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TOP LAWYERS CLASS OF 2014


These attorneys have been featured in our publication as “Top Up & Comers” for several years. Now, they will be included in our “Top Lawyers” listing starting with our 2015 edition to be published in December. For this Midyear issue, we asked several of our graduating “Top Up and Comers” to tell us about what inspired them to be a lawyer and what they most enjoy about their practice. Here are their comments, along with a list of the new “Top Lawyers Class of 2014.”

NATASHA K. ALCIVAR
Product Liability - Defense
Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP
Fort Lauderdale

I was originally inspired to become a lawyer by fictional characters from literature, such as Atticus Finch (“To Kill a Mockingbird”), Jake Brigance (“A Time to Kill”), or Jan Schlichtmann (“A Civil Action”). They single-handedly took on the establishment and prevailed by their sheer determination, character and skill. I think the courtroom is the closest thing we have to a level playing field and I am regularly re-inspired by news stories of lawyers who have changed people’s lives through their advocacy.

One of my favorite aspects of my practice is that I can become an expert in whatever field a case involves, whether it is medical causation, how a particular product works or how an industry or business is operated. The ability to translate what you learn so that it is readily understandable to a jury and tells “the other side of the story” is a constant challenge.



BRETT A. BARFIELD
Corporate and Business Litigation
Holland & Knight LLP
Miami

DAVID A. BARKUS
Corporate and Business, Securities
Greenberg Traurig, P.A.
Miami

SCOTT A. BASSMAN

Civil Litigation
Cole, Scott & Kissane, P.A.
Fort Lauderdale

LAWRENCE E. BURKHALTER

Product Liability - Defense
Weinberg Wheeler Hudgins
Gunn & Dial
Miami

DANIELLE J. BUTLER
Admiralty and Maritime
Hill Betts & Nash LLP
Fort Lauderdale

HOPE W. CALHOUN
Government Law
Becker & Poliakoff, P.A.
Fort Lauderdale

My interest in becoming a lawyer was not sparked by a single event or person. I did not know any lawyers personally as I was growing up. My interest began with a curiosity about how things happen. I was always intrigued by the way that the actions of others (choices made and laws created) had an impact on people’s lives. It is amazing to me how two people can look at the same regulations and reasonably interpret them differently.

What I enjoy most about my area of practice as a land use and zoning attorney is that the results of my work are tangible. As a result of the great clients that I get to represent, people get new homes, new commercial buildings, new office buildings, new roads, new signs… There is an endless list of the tangible (and some intangible) benefits that I see as I drive throughout South Florida. It is an amazing feeling to know that I had a hand in some part of the progress and development of many municipalities in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties.



ADAM S. CHOTINER
Labor and Employment
Shapiro, Blasi, Wasserman & Gora, P.A.
Boca Raton

MELODY E. COBBE
Civil Litigation
Law Offices of Melody E. Cobbe, PLLC
Boca Raton

LALINE CONCEPCION-VELOSO

Corporate and Business Litigation,
Family and Marital
Law Offices of
Laline Concepcion-Veloso, P.A.
Miami Lakes

JUDE C. COOPER

Commercial and Business Litigation
Polenberg, Cooper, Saunders & Riesberg, PL
Fort Lauderdale

SCOTT B. COSGROVE
Corporate and Business Litigation
Leon Cosgrove LLC
Coral Gables

JEFFREY L. COX
Criminal Defense/Criminal Law, Securities
Sallah Astarita & Cox, LLC
Boca Raton

MARK H. DAHLMEIER
Real Estate
Jones, Foster, Johnston & Stubbs, P.A.
West Palm Beach

JARET L. DAVIS
Securities, Corporate and Business
Greenberg Traurig, P.A.
Miami

In choosing a career, I knew I wanted something that would utilize strong analytical skills and maximize my interaction with a wide variety of people. Originally, I considered investment banking because I enjoyed the analytical side of that world. But I was drawn to law because I felt it gave me a perfect blend of intensive analytics and the opportunity to work together with so many different individuals and businesses.

