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Nancy Abudu

Nancy Abudu joined the ACLU of Florida as the Legal Director in 2013.  Prior to becoming Legal Director, Nancy served as senior staff counsel with the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project where she litigated civil rights cases in federal and state courts, and provided legal advice to ACLU affiliates around the country, cooperating attorneys, and others seeking assistance and information on issues such as felon disfranchisement, redistricting, challenges to photo ID and proof of citizenship laws, and general enforcement of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

She began her legal career as an associate with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP in New York in the Products Liability/Mass Tort department.  During her time with the firm, she was also a Skadden Extern with the Legal Aid Society of New York and represented victims of domestic violence under the Violence Against Women Act.  Her professional experience also includes being a staff attorney with the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, serving as an International Election Observer for the Organization of Security and Co-operation in Europe, and testifying on behalf of environmental justice groups before the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.

Prior to moving to Miami, she was the Chair of the Georgia Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild and served on the advisory board for Re-Entry Connection, Inc. (a holistic rehabilitation program for female ex-offenders).  She was also co-chair of the Political Action Committee for the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys and served as a state legislative coordinator for Amnesty International USA.  She currently serves on the ABA’s Advisory Commission to the Standing Committee on Election Law, and is a Senior Fellow with the Environmental Leadership Program based in Washington, D.C.

She received her B.A. from Columbia University, her J.D. from Tulane Law School, and she is admitted to practice in Florida, New York, Georgia, the U.S. Supreme Court, and several other federal courts.

Michael Barfield

Michael Barfield is a legal consultant with expertise in the areas of civil rights litigation and the enforcement of open government laws.
[wpex more="Read more" less="Read less"]He assisted in the landmark litigation against the City of Venice that resulted in a consent decree and the largest attorney fee award for violations of Florida’s open government laws. Michael is Vice-President of the ACLU-FL state Board of Directors and has served on the Board since 2007. He is actively involved in the Sarasota-Manatee-Desoto Chapter and also serves on the state Legal Panel. He is a life member of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and received the President’s Extra Mile award in 2008 for work related to indigent criminal defense.

Randall C. Berg, Jr.

Randall C. Berg, Jr., was hired by leaders of the private bar in 1978 to establish and direct the Florida Justice Institute.
[wpex more="Read more" less="Read less"]Since that time, Randy has been involved in numerous individual and major statewide class action lawsuits for injunctive relief and damages aimed at improving Florida’s prisons and jails, as well as numerous other large impact cases for the poor in the areas of housing discrimination, disabilities, and for violations of Floridians’ civil rights and civil liberties. He also established and directs the Volunteer Lawyers’ Project for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. He previously established and directed the Public Interest Law Bank (now known as “Put Something Back”) for the Dade County Bar Association. He was a consultant to the ABA and LSC to establish other pro bono programs nationwide. Randy worked for years to develop our nation’s first interest on lawyers’ trust account (IOLTA) program in Florida, established and initially staffed the offices of The Florida Bar Foundation after IOLTA commenced operation, and then assisted nationwide in establishing IOLTA programs and defending the constitutionality of IOLTA as the Executive Director and founder of the National IOLTA Clearinghouse and later as Legal Counsel for the National Association of IOLTA Programs (NAIP). Randy is past Chairman of the Corrections Committee of The Florida Bar, past President and Legal Panel Chair of the ACLU of Florida, and is an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Miami School of Law. Randy wrote and continues to publish the Older Floridians Handbook: Laws and Programs Affecting Older Floridians. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the George Mason University School of Law.

