Our Board

2014-2015 Executive Committee

Robert Cromwell, Board Chair, retired as Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Jacksonville Division after nearly a 30-year career in law enforcement.During his career, Bob received numerous commendations from the Director of the FBI for his investigative accomplishments, primarily in the field of Violent Crime. He is also a former Navy Cryptology Technician, a New Jersey Police Officer and a Special Agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.  Today, he is owner of a Security and Investigative Consulting firm and is co-owner of PoliceCommunity.net, which provides online training for police officers throughout the nation.

Gerald “Jerry” Berry, Esq., Chair-Elect, started Berry, Day & McFee as a sole practitioner in 1989, and is now the managing partner with the Law Offices of Jerry Berry, P.A.   Mr. Berry’s work in the field of criminal law dates back to 1979, when he completed law school. He first received a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Florida in 1976 (magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa). He then attended law school at Florida State University, where he received his juris doctorate in 1979. Following law school, Mr. Berry worked as a prosecutor in Lakeland, Florida, and in Naples, Florida. In 1984, he went into private practice and has been defending the Constitution and the wrongfully accused ever since. He is a past president of the Collier County Bar Association, past president and founder of the Collier County Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, past chairman of the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers — Criminal Section, and past president of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys.

The Honorable Janet Ferris, Treasurer, served as a judge on the Second Judicial Circuit from 1999 until she retired in 2009. Before becoming a judge, she worked for nearly 20 years in various aspects of Florida’s criminal justice system. Judge Ferris began her career as a prosecutor in Fort Lauderdale, and then served as Chief of the Attorney General’s Civil RICO Section. In addition to a short stint in private practice, she also served as General Counsel to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Secretary of the Florida Department of Business Regulation, Chief Inspector General, and General Counsel for the Department of Juvenile Justice. She has been active in the Tallahassee community through volunteer activities and through service as a Board member for Turn About, ElderCare Services, and The Florida Children’s Campaign. Judge Ferris is a member of Leadership Florida, and serves on the Smart Justice Advisory Board for Florida Tax Watch.

Brian Tannebaum, Esq., Secretary, is the managing partner at Tannebaum Weiss, P.A., in Miami and President of the Florida Association of Bar Defense Lawyers. Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Tannebaum was a trail lawyer in the largest public defender’s office in Florida. He has served as the President of FACDL and the FACDL Miami Chapter. He is one of only two members of FACDL to have received all three Presidential Service Awards. He is a frequent lecturer, having spoken at statewide and local seminars including The Florida Bar Annual Meeting, “Showcase on Sentencing,” “Basic Criminal Law,” “Practicing with Professionalism,” and his own seminars entitled “The Practice,” and “What Every Civil Lawyer Needs to Know About Criminal Law.” Multiple Florida and national publications have named him one of the top criminal defense attorneys. The National Law Journal named his acquittal in US v. Dow as one of the “Top 10 defense verdicts in the U.S.”

Talbot “Sandy” D’Alemberte, Esq., IPF’s Founding Board Chair, is a lawyer, professor, former politician, former educational administrator, and former president of the American Bar Association (1991 to1992). He represented Dade County in the Florida House of Representatives from 1966 to 1972. Mr. D’Alemberte served five years as Dean of the College of Law and nine years as President of Florida State University. He is currently a Professor of Law at FSU and a partner of D’Alemberte & Palmer, a Tallahassee firm specializing in appellate work.

The Honorable Harry Lee Anstead was appointed in 1994 to the Florida Supreme Court by Governor Lawton Chiles and retired in 2009. He served as Chief Justice from 2002 to 2004. Justice Anstead was a trial and appellate lawyer in South Florida before joining the bench and served a stint with the National Security Agency in Washington, D.C. between undergraduate and law school at the University of Florida. Justice Anstead was raised as the youngest of six children by a single mother in Jacksonville’s Brentwood housing project just after the Great Depression and in the years during and after World War II.

Barney Bishop III heads Barney Bishop Consulting, LLC., and previously served as president and CEO of Associated Industries of Florida (AIF). A native Floridian, Mr. Bishop returned to Florida after college and opened a detective agency in Orlando. In 1979, he began lobbying for the Florida Association of Private Investigators. He sold his detective agency in 1983 and moved to Tallahassee to work for then-state Insurance Commissioner Bill Gunter. In 1984, Mr. Bishop became state president of the Florida Young Democrats. In 1993, after stints at the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers and the Florida Democratic Party, he opened his own lobbying firm, The Windsor Group, which specialized in appropriations in the behavioral healthcare field. He sold the firm in 2005 to join AIF.

