Paralegal Certificate

 

Tammi Clearfield, Lead Instructor

Tammi Clearfield
Tammi Clearfield

Tammi Clearfield is a practicing attorney who has instructed paralegals for over fourteen years. Mrs. Clearfield has taught various online and on ground courses in law, criminal justice, paralegal studies, business and human resources at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. She has been recognized for her teaching excellence and commitment to higher education with multiple awards.

She was admitted to the Florida Bar in September 1995 and is also admitted to practice before the Southern District in the US District Court and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Mrs. Clearfield graduated from Florida Atlantic University with honors in 1992 with her BA degree, from Florida International University with honors in 1995 with her MS degree from the UM School of Law in 1995 with her JD degree. Mrs. Clearfield is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution. Mrs. Clearfield is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Law Mediator, a member of the Coral Gables Bar Association, the Florida Bar Family Law Section, the Florida Bar Criminal Law Section and the Florida Bar Labor and Employment Law Section. She is also a member of the Golden Key National Honor Society, Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and Alpha Phi Sigma Honor Society. Mrs. Clearfield is a board member of the Citizens' Crime Watch of Miami-Dade Executive Committee. Mrs. Clearfield has taught CLE seminars in the area of Family Law and has been a panelist in the areas of family law, dispute resolution and law practice success.

Paralegal Instructors

Judge Arzola
Judge Arzola

Judge Antonio Arzola was appointed to the Miami-Dade County Court bench by Governor Jeb Bush in August of 2005. Judge Arzola was subsequently re-elected to the County Court bench in 2008 without any opposition. In 2009, Judge Arzola was elevated to the Circuit Court bench by Governor Charlie Crist. Judge Arzola currently presides in the civil division. Prior to moving to the civil division, Judge Arzola presided in the criminal division for 7 years.

Judge Arzola attended Miami-Dade Community College where he graduated with honors. He then attended Florida International University where he also graduated with honors and received his degree in Criminal Justice. He was the first college graduate in his immediate family. Judge Arzola subsequently went to the University of Miami School of Law where he graduated magna cum laude and was a member of the UM Law Review. Judge Arzola was number one in his class after his first year and as a result obtained a full scholarship for his second and third years of law school. He also received book awards at UM for the best written exams in the following subjects: Torts, Property and Constitutional Law.

Upon graduating from law school, Judge Arzola clerked for United States Chief District Court Judge Federico A. Moreno. After his clerkship, he joined the law firm of Murai Wald Biondo & Moreno as a commercial litigator handling complex civil litigation matters.

Karl Brown
Karl Brown

General Magistrate Karl Brown

In May 2005, General Magistrate Brown was appointed as a Magistrate in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of the State of Florida, Miami-Dade County. He founded and was the principal owner and practitioner of the Law Offices of Karl S.H. Brown, where his areas of practice ranged from environmental, commercial & contract law to corporate, labor, real estate and family law. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and African and Afro American Studies from the University of South Florida. He earned his Juris Doctorate in May 1989, from Texas Southern University, Thurgood Marshall School of Law.

Craig M. Dorne
Craig M. Dorne,
Esquire

Craig M. Dorne was born and raised in Miami-Dade County and is a graduate of the University of Miami School of Business and School of Law. Mr. Dorne has focused his entire legal career on serving individuals and businesses in a wide variety of areas. He is a general practitioner who strives to provide his clients with the most cost effective method to resolve their legal problems.

Mr. Dorne represents clients in transactional matters including formation of the business, preparation of business plans, licensing matters, securities agreements and contractual matters. His transactional matters also include the preparation of employee handbooks and compliance plans. Mr. Dorne also represents clients in various commercial litigation matters

Mr. Dorne has even served as General Counsel to corporate clients to handle their routine matters and assist them with general corporate and administrative matters. For these clients, he has handled employee training and in-servicing to educate employees on matters of law.