Cassandra Capobianco

Cassandra Capobianco is the Director of the Florida Institutional Legal Services Project of Florida Legal Services.
[wpex more="Read more" less="Read less"]She has dedicated her career to providing legal services to the most vulnerable people in the state of Florida, including at-risk children and children and adults in prisons and other state institutions. As an attorney with Florida Institutional Legal Services (FILS) and then Florida Legal Services, Cassandra has litigated and advocated extensively on behalf of institutionalized people, with a focus on prohibiting extended solitary confinement and guaranteeing humane treatment and medical/mental health care. Her advocacy has resulted in ground-breaking, favorable Eleventh Circuit decisions on behalf of prisoners with mental illnesses, prisoners with disabilities, and transgender prisoners. Cassandra began her career with FILS as an Equal Justice Works fellow. Cassandra graduated with honors from the American University Washington College of Law in Washington, D.C. She is a member of the bars of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, the United States District Courts for the Northern, Middle, and Southern Districts of Florida, and the Florida Bar, and she has appeared before the U.S. District of Massachusetts. Cassandra has provided trainings nationwide on trial skills and civil rights litigation.

George W. Castrataro

George W. Castrataro’s career in advocacy and legal services has spanned more than 15 years.
[wpex more="Read more" less="Read less"] Before starting his own law firm, Mr. Castrataro served as an assistant director for the Florida Department of Health and a supervising attorney at Legal Aid of Broward County. He continues to serve the community in his law practice. The Law Offices of George Castrataro, P.A., is devoted to helping individuals protect their rights in foreclosure, the workplace and in their everyday lives. Mr. Castrataro feels honored to be in the position to provide pro bono legal services to many nonprofit organizations throughout the state. Since the firm was founded, it has contributed more than $450,000 in services and donations. In 2013, he was nominated and selected as a 2013 Rising Star by Florida Super Lawyers. He was honored with the same award again in 2014. He received his Juris Doctor and Masters in Public Health from Florida International University College of Law.

Sui Chung

Sui Chung is an attorney with Immigration Law & Litigation Group, and in 2012, was awarded the Michael Maggio Memorial Pro Bono Award for her outstanding efforts in providing pro bono representation in the immigration field. As President-Elect of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
[wpex more="Read more" less="Read less"]Ms. Chung has led the creation and implementation of the AILA Krome Mental Incompetency Project and AILA Broward Transitional Center Bond Project, managed numerous citizenship and immigration drives, organized and presented trainings for pro bono attorneys, and established effective mechanisms for intake, distribution, and matching of attorneys with indigent detained and non-detained immigrants. By creating numerous and meaningful opportunities for AILA attorneys to serve the most needy immigrants, she has amplified the effectiveness of her personal mission to pro bono service, as well as her chapter's efforts to offer its assistance in championing causes of the most vulnerable of our population. Ms. Chung has also represented many individual clients by offering pro bono appellate representation to immigrants in removal proceedings, and has tirelessly briefed dozens of appeals and served as counsel for immigrants detained throughout the country. In addition, she has organized and led several larger service projects, in which she engages members of the Bar to serve indigent communities. She provides legal orientation to volunteers of other community-based organizations and trainings to law enforcement regarding immigration relief available for victims of crime. She serves on the Legal Needs of Children Committee of the Florida Bar, and has integrated an immigration component into the committee's annual convention. Upon receiving her law degree, she was selected for the United States Department of Justice Attorneys General Honors and was assigned to serve at the Board of Immigration Appeals. She received her Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center, and Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Music degrees from Oberlin College and Oberlin Conservatory of Music.

Roseanne Eckert

Roseanne Eckert, a graduate of the Florida State University College of Law and board certified criminal trial attorney, joined the Office of the Public Defender in the Ninth Judicial Circuit in 1996.
[wpex more="Read more" less="Read less"]In 2004, Ms. Eckert began work at the Office of the Capital Collateral Regional Counsel - South where she represented indigent death-sentenced inmates in their postconviction litigation and appeals in both state and federal courts including the U.S. Supreme Court. She became interested in juvenile sentencing issues when she began to make a connection between high stakes testing and the school-to-prison-pipeline. Ms. Eckert is now the Coordinating Attorney for the Florida Juvenile Resentencing and Review Project housed at the FIU College of Law. She is a current member of the ACLU of Florida.

