My appellate practice focuses exclusively on family law appeals throughout Florida. I continue to handle complex family law trials in northeast Florida, which I've continued to enjoy ever since focusing on divorce law after a career primarily in complex commercial litigation and appeals. There are three reasons my focus and background can save your client time and attorneys' fees when you bring me aboard to help maximize your client's odds of winning on appeal.

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First, I practice only family law and family law appeals, in addition to continuously monitoring Florida case law to highlight in the ongoing Mattson Memo/Giel File updates. Accordingly, I don’t need to waste hours “spinning up” to refresh my understanding of the general law underlying your issues on appeal before digging into the heart of your case.

Second, I bring to your case the experience of a former DCA law clerk who spent over two years at the Fifth District Court of Appeal after graduating from the University of Chicago Law School, where I served on the Chicago Journal of International Law and represented the university in moot court. I’ve been to the Other Side. There, I participated in the process of case review, appellate brief analysis, memorandum and opinion drafting, and oral argument that awaits your case on appeal. Having seen how cases are decided by an appellate panel, I draft briefs with an eye to effectively inform and persuade the primary judge and law clerk who will play the central roles in deciding your case.

And that experience is just as critical for trial support. When we work together before and during the trial, I aim to help you secure a great result with a judgment that will (1) withstand appeal on legal grounds and (2) make the appellate court want to affirm. But also to ensure that, if it doesn't go our way, we’ve preserved all of the necessary arguments to maximize a powerful challenge on appeal.

Third, I’m not limited to having briefed only timesharing, parental responsibility, equitable distribution, alimony, child support, and attorneys’ fees issues in family law appeals. As a commercial litigator and appellate lawyer, I’ve briefed appellate cases ranging from multi-million dollar insurance coverage disputes, commercial real estate issues, Hague Convention and immigration, personal injury, and criminal law appeals. Accordingly, I’ve learned how to address complex issues with intelligent, but generalist, judges and clerks who will never know your case as intimately as you. So I strive to brief and argue your appeal with clarity and simplicity, especially when handling the complex equitable distribution, income, and taxation issues arising in divorces between business owners and their spouses.

To learn more about how I can help your client's odds of winning the appeal, even before you've gone to trial, click here.

education and Honors

J.D., University of Chicago Law School

B.A., University of South Florida

Top Graduate, Advanced Machinegun Leaders Course, USMC

Super Lawyers, Florida Super Lawyers:

  • Family Law (2017, 2018)

Rising Star, Florida Super Lawyers:

  • Family Law (2015, 2016)

  • Appellate (2014)

  • Business Litigation (2010-2012)

Professional Associations

  • Florida Family Law American Inn of Court Executive Committee, Bylaws Chair/Parliamentarian, 2017-2019

  • Florida Bar's Appellate Practice Section

  • Florida Bar's Family Law Section

  • Jacksonville Bar Association

  • Jacksonville Sports Council

  • Catholic Lawyers Guild

  • Jacksonville Semper Fidelis Society

  • Rotary Club of Orange Park Sunrise

Selected Publications and Speaking Engagements

  • Appellate CPR: Resuscitating Your Case on Appeal Without a Transcript; Florida Bar Family Law Section Commentator, Spring 2016, reprinted in The Record: Journal of the Florida Bar Appellate Practice Section, Winter 2017.

  • Protecting the Ruling on Your Motion in Limine, The Lawyer, 2014.

  • Moderator, Professionalism Presentation and Panel Discussion, Practice Before the Fifth District Court of Appeal CLE, 2010.

  • Key Considerations for Litigating Class Action Waivers within Arbitration Agreements, Parts I and II, Conflict Management, 2009.

  • Recent Developments in Commercial Litigation, Fla. Civil Trial Cert. Review, 2008 (co-authored with David M. Wells).

  • Accounting for Accountants’ Breaches of Fiduciary Duty in Motions to Dismiss or for Summary Judgment, ABA Business Torts Journal, 2007.

  • Litigating Lost Profits for New Businesses, ABA Commercial & Business Litigation Newsletter, 2007.

  • Avoiding Fundamentally Erroneous Jury Instructions, Florida Bar Journal, 2007.

  • Fifteen Common Mistakes in Appellate Briefs, The Record: The Journal of The Florida Bar’s Appellate Practice Section, 2007 (co-author).

  • Young Lawyers Focus: Making the Most of Your Appellate Clerkship, ABA Appellate Practice Journal, 2007.

Courts Admitted

  • U.S. Supreme Court

  • Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals

  • Northern, Middle, and Southern U.S. District Courts of Florida

  • All Florida state courts

To learn more about how I can help your client's odds of winning the appeal, even before you've gone to trial, click here.