Mr. Dorne is a member in good standing of the Florida Bar since 1990. He is admitted to practice in the State Courts of Florida and the United Sates District Courts for the Southern and Middle Districts of Florida.

Mr. Dorne stays current on the law through the latest computer technology and through membership in the Florida Bar Association, American Bar Association, Dade County Bar Association and the American Health Lawyers Association.

Mr. Dorne is also very active in community activities, has served on the Board of Directors of several charitable organizations and provides free legal services to many individuals and entities. Mr. Dorne also serves as an adjunct faculty professor for various schools.

Adela Estopinan
Adela Estopinan

Adela Estopinan has been affiliated with the University of Miami's Paralegal Program for several years and has taught both Essential Skills and substantive subjects. She started her law career as an Assistant State Attorney in Miami-Dade County. Later, she was appointed as a voluntary Hearing Officer with Dade County Public Schools. Currently, Adela is the Florida partner at a major national bankruptcy law firm. In this capacity, she oversees operations at several Florida offices and manages a professional staff of attorneys and paralegals. Additionally, Adela serves as lead counsel in Florida and personally oversees all bankruptcy matters before the courts. She is admitted to the Florida Bar and the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, as well as being a member of the American Bar Association, the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, and the Southern Florida Bankruptcy Bar. Honors and Awards: Greenberg-Traurig Scholar Award (Law School), member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, member of the Golden Key International Honor Society.

Eric Gressman
Eric Gressman

Eric Gressman earned the Distinguished Service Award from Robert A. Ginsburg, County Attorney. He has tried hundreds of jury and non-jury trials before appellate courts in Florida. He has been an adjunct professor of law teaching pre-trial civil litigation at the University of Miami School of Law. He has taught courses in torts and essential skills in the paralegal program at the University of Miami and Princeton Review courses in preparation for the LSAT and GMAT. At Broward Community College, Mr. Gressman conducted a seminar on police civil liability.

He is a published author on the subject of Canadian merger policy in the Michigan Yearbook of International Legal Studies and a coauthor of an article on federal jurisdiction in The George Washington Law Review in 1983. He was the chairman for a panel discussion for the Princeton Review concerning future opportunities in the legal field. Mr. Gressman has also been a private tutor on the subjects of legal writing and standardized tests.

Day to Day Responsibilities: Litigating for Malpractice, Personal Injury and Civil Rights Cases, Preparing Pleadings, Conducting Discovery, Composing Motions, Attending Hearings, Appearing for Oral Arguments, Briefing, Trying Cases, Assisting Assistant County Attorneys with Trials, Representing and Advising Miami-Dade County and Jackson Memorial Hospital

Education Certifications: Certified Personal Trainer; Certification in CPR

Awards/Honors: Distinguished Service Award, Miami-Dade County (1990); Award, University of Michigan Honors Convocation (1980); Academic Scholarship, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan; Nominee, Note and Administrative Editor, Yearbook of International Law, University of Michigan

Armando G. Hernandez
Armando G. Hernandez

Armando G. Hernandezreceived his Juris Doctorate degree magna cum laude from a local South Florida law school. Armando was the executive editor of the law review. He was also a board member for the law review and moot court boards. Armando was a Dean’s Merit Scholar. He was also a Dean’s Fellow in Civil Procedure, which sparked his passion for teaching. Armando has published various articles in newspapers, newsletters, magazines, law reviews, encyclopedias, and the like, on a variety of topics. Armando dedicates time to serving special causes and local organizations such as the Leukemia Research Foundation, Toys for Tots, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, Nico’s Promise, GMM Foundation, Amigos for Kids, Give Miami Day, and others.

Thomas Rebull
Thomas Rebull

Governor Rick Scott appointed Thomas Rebull as a Circuit Judge in September of 2011. He was born and raised in Miami.

Boston University awarded him a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology in 1992. Judge Rebull obtained his law degree, magna cum laude, from American University’s Washington College of Law in 1995, where he served on the law review. His first job after law school was as a law clerk for two years for the late Judge Joseph Nesbitt on the Third District Court of Appeal of Florida.

