NAME PARTNERS

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Mark Hicks

PRESIDENT AND MANAGING PARTNER

mhicks@mhickslaw.com

MARK HICKS is the President and Managing Partner of Hicks, Porter, Ebenfeld & Stein, P.A., which he co-founded in 1978 as Daniels and Hicks, P.A. Mr. Hicks graduated from Mercer University in 1969, received his law degree from the University of Florida in 1972, and was admitted to the Florida bar in 1972.

Mr. Hicks has extensive experience as an appellate attorney and commercial litigator, and has been involved in hundreds of appeals and complex business litigation matters in the Florida and federal courts, including many seminal cases. He also devotes a significant portion of his practice to the area of insurance coverage and bad faith, and advises carriers from around the country on all aspects of insurance matters. Mr. Hicks is AV rated by Martindale Hubbell, and has been selected to appear in Best Lawyers in America in the areas of Appellate Law and Commercial Litigation for the past 30 years. He was also selected to the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, and is routinely recognized by local publications as one of South Florida's leading attorneys. In 2005, the Daily Business Review recognized Mr. Hicks and partner Dinah Stein as two of South Florida's three "Most Effective Lawyers" in the area of appellate law.

Mr. Hicks has served on the Dade County and Florida Bar Appellate Rules Committees and is a member of the International Association of Defense Counsel.

Areas of Practice:

  • Appellate Practice

  • Commercial Litigation

  • Insurance Coverage

  • Bad Faith

  • Insurance Defense


 
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Irene Porter

IRENE PORTER, a name partner, joined the firm in 1992 after a distinguished academic career. She received her law degree in 1989 from the University of Miami, where she graduated summa cum laude, number four in her class, and number one in her section. Ms. Porter attended law school as a Dean's Merit scholar, and while there received eight American Jurisprudence Book Awards, was named in Who's Who Among American Law Students, and won Oral Argument and the Best Brief Awards in First Year Moot Court Competition. She also served as a student tutor, attended a year-long intensive litigation and trial course, participated in the optional trial competition, and upon graduation was awarded the prestigious Order of the Coif.

Ms. Porter was selected to appear in Best Lawyers in America in the area of insurance and is routinely recognized by local publications as one of Florida's leading attorneys in the area of insurance coverage.

Ms. Porter has extensive experience and knowledge in the areas of insurance coverage, bad faith, appellate advocacy and trial support.

Areas of Practice:

  • Insurance Coverage

  • Bad Faith

  • Appellate Practice

  • Trial Support


 
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Cindy L. Ebenfeld

CINDY L. EBENFELD has been with the firm since 1994, and is a litigation partner in the firm's Broward office. Ms. Ebenfeld has extensive experience in insurance coverage and bad faith litigation, commercial litigation, and civil appeals. She is routinely recognized by local publications as one of Florida's leading attorneys in the area of insurance coverage and is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell.

Ms. Ebenfeld received her law degree in 1993 from Stetson University College of Law, where she served as Comments Editor of the Stetson Law Review and graduated cum laude. Ms. Ebenfeld was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1993 and is currently admitted to practice in all federal courts in Florida. From 1993 to 1994, Ms. Ebenfeld served as a Law Clerk to the Honorable Bobby W. Gunther of the Fourth District Court of Appeal of Florida. Ms. Ebenfeld is active in the Florida Bar and the Broward County Bar Association. She served on the Media and Communications Law Committee of the Florida Bar from 1994 through 1999 and is active in the Broward County Bar Association.

Areas of Practice:

  • Insurance Coverage

  • Insurance Coverage Litigation

  • Bad Faith Litigation

  • Commercial Litigation

  • Appellate Practice

  • Insurance Defense


 
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Dinah S. Stein

DINAH S. STEIN has been with the firm since 1996, and is an AV-rated partner in the firm's appellate department. Ms. Stein is also board certified in appellate practice by the Florida Bar. She graduated with honors from the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communication in 1988, and received her law degree from the University of Miami in 1996, where she graduated magna cum laude. Ms. Stein attended the University of Miami as a Dean's Merit Scholar, and while there served as an Articles and Comments Editor of the University of Miami Law Review, was a Member of the Moot Court Board, participated in the 1995 American Bar Association National Moot Court Team, and in 1995 won the Advanced Moot Court Competition, where she was also awarded Best Brief. Upon her graduation from law school, Ms. Stein was awarded the prestigious Order of the Coif. Ms. Stein was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1996.

