418 West Platt Street
Tampa, Florida 33606
1604 South Bumby Avenue
Orlando, Florida 32806
5633 Strand Boulevard
Naples, Florida 34110
|Jeanne T. Tate, Attorney
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell, signifying that the legal
community ranks her “at the highest level of professional excellence”.
|Martha A. Curtis, Attorney
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
| Ciana Hamilton, Paralegal
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
| Marcie Becker, Paralegal
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.
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
|Jillian Strong, Paralegal
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.