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Jax Daily Record Monday, Sep. 24, 201212:00 PM EST

Legal Notes


• Albert Lechner has joined the Terrell Hogan firm. Lechner’s practice will focus on jury trial cases with an emphasis on medical malpractice, nursing home abuse, defective products and premises liability. Before, he was Of Counsel to Edwards & Ragatz and also was a partner of Rockville, Md.-based Karp, Frosh, Lapidus, Wigodsky & Norwind. He currently serves as president of the Jacksonville Justice Association and earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland and Juris Doctor from the University of Baltimore.

• The Supreme Court of Florida and The Florida Bar are seeking nominations for the 2013 Pro Bono Service Awards. The awards provide recognition to groups and a member of the judiciary who have given their time and expertise to make legal services available to the poor. The award ceremony will be 3:30 p.m. Jan 31 at the Florida Supreme Court. Nominations for the six categories are due by Nov. 12, with a description of each award available at

• The Fourth Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission will interview 19 applicants for an open seat on the circuit bench beginning at 8 a.m. Oct. 3 at the Duval County Courthouse. As of Sept. 12, the commission consists of Chair Chip Bachara, Michelle Bedoya Barnett, Dexter Van Davis, Kyle Gavin, Courtney Grimm, Michael Mullin, Melissa Williamson Nelson, Robert O’Quinn Jr. and Paul Renner.

• Kelly Downer has joined The Bittinger Law Firm. Her practice includes representation of entities and individuals in the health care industry, health care transactions and administrative and appellate matters. She holds an MBA from Stetson University and a bachelor’s degree from Florida State University. Her legal experience includes serving as an attorney adviser at the Drug Enforcement Administration and as a clerk in the Fifth District Court of Appeal.

• The Jacksonville Womens Lawyer Association had their opening reception Sept. 6 Downtown at the Zodiac Bar & Grill with Laura Wendell (fifth from right), Florida Association of Women Lawyers president, in attendance to meet and greet members. The association’s upcoming luncheon is noon Oct. 11 at the River Club and will feature Jennifer Mansfield, of Holland & Knight, who will speak on ethics and social media for attorneys.

• James Armstrong has been named a Felony Court Division Chief and also will handle major crimes. He has spent the past two years as a Deputy Public Defender in Newport News, Va., and previously served five years as an Assistant Public Defender in Duval County. He is a 2004 graduate of Florida Coastal School of Law and a 2001 graduate of the University of North Florida.

• Jessica Rose has become an Assistant Public Defender in Felony Court. She has experience as a prosecutor in Palm Beach County, as a staff attorney for the NYPD General Counsel and in private practice. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Benjamin N. Cardoza School of Law in Manhattan.

• Samantha Stevins joins the Felony Court Unit in the Major Crimes Division. Since 2001, she has operated her own law firm with two offices in West Palm Beach and Naples. She earned her Juris Doctor from Thomas Cooley School of Law in East Lansing, Mich., and two undergraduate degrees from the University of Miami.

• Kyle Alexander Bedran has been assigned to the County Court Unit. He joins the public sector after several months handling complex commercial litigation for a private Jacksonville firm. He graduated from Florida Coastal School of Law in 2011 and earned an undergraduate degree from Florida State University in 2008.

• Aaron Ernest Brown joins the County Court Unit as an Assistant Public Defender. His experience includes work in the private sector in personal injury law and insurance defense. Brown graduated from Florida A&M University College of Law in 2001 and earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida in 2008.

• Jennifer Marie Watson has become an Assistant Public Defender in County Court. Her experience includes foreclosure work as a litigation specialist for Bank of America and providing workers’ compensation defense for a local law firm. She graduated from Florida State University with a Juris Doctor in 2010 and earned a political science degree from the University of South Florida in 2005.

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