Jeff Hearne

Jeff Hearne is the Director of Litigation at Legal Services of Greater Miami, Inc. and the Advocacy Director for the Tenants' Rights Project.
[wpex more="Read more" less="Read less"]Legal Services is the largest provider of free, civil legal assistance for the low-income community. In his practice, Jeff represents low-income tenants, with a significant focus on the rights of those families living in subsidized housing. In 2011 he was named among Florida's Legal Elite - a high honor given to only the top 2 percent of government and non-profit attorneys in the state. Jeff is also a Director of the University of Miami School of Law’s Tenants' Rights Clinic. He attended the University of Texas School of Law.

Osamudia James

Osamudia James is the Vice Dean & Professor of Law, University of Miami School of Law.
[wpex more="Read more" less="Read less"]Professor James received a B.A cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania in 2001, a J.D. cum laude from the Georgetown University Law Center in 2004, and an LL.M. from the University of Wisconsin Law School, where she served as a William H. Hastie Fellow from 2006 to 2008. Previously, she was an associate with King & Spalding in Washington, DC. She writes and teaches in the areas of Education Law, Race and the Law, Administrative Law, and Torts. Her scholarship explores the interaction of law and identity in the context of public education, and some of her more recent work includes "White Like Me: The Diversity Rationale's Negative Impact on White Identity Formation," published in the New York University Law Review, and "Opt-Out Education: School Choice as Racial Subordination," published in the Iowa Law Review. Her media commentary also focuses on identity, and has been printed in the pages of the New York Times, The Washington Post, and other outlets. Professor James is a co-recipient of the 2014 Derrick A. Bell, Jr. Award, was named in April of 2015 to Lawyers of Color's 50 Under 50 List, and was selected by Legacy Miami Magazine as one of South Florida's Top Black Educators.

Donald Jones

Donald Jones is a Baltimore native and a graduate of the New York University School of Law.
[wpex more="Read more" less="Read less"]He teaches Constitutional Law, Criminal Procedure, and Employment Discrimination at the University of Miami School of Law. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Miami in 1988, Professor Jones served as a Reginald Heber Smith fellow at Legal Services in Baltimore, Maryland, and later as a Clinical Instructor at the Antioch School of Law in Washington, D.C. Subsequently, Professor Jones served as Senior Trial Attorney for the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Professor Jones' numerous articles on the civil and political rights of minorities appear in leading legal journals. Most recently Professor Jones published Race, Sex, and Suspicion: The Myth of the Black Male (Praeger2005). In 1995 Professor Jones was co-chair with Angela Harris and Eric Yamamoto of the Critical-Race Theory workshop. In 1997 Professor Jones was awarded the James Thomas prize by Yale University, recognizing him as one of the leading scholars in the country for that year. Professor Jones has lectured nationally for many years. Representative presentations include lectures in connection with Critical Theory - at both Yale and Harvard; race and psychology at the Law and Society Association; Constitutional Law generally before Association of Florida State Judges, 2003, the keynote Speech to the legal panel at the N.A.A.C.P. Annual Conference in 2003, and a presentation at St. John's law school in connection with equal educational opportunity and the LSAT in September 2005.

Stephanie Langer

Stephanie Langer has been practicing law since 1998. She began her legal career in the Miami Dade County State Attorney’s Office as an Assistant State Attorney.
[wpex more="Read more" less="Read less"] Stephanie spent nine years working in private practice litigating cases involving disability discrimination, civil rights violations, fair housing issues, employment discrimination and education in administrative, state and federal courts. Stephanie then had the prestigious honor of working for two years at the Southern Poverty Law Center as a staff attorney focused primarily on state wide education issues. Stephanie left the Southern Poverty Law Center to open Langer Law, P.A. in May of 2014. Stephanie is admitted to practice law in Florida, Georgia, New York and New Jersey. She is also permitted to appear in the U.S. District Court in Florida’s Southern and Middle Districts. Stephanie attended college at Syracuse University in New York (’90) and law school at The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law in Washington, D.C. (’98). Stephanie was also a U.S. Congressional Page for Congressman Claude Pepper in 1988 and selected to work for Senator Bill Bradley’s PAC, Participation 2000 in 1994.

