Jacksonville Office Staff 2017-03-30T09:22:39+00:00

JALA’s Valuable  Team Members

Meet Our Jacksonville Office Team

JIM KOWALSKI, JR., ESQ.
President & CEO
Phone: (904) 356-8371 x 325

SUMMARY:
James A. Kowalski, Jr. was named the Executive Director (now President and CEO) of Jacksonville Area Legal Aid in December 2012. Prior to taking the post at JALA, he was a civil trial attorney based in Jacksonville, Florida, specializing in consumer protection litigation, including wrongful foreclosure and consumer fraud, complex personal injury, wrongful death, and premises liability litigation. He has earned a rating of AV (Preeminent). Mr. Kowalski is licensed to practice law in Florida and California and has lived and worked in the Jacksonville area since moving to Florida from Northern California in 1989, after graduating from the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of San Francisco School of Law. Mr. Kowalski served as an Assistant State Attorney from 1989-1996, acting as Division Chief (County Court; Public Corruption Unit) and Senior Trial Attorney in the Special Assault/Sex Crimes and ROC (Repeat Offender Court) Divisions; he was also a member of the on-call homicide team.

After leaving the State Attorney’s Office in 1996, Mr. Kowalski specialized in litigation and handled matters involving consumer protection, including wrongful foreclosure and consumer fraud, complex personal injury, wrongful death, and premises liability litigation. He has tried more than 60 jury trials to verdict.

Mr. Kowalski has presented numerous lectures in the area of consumer fraud and housing, including presentations on mortgage foreclosure and debt collection litigation and on issues relating to crime victimization, including the use of victim impact testimony in death penalty cases. He is a member of the National Association of Consumer Advocates, the Child Protection Team (CPT) Advisory Council, has served on the board of Compassionate Families, Inc., a Jacksonville non-profit dedicated to assisting the families of homicide victims, and is the past vice-chair of the Mayor’s Victim’s Assistance Advisory Council (VAAC). He is a recipient of the Jacksonville Legal Aid Pro Bono award for 2006 and 2008, the St. Johns County Legal Aid Pro Bono award for 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012, and the Florida Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Award in 2009 and 2011, for service rendered in the Fourth and Seventh Judicial Circuits. Mr. Kowalski recently finished consecutive one-year terms (2014-2015 and 2015-2016) as President of the Project Director’s Association, which includes the directors of the civil legal aid programs in Florida.

In December 2010, Mr. Kowalski testified before the United States House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary on the topic of “Foreclosed Justice: Causes and Effects of the Foreclosure Crisis.” He also testified before the Florida Senate Committee on Banking and Insurance in 2010, and testified at length before the Florida Supreme Court Task Force on Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Cases in 2009.

In 2011, Mr. Kowalski was named “Consumer Protection Lawyer of the Year” by the Consumer Protection Law Committee of the Florida Bar and was recognized at the Florida Bar’s Annual Conference “For outstanding work protecting the legal rights of Floridians facing foreclosure and helping fellow practitioners of consumer law.” He is the recipient of the 2014 Peter E. Haas Public Service Award from the University of California, Berkeley, for his advancement of legal rights “…for the most vulnerable members of the community, ranging from adults and children who have suffered from a violent crime to those who have been victims of predatory lending and collection practices.” In June 2016, Mr. Kowalski received the Florida Bar Foundation President’s Award for Excellence, in part, for his “…unwavering commitment to improving the delivery of legal aid throughout the state…”

In November 2014, Mr. Kowalski was selected by Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Jorge Labarga as one of 27 inaugural members of the Florida Commission on Access to Civil Justice, charged with studying the unmet civil legal needs of disadvantaged, low-income and moderate-income Floridians. He is also a current member of the Florida Courts Technology Commission.

ALLISON ALBERT
Fair Housing Director
Phone: (904) 356-8371 ext. 264
Email: allison.albert@jaxlegalaid.org

SUMMARY:
Ms. Albert graduated from the State University of New York Institute of Technology in 2000 with a B.B.A. in Business Administration. Ms. Albert received her law degree from Florida Coastal School of Law in 2005 where she was honored for her work with the Pro Bono program. Ms. Albert officially joined JALA as a staff attorney in 2008. She devotes her time to defending foreclosures actions. Ms. Albert is located in JALA’s northside office at the Ribault Family Resource Center in Jacksonville.

LAVERNE ANDREASEN, ESQ.
Chief Human Resources Officer
Phone: (904) 356-8371 ext. 309
Email: laverne.andreasen@jaxlegalaid.org

SUMMARY:
Ms. Andreasen is JALA’s employment law attorney, providing services to poor workers and the unemployed. She received her B.B.A. in Accounting from Andrews University and her J.D. from Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad Law Center, graduating with pro bono honors for her contribution to the community. Ms. Andreasen joined JALA as a staff attorney in the employment unit in 2007. Prior to joining JALA’s staff, she was a staff attorney with Three Rivers Legal Services, and practiced family and consumer law with a law office in South Florida. Ms. Andreasen practices in JALA’s main office in downtown Jacksonville.

VIRGIL BACHTOLD
Chief Technology Officer
Phone: (904) 356-8371 ext. 329
Email: virgil.bachtold@jaxlegalaid.org
JAMSIE BANKS
Legal Assistant
Phone: (904) 356-8371 ext. 317
Email: jamsie.banks@jaxlegalaid.org
SHIKHA BHANGU
Attorney
Phone: (904) 356-8371
KRISTA BURBY
Paralegal to President & CEO
Phone: (904) 356-8371

Summary :
Ms. Burby has been a paralegal specializing in foreclosure since 2010. Prior to that, she worked as a quality control associate in another foreclosure firm, and also spent some years working in the area of service of process.

As paralegal for President and CEO Jim Kowalski, Ms. Burby drafts pleadings and correspondences in foreclosure cases, appeals, and other county civil consumer cases. She manages case documents, and assists in hearing and trial preparation. Ms. Burby also assists in drafting Fair Hearing Requests for food stamp denials.