Benjamin Crump, Esq., is a partner with Parks and Crump, LLC, in Tallahassee. He is a graduate of Florida State University and the FSU College of Law. Over the years Mr. Crump has dedicated his areas of practice in serious personal injury, wrongful death, and civil rights matters. Throughout his career he has handled civil litigation matters in state and federal courts throughout the Country. Mr. Crump is currently President-elect of the National Bar Association and has served as General Counsel to the Tallahassee Chapter of the NAACP. He was elected as the Board Chairman of the Internationally Renowned Tallahassee Boys Choir, and is the Past President of the National Florida State University Black Alumni Association.  He was the first African-American President of the Federal Bar Association for the Northern District of Florida, first African-American Chairman of the Florida State College of Law Board of Directors, and the first African-American Chair of the Tallahassee Utility Commission. He is married to the lovely, Dr. Genae Angelique Crump, guardian of two adopted cousins, Marcus and Chancellor Crump, and proud father of Brooklyn Zeta Crump.

William Michael Dillon was exonerated in 2008 after serving 27.5 years in the Florida prison system for a murder that DNA testing proved he did not commit. In the Fall of 2011, he released a CD of original music called Black Robes and Lawyers. All of the songs were written while Mr. Dillon was in prison. He is a strong advocate of criminal justice system reform and speaks publicly about his wrongful conviction and imprisonment. In 2012 he was (finally) compensated for his wrongful conviction through an individual claims bill. He makes his home Southern California.

Michael E. Dutko, Sr., Esq., is a criminal defense attorney with the law firm of Bogenschutz, Dutko & Kroll, P.A., in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  Prior to becoming an attorney, Mr. Dutko worked as a Police Officer and Detective in the Organized Crime Bureau of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department. Upon his graduation from Nova Southeastern University Law School, Mr. Dutko served as an Assistant State Attorney with the Broward County State Attorney’s Office. In addition to memberships in numerous legal associations, Mr. Dutko also serves on the Board of Directors of The Hundred Club of Broward County, Inc. and the Board of Governors of Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad Law Center. Mr. Dutko is included in the Best Lawyers in America, 2009 to the present, Criminal Defense and White Collar Defense.

Reverend Bryan Fulwider served in local church ministry for more than 25 years in Colorado, Arkansas and Florida. From 1999 to 2012 he served as Senior Minister of First Congregational Church of Winter Park in Florida. In 2012 Rev. Fulwider followed his passion for “interfaith ministry to the larger community” to write, lecture, and to become the Managing Partner of The Three Wise Guys to help expand the interfaith work that he, Rabbi Engel, and Imam Musri have shared in since 2000. He is also the Executive Director of Building Us, a nonprofit organization that is committed to building better communities through conversation and education that focuses on the development of the human spirit in pursuit of deeper human, cultural, and religious understanding, acceptance, and cooperation. Rev. Fulwider is a native of and grew up in California. He holds a B.A. in English Literature and a minor in History from John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas and a Master of Divinity degree from the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado. He lives with his wife, Marilyn, in Central Florida and has two grown sons.

Harriet Hendel is a retired educator with more than 30 years of experience teaching learning-disabled students in New York and New Jersey. Now retired, she divides her year between New York and Sarasota, Florida. Ms. Hendel is very active in both communities. She has taught creative writing at Green Haven Correctional Facility in New York and several courses on prison literature through Brandeis National Committee and the University of South Florida for Lifelong Learning. Ms. Hendel currently mentors two high school students in Sarasota through programs sponsored by the YMCA and Take Stock In Children, a statewide non-profit organization providing a free college education to the high school graduates of the program. She also serves as a mentor to an inmate at the Sarasota County Jail through a program sponsored by Jewish Family and Children’s Services. Ms. Hendel is actively involved with Project 180, a new nonprofit organization helping men who are getting out of prison with re-entry by providing housing and job training. She is a passionate voice for the imprisoned and for reforms to the criminal justice system. She was recently a guest on a radio program about prison issues that was broadcast from Vassar College.

Lisa M. Hurley, Esq. is currently a Public Affairs Consultant with the Florida Association of Counties, and law partner at Willard/Hurley, LLC, a criminal defense law firm. Ms. Hurley served as Deputy Secretary for the Florida Department of Management Services, where she was responsible for the divisions of Bureau of Private Prisons, State Purchasing, Fleet Management, Office of Supplier Diversity and ADA Working Group. She has also served as Special Counsel to the Secretary of the Florida Department of Management Services. Ms. Hurley was appointed to the Board of Veterinary Medicine as a Consumer Member by Governor Jeb Bush and reappointed by Governor Charlie Crist. She was a member of the civil litigation sections at a number of private firms, including Akerman Senterfit and Foley & Larnder. Ms. Hurley has served as the Legislative Chair and Director at Large for the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Member of the Traffic Court Rules Committee of The Florida Bar; and Vice President of the Tallahassee Chapter of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. She is a member of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers, and Justice Teaching for the Florida Supreme Court. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Florida State University and Juris Doctorate from FSU College of Law.