Ms. Stein concentrates her practice in appellate law, and has handled appeals in every Florida District Court of Appeal, the Florida Supreme Court, and the United States Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. As part of the firm's appellate practice, Ms. Stein also provides litigation support for plaintiffs and defendants at the trial court level, and has been involved in a number of high-profile trials and appeals. In 2005, the Daily Business Review recognized Ms. Stein and managing partner Mark Hicks as two out of South Florida's three "Most Effective Lawyers" in the area of appellate practice for that year.

Ms. Stein has been selected to appear in Best Lawyers in America for appellate practice, and is routinely recognized by the South Florida Legal Guide as one of South Florida's "Top Lawyers" in appellate practice, one of Florida's "Super Lawyers" for appellate law by Florida Super Lawyers publication, and one of Florida Trend's "Florida Legal Elite" as a top Florida attorney for appellate practice.

Ms. Stein is the author of Florida's "Three Strikes" Legislation: A Defense Perspective, Trial Advocate Quarterly, Spring 2010.

Areas of Practice:

  • Appellate Practice

  • Trial Support

  • Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith


 

PARTNERS

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Rick A. Piccolo

RICK A. PICCOLO joined the firm in 1999, and is a partner in the firm's Broward office. He graduated from The Pennsylvania State University in 1981 with a degree in Political Science. Mr. Piccolo received his law degree in 1985 from Nova Southeastern University and was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1985 and the Connecticut Bar in 1988.

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Piccolo worked for eight years at Travelers Insurance Company in Hartford, Connecticut and held the positions of Litigation Manager and Associate Counsel in Travelers' Commercial Lines Law Department. As part of his duties at Travelers between 1988 and 1996, he managed insurance coverage and bad faith litigation throughout the United States. In 1996, Mr. Piccolo joined Chubb Executive Risk as a claims attorney where he managed complex professional liability claims in connection with directors and officers and errors and omissions insurance coverage.

Mr. Piccolo concentrates his area of practice in insurance coverage and bad faith and is a member of the Dade County and American Bar Associations.

Areas of Practice:

  • Insurance Coverage

  • Bad Faith

  • Insurance Defense


 
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Gary A. Magnarini

GARY A. MAGNARINI is a partner in the firm’s appellate department. Gary is an AV rated lawyer by Martindale-Hubbell. He has been routinely selected by ALM as one of Florida’s “Top Rated Lawyers.” Gary is admitted to the Wisconsin Bar and Florida Bar. Gary graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (B.A., summa cum laude, 1984); American Graduate School of International Management (M.I.M., with distinction, valedictorian, 1985); Marquette University (J.D., cum laude, 1988) and the University of Cambridge (LL.M., first class honors, 1989). He was Editor of the Marquette Law Review; Co-Author: with Stan V. Smith, "Hedonic Damages," 64 Wis. Law. 17 (Feb. 1991). Author: "Jurisdiction Over Foreign-Nation Manufacturers," 68 Fla. B.J. 38, March 1994; "Successor Products Liability," 62 Wis. Law. 18, March 1989; Note, "Service of Process Abroad Under the Hague Convention," 71 Marq. L. Rev. 649, 1988. Withholding a Feeding Tube from a Nonnegative Dementia Patient, 83 Wis. Lawyer (May 2010). He was Adjunct Professor at the Stetson University College of Law, 1995-96 and Teaching Assistant at the Marquette University Law School, 1987-1988.

Gary served as a Law Clerk to Chief Justice Nathan S. Heffernan, Wisconsin Supreme Court, 1990-1991. Gary was also a Senior Airman, Russian Translator, Intelligence Division, U.S. Air Force, 1977-1981 and he speaks Spanish and German.

