The College of Law is proud to offer an unusually rich set of course offerings taught by adjunct professors. These instructors, though not on the regular faculty of the law school, bring a diversity of experiences and talents to the school and a very high degree of professional accomplishment and expertise.
Eric Abrahamsen is teaching Florida Criminal Procedure: Pre-Trial this semester. A former prosecutor and county court division chief, Abrahamsen is a partner at the Law Offices of Friedman & Abrahamsen, where he practices criminal defense. He also coaches the College of Law Mock Trial Team and is an adjunct professor at Tallahassee Community College. Abrahamsen received his J.D. from Florida State University College of Law.
Paul M. Aloise Jr. is an associate attorney with Brooks, LeBoeuf, Foster, Gwartney, Leace & Hobbs, P.A. and advocates for people who have been criminally accused or who have fallen victim to the negligence, malfeasance, or misfeasance of others. He focuses his practice in the areas of criminal defense and civil litigation, with an emphasis on personal injury, civil rights protection, employment law, and professional malpractice. Aloise attended Florida State University where he graduated cum laude with degrees in criminology and sports management. In addition to his undergraduate studies, Aloise played linebacker for the FSU football team and was a member of the 2013 BCS National Championship team. Aloise then went on to earn his juris doctorate at The Florida State University College of Law. While in law school, he was an active member of the executive board and the Mock Trial Team. Aloise is currently serving on the board of directors for the Young Lawyers Section of the Tallahassee Bar Association and is in good standing with the Florida Bar. In addition to practicing law, Aloise represents NFL athletes as an NFLPA certified contract advisor and assists them in all of their professional transactions.
Jody Armour is the Roy P. Crocker Professor of Law at the University of Southern California. Armour earned his AB degree in sociology at Harvard University and his J.D. degree with honors from Boalt Hall Law School at UC Berkeley. Prior to joining USC, he was an associate at Morrison & Foerster, Kirkpatrick and Lockhart and taught at UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall, Indiana University, and the University of Pittsburgh. A widely published scholar and popular lecturer, Armour is a Soros Justice Senior Fellow of The Open Society Institute’s Center on Crime, Communities and Culture. He has published articles in Stanford Law Review, California Law Review, Vanderbilt Law Review, Boston College Law Review, Southern California Review of Law and Women's Studies, University of Colorado Law Review, University of Pittsburgh Law Review, Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review, Southwestern University Law Review, and Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law. His book Negrophobia and Reasonable Racism: The Hidden Costs of Being Black in America (New York University Press) addresses three core concerns of the Black Lives Matter movement—racial profiling, police brutality, and mass incarceration. He has recently completed a second book that examines law, language, and moral luck in the criminal justice system. Armour often appears as a legal analyst on NBC, CBS, ABC, MSNBC, KPCC, KCRW, and a variety of other television and radio news programs. At the request of the US Department of State and European Embassies, Professor Armour has toured major universities in Europe to speak about social justice as well as Hip Hop culture and the law. Armour currently teaches students a diverse array of subjects, including Criminal Law, Torts, and Stereotypes and Prejudice: The Role of the Cognitive Unconscious in the Rule of Law.
The Honorable Stephen T. Brown, a 1968 graduate of FSU with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, is a retired federal judge. He attended law school at the University of Miami while teaching at Dade County Public Schools. Judge Brown served 21 years on the federal bench before his retirement and was Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Southern District of Florida. Prior to that, he was a law firm partner and admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals, U.S. District Courts, Trial Bar for the Southern District of Florida, and the Florida Supreme Court. A former Seminole Boosters board member, he also served on the FSU Alumni Association National Board of Directors several years ago, before his most recent appointment to the board by former FSU Board of Trustees Chair Allan Bense on June 22, 2013. He is also a current board member of the Leadership Council of the FSU College of Arts and Sciences.
Sarah Butters is a summa cum laude graduate of Florida State Law and is teaching Gratuitous Transfers this semester. Butters is a shareholder at Ausley & McMullen, and she has extensive experience in wills, trusts, and probate law. She serves on the executive council for the Real Estate, Probate and Trust Law Section of The Florida Bar.
