SBCF partner Jennifer Ficarrotta serves as vice-chair of the nine-member Florida Bar Marital & Family Law Board Certification Committee, which reviews credentials for board certification applicants in that practice area, implements its standards, and administers and grades the Marital & Family Law certification exams. The committee has been grading the examinations that applicants took on March 13. Board certification evaluates attorneys’ special knowledge, skills and proficiency in various areas of law and professionalism and ethics in practice. Board-certified lawyers are evaluated for professionalism and tested for expertise. Jennifer earned Florida Bar Marital & Family Law board certification in 2015. Currently, only 273 attorneys are Florida Bar board-certified in Marital & Family Law.
SBCF Managing Partner Alexander Caballero was among the presenters at the prestigious 42nd Annual AAML Institute hosted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) Florida Chapter. The two-day Institute is a premier continuing legal education opportunity and the presenters are among the top in their fields offering advanced education for family law attorneys. On May 1, Alex presented “A 20/20 Perspective on Alimony and Child Support” with CPA Anthony Phillips.
Congratulations to SBCF paralegal Frank Steinbeck, Jr., who is serving a four-year term as treasurer and as a board member for the Tampa Bay Paralegal Association, Inc. The TBPA’s mission is to set the standard for excellence for the paralegal profession through its work on regulations, ethics and education. Frank has been a Florida Registered Paralegal through The Florida Bar since 2012. He also is a member of the Knights of Columbus in New Port Richey. Frank joined SBCF in 2012 with more than five years of civil litigation experience. He now devotes 100 percent of his practice to marital and family law.
Congratulations to SBCF attorney Sterling Lovelady and his wife, Allison, who are celebrating the adoption of their first child. Sterling and Allison finalized the adoption of their little boy, Zane Cole, on May 6—Zane’s second birthday. Zane has been a part of the Lovelady family since he was a few months old and now it’s official.
SBCF partner Caroline Black Sikorske was a presenter on May 1 at the 42nd Annual AAML Institute hosted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) Florida Chapter. The Institute is a premier continuing legal education opportunity and the presenters are among the top in their fields offering advanced education for family law attorneys. Caroline spoke on “Mediation and the Art of Negotiation: How to Create Options that Lead to Closure” with attorneys Tami Sbar and Ky Koch. Congratulations to the AAML staff, who did a great job of hosting the Institute virtually.
We’re happy to announce that SBCF attorney Samantha Branda is engaged. Sam’s boyfriend, Jordan Koko, proposed on May 2—which would have been Kentucky Derby Day—and we are very excited for the happy couple.
Sam moved to the Tampa Bay area in January 2020 from her hometown of Naples, where she was practicing law since she was admitted to The Florida Bar in 2012. Sam previously was an associate attorney for the Marshall Law Office and was an Assistant Public Defender for the 20th Judicial Circuit. She earned her J.D. degree from NSU Shepard Broad College of Law and her B.A. degree in creative writing from Florida State University. In Naples, she was active in the Collier County Bar Association and the Collier County Women’s Bar Association and volunteered for Legal Aid. She is a new member of the Hillsborough County Bar Association and plans to be involved locally in more organizations.
We are very proud that SBCF attorneys Caroline Black Sikorske, Alexander Caballero and Jennifer Ficarrotta are among only 273 lawyers statewide who are board-certified by The Florida Bar in marital and family law. All have maintained board certification since earning the designation in their respective years: Caroline (1995), Alex (2004) and Jennifer (2015).
Board certification recognizes attorneys’ special knowledge, skills and proficiency in various areas of law and professionalism and ethics in practice. Certification is The Florida Bar’s highest level of evaluation of the competency and experience of attorneys in the 27 areas of law approved for certification by the Supreme Court of Florida. Learn more about Florida Bar marital and family law board certification.
Several SBCF attorneys are members of the Tampa Bay Academy of Collaborative Professionals, a nonprofit association of independent attorneys, neutral financials and neutral facilitators with a focus on collaborative divorce. Professionals who are selected have training and experience beyond normal professional requirements and must undergo specialized training in the collaborative process. Caroline Black Sikorske, Alex Caballero and Jennifer Ficarrota hold membership in TBACP. Instead of a traditional court-based divorce, collaborative divorce typically takes less time, costs less money and limits the children’s exposure to the stress of divorce.