Area of Practice:

  • Appellate Practice


 
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Steven H. Preston

STEVEN H. PRESTON is a partner in the firm's litigation department. He graduated magna cum laude from Boston University in 1984 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Mr. Preston also graduated with an M.B.A. in Finance from New York University in 1987. He received his law degree from the University of Florida in 1992 with highest honors and was third in his class. While at the University of Florida, Mr. Preston was a recipient of American Jurisprudence Book Awards in Contracts I, Constitutional Law I, Corporate Law, Employment Discrimination and Jurisprudence. Upon graduation, Mr. Preston was awarded the prestigious Order of the Coif.

Mr. Preston was admitted to the Connecticut Bar in 1993 and the Florida Bar in 1994. He is currently admitted to practice before the United States District Court, Southern and Middle Districts of Florida, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Preston worked for an Orlando commercial and tort litigation firm, and he has also worked in those areas for firms in Miami and Fort Lauderdale. In addition to litigation, Mr. Preston has experience in federal and state appellate practice. Currently, Mr. Preston concentrates his practice in civil and commercial litigation.

 Areas of Practice:

  • Commercial Litigation

  • Insurance Litigation

  • Insurance Defense

  • Products Liability


 
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Kacey Bennett

KACEY BENNETT is a partner in the firm's insurance coverage and litigation departments. She graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in political science from The George Washington University, where she was a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society. Ms. Bennett received a number of honors and awards while attending The George Washington University, including the University and Alumni Award and the Presidential Academic Scholarship. Ms. Bennett received her law degree from Fordham University School of Law. While in law school, Ms. Bennett was a member of the Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal and was the recipient of the Fordham University School of Law Legal Writing Award and the Archibald R. Murray Public Service Award. Ms. Bennett interned for the Honorable Ursula Ungaro of the United States District Court, Southern District of Florida.

Areas of Practice:

  • Insurance Coverage

  • Insurance Coverage Litigation

  • Bad Faith Litigation

  • Civil Litigation

  • Insurance Defense


 
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Shannon F. Kain

SHANNON F. KAIN is a partner in the firm's appellate and insurance coverage departments.  She graduated from the University of Central Florida with a bachelor's degree in finance and international business in 2001.  Ms. Kain attended St. Thomas University School of Law as a Dean's Merit Scholar, and graduated cum laude.  While in law school, Ms. Kain was a recipient of the Book Award in Appellate Advocacy and Advanced Legal Writing, and served as a Dean's Teaching Assistant for the Legal Research and Writing Program and a Staff Editor for the St. Thomas Law Review.  Ms. Kain also had the unique opportunity of securing a semester-long externship with Justice R. Fred Lewis of the Florida Supreme Court. In 2010, Ms. Kain was named as a "Rising Star" in the area of appellate practice by Florida Super Lawyers publication.

In addition to being admitted to the Florida Bar, Ms. Kain is currently admitted to practice before the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida and the United States Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

Areas of Practice:

  • Appellate Practice

  • Insurance Coverage

  • Trial Support


 

ASSOCIATES


 
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Amanda L. Forti

AMANDA L. FORTI is an associate in the firm’s appellate and insurance coverage departments. She graduated cum laude from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in History and English in 2013. Ms. Forti attended the University of Florida Levin College of Law and graduated magnum cum laude in the top five percent of her class. While in law school, Ms. Forti made the Dean’s List every semester and received Book Awards in Property as well as Introduction to Lawyering, a professional ethics and skills course. While a law student, she was selected to deliver a presentation on eminent domain law alongside legal scholars and practicing attorneys at the Richard E. Nelson Symposium. Upon graduation, she was awarded the distinguished Order of the Coif. In 2015, Ms. Forti had the privilege of serving as judicial intern to the chambers of the Honorable Judge Barbara Lagoa at the Third District Court of Appeal of Florida.