Michael Masinter

Michael Masinter joined the Shepard Broad College of Law faculty in 1978; he teaches Employment Discrimination Law, Civil Rights Litigation, Constitutional Law, Civil Procedure and Negotiable Instruments.
[wpex more="Read more" less="Read less"] He has also taught Federal Courts, Evidence, Sales, and Antitrust. He is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, and the Trial Bar for the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Middle Districts of Florida. Professor Masinter was principal author of the original edition of Federal Practice for Legal Services Attorneys. He writes regularly on the rights of students with disabilities in higher education. For the past 20 years, he has chaired the Legal Panel of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, Inc. and throughout his 40 years as a member of the Florida Bar has specialized in civil rights and civil liberties litigation both before trial courts and the courts of appeals. He lectures regularly for the Florida Bar, the ACLU, the Association on Higher Education and Disability, and served on the Editorial Advisory Board for Section 504 Compliance Handbook when it was published by Thompson Publishing. Before joining the College of Law faculty, Professor Masinter was Director of Litigation for Florida Rural Legal Services, Inc.

JoNel Newman

JoNel Newman, professor of clinical legal education, received her B.A. with honors, summa cum laude from the University of Missouri where she was awarded the William E. Kemp Prize in Literature.
[wpex more="Read more" less="Read less"]She received her J.D. from Yale Law School, where she was a senior editor of the Yale Law Journal. After clerking for Judge R. Lanier Anderson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, she was a partner in the firm of Garrison, Silbert & Arterton in New Haven, Connecticut where she had a civil rights, plaintiff’s employment law and labor practice. Professor Newman subsequently worked at the Connecticut Civil Liberties Union Foundation and the Florida Justice Institute, acting as lead counsel in numerous First Amendment political and civil rights, law reform, immigration and prisoner litigation cases, as well as at Florida Legal Services, where she was responsible for providing litigation support to legal services organizations throughout Florida and for the litigation of Migrant Farmworker Justice Project cases. In 2001, she received the John Minor Wisdom Public Service and Professionalism Award from the ABA Section of Litigation and the Steven M. Goldstein Award for Excellence from the Florida Bar Foundation for her advocacy on behalf of disabled immigrants.

Martha Pardo

Martha Pardo joined LatinoJustice PRLDEF in July 2014 as the Associate Counsel for LatinoJustice PRLDEF’s Southeast Regional Office in Orlando, FL.
[wpex more="Read more" less="Read less"]Martha’s work focuses on civil and voting rights. Martha serves as the primary contact for the Southeast Regional Office and leads LatinoJustice PRLDEF’s efforts in the region. For most of her legal career, Martha has advocated for low-income individuals’ rights primarily in housing and public benefits. Martha worked at Legal Services and Legal Aid organizations in both North and South Florida before relocating to the Orlando area to join LatinoJustice PRLDEF’s legal team. Martha is a member of the Florida Bar and was recently appointed to serve on the Bar’s Student Education/Admissions to the Bar Committee. She is a Florida Certified Circuit Civil Mediator. Martha received her Juris Doctor degree from Florida Coastal School of Law and her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Florida International University.

