Solo & Small Firm Section Annual Out-of-Country CLE Trip
May 27 @ 12:00 PM – Jun 5 @ 1:00 PM

Annual “Out-of-Country” CLE Trip

This year we are staying in the U.S. and visiting the big island of Hawaii and Oahu. Instead of going through a travel agent, you will make your own reservations directly with the hotels, airlines, and group tours (excursion details will be provided as they become available).

This page provides the trip schedule, activities, and hotel reservation links. When making your flight arrangements, don’t forget to include the flight from Hawaii to Oahu on June 1. Flight destinations are Kona International Airport and Honolulu International Airport.

Online reservation information for the group tours and airport transfers will be available soon. View the event brochure.

Practicing Law the Island Way (‘Out-of-Country’ CLE) @ Hilton Waikoloa Village
May 31 @ 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM

If you’re planning to join us for the Solo & Small Firm Section’s “Out-of-Country” CLE trip, this year an in-country trip to Hawaii, please make plans to attend “Practicing Law the Island Way” on May 31. Course number

This course will provide a credit in technology, tackling your first solo forward triangular merger and ethical considerations in fee sharing agreements.

9:00-9:05 AM:  Introduction by Moderator Jacina Parson, Chair, Solo & Small Firm Section, Senior Assistant County Attorney, Pinellas County Attorney’s Office, Clearwater

9:05-10:10 AM:  “Let’s Talk Tech” by Janette M. Smith, Assistant County Attorney for Broward County, Fort Lauderdale

10:15-11:20 AM:  “Say Aloha to M & A: Tackling Your First Solo Forward Triangular Merger,” by  Diriki T. Geuka, Esq., Corporate Associate, Townsend & Lockett, LLC, Atlanta.

11:25 AM-12:30 PM:  “Ethical Considerations in Fee Sharing Agreements:  Navigating Serious Ethical Pitfalls; and, Recent Developments In Attorneys’ Fees Litigation” by Kristy M. Johnson, Chief Legal Counsel, Department of Health, Broward County and Jason R. Alderman, Managing Partner, The Alderman Law Firm, Miami Shores

Jacina ParsonJacina Parson, a Central Florida native born and raised in the heart of Orlando, currently serves as Senior Assistant County Attorney for the Pinellas County Attorney’s Office. Prior to joining the County Attorney’s Office, she served as the Director of the Henry Latimer Center for Professionalism with The Florida Bar.  Before joining The Florida Bar, she held positions with the Ninth Judicial Circuit Public Defender and Legal Services of North Florida.  At Legal Services, she represented victims of domestic violence, sexual violence and the elderly in the area of Family Law.  She has practiced before the Northern District Federal Bankruptcy Court and Florida Circuit Courts.  She served as legal advocate for the Refuge House and as an advocate for the Grandparents as Parents (GAP) Program with Leon County Elder Care Services.  She currently serves as Chair of the Executive Council of the Solo and Small Firm Section with The Florida Bar and the Board of Directors of the Jean Honor Foundation of Hope.

Additionally, she is a graduate of Leadership Tallahassee and The Florida Bar Foundation Leadership Academy. She served on the Student Education and Admission to the Bar Committee for five years. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, reading, spending time with family and friends and completing marathon races. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Criminology from the University of Florida and earned her Juris Doctor from Stetson College of Law.

Janette M. Smith, Esq.Janette M. Smith, Esq. began her technology career when she was 16 years old by volunteering to build computers for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. She then spent a decade working for Nova Southeastern University (NSU) where she held various technology positions. While working at NSU, she received her Master’s in Business Administration in 1999 and her Juris Doctorate in 2006. For her contribution to improving technology at the NSU Shepard Broad law school, Janette received a full scholarship. After graduating from law school in 2006, Janette resigned from her position at NSU and opened her solo law practice. In 2007, she took a chance to follow in her father’s footsteps and accepted a position in local government. For the past 15 years, Janette has been serving in local government while maintaining her solo law practice. She currently works as an Assistant County Attorney for Broward County with her primary focus reviewing and negotiating IT contracts. Janette is a member of the Solo & Small Firm section, and this year, she is the Chair of the City, County, and Local Government law section of the Florida Bar. For fun, Janette loves to travel and adores her two dogs (Nyla and Broddy).


Diriki T. GeukaDiriki T. Geuka is an Associate in Townsend & Lockett, LLC’s transactional practice group, serving on a team focusing on mergers and acquisitions, private equity, and venture capital agreements.  Diriki was previously a Pinellas Assistant County Attorney where he represented County agencies and elected and appointed officials.  Diriki began his career as a federal staff attorney for the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, where he served for a year and was an intern for the Honorable Julie S. Sneed in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida while in law school.  Diriki was president of Stetson University College of Law’s Student Bar Association before graduating in 2017 with the Dean Richard Dillon Excellence in Real Property and Marc L. Levine Awards.  Diriki is a frequent mentor and community volunteer, and currently serves as a member of Morris Brown’s President’s Advisory Board and as Parliamentarian for the Emerging 100 of Atlanta.



