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Florida Legal Services, Inc
2425 Torreya Drive
Tallahassee, FL 32303
Phone: (850) 385-7900
Fax: (850) 385-9998
Office Hours: 8:30 am - 5:00 pm Monday through Friday
The Tallahassee office is the main office of FLS and is home to the executive director, nine attorneys, the fiscal and administrative staff, and various support staff. Policy advocacy, legislative and administrative, is a major responsibility for all of the advocates in the Tallahassee office. The staff is very experienced and is also regularly engaged in court and administrative litigation. FLS advocates have expertise in all the major legal areas impacting the low income community in Florida and the staff is available for consultation with all those providing civil legal assistance to low income and disadvantaged persons in Florida. Statewide training, technology support, and technical assistance are coordinated from the Tallahassee office
Kent Spuhler - Executive Director: Received his undergraduate degree from Ohio State University in 1968 and his JD from Harvard Law School in 1972. He accepted the position of staff attorney with Jacksonville Area Legal Aid (JALA) in 1972, and continued in that position until he became Deputy Director there in 1978. Three years later, he was promoted to Executive Director of JALA, and held that position until August, 1994. Kent is now the Executive Director of Florida Legal Services, Inc. He is also the Director of the Florida Supreme Court Voluntary Pro Bono Attorney Plan. This project works to increase the availability of legal services to the poor, as well as to increase both opportunities and support for lawyers to use their professional skills in providing pro bono legal services to the poor. To e-mail, click here.
Anne Swerlick - Deputy Director of Advocacy, Staff Attorney: Specializes in legislative and administrative advocacy and litigation on health and elder law issues affecting the poor. Ms. Swerlick was formerly employed as Managing Attorney with the Advocacy Center for Persons With Disabilities, Inc. (1987- 1991) and as staff attorney and Deputy Director with Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, Inc. (1977-1987) Ms. Swerlick received her BA from the University of Virginia and her JD from the University of Virginia School of Law. To e-mail, click here.
Barbara O'Stean - Deputy Director of Finance: Received AS degree in Paralegal Studies in 1992 and began working for FLS in January 1993. Prepares all financial reports, processes accounts receivable, provides assistance to FLS Board of Directors, handles building maintenance issues, personnel matters, prepares payroll and provides administrative assistance to all staff.
Robert A Williams - Director, Migrant Farmworker Justice Project: Specializes in employment law involving migrant and seasonal farmworkers. Graduated with a BA in Economics, University of Michigan 1971, received JD from Harvard law School 1975. Was a staff attorney with Florida Rural Legal Services from 1975 - 1991, when he became Florida Rural Legal Services legislative and administrative advocate in Tallahassee. Joined Florida Legal Services in 1996. To e-mail, click here.
Janet Anthony - Attorney Assistant: To e-mail, click here.
Dorene Barker - Staff Attorney, Legislative Director: Lobbies in the areas of public benefits, housing, health, family law and consumer law. Graduated cum laude from Florida State University 1982 with an undergraduate degree in Education and a minor in Political Science; JD Florida State University 1986 Admitted to Florida Bar in 1987. To e-mail, click here.
Kathy Grunewald - Staff Attorney/Training Director: Is the Statewide Training Director/Attorney for Florida Legal Services. She received her B.A. from the University of Florida, a M.L.S. from Florida State University and a J.D. With Honors from Florida State University. Prior to assuming her current position with Florida Legal Services, Kathy was a staff attorney with Florida Legal Services specializing in family, elder and consumer issues and a managing attorney for the Quincy office of Legal Services of North Florida. During that time, Kathy was a contributing author on child support to the Florida Bar CLE publication on Florida Dissolution of Marriage.
