Monday, February 13, 2017

Law School Welcomes New Advisory Board Chair and Members

St. Thomas University Law School has announced the appointment of its new chair and five prominent South Florida legal professionals to its esteemed board of advisors.

Dan Dolan, a founding partner of Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum, will serve as chairman of the board. In addition to Dolan, the following members were appointed to the law school’s 32-member board: Joni Armstrong Coffey, Tom Equels, Rene Murai, Antonio Roca, and Joseph Zumpano.

“We are pleased with the addition of these distinguished members of the profession from both the private and public sectors,” said School of Law Dean Alfredo Garcia. “They will undoubtedly enhance the stature of our law school.”

Dan Dolan, a ’96 STU Law School alumnus, spent the first several years of his 20 year legal career representing doctors, hospitals, corporations and insurance companies. Dolan's familiarity with the methods and strategies used by major corporations in assessing risk and defending lawsuits gives him a unique perspective in fighting against these same industries today. His firm’s national practice concentrates on civil trials and has recovered over $200 million on behalf of those catastrophically injured and the families of those suffering from the loss of preventable deaths caused by medical errors, inadequate security, product defects and motor vehicle accidents. Dolan was selected by his peers as one of the Best Lawyers in America and as a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). He has been recognized by the South Florida Legal Guide as one of the region's leading trial lawyers, and has been named in the list of Florida Super Lawyers and to Florida Trend Magazine's prestigious Florida Legal Elite every year since 2010. In both 2013 and 2015 he was voted one of the "Top 100 Lawyers in Miami."

Joni Armstrong Coffey has served as the County Attorney for Broward County since 2011. She has been a Florida Bar Board Certified city, county and local government lawyer since 1996, and is past chair of The Florida Bar’s Board of Legal Specialization and Education. Coffey is also past chair of the City, County and Local Government Law Section of The Florida Bar, and has been the recipient of numerous statewide awards for public law service. Coffey teaches as an adjunct professor at STU Law School, in the areas of land use law and Florida constitutional law, and has taught elections law, administrative law, and environmental law as well. She graduated with honors from the University of Florida Law School, where she served on the University of Florida Law Review, and was privileged to serve as judicial law clerk to Judge Peter T. Fay, United States Court of Appeals.

Tom Equels currently serves as the CEO of Hemispherx Biopharma, an advanced specialty pharmaceutical company engaged in the manufacture and clinical development of new drug entities for treatment of seriously debilitating disorders, and managing partner of The Equels Law Firm, a leading boutique legal practice focused on complex business litigation, including cases related to corporate finance and market issues. Equels received his Juris Doctor degree Magna Cum Laude from Florida State University School of Law, and he is a Bachelor of Science Summa Cum Laude graduate of Troy University, where he also received a management related Master of Science degree.

Rene Murai is a partner in the law firm of Murai Wald Biondo and Moreno P.A., specializing in business law. He serves as vice chairman of the Board of Directors of Premier American Bank, a bank he co-founded in 2001. Murai has been involved in numerous civic activities, having served as president of the Florida Bar Foundation, the University of Miami Citizens Board, Cuban American Bar Association and on the boards of the United Way, Dade Community Foundation, American Red Cross and the University of Miami. He has a bachelor of arts in economics from Brown University, and his juris doctorate degree from Columbia Law School.

Antonio Roca ’00, after working for several years in commercial litigation and government relations, Roca founded Roca Gonzalez, P.A. specializing in assisting clients across various fields, including tax, corporate and real estate law. Additionally, Roca serves as the President of Mater Academy, Inc., the largest charter school operator in Miami Dade County.

Joseph Zumpano, President and Managing Shareholder of Zumpano Patricios & Winker, P.A., focuses his practice on complex managed care litigation and international litigation. Representing hospitals and health care providers, Zumpano has architected and argued cases that have resulted in recovery of over $200 million dollars to the benefit of hospitals and healthcare providers. He has led a number of international litigation efforts, including the historic case of Weininger v. Castro, in which almost $24 million was collected in a lawsuit against Fidel Castro, Raul Castro and the Army of Cuba. Zumpano recently tried and obtained a $191.4 million ruling on behalf of the son of a former Colombian Senator and Ambassador to the United Nations for the nation of Colombia. Zumpano’s experience in recovering funds in cross border disputes also includes representation of a client in the successful piercing of a Bahamian trust. Zumpano led the multi-jurisdictional effort against the defendants and the court ordered the turnover of approximately $4 million in assets.

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