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Class Actions October 2016

NSU Law Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient - Summer Robertson (Hackley)

Each year, NSU celebrates alumni from various disciplines who have achieved outstanding success in their careers. The Distinguished Alumni Awards honor those alumni serve their professions and communities by demonstrating what can be accomplished through hard work and dedication to our core values.
This year NSU Shepard Broad College of Law recognizes Summer Robertson (Hackley), BS 1997, JD 2000. Robertson is a managing partner with Hackley and Robertson and recognized three times as one of Broward’s 100 Outstanding Women.


Reed B. McClosky was appointed to the City of Plantation Planning and Zoning Board.


Holly Gayle Gershon is the 2016-2017 secretary of the South Palm Beach County Bar Association. 


The Honorable Renee M. Goldenberg’s decision concerning a change to the Broward teenager’s birth certificate by the Florida Department of Health was highlighted in a Miami Herald news article on September 29, 2016.


Paul Novack is currently lead investigator in the pro bono public service civilian investigation of the 1966 kidnapping of Danny Goldman from Surfside, FL. Novack was the mayor of Surfside, FL from 1992 to 2004 and a member of the Florida State Board for oversight of the Miami-Dade County Public Schools 2001 until 2003.


Maria C. Mitropoulos-Gonzales, Immediate Past-Chair of The Florida Bar Family Law Section, presented the sections gift of $5000 to the Women’s Fund of Miami-Dade.


Howard E. Nelson was an instructor at “Riding the RBCA Wave of Change” at the Florida Chamber Foundation 30th Annual Environmental Permitting Summer School in Orlando, FL. 


Israel U. Reyes was reappointed by Governor Rick Scott to the Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission


Patricia Alexander was sworn in as the 55th President of the South Palm Beach County Bar Association by Chief Judge Jeffrey Colbath (JD 1982) of the 15th Judicial Circuit.


John E. Eckard II has become a certified Florida Supreme Court Circuit/Civil Court Mediator.

Elisha D. Roy was selected for the Leadership Palm Beach County Engage Class.

Gary M. Singer was awarded the 2016 2016 Award for Excellence in the Promotion of Board Certification for the weekly radio show “Legal News and Review” along with Charles Morehead.


Ricardo A. Gomez has joined Hightower, Stratton, Novigrod, Kantor in Miami, FL focusing on premises liability and commercial transportation defense. Gomez is the division leader with the Miami office. 


Jennifer Wigand Hilal, of the Broward State Attorney’s Office, has been appointed to replace Broward County Judge Alan Marks, who retired in June 2016.  She current works as a supervisor in the felony trial unit, is a member of the hiring committee, and assists in training workshops in her unit at the Broward State Attorney’s Office.

Keith Sonderling, has been reappointed to the Judicial Nominating Commission for the Fourth District Court of Appeal by Governor Rick Scott. Additionally, Sonderling was elected by his peers to serve as chair of the commission through 2017.


Lawonda Warren, is an assistant city attorney and police legal advisor for the City of Delray Beach and President of the F. Malcolm Cunningham, Sr. Bar Association. Warren’s article “Legend Amongst Us: My Quest to Find the First Black Female Attorney to Practice Law in Palm Beach County” was featured in the October issue of the Palm Beach County Bar Association Bulletin.


Jamie K. Lint has been promoted to partner in the Miami office of Kelley Kronenberg. She focuses her practice on property and casualty claims, including first-party insurance defense. She has a bachelor’s in business administration from the University of South Florida and a J.D. from Nova Southeastern University.


Dane Leitner helped raise funds and school supplies with the Palm Beach County Bar Association Young Lawyers Section donation to a West Palm Beach Elementary School. 


Kendra Stephen, of Supra Legal Group in Fort Lauderdale, FL, was featured in Black Enterprise as one of the “Top 10 Black Female Attorneys You Should Know.” Stephan recently launched the only online directory of female lawyers,

Thomas Zeichman will be presenting “Appeals: Do You Know Where to Look and The Time In Which You Can File? (You Better)” at the November 18, 2016 Palm Beach County Bar Association Bankruptcy CLE in West Palm Beach.


Thasaian Jordan started his own private practice, Jordan Legal Group, in Miami, FL. The firm will host its grand opening on Friday, October 6th. Jordan Legal Group is a full-service business law firm specializing in collections and account management, regulatory compliance, litigation, and general civil matters.


Ellie S. Einhorn has joined Hightower, Stratton, Novigrod, Kantor in Miami, FL focusing on premises liability and commercial transportation defense.


Eric Aaronson has joined Arnstein & Lehr LLP in West Palm Beach, FL, as a member and lobbyist for the firm’s municipal & governmental practice group.

Mauricio Vaca has joined Hightower, Stratton, Novigrod, Kantor in West Palm Beach, FL, focusing on premises liability and commercial transportation defense.

NSU Law Board of Governors

Diana Santa Maria was presented with the Florida Justice Association 2016 Compassionate Gladiatrix Award. The award is presented to an individual who exemplifies “strength, skill, drive, and heart” and who can be described as an “unwavering advocate, a master of the trial, and a champion for victims.”

In Memoriam

Chris Byrd (JD 2008) peacefully passed away on September 8, 2016 from Fanconi Anemia. Chris was an outstanding environmental lawyer, beloved by NSU Law faculty and colleagues. He was well known in the FA community and served as a source of hope for those with FA as he lived a happy, successful adult life. Read his obituary at

“It is with heavy hearts that we relay the loss of our cherished friend and board member, Chris Byrd. Chris passed away peacefully last night at 11:50 eastern, surrounded by love and support from family and friends across the world. Chris was well known in the FA community -- He inspired hope, led by example, and showed us what it means to embrace life. The courage he showed this past year was not unlike the way he lived every day of his life. Chris had served as a board member with FARF since February 2012 but has been an important part the FA community for so much longer. He was a role model for those with FA, sharing his story and offering advice based on his own experience. For parents, he was a source of hope, offering them a glimpse into a future as a happy, successful adult. He was loved by many and will never be forgotten. He made the world a better place just by being in it, and we are better for having known him. Fly high, Byrdman.

The Board, Scientific Advisory Board and staff at Fanconi Anemia Research Fund”

Friends of Chris in the NSU community are establishing a “Christopher T. Byrd Environmental Law Fellowship” in his memory. Feel free to visit the NSU online giving form to designate a gift in Chris’ memory.

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