Class of 1995

View your classmates' news and accomplishments by selecting your graduation year! The most recent class notes entries appear first on each page. If you have anything that you would like to include as a class note, you may submit a class note online or contact Becky Shepherd.

crump_benjamin_web.jpgThe Honorable Jacqueline B. Steele was inducted into the Florida Workers' Compensation Hall of Fame on May 28, 2024. The honor recognizes 30 years of chairing the program which is now the E. Earle Zehmer National Moot Court Competition. Posted 6.12.24


Alexandra M. Kowalski passed away on March 4th 2023 after a long battle with brain cancer. Kowalski was born in Brussels, Belgium. Her family moved to the United States when she was at the age of 9 months. She grew up in Jacksonville, Florida, attended undergrad at the College of Charleston, and later received a law degree from Florida State University. Kowalski was a great lawyer, a great friend to many, a wonderful sister, and above all, a great mother. Posted 4.27.23

crump_benjamin_web.jpgBenjamin L. Crump was honored at Black Enterprise’s Black Men Xcel Summit on October 12. The two-day summit was held at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. Posted 10.14.22


Kimberly J. Sisko-Ward passed away on September 3, 2022, at her home. Kim faithfully served the public in many ways during her career. Posted 9.20.22

Nicola “Nicky” A. Boothe has been named dean of the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law (UIC Law), effective June 16, 2022. Posted 4.5.22

Daniel “Danny” Manausa is a principal of Manausa, Shaw & Minacci, P.A., which was recently ranked 48th on the Seminole 100 list. Posted 3.2.22

Reynaldo Velazquez has joined nationwide employment law firm Jackson Lewis P.C. in Miami as a principal. Velazquez was previously with FordHarrison LLP, and he has more than 20 years of experience in all areas of labor and employment litigation. Velazquez works with claims management companies and employment practices liability insurance companies to defend employers against discrimination, harassment, and retaliation claims. He is a seasoned litigator who works with various industries including fire departments, hospice care facilities, and many other private and public sector entities. Posted 12.08.21


crump_benjamin_web.jpgBenjamin L. Crump has been named one of TIME's 100 Most Influential People of 2021. Posted 9.16.21


Robyn Guarino is now an attorney with The Stein Law Firm, PLLC in Concord, New Hampshire. Posted 7.15.21

Marlon A. Hill is now of counsel at Weiss Serota Helfman Cole & Bierman in Miami. Hill specializes in the convergence of business and government. He represents local governments, businesses and entrepreneurs in business transactions, intellectual property and government matters concentrated in the hospitality, tourism, arts and entertainment, and technology sectors. He works with growth-oriented businesses in South Florida and the Caribbean, helping them navigate the structuring, launch and growth of their ventures, and advocates for them before state and local government entities. Posted 2.16.21


parks_daryl_web.jpgDaryl D. Parks has joined the Ferraro Law Firm in Miami as senior counsel. Posted 12.8.20


Adam Hasner has been named to the 2020 edition of The INFLUENCE 100: The Most Influential People in Florida Politics. Posted 10.28.20

crump_benjamin_web.jpgBenjamin L. Crump has been named to the 2020 edition of The INFLUENCE 100: The Most Influential People in Florida Politics. Posted 10.28.20


crump_benjamin_web.jpgBenjamin L. Crump has been named to the Business, Law, & Military section of African Leadership Magazine's 2020 Top 100 Most Influential African American Leaders List. Posted 10.12.20


crump_benjamin_web.jpgBenjamin L. Crump has represented the families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor in the past months. He is also featured in The Washington Post's piece, "Ben Crump has Become the Go-to Attorney for Racial Justice: 'I Feel Like I’m Running Out of Time.'" He was recently introduced by the Rev. Al Sharpton as “Black America’s attorney general.” Crump's role in this movement stretches back more than a decade and includes the cases of Michael Brown and Tamir Rice, as well as Corey Jones, Pamela Turner, Botham Jean, Stephon Clark and others.  Posted 6.30.20

The Honorable Jacqueline B. Steele was appointed to the Manatee County Court. Steele is currently partner at McConnaughhay, Coonrod, Pope, Weaver & Stern, P.A. She previously served as an assistant public defender in the 13th Judicial Circuit. Posted 6.19.20

Shannon Hartsfield co-authored a book entitled, “HIPAA: A Practical Guide to the Privacy and Security of Health Data, Second Edition,” through the ABA Health Law Section. Hartsfield is a partner at Holland & Knight in Tallahassee. She is a recognized expert on HIPPA, and her practice focuses on corporate compliance, particularly in the regulatory and data privacy areas. Posted 1.28.20


William R. Waters passed away on September 4, 2019. He practiced at Waters & Associates in Tallahassee. Posted 9.17.19

Diego “Woody” Rodriguez was named general counsel at Central Florida Expressway Authority (CFX), to commence on October 1, 2019. He will serve as an adviser to CFX’s Governing Board and executive staff, while also overseeing in-house and outside legal teams. Rodriguez currently serves in the same capacity with the Orange County School Board (2010-2019) and served in a similar role with the Orange County Supervisor of Elections Office (2000-2005). He has extensive experience in legal matters involving land use, construction and finance and is board certified in city, county and local government law. Posted 9.5.19


Shannon B. Hartsfield was named one of the 2020 Best Lawyers in America. She is a partner at Holland & Knight LLP, where she practices corporate compliance, particularly in the regulatory and data privacy areas. Posted 9.5.19

