Caroline Black Sikorske Presents at AAML Institute

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.

Caroline Black Sikorske

Attorney Sam Branda is Engaged

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.

Sam Branda Engagement

SBCF Attorneys Maintain Florida Bar Board Certification

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.

Florida Bar Board Certification

SBCF Attorneys are Tampa Bay Academy of Collaborative Professionals Members

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.

Tampa Bay Academy of Collaborative Professionals

SBCF Partners Will Present at AAML Institute

SBCF partners Caroline Black Sikorske and Alex Caballero will be presenters at the 42nd Annual AAML Institute hosted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers – AAML – Florida Chapter. The April 30-May 1 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 will present “Mediation and the Art of Negotiation: How to Create Options that Lead to Closure” with attorneys Tami Sbar and Ky Koch. Alex is presenting “A 20/20 Perspective on Alimony and Child Support” with CPA Anthony Phillips. Congratulations to Caroline and Alex for being selected to participate in this prestigious CLE event.

42nd Annual AAML Institute

Andrew D. Reder Earns Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating

Congratulations to SBCF attorney Andrew D. Reder, who has earned a Martindale-Hubbell® “AV Preeminent®” Peer Review Rating. In its peer-review process, Martindale-Hubbell conducts a thorough review of attorneys who wish to receive a Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating through a secure online survey where a lawyer’s ethical standards and legal ability in a specific area of practice are assessed by his or her peers. AV Preeminent® is the highest Martindale-Hubbell peer-rating standard and is given to attorneys who are ranked at the highest level of professional excellence for their legal expertise, communication skills and ethical standards by their peers. Approximately 10 percent of attorneys have earned the AV Preeminent® rating. Learn more at martindale.com/ratings-and-reviews.

Andrew Reder Earns Martindale=Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating

SBCF COVID-19 Statement

Given the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations regarding social distancing during the COVID-19 outbreak, SBCF is taking every precaution to ensure that our office and employees adhere to recommended health and safety guidelines. Starting on Monday, March 23, the firm’s associate attorneys and paralegals will work remotely, and the remainder of the staff will reduce in-office hours whenever possible. Our business hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and calls to the office will be answered during normal work hours. The SBCF team has the capability to continue to represent our clients in an effective manner during this time. Each of us is available by email, and our contact information is online at sbcf-famlaw.com/contact-us. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we focus our efforts on maintaining a safe work environment for our employees, our clients and their families.

SBCF Logo

Samantha Branda Joins SBCF as Associate Attorney

Please join us in welcoming attorney Samantha “Sam” Branda to the SBCF team. Sam moved to the Tampa Bay area in January 2020 from her hometown of Naples, where she has been 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. Welcome aboard, Sam!

Samantha Branda

 

Jennifer Ficarrotta is Vice-chair of Marital & Family Law Board Certification Committee

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. 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; SBCF partners Caroline Black Sikorske and Alex Caballero also are board-certified. We are proud of Jennifer’s involvement in this important role for The Florida Bar.

Jennifer Ficarrotta/Vice-Chair of Certification Committee

SBCF Seeks Administrative Assistant for Client Relations

Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta is seeking a professional, friendly and outgoing assistant to provide client service via telephone by handling new client telephone screening, performing client intake questionnaire(s) and completing new client paperwork; performing client conflicts checks; scheduling; and entering client information into database. Candidate will be proficient in all Office 365 products, including Outlook, Word, and Excel. Candidate will act as primary back-up to office receptionist and perform other general office duties as directed and delegated by the Firm Administrator. Candidate will possess professional phone etiquette skills and will adhere to the firm’s confidentiality agreement. General office experience required; legal office experience a plus. The ideal candidate will be enthusiastic, cheerful and have a strong drive and work ethic as well as a professional appearance. This is a professional law firm environment where client communication skills are essential to the firm’s practice. Position has the opportunity to become full-time, depending on the skills and performance of the successful candidate. All candidates are subject to pre-employment screening and background check. Local candidates only. Salary commensurate with experience. For consideration, send resume to recruiting@sbcf-famlaw.com.

Now Hiring - Administrative Assistant

Alex Caballero Participates on Judicial Elections Panel

SBCF Managing Partner Alex Caballero recently took part in a panel discussion on judicial elections and appointments with Dr. Susan A. MacManus and attorney Erin Aebel. Alex serves on the Judicial Nomination Commission for the Second District Court of Appeal and is a former Thirteenth Judicial Circuit JNC commissioner and chair. The event was held at Wright’s Gourmet House and was hosted by Coffee with the Candidates. L-R: Stacy Yates, Erin Aebel, Dr. Susan MacManus and Alex Caballero.

Alex Caballero Judicial Panel

Caroline Black Sikorske Named to 2020 List of ‘Lawdragon 500 Leading Family Lawyers’

We are proud to announce that SBCF Partner Caroline Black Sikorske is among the lawyers who have been named to the 2020 list of “Lawdragon 500 Leading Family Lawyers.” The Lawdragon editorial team selected lawyers in its “Family 500” through submissions, journalistic research and editorial vetting from a board of the lawyers’ peers. Congratulations to Caroline on being included among these lawyers of distinction.

Lawdragon 500 Leading Family Lawyers 2020

Andrew Reder Selected to Speak on Ethics in Family Law

SBCF attorney Andrew D. Reder has been selected to speak on Ethics in Family Law: Allegations of Domestic Abuse at the “Florida Family Law & Ethics for Paralegals” seminar on March 31 at the Courtyard by Marriott Tampa Westshore/Airport. His presentation will address the duties of attorneys who represent the accuser or the accused in divorce cases that include domestic violence allegations. The seminar is hosted by HalfMoon Education Inc. and is approved for 7.0 CLE hours (3.0 Ethics) for Florida Registered Paralegals. Information and registration are available at this link.

Andrew gained substantial experience in the courtroom as a successful prosecutor for the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit. As a prosecutor in Hillsborough County, Andrew successfully litigated numerous jury trials, non-jury trials, and motions, including prosecuting domestic violence offenses. Prior to that, Andrew was a staff attorney in the Sixth Judicial Circuit (Pinellas County) where he clerked for four circuit court judges. Andrew is a member of the Hillsborough County Bar Association, the Marital and Family Law Sections of The Florida Bar and the HCBA, the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, the Tampa Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society and the J. Clifford Cheatwood Inn of Court. Andrew was recently elected by his peers to the Executive Council of the Marital and Family Law Section of the HCBA for the 2019-2022 term.

Andrew Reder to Present on Ethics in Family Law

SBCF is BALS Sustaining Law Firm for 9th Consecutive Year

Did you know? Bay Area Legal Services is dedicated to providing free civil legal services to low-income residents and nonprofits throughout the Tampa Bay area. The organization helps foster children find permanency in stable, loving homes; protects families from domestic violence and child abuse; and helps veterans and seniors fight foreclosure and retain their homes. Every year, BALS attorneys, paralegals and support staff assist thousands of individuals, families and community groups. Support for Bay Area Legal Services promotes access to justice—and SBCF is proud to be a BALS Sustaining Law Firm for the ninth consecutive year. Law firm support helps give BALS the ability to sustain and grow their programs and continue the important work they do in our communities.

