A native of Miami, Florida, April Y. Walker aspired to be an attorney for as long as she can remember. From first to twelfth grade, she attended Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart for girls in Coconut Grove. In 1989, April left her hometown to attend Duke University where she majored in English. In 1993, she began law school at the University of Florida College of Law.
After graduating from law school in 1997, April began her litigation career at Carlton, Fields, Ward, Emmanuel, Smith & Cutler (now Carlton Fields Jorden Burt) in Tampa, Florida. Two months shy of her first-year anniversary, April left the practice to clerk for U.S. District Judge Stephan P. Mickle in the Northern District of Florida. Years later, in 2008, April returned to Carlton Fields in Orlando where she worked as an associate litigation attorney until she was elected to shareholder in 2015. As a litigator, Ms. Walker handled litigation disputes in state and federal court from “cradle to grave." She has tried non-jury trials to final judgment, and she has negotiated innumerable favorable settlements using direct negotiation skills and mediation. She is recognized by her peers as a 2018 Florida Trend Legal Elite in commercial litigation.
While she thoroughly enjoyed working with clients to develop and implement litigation strategies over the years, Ms. Walker finds her passion is bringing an end to conflict. Thus, in 2018, Ms. Walker determined to focus her practice on ADR exclusively rather than litigation. She makes the transition to full-time mediator with significant litigation experience representing corporate clients in a wide array of litigation matters.
Professional Education and Qualifications
- J.D., University of Florida College of Law, 1997
- A.B., Duke University, 1993
- Harvard University Law School’s Program on Negotiation Executive Education Course, Mediating Disputes, October 2018
- Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit Civil Mediator
- Florida Supreme Court Certified Appellate Mediator
- Certified U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida
- The Florida Bar
- U.S. District Court – Northern, Middle, and Southern Districts of Florida
- U.S. Court of Appeals - Eleventh Circuit
Activities / Memberships / Community Involvement / Pro Bono
- Adjunct Faculty, Florida A&M University College of Law since 2018
- Standing Committee of the Florida Bar, Federal Court Practice (since 2013)
- Co-Chair, Pro Bono Subcommittee (since 2018); Co-Vice Chair, Federal Rules Subcommittee (2016 to 2018)
- Orange County Bar Association (since 2011)
- The Orlando Repertory Theatre, Orlando, FL
- Director (2012-2018); Past chair, Governance and Nomination Committee (2014 to 2018)
- The “Negro Spiritual” Scholarship Foundation, Inc.
- Director (2015-2018); Board Chair (2016 to 2018)
- Volunteer, Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association, Inc. – Chapter 751 concurrent custody proceedings (since 2015)
- Speaker, “Alternative Dispute Resolution: Navigating The Options With Your Clients,” Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants Central Florida Chapter, Annual Legal Updates Program (July 2015)