Amy S. Hodgson

Seminar: The Evolution of LGBT

Amy is a local of Northern Nevada, who graduated from Reed High School, and later attended Morrison University, obtaining her Associate of Science – Paralegal degree. For a brief time she relocated to Florida, working for the Lee County Guardian Ad Litem program.  In 2001 Amy answered the call home, returning to the Reno/Sparks area where she grew up and lived the majority of her life.

Upon her return from Florida, Amy worked at Silverman, Decaria & Kattelman, Chtd., a firm exclusively dealing in family law.  In 2007 she received her Certified Paralegal designation from NALA, and in 2009 received her Advanced Certified Paralegal designation in Trial Practice.

In 2012, Amy  left Silverman, Decaria & Kattelman, Chtd., and went to work for Surratt Law Practice, P.C., working in family law and estate planning. Amy is active in her local NALA affiliated association, Sierra Nevada Association of Paralegals, and is a past President, First Vice President, Second Vice President, NALA Liaison and Secretary.  She also serves on NALA’s certifying board.

Candy Ryan

Seminar: Effective Calendaring and Docketing, Tips for Paralegals

Candy Ryan, CRPTM is a litigation paralegal with Downs Stanford PC, Dallas, Texas assisting a named partner in insurance defense case preparation.

Candy has been a part of the legal community since 1978 and has practiced in Washington, California and Texas.  She is a graduate of the University of San Diego, ABA accredited Paralegal Studies Program (1988) and has specialized in litigation for more than 25 years. She also obtained her BA in Paralegal Studies in 2015.

Candy has been a member of the Dallas Area Paralegal Association (DAPA) since 2005; and is currently the 2019 Sustaining Membership Liaison coordinating with local and national vendors participating in numerous events with the members of DAPA such as the Sustaining Member Expo, Paralegal Day and the Holiday Luncheon. She has served as DAPA’s Litigation Section Chair 2008-2018; Education Vice President 2009 and 2012-2017; President Elect 2010 and President  2011.  She also served as National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA) Association Coordinator in 2016.  She served as Chair of the DAPA Bid Committee which successfully bid for the NFPA national convention to be held in Dallas in 2014.

She was certified by the NFPA as a Core Registered Paralegal with the designation of CRP in 2011, becoming one of the first 16 CRPs in the State of Texas and one of the initial 200 CRPs in the United States.  She has assisted numerous paralegals in preparing for the certification exams by organizing and coordinating study groups for several years and will continue with that endeavor in 2019.

In addition she was a member of the Dallas Association of Legal Assistants in the early 80s and past President of the San Luis Obispo County Paralegal Association (1995).

Candy has also served as a past member of the Court Reporting Institute of Dallas Paralegal Advisory Board and the Everest College Paralegal Program Advisory Board as well as ITT Technical Institute Paralegal Program Advisory Committee. She currently is serving on the Vista College Advisory Board.

She is also a frequent seminar speaker as faculty for the Institute of Paralegal Education (2009-2018).  She has been a certified Divemaster since 1996 and has enjoyed working with dive groups in Texas, Florida, Mexico and Belize. She also enjoys kayaking and has assisted with various events including the Red Bull Flutag in 2017 and as sweeper and wrangler for kayaking group outings. She has been an instructor of Oriental Dance for several years and member of numerous performance troupes and is currently a member of Azul Raks of Dallas, recently performing at the State Fair of Texas.

Daniel J. Burnick

Seminar: Are you experienced?  Or dazed and confused?  What you need to know about Social Media and the practice of law.

Daniel J. Burnickm Esq., founded the Law Office of Daniel J. Burnick in January, 2017.  Previously, he was a shareholder at one of the largest firms in Alabama 33 years.  Mr. Burnick represents both plaintiff’s and defendant’s in a general litigation practice in state and federal court. Mr. Burnick consults with and represents clients in matters ranging from complex workforce issues to employee management, and he has successfully litigated trials in both state and federal courts, including pregnancy discrimination, Title VII claims, FLSA claims, and FMLA claims. He also represents clients concerning the enforceability of non-competition agreements, retaliatory discharge, violation of trademarks and service marks, and the misappropriation of trade secrets. Mr. Burnick is the publisher of the alabamaemploymentlawblog.com on his website, DanielBurnick.com, and he is a frequent lecturer at professional education programs. He is a member of the Birmingham Bar Association, the Alabama State Bar, and the American Bar Association. Mr. Burnick received his B.A. from the College of William and Mary and his J.D. from Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham.

Felice Solomon

Seminar: Overcoming Challenges in the Workplace

Felice brings thirty years of extensive, successful legal and administrative recruitment experience to the South Florida marketplace. Originally from New York City, Felice began her career working in several of New York’s finest law firms in various capacities including; office management, paralegal, legal secretarial and executive assistant.

Felice formed the Solomon Search Group in June of 2009 and has continued successful growth of her firm which includes eight recruiters. Felice and her team are experts at identifying, evaluating and recruiting top-notch talent for her clients. She comes with a complete understanding of the various cultures within law firms and corporations. In addition, she has an overall appreciation of the many challenges hiring authorities face daily and the encounters of recruitment in a candidate driven market.

Solomon Search is proud to be listed in the 2018 South Florida Book of Lists as #5 for Executive Placement Companies and has been recognized and certified as a Women Business Owned Company by WBENC.

