Time Management Strategies & Life Hacks for the Productive, Professional Lawyer
Apr 20 @ 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

April 20, 12 – 1 PM Live GoToWebinar presented by Melanie Griffin, Of Counsel attorney at Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP, Tampa, and Senior Advisor, Business-to-Business Relationships of Shumaker Advisors Florida. Time Management Strategies & Life Hacks for the Productive, Professional Lawyer. Moderator:  Jennifer Kuyrkendall Griffin. Live InReach webinar. Course number 4278. 1.0 General; 1.0 General CLE, all of which may be applied toward Professionalism. REGISTER

Time. It is something we all want more of. Yet, no matter how hard we wish, there are only 24 hours in each day. During this virtual webinar, Melanie S. Griffin will help you stretch these 24 hours as far as possible. Together, we will develop a personal strategy that incorporates time management skills and other productive habits to become more effective, efficient, professional and happy lawyers who best serve ourselves, our clients and employers/employees, and the legal profession and justice system as a whole.

Melanie Griffin

Melanie S. Griffin, Esq. is a triple-graduate of The Florida State University (Business Finance, 2003; MBA, 2006; JD, 2006). Her entrepreneurial skills were honed for thirteen years at a prominent Florida corporate law firm where she served as a law clerk and then attorney from 2006-19, the last five years of which she was an Equity Shareholder and the Tampa Office Managing Partner. In 2019, Melanie joined Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP, an Am Law 200 firm that is the largest law firm in Tampa Bay, Of Counsel and Shumaker Advisors as Senior Advisor, Business-to-Business Relationships.

During her legal career, Melanie has served as the 2011-12 President of the Central Florida Association for Women Lawyers and 2013-14 President of The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division. In 2021-22, she will serve as President of the Hillsborough Association for Women Lawyers.

Melanie has been recognized as Florida’s Most Productive Young Lawyer (2009), FAWL Leader in the Law (2010), OBJ 40 Under 40 (2011), Super Lawyers Rising Star (Business Litigation 2010-20), Florida Trend Legal Elite (Up & Comer 2010-14, Commercial Litigation 2014-18), TBBJ BusinessWoman of the Year Legal Services Finalist (2016), FSU Notable Nole (2016), Tampa Bay Metro Inspiring Woman in Business (2016-17), FSU College of Business Recent Alumni Achievement Award (2017), and Best Lawyers in America (Commercial Litigation 2017-20). In 2019, Melanie assisted with the launch of Nora Riva Bergman’s book 50 Lessons for Women Lawyers from Women Lawyers at the New York City Bar Association. Her Lesson, Dream Beyond Perfection!, is published as Lesson #20.

Beyond her legal career, in 2017, Melanie created Spread Your Sunshine, her then passion project committed to empowering others with the confidence to break the glass ceiling and achieve their dreams. After two years of experiencing the excitement over and need for the #ShineItForward™ movement, Melanie is dedicated to intentionally focusing on the inspiration of joy in and encouragement of others.

Melanie’s success shining others through the glass ceiling to their most audacious dreams was celebrated through her receipt of the TBBJ BusinessWoman of the Year Angie Joseph Excellence in Mentorship Award (2016), GSWCF Woman of Promise Award (2017), FSU Inspire Award (2017), Florida Bar YLD Outstanding Woman Lawyer of Achievement Award (2018), KNOW Tampa Feature (2018), The Best of KNOW Feature (2019), Florida Bar SSFS Mentor of the Year Award (2019), Florida State University College of Law Alumni Association Service Award (2020), and KNOW Tampa Contributor Feature (2020).

Melanie is happiest when she is building up all those around her, including her husband Mike, son Maverick, and Golden Lab Molly.

Using EQ to Improve Your Life and Practice
Apr 28 @ 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

April 28, 12 – 1 PM Wednesday Wisdom Zoom webinar (free for Solo & Small Firm Section members)* presented by Rebecca Bandy, Director, The Henry Latimer Center for Professionalism at The Florida Bar. This interactive experience will explore mental health, wellness, and substance abuse issues facing legal professionals, particularly focused on solo and small firms; it will look at ways to minimize distractions and improve self-care; it will define emotional intelligence and its benefits; and it will give examples of mindfulness-based emotional intelligence practices that can be used personally and professionally to improve quality of life.” 1.0 General; 1.0 Professionalism; 1.0 Mental Illness CLE credit and course number pending. REGISTER

Rebecca Bandy

Rebecca J. Bandy serves as the Director of The Florida Bar’s Henry Latimer Center for Professionalism. She joined the Center as Assistant Director in March 2017.