Louis Reidenberg

Louis Reidenberg received his B.B.A. from the University of Miami and his J.D. from the University of Minnesota.
[wpex more="Read more" less="Read less"]Following graduation, Reidenberg clerked at the Minnesota Supreme Court. He has been an attorney in private practice in the State of Minnesota specializing in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Abuse litigation for over 35 years. He has lectured on the topics of Child Custody and Deposition Practice for various law programs throughout the county and has authored numerous articles on these topics. Most recently, he co-authored two law review articles for the Shephard Broad Law Center entitled, Providing Attorneys for Children in Dependency and Termination of Parental Rights Proceedings in Florida: The Issue Updated and The Kids Are Not All Right: Every Child Should Have An Attorney in Child Welfare Proceedings in Florida. Reidenberg has served as a Guardian Ad Litem in both Minnesota and Florida, is a paste member of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, American Trial Lawyers Association, and has been recognized in Who’s Who in the Midwest and Who’s Who in American Law. For the past decade, he has participated with various Florida organizations serving as a Board member of Child and Family Connections, Heart Gallery of Palm Beach County, Vita Nova, Broward and Palm Beach UM Alumni Clubs, UM Hurricane Club, Florida Bar PILS Legal Needs of Children Committee, UM Citizens Board, Palm Beach Mental Health Association, and the Florida Association of Counsel for Children.

Steven R. Shapiro

Steven R. Shapiro is the Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union, the nation's oldest and largest civil liberties organization.
[wpex more="Read more" less="Read less"]He directs a staff of approximately 90 full-time lawyers who maintain a large and active docket of civil liberties cases around the country. Those cases cover a broad range of issues, including: free speech, racial justice, religious freedom, due process, privacy, reproductive and women's rights, immigrant's rights, gay rights, voting rights, prisoner's rights, and the death penalty. Shapiro has been the ACLU's Legal Director since 1993, and served as Associate Legal Director from 1987–1993. During that time, he has appeared as counsel or co-counsel on more than 200 ACLU briefs submitted to the United States Supreme Court. Shapiro is also an adjunct professor of constitutional law at Columbia Law School, and a frequent speaker and writer on civil liberties issues. After graduating from Harvard Law School and spending one year as law clerk to Judge J. Edward Lumbard of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, Shapiro joined the New York Civil Liberties Union in 1976. He was a member of the Board of Directors of Human Rights First for twenty years and is now a member of the Policy Committee of Human Rights Watch, as well as the Advisory Committees of the U.S. Program and Asia Program of Human Rights Watch.

Benjamin James Stevenson

Benjamin James Stevenson is a staff attorney for the ACLU of Florida in Pensacola, where he litigates a broad array of ACLU issues.
[wpex more="Read more" less="Read less"]He joined the ACLU in 2007 after several years in private and government practice.  He has challenged numerous unconstitutional practices throughout the state, including the DMV’s suspension of a driver’s license for failure to pay court courts (Foster v. DMV) and the clerk’s refusal to enroll a driver on a reasonable payment plan to pay court costs (Washington v. Clerk), a government agency’s denial of access to public records (ACLU v. City of Sarasota), and school officials’ censorship of LGBT-supportive speech (Gillman v. Holmes School Board).  Stevenson graduated from the University of the South (Sewanee) and Florida State University College of Law.

Adam Tebrugge

Adam Tebrugge is a staff attorney with the ACLU of Florida whose work focuses on criminal justice reform.
[wpex more="Read more" less="Read less"]Adam is board certified as a criminal trial lawyer and has over thirty years of experience. He began his career as an assistant public defender in Sarasota and Manatee counties where he worked primarily in the homicide division. He later opened Tebrugge Legal in Bradenton where he focused on criminal appeals and post-conviction matters. Adam has worked as an adjunct professor at Stetson College of Law and Thomas Cooley College of Law where he teaches “Death Penalty Seminar.” He has also served as the Chair of the Suncoast Partnership to End Homelessness and President of the Sarasota County Civic League. For ten years, Adam served as the host of “Law and Sarasota” on the Education Channel. He has received numerous awards for public service including the Freedom Award from the Sarasota NAACP and the Jim Slater Award for professionalism in the practice of criminal law, presented by the judges of the 12th judicial circuit.

