We encourage you to use these programs as you see fit. For those who could not attend, the program included discussions on recent Supreme Court decisions, an overview of our state and federal court systems and the judicial role, the Fourth Amendment and the exclusionary rule, and an overview of our bankruptcy courts and issues of financial literacy. The program included a workshop on how to develop a mock trial program for high school students with live demonstrations from our committee members. We opened with a presentation on our state’s supreme court and the Florida Constitution, presented by our Chief Justice. This was a true pro-bono effort; all the speakers and event committee members volunteered their time, and we thank each of them for their time and effort. By sharing our experiences with you we seek to enrich your teaching experience and enhance the experience of those with whom you interact in the classroom. For those of you thinking of attending in the future, we encourage you to review the summary of comments from the evaluation forms we received this year, available on our site. We look forward to seeing you all next year in Orlando.
Florida Bar Teachers Law Symposium Program Chair
US Constitution – First Amendment
Presented by: Professor Lyrissa Barnett Lidsky, University of Florida – Levin College of Law – EhrlichChair in Constitutional Law
Professor Lyrissa B. Lidsky was a professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law from 1994 to 2017. She left the University and served as Dean of the University of Missouri College of Law for the past five years. During her tenure at the University of Missouri she continued to teach and write, focusing on the intersection of Tort Law and the First Amendment, with an emphasis on free speech issues and social media. In August of 2022, she returned to the University of Florida as a Ehrlich Chair in Constitutional Law.
Professor Lidsky’s scholarship includes a leading Media Law casebook, a First Amendment casebook, a reference book on press freedom, and dozens of articles. In the last six months, Professor Lidsky has presented her new article on defamation reform at Yale Law School’s Freedom of Expression Scholar’s Conference and University of California Irvine Law’s Defamation and Philosophy Conference.The fourth edition of her First Amendment Law casebook is forthcoming.
Before becoming a law professor, she served as a clerk for the Honorable Joseph T. Sneed of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco. Before law school, she was a Fulbright Scholar at Cambridge University in England, studying medieval legal history and early development of the Common Law.
Professor Lidsky received her bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, in English and Political Science from Texas A&M University and her law degree from the University of Texas School of Law with high honors.
The Role of the Bankruptcy Courts and Financial Literacy
Presented by: The Honorable Grace E. Robson, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Middle District of Florida
The Honorable Grace E. Robson is an expert in bankruptcy law. She is a Board-Certified Bankruptcy attorney with over 20 years of experience representing corporate debtors, trade and institutional creditors, trustees, receivers, and creditors’ committees. Prior to taking the bench, she practiced corporate reorganization and bankruptcy, debtor-creditor relations and bankruptcy litigation. Judge Robson has been involved in all facets of reorganization-related representations, including pre-filing consultation, filing complex corporate bankruptcy cases, post-bankruptcy financing, asset purchase agreements as well as “routine” matters.
Judge Robson is an active member of ABA, currently serving as a co-chair of the Secured Creditors Subcommittee of the Business Law Section, Business Bankruptcy Committee (and previously served as a co-chair of the Pro Bono Services Subcommittee). Prior to relocating to the Middle District of Florida, she served on the board of directors of the Bankruptcy Bar Association for the Southern District of Florida, was the Broward Chair of the Pro Bono Committee, the Broward Chair of the CARE Program Committee, and chair of the Wellness Committee.
4th Amendment and the Application of The Exclusionary Rule
Presented by: H. Scott Fingerhut, Assistant Director, Trial Advocacy Program, Florida International University (FIU) College of Law
Professor Scott Fingerhut is a three-time Professor of the Year who comes to FIU with more than 20 years of law teaching experience and nearly 30years as an AV-Preeminent rated trial lawyer devoting his practice to criminal defense and the defense of applicants seeking admission before the Florida Board of Bar Examiners and lawyers facing discipline by The Florida Bar.
As a law teacher, Professor Fingerhut has served for over a decade as Assistant Director of FIU’s Trial Advocacy Program. He began teaching Trial Ad in 1995 in the Litigation Skills Program at the University of Miami School of Law, a position he held for 10 years. In 2000, he accepted an appointment in FIU’s School of Policy and Management, teaching Criminal Constitutional Law and Procedure, Criminal Law Theory, Law and Social Control, and Judicial Process and Policy in the undergraduate and Master’s Degree criminal justice programs. In 2005, he came over to the College of Law.
