sTAFF
 

Tampa
418 West Platt Street
Tampa, Florida 33606
Phone: 813.258.3355
Fax: 813.258.3373
Email: info@jtatelaw.com

Orlando
1604 South Bumby Avenue
Orlando, Florida 32806
Phone: 407.898.8015
Fax: 407.898.8215
Email: nicole@jtatelaw.com
Naples
5633 Strand Boulevard
Suite 316
Naples, Florida 34110
Phone: 239.594.2830
Fax: 239.594.2838
Email: info@jtatelaw.com
 


Jeanne T. Tate, Attorney

Jeanne T. Tate is a Board Certified Adoption Attorney and the managing partner of Jeanne T. Tate, P.A., with offices in Tampa, Naples, and Orlando, and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida College of Law where she teaches Adoption Law and Procedure. Jeanne has an extensive and exclusive practice in the area of adoptions and is a member of the prestigious American Academy of Adoption Attorneys and the Florida Adoption Council.

Jeanne works closely with adoption agencies to provide a full range of services to birth parents and adoptive families and owns her own domestic and international adoption agencies, Heart of Adoptions, Inc., and Heart of Adoptions Alliance, Inc. Jeanne graduated with high honors in 1978 from the University of Florida with a B.S. in Journalism and in 1981 she received her J.D. with honors, as a member of the Order of the Coif and editor of the Law Review, from the University of Florida College of Law.

For several years in a row, Jeanne has been named in The Best Lawyers in America, Florida’s Legal Elite, and Florida Super Lawyer. Over her career, Jeanne has won several prestigious awards including the Congressional Angel in Adoption Award, the Tampa Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Leader of the Year, the Florida Adoption Council’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Hillsborough Association for Women Lawyers (HAWL) Achievement Award. Jeanne was recently reappointed by the Florida Bar President to serve on the Adoption Law Certification Committee and the Judicial Nominating Procedures Committee. Additionally, Jeanne has appeared on local and national television on the subject of adoption, has been active in Interstate Compact Adoptions, and has been integrally involved in adoption issues before the Florida legislature.

Jeanne is rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell, signifying that the legal community ranks her “at the highest level of professional excellence”.

Danelle D. Barksdale, Attorney

Danelle is a Board Certified Adoption Attorney with over 13 years of experience in adoption law. She practices exclusively in the area of adoption throughout the State of Florida and in conjunction with out-of-state placements that involve choice of law and Interstate Compact issues. She represents adoptive parents in adoption finalizations and represents several adoption agencies in private adoption placements. She handles a wide variety of adoption-related issues, including issues arising from contesting birth parents. Danelle is a member of the prestigious American Academy of Adoption Attorneys and the Florida Adoption Council.

Danelle graduated from Rice University in 1989 with a degree in Psychology. In 1992, she received her law degree from the University of Florida College of Law, where she graduated with honors and was a member of Law Review. Danelle has been practicing law for over 18 years and has handled innumerable adoption, surrogacy and reproductive law cases.

Danelle has been active in her career with the Hillsborough County Bar Association, The Florida Bar, and the Hillsborough Association of Women Lawyers. Danelle volunteers with the Bay Area Volunteer Lawyers Program and has been recognized for her volunteer work in the area of adoption. She received the Florida Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Award for the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit in 2008 and the Jimmy Kynes Award for Outstanding Pro Bono Service in 2007. Danelle has served on the 13th Judicial Circuit “B” Unlicensed Practice of Law Committee (1997-1999) and has held board positions with private and non-profit organizations. Recently, Danelle was appointed by the Florida Bar President to serve on the Adoption Law Certification Committee.

Danelle is rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell, signifying that the legal community ranks her “at the highest level of professional excellence”.



Martha A. Curtis, Attorney

Martha is a Board Certified Adoption Attorney who practices exclusively in the area of adoptions, surrogacy, and reproductive law. She has practiced law for over twenty years, earning her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Florida College of Law in 1978. She has lectured on adoption and surrogacy law and is a member of the Florida Adoption Council.

Martha's practice embraces the full range of adoption practice, including adoption agency representation in private adoption placements within the State of Florida as well as Interstate Compact adoptions, representation of adoptive parents in adoption finalizations, as well as adoptive parent representation in grandparent and relative adoptions, stepparent adoptions, adult adoptions and recertification of foreign adoptions. Martha also focuses on gestational surrogacy, traditional surrogacy, preplanned adoption, egg donation, sperm donation and preembryo donation matters, providing legal advice and representation in contract negotiations and in the legal process for establishment of parentage.