What I find most rewarding about my profession is the impact it allows me to have on my community. Lawyers do not live in a vacuum. To be an effective lawyer means living among those whose lives are impacted by the law. I enjoy the fact that I can deploy my technical skills as a corporate lawyer to assist technology companies and others to realize their visions. At the same time, I take great pride in playing the role of a “connector,” bringing together various aspects of our community working toward the common goals of growth and innovation.



NOREEK S. DAVITIAN
Personal Injury and Wrongful
Death - Plaintiff
Krupnick Campbell Malone Buser Slama Hancock Liberman & McKee, P.A.
Fort Lauderdale

VIVIAN DE LAS CUEVAS-DIAZ
Real Estate
Holland & Knight LLP
Miami

JOHN J. DELIONADO, JR.
Corporate and Business Litigation
Hunton & Williams LLP
Miami

KELLY ANN DELL
Criminal Defense/Criminal Law
Law Offices of Kelly Dell, P.A.
Hollywood

ANNETTE C. ESCOBAR
International Commercial Litigation
Astigarraga Davis
Miami

TIMOTHY J. FERGUSON
Product Liability - Defense, Torts - Defense
Foley & Mansfield PLLP
Miami

ROLAND A. GALLOR
Real Estate
Shutts & Bowen LLP
Miami

ALEJANDRO M. GARCIA
Personal Injury and Wrongful
Death - Plaintiff
Toral Garcia Battista, P.A.
Fort Lauderdale

ERIN GASKIN
Medical Malpractice - Defense
Fowler White Burnett P.A.
Miami

JASON A. GLUSMAN
Civil Litigation
Wicker, Smith, O’Hara, McCoy & Ford, P.A.
Fort Lauderdale

My inspiration to become a lawyer came from my desire to be professionally independent. Since I was young, I wanted to take a path not yet traveled by my parents and grandparents by furthering my education from college to law school. My family has also inspired me to pursue my goal of earning the respect of my family, friends and community.

The part of my practice I like best is being able to leave my mark on every case I touch. Whether in trial, hearings, case development, client relations or working with my team, I enjoy having an impact in furthering our clients’ interests towards successful results. I am privileged to be surrounded by fantastic partners, associates and staff, and I am proud to represent our clients.



CARLOS F. GONZALEZ
Appellate
Diaz Reus & Targ LLP
Miami

JOHN M. HOWE
Criminal Defense/Criminal Law
John M. Howe, P.A.
West Palm Beach

EMIL R. INFANTE
Finance, Banking
Foley & Lardner, LLP
Miami

ANDREW S. ITTLEMAN
Administrative
Fuerst Ittleman David & Joseph, PL
Miami

JOSHUA M. KAYE
Healthcare
DLA Piper LLP (US)
Miami

SETH M. LEHRMAN
Class Action, Personal Injury and
Wrongful Death - Plaintiff
Farmer, Jaffe, Weissing, Edwards, Fistos & Lehrman, P.L.
Fort Lauderdale

RICARDO M. MARTINEZ-CID
Personal Injury and Wrongful Death - Plaintiff
Podhurst Orseck, P.A.
Miami

My family’s journey from Cuba inspired me to become a lawyer. This country’s respect for the rule of law is what sets it apart from almost every troubled part of the world. This respect, and the inclusive nature of the American dream has allowed us to thrive. From a very young age, I was drawn to study the law and saw it as my best way to give back to a community that gives me so much. Though much maligned, lawyers are the professionals who enforce that rule of law and ensure this country’s opportunities remain open to all.

I love helping people. When someone has been seriously hurt or lost a family member, they have many difficult issues to face. Steering clients through some of these issues is important. Helping someone find out what really caused an accident, or getting them access to needed medical attention or counseling can be more rewarding than a big verdict. I also enjoy being an agent of change. I’ve seen numerous products and workplaces made safer thanks to hard-working trial lawyers, and I’m proud to be a part of that.



C. CORY MAURO
Corporate and Business Litigation, Real Estate - Litigation
Carlton Fields Jorden Burt
West Palm Beach

GUSTAVO J. MEMBIELA

Corporate and Business Litigation
Hunton & Williams LLP
Miami

JONATHAN M. MIDWALL
Civil Litigation
Cole, Scott & Kissane, P.A.
Miami

MICHAEL J. NAPOLEONE
Corporate and Business Litigation
Richman Greer, P.A.
West Palm Beach

JULIE E. NEVINS
Corporate and Business Litigation
Hogan Lovells US LLP
Miami


I was inspired to become a lawyer by the character Atticus Finch in Harper Lee’s novel “To Kill A Mockingbird.”

