News and Updates |January 2022
Time to Renew
Haven’t renewed your FBA Membership yet? No problem. We’ve got you covered. We have great plans for our members in 2022! REJOIN HERE with the promocode RIGHTFIT to receive a 20% discount off your National dues.

If you have any questions about renewing, don’t hesitate to reach out to our Membership Chair Gio Giarratana. Look forward to seeing you throughout 2022!
YLD Book Drive
The YLD Committee is launching a virtual book drive to commemorate Black History Month. Starting February 1st, anyone who wishes to donate can purchase books featuring diverse and inclusive protagonists, through an Amazon wish list. The donated books will be provided to underserved schools in Hillsborough County. The link to donate will be sent out to members and will be available on the chapter’s social media pages next week.

Joint Luncheon
On January 11, 2022, the Tampa Bay Chapter of the Federal Bar Association and the Tampa Bay Bankruptcy Bar Association kicked off the new year by hosting a Joint CLE Luncheon focusing on federal practice issues. The program featured United States District Judge Mary S. Scriven, Chief United States Bankruptcy Judge Caryl E. Delano, and United States Magistrate Judge Anthony E. Porcelli, and was moderated by Dana Robbins, Esq. and Lara Fernandez, Esq. The panel provided substantive and practical guidance regarding document preservation and spoliation, discovery practice, and trial practice. The event was attended virtually by more than 100 members of the TBCFBA and TBBBA and attendees received one hour of CLE credit.
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 discuss which amendment in the Bill of Rights is most relevant to students attending public schools, and how have decisions of the United States Supreme Court shaped that amendment’s meaning?

The contest garnered nearly 600 essay submissions from the eight counties in the Middle District of Florida. United States District Court Judges Virginia Covington, Richard Lazzara, Susan Bucklew and United States Magistrate Judges Chris Tuite, Julie Sneed, and Amanda Sansone, along with other volunteers, judged the competition.

On December 15, 2021, the Middle District of Florida invited the top ten students, their parents, and teachers to an awards ceremony. Emily MacDonald of Strawberry Crest 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 Sohan Malladi of Land O’Lakes High School who received a cash prize. Third place went to Maria Clara Melo Fontoura of Pine View School who received a cash prize.

The students rounding out the Top 10 who each received cash prize are:
4) Madison Hillyer –Thomas Jefferson High School
5) Maria Maiotti – Pine View School
6) Arabella Le – Pine View School
7) Pranav Verma – Strawberry Crest High School
8) Zane Tisdale – Pine View School
9) Riley Pflug – Pine View School
10) Bailee Juszczyk – Winthrop College Prep Academy

The teachers whose students finished in the top three received classroom grants. Those teachers are Karly Dell of Strawberry Crest High School, Dr. Jennifer O’Connor-Podraza of Land O’Lakes High School, and Ashley McLeod of Pine View School.

Pine View School, Strawberry Crest High School, and Land O’Lakes 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: Chris Pauling of Pine View School, Kendall Nickerson of Strawberry Crest High School, and Dr. Jennifer O’Connor-Podraza of Land O’Lakes High School.

For questions or to submit announcements or other content,
please contact Erik Johanson.