Kristy Johnson, Esq.Kristy M. Johnson focuses her practice in the areas of complex business dispute litigation and employment matters.   Ms. Johnson was a Shareholder with an AmLaw 200 law firm, having worked there for more than eleven years.  She recently served as Associate General Counsel for one of America’s premier real estate development and property management companies.  Ms. Johnson served as President of Miami-Dade FAWL in 2010-2011, after having been actively involved with Miami-Dade FAWL for six years.  In 2011, Ms. Johnson was selected as a Glass Ceiling Award recipient by the Florida Diversity Council.  Ms. Johnson regularly speaks on diversity issues and particularly issues impacting women in the legal profession.  Ms. Johnson graduated from the University of Florida (B.S., 1994), and the University of Florida College of Law (J.D., 1999, with honors).

Jason Alderman, Esq.Jason R. Alderman focuses his practice on national and international litigation with a particular emphasis on complex banking, real property, contract, corporate, creditors’ rights, fiduciary, and valuation litigation.  Mr. Alderman is admitted to practice before the United States District Courts for the Southern, Middle and Northern Districts of Florida; the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida, and the United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit.  Mr. Alderman has been repeatedly named as a SuperLawyer; a Legal Elite lawyer by Florida Trend Magazine; and, a Top Lawyer by South Florida Legal Guide.  He graduated from Florida State University (B.S., 1999) and the University of Miami School of Law (J.D., magna cum laude, 1999), where he was a member of the University of Miami Inter-American Law Review.

Ms. Johnson and Mr. Alderman received the 2018 Daily Business Review Award for Most Effective Lawyer in Employment.  They are married, and live in Miami Shores, Florida, with their two daughters.

2022 Florida Law Update @ Signia by Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek
Jun 23 @ 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Florida Law Update 2022 Thursday, June 23, 2022 (8 credits ). Live (in-person) during The Florida Bar Annual Convention and live GoToWebinar. Registration opens soon.

Business Law Update, Clay Roesch, Orlando; Employment Law Update, Kevin Johnson, Tampa; Animal Law, Ralph DeMeo, Tallahassee; Elder Law & Estate Planning, Peggy Hoyt, Oviedo, and Alex Douglas, Orlando; Criminal Law, Brice Aikens, Orlando; Personal Injury Law Update, James Gordon, Oviedo; Real Estate Law, Patrick Neale, Naples. Course number 5722 and 8.0 General credits pending.
Moderator and Program Chair: Peggy Hoyt.

7:55 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. Opening Remarks
Peggy Hoyt, Oviedo, Program Chair

 8:00 a.m. – 8:50 a.m. Business Law Update
Clay Roesch, Orlando

 8:50 a.m. – 9:40 a.m. Employment Law Update
Kevin Johnson, Tampa

9:40 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Animal Law
Ralph DeMeo, Tallahassee

10:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Break

10:45 a.m. – 11:35 a.m. Elder Law
Peggy Hoyt, Oviedo
Alex Douglas, Orlando

11:35 – 12:20 p.m. Estate Planning
Peggy Hoyt, Oviedo
Alex Douglas, Orlando

12:20 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. Lunch  (on your own)

1:45 p.m. – 2:35 p.m. Criminal Law
Brice Aikens, Orlando                                              

2:35 p.m. –3:25p.m. Personal Injury Law Update
James Gordon, Oviedo

3:25 p.m. – 3:35 p.m. Break

3:35 p.m. – 4:25 p.m. Real Estate Law
Patrick Neale, Naples

Solo & Small Firm Section Executive Council Meeting @ Signia by Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek
Jun 24 @ 12:45 PM – 5:00 PM

Details coming soon. This meeting takes place during The Florida Bar Annual Meeting.

Free CLE for Section Members—Details Coming Soon
Jun 29 @ 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Registration opens soon.

Compassionate Professionalism and Wellness: Because Mere Civility Is No Longer Enough
Jul 19 @ 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Live GoToWebinar presented by Don Blackwell of Bowman and Brooks LLP and moderated by Cristina Alonso. Course number and Professionalism and Mental Health Awareness CLE credit pending approval. Registration opens soon.

Don Blackwell, who has written and spoken extensively on issues relating to mental health and professionalism, will share an account of the personal challenges that often overlay our already highly stressful and demanding professional lives as attorneys – challenges that not only can affect our own professionalism, but be profoundly impacted by the professionalism or lack of professionalism of others.  He will highlight the alarming statistics relating to attorney mental health, discuss commons triggers and signs of depression, anxiety, substance use disorders, and eating disorders, before suggesting everyday practices that attorneys can utilize to be more mindful of their and their colleagues’ (friends and foes) mental and emotional well-being and, in the process, enhance everyone’s level of professionalism.  He will conclude by educating attendees on the myriad resources that exist through The Florida Bar to assist those in need of mental health counseling, support, and professional guidance.