Bay Area Legal Services

SBCF Sponsors Clearwater Bar Association Event

SBCF is proud to be a law firm sponsor for the Clearwater Bar Association’s 81st Oyster Roast, a preeminent Bar social event in the Tampa Bay area since 1939. More than 600 attorneys, judges, sponsors and guests attend this great legal-community event. This year’s Oyster Roast will be at Florin Roebig in Palm Harbor on Saturday, March 28, 5 – 9 PM. Registration and details are available at this link. We hope to see you there.

Clearwater Bar Association

Alex Caballero Presents; Attorneys, Paralegals Attend Family Law Review Course

Here are some great photos of SBCF Managing Partner Alex Caballero presenting on “Practice & Procedure” at the 2020 Marital & Family Law Review Course on Friday, Jan. 31. Attorneys Steve Sessums, Caroline Black Sikorske, Jennifer Ficarrotta, Andrew D. Reder and Sterling Lovelady and paralegals Michele Tawzer and Lorri Rowell attended the sold-out event at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando. The review course is one of the largest CLE events in the Southeast and more than 1,700 were in the audience. Congratulations to Alex on being among the faculty members for this prestigious event.

Photo credit: AAML – Florida

Alex Caballero Presents at Family Law Review Course Alex Caballero Presents at Family Law Review Course

SBCF Partners are Members of Tampa Bay Academy of Collaborative Professionals

SBCF partners Caroline Black Sikorske, Alex Caballero and Jennifer Ficarrotta are members of the Tampa Bay Academy of Collaborative Professionals, a group of independent attorneys, neutral financials and neutral facilitators who focus on and commit to collaborative divorce. All professionals accepted to TBACP are selected based on rigorous training and extensive experience beyond normal professional requirements. Attorneys must have been practicing primarily in the area of marital and family law for a minimum of 10 years and all professionals must be individually approved by the TBACP Board of Directors and by a vote of the general membership. In addition to their individual profession’s requirements, all TBACP members must undergo specialized training in the collaborative process and the associated negotiation techniques and must be members in good standing of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. Kudos to our SBCF partners for being members of this respected organization.

TBACP

SBCF Attorneys Attend HCBA Holiday Open House

Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta attorneys Alex Caballero, Andrew Reder and Sterling Lovelady attended the Hillsborough County Bar Association Holiday Open House on Dec. 5. Guests were encouraged to bring unwrapped toys to be donated to charity and the event included a silent auction to support the Hillsborough County Bar Foundation and its outreach grants. SBCF Managing Partner Alex Caballero, a Director of the Hillsborough County Bar Association, is pictured here with Judge Catherine Catlin at the event.

Photo from HCBA Holiday Open House

Tami Bradley Joins SBCF as Paralegal

Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta is proud to announce that Paralegal Tami Bradley has joined the firm. Tami has been a family law and business litigation paralegal and legal assistant for more than five years. She previously worked as a paralegal for the Law Offices of J. Kevin Carey, P.A. Tami is a Florida Notary Public and licensed realtor. She has worked in residential sales since 2002 and in commercial sales in from 2018 until joining SBCF. She also is a volunteer Guardian Ad Litem in the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit and was named 2018 Guardian Ad Litem of the Year. Please join us in welcoming Tami to the SBCF team.

Paralegal Tami Bradley

Jennifer Hopper Celebrates Two-Year SBCF Work Anniversary

Congratulations to SBCF Administrative Assistant Jennifer Hopper, who last week celebrated her two-year work anniversary with the firm. Jennifer previously worked at ByDesign Technologies in Tampa as a Client Support Specialist. Happy work anniversary, Jennifer!

Jennifer Hopper Work Anniversary

Alex Caballero Appointed to 2nd DCA Judicial Nominating Commission

We are extremely proud to announce that Governor Ron DeSantis has appointed SBCF Managing Partner Alexander Caballero to the Second District Court of Appeal Judicial Nominating Commission for a term ending July 1, 2022. Governor DeSantis appointed Alex from a list of nominees submitted by The Florida Bar. Previously, Governor Rick Scott appointed Alex to two consecutive terms on the Thirteenth Circuit Judicial Nomination Committee—August 2012 to March 2017 and March 2017 to July 2020—and to a term as Chair from August 2017 to August 2018. Please join us in congratulating Alex on this significant honor.

Alex Caballero Appointed to 2nd DCA JNC

SBCF Partners Attend AAML National 2019 Annual Meeting

Alexander Caballero and Caroline Black Sikorske attended the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers National 2019 Annual Meeting last week in Chicago. Alex, who is on the national AAML Continuing Legal Education Committee, served as a CLE coordinator on Friday, Nov. 8. He introduced several great custodial-issues presentations by speakers who are among the best of the best in their fields from across the United States. The presentations were:

• “The Intersection of Mental Health and Custodial Issues” by Arnie T. Shienvold, Ph.D., Dawn R. Smith, Esq., and Andrea Plash, Esq.
• “The Intersection of Addiction and Custodial Issues” by Larry J. Braunstein, Esq., Jonathan Gould, Ph.D., and Jim Turnage; and
• “The Intersection of Alienation and Custodial Issues” by the Honorable Emily Miskel, Sol Rappaport, Ph.D., and Donald G. Tye, Esq.

The AAML’s mission is to provide leadership that promotes the highest degree of professionalism and excellence in the practice of family law. Alex and Caroline are AAML Fellows, a select group of 1,650 family lawyers who generally are recognized by judges and attorneys as preeminent family law practitioners with a high level of knowledge, skill and integrity.

AAML 2019 National Photo 1

 

Caroline Black Sikorske Celebrates 30-Year SBCF Anniversary

Please join us in congratulating Shareholder Caroline Black Sikorske, who on Nov. 1 celebrated 30 years with Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta. After graduating with her Juris Doctor degree from Stetson University College of Law in 1984, Caroline was an Assistant State Attorney for Hillsborough County before devoting her practice 100 percent to marital and family law in 1989. Caroline is admitted to the prestigious International Academy of Family Lawyers, a worldwide association of practicing attorneys who are recognized by their peers as experienced and skilled family law specialists in their respective countries. She is a diplomate of the American College of Family Trial Lawyers, a select group of 100 top U.S. family lawyers who practice sophisticated and complex family law matters. Caroline was named among the Top 10 2018 Florida Super Lawyers, attorneys who received the highest points during the Super Lawyers nomination, research, and review process. She has been included in The Best Lawyers in America© in family law since 2006. She is Florida Bar Board Certified in Marital and Family Law, is a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and is Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent® Peer-Review rated. Congratulations, Caroline, and best wishes on your work anniversary!

Caroline Black Sikorske 30 Year SBCF Anniversary

SBCF Seeks an Associate Attorney

Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta is hiring an associate attorney. Please send resumes to recruiting@sbcf-famlaw.com. All resumes and responses are confidential. The salary is competitive and benefits are commensurate with experience. One or more years of experience. Litigation experience preferred. Candidates must be organized, highly motivated, and have strong academic backgrounds.

