Meet Our Board
Ms. McLeroy serves in a number of roles both in the legal and business community. Currently she is a member of the Florida Commission on Access to Civil Justice and Co-Chairs the Pro Bono Legal Services Committee for The Florida Bar. In addition to being a Fellow of the American Bar Association, McLeroy serves on the ABA Business Law Section Council, Business Law Today Editorial Board, Membership Committee, and National Public Service Award Selection Committee. She is the Endowment Trustee and a past President of The Florida Bar Foundation, and she serves as Master of the Ferguson-White Inn of Court. Additionally, McLeroy was the recipient of The Florida Bar President’s Pro Bono Award-Service Award for the 13th Circuit in 2005, and in 2009, she was appointed by the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court to serve as a member of the Pro Bono Award’s Advisory Committee. She also chairs the Pro Bono Committee at her firm, Carlton Fields Jorden Burt, LLC.
A graduate of the University of South Florida, Tom grew up in Winter Haven, where he became an Eagle Scout. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War. Prior to entering the securities business he worked as a research librarian at The Washington Post, covered Congress as a writer for The Energy Daily, was a reporter for The Ledger and the St. Petersburg Times, and taught history, economics and government. Since 1994 Tom has served as a registered representative and general securities principal specializing in a broad spectrum of retirement planning. He is an arbitrator for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and is a current Board Member of The Florida Bar Foundation.
A mediator with Upchurch, Watson, White & Max. She is Florida Supreme Court certified in Civil and County matters, handling matters in both state and federal court. She also continues her civil practice with the Thompson Law Center PLLC. She currently serves as the Fifth Circuit Representative on The Florida Bar Board of Governors, and Chair the Communications and Annual Convention Committees. She serves on the Executive Committee of The Florida Bar. Renee was the inaugural Chair of The Florida Bar Wm. Reece Smith, Jr. Leadership Academy from 2013-2015, a role in which she received The Florida Bar President’s Award of Merit consecutively in 2014 and 2015. She is a member of The Florida Bar’s Board Committee and Standing Committee on technology, and the Vision 2016 Commission Technology subgroup. Renee previously served as President of The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division (YLD) from 2010-2011, and recipient of the YLD’s Most Productive Board Member Award in 2008. She is the Immediate Past President of the Marion County Bar Association and a member of The Florida Supreme Court Historical Society Board of Trustees. Renee was awarded the General Practice Sections Walter Crumbley’s Practice Management Award in 2016 and has been recognized by the Florida Association of Women Lawyers as a Leader in the Law. She was recognized as a Florida Super Lawyer and Florida Legal Elite in 2016.
John M. Stewart is a Partner at Rossway Swan and a third generation Florida lawyer. Mr. Stewart served on the Young Lawyers Division Board of Governors of The Florida Bar representing the 19th Judicial Circuit and was elected its President for the 2006-2007 Bar Year. Mr. Stewart has since served as the 19th circuit’s Representative on The Florida Bar’s Board of Governors in which capacity he has served on numerous Committees including the Board’s Executive Committee. In 2013, Mr. Stewart received The Florida Bar’s President’s Award of Merit. Mr. Stewart was selected as Chair of the Technology Subcommittee for The Florida Bar’s 3 – year study on the future of the practice of law known as Vision 2016, and on July 1, 2014, Mr. Stewart was appointed by Chief Justice Jorge Labarga to serve on the Supreme Court of Florida’s Florida Courts Technology Commission. He has also chaired the Board’s Communications Committee, Program Evaluation Committee and is in his 2nd year as Chair of the Technology Committee. Currently, Mr. Stewart serves on the Executive Committee of The Florida Bar’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Section and on The Florida Bar’s Special Commission on Gender Bias and Diversity in the Profession. In 2016, Mr. Stewart was selected to the Fastcase 50 honoring the law’s “smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Mr. Stewart speaks regularly on technology and the law including multiple sessions at the 2016 and 2017 ABA TECHSHOW.
Jack Newton is co-founder and CEO at Clio, the leading provider of cloud-based practice management software used by lawyers around the world. Clio has received numerous awards recognizing it for its outstanding corporate culture—and for being one of the fastest growing, most innovative technology companies worldwide. Jack is also president of the Legal Cloud Computing Association (LCCA), a consortium with a mandate to accelerate the adoption of cloud computing in the legal industry.
Jayme Cassidy directs the Veterans Law Clinic, the Legal Incubator, and the Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Law Clinic at Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law. Ms. Cassidy developed and launched all three programs while at NSU. Prior to joining NSU, she was the supervising attorney for the EACH (Economic Advocacy and Community Health) and VALOR (Veteran Advocates Legal Outreach & Representation) Projects at Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida, Inc. Ms. Cassidy created and implemented the VALOR Project which is a medical legal partnership with the Department of Veteran Affairs.
Ms. Cassidy is experienced in complex civil and criminal litigation and has a solid background in state and federal practice. She has served in the public sector as a Chief Assistant for the Broward County Public Defender and as an Assistant Attorney General.
Ms. Cassidy received her J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law where she was a member of the Legislative Law Journal. She is a former litigation attorney for Carnival Cruise Lines, and practiced law in New York and New Jersey with Garberini & Scher and Bower & Gardner.
Michelle Kenney is an Elder Law attorney and Florida Supreme Court certified circuit civil and county mediator. She is a founding member of GAPS Legal, PLLC, created to serve the specific legal needs of the guardianship, advocacy, probate, planning and special needs communities.
