Fifty-eight Lawyers Earn Board Certification, The Florida Bar's "Legal Expert" Status
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 2, 2013
CONTACT: Kenia Escobar, firstname.lastname@example.org,
The Florida Bar
TELEPHONE: (850) 561-5666
Fifty-eight lawyers recently earned Florida Bar board certification. Board certified lawyers are evaluated for professionalism and tested for expertise. This designation places them among the only group of Florida lawyers who may use the terms "specialist," "expert" or "B.C.S." for Board Certified Specialist when referring to their legal credentials.
Board certification evaluates attorneys' special knowledge, skills and proficiency in various areas of law and professionalism and ethics in practice. Florida offers 24 specialty areas for board certification, more than any other state. Of the lawyers eligible to practice law in Florida, 6 percent – more than 4,600 Florida lawyers – have earned board certification.
Florida Bar President-Elect Eugene Pettis, a board certified education lawyer from Fort Lauderdale, believes that board certification is becoming a standard of preference for an increasing number of clients.
"In an ever-crowded field of more than 96,000 lawyers, the achievement of board certification – the Bar's highest evaluation of a lawyer's competence and experience in a particular area of practice – is the only way of distinguishing yourself as an expert or a specialist," said Pettis. "I congratulate these lawyers who have demonstrated their competence and experience through seeking board certification in their professional areas."
Background. The Florida Bar annually awards board certification in two cycles, effective June 1 and August 1. Fifty-eight Florida lawyers attained board certification on June 1. The lawyers are listed below.
Board certification is The Florida Bar's highest evaluation of attorneys' competence and experience in one or more of the 24 areas of law approved for certification by the Supreme Court of Florida. Florida Bar board certified lawyers have demonstrated ability and experience in their fields and professionalism within the legal community.
A lawyer who is a member in good standing of The Florida Bar and who meets the standards prescribed by the state's Supreme Court may become board certified in one or more of the 24 certification fields. Minimum requirements for certification are listed below; each area of certification may contain higher or additional standards.
To become a board certified specialist, a lawyer must:
- Practice law for a minimum of five years.
- Demonstrate substantial involvement in the field of law for which certification is sought.
- Pass satisfactory peer review of competence in the specialty field as well as character, ethics and professionalism in the practice of law.
- Satisfy the certification area's continuing legal education requirements.
- Receive a passing grade on the examination required of all applicants or meet strict criteria to exempt the exam.
Board certification is valid for five years. The attorney during that time must continue to practice law and attend Florida Bar-approved continuing legal education courses. Recertification requirements are similar to those for initial certification. Not all qualified lawyers are certified, but those who are board certified have voluntarily taken the extra step to have their competence and experience evaluated.
For more information, please visit The Florida Bar Web site at Floridabar.org/certification or contact The Florida Bar's Legal Specialization & Education Department at (850) 561-5842.
The following lawyers, listed by specialty practice areas and cities, earned Florida Bar board certification on June 1:
Admiralty and Maritime Law
Charles Stuart Davant, Fort Lauderdale
C. Ryan Eslinger, Jacksonville
Christopher R. Koehler, Tampa
Eric C. Thiel, Tampa
Ginger S. Allen, North Miami Beach
Tammi J. Driver, St. Petersburg
Steven Hurwitz, Tampa
Leenetta Blanton Grizzard, Tampa
Jessie L. Harrell, Jacksonville
Daniel B. Rogers, Miami
Christopher Dale Donovan, Naples
Andrew D. Manko, Tallahassee
Dineen Pashoukos Wasylik, Tampa
Charles R. Morgenstein, Boca Raton
Jonathan Alexander Ewing, Fort Lauderdale
David H. Charlip, Aventura
Derek A. Reams, Bradenton
Jorge P. Gutierrez, Jr., Fort Lauderdale
John Willington Wesley, Fort Walton Beach
Malcolm A. Purow, Hollywood
Daniel A. Iracki, Jacksonville
Charles Michael Greene, Orlando
Michael D. Maurer Jr., Orlando
Armando R. Payas, Orlando
Jason J. Recksiedler, Orlando
Steven Edward Sellers, Tallahassee
Jacqueline Marie Bunty, Tampa
Gregory Giannuzzi, Tampa
David G. Henry, Tampa
Joseph Alexander Lao, Tampa
Mariano Garcia, West Palm Beach
Heather Campbell Kirson, Orlando
Jason A. Waddell, Pensacola
J. Paul Carland II, Fort Lauderdale
David McKinnon Delaney, Gainesville
Marital and Family Law
Jennifer C. Frank, Altamonte Springs
Sandy Todd Fox, Aventura
Paul Fleming Grondahl, Bradenton
Holly G. Gershon, Boca Raton
Raymond Joseph Rafool II, Miami
Bonnie Sockel-Stone, Miami
Paul Seth Leinoff, South Miami
Mira Staggers White, Murdock
Christine Lynne Derr, Tampa
Jake Anthony Baccari, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo, Japan
Immigration and Nationality
Andrea Montavon-McKillip, Coral Gables
Claudia Del Castillo-Hronsky, Miami
Michael A. Harris, Miami
Daniel Bruce Sibirsky, Miami
Shahzad Ahmed, Orlando
Labor and Employment Law
Brett J. Schneider, Fort Lauderdale
Mark J. Beutler, Miami
John Houston Pope, New York
Elizabeth Fite Blanco, Tampa
Timothy Tack, Tampa
Kenneth John Crotty, Clearwater
Robert H. Trudeau, Jacksonville
Vitauts M. Gulbis, Tampa
Source: The Florida Bar