Class of 2008

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.

Steve Szymanski was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps. This summer, Szymanski will complete a two year tour in the National Security Law Division at the Pentagon and transition to a fellowship at the Institute of International Humanitarian Law in Sanremo, Italy. Posted 4.24.24


gibson_ben_web.jpgJeffrey E. Pomeranz is the founder and principal of Pomeranz Law PLLC, which was recently ranked 78th on the 2024 Seminole 100 list. Posted 10.15.22


Alisia Adamson Profit is a partner at HAWM Law, which was recently ranked 76th on the 2024 Seminole 100 list. Posted 3.6.24

gibson_ben_web.jpgJeffrey E. Pomeranz is the founder and principal of Pomeranz Law PLLC, which was recently ranked 49th on the Seminole 100 list. This is the second consecutive year that the firm was named to Seminole 100. Founded in 2017, Pomeranz Law PLLC provides outsourced general counsel services to high-growth companies. Posted 10.15.22


Danielle Sherriff has been appointed to serve as a judge on the Palm Beach County Court by Governor Ron DeSantis. Sherriff has served as the senior litigation attorney for the Palm Beach County School District since 2022. Previously, she was an associate at Lesser, Lesser, Landy & Smith PLLC, and prior to that she served as an assistant state attorney for the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Florida International University and her juris doctor from Florida State University. Posted 6.2.23

gibson_ben_web.jpgColeman "Cole" J. Braun has joined Adams and Reese LLP as special counsel in the firm's Financial Services Practice Group in Nashville. He represents business clients in commercial litigation, consumer credit litigation, financial services, and insurance recovery and advisory services. Posted 5.3.23


gibson_ben_web.jpgBenjamin J. Gibson has been named managing partner of Shutts & Bowen's Tallahassee office. Gibson's statewide practice focuses on standing for corporate, political, and government clients in appellate, litigation, and administrative matters, as well as government affairs. Posted 1.17.23


The Honorable Stephanie Tanada has been appointed to serve as a judge in the San Bernardino County Superior Court, California by Gov. Gavin Newsom. Posted 1.5.23


Cedell "Ian" Garland was awarded Florida Government Attorney of the Year for 2022 by the Florida Government Bar Association and received the 2022 Public Private Partnership Award from Taxpayers Against Fraud as part of the team of state and federal attorneys who litigated, and ultimately settled, a Medicaid rebate fraud action against Mallinckrodt ARD, LLC. The national Medicaid settlement was in excess of $233 million with nearly $15 million for Florida Medicaid. Posted 1.4.23

Hugo S. "Brad" deBeaubien was named to the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America in the areas of bankruptcy and creditor debtor rights/insolvency and reorganization law, commercial litigation, and employment law - management. Posted 10.4.22


Spencer Bishins is the author of Social Security Disability Revealed: Why it’s so hard to access benefits and what you can do about it, which explores the obstacles that Social Security Disability claimants face as they try to access benefits. The book helps people understand the Social Security disability system and how to navigate it to achieve the best possible outcome in their case. Posted 7.18.22

Foster J. Sayers II has joined Pramata, a contract management solution provider, as general counsel and chief evangelist. Posted 7.6.22

Daniel Russell has been named a shareholder with Dean Mead. Russell is a member of the firm’s Government Relations & Legislative Advocacy Practice Group in the Tallahassee office, and he focuses on civil and administrative litigation, government relations, and regulated industries. Posted 3.2.22

gibson_ben_web.jpgJeffrey E. Pomeranz is the founder and principal of Pomeranz Law PLLC, which was recently ranked 10th on the Seminole 100 list. Posted 3.2.22

Kyle Shaw is a partner at Manausa, Shaw & Minacci, P.A., which was recently ranked 48th on the Seminole 100 list. Posted 3.2.22

Alisia Adamson Profit is a partner at HAWM Law, which was recently ranked 84th on the Seminole 100 list. Posted 3.2.22

Jonathan Grabb is The Florida Bar’s new ethics counsel. Grabb joined the Bar as an assistant ethics counsel eight years ago. Prior to that, he spent nearly five years as a government lawyer in the general counsel’s office of the Agency for Persons with Disabilities. Posted 12.17.21

The following alumni from the class of 2008 are serving on certification committees with The Florida Bar, meaning they are board certified in their area of law, and have been appointed by The Florida Bar president to serve in these important roles: 
Christopher Russell Bruce - Marital and Family Law
Francisco "Frank" Fraerly Symphorien-Saavedra - Immigration and Nationality Law, Vice Chair
Sarah Rissman Taitt - City, County, & Local Government Law, Chair
Shaina Thorpe - Labor and Employment Law
Certification committees are responsible for proposing criteria for the issuance and renewal of certification, reviewing applications, developing and grading examinations, and recommending certificates be issued to those individuals meeting the standards for board certification. Posted 8.6.21

