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TOP LAWYERS: CLASS OF 2010



After being named “Top Up & Comers” since 2005, the following attorneys have graduated to South Florida Legal Guide’s “Top Lawyers” list. To find out a little more about their backgrounds, we asked several members of our Class of 2010 to tell us what inspired them to become a lawyer and what they enjoy about their practice areas. We congratulate these experienced and successful lawyers!



HUGO E. ACEBO
Family Law
Bluestein and Wayne, P.A.

Growing up I had a keen interest in government. I found the law to be an exciting area for implementing new ideas and creative problem solving. As a first generation Cuban-American, I have a real appreciation for our rich legal history and how our laws are applied and interpreted. Becoming a lawyer allowed me to apply my skills and passion for advocacy and to make a positive impact on people by finding solutions to their problems.

In matrimonial law, you can be more than just a lawyer assessing and advising your clients on their legal rights. You can help families navigate the legal system and provide calm and emotional strength during a stressful period in their lives. I receive a great sense of fulfillment in helping to protect people in their time of need, assisting individuals when they come together to create new families and effecting positive change for individuals and children who find themselves unprotected by the law. Additionally, family cases are interesting and diverse in their facts and application of the law, including litigation, estate planning, taxation, real estate, financial services, and corporate law. We also deal with sophisticated financial issues involving matters such as valuation and tracing of assets, compensation and benefits, tax planning, and complex support arrangements.


BRIAN S. ADLER
Land Use, Environmental
Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod LLP

GREGORY K. BADER
Banking, Securities
Gunster Yoakley & Stewart, P.A.

ROY J. BARQUET
Immigration, Labor & Employment
Foley & Lardner, LLP

JEFFREY P. BAST
Bankruptcy
Bast Amron LLP

BRIAN H. BIEBER
Criminal Defense, Business Fraud
Hirschhorn & Bieber, P.A.

KELLY-ANN CARTWRIGHT
Labor and Employment, Commercial Litigation
Holland & Knight LLP

I was inspired to be a lawyer by my parents. Although I did not decide on pursuing a law degree until I was a junior in college, my parents were not surprised by my ultimate decision. From time to time during my childhood, they would mention to me that I should pursue a career in law. They said that I was always negotiating and stating my case.

When you are an employment lawyer, there is never a dull moment. There are a multitude of statutes and laws governing the employment relationship. It is an area of the law with perhaps the greatest opportunity to interact with people. You have the opportunity to be an advocate, a counselor and a drafter. Each case presents an entire new set of facts with different players and different circumstances. There is always a sense of satisfaction that comes from successfully litigating cases.


DAVID R. CHASE
Securities Litigation
David R. Chase, P.A.

VALERIE A. CONZO
Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury (Plaintiff)
Sheldon J. Schlesinger, P.A.

I was inspired to become an attorney by the opportunity to have a rewarding career while advocating for those in need and those who had been harmed by others. This led me to begin my career as a prosecutor at the Broward County State Attorney’s Office.

I have been fortunate to work on a variety of unique and interesting cases. For example, after several years of protracted court proceedings in a federal multi-district litigation case, I was recently instrumental in obtaining settlements on behalf of over 1,000 South American claimants against multiple U.S. pharmaceutical corporations. The challenges encountered in cases such as these, as well as the sense of accomplishment when I am able to help catastrophically injured clients makes my job both interesting and rewarding.


L. FRANK CORDERO
Taxation
Akerman Senterfitt

TED C. CRAIG
Commercial Litigation
Hunton & Williams LLP

BOB DE LA FUENTE
Land Use and Zoning
Tew Cardenas, LLP

ROLANDO A. DIAZ
Personal Injury, Civil Litigation
Kubicki Draper

DAVID L. FERGUSON
Employment Litigation, Commercial Litigation
Kopelowitz & Ostrow, P.A.

GEORGE L. FERNANDEZ
Medical Malpractice, Insurance Litigation
Wolpe Leibowitz Alvarez & Fernandez, LLP

CARL A. FORNARIS
Banking and Finance
Greenberg Traurig, P.A.


DEBORAH J. GANDER
Medical Negligence, Personal Injury (Plaintiff)
Colson Hicks Eidson

I attended law school because I enjoyed the academic challenge and knew the degree would advance my career, whether I chose to practice law or work in the corporate area. When I took a trial skills course in law school, I fell in love with trial work and knew I had found the career path for me.

I love working with everyday people to heal difficult situations. I also deal with well-prepared and credentialed experts, from doctors of every specialty to engineers, which is both intellectually stimulating and rewarding. At the end of the day, however, my satisfaction comes from knowing that the work I did improved someone’s life — whether by providing for medical and other needed care that would otherwise have been unfunded, or simply by having a jury render a verdict that validates my client’s position and brings closure.

RANDY D. GOODIS
DUI Defense
Randy Goodis, P.A.

JOHN J. GORAN
Medical Malpractice, General Liability (Defense)
Wicker, Smith, O’Hara, McCoy & Ford, P.A.

BRADLEY S. GOULD
Eminent Domain, Land Use
Holland & Knight LLP

SUSAN E. GREENBERG
Family Law
Schuttler & Greenberg, LLC

JEFFREY L. HOCHMAN
Commercial Litigation, Government Litigation
Johnson, Anselmo, Murdoch, Burke, Piper & Hochman, P.A.

My 12th grade Calculus 1 teacher, Ms. Kravitz, suggested the legal profession to me. While I’m not sure her comment was intended as a compliment, I can still recite the quadratic equation.