Area of Expertise or Practices:
Foreclosure/Consumer Law

LYNN DRYSDALE
Division Chief, Consumer Advocacy & Litigation Unit
Phone: (904) 356-8371 ext. 306
Email: lynn.drysdale@jaxlegalaid.org

SUMMARY:
Lynn Drysdale is a consumer protection attorney who has been with Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, Inc. for almost 3 decades. She represents consumers in individual and class cases and engages in legislative advocacy relating to debt collection, pay day loans, “spot delivery” motor vehicle sales and financing, military pension loans, automobile title loans, pay day loans and mortgages. She teaches foreclosure defense litigation to consumer law attorneys around the state of Florida, has been a trainer for National Consumer Law Center, National Association of Consumer Advocates, the Naval Justice School and other organizations on a variety of consumer issues. She was Co-chairman of the Board of NACA and Chairman of the Florida Bar Consumer Protection Law Committee and has been a contributing writer for the NCLC practice manuals and co-authored The Two-Tiered Consumer Financial Services Marketplace: The Fringe Banking System and its Challenge to Current Thinking About The Role of Usury Laws in Today’s Society, a law review article for the South Carolina Law Review, with distinguished consumer advocate, Kathleen Keest, Esquire. She is presently a member of the Florida Bar Code and Rules of Evidence Committee and was also a member of the Florida Bar Small Claims Rules Committee. She testified before the United States Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee in its “Review of the Department of Defense’s Report on Predatory Lending Practices Directed at Members of the Armed Forces and Their Dependents” in September, 2006 and before the same Senate Committee on July 19, 2011 relating to “Enhanced Consumer Financial Protections, After the Financial Crisis.” She has also testified twice at Federal Trade Commission workshops in Washington D.C. relating to debt collection and once before the Federal Reserve Board at its hearing regarding the Home Ownership Equity Protection Act in Atlanta, Georgia. She testifies annually before the Florida House of Representatives and Senate. She was awarded the 2001 National Consumer Law Center’s Vern Countryman Consumer Law Award and the 2014 Consumer Protection Lawyer of the Year as named by the Florida Bar Consumer Protection Law Committee. She is presently an adjunct consumer law professor at the University of Florida, College of Law.

AREA OF EXPERTISE OR PRACTICES:
Consumer Advocacy and Litigation

STAFF ATTORNEY:
Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, Inc., 1988 to present.
Florida Legal Services, Inc., 1996 to 2003
Admitted to Practice State of Florida, Middle District of Florida, 11th Circuit Court of Appeals

Lynn Drysdale is a consumer protection attorney who has been with Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, Inc. for almost 3 decades. She represents consumers in individual and class cases and engages in legislative advocacy relating to debt collection, pay day loans, “spot delivery” motor vehicle sales and financing, military pension loans, automobile title loans, pay day loans and mortgages. She teaches foreclosure defense litigation to consumer law attorneys around the state of Florida, has been a trainer for National Consumer Law Center, National Association of Consumer Advocates, the Naval Justice School and other organizations on a variety of consumer issues. She was Co-chairman of the Board of NACA and Chairman of the Florida Bar Consumer Protection Law Committee and has been a contributing writer for the NCLC practice manuals and co-authored The Two-Tiered Consumer Financial Services Marketplace: The Fringe Banking System and its Challenge to Current Thinking About The Role of Usury Laws in Today’s Society, a law review article for the South Carolina Law Review, with distinguished consumer advocate, Kathleen Keest, Esquire. She is presently a member of the Florida Bar Code and Rules of Evidence Committee and was also a member of the Florida Bar Small Claims Rules Committee. She testified before the United States Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee in its “Review of the Department of Defense’s Report on Predatory Lending Practices Directed at Members of the Armed Forces and Their Dependents” in September, 2006 and before the same Senate Committee on July 19, 2011 relating to “Enhanced Consumer Financial Protections, After the Financial Crisis.” She has also testified twice at Federal Trade Commission workshops in Washington D.C. relating to debt collection and once before the Federal Reserve Board at its hearing regarding the Home Ownership Equity Protection Act in Atlanta, Georgia. She testifies annually before the Florida House of Representatives and Senate. She was awarded the 2001 National Consumer Law Center’s Vern Countryman Consumer Law Award and the 2014 Consumer Protection Lawyer of the Year as named by the Florida Bar Consumer Protection Law Committee. She is presently an adjunct consumer law professor at the University of Florida, College of Law.

ADJUNCT PROFESSOR:
University of Florida, College of Law, Consumer Law Class, Fall of 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Florida Coastal School of Law, Consumer Transactions, Spring 2013

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS AND AFFILIATIONS:
Member, Florida Bar Code and Rules of Evidence Committee, 2015, 2016
Member, Florida Bar Public Interest Law Section, 2014, 2015
Past Chair, Florida Bar Consumer Protection Law Committee, 2008, 2009, 2010 (vice chair), 2011-2012 (chair), 2013, 2014
Member Florida Bar Small Claims Rules Committee, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
Board of National Association of Consumer Advocates, 1998 – 2000, 2006, 2007, 2008, Co-Chairman of the Board 2008 – 2012
Member Jacksonville Bankruptcy Bar Association, Member of Board of Directors, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007, 2009, 2011, President 2008, Chairwoman 2010
Member Florida Legal Services Consumer Work Group, 1988 – 2012, Chairperson, 1991, 1992, 1997, 1998, 2002 – 2015
Member and Chairperson Florida Consumer Law Task Force 2001 – 2011
Licensed County Court Mediator
Member The Florida Bar Fourth Judicial Circuit Grievance Committee, 2000, 2001, 2002

