2018 Spring Newsletter

Published by Lewis, Longman & Walker, P.A.

April 6, 2018


Frederick L. Aschauer, Jr. Awarded “Av Preeminent” Rating

Frederick L. Aschauer, Jr., an attorney in the Tallahassee Office of Lewis, Longman & Walker, P.A. has been recognized as AV® Preeminent by the Lexus Nexis peer review rating service Martindale-Hubbell.

The AV rating attained by Aschauer indicates the highest level of ethical standards and professional ability.  Legal ability ratings are based upon performance in five key areas: legal knowledge, analytical capacity, judgment, communication ability, and legal experience.  The General Ethical Standards Ratings denotes adherence to professional standards of conduct, reliability, and diligence.

Mr. Aschauer represents clients in matters related to litigation and environmental regulation.  He previously served as General Counsel for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), and prior to that as FDEP’s Director of the Division of Water Resource Management. He has been involved in multiple cases before the Division of Administrative Hearings involving environmental resource permits, consumptive use permits, and water quality standards. His practice also involves federal matters governed by the Clean Water Act “CWA,” National Environmental Policy Act “NEPA,” and the Freedom of Information Act “FOIA.” He can be reached at faschauer@llw-law.com or by calling (850) 222-5702.


Lewis, Longman & Walker Shareholder Brenna Durden Selected as an “Ultimate Attorney” by the Jacksonville Business Journal

Lewis, Longman & Walker Shareholder Brenna Durden was recently named an “Ultimate Attorney” by the Jacksonville Business Journal.   The Journal honors attorneys who have elevated the legal profession and have helped shape Jacksonville’s business community. Honorees are selected with the help of members of the local legal community, from a pool of attorneys suggested by their peers.

Brenna has been practicing law in Jacksonville since 1985. Her practice focuses on governmental, land use, environmental and administrative law. She serves as City Attorney to Atlantic Beach, Florida, and is a Board Member of the Downtown Investment Authority for the City of Jacksonville. Ms. Durden also serves as President of the Florida Redevelopment Association. Her clients include landowners, developers, local governments, banks, manufacturers, industrial and educational facilities in matters related to land development, community redevelopment, real estate transactions, hazardous materials, brownfields, contamination and remedial actions, solid waste and air quality regulation. Ms. Durden has experience in transactional due diligence, administrative, environmental and land use litigation. She can be reached at bdurden@llw-law.com or by calling (904) 353-6410.


Lewis, Longman & Walker Recognized in the 2018 South Florida Legal Guide

Lewis, Longman & Walker Shareholders Michelle Diffenderfer and Stephen A. Walker are recognized in the 2018 South Florida Legal Guide as Top Lawyers in the area of Environmental Law.  Shareholder Terry E. Lewis is recognized as a Top Lawyer in the area of Government Law.  Lewis, Longman & Walker Attorney Telsula C. Morgan is listed as a “Top Up and Comer” in the area of Environmental Law.

Lewis, Longman & Walker is listed for the third year in a row as a Top Law Firm by the publication.

The South Florida Legal Guide recognizes attorneys who have been in practice for at least fifteen years. Selection is based on peer nominations. Nominations are reviewed by the editorial department, which makes the final selections. Factors such as standing with the Florida Bar, accomplishments and other factors that may attest to the individual’s credentials are taken into consideration. For more information on the South Florida Legal Guide, visit www.sflegalguide.com.


A Fond Farewell as We Honor Judge Shames and Judge Schaefer

Originally published in the St. Petersburg Bar Association Paraclete

By: Nicole Poot

This February 28, 2018 the Sixth Judicial Circuit shall wave a fond farewell to two of its esteemed members of the judiciary as Judge Mark I. Shames and Judge John A. Schaefer are retiring. As a young lawyer it isn’t very often that I’ve had the opportunity to sit down with a judge and hear about his or her experiences both on and off the bench. However, on November 8, 2017, I had the privilege of speaking to both Judge Shames and Judge Schaefer about their time on the bench and their future goals as they enter retirement.

Judge Schaefer began his legal career as a Judge Advocate for the Judge Advocate General Corps (JAG) after attending West Point and serving in the Field Artillery Branch of the United States Army. After serving as a JAG, Judge Schaefer entered private practice, primarily practicing as a commercial litigator before being appointed to the Sixth Judicial Circuit by Governor Jeb Bush in 2000.

Judge Shames attended Stetson University College of Law before starting his 20-year legal career, primarily practicing as a probate attorney. Dedicated to the community, Judge Shames served as president of the St. Petersburg Bar Association, president of the Pinellas County Trial Lawyers Association, as a member of the St. Petersburg Planning Commission and numerous other public organizations prior to being elected to the Sixth Judicial Circuit in 1996.