Prior to joining The Florida Bar, Ms. Bandy was an associate attorney at the Law Offices of Thomas L. Powell, PA in Tallahassee, where she litigated in the areas of family and criminal law. She most recently taught college-level courses at Lawton Chiles High School, where she helped establish the school’s award-winning mock trial team along with The Honorable Mark Walker, The Honorable David Frank, and attorney David Grimes.

Ms. Bandy previously served as the Director of Alumni Relations at the Florida State University College of Business and as the Assistant Director of Alumni and Development at the Florida State University College of Law.

She earned her Juris Doctor from the Florida State University College of Law. A native of the tiny town of Hilliard in Nassau County, Florida, she earned her Bachelor’s in Communications with Honors from Jacksonville University and her teaching credentials at Georgia Southern University.

Since becoming director, Ms. Bandy has attended the National Legal Mentoring Symposium in Columbia, South Carolina; the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute at Georgetown University; the National Mindfulness Summit in Washington, DC; and has received a Mental Health First Aid certificate. She currently serves on the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Professionalism. She regularly speaks to legal professionals, law school students, and Florida Bar staff on general professionalism, mindfulness-based emotional intelligence, the impacts of loneliness, mentoring, networking, gratitude, resilience, interpersonal communications skills, active listening, implicit bias, and team building.

Ms. Bandy is active in her church, is a community volunteer at an area elementary school, and she has supported causes including the March of Dimes, Epilepsy Association of the Big Bend, the Holocaust Education Resource Council (HERC), The Kearney Center, and Honor Flight Tallahassee.

Virtual Business Development – Developing Relationships, On and Offline
May 11 @ 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

May 11, 12 – 1 PM Live GotoWebinar presented by Frank Ramos, Managing Partner, Clarke Silverglate, P.A. of Miami. In “Virtual Business Development – Developing Relationships, On and Offline,” Frank will discuss how attorneys can maximize online platforms for business development and use relationships created online into in person professional relationships. Moderator:  Scott Meryl. Course number 4502. Approved for 1.0 General; 1.0 Technology CLE credit. REGISTER

Frank Ramos

Frank is the Managing Partner of Clarke Silverglate, where he practices in the areas of commercial litigation, drug and medical device, products liability and catastrophic personal injury.  He is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell and is listed in Best Lawyers in America for his defense work in product liability matters.  Frank has been with Clarke Silverglate for virtually his entire career.  He has tried to verdict personal injury, medical malpractice, product liability, and inverse condemnation cases.  As a certified mediator, Frank has resolved numerous matters through alternative dispute resolution.

Frank is an ambassador for the Firm’s mission of leadership and service.  He has been President of the Florida Defense Lawyers Association and the 11th Judicial Historical Society and has served on the boards of the Defense Research Institute, Florida International University’s Alumni Association, Florida International University’s Honors College, Parent to Parent of Miami, Miami-Dade Defense Bar Association, Legal Services of Greater Miami, and Florida Christian School.  He serves as a mentor to countless young lawyers and law students through his publications, social media posts, presentations, webinars, and his “coffee chats.”  Frank has written 15 books for lawyers, edited five books for lawyers,  and has written over 400 articles for lawyers and business professionals.

Franks’s dedication to young lawyers is exemplified through his development of a Deposition Boot Camp and Art of Marketing Program for the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel, an invitation-only defense organization that handpicked Frank for membership just eight years into his practice.  Frank’s daily practice pointers and business tips on LinkedIn has almost 35,000 followers.

In his spare time, Frank enjoys writing, reading science fiction, and listening to his two sons, David and Michael, perform classical and jazz music.