Before his appointment as a Circuit Judge, Judge Rebull was a Partner at the law firm of Broad and Cassel, where he practiced for over 10 years in the areas of commercial, real estate, and employment litigation. During that time, Judge Rebull was active in the community. He served on the City of Miami Civilian Investigative Panel for 9 years, the last two as its Chairperson. The Panel is charged with civilian oversight of the Miami Police Department. He also participated in a two year fellowship through the Miami Fellows Initiative, a program of the then Dade Community Foundation. The Initiative is a leadership development program for individuals in the early stages of their career.

Judge Rebull’s first assignment as a Circuit Judge was in the Felony Criminal Division. When she became Chief Judge in 2013, the Honorable Bertila Soto appointed Judge Rebull as an Associate Administrative Judge for the Criminal Division. She later named him co-chair of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Professionalism Committee. Judge Rebull rotated from the Criminal Division to the Civil Division in January of 2015. Judge Rebull is currently participating in a case management pilot program in the civil division. He is a frequent lecturer on professionalism and civility issues, as well as matters related to practice in the civil division of the Circuit Court. Judge Rebull has also served as faculty at the Florida College of Advanced Judicial Studies.

Roberta Mandel
Roberta Mandel

Roberta Mandel has argued over 850 cases before every Florida District Court of Appeal; the Florida Supreme Court; the Eleventh District Court of Appeal and served as co-counsel before the United States Supreme Court during her 26 years of practicing law. She has over 530 published appellate decisions. She has appeared on both local and cable television stations as a legal commentator after her involvement in the legal proceedings following the death of Anna Nicole Smith. In addition to practicing appellate law, Ms. Mandel renders trial support in both civil and trial matters and has sat "second-chair" in approximately 1800 jury trials.

Before opening her own law firm, Ms. Mandel was a partner and the head of the appellate and litigation support divisions of two large Florida law firms. She also served as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Florida.

Ms. Mandel is admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida; the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York; the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas; the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.

Ms. Mandel is an appointed member of both the Executive Council of the Appellate Practice Section of the Florida Bar and the Appellate Rules Committee of the Florida Bar. She is also a member of the Dade County Bar Association's Appellate Committee and the Third District Court of Appeal Historical Society. Ms. Mandel serves on the Amicus Committee for the State Florida Association of Women Lawyers and is a member of the Defense Research Institute.

Ms. Mandel served as a CLE Instructor in approximately 75 seminars. She has served on the Editorial Board of the Dade County Bar Association and as the Assistant Editor of "The Record." She has authored numerous articles for the "Florida Bar Journal," "The Record" and the "Criminal Law Reporter." She additionally served as an Editor of the Florida Appellate Practice Section, Pro Se Appellate Handbook.

In her spare time, Ms. Mandel coaches local high school mock trial teams and judges moot court competitions at the University of Miami, School of Law. She was nominated to be a "Super Lawyer" in 2014 and 2014 and named a "Legal Leader" in Florida in 2014 and 2015. Her law firm (Mandel Law Group, P.A.) was also named "Boutique Law Firm of the Month" in September 2013 by Attorney At Law Magazine.

Jaime Stricklin
Jaime Stricklin

Jaime Stricklin attended the University of Florida where she received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors in Public Relations from the College of Journalism and Communication, with an outside concentration in Criminal Justice.

After she graduated from UF, Jaime attended Nova Southeastern University, Shepard Broad Law Center, where she received the High Grade award in Criminal Law and Lawyering Skills and Values. She also served as a member of the ILSA Journal of International & Comparative Law.

Jaime cofounded the law firm of Ostrzenski & Stricklin, P.A., which specializes in real estate, commercial litigation, and general business representation. The firm serves as general counsel to many South Florida corporations. Jaime also owns and operates Marquis Title, LLC, a full-service title company, which handles the closings of residential and commercial transactions.