During her career, she has been active in The Florida Bar, the Hillsborough County Bar Association, and the Hillsborough Association for Women Lawyers (HAWL). She has served on the board of directors of the Tampa Lighthouse for the Blind, Bayshore Little League and HAWL, is a past President of HAWL, and has been active in numerous other civic, school, professional and charitable organizations. Martha has handled numerous pro bono adoption cases through her volunteer work with the Bay Area Volunteer Lawyers Program (BAVLP) and with the Florida Kinship Care Center at the University of South Florida, providing legal advice and representation to kinship caregivers seeking to adopt, and, in Spring 2009, was honored by the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit with its Pro Bono Program H.A.V.E. A HEART award in recognition of her exceptional pro bono service to the community.

Steven Hurwitz, Attorney

Steven is a Board Certified Adoption Attorney who practices exclusively in the area of adoptions and juvenile dependency. In the firm's adoption and dependency practice, Steven represents various adoption agencies, licensed foster parents seeking to become adoptive parents, and relatives, such as aunts, uncles, and grandparents, seeking to adopt in an intra-family adoption proceeding.

Prior to joining the firm in March 2003, Steven, from January 1990, through July 1997, was the Tampa-based, Managing Attorney for the Department of Children & Families, focusing on issues of juvenile dependency (abuse, abandonment, and neglect of children) and termination of parental rights. For a period of five years thereafter, Steven was an attorney with R. Jeffrey Stull, P.A. in Tampa focusing on juvenile dependency, adoptions, and employment issues.

Steven earned his undergraduate degree from the American University in Washington D.C. in 1980,and his J.D. degree from the University of Florida College of Law in 1983, where he was a member of the Justice Thornall Campbell Moot Court Board. Steven is the past president and current executive member of the Florida Adoption Council. Steven is the proud parent of a strapping teenage daughter and loyal husband to his way-cool wife. Steven and his family love the Atlantic Ocean, classic rock, new music, travel, and humor.

Nicole Ward Moore, Attorney

Nicole Ward Moore is a Board Certified Adoption Attorney who manages and operates the Orlando office. Nicole has been practicing with the firm since opening the Orlando office in 2005. Nicole practices exclusively in the area of adoption and surrogacy law throughout the State of Florida and in conjunction with out-of-state placements. Nicole also represents adoptive parents in adoption finalizations and represents several adoption agencies in private adoption placements. Nicole is also a member of the prestigious American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, the Florida Adoption Council, the Hillsborough County Bar, the Orange County Bar Association, and the Florida Bar.

Nicole handles domestic adoptions, DCF Interventions, relative adoptions, stepparent adoptions, adult adoptions and recertification of foreign adoptions. Nicole often speaks publically on the subject of adoption and appeared on the O’Reilly Factor in 2007. In 2008, Nicole accepted an adjunct professorship teaching adoption law at Barry Law School in Orlando, Florida.

Nicole graduated with high honors from the University of Florida in 2001 with a B.S. degree in Journalism and Communications. Nicole then received her J.D. degree in 2004 from the University of Florida, College of Law, where she graduated with honors. Prior to opening the Orlando office, Nicole worked for the Department of Children and Families as a Juvenile Dependency Attorney, prosecuting parents that abused and neglected their children.


Robert L. Webster III, Attorney

Rob is an attorney in the firm’s Tampa office whose practice focuses on litigation and appeals arising from contested adoptions, and includes the representation of adoption agencies in termination of parental rights proceedings and adoptive parents in adoption finalization proceedings.

Rob received a B.A. degree in Government & World Affairs with a minor in Law & Justice from the University of Tampa in 2005, where he graduated magna cum laude and first in his major. Rob was also selected by the Faculty Honors Committee to study European Union Law and The Intelligence Services at New College, Oxford University for the Hilary Term, where he earned the U.S. equivalent of a 4.0 GPA. Rob then received his J.D. with an emphasis in Advocacy and Dispute Resolution from the Chapman University School of Law in Orange County, California, where he was an executive member of the Moot Court Board and won an ABA Moot Court Regional Championship, eventually placing in the top ten nationwide. Rob was also the first law student in school history to argue before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit as part of a pro bono clinic.

Rob is a member of the Florida Bar and the Hillsborough County Bar Association, and participates in the Florida Justice Teaching program in Hillsborough County schools.

