023 for tax-exempt status, but drafted board resolutions, edited and revised articles of incorporation and bylaws, and reviewed client financial statements throughout the process. Ultimately, tax-exempt status was obtained for the organization. Ferrante Tampa attorney Linda L. Fleming is representing a local agency of a national non-profit organization in the development of a long-range plan involving a possible merger with other local agencies of the organization. Fleming is also advising the organization on the impacts of the Affordable Care Act, including Florida s decision not to expand Medicaid services. Fleming Attorney Joel B. Giles (Tampa) has handled two property acquisitions for a non-profit organization based in Sarasota County, Florida. The organization, which is geared toward providing resources and assistance to the homeless, is hoping to construct a child care facility on one of the two newly-acquired properties. If plans for construction of the facility are approved, Giles will handle that project as well. Giles Hartford attorney John W. Herrington handled a case through Lawyers for Children America involving an 11-year-old boy whose mother was arrested on drug charges. Herrington s dedication and his firm and committed intervention have produced positive changes. The mother has been clean and sober for several months, and is diligently pursuing employment. Herrington 10

11 Attorney Heather M. Jonczak (Miami) is handling a commercial lease dispute between two architecture/design groups in Miami. Jonczak Tallahassee attorney Nancy G. Linnan provides assistance to the land holding corporation for a nonprofit mutual aid organization. Because the non-profit organization cannot legally own property, Linnan handles many land use and code enforcement issues that arise. Additionally, she has obtained a site plan extension so that one particular group from the organization can raise the necessary funds for a new (and legal) building for meetings. Linnan Attorney Richard C. Linquanti (Tampa) is advising a non-profit land conservation organization on a conservation easement grant. Linquanti also serves as a hearing officer for the Pinellas County Housing Authority. Linquanti Miami attorney David L. Luck has been working on an ongoing appeal seeking to determine whether a 90-year aggregate sentence imposed on a juvenile non-homicide offender violates the Eighth Amendment as interpreted in Grahm v. Florida, 560 U.S. 48 (2010), which held that the states may not sentence juvenile non-homicide offenders to life in prison with no opportunity for parole. The Florida Supreme Court requested supplemental briefing on the appeal to address the new juvenile-sentencing legislation that the Florida Legislature passed while the case was pending (and after oral argument had been presented to the Court). Luck has completed the supplemental briefing and is awaiting a decision from the Court. Luck Attorney Kevin P. McCoy (Tampa) is a board member of Bay Area Legal Services, and serves as co-chair of the 2014 Sustaining Law Firm Campaign, an initiative aimed at raising money for Bay Area Legal Services. Through McCoy s work for the campaign and the contributions of several firm attorneys, Carlton Fields Jorden Burt became a Sustaining Law Firm for the first time in the program s history. McCoy Hartford attorney John C. Pitblado continued his service on the board of directors for Lawyers for Children America, an organization that provides pro bono services to children in Connecticut and Florida subject to Department of Children and Families petitions. Through LFCA, Pitblado helped secure continued living arrangements for a teen who had been bouncing in and out of foster homes. Now living with her aunt, the teen is on track to graduate high school in January. Pitblado is working with the Department of Children and Families and the teen s school to interest her in post-secondary planning. Pitblado Attorney Lauren M. Pizzo (Tampa) drafted amendments to an employment agreement for the former chair of a business-based, membership-driven organization dedicated to improving Tampa s Westshore district. Pizzo also assisted a Tampa Bay area non-profit organization in obtaining dissolution of a writ of garnishment against one of its employees. Pizzo Giving Back: Pro Bono Week 2014 Newsletter 11