TESTIMONY TO FEDERAL GOVERNMENTAL AGENCIES AND FEDERAL LEGISLATIVE BODIES:
Testified before the Florida Attorney General and the National Mortgage Settlement Monitor at a workshop held in Orlando, Florida , March, 2013.
Testified, Mortgage Servicing Policy Briefing for the CFPB, FDIC, OCC and FTC sponsored by the National Consumer Law Center: A Report from the Field, July, 2012.
Testified before the United States Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, Hearing “ Enhanced Consumer Financial Protections, After the Financial Crisis,” July, 2011.
Panelist by Invitation, Federal Trade Commission Workshop, Washington D.C., Protecting Consumers in Debt Collection Litigation and Arbitration, December, 2009.
Panelist by Invitation, Federal Trade Commission Workshop, Washington D.C., Collecting Consumer Debts – The Challenges of Change, Debt Collection Litigation: Current Issues, October, 2007.
Testified before the United States Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, Hearing “ Review of the Department of Defense’s Report on Predatory Lending Practices Directed at Members of the Armed Forces and Their Dependents,” September, 2006.
Presenter Conference of State Bank Supervisors and National Association of Consumer Credit Administrators Pay Day Lending Regulator Summit, 2004.
Speaker by invitation, Federal Reserve Board hearing regarding the Home Ownership Equity Protection Act hearing, Atlanta, GA, June, 1997.