Court Reporting: Technology and Ethics
May 19 @ 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

May 19, 12 – 1 PM, free Wednesday Wisdom Zoom webinar for Solo & Small Firm Section members.* Presented by Christine Phipps, Registered Professional Reporter, President of Phipps Reporting, Inc. of West Palm Beach. The court reporting profession, like the legal profession, has ethical issues and considerations to manage. This is especially relevant with the increase in use of technology, virtual depositions and hearings, and online notarization and swearing-in for the record. This CLE additionally will cover issues including gifting, confidentially, professionalism, methodologies and ethical challenges and how court reporters and office staff can maintain a professional and ethical setting. Course number 4441. Approved for 1.0 General; 1.0 Technology CLE credit. *Registration will be approved when section membership is confirmed. REGISTER

Christine Phipps

Christine Phipps is a Registered Professional Reporter, President of Phipps Reporting, Inc., and current President of the National Court Reporters Association.  She received her degree in court reporting from Broward State College.  She started out as an official court reporter for the first two years of her career and then spent the next 15 years working all over the world as a freelance court reporter. After building relationships all over the country, Christine opened her own court reporting and litigation support agency, Phipps Reporting.  In addition to reporting, Christine is also an Eclipse Trainer and has served as Chair of NCRA’s Technology and Freelance Committees and served on many other committees. Christine was awarded the 2014 Most Enterprising Woman of the Year, Gamechanger of the Year, and Small Business Woman-Owned Person of the Year.  Christine’s company, Phipps Reporting, made the Inc. 5000 list every year since 2014, making her the first Honorary member of the Inc. 5000 in our industry.  She currently resides in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida and has three children; Brandon, Jarrod and Skylar and her grandson, Forrest.

In addition to reporting, Christine is also an Eclipse Trainer and has served as Chair of NCRA’s Technology Freelance Committee, as well as other Committees within the NCRA.

Florida Law Update 2021
Jun 10 @ 7:55 AM – 4:25 PM

June 10, 7:55 AM – 4:25 PM. Statutory updates in several key areas of Florida law. 8.0 General CLE Credits Pending

Free CLE for Section Members: Managing Up: A Primer on Interfacing with Young Attorneys
Jun 23 @ 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Free CLE for Solo & Small Firm Section Members. Registration will be approved when section membership is confirmed. Wednesday Wisdom Zoom webinar. 1.0 General CLE credit and course number pending. REGISTER

Managing Up: A Primer on Interfacing with Young Attorneys” is a research-based discussion for legal leaders seeking to enhance and engage young attorneys.  Hear from new practitioners in a variety of industries and legal educators on cultivating, retaining, and maximizing the potential of the young attorneys in your workforce.  After several major shifts in the law practice landscape in light of COVID-19, join this insightful panel discussion as the Solo & Small Firm Section re-examines traditional best practices on how to on-board and enhance new attorneys, and hear candid advice on how to innovate your law model.

Moderator:  Diriki Geuka, Associate, Townsend & Lockett, LLC

1) Professor Alicia Jackson, Stetson University College of Law, Gulfport, will discuss her research on how law entities can better engage new attorneys.
2) Brijesh Patel, Seminole County Attorney’s Office, Sanford, former in-house attorney, transactional attorney, government practice.
3) Zoila Lahera, Associate, Macfarlane Ferguson & McMullen, Tampa, second-year litigation & appellate attorney, private practice.
4) Ian Dankelman, Associate, Freeborn & Peters LLP, Tampa, former federal judicial law.

Diriki T. Geuka, Moderator

Diriki T. Geuka, Moderator

Diriki Geuka is an Associate in Townsend & Lockett, LLC’s transactional practice group, where he works 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, community volunteer, and currently serves as a member of Morris Brown’s President’s Advisory Board.




Professor Alicia R. Jackson, Panelist

Professor Alicia R. Jackson, Panelist

Professor Alicia Jackson is a member of the law faculty and the Director of Academic Success and Bar Preparation Services at Stetson University College of Law. Before joining Stetson, she was the Associate Dean for Student Learning and Assessment at her previous institution. Professor Jackson’s presentations, publications, and scholarship interests include racial equity and bias in education, cultural competency, generational learning, and educational psychology. Professor Jackson also served on the research team that published, in 2020, Building a Better Bar: The Twelve Building Blocks of Minimum Competence, sponsored by the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System.  She also co-authored Contemporary Teaching Strategies: Effectively Engaging Millennials Across the Curriculum.





Brijesh Patel, Panelist

Brijesh Patel, Panelist

Brijesh Patel is a Seminole Assistant County Attorney and graduated from Florida A&M University College of Law in 2012. He is a transactional attorney in city, county, and local government law providing counsel to multiple departments in Seminole County. He has prior experience in the private sector in the legal departments of Universal Orlando and Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy and in the public sector with the Office of Regional Conflict Counsel and the Pinellas County Attorney’s Office. Mr. Patel also currently serves as Chair of the Student Education/Admissions to the Bar Committee of the Florida Bar and is actively involved in the Diversity and Inclusion Committee and the Social Media Committee of the city, county, and local government section of the Florida Bar.