Julianna Groot is a professor and program manager of legal studies at Seminole State College. She also practices as a consulting lawyer for several law firms and serves on the Board of Directors of the Seminole County Legal Aid Society. Groot recently served as a judge in four competitive sessions of the 25th Annual International Environmental Moot Court Competition held virtually with the Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, Florida. The international finals saw teams compete from Africa, Asia, Europe, Ireland, the United Kingdom, India, Latin America, Mexico and North America. The theme for this year’s problem related to the protection of bats and international trade measures. Posted 4.8.21


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

Ian Garland has received the Claude Pepper Outstanding Government Lawyer Award for 2020. In Garland's current role with the Florida Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, he recovers restitution and penalties from parties who are defrauding the Florida Medicaid program, and he works with the National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units to shape national litigation outcomes and policy. Posted 7.17.20


Major Steve Szymanski will attend Georgetown University Law Center’s National Security Law LL.M. program for the 2020-21 academic year. Following completion, he will join the legal faculty at the United States Military Academy at West Point where he will manage the National Security Law portfolio. Posted 5.28.20.


Terri Sherraye Alexander passed away unexpectedly on March 6, 2020. She was the managing partner of Shay Alexander, LLC and the pastor of Judah Christian Church. Posted 3.13.20


Thomas E. Lewis, Jr. passed away on December 28, 2019 after a long, courageous battle with cancer. Lewis was a military veteran and worked as an architect, a senior executive with the Walt Disney Co., and as assistant secretary of administration and special assistant to the chief Information officer at the Department of Children and Families. He was also a Florida supreme court certified civil circuit mediator and Florida supreme court qualified arbitrator. Posted 1.8.20

Rachel E. Nordby was appointed to the First District Court of Appeal. She was previously a partner at Shutts & Bowen LLP in Tallahassee. Posted 11.22.19


Shaina H. Thorpe has been selected to serve on The Florida Bar’s Labor & Employment Law Board Certification Committee. She will serve a three-year term, ending in 2022. Thorpe is a shareholder at Thorpe & Thorpe, P.A. in Tampa. Posted 9.17.19

hashmi_kamran_web.jpgKamran F. Hashmi founded Hashmi Law Firm in Rochester, NY. He represents clients in various matters, including business disputes, breach of contract claims, real property and HOA litigation, personal injury, and municipality claims. Posted 7.8.19


Moss_Rebecca_web.jpgRebecca G. Moss is now senior counsel at the Ledcor Group of Companies in Pflugerville, TX. Ledcor Group is a diversified construction company that designs, builds, transports, operates and maintains projects throughout North America. Posted 3.18.19


Nordby_Rachel_web.pngRachel E. Nordby, of Shutts & Bowen LLP in Tallahassee, has been appointed by Chief Justice Charles Canady to the Florida Judicial Management Council of the Florida Supreme Court. The Judicial Management Council serves as a focused advisory body to the Florida Supreme Court and works to assist the chief justice and the Court in identifying and responding to various issues affecting Florida’s judicial branch. Nordby’s practice focuses primarily on appellate litigation. Before joining Shutts & Bowen, she served as senior deputy solicitor general for Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. Posted 3.15.19


Noah D. Valenstein was reappointed as secretary for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection by Governor Ron DeSantis. Posted 3.13.19

Smoker_Liza_web.jpgLiza E. Smoker has joined The John J. Brunetti Human Trafficking Academy at St. Thomas University School of Law's LL.M./J.S.D. Program in Intercultural Human Rights as their managing director. Posted 3.13.19


gibson_ben_web.jpgBenjamin J. Gibson, of Shutts & Bowen LLP in Tallahassee, will serve as general counsel on Florida Governor-elect Ron DeSantis' transition team. Posted 12.6.18


reichenberger_eric_web.jpgEric L. Reichenberger has joined Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, P.C., a leading civil defense litigation law firm, as an associate in the firm’s Fort Lauderdale office. He joins the firm’s Casualty Department, concentrating on the defense of claims made and suits brought against insureds and businesses in products liability, premises liability, automobile, commercial, and construction matters. Posted 9.14.18


gibson_ben_web.jpgBenjamin J. Gibson, of Shutts & Bowen LLP in Tallahassee, was appointed to the First District Court of Appeal Judicial Nominating Commission. He is appointed for a four-year term ending on July 1, 2022. Gibson's practice focuses on government, political and corporate clients, representing them in government affairs, appellate, litigation and administrative matters. Posted 7.26.18


russell_daniel_web.jpgDaniel R. Russell was elected partner at Jones Walker LLP earlier this year. He is a member of the Government Relations and Legislative Advocacy Practice Group in the Tallahassee office, where his practice focuses on civil and administrative litigation, government relations and gaming law. Posted 7.20.18


gibson_ben_web.jpgBenjamin J. Gibson has joined Shutts & Bowen LLP as a partner in the Business Litigation Practice Group in the firm’s Tallahassee office. His practice focuses on government, political and corporate clients, representing them in government affairs, appellate, litigation and administrative matters. Posted 6.26.18