 
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Sharon R. Vosseller

SHARON R. VOSSELLER is an associate in the firm's appellate and insurance coverage departments. She graduated cum laude with bachelor's degrees in history and sociology from College of Charleston. While there, she was a member of the Honors College, Phi Alpha Theta National History Honor Society, and Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society and received several academic scholarships. Ms. Vosseller graduated cum laude from the University of Miami School of Law, and received an honors distinction from the nationally recognized Litigation Skills Program. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Vosseller concentrated her practice on insurance defense litigation, representing clients in personal injury, construction defect, and property damage litigation, as well as in coverage matters.


 
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Aneta A. Kozub

ANETA A. KOZUB is an associate in the firm's appellate and insurance coverage departments. Ms. Kozub graduated cum laude from the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in Political Science. She attended the University of Miami School of Law as a Dean's Merit Scholar and graduated magna cum laude. Upon graduation, she was awarded the prestigious Order of the Coif.

 Ms. Kozub also served as a fellow for the University of Miami School of Law Investor Rights Clinic, and interned with the Miami City Attorney's Office and the Honorable Jonathan Goodman of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.


 
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Diana Sun

DIANA SUN is an associate in the firm’s litigation and insurance coverage departments. She graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a B.A. in English, where she was a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and received an Arts & Sciences Scholarship. Ms. Sun received her law degree from University of Miami School of Law where she was a Dean’s Scholar. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Sun concentrated her practice in insurance defense litigation. 


 
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Jordan M. Macejka

JORDAN M. MACEJKA is an associate in the firm’s insurance coverage and litigation departments.  He attended Ithaca College where he received his Bachelor in Science degree.  After his undergraduate studies, Mr. Macejka earned his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Miami School of Law, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude.  During his time there, he served as the Alumni Editor of the Business Law Review and was a member of the Intellectual Property Law Society.  Prior to becoming a member of the firm, Mr. Macejka gained valuable experience with another prominent law firm practicing exclusively in the area of general litigation and insurance defense.

In addition to being admitted to the Florida Bar, Mr. Macejka is currently admitted to practice before the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida and the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida.


 

OF COUNSEL

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Roger L. Blackburn

OF COUNSEL

ROGER L. BLACKBURN is of counsel to the firm and assists in the firm’s litigation practice. Education: University of Florida (B.A., 1968; J.D., 1971). Activities: Florida Blue Key; Phi Delta Phi. University of Florida College of Law, President of the College of Law Alumni Council 1982-1983, Class Representative 1984-present. Member of the University of Florida Law Center Association Board of Trustees 1984-1995, Trustee Emeritus 1995-present. Dade County Bar Association (Member, Board of Directors almost continuously from 1974-1986); American Bar Association (Member, Litigation Section); The Florida Bar (Member, Trial Lawyers Section); The Association of Trial Lawyers of America, Member; Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers (Director, 1985-1990); Member, Executive Committee 1989-1990; Diplomate 1984-1992; Eagle Patron 1985-1992; Chairman - Continuing Legal Education Committee 1987-1988; Chairman - Academic Task Force Committee 1986-1987); Florida Lawyers Action Group (FLAG); Dade County Trial Lawyers Association (President 1985-1986, Founding Member); DCTLA Political Action Committee (Treasurer 1986-1987, Chairman 1987-present); Federal Bar Association (Member); Diplomate, The American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA National Board Member 1991-1993; Chairman, Seminar Committee 1991-1993; Miami ABOTA Chapter President 1990-1991); Special Counsel to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services 1991-1993; Master - The Eugene P. Spellman Inn of Court 1991-1993; Certified by the Florida Supreme Court as a Mediator, 1995; Member - Florida Academy of Certified Mediators; Author: "Formation of Contract," Florida Forms of Jury Instruction, Chapter 30, Matthew Bender & Company, Inc., 1988 and revisions; Author: "The Complaint and Responsive Pleadings," Trial Advocacy - Official Handbook of the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers; Editorial Review Board, Florida Torts Reporter, Matthew Bender & Company, Inc.; Lecturer for the University of Florida, The Florida Bar, Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, the American Board of Trial Advocates and other professional groups; Who's Who in American Law (6th ed. 1989 and subsequent editions).