Melinda Sue Eggert, Paralegal

Sue is a paralegal who has lived in the Tampa Bay area since 1980 and has worked in the legal field for nearly 30 years. Sue previously worked as a legal assistant and paralegal at Holland & Knight and Hill Ward Henderson, respectively. She has focused on adoption for over 16 years and has been Jeanne’s “right hand” since the inception of the firm.

Sue is primarily responsible for termination of parental rights proceedings, contested matters, and training law firm and agency personnel. She is married, has an adult son and daughter, and is enjoying her first grandchild.

Lisa M. Weiskopf, Paralegal

Lisa is a native of Florida (born and raised in Tarpon Springs) and received her AA Degree as a legal assistant from St. Petersburg Junior College. She has worked in the legal field since 1975 and has had experience in criminal law, family law, insurance defense litigation, bankruptcy, and business litigation.

Since 1994, Lisa has focused on adoption law and is primarily responsible for termination of parental rights cases, stepparent, relative and grandparent adoptions, and non-relative cases involving older children. Lisa became involved in adoption law in 1994 when she adopted her son, Tayler.

Daneille Stewart, Paralegal

Daneille joined the firm in 2002 and is a paralegal who works in the Naples office, handling the needs of our clients in Southwest Florida. Daneille has been working in the legal system since 1983 and received her paralegal certificate of completion from Florida International University in 1986.  She received her Certified Legal Assistant (CLA) status in 1987 from the National Association of Legal Assistants and in 1988 from the Florida Association of Legal Assistants.  Daneille is also a Florida Registered Paralegal.

Daneille received an Associate in Arts Degree in Criminology from Edison Community College in 1996 and received a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Criminology from Florida Gulf Coast University in 2006. Daneille is an associate member of the Collier County Bar Association. Daneille was a founding member of the Adoption Task Force of Southwest Florida, Inc. (ATFSF) and held numerous officer positions of the organization over the years. She has been featured in Florida Legal Assistant Today and the Naples Daily News. Daneille is married with three children, all of whom are adopted, and is a licensed foster parent.

Ciana Hamilton, Paralegal

Ciana is a Tampa native. She received her A.A. in Business from Hillsborough Community College. Ciana has been in the legal field since 1970 and has previous experience in litigation in the areas of personal injury, medical malpractice, product liability, and maritime. She has also worked as an office manager.

Ciana joined the firm in February of 2005 and is primarily responsible for the finalization of adoptions, DCF finalizations, adult adoptions, and gestational surrogacy.

Marcie Becker, Paralegal

Marcie is a paralegal in the Tampa office who works closely with the Naples staff, handles termination of parental rights cases, contested adoptions, and juvenile dependency cases.

Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Marcie attended college at the University of Tampa, graduating cum laude in 2006 with a major in Criminology and a minor in Law & Justice. During her senior year at UT she began interning with the firm and started working full-time soon after graduation.

Jillian Strong, Paralegal

Jillian joined the firm’s Orlando branch in January 2010. She is primarily responsible for termination of parental rights cases, stepparent and second parent adoptions, relative and grandparent adoptions, non-relative cases involving older children, finalization of adoptions, adult adoptions, and name changes.

Jillian graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and spent a semester as an intern for two State Representatives in the Florida Legislature. Additionally, Jillian received her Certified Paralegal (CP) credential from the National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc. in March 2013.

Gabriela Bonn, Administrative Assistant

Gabriela is an administrative assistant who works in the Naples office. She has been working with the firm since June of 2006. Gabriela has previous administrative experience, as well as experience working with youth in a parenting program.

Additionally, Gabriela has worked closely with several Guatemalan international adoptions. She is currently pursuing her degree at Florida Gulf Coast University. Gabriela is one of eight children, all of which are adopted.

Desiree Lauer, Bookkeeper

Our bookkeeper, Desiree Lauer, graduated Chamberlain High School in 1984. She is a native Floridian, born and raised in the Tampa Bay area. Desiree joined The Law Offices of Jeanne T. Tate, P.A. in June of 2003. She is responsible for accounts receivables and payables, bank reconcilements, payroll, billing, and all other accounting functions for the law firm.

Desiree has 12 years of experience in banking and several years of experience in accounting.

Judi Martin, Office Manager

Judi is the firm's office manager who works out of the Tampa office. Judi joined the firm in November of 2004 and ensures that operations run smoothly by providing administrative support to the staff. Judi was previously the office manager of a local architect firm and has lived in Tampa for over 20 years.

The attorneys at Jeanne T. Tate, P.A. are each licensed to practice in the State of Florida. AV® PreeminentTM and BV® DistinguishedTM are certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards, and policies.  Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process.  Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the Bar and the Judiciary.  Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

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