Jaime is a member of the Florida Bar, the Real Property, Probate & Trust Law Section of the Florida Bar, and the Broward County Bar Association.

Robin F. Hazel
Robin F. Hazel

Robin F. Hazel is a practicing attorney with over eight years of experience. Her practice consists of appeals, civil litigation and litigation support. Ms. Hazel handles appeals in diverse areas of the law including contract law, real estate, land use, bankruptcy, foreclosure, labor and employment, construction law and criminal law. She was named a Florida Rising Star by Super Lawyers Magazine in 2012.

Ms. Hazel, who now operates her own private practice, was a Senior Associate with a large Florida law firm for nearly six years. There, she represented the firms clients in appellate and litigation matters in state and federal court and provided litigation support to the members for the firms litigation department. Ms. Hazel is also a former Assistant Attorney General for the State of Florida where she represented the State of Florida in numerous appellate matters in state and federal court.

Ms. Hazel is a member of the Florida Bar and the District of Columbia Bar. She is admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and the United States District Court for the Southern, Middle and Northern Districts.

Ms. Hazel earned her Juris Doctorate from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law and her undergraduate degree from Florida International University, magna cum laude.

Doris Bermudez-Goodrich has enjoyed over twenty-two years of legal practice, most of those years representing institutional and private investors in contract enforcement actions. Early in her career Doris worked as an Assistant State Attorney and later as a private practitioner. Doris has extensive experience in the areas of real property, family law and commercial law. Over the last seven years, Doris has been privileged to serve as an Assistant General Counsel for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court. In addition, Doris is lead counsel to the Foreclosure Project in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court. In this capacity, Doris has taught law clerks and paralegals the mechanics of the civil division and the foreclosure process. Doris co-authored, together with Administrative Judge Jennifer D. Bailey, the Foreclosure Bench Book published by the Florida Education Council and available as a resource for the Florida State Court System.

Doris earned her Juris Doctor Degree from the University of Miami Law School and her Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics and Finance from Barry University.

Judge Rodney Smith
Judge Rodney Smith

Judge Rodney Smith was appointed to the Miami-Dade County Court bench by Governor Charlie Crist in May of 2008, where he presided over criminal, civil and domestic violence cases. Judge Smith was subsequently re-elected to the County Court bench in 2010 without any opposition. Judge Smith was elevated to the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court bench by Governor Rick Scott in June of 2012, where he has been presiding in the felony criminal division. Judge Smith was initially appointed by former Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Peggy A. Quince and reappointed by then-Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles T. Canady to fill the judicial vacancy on the Mediator Qualifications Board in the Southern Division. Judge Smith was raised in the Liberty City community of Miami, Florida where he graduated with honors from Miami Northwestern Senior High School and was a Silver Knight Nominee in English and Literature and a recipient of the City of Miami Police Department's "Do the Right Thing" Award.

A cum laude graduate of Florida A & M University and also a cum laude graduate of Michigan State University College of Law, Judge Smith has handled appellate cases and tried over 100 jury and non-jury civil, criminal, and administrative cases before the state and federal courts and administrative bodies. His distinguished legal career began in 1999 as an Assistant State Attorney in the Miami-Dade County State Attorney's Office, where he served as a Division Chief in the Juvenile Division and as a Career Criminal/Robbery Prosecutor in the Felony Division. Judge Smith subsequently served as a senior assistant city attorney for the City of Miami Beach, a trial attorney with McGrane, Nosich & Ganz, P.A., and as in-house trial counsel for two large insurance companies. In addition to being a member of the Florida Bar, Judge Smith is admitted to practice in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court of the United States of America, the United States Court of Federal Claims, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit; the Federal Circuit; and the Armed Forces. He has received numerous honors, awards and recognition for his commitment and dedication to this community. Judge Smith is also an Eagle Scout where he serves as an Assistant Scoutmaster for a local inner city Boy Scouts Troop.

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