I enjoy helping clients solve problems.



JOSE A. ORTIZ
Corporate and Business Litigation
Herron Ortiz, P.A.
Miami

KEVIN E. PACKMAN
Tax, Trust and Estate Planning
Holland & Knight LLP
Miami

STEPHEN J. PADULA
Business Litigation
Padula Hodkin, PLLC
Boca Raton

ELIOT PEDROSA
Litigation
Greenberg Traurig, P.A.
Miami

ELIZABETH P. PEREZ
Healthcare
Broad and Cassel
Fort Lauderdale

As a first generation Cuban-American, I grew up listening to stories of how my parents were forced into exile. They left in the early 1960s to start all over in a new country. Their struggles motivated me to pursue a career in a field dedicated to fighting for justice. I was also inspired by my grandfather, who was a physician in Cuba but had to start over to become a licensed physician in the U.S. He returned to school and cleaned labs to make ends meet. He always told me that you can lose your belongings but never the knowledge you gain. At first I wanted to follow in his footsteps to become a physician, but instead pursued health law. Today, I am able to apply my love of law to supporting physicians like my grandfather.

I enjoy helping physicians and other health care providers who are faced with unanticipated and often tough legal challenges. Healthcare is a highly regulated industry and the laws and regulations are constantly evolving, and health care providers need guidance and assistance to keep up with these changes. Many of my clients remind me of my grandfather, who just wanted to practice medicine. They are taught to take care of others, not always to deal with certain legal issues. It is rewarding to be able to step in and help them.



KATIE S. PHANG
Corporate and Business
Arrastia Capote & Phang LLP
Miami

GINA MARIA POLO
Immigration Law
Weiss, Alden & Polo, P.A.
Miami

GRACE E. ROBSON
Bankruptcy
Markowitz, Ringel, Trusty & Hartog, P.A.
Fort Lauderdale

CARLOTTA J. ROOS

Labor and Employment
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
Miami

DAVID LEE ROSS
Insurance - Defense
Law Offices of David L. Ross, P.A.
Miami

BRIAN M. SILVERIO
Family and Marital
Silverio & Hall, P.A.
Miami

NOAH D. SILVERMAN
Torts- Defense
Foreman Friedman, P.A.
Miami

JAMES A. STEPAN
Intellectual Property
Mayback & Hoffman, P.A.
Fort Lauderdale

STEPHANIE REED TRABAND
Banking Litigation
Levine Kellogg Lehman Schneider + Grossman LLP
Miami

My parents, through their career choices, showed me the importance of finding a profession in which I could help others. Although my family had its roots in the medical field (my father was a doctor and my mother is a nurse), I preferred language and literature to science. My parents instilled in me the desire to help others with their problems, whether those problems are illness, disease, or financial misfortune. As a lawyer, I get a great sense of satisfaction when I help clients solve problems in an efficient and expeditious manner. Just as my father fought hard to cure illnesses as the only fulltime doctor in my small hometown, I fight hard to find solutions to the business challenges presented by my corporate and financial institution clients.

I have always loved a challenge, and I love being an advocate for others, and the ability to combine those desires into my career as a litigator is what I like best about my practice. I love the adrenaline rush I get when I head into court, and try to convince the judge that my argument is the correct one. I love the mental challenge that comes with having to figure out a meaty legal question. I also love that feeling of satisfaction I get when I have successfully helped a client to find a solution to its legal problems. No two cases are ever alike, and each case presents its own challenges. The life of a litigator here in South Florida is never dull!



VERONICA VILARCHAO
Tax
Foley & Lardner, LLP
Miami

GREGORY S. WEISS
Complex Business Litigation
Mrachek, Fitzgerald, Rose, Konopka, Thomas & Weiss, P.A.
West Palm Beach

DANIEL G. WILLIAMS
Personal Injury and Wrongful
Death - Plaintiff
Gordon & Doner, P.A.
Palm Beach Gardens



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