The Honorable T. K. Wetherell, II was confirmed to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida on July 10, 2019. Posted 7.30.19

Nicola A. Boothe-Perry was named interim dean of the Florida A&M University College of Law. She previously served as dean from January 2008 through June 2015. Posted 4.23.19

Marlon A. Hill is a mentor at the Brownsville Law Academy at Brownsville Middle School in Miami. His firm, Hamilton, Miller & Birthisel, LLP, was recognized by the American Bar Association (ABA) Public Education Division for their groundbreaking legal studies partnership program as Most Outstanding 2018 ABA Law Day Student Program Activity. In collaboration with other community partners and Miami Dade Public Schools, the firm successfully raised funds to design and renovate two classrooms into a mock courtroom. The mock courtroom was dedicated on May 29, 2018 in conjunction with Law Day. Hill is an experienced corporate, intellectual property and government transactions lawyer of more than 22 years. Posted 12.7.18

willis_tina_web.jpgTina Willis opened her own boutique auto accident and personal injury law firm, Tina Willis Law, in Orlando, after years of drafting motions and briefs behind the scenes for other personal injury and medical malpractice lawyers. She only accepts cases that involve injuries that are likely to need surgery or worse, such as catastrophic injuries or wrongful death. Since opening her practice, Willis has been recognized in the Top 10 Best Florida Lawyers by the American Institute of Legal Counsel and recognized in The National Trial Lawyers Top 100. She received the 10 Best Client Satisfaction Award from the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys, became a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum (fewer than 1% of attorneys nationwide are members), and earned a perfect 10 rating from Avvo, Inc. Willis can be reached at Tina Willis Law, 390 N. Orange Avenue, Suite 2300G, Orlando, Florida 32801 or by phone at (407) 803-2139. Posted 10.5.18


Raykel E. Tolson authored the novella, Undefiled, which will be released on August 31, 2018. Her professional experience includes roles as family and criminal attorney, pharmacist, professor, and workshop presenter. Posted 8.28.18

Jeanne M. Miller was elected to the Florida State University Alumni Association National Board of Directors. She began a three-year term on July 1, 2018. Miller serves as president and chief executive officer of the Jacksonville Civic Council. Posted 7.26.18

hardee_ashley_web.jpgE. Ashley Hardee was named the Justice Teaching John F. Harkness, Jr. Volunteer of the Year at The Florida Bar Convention in Orlando. She is a senior trial court staff attorney in the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit. Posted 6.26.18

Photo: (L-R) Justice R. Fred Lewis and E. Ashley Hardee


crump_benjamin_web.jpgBenjamin L. Crump is the host of TV One's new show on wrongly convicted men and women, "Evidence of Innocence." The one-hour program chronicles four people arrested and jailed for crimes they didn't commit before being freed. Crump is the founding attorney of Ben Crump Law, PLLC in Tallahassee, where he practices civil rights law. Posted 6.11.18


The Honorable T.K. Wetherell, of the First District Court of Appeal, was nominated by President Donald Trump to serve as a district judge on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida. Posted 6.11.18

Marlon A. Hill was appointed to the board of directors of BMe Community, which "helps build caring and prosperous communities inspired by black men." Hill is a partner at Hamilton, Miller & Birthisel, LLP in their Miami office, where he practices in the areas of corporate law, intellectual property and government transactions. Posted 5.18.18

Brian A. Higgins passed away on December 6, 2017. He was a trailblazer as a criminal defense attorney at the Office of Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional Counsel for the First District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee. Posted 12.13.17

Francisco J. Viñas had a successful verdict in Adela M Samayoa and Maynor R. Ramirez vs. Waste Pro of Florida, Inc., and LUC M Senatus. He practices civil litigation at Viñas & DeLuca, PLLC in Miami. Posted 12.4.17

birk_edward_web.jpgEdward L. Birk, a shareholder at Marks Gray, P.A. in Jacksonville, was recognized as one of the 2018 Best Lawyers in America. He also was selected as a 2017 Florida Super Lawyer. He practices in the areas of media law, municipal liability, E.R.I.S.A. benefits, employment, Fair Labor Standards Act and products liability. Posted 8.21.17


crump_benjamin_web.jpgBenjamin L. Crump was inducted into the FSU Circle of Gold. He is launching Ben Crump Law, where he will focus on fighting social injustice. Offices will be located in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and Tallahassee. He was previously a partner at Parks and Crump, LLC in Tallahassee. Crump also appeared in an episode of the Fox live unscripted series, You The Jury in April. Posted 8.16.17


parks_daryl_web.jpgDaryl D. Parks will open a new independent law firm, Parks Law, in Tallahassee. The firm will focus on serious injury and death cases, medical malpractice and tobacco litigation. Parks was previously a partner at Parks and Crump, LLC in Tallahassee. Posted 7.27.17

Lisa D. Bernau is now the assistant to the vice president of finance and administration at the University of West Florida. Posted 7.5.17

James S. Myers is now a partner at McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter, LLP in their Tampa office. His practice areas are bankruptcy, restructuring, creditors' rights; construction, fidelity and surety; and litigation. Posted 6.12.17

Cynthia L. Hain passed away on April 28, 2017, after a year-long battle against pancreatic cancer. She served as assistant general counsel at the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration. Posted 5.1.17