Compiled by Nathaniel Barr

/ Florida's Best Lawyers: Tampa Edition 2017


FROM THE HEADLINES:

► Burr & Forman: William J. Schifino, Jr. (arbitration; commercial litigation; litigation – securities, 2008) was sworn in as president of the Florida Bar Association on June 17, for the 2016-2017 term.

 Carlton Fields: Nathaniel L. Doliner (corporate governance law; corporate law; international mergers and acquisitions; mergers and acquisitions law; securities / capital markets law, 2005) completed his term as chair of the Florida Holocaust Museum’s board of directors. Doliner served the museum as board chair from 2014 to 2016 and as a board member from 2005 to 2014. George J. Meyer (construction law, 2006) received the 2016 Robert C. Scott Memorial Award from The Florida Bar’s real property, probate, and trust law section.

► Greenberg TraurigKimberly A. Mello (appellate practice, 2013) has been elected to a three-year term as vice president of the Humane Society of Tampa Bay.

 Holland & KnightLeonard H. Gilbert (bankruptcy and creditor debtor rights / insolvency and reorganization law; commercial litigation; equipment finance law; litigation – banking and finance; litigation – bankruptcy; litigation – real estate, 1993) was honored by the Hillsborough County Bar Association trial and litigation section with its 2016 Herbert G. Goldburg Award.

► Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick donated $2,900 to Bay Area Legal Services, which provides legal help to non-profits and low-income residents of the Tampa Bay area, and $580 to the local Salvation Army. The funds came from contributions by individual staff and attorneys, as part of the firm’s newly established “Leadership Shumaker” program.

REAL DEAL: 

Morgan Stanley to Pay

Johnson, Pope, Bokor, Ruppel & Burns firm managing partner Guy M. Burns (litigation – banking and finance; litigation – regulatory enforcement [SEC, telecom, energy]; litigation – securities; securities / capital markets law, 1999) and partner Scott C. Ilgenfritz (commercial litigation; litigation – securities; litigation – trusts and estates, 2012) were retained by the widow of Home Shopping Network co-founder Roy M. Speer to represent Speer’s estate and foundation in arbitration to determine whether Morgan Stanley and its employees mishandled the late entrepreneur’s accounts. Mr. Speer died in 2012 at the age of 80, and, according to the Tampa Bay Times, he had a nearly 12-year extramarital relationship with one of the stockbrokers accused of wrongdoing in the arbitration. 

The arbitration panel met numerous times with the concerned parties and their attorneys, including the attorneys from Johnson, Pope, Bokor, Rupple & Burns, and found Morgan Stanley, the stockbroker, and the branch manager guilty of numerous ethical violations including elder exploitation, breach of fiduciary duty, and constructive fraud. The panel awarded Roy M. Speer’s foundation and estate $32,840,000 in damages, plus costs and legal fees.


ON THE MOVE

In-House and Government:


 Akerman: Gregory M. McCoskey (bankruptcy and creditor debtor rights / insolvency and reorganization law, litigation – bankruptcy, 2008) was retained as part-time general counsel at both Mogean, Inc., a company that develops mobile phone apps, and Ideal Consolidated Companies, a consortium of real estate developers and companies in construction-related manufacturing and distribution industries.

► Bradley Arant Boult Cummings: Sharon Docherty Danco (banking and finance law; business organizations [including LLCs and partnerships]; corporate governance law; corporate law; securities / capital markets law; securities regulation, 2013) left the firm to become general counsel at Digital Hands, LLC, a Tampa-based, certified woman-owned business that provides cybersecurity solutions and support for private and public sector organizations.

 Matthews, Eastmoore, Hardy, Crauwels & Garcia: Hunter W. Carroll (commercial litigation, 2013) left the firm to become a judge on the 12th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida.

 ►Thompson, Sizemore, Gonzalez & Hearing: Marquis W. Heilig (litigation – labor and employment, 2016) left the firm to become vice president and corporate counsel at Bloomin’ Brands, Inc., which owns several large U.S. restaurant chains, including Outback Steakhouse and Carrabba’s Italian Grill.

Private Practice:

 Allen DellPhilip S. Wartenberg (family law, 2016) joined the firm from his solo practice at Wartenberg Law Group.

► Brinks Gilson & Lione: Alejandro J. Fernandez (litigation – intellectual property; litigation – patent, 2016) joined firm’s Tampa office. He was previously at Feldman Gale.

► Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney: Dilip Patel (immigration law, 2006) joined the firm from Shutts & Bowen.

► Moyer Law Group: Jason Moyer (commercial litigation, 2015) founded the new firm in St. Petersburg. He was previously at Banker Lopez Gassler.

 Savills Studley: Christopher J. Stephens (corporate law, 2013) joined the firm from Hill Ward Henderson.

► Zinober Diana: Fredric S. Zinober (commercial litigation; litigation – labor and employment, 2010) co-founded the new St. Petersburg-based firm. He was previously at Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer.

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NOTE Lawyers listed in Best Lawyers are indicated by their selected practice area(s) in parentheses along with the first year they were included in the Best Lawyers list. To be included in next year’s In the News feature, please email us your news at: news@bestlawyers.com.