SBCF is Hiring

Alex Caballero is Presenter for HCBA Marital and Family Law CLE

Managing Partner Alex Caballero served as a co-presenter with attorney Richard Mockler for  “Advanced Strategies & Procedures for Litigating Claims for Attorneys’ Fees & Costs,”  a two-hour Marital and Family Law CLE hosted by the Hillsborough County Bar Association on October 23 at the Chester H. Ferguson Law Center. SBCF attorney Andrew D. Reder introduced the speakers. Topics include discovery and privilege issues, proving need and ability to pay, Rule 4-1.5 factors, defending against claims for fees and costs, and reserving jurisdiction. The event had an excellent turnout and participants earned 2.5 CLE credits including 2.5 for Ethics. Thank you to HCBA for hosting the CLE and to all who attended.

Alex Caballero and Richard Mockler

Andrew RederPresenter Alex CaballeroHCBA CLE Event

Andrew Reder Volunteers for Read to Dream Initiative

Kudos to SBCF attorney Andrew D. Reder for his recent participation in the John Germany Young Readers “Read to Dream” Initiative by reading to children at Broward Elementary School. He has participated several times in the program, which regularly places caring and engaged volunteers—readers and mentors—in positive group reading sessions with at-risk and underserved children. The Read to Dream initiative coordinates with the Hillsborough County Public School System and Friends of the Library. For more information about contributing to or volunteering, please contact Lorie Tonti, Manager of Learning Experiences, Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library at 813-273-3638 or TontiL@hillsboroughcounty.org.

Andrew Reder Read to Dream

Caroline Black Sikorske Admitted to International Academy of Family Lawyers

Congratulations to SBCF Shareholder Caroline Black Sikorske, who recently was admitted to the prestigious International Academy of Family Lawyers, a worldwide association of practicing attorneys who are recognized by their peers as experienced and skilled family law specialists in their respective countries. The organization was formed in 1986 to improve the practice of law and administration of justice in divorce and family law throughout the world. Caroline said, “I have found more and more that my cases have global issues and my connection to international lawyers on these issues has been incredibly interesting and rewarding. The law around the world is so different yet so much alike.”

International Academy of Family Lawyers

Sarah Kay Announces Launch of Kay Family Law PLLC

It is a time of change here at Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta, P.A. After being part of the SBCF family for 13 years, Sarah E. Kay, an associate at our firm and an excellent lawyer, has decided to start her own law firm, Kay Family Law PLLC, effective December 21, 2019. Sarah’s last day at SBCF is December 20. We are proud of Sarah’s desire to start her own firm and expand her family law practice to include the matters affecting families of special needs children, including special education law.  We wish her the best.

Attorney Sarah Kay

SBCF Sponsors Special Needs Children and Family Law CLE

Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta is proud to have been a sponsor for a very special continuing legal education event last weekend in Tampa. The Florida Bar Family Law Section’s “Special Needs Children and Family Law” CLE focused on educating family lawyers and the judiciary on issues regularly faced by families with “differently-abled” members. Speakers included a special education attorney, an education and family advocate, mental health and medical professionals, a guardianship attorney, Florida Bar board-certified specialists in family law, parents of children with special needs and others experienced in working with families of special needs children. Congratulations to SBCF attorney Sarah Kay, who was one of the three program chairs who facilitated an outstanding event.

Alex Caballero Will Present at Marital and Family Law Review Course

Congratulations to SBCF Managing Partner Alexander Caballero, who has been invited to be a presenter on Practice and Procedure at the 2020 Marital and Family Law Review Course hosted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers  – Florida Chapter and the Family Law Section of The Florida Bar. The continuing legal education event is scheduled for Jan. 31–Feb. 1, 2020, in Orlando. With more than 1,600 attendees, it is one of the largest CLE events in the Southeast. Alex served on The Florida Bar Marital and Family Law Board Certification Committee from 2012 to 2018, which prohibited him from being a review course presenter, and we are proud that he will be speaking for the second time at this preeminent CLE event. Alex is Florida Bar board certified in Marital and Family Law, is a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, is named to the 2019 lists of Top 100 Florida and Top 50 Tampa Bay Super Lawyers and is rated AV Preeminent® by Martindale Hubbell.

Jennifer Ficarrotta Participates in CBA Debate

Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta Shareholder Jennifer Ficarrotta recently participated in “The Six: A Great Debate,” a panel discussion among six marital and family lawyers about the pros and cons of collaborative divorce versus litigation. The Clearwater Bar Association’s Collaborative Law and Family Law sections hosted the debate. Jennifer is board certified in Marital and Family Law by The Florida Bar, is Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated and is an active member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals and the Tampa Bay Collaborative Divorce Group.

Jennifer Ficarrotta - Clearwater Bar Debate

Sarah Kay Attends FLAFCC – OSCA Annual Conference

Last week, SBCF Attorney Sarah Kay attended the 15th Annual Conference of the Florida Chapter – Association of Family & Conciliation Courts and Office of The State Courts Administrator (FLAFCC and OSCA) in Orlando. The conference is the result of ongoing collaboration between family law attorneys, mental health professionals, court administrators, the judiciary, and guardians ad litem to provide educational and networking opportunities for professionals who regularly work with parties within the family court system. The goals are to reduce conflict and promote conciliation. Sarah is board certified by The Florida Bar in Marital and Family Law and is a Certified Family Law Mediator through the Florida Supreme Court.

Sarah Kay at FLAFCC OSCA 2019 Conference

Sterling Lovelady Serves as Attorney Ad Litem

We’d like to give a shout-out to SBCF attorney Sterling Lovelady, who is serving for the second year as an Attorney Ad Litem—a volunteer attorney—for Crossroads For Florida Kids, a nonprofit organization that handles complex legal representation for disadvantaged children and young adults in Hillsborough County. Sterling earned his Bachelors of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice from Florida State University, where he played as an offensive lineman for FSU Seminoles football. He earned his Juris Doctor degree from Stetson University College of Law. Sterling is an active member of The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division and the Family Law Section of The Florida Bar and devotes 100 percent of his practice to marital and family law.

Sterling Lovelady Guardian Ad Litem

Andrew Reder is Cheatwood Inn of Court Member

We are pleased to announce that attorney Andrew D. Reder has been accepted for membership in the J. Clifford Cheatwood American Inn of Court, a local association of lawyers, judges and other legal professionals from all experience levels and backgrounds who share a passion for professional excellence. American Inns of Court are designed to improve the skills, professionalism and legal ethics of attorneys and members of the judiciary. The Inns help lawyers become more effective and ethical advocates through mentoring in their communities. J. Clifford Cheatwood was a former Chief Judge for the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit and is one of the Inn’s founding members.

Andrew D. Reder

Frank Steinbeck Jr. Celebrates SBCF Work Anniversary

Congratulations to SBCF paralegal Frank Steinbeck, Jr., who this month is celebrating seven years with the firm. Frank earned an Associate of Arts degree from Pasco-Hernando State College in 2012 and a Bachelor of Science degree in Legal Studies through South University Tampa P.A. Program, an ABA-Approved Paralegal Education Program, in 2014. He is a Florida Registered Paralegal through The Florida Bar. Frank, we appreciate all that you do for Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta and are proud that you are part of the team.