12 Tampa attorney Heidi H. Raschke is assisting the Florida Institutional Legal Services Project in filing suit on behalf of several prisoners with mental health issues who are not being treated appropriately and/or not receiving the resources they need. Raschke Attorney Hardy L. Roberts (Tampa) is representing a widow in connection with accounting and replevin of equipment seized by a business associate of the woman s husband. Roberts Attorney James M. Sconzo (Hartford) sits on the board of a town youth lacrosse league. Sconzo provides administrative guidance to the organization. Sconzo Attorney Irma Reboso Solares (Miami) volunteers at a monthly divorce clinic sponsored jointly by the Cuban American Bar Association and Legal Services of Greater Miami. Solares Tampa attorney Kenneth A. Tinkler helped a Pinellas County shelter for victims of domestic violence obtain the zoning approval needed to build a new facility that will allow for its expansion. Tinkler has continued to assist the board of directors for a local cultural center in issues including county funding, public records, Sunshine Law compliance, and efforts to expand the center s outreach to children. He also has helped several non-profit organizations solve permitting and regulatory issues related to their services. Tinkler Tinkler volunteers for the Florida Supreme Court s Justice Teaching program, mentoring middle school students on subjects related to the U.S. Constitution, the history of the legal system, and leadership development. He also mentors college student members of a national community service group on five campuses across Central Florida. Attorney Michael R. Tippett (Atlanta) is representing a non-profit organization providing mentoring, education enrichment, and recreational sports programs to economically disadvantaged youth. Tippett has assisted the organization in avoiding a potential loss of its main facility in connection with the foreclosure of a loan to the facility s landlord. He has also aided the client in negotiating the possible acquisition of the facility from the foreclosing lender. Additionally, Tippet is representing another non-profit organization, a ministry that provides living facilities and employment resources to homeless women with unexpected pregnancies, by aiding in the acquisition of two properties to be used as additional residential facilities. Tippett 12

13 Attorney Daniel R. Weede (Atlanta) has been involved in forming a community group to promote the creation of a new 12-acre park in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta. Weede has provided pro bono service in advocating for the park before the City of Atlanta and the Georgia Department of Transportation, organizing public meetings for community input, organizing a $1,000,000 capital campaign, and arranging several community volunteer events to promote the new park. Weede Miami attorney Olga M. Vieira is representing a minor child, a victim of sex trafficking, in an ongoing dependency case. The child had been kidnapped by a pimp who tattooed his name on her eyelids. She was found in a hotel room, high on drugs, with an adult man. The Department of Children and Families took the child into custody, removing her from her mother due to allegations that the mother was aware of the child s prostitution and attempted to profit from it. Vieira persuaded Miami Children s Hospital to perform a surgery to remove the tattoos from the child's eyelids pro bono. Vieira Vieira also represents two individuals who have been sued under the Fair Labor Standards Act for alleged violations of minimum wage and overtime laws. Attorney Michael N. Wolgin (Miami) is representing a client in a case involving a 10-year-old default judgment against the client, a senior citizen, that has now become a potential liability exceeding $10,000. Wolgin is litigating the validity of the judgment, given that the plaintiff has destroyed files which appear to have been the only remaining evidence that could substantiate the underlying debt of the client. Wolgin Pro Bono HIGHLIGHT The William Kelley Death Penalty Defense Team As part of the firm s ongoing representation of Florida death row inmate William Kelley, a team that included Tampa attorneys Sylvia H. Walbolt, Kevin J. Napper, James R. Wiley, Joseph H. Lang Jr., E. Kelly Bittick Jr., and Lauren M. Pizzo; former firm attorney Mariko Shitama; summer associate Brendan Gooley; and paralegal Samantha Leone, pursued a proceeding seeking discovery and an evidentiary hearing into prosecutorial misconduct during Kelley s 1984 trial. The judge granted an evidentiary hearing, which was held in October 2013, but ultimately denied relief in a decision that was affirmed by the Florida Supreme Court. Walbolt Lang Napper Bittick Wiley Pizzo The same team, aided this time by attorneys Chris S. Coutroulis (Tampa), Zachary D. Ludens (Miami), Jonathan Z. DeSantis (Tampa), and Alissa Ann Kranz (Tampa), is preparing to file a successive motion for post-conviction relief. Shitama Gooley Leone Coutroulis Ludens DeSantis Kranz Giving Back: Pro Bono Week 2014 Newsletter 13

14 Giving Back Makes a Difference... Atlanta Hartford Miami Los Angleles New York Orlando Tallahassee Tampa Washington, D.C. West Palm Beach Carlton Fields Jorden Burt practices law in California through Carlton Fields Jorden Burt, LLP

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