Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Ft. Lauderdale attorney Eugene K. Pettis has been elected President-elect of The Florida Bar for 2012-2013, eight lawyers are running for four seats on the Board of Governors and 20 lawyers were elected to the board without opposition when the filing period ended on Dec. 15.

Pettis, who will be the first African American president in Florida Bar history, will be sworn in as president-elect at the Bar's annual convention in June 2012, when Tampa attorney Gwynne Alice Young will be sworn in as president. Pettis will become Bar president in 2013.

A founding partner of Haliczer Pettis & Schwamm, Pettis is a trial attorney who has been practicing law since 1985.

"The reach of the Bar and its members' contributions to public good is unparalleled," said Pettis. "Through my travels across the state, I have seen hundreds of lawyers who are using their skills in service to their communities. These observations have ignited in me even greater pride in our Bar."

Incumbents reelected without opposition for two-year terms are:

Stephen Herre Echsner, Pensacola -- 1st Circuit, Seat 1

William Howard Davis, Tallahassee -- 2nd Circuit, Seat 2

Clay A. Schnitker, Madison -- 3rd Circuit, Seat 1

Samuel Grier Wells, Jacksonville -- 4th Circuit, Seat 1

Andrew Blaise Sasso, Clearwater -- 6th Circuit, Seat 1

Sandra C. Upchurch, Daytona Beach -- 7th Circuit, Seat 1

Mary Ann Morgan, Winter Park -- 9th Circuit, Seat 1

C. Richard "Rick" Nail, Lakeland -- 10th Circuit, Seat 1

Ramon A. Abadin, Miami -- 11th Circuit, Seat 1

Leslie J. Lott, Coral Gables -- 11th Circuit, Seat 3

Dennis G. Kainen, Miami -- 11th Circuit, Seat 5

John H. "Jack" Hickey, Miami -- 11th Circuit, Seat 7

William J. Schifino, Jr., Tampa -- 13th Circuit, Seat 1

Michael S. Hooker, Tampa -- 13th Circuit, Seat 4

John W. Manuel, Panama City -- 14th Circuit, Seat 1

David C. Prather, West Palm Beach -- 15th Circuit, Seat 1

Michelle R. Suskauer, West Palm Beach -- 15th Circuit, Seat 3

Jay Cohen, Ft. Lauderdale -- 17th Circuit, Seat 4

Ian M. Comisky, Philadelphia -- Out-of-State, Seat 2

Brian D. Burgoon, Atlanta -- Out-of-State, Seat 4

Contested races are in four circuits:

9th Circuit, Seat 3 - Patrick T. Christiansen, Orlando and incumbent Scott Ramsey McMillen, Orlando

17th Circuit, Seat 1 - Lorna E. Brown-Burton, Ft. Lauderdale and incumbent Walter G. "Skip" Campbell, Jr., Ft. Lauderdale

18th Circuit, Seat 1 - O. John Alpizar, Palm Bay and Roshani Mala Gunewardene, Altamonte Springs

20th Circuit, Seat 1 - Incumbent Laird A. Lile, Naples and Matthew A. Linde, Ft. Myers

Circuit races are voted upon by members in good standing of the circuit. Ballots will be mailed March 1 and are due March 21 at midnight. Voters will have the option of voting online in lieu of returning the paper ballot.

The Bar's Board of Governors has exclusive authority to formulate and adopt matters of policy concerning the activities of the Bar, subject to limitations imposed by The Rules Regulating The Florida Bar. The board consists of the Bar president and president-elect, the president and president-elect of the Young Lawyers Division, representatives elected by members of the Bar from each of the state's 20 judicial circuits, four out-of-state representatives elected by Florida Bar members who reside outside of Florida, and two public members appointed by the Florida Supreme Court. The Florida Bar currently has more than 93,000 members.


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