Groot: ‘We Must Learn to See Hidden Value’

Attorney Lonnie Groot likes the balancing act

By DONNA BALANCIA, Contributor LAKE HELEN -- Attorney Lonnie Groot likes the balancing act. Over the years as attorney for various Central Florida municipalities, Groot has always sought to keep the balance between big city growth and small town identity. “There’s a special place in my heart for Seminole County and the surrounding towns,” he said. “The region has been very good to me.” As he looks out over Lake Monroe from the sea wall at Sanford, Groot, who is Of Counsel with Strenstrom McIntosh Colbert Wigham & Partlow PA, can see more than water and a couple of people fishing by the harbor. “It’s a hidden gem, don’t you think?” Groot says. “There is the desire here for Sanford to grow and there’s a lot of potential here.” Groot has a knack to see beyond face value, colleagues, friends and family members say. He likes to get down to the … [Read more...]

Farmer-Turned-Attorney: ‘Economy is Pressuring our People’

Brad Hester Fighting for Ag

By DONNA BALANCIA, TFLJ Editor WINTER PARK, Fla. -- Attorney Brad Hester buys locally grown products whenever he can, and not solely to keep in good physical health. The dairy farmer-turned-attorney believes buying Florida-grown products will also nurture a healthy economy. “Agriculture is under a lot of pressure and I help however I can,” Hester said.  “Many factors impact the farmers and all of us are affected every day.” Hester has been involved in the industry for years and says the plight of the farmer pervades all realms of law, touching everything from real estate, to a wide range of environmental issues.  It has been a tough economy throughout the United States, but the farmers in Florida have a particularly tough row to hoe. “The pressure from development has been building, and land values have swung both ways,” said Hester, who works with the law … [Read more...]

Florida A&M Looking Ahead

Dean LeRoy Pernell

By DONNA BALANCIA, TFLJ Editor ORLANDO — It took many years for the College of Law at Florida A&M University to receive its accreditation by the American Bar Association, but Dean LeRoy Pernell said his real work is just beginning. See Dean LeRoy's video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcdR8tMPloA Pernell said he and his staff have set goals to achieve in order to continue to improve. Recruiting, bar examination preparation and community outreach, are markers Pernell says the law school must hit. "We're building a financially strong foundation and were able to provide a source of legal education for students who want to take advantage of that here," Pernell said. "But more importantly, were moving towards providing a major resource for the county both in terms of regional interaction with the bench and bar and providing intellectual resources for the community and our … [Read more...]

Personal Injury Attorney Matt White Launches Spine Revitalizer

Attorney Matt White and his Revitalizing Creation

By DOTTIE PARIS, TFLJ Features Editor -- The expression "No Pain, No Gain" has a special meaning for personal injury lawyer Matt White. After suffering a debilitating back injury, White devoted every spare minute to research, and he created Spine Revitalizer, a nutraceutical product that helps heal those with similar injuries. "My injury was like an electric current that rushed up my back,"  White said.  "It was terrible.  I drove  home and got out of the car and the minute I stood up, I knew something had happened.  The pain would come and go. For a  few weeks the pain go away, but it would come back. It got to the point where I remember being on the den floor and couldn't move." It got to the point where he couldn't pick up his baby, and that's when he went to talk to a surgeon. The prospects were not good. "After the surgeon told me … [Read more...]

Becerra to Devine Goodman

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Robert J. Becerra has joined Devine Goodman Rasco & Wells as of counsel. Becerra concentrates in the areas of litigation and arbitration, white collar criminal defense, grand jury investigations, corporate compliance and internal investigations, and administrative and judicial proceedings related to international trade matters. … [Read more...]