The goals of this presentation are fivefold:

  1. To share a firsthand account of the personal challenges that often overlay our already highly stressful and demanding professional lives;
  2. To highlight the alarming statistics relating to attorney mental health;
  3. To discuss common triggers and signs of depression, anxiety, substance use disorders, and eating disorders;
  4. To suggest everyday practices that attorneys can utilize to be more mindful of their and their colleagues’ (friends and foes) mental and emotional well-being; and
  5. To educate attendees on the myriad of resources that exist through The Florida Bar to assist those in need of mental health counseling, support, and professional guidance

Donald A. BlackwellDon Blackwell is a trial lawyer at Bowman and Brooke, LLP, in Lake Mary, who, for the past 38 years has defended designers, manufacturers, and retailers of automobiles, watercraft, medical devices, power tools, heavy equipment, chemicals, and friction products in personal injury and wrongful death actions. He earned his Bachelor’s in English with Honors from Spring Hill College and his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law. Don has written and spoken extensively on issues relating to mental health and professionalism, including several articles that have appeared in The Professional: “Compassionate Professionalism,” “The Time Has Come to Give Mental Health’s No. 1 Killer a Seat at the Table,” “Who Cries at Texas Roadhouse,” “The Help Desk,” and “The Price of Needing to Be Right.”


Trust Accounting for Solo and Small Firms: How TrustBooks Can Help Streamline the Process
Jul 27 @ 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Free Wednesday Wisdom Zoom CLE that is open to all members of The Florida Bar. Presented by Tom Boyle, CPA and Co-founder TrustBooks, Raleigh. Course number and 1.0 General CLE credit pending approval. Moderator: Renee E. Thompson, Upchurch, Watson, White & Max Mediation Group, Ocala. REGISTER

Join us to learn about the trust accounting needs of solo and small firms. Tom Boyle will explain how TrustBooks trust accounting software program, a Florida Bar member benefit, can help streamline the record-keeping process to help attorneys better maintain compliance.

CPA Tom Boyle, TrustBooks

Tom Boyle, CPA and Co-Founder of TrustBooks (now part of Paradigm):

  • CPA in NC – past experience with Deloitte & Touche and McGladrey & Pullen
  • Founded Boyle CPA, PLLC in April 2010 (sold CPA practice in June 2014).  Boyle CPA provided outsourced accounting services for small law firms.
  • Presented over 100 webinars and CLE presentations on trust accounting and legal accounting to over 10,000 attorneys and legal staff over the past 5 years.
  • Co-founder of TrustBooks – software created specifically to help attorneys manage, record, and reconcile their trust accounts. TrustBooks was acquired by Paradigm in January 2022 and now helps lead the TrustBooks team at Paradigm.
FREE CLE: Professionalism Tips From the Bench
Aug 10 @ 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

August 10, 12 – 1 PM, free Wednesday Wisdom Zoom webinar for Solo & Small Firm Section members.* Presented by General Magistrate Jennifer Kuyrkendall Griffin; other panelists to be announced. Course number and 1.0 General; 1.0 Professionalism credit pending.
*Registration will be approved when section membership is confirmed. REGISTER

Lessons from “50 Lessons for Happy Lawyers: Boost wellness. Build resilience. Yes, you can!”
Aug 16 @ 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Live GoToWebinar presented by Nora Riva Bergman, JD, Tarpon Springs; and Chelsy A. Castro, JD, MA, AM, LSCW, Chicago. Moderator: Michelle Garcia Gilbert, Tampa. Course number and 1.0 General; 1.0 Mental Illness Awareness CLE credit pending. Section members register for only $50.

Join Nora Bergman and Chelsy Castro, authors of the new book 50 Lesson for Happy Lawyers, as they share research-based strategies that will help you increase your personal and professional happiness. The lessons in this book—written by lawyers for lawyers—will show you how to take small steps each day to boost your wellness, well-being, and resilience to live a happier, healthier life.

Nora BergmanNora Riva Bergman is the creator of the 50 Lessons for Lawyers book series designed to support lawyers throughout every stage of their careers. A licensed attorney since 1992, Nora has been a Certified Atticus Practice Advisor since 2006. She has coached lawyers across the country and brings a deep understanding of the practice and business of law to her work with lawyers, law firms, and bar associations. Before her work as an author and business coach, she practiced as an employment law attorney and certified mediator and has served as an adjunct professor at both Stetson University College of Law and the University of South Florida.

Chelsy A. CastroChelsy A. Castro is CEO and Founder of Castro Jacobs Psychotherapy and Consulting (CJPC), a firm specializing in lawyer well-being. An attorney-turned-psychotherapist and performance coach, Chelsy counsels individuals and the organizations they work for on how to achieve their goals in healthy and productive ways. Chelsy’s publications and trainings focus on science-based skills and strategies for improving performance and increasing well-being in high-pressure professions.

After practicing law as a multilingual attorney in the field of international regulatory compliance, Chelsy later earned her clinical degree at the University of Chicago and shifted her focus to lawyer well-being. Prior to launching CJPC, Chelsy designed, developed, and managed clinical programs for the legal profession, and provided evidence-based psychotherapy and training for lawyers, judges, and law students.

Solo & Small Firm Section Executive Council Meeting @ JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa
Sep 9 @ 1:00 PM – Sep 10 @ 10:00 AM

Details coming soon.