SAMPLE OF PUBLICATIONS AND PRESENTATIONS:
Contributing writer for National Consumer Law Center, Consumer Publications, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2008, 2010, 2014.
Contributing writer for National Association of Consumers Advocates, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2009.
Contributing writer for Consumer Financial Services Law Report, 1999, 2000.
Trainer National Consumer Law Center Annual Conference, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2014.
Law Review Article: The Two-Tiered Consumer Financial Services Marketplace: The Fringe Banking System and its Challenge to Current Thinking About The Role of Usury Laws in Today’s Society, South Carolina Law Review, Volume 51, Number 3, Spring 2000.
Trainer Practicing Law Institute Consumer Financial Services Litigation Training, 2002, 2007.
Presenter Twelfth Annual Seminar Jacksonville Bankruptcy Bar, 2004.
Presenter Eighth Annual Florida Neighborhoods Conference, Economic Empowerment Consumer Savvy for Neighborhoods, September, 2004, 2006.
Trainer Consumer Law Seminar – A Day of Consumer Law Training for Judge Advocates, Legal Officers and Senior Leadership, Naval Air Station, Jacksonville, February, 2005, 2007.
Presenter Housing Partnership of Jacksonville’s Housing Roundtable, Predatory Lending, February, 2005.
Presenter Navy – Marine Corps Relief Society Mayport – Professional Development Day, Consumer Scams Targeting the Military, March, 2005.
Presenter Consumer Federation of America, Consumer Assembly, Washington, D.C. Consumer Abuses Against the Military, March 2005, 2007.
Presenter and Panelist, Addressing Predatory Lending Abuses, Florida Bar Continuing Education Seminar- Liability of “Fringe” Lenders: Payday Loans, Refund Anticipation Loans, etc. and Panel Discussion: Legislative Initiatives to Combat Predatory Lending, 2005 .
Presenter The Mayor’s Victim Assistance Advisory Council – Fall Forum – Crimes of the 21st Century, September, 2005.
Organizer and Presenter Naval Legal Service Office Southeast, Jacksonville Consumer Law Symposium, October, 2005.
Trainer Safeguarding the Consumer and Housing Client in 2006, Florida Legal Services, “Foreclosure Assistance Scams and Equity Skimming,” January, 2006.
Presenter, The Eleventh Annual Consumer Financial Services Litigation Institute Training, “Fringe Lending, Litigation and Legislative Updates, “New York City, New York, March, 2006.
Trainer, The Florida Bar’s Consumer Law Symposium, “Legal Aid Advocates” Perspective and Experience in Consumer Protection Cases,” Tallahassee, Florida, May, 2006.
Panelist, Law Matters, WUFT, television broadcast- pay day lending, March, 2007.
National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys Annual National Seminar, Philadelphia, PA, Representing Members of the Military and their Families, April, 2007.
Trainer, Consumer Law Issues for the Navy JAG and civil service attorneys stationed at Naval Station Mayport, Jacksonville Naval Air Station and Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, May, 2007.
Panelist by Invitation, WJCT’s First Coast Forum television broadcast “Mortgaging the American Dream,” July, 2007.
Trainer, National Consumer Law Center, Mortgage Seminar, St. Louis, Missouri, September, 2007.
Co-Authored nationwide pay day lending ordinance manual “Controlling the Growth of Pay Day Lending Through Local Ordinances and Resolutions” November, 2007, updated March, 2010 and October, 2012.
Panelist by Invitation, Askew Institute “Consumer Protection in the Digital Age,” March, 2008.
Presenter by Invitation, Governor’s Hope Now Mortgage Task Force, March, 2008.
Trainer, National Consumer Law Center, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Seminar, Nashville, Tennessee, March, 2008.
Trainer, Nassau County Bar Association Pro Bono Mortgage Foreclosure Panel, June, 2008, July, 2008.
Presenter, Florida Attorney General Consumer Issues Training, June, 2008.
Trainer, Southeast Regional Legal Services Officers Training Symposium, Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and other collection issues, August, 2008.
Panelist, Florida Dispute Resolution Conference: Mediation and Justice for All, Ethics Plenary: Justice, Fairness, & Ethic in Mediation, August, 2008.
Trainer, National Consumer Law Center Consumer Law Litigation Conference, Predatory Lending and the Military and Evidentiary Issues in Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Litigation, October, 2008.
Organizer and Presenter, Sixteenth Annual Jacksonville Bankruptcy Bar Association Seminar, October, 2008.
Trainer, AARP, The National Legal Training Project, Representing Victims of Abusive Debt Collection Practices, Washington, D.C., December, 2008.
Developed and presented a Truth in Lending Webinar for the Florida Attorneys Saving Houses program, January, 2009.
Presenter FHA’s Loss Mitigation Program, Florida Foreclosure Law/Foreclosure Timeline, March, 2009.
Trainer, Jacksonville Bar Association’s Defending Foreclosures in Florida, Florida Coastal School of Law, March, 2009.
Trainer, Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, Saving Homes and Protecting Income, April, 2009.
Presenter, Jacksonville Human Rights Commission’s Passport to Fair Housing, Predatory Lending, April, 2009.
Trainer, Jacksonville Bar Association Elder Law Section Seminar “Current Issues in Elder Care from the Legal Perspective” April, 2009.
Presenter, Eleventh Circuit Judicial Conference of Federal Court Judges, April, 2009.
Presenter, Florida Bar Association, Consumer Protection Law Committee seminar “Representing Main Street” Mortgage Foreclosure Defense, June, 2009.
Panelist, WJCT’s Facing the Mortgage Crisis 90 minute call-in television program, August, 2009.
Guest, WJCT’s Facing the Mortgage Crisis 30 minute call-in radio program, August, 2009.
Trainer, National Consumer Law Center Consumer Law Litigation Conference, Four classes on Debt Collection , including the ABC’s of debt collection, the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and other consumer protection litigation tools and strategies, October, 2009.
Panelist by Invitation, Federal Trade Commission Workshop, Washington D.C., Protecting Consumers in Debt Collection Litigation and Arbitration, December, 2009.
Speaker by invitation, City of Jacksonville Task Force on Foreclosure, January, 2010.
Trainer, Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida Defending Debt Collection Cases, Orlando, Florida, February, 2010.
Speaker, Credit Reports and Fair Credit Reporting Rights, Deaf Rights Night, Duval County and Simulcast live to Crystal River, Florida for the Citrus/Marion County Hearing Impaired Programs, February, 2010.
Trainer, Fourth Judicial Circuit Foreclosure Mediation Certification Training, February, 2010.
Speaker, National Consumer Law Center Fair Debt Collection Training Conference, How Debts are Collected, Developing a Fair Debt Legal Services Practice and Effective Legal Services Private Attorney Partnerships and the New LSC Fee Rules, March, 2010.
Trainer, Florida Foreclosure Law/Foreclosure Timeline, FHA’s Loss Mitigation Program sponsored by federal HUD, May, 2010.
Trainer, The Jacksonville Bar Association and Federal Bar Association (Jacksonville Chapter) 2010 Ehrlich Nimmons Trial Advocacy Seminar, Mortgage Foreclosure Litigation: An Area You Can Not Seem to Escape, June, 2010.
Panelist, Residential Foreclosure Seminar, Sponsored by the Consumer Protection Law Committee of the Florida Bar, June, 2010.
Trainer, Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, Inc. Mortgage Foreclosure Defense Series, Gainesville, Florida, August, 2010; Orlando, Florida, September, 2010; Tallahassee, Florida, December, 2010; Pensacola, Florida, December, 2010; Naples, Florida, January, 2011; Fort Lauderdale, Florida, February , 2011; Melbourne, Florida, March, 2011; Miami, Florida, April, 2011; Jacksonville, Florida, June, 2011; Tampa, Florida, July, 2011, Key West, Florida, August, 2011; Gainesville, Florida, August, 2013; Daytona Beach, Florida, October, 2013; Tampa, Florida, August, 2014.
Trainer, Private/Public Partnerships in Consumer Law – National Consumer Law Center, January, 2011; September, 2012.
Trainer, Consumer Law Tips for Non-Consumer Lawyers, Florida Bar Public Interest Law Section, March, 2011.
Trainer, Naval Justice School Legal Assistance Course; Newport, Rhode Island, UCC and Motor Vehicle Sales and Finance, April, 2011.
Trainer, Florida Bar Foundation Internship Program, Mortgage Foreclosure Litigation, May, 2011.
Trainer, Three Rivers Legal Services, Consumer Law for Pro Bono Attorneys, June, 2011.
Trainer, National Consumer Law Center, Mortgage Foreclosure Litigation Conference, July, 2011.
Trainer, Max Gardner’s Bankruptcy Boot Camp, ABC’s of the UCC, March, 2012.
Trainer, 2012 Consumer Law Conference hosted by the University of Houston Law Center, Houston, Texas, “View from the Trenches‑ Practicing Consumer Law,” May, 2012.
Presenter, The Florida Bar Consumer Protection Law Committee seminar “Significant Changes in Consumer Protection Law,” Orlando, Florida, June, 2012.
Trainer, National Consumer Law Center, Mortgage Foreclosure presentations, October, 2012.
Developer and Trainer, Florida Legal Services, Consumer Law Group Mortgage Foreclosure , Training, June, 2013.
Developer and Trainer, Webinar, JALA and Florida Consumer Action Network, Changes to Florida Mortgage Foreclosure Laws – 2013 Session Overview, August, 2013.
Developer and Trainer, Attorneys Fees and Legal Aid Attorneys, Florida Legal Services, January, 2014.
Developer and Trainer, Webinar, CFPB and Amendments to Regulations X and Z, February, 2014.
Developer and Trainer, Florida Legal Services Consumer Law Group Annual Training, June, 2014.
Trainer, Florida Bar Annual Meeting, Regulation Z and X, Orlando, Florida, June, 2014.
Trainer, Florida Housing Coalition, Annual Conference, Regulation Z and X, Orlando, Florida, September, 2014.
Trainer, NAS Jacksonville, Navy JAG Officers Annual Training, Regulation Z and X, October, 2014.
Trainer, National Consumer Law Center Annual Conference, Intersection between Consumer Awards and Public Benefits, Tampa, Florida, November, 2014.
Panelist, Florida Bar Consumer Protection Law Committee CLE, Making a Big Impact on Consumer Law, June, 2015.
Trainer, Obtaining Attorney Fee Awards in Legal Services Programs, Community Legal Services of Mid Florida, December, 2015.

