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Florida Mediator Looks Back at Florida Bar's Annual Convention

Kimberly Sands, a partner with Upchurch Watson White & Max, has been a civil litigator and has been involved with difficult and complex disputes as litigator or mediator for over 30 years. To schedule a mediation with Kimberly, please call her case manager, Cathy McCleary, at (800) 863-1462, or visit our online calendar.

Florida Mediator Kimberly Sands Principal Kimberly Sands


This year’s convention was exceptional. Not only because it was chaired by our own Sandy Upchurch, soon to be The Honorable Sandra Upchurch, Circuit Court Judge for the Seventh Judicial Circuit, but because it achieved its lofty goal of Embracing Connectivity. The Daily Business Review’s Julie Kay wrote an excellent article on the event, incongruously titled “Controversy at This Year’s Florida Bar Event?” Who comes up with these titles? It was strikingly noncontroversial, with programs that, as Sandy said “feed lawyers' souls and intellect and curiosity.”

Among the usual substantive committee meetings and topics were programs on how older attorneys can downsize their practices, advice for young attorneys establishing their practices, and programs on diversity, including race and gender. I was lucky enough to be included on a panel addressing the latter, utilizing a format derived from the Sheryl Sandberg-inspired “Lean In” movement. I was joined by some truly inspiring lawyers – State Senator Maria Sachs, Minority Leader Pro Tempore in the Florida Senate; The Honorable June McKinney, Administrative Law Judge for the DOAH in Tallahassee; two past presidents of the Florida Bar, Kelly Overstreet Johnson and Mayanne Downs, currently in private practice in Tallahassee and Orlando, respectively; and Burnadette Norris Weeks, a lawyer and community leader with her own private practice in South Florida.

For those who wish to continue the conversation, UWWM sponsors its own “Lean In” group for litigators in proximity to our Maitland office. For more information, please comment or send us your contact information.

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