Frank Steinbeck Jr. Work Anniversary

 

Sarah Kay is AFS Intercultural Programs Volunteer

Did you know that SBCF attorney Sarah E. Kay was an exchange student in Ecuador her senior year in high school? That life-changing experience has inspired Sarah to be a long-term volunteer with her international exchange student organization, AFS Intercultural Programs. AFS promotes intercultural understandings and cultivates global citizenship through offering programs in more than 80 countries worldwide. AFS is a largely volunteer-driven organization with more than 4,400 volunteers in the U.S. and more than 50,000 throughout the globe. Since first volunteer roughly 19 years ago, Sarah has held a variety of roles in AFS Massachusetts and Florida. Her favorite, by far, has been serving as a host mother. Thank you, Sarah, for making a difference.

Attorney Sarah E. Kay

Caroline Black Sikorske Included in Best Lawyers in America 2020

Congratulations to Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta Shareholder Caroline Black Sikorske, who has been selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2020 in the field of family law, her 14th consecutive year to be included. Caroline is board certified by The Florida Bar in Marital and Family Law, is a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and is a diplomate of the American College of Family Trial Lawyers, a select group of 100 top U.S. family lawyers who practice sophisticated and complex family law matters. She was named to the list of Top 10 2018 Florida Super Lawyers, attorneys who received the highest points during the Super Lawyers nomination, research and review process. Learn more about Caroline’s family law practice at this link.

Caroline Black Sikorske Best Lawyers 2020

SBCF Supports St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital

Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta participated again this year in the Christmas in July office challenge, a month-long, community-wide fundraiser by the St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital Foundation to encourage businesses, civic organizations and individuals to collect toys for the kids of St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital. We’re proud to say we were the week-three winner of the#CIJOfficeChallenge and on July 26, partner Jennifer Ficarrotta and paralegal Frank Steinbeck, Jr. delivered 412 toys to the hospital. This year, the Christmas In July office challenge raised a record $130,000 in monetary donations and toys. The need is great. You can help through sponsorships, hosting toy drives or donating directly to St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital. Please call the foundation at (813) 872-0979 for more information.

Christmas in July 2019

Sarah Kay, Sterling Lovelady Celebrate Work Anniversaries

Please join us in celebrating work anniversaries for Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta attorneys Sarah Kay (13 years) and Sterling Lovelady (two years). Sarah worked in several administrative and support roles at SBCF while earning her law degree. She is now a board-certified attorney in Marital and Family Law by The Florida Bar and is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Law Mediator. Sterling joined SBCF first as a paralegal while awaiting his bar exam results and is now an attorney who devotes 100 percent of his practice to family law. Happy work anniversaries, Sarah and Sterling!

Kay, Lovelady Work Anniversaries

Jennifer Ficarrotta Honored for Florida Bar Grievance Committee Service

Congratulations and thank you to SBCF attorney Jennifer Ficarrotta, who served on The Florida Bar Grievance Committee 13C from Nov. 1, 2015, through Oct. 31, 2018. She is pictured here with a certificate “in recognition and appreciation of meritorious service to the public and the legal profession in Florida.” Jennifer chaired the committee in 2017-2018. Each of Florida’s 20 judicial circuits has at least one grievance committee. The committees review complaints against lawyers and decide if there is probable cause to believe a lawyer violated Florida Supreme Court professional conduct rules and whether discipline against the lawyer is warranted.

Jennifer Ficarrotta Grievance Committee Service

Alex Caballero Attends HCBA Board Retreat

The Hillsborough County Bar Association 2019-20 Board Officers & Directors Retreat took place July 26 and 27 in Sarasota. SBCF Managing Partner Alex Caballero and other directors are pictured here with HCBA Immediate Past President John Schifino. The HCBA is one of the largest voluntary bar associations in Florida with a membership close to 4,000 attorneys, judges and legal professionals.

Alex Caballero/HCBA Board Retreat

Jennifer Ficarrotta Celebrates Eight Years With the Firm

Congratulations to SBCF partner Jennifer Ficarrotta, who on July 20 celebrated her eighth anniversary of working with the firm. Jennifer is board certified by The Florida Bar in Marital and Family Law and is rated AV Preeminent® by Martindale-Hubbell. She is an accomplished litigator who also is trained in Interdisciplinary Collaborative Law and is an active member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals and the Tampa Bay Collaborative Divorce Group. She has been named to the list of Florida Super Lawyers for the seventh consecutive year and devotes 100 percent of her practice to marital and family law. We are honored to have Jennifer as part of the SBCF team!

Jennifer Ficarrotta Work Anniversary

Caroline Black Sikorske Serves as Athena Society Member

Kudos to SBCF shareholder Caroline Black Sikorske for being part of the Athena Society of Tampa, an organization of Tampa professionals who have demonstrated leadership in the community and committed themselves to promoting equality and opportunity for women. The society promotes equality through the removal of artificial boundaries to success and by fostering leadership through collaboration and education. Learn more at www.athena-society.com.

Caroline Black Sikorske Athena Society

Alex Caballero Serves on Florida Bar Professional Ethics Committee

Congratulations to SBCF Managing Partner Alex Caballero, who is serving a three-year term on The Florida Bar Professional Ethics Committee. The committee is charged with answering ethics inquiries from members of the Bar concerning attorneys’ proposed conduct, and it publishes formal advisory opinions to guide Bar members in interpreting and applying the ethics rules. Thank you, Alex, for your volunteer service to the legal community.

Alex Caballero Professional Ethics Committee

Sarah Kay Honored With Family Law Section Award

The SBCF team is extremely proud of attorney Sarah E. Kay, who has been honored for the third time by the Family Law Section of The Florida Bar with its Above and Beyond Award. The inscription reads, “For exceeding all expectations with your tireless dedication and hard work to benefit the Family Law Section.” Sarah has been a Family Law Section member since 2010 and an Executive Council member since 2015. She has served in leadership roles and as a member of numerous Family Law Section committees including Continuing Legal Education, Certification Review Course, Finance, Family Law Rules and Forms, and Technology. Congratulations, Sarah, and thank you for your hard work and dedication!

Sarah Kay Above and Beyond Award

Jennifer Ficarrotta Serves as Certification Committee Vice-Chair

We are proud to announce that SBCF partner Jennifer A. Ficarrotta has been appointed to a three-year term as Vice-Chair of The Florida Bar Marital & Family Law Board Certification Committee. The nine-member committee reviews credentials for Marital & Family Law certification applicants, implements the area’s standards, and administers and grades certification examinations. 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.

Jennifer Ficarrotta Certification Committee Vice Chair

Alex Caballero is SBCF Managing Partner

Congratulations and best wishes to Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta Shareholder Alex Caballero, who on July 1 succeeded Caroline Black Sikorske as Managing Partner of the firm. Alex is a former lead trial attorney for the Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office. He is board certified in Marital and Family Law by The Florida Bar, is a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, is listed in The Best Lawyers in America, is named to the 2019 lists of Top 100 Florida and Top 50 Tampa Bay Super Lawyers, and is rated AV Preeminent® by Martindale Hubbell. Caroline remains with the firm as a Shareholder and is pleased to pass the Managing Partner title on to Alex.

Alex Caballero

Sarah Kay Co-Chairs Trial Advocacy Workshop

Kudos to Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta attorney Sarah E. Kay, who is serving as Co-Chair of the Family Law Section of The Florida Bar’s 2019 Trial Advocacy Workshop. The July 25 – 28 continuing legal education seminar allows family law attorneys to hone their trial skills as they prepare and present a case. Sarah is a member of the Family Law Section’s Executive Council. She is board certified by The Florida Bar in Marital and Family Law and is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Law Mediator.