PARTIAL LIST OF CLASS CERTIFICATIONS:
Bennett v Coggin Cars, LLC, 2004‑CA‑2883
Hubbell v Sonic Payday, Ltd, et al. 2006‑CA‑6275
North Star Capital Acquisitions, LLC v. Krig, 3:07‑cv‑00264‑TJC‑MCR(consolidated with next three cases)
Capital One Bank v. Miller, 3:07‑cv‑00265‑TJC‑MCR
Capitol One Bank v. Livingston, 3:07‑cv‑00266‑TJC‑MCR
Capital One Bank v. Brannon, 3:08‑cv‑01016‑TJC‑MCR
McClure v. Avenue Motors, Ltd., 2007‑CA‑9207
Lankhorst v. Independent Savings Plan Company d/b/a ISPC, 3:11‑cv‑390‑J-34JRK

AWARDS INCLUDE:
Community Service Award, D. W. Perkins Bar Association, Inc. October, 1997
Northeast Florida Consumer Council Consumer Advocate of the Year, 1999
The National Consumer Law Center’s Vern Countryman Consumer Law Award, 2001
Consumer Protection Law Committee of the Florida Bar, Consumer Protection Lawyer of the Year, June, 2014

ANN DWYER
HUD Housing Counselor
Phone: (904) 356-8371
SHARON FRANCIS
Legal Assistant, Social Security Advocacy Unit
Phone: (904) 356-8371
DONALD B. FREEMAN
Managing Attorney, Jacksonville Office
Phone: (904) 356-8371

SUMMARY:
Mr. Freeman joined JALA’s staff in 1979, immediately after graduation from Boston University School of Law. Mr. Freeman has specialized in the areas of landlord-tenant law, government assisted housing law, and Fair Housing Law since he joined JALA. Mr. Freeman is an original member of the Florida Legal Services Housing Workgroup, and he assisted Florida Legal Services staff and legislators in the drafting of important housing legislation such as Chapter 83.67 Fla. Stat., among others. Mr. Freeman currently works with tenant groups in responding to PHA plan proposals and has been involved in Fair Housing cases to desegregate the siting of public housing complexes in Jacksonville. He played a major role in ensuring the creation of nearly 700 units of Public Housing in Jacksonville as a result of the demolition of the old Blodgett Homes development in the early 1990’s. Mr. Freeman practices in JALA’s main office in downtown Jacksonville, where he is the Managing Attorney and continues to practice housing law on behalf of JALA’s clients.

Mr. Freeman and his wife reside in Atlantic Beach where they enjoy the beach, Jaguars football, cooking, mountain biking and spoiling their two grandsons. After a past interest in roadracing motorcycles in the 1980’s and’90’s, his hobbies have “evolved” into wine collecting and managing his two grandsons’ BMX bicycle racing “careers”.

AREA OF EXPERTISE OR PRACTICES:
Florida Landlord-Tenant Law; Government Subsidized Landlord-Tenant Law; Fair Housing

EDUCATION:
B.A., University of Virginia, 1975
J.D., Boston University School of Law, 1979

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS AND AFFILIATIONS:
Served as member of Florida Bar’s Fourth Judicial Circuit Grievance Committee for four years

COURT ADMISSIONS:
Florida Bar
U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida

HONORS AND AWARDS:
Jacksonville Urban League award and Certificate for work on Blodgett Homes Demolition Issue and contribution to Status of Blacks in Jacksonville 1988 Report; 1988.
Jacksonville Legal Secretaries Association Boss of the Year award; 1995.
Recognition by Florida Legal Services Housing Umbrella Group for Dedicated Service to Florida’s Tenants and Training of Florida Legal Services Housing Attorneys; 1995.
Multiple recognitions by JALA for service to clients and community; 1995, 2002, 2004, 2010.

SUZANNE GARROW, ESQ.
Intake Attorney
Phone: (904) 356-8371

SUMMARY:

Education

Ms. Garrow is a graduate of Smith College, A.B. and she receievd her J.D. from the Northeastern University School of Law

Court Admissions:

Florida, Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Connecticut

Profile:

She spent most of her practice as a shareholder in HEISLER, FELDMAN, McCORMICK, & GARROW, P.C., Springfield, MA. The firm is a “private legal aid” firm with a busy litigation practice focusing on low income clients and exclusively representing tenants in landlord/tenant disputes and fair housing, consumers in consumer rights disputes and focusing on anti-discrimination and representation of employees in wage claims, complaints of discrimination, employee benefits, wrongful termination, breach of contract and other related claims.

Prior to that, she was an associate at DAY PITNEY LLP, Hartford, CT, representing management, primarily Fortue 100 and 500 companies, in state and federal courts, at administrative agencies and at arbitration in matters involving complaints of discrimination, employee benefits, wrongful termination, breach of contract and other related claims. She provided counseling to employers regarding various aspects of labor and employment law and employee benefits and provided training to supervisors on human resources subjects.

Upon graduation from law school she was the law clerk to THE HONORABLE KENNETH P. NEIMAN,  U.S. Magistrate Judge, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT,  District of Massachusetts.

Most recently prior to starting at JALA, she was a temporary law clerk  to THE HONORABLE PATRICIA BARKSDALE, U.S. Magistrate Judge , UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT, Middle District of Florida.

