News and Updates |October 2021
FBA's SOLACE Program
SOLACE Request

We have received an urgent request for the son of past national FBA President Adrienne Berry. Simon was diagnosed about 5 years ago with IgA nephropathy, a kidney disease without a cure or any definite answer as to why it occurs. Unfortunately, the disease has progressed to the point where Simon’s kidneys are very close to not working well enough to keep him alive and treatment options are limited to time-consuming dialysis or a kidney transplant. A transplant would offer him more freedom and the ability to live a longer, healthier, more normal life, but the national waiting list for a donor kidney has more than 100,000 people on it. Simon needs a match for a living donor transplant. Please read the following message from Susie Berry, Simon’s wife, for details about his condition and how you can help. Contact Simon’s transplant coordinator, Tricia Monson, at [email protected] or 513-585-1440 for more information.
Featured Mentoring Pair
The chapter’s annual Mentoring Program launched in April of this year. As part of the program, mentors and mentees are encouraged to meet once a month, either in person or virtually, to discuss topics provided by co-mentoring chairs Soma Nwokolo and Michelle Moretz-Smith. Below is a snapshot from one of our mentoring pairs of their experience in the program thus far.  
From mentee, Betty Miranda:

Jon has been an extraordinary mentor. Jon and I had never met before being paired. However, we have quickly created a close connection due to his commitment to our mentoring relationship. He answers every email, text, and call, and does so with enthusiasm and an authentic desire to help me. In a challenging year, both professionally and personally, he has shown me great compassion and provided me with excellent guidance and advice. Jon has been encouraging and given me a dose of reality when I needed it. He is committed to the empowerment and success of young lawyers. I am so grateful for being paired with him and know I have a lifetime champion and friend in him. He is an absolute rockstar!

From mentor, Jon Philipson:

It has been such a joy to be paired with Betty. She brings a positive energy and excitement to everything she does. I find we talk about raising kids and troubleshooting ear infections and childcare coverage, as much as the practice of law. I learn more from Betty than anything I can pass along to her from my experiences. That is what I love about the FBA Mentoring Program. It provides a great avenue to share experiences and promote empathy and camaraderie within our federal bar.
New Pro Bono Plan and New Forms
The Middle District of Florida recently revised its Plan for Pro Bono Representation by Appointment in Civil Cases. The revised Plan makes the process for pro bono appointments easier to understand and administer. Below is a summary of important changes:

Appointment: A judge may request that the clerk: (1) publish a pro bono appointment opportunity on the court’s website; and (2) contact the voluntary federal bar organization in any division to request that the organization identify an attorney willing to accept appointment or publish the opportunity to its membership. If an attorney accepts an appointment, the judge must enter an order of appointment.
Expense Budget: Expense budgeting is now mandatory if appointed counsel intends to seek reimbursement later. The order of appointment must direct counsel to submit a new Proposed Expense Budget form for approval within 60 days. Once a budget is approved, appointed counsel will be reimbursed for budgeted expenses up to the amounts approved in the budget so long as the expenses were actually paid by counsel. Counsel may submit an amended budget for approval if the circumstances of the case necessitated additional expenses or expenses in higher amounts than previously approved.
Sponsor the Monthly Newsletter
The Tampa Bay Chapter of the Federal Bar Association invites law firms, legal aid organizations, and other supporters of the federal judiciary to become sponsors of our monthly e-newsletters. Sponsorships are administered on an annual basis and can be purchased at the
following tiers:
  • Platinum Sponsor – $1,500.00/year (limited to one (1) sponsor)
  • Gold Sponsor - $750.00/year (limited to two (2) sponsors)
  • Silver Sponsor - $500.00/year (limited to three (3) sponsors)
  • Bronze Sponsor - $250.00/year (limited to five (5) sponsors)
Board Member Spotlight, continued

Q. Is there anything you would like TBCFBA members to know about you – career achievements, awards, honors, etc.?

A. I am proud to have served as the chair and founding member of the TBCFBA Younger Lawyers Division in 2012. It is such an honor to see how active the YLD has become within the Chapter and the community, especially for younger lawyers who are new to federal practice. Serving on the Executive Committee for the Chapter has also been one of my biggest accomplishments, especially as an in-house attorney. In particular, serving as President during the beginning of the pandemic proved challenging, but I was so proud that our Chapter was able to offer programming virtually and stay as engaged as possible with our membership throughout 2020. Serving on the Board has been a wonderful way for me to stay in touch and involved with the bar and up to date on federal court practice, community outreach, and substantive matters. The FBA has such amazing programming, an active membership and Board, and a strong relationship with the local bench, which makes the Chapter so special.
After law school, I clerked for the Honorable Charles R. Wilson of the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, which was an invaluable opportunity and experience. After clerking, I spent several years in private practice at Bush Ross, P.A., primarily focused on commercial litigation and bankruptcy matters before transitioning in-house. I have been in-house at Raymond James since 2014 and have held various positions throughout the legal department, all transactional in nature, notwithstanding my background in litigation.

Q. What advice would you offer to a new lawyer?

A. Be open and flexible to new opportunities and learning new skills. Find mentors as you are working in a new area and be a sponge. You will be surprised about how much you can learn about yourself when you take on new opportunities and then use those experiences to benefit you strategically. Also, do not be afraid to ask for help, especially in this virtual world – it shows dedication to a task, a willingness to learn, and may lead to informal mentorships and invaluable resources. No one is expecting you to know everything when you start practice; the practice of law is learned best by observation and with hands on guidance, but you have to ask for it. Finally, be kind, courteous, and professional. It goes a long way.

Q. What are your hobbies?

A. When I’m not wrangling my very active three-year-old, I enjoy spending time with my family, traveling, playing tennis, and reading.
For questions or to submit announcements or other content,
please contact Erin Jackson or Erik Johanson.