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Jax Daily Record Thursday, Jun. 4, 202005:00 AM EST

The Marbut Report: Zissers complete merger of two law firms

“We can keep this firm going for many years to come,” says Jonathan Zisser of the new firm, which comprises three generations of legal experience.
by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

Two law firms, Zisser Law, in practice Downtown since 1971, and Zisser Family Law, established in 1975 in Neptune Beach, have combined and now practice as Zisser Family Law.

“It’s a merger. There were two corporations and two staffs and we really didn’t interact a lot,” said Elliot Zisser, who began practicing with his now-retired brother, Barry, nearly 50 years ago.

“Now, there’s a lot more interaction. The Downtown lawyers will work in the beach office and the beach lawyers will have a place to hang out when they go to the courthouse,” he said.

Since its founding, Zisser Law specialized in family law. Elliot Zisser’s wife, Carolyn, opened her law firm in Neptune Beach in 1975 that also specializes in family law.

Their son, Jonathan, is the third partner in the firm. He works in the office at the beach with his mother and four associate attorneys.

The merged firm comprises three generational levels of legal experience – his parents, himself and the younger associates, Zisser said.

“I think that’s good. Our experience levels vary and our fees vary and the older lawyers mentor the younger lawyers.”

A former assistant public defender, Jonathan Zisser said that experience adds an element to the firm’s expertise.

“I handle all the criminal collateral matters that can have an effect on the outcome of a divorce. I have cases where the client is going through a divorce but one parent has a criminal case at the same time. It’s important to understand how those areas of law affect each other,” he said.

Another reason for the merger is the firm’s succession plan.

While his parents eventually will choose to limit their practice or maybe even retire, Jonathan Zisser plans to continue to practice for decades. Building the firm with seasoned lawyers and younger associates creates a diverse practice in terms of experience and longevity.

“My parents are in their 70s. One of our associates is barely 30. It makes sense to come together as one family and one firm going forward,” Jonathan Zisser says.

“We can keep this firm going for many years to come.”

Women lawyers returning to The River Club

After not gathering for lunch in March, April or May because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Jacksonville Women Lawyers Association’s monthly meeting is returning to The River Club at 11:45 a.m. June 11.

There will be changes, said association President Sarah Mannion.

Table service will replace the buffet and seats and tables will be arranged to allow for social distancing.

The CLE program, originally scheduled in March, is a panel discussion titled “What’s Next with Parental Leave?”

The discussion will be moderated by JWLA and Florida Association for Women Lawyers past President Jennifer Shoaf Richardson. Panelists are attorneys Alessandro Apolito, Jennifer Feld, Lyndsay Tygart Ahmed and 4th Circuit State Attorney Melissa Nelson.

The meeting and discussion also will be live on Zoom, Mannion said.

Visit for details and registration.

Jacksonville lawyers suspended

With orders issued April 16-May 21, the state Supreme Court disciplined 10 attorneys. Two were disbarred, one license was revoked, six were suspended and one was reprimanded.

Two of the lawyers practice in Jacksonville:

Michael Keith Roberts II, 1680 Emerson St., was suspended for 45 days effective 30 days following a May 7 court order.

In 2012, Roberts was arrested for an alleged criminal violation which the state declined to prosecute and later expunged. Two years later, following a domestic battery call at his address, he attended an anger management course. Later in 2014, he was charged with domestic violence/battery against his then-wife and pleaded guilty to simple battery.

Roberts was required to attend anger management classes and was diverted to Florida Lawyers Assistance Inc., for evaluation which found he did not need treatment or follow-up.

After Roberts’ ex-wife filed a complaint in 2017 relating the above history, Roberts agreed to another evaluation which again found no need for treatment.

Adrian Shiand Webster-Cooley, 8451 Gate Parkway W., is suspended indefinitely effective 30 days from an April 16 court order.

Webster-Cooley was held in contempt for failing to respond to official Bar inquiries.

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