Ms. Johns’ primary focus is on nation-wide commercial real estate development dealing with issues pertaining to due diligence and acquisition of the site, title, permitting, and construction issues.
Zoila Lahera is an associate with the firm’s litigation group. She represents both entities and individuals in civil litigation in a variety of state and federal courts on issues ranging from professional, insurance and casualty defense to business litigation. Zoila’s practice emphasizes civil procedure and discovery issues. She regularly handles pre- and post-trial matters including post-settlement and attorney fee challenges.
Additionally, Zoila’s civil litigation practice emphasizes issues of fraud and malfeasance. She devotes much of practice to whistleblower actions from detection, through fact gathering, drafting complaints, litigation and appeals. Zoila works cooperatively with governmental agencies to protect whistleblowers in these qui tam actions. She also defends large health care systems in various matters relating to HIPAA, patient privacy, PIP, Worker’s Compensation, and consumer-related issues including FCCPA, FDCPA, TCPA and FDUPTA.
Born in Cuba, Zoila and her family were granted political asylum in the United States, for opposing the Castro regime, in 1996. They quickly settled in the Tampa Bay Area where she grew up and received her education. Zoila is bilingual, speaking fluent English and Spanish.
Commercial real estate transactions, development and financing, including office, retail, industrial, warehouse, apartment and condominium property; utility projects, facilities and rights of way; citrus grove, ranch and other agricultural property, and minerals; project and sale and leaseback financing; retail and office leases and public lands leases; FDEP restrictive covenants; like kind exchanges, including multi-party exchanges, local counsel opinions, and mitigation bank development.
Ms. McAteer concentrates in the areas of estate planning, estate administration and trust administration. She has extensive experience working with individuals to create estate plans, including revocable trusts, irrevocable trusts, wills, durable powers of attorney and advanced health care directives. She also has extensive experience representing individuals and corporate fiduciaries in probate proceedings and trust administration matters in various counties throughout the state of Florida. She counsels clients on matters involving fiduciary responsibilities, preservation of wealth, and estate planning considerations affecting closely held businesses and families with young children. Ms. McAteer also has experience in real property and business law, including advising clients on various real property issues, Florida’s unique homestead laws, selection and formation of entities such as limited liability companies and corporations, and rules and requirements governing closely-held businesses.
Ms. McAteer has been an active participant in numerous community and volunteer organizations, including the Tampa Bay Estate Planning Council, Hillsborough Association for Women Lawyers, Volusia County Bar Association, Volusia-Flagler Association for Women Lawyers (past board member), Hernando County Bar Association, Tampa Gator Club, University of Florida Alumni Association, St. Mary’s Episcopal Day School Parents Association and St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church.
Noel McDonell is a Martindale Hubbell AV-Preeminent trial lawyer with extensive experience managing complex commercial disputes in the courtroom. In addition, in 2013, Noel was named one of Florida Trend’s Legal Elite Top Attorneys. Her practice focuses on civil litigation, emphasizing issues of fraud and malfeasance in the corporate environment, along with whistleblower/Qui Tam actions. In 2008, Noel won the first Anti-SLAPP (Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation) in the state, protecting the rights of citizens to gather and be heard in protection of their rights without fear of retaliation.
Noel has tried hundreds of jury and non-jury trials and appeals in both the criminal and civil arenas. While acting as Lead Trial Attorney for the Office of the State Attorney, Noel was appointed by the Attorney General to Senior Assistant Statewide Prosecutor in the Office of Statewide Prosecution, where she practiced throughout the state investigating and prosecuting complex white collar criminal activity. She has extensive experience in corporate fraud detection and contractual fraud litigation. As former Florida Real Estate Commissioner under Governor Jeb Bush, Noel also appreciates an historic understanding of administrative law and professional licensure issues to protect the consumer. During her tenure in government practice, Noel was awarded the Davis Productivity Award for her efforts with the Governor’s Task Force on Identity Theft.