Sarah Kay Co-Chairs Trial Advocacy Workshop

Andrew Reder Celebrates Four-Year SBCF Work Anniversary

Please join us in congratulating Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta attorney Andrew D. Reder on his four-year work anniversary with the firm. Before he joined us in 2015, Andrew worked with the Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office where he tried numerous jury and non-jury trials and prosecuted domestic violence-related offenses. Prior to that, Andrew served as a Sixth Judicial Circuit staff attorney in and for Pasco County. He is a Stetson University College of Law alumnus.

Andrew Reder Work Anniversary

Nelva Aleman Celebrates 20-Year SBCF Work Anniversary

We are pleased to announce that today is the 20-year work anniversary for SBCF scheduling administrative assistant Nelva Aleman. Nelva started working with us in 1988 and has rejoined the firm several times over the years. She also has served as Executive Director of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers – AAML – Florida Chapter, worked part-time at Shriners Hospitals for Children – Tampa and enjoyed being a stay-at-home mom. Nelva is an integral part of Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta and we are extremely lucky to have her as part of the team. Congratulations, Nelva, and thank you for all that you do for the firm.

Nelva Aleman Work Anniversary

Jennifer Ficarrotta Named to Florida Super Lawyers List for 7th Consecutive Year

Please join us in congratulating Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta partner Jennifer Ficarrotta, who has been named to the list of Florida Super Lawyers for the seventh consecutive year. Super Lawyers uses a patented, multiphase selection process that includes nominations, evaluation of candidates by the research department and peer evaluation by practice area. Jennifer is board certified in Marital and Family Law by The Florida Bar and is rated AV Preeminent® by Martindale Hubbell. She devotes 100 percent of her practice to Family Law.

Jennifer Ficarrotta Super Lawyers 2019

Alex Caballero Sworn In to HCBA Board of Directors

We are very proud of Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta partner Alex Caballero, who recently was sworn in for another term on the Hillsborough County Bar Association board of directors. Congratulations to incoming HCBA President Grace Yang and YLD President Jeff Wilcox and to all of the newly installed 2019-2020 HCBA and YLD officers and directors. Thank you for your volunteer service to the Tampa legal community.

Alex Caballero HCBA Board of Directors

Caroline Black Sikorske Attends Annual AAML Florida Retreat

Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta managing partner Caroline Black Sikorske and her husband, Jeff Sikorske, attended the June 6 – 9 Annual Retreat of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Florida Chapter. Florida family law attorneys and their families gathered at the Casa Marina Hotel in Key West and enjoyed water sports, boating, sightseeing and a Keys-style dinner on the beach. Attorneys who attended the retreat also participated in a continuing legal education seminar.

AAML Florida Retreat 1AAML Retreat 2AAML Retreat 3

Alex Caballero Celebrates 20-Year SBCF Work Anniversary

Please join us in congratulating Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta Partner Alex Caballero, who on June 7, 2019, celebrated his 20-year work anniversary with the firm. After earning a Juris Doctor degree with high honors from Florida State University College of Law, Alex joined the Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office where he became a Lead Trial Attorney. During his five-year tenure as an Assistant State Attorney, Alex tried numerous jury trials, including prosecuting in the Felony Domestic Violence Specialty Division. When he joined SBCF in 1999, he began devoting his practice 100% to marital and family law. Alex is board certified in Marital and Family Law by The Florida Bar and holds Matrimonial Law Arbitrator Certification by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. He is rated AV Preeminent® by Martindale Hubbell, is a fellow of the AAML and is listed in Best Lawyers in America. Recently, he was named to the 2019 lists of Top 100 Florida and Top 50 Tampa Bay Super Lawyers.

Alex Caballero 20-Year Work Anniversary

SBCF Attorneys Named to List of 2019 Florida Super Lawyers

Congratulations to Alexander Caballero, Jennifer Ficarrotta and Caroline Black Sikorske, who have been named to the list of 2019 Florida Super Lawyers in the family law practice area and to Sarah Kay, who has been named for the seventh consecutive year to the list of Florida Rising Stars in family law.

Every year Super Lawyers selects attorneys from throughout the United States from all firm sizes and more than 70 practice areas. Super Lawyers uses a patented, multiphase selection process that includes nominations, evaluation of candidates by the research department and peer evaluation by practice area. Each candidate is evaluated on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement. The objective of Super Lawyers is to create a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of exceptional attorneys.

2019 Florida Super Lawyers Lists

Andrew Reder Elected to HCBA Marital & Family Law Section Executive Council

Congratulations to Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta attorney Andrew D. Reder, who recently was elected to be a member of the Hillsborough County Bar Association’s 2019-20 Marital and Family Law Section Executive Council. We also would like to give a big shout-out to the other members who were elected to the council: Paul Maney, Kristi McCart, Jennifer Meister, Ellie Probasco, Angelica DelosReyes Roselló and Debbie Thomson. Thank you for your involvement in the section and for your volunteer service on behalf of HCBA.

Andrew D. Reder

Alex Caballero Serves on AAML National Test Committee

Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta Partner Alexander Caballero recently was in Philadelphia with members of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers National Test Committee to review, update and finalize the exam for applicants applying to be Fellows of the AAML. The AAML’s mission is to provide leadership that promotes the highest degree of professionalism and excellence in the practice of family law. Comprised of the top 1,600 matrimonial attorneys in the United States, AAML Fellows are recognized by judges and attorneys as preeminent family law practitioners, possessing a high level of knowledge, skill, and integrity and earning reputations for professionalism, competence and integrity.

AAML National Test Committee

Members of the AAML National Test Commmittee

Alex Caballero and Charles Meyer of Philadelphia

Sarah Kay Honored by HAWL for Pro Bono Service

Congratulations to Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta attorney Sarah E. Kay, who was awarded the Hillsborough Association for Women Lawyers 2019 Pro Bono Award on May 15 during HAWL’s Annual Scholarship and Awards Luncheon. Sarah is the Immediate Past President of HAWL. We also would like to congratulate the other HAWL members who were honored during the event. Thank you all for making a difference in the Tampa Bay community!

Sarah is pictured here with HAWL Past President Katherine Yanes and with SBCF attorney Andrew Reder.

Sarah Kay Receives HAWL Pro Bono Award Sarah Kay and Andrew Reder Sarah Kay 2019 HAWL Pro Bono Award

Frank Steinbeck Jr. Named to TBPA Board of Directors

Congratulations to Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta paralegal Frank Steinbeck Jr. on being named to the Tampa Bay Paralegal Association Board of Directors, and for serving as the Chairman of the Association’s Charity/Community Service Committee. Frank has been working with the firm for more than six years. He is a Florida Registered Paralegal through The Florida Bar.

Frank Steinbeck Jr.

SBCF Supports HCBA Foundation Law & Liberty Dinner

Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta is proud to have been a sponsor for the Hillsborough County Bar Association Foundation‘s May 2 Law & Liberty Dinner. Proceeds from this annual event have helped the foundation provide local legal-related charities with more than $825,000 in support and grants. SBCF managing partner Caroline Black Sikorske is a member of the foundation board. This year’s dinner featured Emmy Award-winning actor, author, director and producer Henry Winkler. Pictured here are SBCF attorney Sarah Kay; attorney Sterling Lovelady and his wife, Allison Rose Lovelady; and firm administrator Paul Kanjorski and his wife, Shannon. Congratulations to Hillsborough County Bar Association and the foundation on another successful dinner!