Ms. Kenney has been an educator for the National Guardianship Association since 2007 and is an instructor for the guardianship courses in Broward County and online across Florida. She was the Executive Director and a Professional Guardian for a non-profit corporate guardianship program and is a past president of the Center for Guardianship Certification, the Florida State Guardianship Association (FSGA) and the Broward County Guardianship Association. She is a current member of the Florida Bar, the Broward County Bar Association, the American Bar Association, and the Florida Association for Women Lawyers. Michelle serves as a committee member for the Florida Bar Elder Law Section’s Guardianship Committee.
Dorothy D’Alo-Simons is a Patient Advocate and Field Reimbursement Manager-Oncology, for Pfizer Pharmaceuticals. She has more than fifteen years in pharmaceuticals and hospital leadership, with expertise in executive leadership, regulatory compliance and patient advocacy. She is a proven leader and problem-solver, self-motivated and a proactive mentor, with a passion for increasing access to healthcare.
Her Credentials include a Master of Science in Health Care Law, CPCO, CPC and Six Sigma Yellow Belt Certifications. She has formal training in journalism, healthcare law, and regulatory compliance, and is currently in pursuit of her Juris Doctorate from Nova Southeastern’s Shepard Broad Law Center. She expects to graduate in May, 2020.
Nikhil Pillarisetti Rao, M.D., MSc
Nikhil Rao received his BA in Neurobiology and Behavior from Cornell University before moving to England to study human evolution and primate behavior at University College London where he received his MSc. He then returned to the US to earn his MD from University of Oklahoma. Dr. Rao began general psychiatry residency training at the University of Colorado and completed residency at University of Missouri Kansas City, before moving to UF for fellowship training in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. He is Board Certified in General Psychiatry and pursuing Board Certification in Obesity Medicine.
Dr. Rao’s clinical interests include psychotherapy, exercise and nutrition, collaborative care, PTSD, Anxiety, ADHD, Autism, and the psychiatric aspects of medical illness, disability, pain, and obesity. In addition to working with child fellows and general psychiatry residents, he also plays a role in the education of medical students and residents in other pediatric specialties.
PHOTO CAPTION: (left to right) Judge Catherine Peek McEwen the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida swears in Kathleen McLeroy, Greg Coleman, Thomas Oldt, and James Haggard as board members of the Florida Justice Technology Center Sept. 11 in Tampa. Not pictured is board member Adriana Linares, who was sworn in later.
FLORIDA JUSTICE TECHNOLOGY CENTER HOLDS ITS FIRST BOARD MEETING
TAMPA, Fla. —The Florida Justice Technology Center, a new statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing access to justice through the innovative use of technology, held its first board meeting Sept. 11 at the Tampa offices of Carlton Fields Jorden Burt.
Judge Catherine Peek McEwen of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida swore in as the center’s board chairman Tampa attorney Kathleen McLeroy, as well as the center’s other four founding board members.
“This center has gotten off the ground at lightning speed thanks to The Florida Bar Foundation, whose forward-thinking board recognized that technology will be key to expanding access to justice,” McLeroy said. “We will always need lawyers to help those with civil legal needs at all income levels, but like every other business process, the legal process can be made much more efficient and effective through the strategic application of technology.”
Following their swearing in, the board met for a day-long retreat to discuss the center’s mission and strategic priorities. The board defined the organization’s mission as “to facilitate broad access to civil justice by employing technology, coordinating stakeholders and focusing on self-sustaining programs and services.”
The board also reviewed and approved bylaws, operational policies and other administrative procedures and made plans to convene a stakeholder meeting before the end of the year to gather information about the current technology landscape in Florida. Its next board meetings are scheduled for October and November.
Funded through a $725,000 grant from The Florida Bar Foundation, the Florida Justice Technology Center will work not only with legal aid and pro bono programs but also with the judiciary and the court system, clerks of court, lawyers, law schools, corporations, community partners, and others to develop technology products and services that will expand access to justice. It will facilitate the development of streamlined, user-friendly systems to address the needs of those facing civil legal issues such as divorce, child custody, foreclosure, landlord-tenant disputes, home ownership, veterans’ benefits and elder affairs.
FJTC Executive Director Joyce Raby is tasked with building partnerships between the organization and all members of the Florida access to justice community.
“It is such a great opportunity to serve the people of Florida,” Raby said. “We have so many people coming together to collaborate and coordinate around technology and how to use it to improve the legal system.”
The center’s board includes lawyers and business leaders with deep and wide-ranging experience related to legal services and technology. McLeroy is a member of the Florida Commission on Access to Civil Justice, co-chair of The Florida Bar’s Standing Committee on Pro Bono and an attorney with Carlton Fields Jorden Burt. FJTC Vice Chair Greg Coleman is immediate past president of The Florida Bar, a member of the Florida Commission on Access to Civil Justice, and a partner at the West Palm Beach Law Firm of Critton, Luttier & Coleman LLP. Serving as secretary/treasurer is Tom Oldt, a Florida Bar Foundation board member and founder of Thomas R. Oldt Investment Services LLC.
Also on the board are Adriana Linares, founder of LawTech Partners, a board member of the American Bar Association Law Practice Division Legal Technology Resource Center, and vice chair of the ELawyering Task Force; and James Haggard, staff attorney at Brevard County Legal Aid, an ad hoc member of the technology subcommittee of the Florida Commission on Access to Civil Justice, and founder of Wiedza Creations LLC, a legal tech start up.
FJTC Board Meetings
Demo of pilot FLAG Triage Program
FLORIDA JUSTICE TECHNOLOGY CENTER
We're using innovative technology to bridge the gap to justice.
© 2018 Florida Justice Technology Center
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