Georgia Cappleman is teaching Juvenile Justice: Skills Practice. She is a 2001 graduate of Florida State University College of Law and has been an assistant state attorney for over 17 years. Currently, she serves as the Chief of Felony Division D. From November of 2009-January of 2017, she served under Hon. Willie Meggs as chief assistant state attorney. She has handled over 150 jury trials, including death penalty cases and many cases involving violence against women and children. She has lectured on multiple topics including the death penalty, sexual assault, and domestic violence. She currently serves on the board of directors of the Refuge House, which is an organization that provides emergency shelter, counseling, and other resources to survivors of domestic and sexual violence in the Big Bend Area. Cappleman chairs the local Regional Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Group. She has also coached FSU College of Law Mock Trial teams for several years and was proud for the team to bring home the CAJC National Championship in 2015.
Robert N. Clarke, Jr., a shareholder with the Ausley & McMullen firm in Tallahassee, is co-teaching Civil Discovery & Depositions with his colleague Martin Sipple. He will also be teaching Florida Civil Practice. Clarke is a 1986 honors graduate of the law school and now practices in complex commercial litigation and administrative law in a variety of federal, state, and administrative fora.
Terence C. "Terry" Coonan is the executive director of Florida State University Center for the Advancement of Human Rights as well as an associate professor of criminology at Florida State University. He leads the multidisciplinary center's efforts to educate and train a new generation of human rights advocates, track human rights issues, and serve as an advocate for human rights nationally and internationally. Professor Coonan has served as the managing editor of the Human Rights Quarterly. He also has worked at the Department of Justice in the Executive Office of Immigration Review, litigated asylum and immigration cases nationwide, and has worked on various United Nations human rights projects.
Nancy Daniels is co-teaching with Georgia Cappleman, Juvenile Justice: Skills Practice. Daniels is a 1977 graduate of the FSU College of Law. This past year, Daniels was awarded the Exemplary Public Service Career Award from Florida State University. This award recognizes alumni who have dedicated their careers to serving the public and demonstrate “exceptional character, integrity, leadership, humility, and professionalism.” Before retiring in 2016, Daniels served as a public defender for 26 years. After her retirement, she served as the interim director and legislative consultant for the Florida Public Defender Association. In 2017, she was given the Tallahassee Bar’s Lifetime Professionalism Award.
Marc Dunbar is teaching Gambling & Pari-Mutual Law this semester. He is a Shareholder at Dean Mead where he focuses his practice on governmental relations and legislative advocacy, commercial transactions, and gaming. He has 25 years of experience and advises a wide range of clients, with particular emphasis on businesses in highly regulated industries. Dunbar is an alumnus of the Florida State University College of Law. Following law school, Marc worked for several years in the public sector. He was recognized for his exceptional legal work by Florida Tax Watch and was a recipient of the Davis Productivity Award, which honors state employees for exemplary service to Florida's taxpayers.
Mark Ellis will be a guest speaker in the International Human Rights class. A graduate of the Florida State University College of Law, he served as executive director of the American Bar Association Central European and Eurasian Law Initiative (CEELI) before becoming executive director of the International Bar Association in 2000.
Tor Friedman has been serving as the co-director of the FSU Trial Team and has served as a coach of the Trial Team since 2007. He is the managing partner of Friedman & Abrahamsen Law Firm in Tallahassee, which specializes in DUI & criminal defense, personal injury and wrongful death litigation, and employment discrimination sexual harassment cases. He is a former felony prosecutor at the Leon County State Attorney’s Office and has handled over 100 trials. He has been named to Florida Trend's Legal Elite in the categories of Criminal Defense and Government Attorneys from his time at the State Attorney’s Office. Friedman has been quoted in The New York Times and The Washington Post for his legal experience.
Joe Jacquot is a business litigation shareholder at the Gunster Law firm. He focuses his practice on representing clients in complex state matters involving litigation and appellate work, as well as counseling companies on various regulatory issues. Previously, Jacquot served as the general counsel to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, from his inauguration in January 2019 through October 2020. In this capacity, Jacquot was responsible for all litigation and legal matters of the governor and state executive agencies. Jacquot handled cases on behalf of the governor and his administration before federal and state courts, including five matters before the Florida Supreme Court on matters of statewide significance. Jacquot was a litigation partner at a national law firm, leading the firm’s national State Attorneys General practice. His work consisted of complex federal and state issues, including litigation and regulatory matters. Prior to that, Jacquot was a senior executive and legal counsel for a publicly traded mortgage company in Jacksonville, Florida.