Area of Expertise or Practices:

Employment discrimination and wage claims, landlord-tenant, fair housing, foreclosure defense and consumer rights

Honors and Awards:

2006 Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, Adams Pro Bono Publico Award

2008 Massachusetts Bar Association, Access to Justice Award

2009 American Bar Association, Louis M. Brown Award for Legal Access

2009 Women’s Bar Foundation, Celebrate Pro Bono Award

2009 Commendation, Volunteer Lawyer’s Service

2010 Commendation, Volunteer Lawyer’s Service

2012 Appreciation, for pro bono service to the Women’s Bar Foundation

2013 Appreciation, for pro bono service to the Women’s Bar Foundation

2013 Springfield No One Leaves, Legal Shield Award

NANCY HALE, ESQ.
Division Chief, Refugee Immigration Unit
Phone: (904) 356-8371

JOY HAMILTON
Paralegal, Social Security Advocacy Unit
Phone: (904) 356-8371
KATHERINE HANSON, ESQ.
Staff Attorney, Fair Housing
Phone: (904) 356-8371
KAREN HARDCASTLE
Paralegal, Social Security Advocacy Unit
Phone: (904) 356-8371
DENNIS HARRISON
Chief Development Officer

Phone: (904) 356-8371 ext. 296

JEFF HAYNIE
Division Chief, Housing Defense Unit
Phone: (904) 356-8371, ext. 303
Email: jeff.haynie@jaxlegalaid.org

SUMMARY:
Mr. Haynie has been representing low-income individuals and families in litigation in state and federal courts and in administrative proceedings since 2004. He is the chief of the Fair Housing Division, consisting of five attorneys who assist clients in gaining access to decent, affordable housing, avoiding the loss of housing, and remedying unlawful discrimination in housing. Among other things, Mr. Haynie defends his clients against unlawful or unfair eviction, subsidy termination, and debt collection, and he asserts his clients’ claims for violations of civil rights, landlord-tenant laws, and consumer-protection statutes. He is also co-chair of the Housing Umbrella Group of Florida Legal Services, Inc., a state-wide group of attorneys and law professors who advocate for low-income tenants and consumers in Florida’s state and federal courts and before the Florida legislature.

EDUCATION:
Juris Doctor, University of Georgia, 2004
Bachelor of Business Administration, University of Georgia, 2000

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS AND AFFILIATIONS:
First District Appellate American Inn of Court
Florida Bar, Public Interest Law Section
Jacksonville Bar Association
Jacksonville Beaches Bar Association

COURT ADMISSIONS:
Admitted to practice in Florida’s state courts, 2004.
Admitted to practice in the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida, 2005.

MEDIA CITATIONS:
Reported decisions include:
HSH Eastgate, LLC v. Sheriff of Osceola County, Florida, 2015 WL 3465795 (M.D. Fla. 2015) (appearance for Housing Umbrella Group).
M.J. and H.J. v. Jacksonville Housing Authority and City of Jacksonville, 2011 WL 4031099 (M.D. Fla. 2011).
Riverside Presbyterian Apartments, Inc. v. Delores Williams, 18 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 881a (Duval County Court 2011).
In re: Amendments to the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure – Form 1.996 (Final Judgment of Foreclosure), 51 So. 3d 1140 (Fla. 2010) (appearance for Housing Umbrella Group).
Jacksonville Housing Authority v. Kia McKinnon, 17 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 189a (Fla. Duval County Court 2009).
Jacksonville Housing Authority v. Tonya Ricks, 15 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 1181a (Fla. Duval County Court 2008).

HONORS AND AWARDS:
Outstanding Dedication Award, JALA , 2006.
Employee of the Year Award, JALA , 2008.

RENU HEDU
Chief Financial Officer
Phone: (904) 356-8371

SUMMARY:
A valued staff member since 1994, Ms. Heda is the Chief Financial Officer for Jacksonville Legal Aid, Inc. She provides leadership and strategic direction for all financial functions in accordance with GAAP, FASB117 and OMB Circular 133 principles. Working closely with the president of the organization, she prepares the annual budget, facilitates the annual independent audit and oversees all accounting functions.

In her role she directly supervises all accounting and administrative staff, oversees reporting for various federal, state and local grant awards and is a primary liaison to the Board of Directors, presenting the financials during all regular and executive committee meetings.

Heda holds a bachelor’s degree from the Loreto College, University of Calcutta.

ROBYN HOWARD-ALBERTIE
Staff Accountant
Phone: (904) 356-8371 ext. 326
Email: Robyn.Albertie@jaxlegalaid.org

SUMMARY:
Highly talented, enthusiastic, proficient, and accomplished accounting professional with over ten years of industry experience. Extensive experience in non-profit, public, and private sectors. Strong ability to work in a fast paced, high volume, customer service oriented environment. Additional strength is the ability to exercise good judgment and discretion handling confidential personnel or organizational matters.

AREA OF EXPERTISE OR PRACTICES:
Payroll Processing, Grant Reporting, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, General Ledger, and Audit Management

EDUCATION:
Bachelors Business Management
University of Phoenix

JAMIE IBRAHIM, ESQ.
Intake Director
Phone: (904) 356-8371 ext. 367
Email: Jamie.Ibrahim@jaxlegalaid.org

SUMMARY:
Ms. Ibrahim graduated from the University of North Florida in 2002 with a B.A. in Political Science. At UNF, she was a member of the Mock Trial Association and received an Outstanding Witness award during a competition hosted by the American Mock Trial Association. Ms. Ibrahim received her law degree from Florida Coastal School of Law in 2005. While at FCSL, Ms. Ibrahim served as president of the Women’s Law Student Association and received honors through her work with the Pro Bono program.

Ms. Ibrahim joined Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, Inc. in 2006. Her practice focused on family law and domestic violence cases. In 2010, Ms. Ibrahim became the Family Law Unit Head in 2010 and helped create JALA’s pro se family law clinics. Ms. Ibrahim became the Intake Division Chief in 2013 where she works to help make it easier to apply for help with Jacksonville Area Legal Aid.

Ms. Ibrahim enjoys volunteering in the local community. She served as a volunteer and board member for The Missing Link of Jacksonville for seven years and helped survivors of domestic violence leave their abusive marriages. In February 2011, Ms. Ibrahim received the Florida Bar’s Family Law Section “Making a Difference Award” for her work with The Missing Link of Jacksonville. Ms. Ibrahim currently serves as a volunteer magistrate with the Duval County Teen Court where first time misdemeanor offenders are given an opportunity to complete community service in lieu of having a criminal record.

