News and Updates |January 2023
Staying in the Game

The Tampa Bay Chapter of the Federal Bar Association would like to celebrate another successful year of hosting its annual Staying in the Game program! This year’s event, “Put Me In, Coach!” focused on the importance of being your authentic self in your daily practice and took place on Thursday, December 15, 2022, at the Floridan Hotel in Downtown Tampa. The over-100 attendees heard from our fireside chat speakers, Judge Mary Scriven (District Judge, MDFL) and Judge Mac McCoy (Magistrate Judge, MDFL), and an impressive panel moderated by Judge Jessica Costello (Hillsborough County Court Judge, Thirteenth Judicial Circuit of Florida) and including Maria Chapa Lopez (Legal Consultant, United Nations Office of Drug and Crime Global Maritime Crimes Program; former U.S. Attorney for the MDFL), Jon Philipson (Partner, Thomas & LoCicero), and Jacqueline Ambrose (Associate General Counsel, Florida Cancer Specialists). Thank you to our generous sponsors: Guerra King, Gunster, Carlton Fields, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, Freeborn, Johnson Jackson, Hill Ward Henderson, Shumaker, Banker Lopez Gassler, Bur Forman, Shook Hardy & Bacon, Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig, Foley & Lardner, Zuckerman Spaeder, Johnson Cassidy Newlon & DeCort, and the Law Office of Kevin Napper. Thank you also to our fellow bar associations and their continued support of this initiative: Hillsborough Association for Women Lawyers, George Edgecomb Bar Association, Virgil Hawkins Florida Chapter National Bar Association, and the Hillsborough County Bar Association Young Lawyers Division. We look forward to Staying in the Game 2023!
High School Essay Contest

The United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division, together with the Tampa Bay Chapter of the Federal Bar Association sponsored a high school essay contest. The prompt for this year’s essay contest asked students to consider how Amendments to the United States Constitution have helped to promote and advance our founding document’s overall goals.

The contest garnered nearly 600 essay submissions from the eight counties in the Middle District of Florida. The student winners were recognized at a formal ceremony at the Sam M. Gibbons United States Courthouse in Tampa on December 12, 2022. Judges Virginia Hernandez Covington, Susan Bucklew, Caryl Delano, Anthony Porcelli, Amanda Arnold Sansone, Julie Sneed, and Christopher Tuite presided over the ceremony and presented awards to the individual students and their teachers. In addition, the three teachers and the three schools with the most qualifying essays were recognized and received cash awards to be used as classroom grants. Chief Judge Corrigan made remarks at the beginning of the ceremony via video zoom.

All ten student finalists were in attendance along with their parents and other family members. Not only did their teachers attend, but several principals and school administrators were also in attendance. Noah Adelson of Lakewood High School won first place and the top cash prize plus the opportunity to shadow a federal judge for a day. Second place went to Sneha Balaji of Strawberry Crest High School who received a cash prize. Third place went to Prabhav Govindu of Pine View School who received a cash prize.

The students rounding out the Top 10 who each received cash prize are:
4) Danielle Swenson –Sunlake High School

5) Mohini Sharma – Lennard High School

6) Christyan Chazares – Brooks DeBartolo Collegiate High School

7) Olivia Julich – Lake Wales High School

8) (Tie) Story Pennock – Shorecrest Preparatory School

8) (Tie) Teagan English – Pine View School

10) Kellen Burr – Plant High School

The teachers whose students finished in the top three received classroom grants. Those teachers are John Toronski of Lakewood High School, Taylor Davis of Strawberry Crest High School, and Jack Francis of Pine View School.

Bell Creek Academy, Pine View School, and Strawberry Crest High School, the schools with the most essay submissions, received grants.

Also the following teachers had the most students submit essays and received classroom grants: Charles Leadingham of Bell Creek Academy, Chris Pauling of Pine View School, and Kendall Nickerson of Strawberry Crest High School.

Click here to read the winning essay!
For questions or to submit announcements or other content,
please contact Erik Johanson.