THE PLACE FOR SOLOS, SMALL-FIRM
LAWYERS & GENERAL PRACTITIONERS

Thank you to our 2020-2021 Section Annual Sponsors: LexHelper and
Sandler Training of Greater Tampa Bay

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Message from 2020-21 Section Chair
Timothy S. Shaw

“It’s déjà vu all over again;” “The long and winding road;” and “What a long, strange trip it’s been” are iconic lines from Yogi Berra, Paul McCartney and Jerry Garcia that sum up my journey back to being elected Chair of the Solo & Small Firm Section. I joined the Section, known at that time as the General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Section, in the late 80s, and was honored to Chair the Section in 1996-97. Now I am humbled and honored to be elected again to Chair the Section for 2020-21.

I began practicing in 1981 when the newest advances in the legal profession were the fax machine and Fed Ex. I have been a member of large, small and medium-sized firms and watched the practice of law shift and adapt through the vast technological changes that have taken place, surviving through the recessions, the tragic event of 9/11 and now the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is with that background and hindsight that I approach this upcoming year. Many have said that change to our profession would come with technology, and predicted the end or downsizing of formal offices, etc., sometime in the future. But few predicted the acceleration that has now taken hold as we adapt to our new normal. While the changes may be overwhelming, I think it is our opportunity to move the Section into the future and to lead attorneys, old and new. It is a chance for the mentoring of attorneys to be reversed, with the new helping the more senior (aka me) to navigate the future, expand and market our practices and increase our efficiency, while we impart the knowledge that younger attorneys have always asked of us. I believe that through patience, flexibility and humor we will all adapt.

As our Section grows, so does its diversity, and one of my goals this year is to add more diversity to the Executive Council of the Section to reflect The Florida Bar as a whole. We are embracing the new normal with our first virtual annual meeting and hope to be offering additional technology benefits to our members this year.

Through the hard work of our CLE, Publications, and Transition to Solo committees and Solo & Small Firm Conference, we have timely seminars, webcasts, podcasts, conferences and website materials to offer our members in this time of change.

The members of the Executive Council and members of the committees are here to assist the Section members. It is your Section and we encourage you to participate and provide your comments and suggestions on how we may meet your needs.

Perhaps I should have started with, “Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy…”. I think of Bette Davis, but those who will lead next might picture Harry Potter. “The times, they are a changin.’”

Timothy S. Shaw, 2020-2021 Chair
Solo & Small Firm Section of The Florida Bar

Executive Council

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Congratulations to Our 2020 L. Michael Roffino Pro Bono Award Grant Recipients

Legal Services of Greater Miami, Inc. is this year’s winner of the Solo & Small Firm Section’s L. Michael Pro Bono Award and has received a $4,000 grant in recognition of its Partners for Equal Justice campaign and Justice Bus program. Finalists Florida Rural Legal Services, Inc. in Stuart and the Cuban American Bar Association in Miami each received $2,000. Because the section’s 2020 Annual Meeting was virtual, the winners will be recognized during a presentation ceremony in June 2021 during The Florida Bar Annual Convention.

To date, the Solo & Small Firm Section has awarded $164,500 to deserving Florida pro bono organizations.

Congratulations to Our 2019 Solo & Small Firm Section Award Winners

(Due to COVID-19, 2020 awards will be presented during the 2021 Florida Bar Annual Convention.)

Eugene K. Pettis
2019 Tradition of Excellence Award

Zackary T. Zuroweste
2019 Walter S. Crumbley Award

Melanie S. Griffin
2019 Mentor of the Year

Jennifer M. Heape, CP, FRP
2019 Paralegal of the Year

Legal Aid Foundation of Tallahassee Bar Association
Promise Zone Program
2019 L. Michael Roffino Pro Bono Award Winner

Dade Legal Aid
Put Something Back Patent Pro Bono Florida Program

2019 L. Michael Roffino Bro Bono Award Finalist

Community Law Program
Best Case Bankruptcy Software Project

2019 L. Michael Roffino Bro Bono Award Finalist