Area of Expertise or Practices:
Family Law

Education:
Bachelor of Arts, University of North Florida
Juris Doctor, Florida Coastal School of Law

Professional Memberships and Affiliations:
Jacksonville Bar Association
Jacksonville Women’s Lawyer Association
Barrister, Florida Family Law American Inn of Court, Executive Committee Member, 2013-2016
Volunteer Magistrate, Duval County Teen Court
Northeast Florida Human Trafficking Task Force, Previous Member
Volunteer, Jacksonville Bar Association “Ask-A-Lawyer” Program, 2011 – Present
Board Member, The Missing Link of Jacksonville, Inc., 2008 – 2013
Workshop Volunteer, The Missing Link of Jacksonville, Inc., 2006 – 2013

Court Admissions:
Florida

Media Citations:
JALA Fam Law Clinics: https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/showstory.php?Story_id=531780
Lawyer Snapshot: https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/showstory.php?Story_id=51689
Missing Link: https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/showstory.php?Story_id=529587
Family Law Section Award: http://familylawfla.org/team/jamie-lynn-ibrahim/

Honors and Awards:
Florida Bar Family Law Section “Making a Difference” Award Winner, February, 2011
Graduate, Florida Bar Foundation Leadership Development Institute’s Class, 2010-2011
Panel Member, 2013 Jacksonville Bar Assoc. Professionalism Symposium, August, 2013
Guest Speaker, Florida Costal School of Law, 2012 – 2016
Attorney Roundtable Panel Member, University of North Florida, February, 2013
Panel Member, FCSL Public Interest Law Panel, November, 2011
CLE Presentation, Basic Family Law for Poverty Clients, 2.5 Hours, January, 2010

JENNIFER JEROME
Division Chief, Family & Victim Advocacy Unit

Phone: (904) 904-356-8371 ext. 345
Email: jennifer.jerome@jaxlegalaid.org

SUMMARY:
Supervise department staff and interns. Represent clients that are victims of violence in family law civil matters including injunctions, dissolution of marriage, timesharing modifications, temporary relative custody and name changes. Manage grants and grant reports for Legal Assistance to Victims of Violence, Violence Against Women’s Act and Victims of Crime Act. Represent clients in guardian advocacies. Provide advice and counsel on legal matters touching on family law area and bankruptcy.

From 2010 through 2015 supervised re-entry and returning citizen’s program. Interact with community leaders including: Jacksonville Mayor’s Office, Florida Department of Corrections and other community agencies. Report to the Jacksonville Journey Oversight Committee regarding program objectives, funding and outcomes achieved. Comply with federal and city grant requirements. Represent clients in cases that result in removal of civil legal barriers to employment and promote stability after release from incarceration or arrest. These matters include issues arising under the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, sealing or expunction of criminal records, and other civil legal representation. Work involved interaction with various administrative agencies including the Florida Department of Revenue, Florida Department of Highway Safety, Jacksonville Human Rights Commission and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

AREA OF EXPERTISE OR PRACTICES:
Marital and Family Law
Bankruptcy
Re-entry Law
Records Sealing or Expunction
Victim Advocacy

EDUCATION:
Juris Doctor, Florida Coastal School of Law
Bachelors of Arts in Political Science, University of North Florida
Victim Services Practitioner, Florida Crime Prevention Training Institute

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS AND AFFILIATIONS:
Florida Chapter of the American Inn of Family Courts
Community of Practice of Immigration and Family Law Attorney with the National Immigration Women’s Advocacy Project
Jacksonville Bar Association
Florida Bar Family Law Section Member
Florida Bar Domestic Violence Subcommittee
Domestic Violence Intervention Program- Fourth Judicial Circuit

COURT ADMISSIONS:
Florida
United States District Court- Middle District

HONORS AND AWARDS:
2010 Outstanding Pro Bono Service Award, Florida Supreme Court

HEATHER KILPATRICK, ESQ.
Ryan White Director
Phone: (904) 356-8371

SUMMARY:
Ms. Kilpatrick is a graduate of Coastal Carolina University and Florida Coastal School of Law. In law school, Ms. Kilpatrick served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Florida Coastal Law Review. Ms. Kilpatrick began her legal career at Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, Inc. in 2002. Between 2002 and August, 2006, Ms. Kilpatrick specialized in family law at JALA. In August 2006, Ms. Kilpatrick accepted the position as Staff Attorney for JALA’s Ryan White Unit. In that Unit Ms. Kilpatrick represents clients in family law matters, Social Security cases, and other general areas of law. Ms. Kilpatrick is married and has five children. Ms. Kilpatrick practices at JALA’s main office in downtown Jacksonville.

MACK LYONS
Deputy Technology Officer
Phone: (904) 356-8371
M. KIMBERLY MARTYN
Chief Operating Officer
Phone: (904) 356-8371, Ext. 310
Email: kim.martyn@jaxlegalaid.org

AREA OF EXPERTISE OR PRACTICES:
Kim has been representing Northeast Florida’s low-income community since 1995 with a variety of legal issues, with an emphasis on family law and domestic violence. She has been serving on the management team since 2002.

EDUCATION:
J.D./Florida State University College of Law
B.A. Political Science/Florida Atlantic University

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS AND AFFILIATIONS:
Member/The Jacksonville Bar Association 1996-present
Associate/Florida Family Law American Inn of Court 1999–2011
Legislative Liaison/ Domestic Violence Intervention Project (Jacksonville, Florida) 1999–2008
Clearinghouse Attorney/Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence 1999–2005
Trainer/Jacksonville Sister Cities Association, Domestic Violence Prevention Program (Murmansk, Russia) 2002
Representative/Mayor’s Domestic Violence Task Force (Jacksonville, Florida) 1997–1998
Member/Clay County Bar Association 1995

COURT ADMISSIONS:
The Florida Bar
United States District Court, Middle District of Florida

MEDIA CITATIONS:
Author, Chapter 21 (formerly 22), Representing Battered Spouses, FLORIDA DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE, (Fla. Bar CLE 8th–12th eds. 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2015)
Steering Committee, FASTRAIN: INJUNCTIONS FOR PROTECTION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE (Fla. Bar CLE 3rd–4th eds. 2006, 2008)

JOSE MELENDEZ
Legal Assistant
Phone: (904) 356-8371, Ext. 310
Email: kim.martyn@jaxlegalaid.org

AREA OF EXPERTISE OR PRACTICES:
Kim has been representing Northeast Florida’s low-income community since 1995 with a variety of legal issues, with an emphasis on family law and domestic violence. She has been serving on the management team since 2002.