During their time on the bench, both Judge Shames and Judge Schaefer shared a common interest in judicial education, and both expressed great pride in being granted the opportunity to educate new judges. Judge Shames spent approximately sixteen years on the faculty of the Florida Judicial College and was also Associate Dean and Dean for the college during this time. By the same token, Judge Schaefer spent many years educating judges going onto the civil bench and gave them the civil basics for being a civil circuit judge. Both judges consider their involvement in judicial education to be one of their greatest accomplishments during their tenure as judges. As an additional accomplishment, Judge Schaefer expressed how honored he was to receive the John U. Bird Judicial Excellence Award from the Clearwater Bar Association in 2016, awarded to a judge each year to recognize and honor high ideals, personal character, judicial competence, and service. In 2011, Judge Shames was awarded the Judicial Appreciation Award by the St. Petersburg Bar Association.

Retirement is a new stage of life both judges look forward to enjoying. Both judges elected to retire, and both feel confident and enthusiastic about their decision to step off the bench. As one door closes another one opens – as Judge Schaefer said “[he’s] ready to play.” After spending much of their lives dedicated to the practice of law, retirement creates an opportunity for both judges to pursue other areas of interest. Judge Shames is looking forward to having time to spend with his children and grandchildren. He also has a desire to improve his Italian and learn to speak Spanish and hopes to have an opportunity to utilize his learnings traveling abroad with his wife. Similarly, Judge Schaefer is looking forward to spending time with his family and intends to travel the Western United States and Canada. He is also excited to have more time to dedicate to his church. This past October, he was ordained as a deacon within the Catholic Church at a ceremony and Mass at the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle in St. Petersburg. As a deacon, Judge Schaefer may preach the Gospel and administer sacraments such as baptism, funerals, and weddings. Both judges are also avid fishermen and hope their retirement will include lots of time on the water.

When asked what message they would like to leave the legal community, especially young lawyers, Judge Shames said it was simple – never lose sight of professionalism and civility. Judge Schaefer stated similar sentiments regarding professionalism and also expressed the importance for young lawyers and young judges to take advantage of mentors and get involved in the legal community.

When asked about the benefits of practicing in the Sixth Judicial Circuit, Judge Shames and Judge Schaefer concur that it is a joy coming to work every day with attorneys who are prepared (for the most part) and who represent their clients in a professional way, wonderful support staff, and brilliant colleagues. Judge Shames said that he felt the Sixth Judicial Circuit is the best place to be a judge and a lawyer because of the quality of the legal community and the people who work in it. He said that he’s had the opportunity to see how things are done elsewhere, and he believes the Sixth Judicial Circuit gets a lot of things right and does them well in terms of the court system due to the people working there.

Both Judge Shames and Judge Schaefer expressed that they will truly miss their time on the bench but are excited for what the future holds. Both judges also stated how grateful they are for the opportunity and privilege to serve the community as judges these many years. On behalf of the St. Petersburg Bar Association, I wish both Judge Shames and Judge Schaefer a very happy retirement and all the best in their future endeavors.

LLW Events and Presentations

LLW Attorney Kevin Hennessy was a panelist on the Environmental Land Use Law Section (ELULS) of the Florida Bar “Nuts and Bolts of Permitting Challenges” Audio Webcast CLE on February 22, 2018.

Al Malefatto and Fred Aschauer taught a class on Environmental Law at Florida State University College of Law on February 19, 2018 in Tallahassee.

LLW sponsored the Jacksonville Bar Association Young Lawyers Chili Cook-Off on February 18, 2018, an event that raised over $10,000 for the non-profit Rethreaded. LLW received the “Most Original Chili” award for their Hawaiian chili!

LLW attorney Glenn Thomas gave a 175/185 & FRS Pension Update at the Florida Public Employer Labor Relations Association Training Conference on February 13, 2018 in Orlando.

Rachael Santana gave a presentation on Environmental Law to middle and high school students at a Youth Law Day event on February 10, 2018 at the Palm Beach County Courthouse.

LLW was a sponsor of the FSBPA National Conference on Beach Preservation Technology February 7-9, 2018 in Panama City.

LLW sponsored the Safe Streets Summit Networking Hour at the RH Wine Vault on February 1, 2018 in West Palm Beach.

LLW attorneys attended and sponsored the Florida Ports Council Spring Board Meeting and Legislative Forum on January 31, 2017 in Tallahassee.

LLW was a sponsor of the Place of Hope Sporting Clays Fun Shoot on January 19, 2017 in Palm City.