Honors, Presentations, and Articles

Honors, Presentations, and Articles


Florida Guardian ad Litem Excellence in Advocacy Award, 2016, 8th Judicial Circuit.

Excellence in Advocacy Awards

This year the Florida Guardian ad Litem Program wanted to recognize the hard work of Registry Attorneys who represent children with certain special needs in their circuit.  Our GAL team recognizes the great work Registry Attorneys perform in dependency courts across the state.  These attorneys are driven by their passion to make a difference in the life of a child with special needs.  Registry Attorneys do work far beyond the money paid to them – often times donating any fees collected to a law school program or Legal Aid.   Their impressive and dedicated representation of some of Florida’s most vulnerable dependent children under § 39.01305, is valued by not only the children they represent, but also by their peers who have recognized them for this award.   From ensuring a child who did not need the prescribed psychotropic medications was taken off of them, to fighting for specialized counseling and treatment, these Registry Attorneys partnered with the GAL Program to do what was right for children.

Registry Attorneys have used their immense expertise for good.  They take cases that are complicated and sometimes heart breaking – at a very minimal cost to the state.  Their work with children helps families and inspires others.  We thank them for being the standard bearer for other child welfare professionals and their work with children with special needs.  The Florida Guardian ad Litem Program looks forward to this yearly award for Registry Attorneys who represent Excellence in Advocacy.

The Winners of the GAL Program’s 2016

Excellence in Advocacy Award

Susan Winterberger – First Circuit
Stephanie Johnson – Second Circuit
Heidi Kemph – Third Circuit and First DCA
Connie Byrd – Fourth Circuit
Brenda Smith – Fifth Circuit
Bowdre McAllister – Sixth Circuit
Carol Kelley – Seventh Circuit
Nancy Wright – Eighth Circuit
Barbara Glass – Ninth Circuit
Deborah Wells – Tenth Circuit and Second DCA
Robert Latham – Statewide Winner, Third DCA and Eleventh Circuit
C. Michael Kelly – Twelfth Circuit
Scott Horvat – Thirteenth Circuit
Lawrence Kranert, Jr. – Fourteenth Circuit
Penny Martin – Fifteenth Circuit and Fourth DCA
Richard F. Joyce – Sixteenth Circuit
Linda Singer – Seventeenth Circuit
Pamela Bress – Eighteenth Circuit
Crystal Marsh – Nineteenth Circuit
Kathy Bruno – Twentieth Circuit
Leonard Helfand – Appeals

To learn more about the Florida GAL Program and to access legal resources, training and case summaries, visit www.GuardianadLItem.org.

Recipient of 2014 Florida Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Award for the Eighth Judicial Circuit.

Photo from Pro Bono Ceremony

Each year the Florida Supreme Court and the Florida Bar give special recognition to attorneys who have freely given their time and expertise in making legal services available to the poor.  This award is given annually to an outstanding attorney residing in each of the state’s 20 judicial circuits.


Administrative Advocacy
Academy of Florida Elder Law Attorneys, Orlando, December 2017

Increasing Housing Stability for Persons with Disabilities
Supportive Housing Coalition, Orlando, October 2017

Long-Term Care Program Changes
Academy of Florida Elder Law Attorneys, Tampa, May 2017

Panel Discussion on Transition & Medicaid Jeopardy
Guardian ad Litem Disability Conference, Orlando, May 2017

Webinar on Long-Term Care Program Changes: There’s No Place Like Home
Florida Legal Services, February 2017

Presentation on Guardian Advocacy for APD Providers
Children’s Board, Tampa, January 2017

Administrative Advocacy and Managed Care
Elder Law Annual CLE, Orlando, January 2017

Mostly Medicaid Waivers
Guardian ad Litem Disabilities Training Conference, Orlando, May 2016

Medicaid Services for Children with Disabilities: Who Does What?
Guardian ad Litem Disabilities Training Conference, Orlando, May 2015

Benefits for Adults with Disabilities
Florida Down Syndrome Conference, February 2015

Administrative Advocacy and Managed Care
Florida Bar CLE, Elder Law (Advanced Topics), January 2015

Accessing Services for Children with Disabilities
Partnership for Strong Families, September 2014

Legal Issues for the Disabled Community
The ARC of Florida Best Practices Forum, Howey-in-the-Hills, June 2014

Status of Litigation on iBudget Florida
Florida Association of Residential Facilities Conference, June 2014

Accessing Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services
Guardian ad Litem Disabilities Training Conference, Orlando, May 2014

Affordable Health Care for Children with Disabilities
Co-presentation with Jodi Siegel at Council of Parents, Attorneys, and Advocates (COPAA) National Conference, March 2014  Baltimore, MD

Administrative Advocacy – Advanced Topics
Florida Elder Law Certification Review CLE January 2012, 2013, 2014

Webinar: iBudget Florida: What Happened and Where Are We Now?
 The Arc of Florida January 2014

Understanding iBudget Florida
Arc of Alachua County  June 2013
Upper Pinellas County Arc  March 2013

Webinar: Guardian Advocacy in Florida
CARD UF  November 2011, February 2013

Update on APD DD Waiver
FLS Health and Senior Umbrella Group CLE October 2012,  August 2013

Medicaid Services for Children: When IDEA Isn’t Enough
Co-presentation with Gabriela M. Ruiz
COPAA National Conference 2012 Miami, FL

Status of Litigation on iBudget Florida
Florida Association of Residential Facilities Conferences June & September 2013

Fair Hearings: Preparation, Presentation and Appeal
Academy of Florida Elder Law Attorneys  August 2011

Advocating for Your Special Needs Child
The Arc of Alachua County  August 2011


A Primer on the Medicaid Long-Term Care Program, The Elder Law Advocate, Vol. XXIV, No. 1,  Spring 2017.

Affordable Health Care & Treatment for Children with Disabilities, COPAA Conference 2014, co-authored with Jodi Siegel

How to Prepare an Appealable Fair Hearing, Elder Law Advocate, Vol. XXI, No 1, Spring 2013

Administrative Advocacy: Representing Your Client Before an Agency, Elder Law Certification Review Materials, January 2013 & 2014

A Primer on Medicaid Services for Persons with Developmental Disabilities, Elder Law Advocate, Vol XIX, No. 2, Summer 2011

Comments are closed.