EDUCATION:
J.D./Florida State University College of Law
B.A. Political Science/Florida Atlantic University

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS AND AFFILIATIONS:
Member/The Jacksonville Bar Association 1996-present
Associate/Florida Family Law American Inn of Court 1999–2011
Legislative Liaison/ Domestic Violence Intervention Project (Jacksonville, Florida) 1999–2008
Clearinghouse Attorney/Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence 1999–2005
Trainer/Jacksonville Sister Cities Association, Domestic Violence Prevention Program (Murmansk, Russia) 2002
Representative/Mayor’s Domestic Violence Task Force (Jacksonville, Florida) 1997–1998
Member/Clay County Bar Association 1995

COURT ADMISSIONS:
The Florida Bar
United States District Court, Middle District of Florida

MEDIA CITATIONS:
Author, Chapter 21 (formerly 22), Representing Battered Spouses, FLORIDA DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE, (Fla. Bar CLE 8th–12th eds. 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2015)
Steering Committee, FASTRAIN: INJUNCTIONS FOR PROTECTION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE (Fla. Bar CLE 3rd–4th eds. 2006, 2008)

CAROL S. MILLER, ESQ.
Division Chief, Community Economic Development
Phone: (904) 224-1572
Email: Carol.miller@jaxlegalaid.org

SUMMARY:
After graduating from law school, Ms. Miller spent four years in private practice and then joined Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, Inc. in 1984. She covered Baker County from 1985 to 1994. In Duval County, Ms. Miller switched from family law to transactional law, representing community groups producing affordable housing in 1989. In 1997, Carol began a program in which she represents community development corporations and recruits volunteer transactional attorneys to co-counsel or represent client groups on a project by project basis.

AREA OF EXPERTISE OR PRACTICES:
Ms. Miller has nineteen years of experience specifically serving community organizations engaged in revitalizing poor neighborhoods, handling a variety of cases, such as real estate transactions, title and probate cases, construction disputes and state and federal tax compliance. She also trains non-profit boards and neighborhood leaders. Ms. Miller taught Community Lawyering to legal services attorneys and classes on how to incorporate and file for tax exemption to neighborhood leaders. Since 2012, Carol has participated in annual trainings for CPAC members about Robert’s Rules and Florida Sunshine laws.

EDUCATION:
University of Florida B.A.
University of Florida J.D.

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS AND AFFILIATIONS:
Jacksonville Bar Association
Florida Housing Coalition

HONORS AND AWARDS:
Ms. Miller has served as president of three non-profit boards and participated in the Florida Bar Foundation’s Leadership Initiative as a mentor. She has received numerous awards from non-profit organizations and several from the City of Jacksonville.

MEDIA CITATIONS:
Article in Financial News and Daily Record in June 2007 by David Chapman called, “Giving Back to the People”.

CECILIA MUNOZ
Receptionist
Phone: (904) 356-8371
KATHY PARA, ESQ.
Pro Bono Director
Phone: (904) 356-8371

SUMMARY:
Ms. Para joined the JALA staff in 2009 to serve as the Pro Bono Development Coordinator. In the past, she served JALA as the pro bono attorney representing clients seeking emancipation and is a recipient of the Florida Bar President’s Pro Bono Award. Ms. Para graduated with honors from Florida Coastal School of Law in 2000. During law school, she served on Law Review, as a Federal Judicial Intern in the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and as an intern for the Office of General Counsel for the City of Jacksonville. She has been recognized for her numerous community volunteer and professional initiatives and was a member of the Leadership Jacksonville Class of 1995. Ms. Para is located at JALA’s main office in downtown Jacksonville.

STEPHEN PITEL, ESQ.
Staff Attorney, Fair Housing
Phone: (904) 356-8371
LISKA QUINTERO
Paralegal, Refugee Immigration Unit
Phone: (904) 356-8371
KEVIN RABIN
Staff Attorney, Consumer Advocacy and Litigation Unit and Housing Defense Unit
Phone: (904) 356-8371
OLLIE RODD
Records Clerk
Phone: (904) 356-8371
CHRISTINE ROZIER
Legal Assistant
Phone: (904) 356-8371
REBECCA SANCHEZ
Receptionist
Phone: (904) 356-8371
LARRY TAGARELLI
Paralegal, Family & Victim Advocacy Unit
Phone: (904) 356-8371
DEBRA TALLEY
Pro Bono Case Placement Manager
Phone: (904) 356-8371
ADAM THORESEN
Staff Attorney

Phone: (904) 356-8371

Email: Adam.Thoresen@jaxlegalaid.org

ROLAND WASEMBECK
Paralegal, Refugee Immigration Unit
Phone: (904) 356-8371

EDUCATION
Master of Arts, International Relations and Conflict Resolution; American Public University (August, 2013)
Bachelor of Arts in Business and Management; University of North Florida (July 2010)
Introduction to Immigration Law Training (Certificate, November 11, 2008)
Eligibility Training for Refugees Service Provider (Certificate, March 20, 2008)
Paralegal Certificate, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL (April 2005)
Bachelor of Science in Business Management, State University of Haiti, Port-au-Prince, Haiti (July 1998)
Seminar on Small/Medium Business Assistance Policy, Taiwan (May-June 2002)

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
Paralegal, Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, Jacksonville, FL (October 2008- Present)

LANGUAGES:
Fluent in French, Haitian Creole, Spanish, and English. In the process of learning Portuguese

MELISSA WHITE
Public Relations Director

Phone: (904) 356-8371 ext. 376
Email: melissa.white@jaxlegalaid.org