Zoila Lahera, Panelist

Zoila Lahera, Panelist

Zoila Lahera is a third-year associate in MacFarlane Ferguson & McMullen’s litigation group, where she represents clients in a variety of complex civil, professional, insurance, and business matters in state and federal courts.  Additionally, Zoila’s litigation practice emphasizes issues of fraud and malfeasance, in which Zoila provides representation to clients in whistleblower actions from detection, through fact-gathering, drafting complaints, litigation and appeals, all of which allow her to work cooperatively with governmental agencies to protect whistleblowers.  Zoila graduated from Stetson University College of Law in 2018, cum laude, in the top 15% of her class.  Born in Cuba, Zoila and her family were granted political asylum in the United States, for opposing the Castro regime, in 1996, and she speaks fluent English and Spanish.




Ian J. Dankelman, Panelist

Ian J. Dankelman, Panelist

Ian Dankelman is an Associate in the Litigation Practice Group at Freeborn & Peters, LLP.  Ian focuses his practice on complex commercial litigation. Ian graduated from the University of Florida Levin College of Law in 2014.  Before joining Freeborn, Ian counseled large commercial clients at a nationwide law firm that specialized in first-party property cases.  For nearly two years, Ian served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Elizabeth Kovachevich in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida. He began his legal career as an Assistant State Attorney in Florida’s Fourth Judicial Circuit, where he tried over a dozen jury trials to verdict.










Rhine River Cruise—Annual Out-of-Country CLE Trip
Aug 25 @ 8:00 AM – Sep 1 @ 5:00 PM

Solo & Small Firm Section Out-of-Country CLE Trip:  Tauck Rhine River Cruise—Aug. 25–Sept. 1, 2021. Please contact Jen Mitchell/Jen Mitchell Travel at 239-593-6101 or with any questions about the pricing and availability of this trip.

Join us aboard the MS Grace for a Tauck cruise along the breathtaking Rhine River from Amsterdam to Basel. Your Tauck experience includes all gratuities to ship staff, drivers, local guides, Tauck Directors and the Tauck Cruise Director. In addition, it includes all private Tauck shore excursions and distinctive inclusions, a $1,640 value.

The MS Grace accommodates a maximum of 130 guests at a time, transporting fewer passengers than most riverboats of comparable size in Europe. Cabin beds are fitted with 400-thread satin bed linen, mako cotton pillows, 100% cotton blankets and thick pillow-top mattresses. Of the 67 cabins, we offer 22 Tauck suites of 300 square feet and additional amenities including roomy walk-in closets and spacious bathrooms.

Trip Highlights:

  • Value choices of bicycle excursions in Strasbourg & Koblenz.
  • Scenic sailing through the historic castles and winelands of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Private family-style farm-to-table dinner in the country at the Ecolut-Center, dedicated to forest sustainability.
  • Sightseeing in Koblenz or bicycling along the Rhine River through forest and winelands.
  • Visit to the Alsatian cultural capital of Strasbourg.
  • In the Black Forest spa town of Baden-Baden, a walking tour or a world-class spa visit.
  • Climbing to Mt. Pilatus on the world’s steepest cogwheel train or a wine tasting in the Alsatian hills.
  • Visits to Speyer’s Cathedral & Technik Museum or Heidelberg’s famed hillside castle.
  • Explorations in Köln (Cologne) & Basel – contemporary cities rich with Rhine history & art.
  • Unlimited complimentary beverages aboard ship include regional wine, beer and premium spirits in addition to specialty coffee, water and soft drinks.
  • Airport transfers arrival and departure as noted.
  • 20 meals; service charges, taxes, porterage and applicable fuel surcharges.

2021 OOC CLE Trip

Tauck is 95 years young this year, and their ability to weather many storms over the decades is a result of their values and beliefs—as a family and as a family-owned and led company. Building upon their bedrock of award-winning guest care, Tauck has worked tirelessly to prepare for your return following the COVID-19 hiatus in travel. With guidance from leading experts, including the CDC and WHO, together with our internal Global Response Team and, most importantly, with feedback from thousands of our guests, we have redefined how we will conduct our experiences as we resume travel.