I enjoy my litigation practice because I am constantly given an opportunity to explore and learn. It’s especially gratifying when clients show up with new puzzles to be solved or specific goals that can only be achieved using creative methods. Of course, that approach requires a familiarity with section 57.105(2), Florida Statutes, a refuge for those seeking “the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law...”

LAURA M. HOLM
Corporate/Business
Akerman Senterfitt

JOHN B. HUTTON, III
Bankruptcy, Creditors’ Rights
Greenberg Traurig, P.A.

MELISSA JACOBS
Family Law
Caruana & Jacobs, P.A.

SETH R. KAPLAN
Tax Law, Estate Planning
Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod LLP

RICHARD D. LARA
Commercial Litigation
Mase, Lara, Eversole, P.A.

It has been said that the rule of law can be wiped out in one misguided generation — however well intentioned. For my parents and so many other Cubans who left their homeland in search of liberty in the U.S., the rule of law in Cuba was wiped out in mere months. My inspiration to become a lawyer was borne out of my parents’ experiences and the realization very early on that without the rule of law, the liberties we enjoy here would vanish.

As a commercial litigator, I am fortunate that the majority of my clients are business people from all types of backgrounds and cultures, reflecting the diversity that makes Miami unique. I most enjoy the personal interaction with a multicultural commercial clientele that calls Miami home.



GARY S. LESSER
Personal Injury, Wrongful Death
Lesser, Lesser, Landy & Smith, P.A.

My grandfather Joseph Lesser, who started the firm back in 1927, inspired me to become an attorney. When I was about 9 years old, he told me that the lawyer’s job is to work hard to help the client. I have always continued to believe that.

I enjoy the ability to really help people win — and not just their cases. Many injured clients and their families suffer economic and other family problems and I try to be there to help them through the difficult times until we can prevail on our case.





SCOTT D. LEVINE
Real Estate
Berman Rennert Vogel & Mandler, P.A.


STEPHEN A. MARINO, JR.
Insurance Bad Faith
Ver Ploeg & Lumpkin, P.A.

My undergraduate degree was in architecture, and when I moved to Florida I worked building custom homes. I soon found that I needed something more intellectually and emotionally stimulating, and chose law school. I saw the law as way to have an engaging career that would continually test me and also allow me to give back to the community.

As an insurance coverage and bad faith attorney, I get to work in a field that is complex and continually developing, so I am constantly challenged to shape the law. In doing so, I am often representing individuals and small corporations, so I get to speak for those who would otherwise not have a voice.



JUAN C. MARTINEZ
Commercial Litigation, Real Estate Litigation
GrayRobinson, P.A.

WILLIAM G. MCCULLOUGH
Banking, Corporate
Shutts & Bowen, LLP

NICHOLAS G. MILANO
Construction, Real Estate
Holland & Knight LLP

JOHN B.T. MURRAY
Probate and Commercial Litigation
Squire, Sanders & Dempsey, L.L.P.

BARRY A. POSTMAN
Civil Litigation, Employment
Cole, Scott & Kissane, P.A.

SCOTT D. REMBOLD
Complex Commercial Litigation, Construction Litigation
Bogert & Rembold, P.L.

RANDY ROSENBLUM
Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury
Freidin & Dobrinsky, P.A.

ARTURO ROSS
Labor and Employment
Littler Mendelson, P.C.

JOSEPH B. SCHIMMEL
Taxation
Cohen, Chase, Hoffman & Schimmel, P.A.

JORGE E. SILVA
Products Liability, Medical Malpractice
Silva & Silva P.A.

LAWRENCE D. SILVERMAN
Antitrust and Trade Regulation, Commercial Litigation
Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP

JASON E. SLATKIN
Bankruptcy
Slatkin & Reynolds, P.A.

RHETT TRABAND
Commercial Litigation
Broad and Cassel

RICHARD D. TUSCHMAN
Labor and Employment
Epstein Becker & Green P.C.

Upon graduation from college I wasn’t ready for the real world. But I was a diligent student and a decent writer, so I thought law school was a good career move. I was right - law school was a great experience, and practicing law is rewarding on many levels.

First of all, I enjoy the variety of the work. In the last few months I’ve responded to a petition for writ of certiorari before the U.S. Supreme Court, argued before the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, litigated several types of employment cases in federal and state trial courts, including one in small claims court, and have handled cases before the EEOC, OSHA, and state fair employment practice agencies. My job is not like the movie “Groundhog Day” — every day is different.



ERIC H. WEINGARD
Criminal Defense
Eric H. Weingard, P.A.

JACQUELINE M. WOODWARD
Criminal
Woodward & Reizenstein, P.A.

ANDREW D. ZARON
Bankruptcy; Commercial Litigation
Hunton & Williams LLP

DARIN I. ZENOV
Estate and Trust Administration, Tax
Foley & Lardner, LLP

The two largest influences on me becoming a lawyer were being Jewish, and recognizing the impact that the absence of law had on my family, along with millions of other families as a result of the Holocaust and the historical persecution of Jews. Growing up in Mexico City, I saw that the legal system seemed to be governed more by economic principles than by legal principles. I believe that the American Constitution, and U.S. legal system that emanate from it, although not perfect, provides an impartial system to redress perceived wrongs. I feel fortunate to be part of the U.S. system of law.

One of my greatest satisfactions as a lawyer is knowing that the estate plans and other documents I create for clients will bring some comfort to their families during their tragic moments. These families should not have to worry about trying to locate assets, determine their beloved’s wishes, and provide for their children. Ultimately, I am being entrusted with my client’s most precious assets —their own family. There can be no greater honor than that.


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