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Appellate Section CLE: An Appellate Medley: Diverse Perspectives on Appellate Advocacy
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When: 04/05/2017
1 -5 PM
Where: Chester H. Ferguson Law Center
1610 N Tampa St
Tampa, Florida  33602
United States

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4.0 CLE credits (applied for)


The Circumstantial Evidence Rule – Knight v. State
Judge Daniel Sleet 

Sweating the Small Stuff: A Debate Over The Little Things That Can Make Your Good Appeal Great
Ceci Berman, Steven Brannock, Celene Humphries, Thomas Seider

Hot Topics in Circuit Court Appeals
Judge Richard A. Nielsen  and Ari Fitzgerald 

Eleventh Circuit Appeals: Things You Should Know
Rebecca Creed


Judge Daniel Sleet began his legal career as an assistant state attorney for the Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office. He later entered private practice joining Barr, Murman, & Tonelli, where he became a partner. He practiced law for nineteen years before being appointed to the 13th Judicial Circuit Court in 2005, where he served until December 2012 when Governor Rick Scott appointed him to the appellate bench. Judge Sleet has authored articles for the Florida Bar, and Family Law Commentator, and he has conducted numerous seminars for the Hillsborough County Bar Association. He served as the Criminal Justice Chair of the Florida Conference of Circuit Judges in 2012. He has been a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (A.B.O.T.A.) since 2003 and is president elect of the organization. He is also an Adjunct Professor, teaching Trial Advocacy at Stetson University College of Law and Law, Justice, and Advocacy at the University of Tampa.

Judge Richard A. Nielsen, 13th Judicial Circuit, General Civil

Ceci Berman, Esq. is a shareholder with the appellate firm Brannock & Humphries in Tampa, Florida. Ms. Berman is board certified in appellate practice, and she handles all types of federal and state appeals. She is a past chair of the Florida Bar’s Appellate Practice Section. Ms. Berman also served six years on the Florida Appellate Court Rules Committee, and she currently serves on the Civil Rules of Procedure Committee. Ms. Berman has been recognized on numerous “Best Lawyers” lists, including a recent selection by Florida Super Lawyers as one of the Top 100 lawyers in Florida.

Steve Brannock, Esq. is a founding shareholder of Brannock & Humphries, a firm specializing in appeals and trial support. Brannock & Humphries has been twice-named by the Florida Business Edition of Super Lawyers as the top-rated litigation firm in Florida (firms of two to ten lawyers). Board Certified in appellate practice by the Florida Bar, his experience includes litigating appellate matters in all five Florida District Courts of Appeal, the Florida Supreme Court, five federal circuit courts of appeals, and the United States Supreme Court. He is recognized by numerous “Best Lawyer Lists,” including Super Lawyers’ list of the top ten lawyers in Florida in 2016.

Rebecca Creed, Esq. is a Florida Bar Board Certified appellate specialist. She obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia, and her law degree from UNC Chapel Hill. Rebecca started her legal career with a North Carolina law firm, before moving to Jacksonville, Florida. There she joined Baumer, Bradford & Walters, P.A., ultimately becoming a shareholder. Rebecca joined Creed & Gowdy in 2003, and continues to practice there today. She focuses exclusively on appellate litigation, in civil, commercial, criminal, and family law appellate matters. Rebecca has also served as the chair of the Jacksonville Bar Association appellate law section, is active in the Florida Bar Appellate Practice Section, and is an alumnus of the Chester Bedell Inn of Court. She is a Master in the First District Appellate American Inn of Court. Rebecca has authored several articles and is a regular speaker on various legal topics.

Ari Fitzgerald, Esq. was born in the Lone Star State, but has lived in Tampa since she was very young. She graduated from University of Florida with a major in Telecommunications and a Minor in Mathematics. She also graduated from UF College of Law. She has experience in private practice, and also worked at the Hillsborough County Attorney’s Office before joining the 13th Circuit. Upon coming to the court, Ari first managed the then-pilot alternative dispute resolution program in this circuit, which was instrumental in raising awareness of and participation in the alternative dispute resolution process, especially in mediation. She also worked for the guardian ad litem program. Thereafter Ari joined the circuit’s Legal Department where she now oversees the circuit civil appellate division. Ari is married and has two sons that are also Gators. Besides the Gators, specifically, and college football, generally, Ari enjoys yoga, hiking, and travel.

Celene Humphries, Esq. is a founding shareholder of Brannock & Humphries, a firm specializing in appeals and trial support. Ms. Humphries has been an appellate specialist for nearly her entire legal career, and is board certified by The Florida Bar as a specialist in appellate practice. She is routinely recognized as a top lawyer in the state by various publications. Her experience includes litigating appellate matters in all of Florida appellate courts as well as the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court. In all, Ms. Humphries has been lead or sole counsel in more than 250 appeals.

Austin Roe, Esq., Staff Attorney to Judge Khouzam

Tom Seider, Esq. is an associate with Brannock & Humphries, where he handles all types of federal and state appeals. Mr. Seider is co-editor of the Appellate Practice Section’s submissions to the Florida Bar Journal, he is the pro bono chair of the HCBA’s appellate practice section, and he has been recognized as a Super Lawyers “Rising Star” and a Florida Trend “Up and Comer.” Mr. Seider earned his undergraduate degree, with honors, from the University of Florida, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He received his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law.