Beyond campus and court, Professor Fingerhut recently completed his second term as Chair of the Florida Bar Criminal Procedure Rules Committee and serves as well on the Bar’s Committee on Student Education & Admission to the Bar. He was recently re-appointed to a Professionalism Panel for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Committee on Professionalism.
Professor Fingerhut has served as Chair of The Florida Bar Criminal Law Section and Chair of the section’s Certified Legal Education Committee, President of the Miami Chapter of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (FACDL-Miami), Chair of the Dade County Bar Association Criminal Law Committee, and Dade County Bar Designee to the Miami-Dade County Mayor’s Mental Health Task Force. He has also served on the Board of Directors of Legal Services of Greater Miami, the South Florida Mental Health Association, Court Care, and Friends of the Miami-Dade Drug Court, and on the Dade County Courthouse Courtroom 6-1 Restoration Project Committee. He was a member of the Bar’s Committee to Study the Decline in Jury Trials, the Florida Supreme Court Criminal Court Steering Committee Workgroup on Post- Conviction Relief, the Editorial Board of The Florida Bar Journal and Florida Bar News, and, by appointment of the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court, the Florida Innocence Commission.
A frequent lecturer and writer on liberty and justice matters, Professor Fingerhut co-authored Robert S. Reiff’s Drunk Driving and Related Vehicular Offenses for Lexis Law Publishing. His co-authored chapter, “Conflicts of Interest and Other Pitfalls for the Expert Witness,” was re-published in the revised edition of Springer Publishing’s Handbook of Forensic Neuropsychology. And released last year from LexisNexis is his co-authored Florida DUI Law Practice Guide.
Professor Fingerhut received his undergraduate degree in American Government and Music from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, and his law degree from Emory University in Atlanta. Before entering private practice, he proudly served as a prosecutor in Janet Reno’s Miami-Dade County State Attorney’s Office.
Professor Fingerhut is consistently ranked among the region’s top criminal defense lawyers, including South Florida’s Top Law Firms (South Florida Legal Guide), Florida’s Legal Elite (Florida Trend Magazine), Florida Super Lawyers (Super Lawyers Magazine), and The Best Lawyers in America and The Best Law
Firms in America.
The Florida Parents Rights in Education Act
Presented by: Edward C. Guedes, Esq., Weiss Serota, Helfman, Cole and Bierman, P.A.
Mr. Guedes is a Board Certified by the Florida Bar in Appellate Practice and a Fellow of the prestigious American Academy of Appellate Lawyers and ranked by Chambers USA in appellate law. He chairs the Appellate Practice Group of Weiss Serota Helfman Cole and Bierman, P.A., a ninety lawyer firm with offices throughout Florida.
Mr. Guedes is a graduate of Harvard Law School. He has represented school districts throughout the State for more than twenty years on matters involving constitutional law, pandemic mandates, contract bid disputes, and state and federal tort and civil rights claims. Mr. Guedes is also a proud, openly gay, Cuban- American lawyer.
The Role of the United States Supreme Court & a Review of Recent Notable Decisions
Presented by: Professor Charlton C. Copeland, Professor of Law, Associate Dean for Intellectual Life; Litigation and Dispute Resolution Concentration Affiliated Faculty, University of Miami
Professor Copeland, joined the faculty in 2007. He teaches Civil Procedure I and II, Federal Courts, Administrative Law, and the Regulatory State. In addition, he has served as the Faculty Coordinator of the Florida Supreme Court Internship Program, and the Law School’s Washington, DC Externship Program, where he teaches Federal Policy Making: Legislation, Regulation and Litigation. He is a 2015 recipient of the Richard Hausler Golden Apple Award for the faculty member contributing the most to the student body both academically and through his or her extracurricular activities.
His scholarship has focused primarily on the ways in which federalism as a constitutional and political structure is mediated in: the relationship between federal and state courts, the jurisprudence of remedies for state violations of federal law, and the relationship between state and federal implementation of federal policy. In addition, he has written about the intersection between law and theology as they relate to religion’s role in American democracy and the framing of liberationist critiques of same sex marriage. He is a recipient of the 2013 Dukeminier Award and the Michael Cunningham Prize, from the Williams Institute at UCLA Law School, for the best law review articles published on sexual orientation and gender identity law issues in the previous year. His current scholarly interests explore the relationship between race and American political institutions and structures, particularly how attention to race and American political institutions informs federal courts jurisprudence, and the implications of federalism’s survival of the demise of formal racial apartheid in America. He is also interested in the ways in which federalism shape the development of American public policy, particularly health policy.