Jared M. Lee is now the managing partner at Jackson Lee PA in Longwood. He practices consumer law along with his wife, Ruth H. Jackson Lee ('08). They litigate cases involving violations of Florida’s Consumer Collection Practice Act, the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act and other consumer rights laws. He is the Florida Bar Consumer Protection Law Committee chair. Posted 2.26.18

Jami A. Coleman is now a partner at Williams & Coleman, P.A. in Tallahassee. She specializes in tax law, probate matters, estate planning and business law. Posted 1.30.18

Matthew J. Troy joined Conroy Simberg in their Orlando office as a partner in 2016. He practices workers compensation defense. Posted 12.12.17

cantrell_will_web.jpgWilliam J. Cantrell opened Cantrell, PLLC, a competition law boutique in Tampa. He has spent his career representing businesses and individuals in matters relating to unfair competition, deceptive business practices, employment law and related business disputes. Posted 10.27.17


kissner_michael_web.jpgMichael G. Kissner, Jr. is now a partner at Collins, Brown, Barkett, Garavaglia & Lawn, Chartered in Vero Beach. He focuses his practice on the areas of probate litigation, commercial litigation, serious injury and wrongful death, and represents a wide variety of clients, from local businesses and individuals to governmental entities and multi-national insurance companies. Posted 10.16.17


smoker_liza_web.jpgLiza E. Smoker was awarded the Paul May Professionalism in Practice Award at the Broward County Bar Association's Annual Installation Dinner & Gala. She is a partner at Rogers, Morris & Ziegler LLP in Fort Lauderdale. She focuses her practice in real estate, commercial and civil litigation, business, and other matters. Posted 10.3.17


hashmi_kamran_web.jpgKamran F. Hashmi is now an associate at Leclair Korona Vahey Cole LLP in Rochester, NY. He has represented clients in various matters, including business disputes, breach of contract claims, real property litigation, personal injury cases and election law litigation. Posted 10.3.17


johnson_travis_web.jpgTravis R. Johnson, a partner at Meador, Johnson & Bushnell, P.A. in Pensacola, has achieved Florida Bar board certification in the area of Marital and Family Law. He also has been awarded A/V Preeminent status from Martindale-Hubble and has been named a 2017 Florida Super Lawyers Rising Star. Johnson practices in the areas of marital and family law, appeals, and wills and estates. Posted 9.27.17


gibson_ben_family_web.jpgBenjamin J. Gibson and his wife, Jordan, welcomed their baby boy, Bennett, into the world on February 7, 2017. Gibson also recently opened Benjamin J. Gibson, P.A. in Tallahassee, focusing on federal and state election law, government law and government consulting. Posted 9.21.17


Jami A. Coleman was featured in the August/September 2017 issue of Tallahassee Woman MagazineShe is a tax law and estate planning attorney at Viera Williams, P.A. in Tallahassee.
Posted 8.2.17

amarnani_shaun_web.jpgShaun N. Amarnani has joined Trenam Law in their Saint Petersburg office as senior counsel in the Real Estate and Lending Transactions, and Technology Practice Groups. He focuses his practice in the areas of land use, re-zonings, comp plan changes, alcohol beverage regulations, government advocacy, commercial real estate leases, commercial mortgages, purchase and sale agreements, and representing technology companies in various capacities. 
Posted 7.26.17


 gutschenritter_lee_web.pngLee P. Gutschenritter is now a partner at Finch McCranie, LLP in Atlanta, GA. He primarily practices plaintiff’s personal injury work, including medical malpractice and trucking litigation. Gutschenritter was also selected as a 2017 Super Lawyers Rising Star. Posted 6.12.17


Noah D. Valenstein is now the secretary for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. He previously served as the executive director of the Suwannee River Water Management District. Posted 6.5.17

Noah H. Nadler is now a partner at Wick Phillips in Dallas, TX. Posted 2.21.17

Emanuela Gentile and Ashley A. Ligas founded Avenir Law Group PLLC in Saint Petersburg. Avenir Law Group is a boutique estate planning law practice that provides wills, trusts, estates, durable power of attorney, and legal advice to a wide variety of families, individuals, and entities. Posted 2.20.17