Amy K. Guinan – Staff Attorney: A member of the Florida Bar since 1998, Amy earned her law degree from the Florida State University College of Law and completed her undergraduate studies at Loyola University at New Orleans. Prior to joining the FLS team, Amy was in private practice in the area of Consumer Protection Class Actions. She also previously served as the Legislative Counsel for the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, as the Director of Public Policy and Advocacy for the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, and as the Attorney for the Florida House of Representatives’ Committee on Health Care Services. At FLS, Amy’s legal work encompasses a broad range of practice areas in addition to her work in the area of legislative advocacy. To e-mail, click here
Cindy Huddleston - Staff Attorney: Specializes in public benefits law, is a 1982 graduate of Case Western University School of Law and has been a lawyer with Florida Legal Services for more than nine years. Prior to coming to FLS, Cindy was on staff at Legal Services of Greater Miami for over five years, where she was co-unit head of the Public Benefits Unit. Over the past twelve years, Cindy has been a public benefits advocate for low-income families with state agencies and the Florida Legislature as well as providing representation in federal and state litigation. To e-mail, click here.
Bonnie Koon - Project Coordinator: for the Shirley Spuhler Health Care Fairness Project - Received AA degree in General Business from Tallahassee Community College in 2006 and began working for FLS in February 2007. She is currently a candidate for a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Management. At FLS, Bonnie coordinates the Medicaid and Medicare Part D Helpline and advocates for low-income individuals who have been denied their prescription medications.
Patti McIlroy - Attorney Assistant: Patti was born and educated in Edinburgh, Scotland. Since emigrating with her family to the U.S.A. in 1989 her legal career began in Atlanta, GA where she worked for a private law firm practicing in the fields of Criminal Law, Bankruptcy, Divorce, Worker’s Compensation, etc. In Florida she has worked with Legal Services of North Florida, Panama City and The Salvation Army Domestic Violence & Rape Crisis Centre also in Panama City. In Tallahassee Patti worked in The Victim Assistance Program at The State Attorney’s Office and also with Catholic Charities. Since joining FLS Patti has worked with Attorneys who practice in the fields of Health & Elder Law, Public Benefits, Family Law, The Florida Attorneys Saving Homes Project & with the Statewide Training Director.
Her leisure activities include volunteering as an “on-air“ fund raiser for WFSU 88.9 Public Radio Station in Tallahassee and she enjoys performing the music of Scotland & Ireland at Scottish & Celtic Festivals with her husband and daughter.
Dionne L. Meyers – Staff Attorney: A native of St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands, Dionne received her undergraduate degree from Penn State University and her JD from Campbell University’s School of Law in 1997. Prior to joining Florida Legal Services, Inc., Dionne accepted a Judicial Clerkship with the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands. She later served the Virgin Islands community in the capacity of Assistant Attorney General with the Virgin Islands Department of Justice. Dionne is a member of the North Carolina Bar, Virgin Islands Bar and the Florida Bar. At FLS, Dionne serves as a lobbyist in addition to her work in the areas of Health and Family Law. To e-mail, click here.
Jimmy Midyette - Director of Technology, Staff Attorney: JD, 2001, Florida State University College of Law. B.A., summa cum laude, Political Science, Public Relations, 1998, University of North Florida. Admitted to Florida Bar in 2001; practice in poverty law since 2001. Previous position: Director of Intake and Senior Staff Attorney, Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, Inc. Jimmy has broad experience with technological systems, strategic planning, legislative advocacy, social justice movements, and poverty law practice specializing in family law and civil litigation. To e-mail: jimmy(at)floridalegal(dot)org.
Ann Perko - Staff Attorney: Specializes in family law and domestic violence issues, primarily legislative and policy advocacy. Graduated with a BS in Biology, Duke University 1983; JD, with Honors, University of North Carolina 1990. Admitted US District Court, Northern District of Florida; Supreme Court of Florida. Staff attorney for Legal Services of North Florida 1990-1993. Has been with FLS since January 1994. To e-mail, click here.
Blanca Schuknecht - Receptionist: Blanca was born and raised in Puerto Rico. She began her career with FLS in 1994. She interprets and translates for the Domestic Violence hotline, serves as intake for the FASH (Florida Attorney Saving Homes) program, along with providing receptionist and general office support. To email, click here.
Carolyn Snyder - IT Assistant: Carolyn relocated to Tallahassee from Allentown, Pennsylvania where she managed the data and communications network in a local physical rehabilitation hospital for 11 years. Carolyn specializes in data network connectivity and security and provides technical support to Florida Legal Services.
Benny Brown - Legal Assistant
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