James Connor

Seminar: Sailing Along with Technology

Jim Connor, RPR, CRR, CSR, CLVS, is a 36-year reporting veteran, and an owner of Connor Reporting in Indianapolis, Lafayette and Bloomington, Indiana.  Jim has also attained his trial presentation certification in both Trial Director and Visionary softwares.  He has extensive deposition and arbitration reporting experience, and specializes in international labor

union convention reporting.  During his reporting career he has worked with every U.S. President since Jimmy Carter, as well as former South African President Nelson Mandela, and former president of Poland, Lech Walesa.  Another of his expertise is reporting press conferences for sporting events such as the Indianapolis 500, NASCAR’s Brickyard 400, Formula One, and MotoGP races with immediate turnaround for dissemination to the world’s press.

Jim definitely considers his current assignment with the GTMO team in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to be the highlight of his long career.  Reporting the trials of al Nashiri, the mastermind of the bombings of the USS Cole and USS The Sullivans, and the 9/11 terrorists, has been very challenging but extremely rewarding and exciting.  He feels honored to play a vital role in these historical proceedings.

Jill I. Francisco

Seminar: Stepping Up and Stepping Out:  How/Why to get involved in a professional association and out of your comfort zone

Jill I. Francisco, ACP, received her BA in Criminal Justice, (concentration in Legal Studies), from Marshall University in 1994. She became a certified paralegal in 2005 and obtained two advanced certifications (trial practice and discovery) in 2010. Mrs. Francisco is employed as a paralegal with Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP, in their Huntington, West Virginia office. She previously worked as a paralegal at Huddleston Bolen LLP, 1997 through January of 2015 when they merged with Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP.

She is very active in local and national professional associations within her profession. She was Charter President of the Legal Assistants/Paralegals of Southern West Virginia 2004-2006, and has served as a member of the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) Professional Development Committee 2003-2006, NALA’s Affiliated Associations Secretary 2006-2007, Affiliated Associations Director 2008-2010, NALA’s Treasurer 2010-2012, NALA’s Secretary 2012-2014, NALA’s Second Vice President 2014-2016, NALA’s Vice President 2016-2018, and is currently serving as NALA’s President.

She also currently serves on the Legal Assistant Program Advisory Board for Mount West Community College and the Marshall University Big Green Scholarship Foundation Board of Trustees. She resides in Kenova, West Virginia, with her husband, Shawn and their son, John David.

Lee Strausberg

Seminar: Making Medical Records Your Bitch: A Love Story

Lee Strausberg is a smartass with a penchant for fun. He is an RN with experience in ICU, Cardiac Care, Rehabilitation, Nursing Homes and the management of a doctor’s office. After completely destroying his back in nursing, he returned to school for a paralegal studies degree. He currently combines both of his degrees working as a nurse paralegal doing insurance defense, personal injury litigation for a medium-sized firm in the loop in Chicago.

Nancy N. Beaty

Seminar: Gone to the Dogs: a Closer Look at Support Animals

Nancy N. Beaty, MA, ACP, FRP has been a practicing paralegal for over 30 years and a Certified Paralegal® since 1990.  She was graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in journalism and earned a Master of Arts in Communications from Marshall University in Huntington, WV.  She qualified for the Florida Bar’s designation as a Florida Registered Paralegal at the onset of the program in 2008 and earned the designation of Advanced Certified Paralegal in 2009.

A founder and two-time past president of the Gulf Coast Paralegal Association (GCPA), Nancy also served as its treasurer and  NALA Liaison.  She was a member of the board of directors of the Florida Alliance of Paralegal Associations for three years, and served on the NALA board of directors from 2013-2015.  She has been a frequent instructor for CP review courses and a proctor for several sessions of the CP Exam.

Nancy has been presented with the NALA Affiliated Associations Outstanding Contribution Award twice, and in 2016 was honored to receive NALA’s Outstanding Contribution Award in recognition of her service to GCPA.

She is employed by the firm of Lindsay & Allen, PLLC, Naples, and the owner of Beaty Scoping & Proofreading, LLC, providing scoping, proofreading, transcription and editing services to court reporters and others.

Paul Pelton

Seminar: Conceptualizing, Creating & Producing In-House Mediation & Trial Exhibits

Paul Pelton, FRP, is a Senior Litigation Paralegal with The Maher Law Firm in Winter Park, FL and has over 30 years of experience in all phases of civil trial work.  With an educational background in medical science and paralegal studies, Mr. Pelton concentrates his practice in high-exposure cases involving medical malpractice, nursing home resident’s rights claims, product liability matters and complex BI claims.  Paul has handled casework for plaintiffs and defendants in State and Federal courts throughout Florida from inception through post-trial matters, and in arbitration and mediation proceedings.  He is a published author and a CLE provider to national audiences on paralegal practice.  Mr. Pelton serves the citizens of Florida by appointment of the Supreme Court of Florida to the Standing Committee on the Unlicensed Practice of Law for The Florida Bar through 2020.  In addition, Mr. Pelton is a member of the Executive Council of the Orange County Bar Association Paralegal Section and currently serves the membership as the 2018–2019 Immediate Past President; he also serves as Chair of the Paralegal Mentorship Program with that organization, and has served as a member of the governing Board since 2015.

Shelly Hunter

Seminar: Sailing Along with Technology

Shelly Hunter is the president and owner of Hunter + Geist, Inc., a successful court reporting firm in Denver, Colorado.  Her firm has been serving the legal community for over 35 years.  Hunter + Geist has continually been a leader in integrating and leveraging evolving technologies and employs court reporters that stay abreast of the ever-changing technologies and strive for the highest certifications.