Sarah KaySterling and Allison Lovelady Paul and Shannon Kanjorski

SBCF Supports St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital Foundation Heroes Ball

The annual St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital Foundation Heroes Ball raised more than $600,000, and Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta is proud to have been a sponsor of the event and the Patron Party recognizing the most generous donors. This year, the Foundation honored community hero Dr. Kiran Patel, a distinguished cardiologist and philanthropist. Funds raised this year allow St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital to be one of two hospitals in the United States to use real-time, virtual reality software for mapping and performing the most complicated pediatric cardiac surgeries. The Foundation is already hard at work planning the Annual Fashion Show and the 2020 Heroes Ball. A special thank you to SBCF Shareholder Jennifer Ficarrotta for her term on the committee, fundraising, and co-chairing the Patron Party. As you can see, the Ball was a great success, but Jennifer had to say good-bye to the Labradoodle puppy who assisted in raising donations during the live auction game of donor wars. 

2019 Heroes Ball2019 Heroes Ball2019 Heroes Ball

Caroline Black Sikorske Attends ACFTL Annual Conference

Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta Managing Partner Caroline Black Sikorske attended the annual conference of the American College of Family Trial Lawyers, held in Charleston, S.C. last weekend. Caroline is a diplomate of the ACFTL—a select group of 100 top U.S. family lawyers who practice sophisticated and complex family law matters.

ACFTL

Sarah Kay Named to AIFLA List of ’10 Best Female Family Law Attorneys’ for Florida

Congratulations to Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta attorney Sarah E. Kay, who has been named by the American Institute of Family Law Attorneys™ to the list of “2018-2019 10 Best Female Family Law Attorneys” for Florida. The Institute is an impartial third-party attorney rating organization that recognizes excellence of practitioners in 13 legal practice areas. Attorneys who are named to the list must be nominated by the Institute, a client and/or a fellow attorney and must demonstrate a high standard of professional achievement in his or her field of law with an impeccable client satisfaction rating. Sarah is board certified in marital and family law by The Florida Bar and is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Law Mediator.

Sarah Kay AIFLA Top 10

Caroline Black Sikorske ‘Voted #1 By Peers’ in Tampa Magazine 2019 Top Lawyers Listing

Congratulations to the 132 Tampa Bay attorneys in 80 practice areas who are included in Tampa Magazine‘s 2019 Top Lawyers listing. The publication annually asks more than 7,000 Hillsborough County attorneys to nominate fellow attorneys who demonstrate excellence in their fields of practice. We are extremely honored that Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta Managing Partner Caroline Black Sikorske is included in the 2019 Tampa Magazine Top Lawyers listing. Caroline received the greatest number of votes in the Family Law: General category and is listed in the April/May 2019 issue as “Voted #1 By Peers.” View the issue at this link.

2019 Tampa Magazine Top Lawyers

 

Paul Kanjorski Reelected to Suncoast Chapter ALA Board

Congratulations to Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta Firm Administrator Paul Kanjorski, who has been unanimously reelected to the Suncoast Chapter of the Association of Legal Administrators Board of Directors for 2019-2020. Paul also will serve his second term as Meetings & Education Chair. With over 70 members, the Suncoast Chapter ALA is the local arm of the national Association of Legal Administrators. Its mission is to provide support to professionals involved in the management of law firms, corporate legal departments and government legal agencies. The association serves more than 8,500 legal management professionals worldwide. Paul provides our firm with a wealth of knowledge and expertise from his 20 years’ experience managing financial, bookkeeping, administrative and human resource functions in various corporate settings, including law firm and other professional services.

Paul Kanjorski Suncoast ALA Board

 

Sarah Kay Will Serve as Panelist at Diversity & Inclusion Event

Kudos to Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta attorney Sarah E. Kay, who will speak on bias in the profession at the March 20 International Women’s Day Diversity & Inclusion event. “Advancement Unrestricted” is a luncheon and CLE program sponsored by the Hillsborough Association for Women Lawyers, the George Edgecomb Bar Association and the Florida Bar Appellate Practice Section. Sarah is the Immediate Past President of the Hillsborough Association for Women Lawyers. She is among the panelists for a discussion titled “Bias in the Profession: Overcoming Challenges to Advancement.”

Women's Day Event 2019

Alex Caballero 15-Year Board Certification Anniversary

Congratulations to Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta, P.A. shareholder Alex Caballero, who this year marks 15 years of continuous board certification in marital and family law by The Florida Bar. Lawyers who earn this designation have been certified by The Florida Bar as having special knowledge, skills, and proficiency in their areas of practice and have been evaluated by the Bar as to their character, ethics, and reputation for professionalism in the practice of law. Every five years, each board-certified lawyer must apply for recertification to maintain the designation. Only 276 Florida lawyers have earned Florida Bar marital and family law board certification. We are proud that SBCF attorneys Alex Caballero, Caroline Black Sikorske, Jennifer Ficarrotta and Sarah Kay are among this group of professionals who have been evaluated for professionalism and tested for expertise. Learn more.

15 Years of Board Certification

SBCF Is 2019 Bay Area Legal Services Sustaining Law Firm

Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta, P.A. is proud to be a 2019 Bay Area Legal Services Sustaining Law Firm. The lawyers, paralegals and support staff of Bay Area Legal are dedicated to providing free civil legal services to low-income residents and nonprofits throughout the Tampa Bay area. The organization helps foster children find permanency in stable, loving homes; protects families from domestic violence and child abuse; and helps veterans and seniors fight foreclosure and retain their homes. Last year, they assisted more than 17,600 individuals, families and community groups. Support for Bay Area Legal Services promotes access to justice. We salute them for the important work they do in our communities and are proud to be a Sustaining Law Firm for the eighth consecutive year. (Photo credit: Thompson Brand Images)

Bay Area Legal Services

Attorney Andrew Reder Certified as 2019 Lawyers of Distinction Member

Congratulations to Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta attorney Andrew D. Reder, who has been certified as a 2019 member of Lawyers of Distinction. The organization offers membership to no more than 10 percent of attorneys in each state. Attorneys receive certification based on evaluations of their qualifications, license, reputation, experience and disciplinary history. Andrew is a former Sixth Judicial Circuit staff attorney in and for Pasco County. He then joined the Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office where he tried numerous jury and non-jury trials including prosecuting domestic violence-related offenses. Andrew joined our firm in 2015 and devotes 100 percent of his practice to marital and family law. Learn more Andrew at this link.

Andrew Reder Lawyers of Distinction

SBCF Sponsors 2019 Heroes Ball

Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta is a proud sponsor of the St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital Foundation 2019 Heroes Ball, and firm Shareholder Jennifer A. Ficarrotta is serving as co-chair of the Heroes Ball Patron Party. The ball is an annual black-tie event to benefit St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital and raise support for and awareness of the care available there. The event is Saturday, April 13 at the Hilton Downtown Tampa and will honor 2019 Community Hero Dr. Kiran Patel, a distinguished cardiologist and philanthropist. Donations to St. Joseph’s Hospitals Foundation support community health improvements, capital improvements, life-saving medical technology and program enhancements.