An avid owner of American Saddlebred horses, Noel is active in the equine industry within both the highly competitive world circuit and the fundraising community. Closer to home, she is an enthusiastic saltwater flats fisherman and boater.
Cam assists individuals, families and small and large businesses in a broad range of matters, including selection of entity structure, business planning, transactions involving the merger, sale and acquisition of businesses and contract negotiations. Cam works with private equity funds, companies and individuals in venture capital, private equity, and mergers and acquisitions transactions. Cam’s business practice involves drafting and negotiating agreements for joint ventures and partnerships, investment funds, investments, loans, license arrangements, and privately-held businesses. Cam serves as outside general counsel to several of his business clients and handles internal equity incentive plans, reorganizations, recapitalizations and all contractual issues and, together with his partners in various practice areas with the firm, addresses all concerns that arise in his client’s businesses and daily lives.
Regarding estate and asset planning, Cam advises individuals and families regarding financial issues involving federal taxation, preservation of wealth, family limited partnerships, insurance planning, charitable planning and estate planning considerations that affect privately-held businesses and professional practices.
Mr. Schnitzlein advises clients in a broad range of transactional matters including corporate governance, tax matters, merger and acquisitions, business formations, and partnership and stockholder agreements. Mr. Schnitzlein assists clients in structuring business transactions to align with their individual and family tax planning goals, which may include income tax, gift tax, and estate tax.
Mr. Schnitzlein also counsels clients on matters involving estate planning, estate administration and trust administration. He has extensive experience with individuals and families to create estate plans, including revocable trusts, irrevocable trusts, wills, durable powers of attorney and advance health care directives.
Mr. Sears leads the Tampa Professional Liability Section and has focused his practice for many years in the areas of Medical and Legal Malpractice. As Defense counsel for attorneys, physicians, medical institutions and insurers of both, he has broad litigation experience and has effectively shepherded clients throughout the litigation process, from initial discovery through favorable trial verdicts.
As a Certified Circuit Court Mediator, Mr. Sears brings a unique perspective to clients as they evaluate and negotiate potential settlement agreements. This perspective, combined with effective discovery, enables clients to move forward in the litigation process, confident that their interests are being well represented.
Mr. Sears has published numerous articles throughout his career on various healthcare topics ranging from law changes to risk management topics such as “Informed Consent” and “The Role of Charting in Risk Reduction.” Insurance companies and medical facilities have solicited his articles for publication and have also engaged Mr. Sears as a featured speaker for industry seminars as well as in-house risk management training.
Mr. Stainton advises clients in a broad range of corporate, business and transactional matters, including mergers, sales and acquisitions, securities offerings, partnership and stockholder agreements, corporate governance, business planning, and a variety of strategic and joint venture arrangements. He counsels clients in connection with venture capital and private equity transactions, recapitalizations, reorganizations, divestitures, corporate finance, credit facilities, and related tax matters. Mr. Stainton has significant experience in mergers and acquisitions and securities offerings in the private capital markets, and the legal and business issues inherent in such transactions. He regularly advises companies, management teams, and private equity funds in connection with investments and sales transactions. In addition, he has experience handling shareholder and management disputes, preparing and issuing legal opinions, and advising clients on crisis management. Mr. Stainton serves as outside general counsel to a number of Florida based companies, partnerships and investment firms. Representative industries include private equity and family office investment, banking and finance, insurance services, manufacturing, value-added distribution, hospitality, healthcare and healthcare services, logistics, telecommunications, information technology, and software as a service.
Ms. Taylor’s primary area of practice is civil litigation with a focus on family law. She assists clients with domestic disputes, separation, divorce and custody matters, including experience in Hague Abduction Convention issues. Ms. Taylor also focuses a portion of her practice on employment law and counseling and advising employers with respect to employment claims. Ms. Taylor has negotiated settlements and tried cases in both state and federal courts. Ms. Taylor has also presented appellate arguments before state and federal appellate courts.