In addition to his academic commitments, Professor Copeland has served the larger Miami-Dade community as a member of the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust, an independent county agency with advisory and quasi-judicial authority, from 2010-2014. He served as Chair of the Commission from 2012-2013. He has also served as Chair of the Law and Humanities Section of the American Association of Law Schools.
Prior to joining the Law School faculty, Professor Copeland served as a visiting assistant professor of law at Northwestern University Law School. He was an associate at Hogan & Hartson (now Hogan Lovells) in Washington, DC, where he focused on litigation (appellate and insurance) and regulatory (communications) matters. In addition, he served as a law clerk to Justices Richard J. Goldstone and Catherine O’Regan of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, and as a clerk to Judge R. Guy Cole, Jr., of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
Professor Copeland is a graduate of Amherst College, Yale Divinity School, and Yale Law School.
The Role of the Supreme Court and The Florida Constitution
Presented by: The Honorable Carlos G. Muñiz, Chief Justice Florida Supreme Court
The Honorable Carlos G. Muñiz, was appointed to the Florida Supreme Court by Governor Ron DeSantis on January 22, 2019, becoming the 89th Justice since statehood was granted in 1845. Judge Muñiz has extensive experience in private practice and as a government attorney, serving before he joined the court as general counsel to the U.S. Department of Education under Secretary Betsy DeVos, as deputy attorney general and chief of staff to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, and as deputy general counsel in the administration of Governor Jeb Bush, among other posts in the executive and legislative branches.
Justice Muñiz is a graduate of the University of Virginia and of Yale Law School. After law school, he clerked for Judge José A. Cabranes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and for Judge Thomas A. Flannery of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
Overview of the State and Federal Court Systems; Discussion of the Judicial Role
Presented by: The Honorable Denise Kim Beamer, Circuit Court Judge, Ninth Judicial Circuit, Orange County, Florida and The Honorable Leslie R. Hoffman Price, Magistrate Judge, United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida
The Honorable Denise Kim Beamer, Circuit Court Judge, Ninth Judicial Circuit, Orange County, FL, Judge Beamer was appointed to the bench by Governor Rick Scott in 2018. Judge Beamer earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration and mass communication from the University of Florida in 2004. She completed her Juris Doctor at Barry University, Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law in 2009. After law school, she began her career as an assistant state attorney in the Office the State Attorney for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit where she served in this capacity until 2011, at which time she became senior assistant state attorney general in the Consumer Protection Division of the Florida Office of the Attorney General.
Judge Beamer is a member of the Orange County Bar Association, the Greater Orlando Asian American Bar Association, the Central Florida Association for Women Lawyers. She sat on the Board of Governors of The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division as well as the Ninth Judicial Circuit Grievance Committee and the Diversity & Inclusion Committee of the Florida Bar. She is also actively involved with the Federalist Society, the Tiger Bay Club of Central Florida and the Gator Guard 2003.
The Honorable Leslie Hoffman Price, United States Magistrate Judge for the Middle District of Florida, Orlando Division, Judge Hoffman Price graduated with honors from the University of Florida in 1992 with her Bachelor of Science in Accounting and minor in Criminology. Following completion of an internship with the Florida House of Representatives, Judge Hoffman attended the University of Florida, Levin College of Law, where she earned her J.D. with high honors in 1997. Judge Hoffman was a member of the senior editorial board of the University of Florida Law Review, Magister of the Phi Delta Phi National Honor Society, and member of the Order of the Coif. Judge Hoffman clerked from 1997-1999 for the Hon. William Terrell Hodges, United States District Judge, in Jacksonville, Florida. In September 1999, Judge Hoffman began work with the law firm Steptoe & Johnson, LLP in Washington, D.C. Her practice areas included employee benefits and employment litigation (state and federal). In mid-2004, Judge Hoffman returned to Florida, and from August 2004 to April 2005, worked in the employment litigation section of the law firm Morgan Lewis and Bockius, LLP in Miami, Florida. In July 2005, Judge Hoffman became the career law clerk for the Hon. William Terrell Hodges, United States District Judge, in Ocala, Florida. In May 2016, Judge Hoffman relocated to Orlando, Florida and became the Operations Manager, and later the Administrative Services Manager, for the Middle District of Florida’s Clerk’s Office. Judge Hoffman remained as the Administrative Services Manager until her appointment as a United States Magistrate Judge for the Middle District of Florida, Orlando Division, on March 1, 2019.