2019 Heroes Ball

SBCF Attorneys Rated Martindale Hubbell AV Preeminent®

AV Preeminent/Martindale HubbelDid you know? Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta attorneys Stephen Sessums, Caroline Black Sikorske, Alex Caballero, Jennifer Ficarrotta and Sarah Kay are all rated AV Preeminent® by Martindale Hubbell, the highest peer-rating standard. This rating signifies that a large number of each lawyer’s peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence for legal knowledge, communication skills and ethical standards. This honor is a reflection of an attorney’s skill, experience, integrity, and overall professional excellence. We are extremely proud that these SBCF attorneys have achieved and maintained this prestigious rating.

2019 Marital and Family Law Certification Review Course

Kudos to several members of the Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta team who attended the 2019 Marital and Family Law Certification Review Course in Orlando. This comprehensive annual review of Florida family law is co-hosted by the Family Law Section of The Florida Bar and the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers – AAML – Florida Chapter. With more than 1,600 attendees, it is one of the largest Continuing Legal Education (CLE) events in the Southeast. Sarah Kay is a member of the committee that recruited speakers, edited materials and presentations, and helped facilitate the event. Alex Caballero was a presenter and spoke on enforcement and contempt. Jennifer Ficarrotta, Andrew Reder, Sterling Lovelady, and Frank Steinbeck, Jr. also were in attendance. Photo credits: AAML, CATECOMM and Sarah Kay.

Alex Caballero Speaks at Certification Review CourseJennifer Ficarrotta and Elisha RoyAndrew Reder and Sarah Kay at Certification Review Course2019 Certification Review CourseSterling Lovelady Assistss with Check-InFrank Steinbeck Jr.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SBCF Receptionist Karina Batista Celebrates 12th Work Anniversary

Congratulations to Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta, P.A. receptionist Karina Batista, who today, Jan. 22, is celebrating her 12th work anniversary with the firm. Thank you, Karina, for being such a valuable member of the SBCF team!

Four SBCF Attorneys Among Only 277 to Earn Florida Bar Marital & Family Law Board Certification

Florida Bar Marital & Family Law Board CertificationSessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta attorneys Caroline Black SikorskeAlexander CaballeroJennifer Ficarrotta and Sarah Kay are among only 277 lawyers statewide who have earned Florida Bar Board Certification in marital and family law. 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 FloridaBar marital and family law board certification.

Sarah Kay Represents HAWL at Community Events

Sarah Kay with Judge Claudia IsomSarah Kay Speaks at Cooley Law

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta attorney Sarah Kay, as immediate past president of the Hillsborough Association for Women Lawyers, represents HAWL at various legal community events and speaking engagements.

On Jan. 3, Sarah had the honor of speaking at the retirement party for Judge Claudia Rickert Isom, not only on behalf of HAWL but also as someone who has had the privilege and honor of serving with Judge Isom in the Hillsborough County Bar Association and HAWL, being mentored by her, and counting her as a friend. On Jan.4, Sarah and HAWL Secretary Anne McDonough were discussion group leaders for practicing with professionalism at Thomas M. Cooley Law School. Sarah’s group also discussed health and wellness and working toward being the best possible attorney.

Paul Kanjorski Is ALA Suncoast Chapter 2018 Member of the Year

Andrew Reder – Emerging Leaders of Tampa Bay

Andrew Reder Emerging Leaders of Tampa BayWe’re proud that the attorneys and staff of Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta, P.A. are involved in numerous community organizations. Kudos to attorney Andrew D. Reder for his membership in Emerging Leaders of Tampa Bay, a young-professional leadership program of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. Emerging Leaders of Tampa Bay works to impact the business community across the region by providing professional development, networking and community outreach opportunities for young professionals, as well as impacting public policy affecting the Tampa Bay business community. The program’s mission is to support and cultivate emerging leaders by providing access to business resources, educational opportunities and community partnerships in an effort to enhance the Greater Tampa Area.

Jennifer Ficarrotta Recognized as Martindale-Hubbell 2019 AV Preeminent® Attorney

Jennifer A. FicarrottaCongratulations to Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta, P.A. partner Jennifer A. Ficarrotta, who has been recognized for 2019 by Martindale-Hubbell as an AV Preeminent® attorney—the highest possible rating—for the eighth consecutive year. AV Preeminent® signifies that a large number of the lawyer’s peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence for legal knowledge, communication skills and ethical standards.

Best Lawyers in Florida: Tampa Edition 2019 Includes Sikorske, Caballero

Best Lawyers Tampa 2019Congratulations to Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta, P.A. partners Caroline Black Sikorske and Alex Caballero, who are included in Best Lawyers in Florida: Tampa Edition 2019, based on nomination and peer review by other Tampa Bay-area lawyers on their professional abilities and quality of legal services. Recognition in Best Lawyers is regarded by clients and legal professionals as a significant honor conferred on a lawyer by his or her peers.

Caroline and Alex are board-certified specialists in Marital and Family Law by The Florida Bar and are Martindale Hubbell AV® Preeminent peer review rated. Both served as Hillsborough County Assistant State Attorneys before devoting their practices exclusively to marital and family law.

Sarah Kay Article Published by Florida Bar ADR Section

Sarah Kay Article Published by Florida Bar ADR SectionThe Alternative Dispute Resolution Section of The Florida Bar’s new magazine, The Common Ground, features an article by Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta, P.A. attorney Sarah E. Kay. “Making Family Law Mediation Family-Friendly” provides four questions that mediators should answer to determine if they are adequately addressing common impediments to family law mediation. Sarah is a Certified Family Law Mediator through The Florida Supreme Court and member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. Read the full article at this link.

Alex Caballero Matrimonial Law Arbitrator Certification

SBCF Hosts Donation Drive for Meals on Wheels

How many boxes will you help us fill? Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta, P.A.is hosting its annual holiday donation drive to benefit Meals On Wheels of Tampa. Founding partner Stephen Sessums is a long-time Meals on Wheels volunteer and SBCF is proud to support this worthy organization. We are accepting donations between now and Dec. 3 to help show love for our community’s seniors and homebound. Please mail or drop off your donations during our normal business hours Monday – Friday 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM. Meals on Wheels will pack all donated items into holiday gift bags and deliver them on Saturday, Dec. 15 to more than 800 of Tampa’s homebound.

Meals on Wheels Wish List: Backscratchers, blankets, decks of cards, kitchen and bath towels, pot holders, individually packaged snacks, magnifying glasses, plug-in night lights, notepads, pens/pencils, puzzle/game books, socks and personal hygiene items.

Since 1975, Meals on Wheels of Tampa has been committed to nourishing and enriching the independent lives of Tampa’s senior and homebound neighbors by providing hot, nutritious meals delivered daily by volunteers.