Todd. G. Kocourek is teaching Introduction to American Law: Comparative Perspective. Kocourek is a practicing attorney in Florida and a Florida Civil-law Notary. He focuses his practice on international commercial law and Florida governmental relations. He also serves as CEO of Florida First Capital Finance Corporation, the SBA statewide Certified Development Corporation for the State of Florida, and is of counsel to Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A. in Miami, Customs and International Trade Law counselors. He served as committee counsel to the Commerce Committee of the Florida House of Representatives, where he oversaw commercial legislative projects including the revision of Florida's domestic and international banking codes and the revision of Florida’s Limited Liability Company statute. He also served in the Office of the Governor as General Counsel for the Florida International Affairs Commission, which set international policy for the State of Florida. Kocourek has studied EC law in Brussels and public international law at the International Court of Justice at The Hague, and he serves as Consular Correspondent for the Consulate General of Italy in Miami. He is a past chair of the International Law Section of the Florida Bar, the Florida International Volunteer Corps (FAVACA), and the Florida Export Finance Corporation, for which he currently serves as vice-chairman. He speaks Spanish and Italian and has basic knowledge of Japanese and Arabic.
Alyssa Lathrop is teaching Judicial Externship Perspectives Seminar this semester. Lathrop graduated with highest honors from the Florida State University College of Law in 2009, where she served as editor-in-chief of the Florida State University Law Review. After graduation, she worked as a staff attorney for Justice Barbara Pariente at the Florida Supreme Court and then joined the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation as an assistant general counsel. Lathrop is currently a hearing officer at the Public Employees Relations Commission.
John Lazzara is teaching Judicial Externship Perspectives. For over 28 years, Lazzara served as judge of compensation claims in Tampa and then in Tallahassee. He is a certified mediator with extensive knowledge and experience with helping parties reach resolution of complex and challenging issues. Lazzara has served the workers' compensation community in organizations such as the National Association of Workers' Compensation Judiciary, the College of Workers' Compensation Lawyers, and the American Bar Association. Lazzara has lectured extensively on the law, professionalism, and mediation.
Seth Miller is the executive director of the Innocence Project of Florida and is teaching Postconviction Remedies this semester. He earned his J.D. with honors from Florida State University College of Law in 2004 and was the executive editor for the Florida State University Law Review.
Justice Carlos Muñiz was appointed to the Florida Supreme Court by Governor Ron DeSantis on January 22, 2019, becoming the 89th Justice since statehood was granted in 1845. Prior to joining the Court, he served on the staff of Secretary Betsy DeVos as the presidentially-appointed, Senate-confirmed general counsel of the United States Department of Education. In addition to working as an attorney in the federal government and in private practice, Justice Muñiz had an extensive career in Florida state government. He served as the deputy attorney general and chief of staff to Attorney General Pam Bondi; as deputy chief of staff and counsel in the Office of the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives; as general counsel of the Department of Financial Services; and as deputy general counsel to Governor Jeb Bush.
R. Scott Palmer is teaching Antitrust this semester. An employee of the Florida Department of Legal Affairs, Palmer holds board certifications in Antitrust and Trade Regulation law. From 1997-2007, he headed the Antitrust Practice at Berman DeValerio; from 1988-1997, he served in the Economic Crimes Division of the Attorney General’s Office, where he oversaw its complex litigation; and from 1982-1986, he was the chief prosecutor of the Statewide Grand Jury, responsible for the prosecution of multi-circuit organized crime cases. Palmer earned his J.D. with honors from the University of Miami and his B.A. from the University of Michigan.
Gary Perko is a partner at Holtzman Vogel. Perko has extensive experience in civil litigation before both state and federal courts. He has worked on cases which centered on diverse subjects, including constitutional law, environmental regulation, public financing, and state taxation. Most recently, he served on a team of lawyers representing Florida’s Secretary of State in a series of high-profile federal lawsuits challenging Florida’s election laws. Perko holds a B.A. from Florida State University and a J.D. with Honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he received an award for his writing on the Law Review. Perko is teaching Land Use Regulation this fall.
Justice Ricky Polston of the Florida Supreme Court is teaching Florida Alternative Dispute Resolution. Justice Polston, an alumnus of Florida State Law, is a certified public accountant and was previously a certified circuit court mediator and judge on the First District Court of Appeal. Prior to becoming a judge, he practiced public accounting for seven years as audit manager with Deloitte Haskins & Sells, C.P.A.s, and law for 14 years (commercial litigation in federal and state courts throughout Florida).
