Legal Briefs (Tampa edition)
Phelps Dunbar hires
new Tampa partner
Barbara Hardy Luikart is a new partner at Phelps Dunbar LLP, Tampa. She works in the firm's regional business practice group.
An AV-rated lawyer, Luikart practices in the areas of business and finance and real estate. She graduated in 1982 from Indiana University and earned a law degree in 1986 from the University of Florida Levin College of Law.
Cardillo joins Million
Dollar Advocates Forum
Tampa litigator Peter M. Cardillo - known for his expertise in termite litigation - was recently named to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, a group of about 2,500 lawyers who have won million and multimillion dollar verdicts.
Cardillo is a graduate of Columbia Law School.
Fowler White attorney appointed
vice chair of IADC committee
James J. Evangelista, a Tampa shareholder with Fowler White Boggs Banker, was appointed vice chair of the Casualty Committee for the International Association of Defense Council, an organization of attorneys that represent corporations and insurers.
Evangelista practices in the health care and general practices groups at Fowler White.
Bavol Judge adds
Civil litigator Brian R. Denney recently joined Bavol Judge PA, Tampa, as a shareholder. Denney, a Stetson University College of Law graduate, formerly worked with Fowler White Boggs Banker.
Professional service groups
elect George Meyer
George Meyer, a shareholder in the Tampa office of Carlton Fields PA, recently was elected to several professional service groups.
Meyer now serves on the governing committee for the American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry, as a fellow with the American College of Real Estate Lawyers; as a director of the Florida Bar circuit representatives for the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section; and as president of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Tampa Bay.
Plus, the Florida Bar appointed Meyer to serve on the inaugural committee for construction law certification.
A graduate of the State University of New York at Stony Brook, Meyer earned a law degree in 1985 from University of Tulsa College of Law.
Carlton Fields increases
rank on national survey
Carlton Fields PA earned a spot as the 195th largest U.S. law firm on American Lawyer magazine's 2004 list of top 200 law firms.
This is the third year the Tampa-based law firm made the list. It ranked 198th last year.
The firm produced gross revenue of $86 million in 2003, an 8.2% increase. Revenue per lawyer averaged about $440,000 for a 7.3% increase. Profits per partner increased by 13.4% to $380,000.
Larry Stagg attends
Akerman Senterfitt shareholder Larry Stagg recently joined about 240 legal, educational and governmental personnel at the 2004 annual meeting of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) in Portland, Ore.
Conference participants meet to draft and promote enactment of uniform laws designed to solve problems common to all of the states.
As a shareholder in the Tampa office, Stagg practices in the areas of litigation and alternative dispute resolution.
Florida Bar certifies
117 new specialists
The Florida Bar recently announced it certified 117 Florida lawyers as specialists in 19 areas of legal practice.
To earn certification, a lawyer must have at least five years of law practice, show a substantial involvement in the certified field of law, achieve a passing grade on an examination, pass a satisfactory peer review assessment and complete continuing legal education.
The Tampa Bay area lawyers who earned certification include the following:
Appellate law - Matthew John Conigliaro, Scot Eliot Samis and Timothy Wayne Weber, all of St. Petersburg; city, county and local government - Victor Gerald Meaders Jr., Clearwater, and Donna Darlene Bolin Wysong, Riverview; civil trial - Brian Charles Guenther, St. Petersburg, and Terrell Patton Youngblood Jr., Tampa; criminal trial - Kendra Rumbough Davis and Scott Paul Davis, both of Tampa, and Paul Louis Studer, St. Petersburg.
Elder law - Walter B. Shurden, Clearwater; health law - Erin Alberta Smith Aebel, Tampa; labor-employment law - Brian Koji and Dennis Michael McClelland, both of Tampa; marital-family law - Alexander Caballero, Tampa; real estate law - Jo Claire Spear, St. Petersburg; and workers' compensation law - Benjamin Andrew Winter, Tampa.
Hall of Fame inducts
Steven G. Schember
Steven G. Schember is one of the newest members of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Athletic Hall of Fame. He practices in the litigation practice group at the Tampa office of Shumaker Loop & Kendrick LLP.
During years on the academy's varsity football team, Schember caught 56 passes for 640 yards and five touchdowns. He holds several records, including most passes caught in a single game and most touchdown passes caught in a single game.
A 1967 graduate, Schember also earned varsity letters in indoor and outdoor track. Following undergraduate school, he earned a law degree from the University of Michigan School of Law.
four new shareholders
Stephenie M. Biernacki, Timothy M. Cerio, Scott R. Lilly and Michael J. Vitoria are new shareholders at GrayRobinson PA, Tampa.
Biernacki focuses on creditors' rights, bankruptcy law and commercial litigation. She graduated in 1997 from Stetson University College of Law.
Cerio, a member of the firm's litigation and public law group, graduated in 1995 from the University of Florida Levin College of Law.
Lilly focuses on real property litigation, commercial litigation, creditors' rights and bankruptcy litigation. He is a 1997 graduate of UF.
Vitoria practices in the area of transportation law, products liability, medical malpractice, insurance defense, commercial litigation and general civil litigation. In 1997, he earned a master's degree in business administration and a law degree from the Stetson law school.
Bay Area Legal Services
receives fair housing grant
The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development recently awarded a grant to Bay Area Legal Services to protect Hillsborough County citizens under the Federal Fair Housing Act.
The grant underwrites a program that offers free legal services to underserved residents in the county without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, handicap or familial status (families with children who are 18 years old or younger).