Daniel Tilley

Daniel Tilley is a staff attorney with the ACLU of Florida whose work focuses primarily on the LGBT community.
[wpex more="Read more" less="Read less"]Among his other work, he served as lead counsel in the ACLU’s federal-court litigation that, as part of a pair of consolidated cases and a team of lawyers, brought marriage equality to Florida in January 2015. Daniel studied classical piano and German language and literature at New York University before returning to his home state for law school at the University of Georgia. During law school, Daniel received the Spurgeon Public Interest Fellowship, was a member of the Georgia Law Review and the Order of the Coif, and interned in Arusha, Tanzania at the U.N. International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Before joining the ACLU, Daniel clerked in Atlanta at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia and in Washington, D.C. at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. While in D.C., he served on the D.C. Lawyer Chapter board of the American Constitution Society. Daniel is admitted to practice law in Florida, New York, and Washington, D.C.

Gordon Weekes

Gordon Weekes earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Air Traffic Control from Florida Memorial University and went on to earn his Juris Doctorate in 1997 from Nova Southeastern University School of Law.
[wpex more="Read more" less="Read less"] In 1997, he also began his career as an Assistant Public Defender at the Broward County Public Defender’s Office where he represents the poor, the mentally ill and children of our community. For a brief period, Mr. Weekes ran his own office in private practice but returned to his passion – public service at the Public Defender’s Office. Under the leadership of “Help Me” Howard Finkelstein, Mr. Weekes became the first Public Defender to specialize in representing children charged as adults. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Weekes was appointed as the Chief Assistant Public Defender in charge of the Juvenile Division. Mr. Weekes has been instrumental in implementing a host of programs that have drastically reduced the number of young people entering the system. As Chief Assistant, he has tackled head-on abusive practices in juvenile jails. As a result of his efforts Florida ultimately cut ties with one of the nation’s largest for-profit prison contractors. He also shed light on the deplorable conditions within foster homes and mental health facilities. He further forced the implementation of new procedures that would prohibit the excessive sedation of youth and successfully shuttered abusive residential commitment facilities. His expertise on the conditions of confinement, prison privatization and the reduction of the school-house-to-jail-house pipeline has been recognized statewide.

Layssa Zamora

Layssa Zamora, of Mexican and Cuban heritage, joined the ACLU as Legal Program Associate to oversee the process by which the ACLU of Florida reviews and screens requests for assistance on potential civil liberties litigation.
[wpex more="Read more" less="Read less"]A long-standing respect for multi-culturalism, civil liberties, public awareness and environmental protection led her to seek out a position with an organization such as the ACLU. Layssa holds a B.A. in Anthropology/Sociology and a certificate in Latin American studies from Florida International University. She aspires to continue her studies in the future with the ultimate goal of receiving her Masters and PhD in Anthropology.

Thomas Zehnder

Thomas Zehnder, a shareholder with King, Blackwell, Zehnder & Wermuth, P.A., Mr. Zehnder has practiced primarily as a commercial litigator in Orlando since he graduated with honors from the University of Florida College of Law in 1995.
[wpex more="Read more" less="Read less"]Mr. Zehnder has represented both individuals and corporations in a wide variety of complex commercial matters in state and federal courts, in arbitration and on appeal. Throughout his legal career, Mr. Zehnder has been active in leadership positions with the Orange County Bar Association (OCBA), first serving in the Young Lawyers’ Section, including as President in 2005-06. In 2011-12, Mr. Zehnder served as President of the OCBA, and in 2012 - 2013 he served as President of the OCBA Foundation. In 2006, Mr. Zehnder received the OCBA's highest honor awarded to a young lawyer: the Lawrence G. Mathews, Jr. Young Lawyer Professionalism Award. In 2004, Mr. Zehnder received The Florida Bar's Young Lawyers Division Pro Bono Award, a statewide service award presented by the Florida Supreme Court and The Florida Bar's YLD that recognizes extraordinary contributions in the provision of pro bono services.