Caroline Black Sikorske Attends IACP Forum

IACP Conference Group PhotoSessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta, P.A. Managing Partner Caroline Black Sikorske recently attended the 19th Annual Networking and Educational Forum of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP). More than 450 lawyers, mental health professionals, financial professionals and other collaborative practitioners from several countries attended the forum Oct. 25-28 in Seattle. Caroline has been an IACP member since 2007. She attended the conference as Co-chair of the Tampa Bay Academy of Collaborative Professionals, along with other members of the local TBACP, as part of their commitment to the excellence in the practice of collaborative law. Caroline and the attorneys at SBCF have extensive experience in collaborative divorce, a method of alternative dispute resolution in family law that helps clients reach settlements quickly and quietly instead of going to court. Learn more about collaborative law at this link.

Sarah Kay Travels With Florida Bar Board Certification Flag

Sarah Kay With Board Certification FlagThe Florida Bar board certification program encourages its certified lawyers to take photos with the board certification flag when they travel. Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta, P.A. attorney Sarah E. Kay is holding the flag in this photo taken at Puerta Maya in Cozumel, Mexico, on a recent cruise with her family. Sarah and SBCF partners Caroline Black Sikorske, Alexander Caballero and Jennifer Ficarrotta are board certified by The Florida Bar in Marital & Family Law—a distinction earned by only 279 Florida Bar members. Learn more about Florida Bar board certification at this link.

SBCF Is Outback Bowl Sponsor

Caroline Black Sikorske at Outback Bowl EventSessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta, P.A. managing partner Caroline Black Sikorske and her husband, Jeff Sikorske, recently attended the Outback Bowl’s Happy Hour Huddle fall kick-off event at Splitsville. SBCF is proud to be an Outback Bowl sponsor.

Lorri Rowell Celebrates Work Anniversary

Lorri L. Rowell Work AnniversaryCongratulations and thank you to Paralegal Lorri L. Rowell, who on Oct. 14 celebrated five years of superior service with Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta, P.A. Lorri joined the firm in 2013, bringing with her more than two decades of paralegal experience. Happy anniversary, Lorri!

Caroline Black Sikorske and Family Attend Veterans Treatment Court Event

Lenore Hood Celebrates Work Anniversary

Lenore Hood Work AnniversaryCongratulations to Lenore Hood, who this week is celebrating two years of excellent service as the Word Processor at Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta, P.A. Lenore joined the SBCF family in 2016 with more than six years of experience as a legal secretary at the Hillsborough County State Attorney’s office. Happy anniversary, Lenore!

Florida Bar Certification Program Congratulates Sarah Kay

SBCF Supports Peanut Butter Drive

Peanut Butter DrivePlease help our firm support Eric Piburn’s Peanut Butter Drive to help fight childhood hunger! Eric is on a mission to raise 2,000 cases of peanut butter to donate to our hungry neighbors in Tampa Bay. Feeding Tampa Bay statistics say Florida is fourth in the nation for family hunger and many at-risk students won’t eat at all between lunch on Friday and breakfast Monday morning. We can make a difference. Drop off or mail peanut butter to our office by Sept. 27—and we’ll deliver the donations to Feeding Tampa Bay. Thank you for your support of this important community project.

Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta P.A.
307 S. Magnolia Avenue (please use the back door)
Tampa, FL 33606
(813) 251-9200

Attorney Sterling Lovelady Presents on Ethics and Evidence

Sterling LoveladySessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta, P.A. attorney Sterling Lovelady recently presented on ethics and evidence to The Stann Givens Family Law American Inn of Court of Tampa. The focus was on social media in family law cases. Sterling earned his Bachelors of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice from Florida State University, where he played as an offensive lineman for Florida State Seminoles football. He earned his Juris Doctorate from Stetson University College of Law, and received the Victor O. Wehle Award at graduation for excellence in trial advocacy. Sterling is an active member of The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division and Family Law Section and devotes 100 percent of his practice to marital and family law.

Paralegal Michelle Tawzer Celebrates Work Anniversary

Paralegal Michelle TawzerCongratulations to certified paralegal Michele C. Tawzer, who on Sept. 13, 2018, celebrated 14 years of outstanding service with Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta, P.A. Michele joined the SBCF family in 2004, bringing with her more than a decade of paralegal experience in marital and family law. Michele is a Certified Paralegal through the National Association of Legal Assistants and a Florida Registered Paralegal through The Florida Bar. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of South Florida in 1999. She is an active member of the Tampa Bay Paralegal Association, Inc. whose mission includes setting the standard of excellence for the paralegal profession through its work on regulations, ethics and education. Michelle has more than 20 years of family law litigation experience and devotes 100 percent of her practice to the area of marital and family law.

Attorney Sarah Kay Presents HAWL Award

Attorney Sarah Kay Presents AwardSessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta attorney Sarah E. Kay, Immediate Past President of the Hillsborough Association for Women Lawyers, on Sept. 12 presented the 2018 Thomas E. Baynes Friend of HAWL award to The Hon. Claudia Rickert Isom in recognition of Judge Isom’s commitment to HAWL and its purpose, goals and mission. Pictured with Sarah are HAWL Past President Katherine Earle Yanes, 2015 Friend of HAWL award recipient Deborah Larned Werner and Judge Isom.

Paralegal Frank Steinbeck Jr. Celebrates Work Anniversary

Frank J. Steinbeck, Jr.Paralegal Frank J. Steinbeck, Jr. on August 21, 2018, celebrated six years of outstanding service with Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta, P.A. Frank joined the SBCF family in 2012, with more than five years of family law paralegal experience. Frank earned an Associate of Arts degree from Pasco-Hernando State College in 2012 and a Bachelor of Science degree in Legal Studies through South University, an ABA-Approved Paralegal Education Program, in 2014. He is a Florida Registered Paralegal through The Florida Bar.

Caroline Black Sikorske In Best Lawyers in America© 2019

Congratulations to Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta P.A. Shareholder and Managing Partner Caroline Black Sikorske, who has been selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2019 in the field of family law—her 13th consecutive year to be included. Caroline is board certified by The Florida Bar in Marital and Family Law, is a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and is a member of the American College of Family Trial Lawyers, a select group of 100 top family lawyers from across the United States practicing sophisticated and complex family law and matrimonial matters.

Attorney Caroline Black Sikorske Becomes CEO Council of Tampa Bay Member

Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta P.A. Shareholder and Managing Partner Caroline Black Sikorske has been approved for membership in the CEO Council of Tampa Bay, the bay area’s premier organization of business leaders. The council provides opportunities for members to build relationships, generate ideas and formulate solutions. At the core is the shared desire for members to grow their businesses and positively impact the greater Tampa Bay community. Caroline is board certified in Marital and Family Law by The Florida Bar and is a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Learn more about Caroline Black Sikorske by reading her online resume.

SBCF Colleagues Celebrate Work Anniversaries

August 7, 2018 is the work anniversary for two Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta, P.A. colleagues. Attorney Sarah E. Kay celebrates 12 years of outstanding service with the firm.  Sarah joined the firm in 2006 as a receptionist and served in several other positions at the firm while attending law school.  She assumed her position as an attorney in 2010 and has since become a Board Certified Specialist in Marital and Family Law through The Florida Bar and a Certified Family Law Mediator through The Florida Supreme Court. Attorney Sterling R. Lovelady is celebrating one year of top-quality service with the firm.  Sterling first worked at the firm as an intern in 2016 and assumed his full-time position as an attorney in 2017. Please join us in wishing Sarah and Sterling happy work anniversaries!

Attorney Sarah Kay Article Published in Florida Bar Family Law Section Publication