Judge Clay Roberts was a staff attorney for the Committee on Executive Business, Ethics & Elections on the Florida Senate from 1995 to 1997. He then became the staff director of the Committee on Election Reform. In 1998, he moved to the House of Representatives, working as a council attorney on the Public Responsibility Council. From 1999 to 2002, he was the director of the Florida Division of Elections and later worked as general counsel for the Florida Department of State. He became an executive deputy attorney general in 2003 and a deputy attorney general in 2006. He held this position until his appointment to the Court of Appeals.
Mark Schlakman serves as senior program director for the Florida State University Center for the Advancement of Human Rights (CAHR) and is teaching Executive Clemency in Florida this semester. He received his J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center. Schlakman has held several senior positions in state and federal government, including serving as a senior advisor to a number of Florida governors. While living in Washington, D.C., he held the position of foreign affairs officer for the U.S. Department of State, where he was awarded the Superior Honor Award. In addition to his work with CAHR, Schlakman is the longest-serving board chair of The Innocence Project of Florida.
Judge Adam S. Tanenbaum is currently serving as a judge on the First District Court of Appeal. Before his appointment, Judge Tanenbaum served as general counsel for the Florida House of Representatives (2016–2019). In that position, he provided legal advice and counsel to the Speaker of the House and to House members and staff regarding matters of legislative interest. He also advised House members and senior staff regarding ethics laws, public records requirements, House rules, and issues requiring constitutional or statutory interpretation. Previously, Judge Tanenbaum served as general counsel for the Florida Department of State (2015–2016) and chief deputy solicitor general at the Florida Department of Legal Affairs (2014–2015). Judge Tanenbaum earned his B.A. in political science from the University of Florida, where he was co-valedictorian. He graduated cum laude with a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center. Judge Tanenbaum is teaching Legislative Power this semester.
Fernando Tesón , the Eminent Scholar Emeritus at FSU College of Law, is the leading authority on humanitarian intervention and the philosophy of international law. In addition, he has written on diverse topics such as immigration and political rhetoric. Originally from Buenos Aires, Professor Tesón has dual U.S. and Argentine citizenship. He has authored several books, including Debating Humanitarian Intervention: Should We Try to Save Strangers? (Oxford University Press, 2017) (with Bas van Der Vossen); Justice at a Distance: Extending Freedom Globally (Cambridge University Press, 2015) (with Loren Lomasky); Rational Choice and Political Deliberation (Cambridge University Press 2006) (with Guido Pincione), and Humanitarian Intervention: An Inquiry into Law and Morality (Transnational, 2005), considered the classic treatise in the field. He has also published dozens of articles in law, philosophy, and international relations journals and collections of essays. Professor Tesón has presented his scholarship around the world.
James Uthmeier currently serves as general counsel to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, where he oversees all litigation and legal work of the governor and state executive agencies. Uthmeier also serves as the governor's chief ethics officer and directs the judicial nominations process. Previously, Uthmeier served as a senior advisor and counsel to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. He began his career as a litigation associate at the D.C. office of Jones Day. Uthmeier is a graduate of Georgetown Law and the University of Florida, where he ran varsity track and cross-country. This semester, he is co-teaching with Joe Jacquot, Executive Power: The President & The Governor.
Nathan Wadlinger currently works as an assistant lecturer at Florida State University. He teaches tax courses in the Bachelors and Masters of Accountancy program. He also works part-time in the tax services group of Thomas Howell Ferguson P.A., CPAs in Tallahassee, Florida. He received his B.S. in accounting, masters of accounting, and juris doctor from the University of Florida. He also received his LL.M. in taxation from Boston University. In addition, he has a certified public accountant license issued by the State of Florida and is a member of the Florida Bar.
JoLen Rawls Wolf, a former Legal Writing professor at FSU Law, is teaching Florida Family Law this semester, a course she taught for seven years before retiring from the law school and returning to private practice. When previously teaching Florida Dissolution of Marriage, Wolf created a “text” for students and is updating those materials for this class. Wolf is presently with Duggar and Duggar, P. A., a nationally recognized firm specializing in family law. Although she handles a variety of appeals, she focuses primarily on family law, an area in which she practiced before joining the law school faculty.