Robert Kerrigan, Esq., after graduating with honors from Florida State University College of Law in 1971, assumed a position with the Public Defender’s Office, where he was later named Chief Assistant. In 1973, went into private practice with an emphasis on criminal defense trial work. In 1975, he formed a partnership with George Estess and began to concentrate on personal injury litigation. Mr. Rankin, Mr. McLeod and Mr. Thompson later became partners in the firm as it is presently constituted. Mr. Kerrigan was one of nine trial lawyers selected by the Governor of the State of Florida to prosecute the State’s claim for Medicaid recovery against the tobacco industry. He has tried to verdict multiple capital murder and serious criminal cases, obtaining multimillion dollar verdicts from many of them. The Best Lawyers in America has recognized him for the past 10 years. Mr. Kerrigan co-hosts Within Reason, a local TV show.

Rabbi Gary Klein currently serves as spiritual leader for Temple Ahavat Shalom, a position he has held since July 1987. Prior to assuming the pulpit of Temple Ahavat Shalom, he served for nine years as spiritual leader of Temple Beth Israel, Altoona, Pennsylvania. In the Tampa Bay area Rabbi Klein serves as the Secretary of Gulf Coast Jewish Family Services. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Center for Catholic Jewish Studies at St. Leo University. He has also served on the Mease Hospital Ethics Committee, the Board of Directors of the Long Center and the Board of Directors of the Palm Harbor Chamber of Commerce. He has served as President of the Pinellas County Board of Rabbis and he was one of the 1988-1989 designees for Leadership Pinellas.

Michael J. Minerva, Esq. litigated criminal cases in both trial and appellate courts prior to semi-retirement in 2001. Mr. Minerva was Public Defender of Florida’s Second Judicial Circuit from 1977 to 1980, General Counsel of the Florida Department of Corrections from 1981 to 1983, and statewide director of the Office of Capital Collateral Representative from 1993 to 1997. In the intervening years he was an Assistant Public Defender. Mr. Minerva joined IPF’s Board of Directors in 2007, then took a leave of absence to serve as IPF’s Chief Executive Officer from 2009 to 2013.  He resumed his seat on the Board in January 2014.

Adora Obi Nweze retired from the Miami-Dade County Public Schools after a 39 year successful career that took her from the classroom to a District and Regional Supervisor/ Director to Adjunct Professor at several universities. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Fayetteville University and a Masters of Education Degree from the University of Miami. Nweze is the 2015 President of the Florida State Conference NAACP, and serves as a member of the NAACP National Board of Directors and NAACP Special Contribution Fund/Board of Trustees. She also serves as Chair of the NAACP Education Committee and the Affirmative Action Committee of the Florida Democratic Party. Ms. Nweze has received numerous awards and recognitions for her civil rights and humanitarian contributions throughout communities across the country. She is the mother of three adult children: Ronald, Norman II, and Treska; and the grandmother of Amber, Chalice, Khari and Destinee.

David Rothman, Esq., Immediate Past Board Chair, is a founding partner of the Miami criminal defense firm Rothman & Associates, formerly Thornton & Rothman, formed in 1980. Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Rothman served as an Assistant State Attorney under Richard Gerstein and, later, Janet Reno. He is also an adjunct professor at the University of Miami School of Law, teaching in the Litigation Skills Program. Mr. Rothman has served as president of the Dade County Bar Association, Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Miami Chapter (FACDL – Miami) and FACDL, Statewide. He has served on the Board of Governors of The Florida Bar and was recently appointed to the Florida Bar Foundation board of directors.

Paula Saunders, Esq. is a 1980 graduate of Hofstra University School of Law and spent two years in private practice before joining the Public Defender’s Office in Tallahassee. As an assistant Public Defender, Ms. Saunders has worked in the misdemeanor, felony and appellate divisions and has handled dozens of capital cases in both trials and appeals. She was also the training director of the Tallahassee P.D. Office for 10 years. She authored the Public Defender Pretrial and Trial Training Manual, a comprehensive text analyzing all aspects of criminal procedure from a defense perspective, which is currently in its fourth edition. Ms. Saunders is past president of both the FACDL and the Tallahassee Chapter of FACDL. She previously served on the Second Judicial Circuit Grievance Committee, the Appellate Court Rules Committee, and the Executive Council of the Criminal Law Section of The Florida Bar. She is a founding member and on the Board of Directors of the Holocaust Education Resource Council. Ms. Saunders and her husband, Roy Forman, are the proud parents of two daughters, Laine and Kaitlin, two rescued greyhounds, Lucy and Scout, and a vacant lot in North Carolina, where they hope to retire someday.

Mark Schlakman, Esq., Past Board Chair, serves as senior program director for The Florida State University Center for the Advancement of Human Rights where he received one of several Guardian of the Flame Awards from Burning Spear presented to faculty from across the university in 2015 for outstanding service…“ Prior to joining FSU’s faculty in 2002 he held senior positions in state and federal government, including special counsel to Gov. Lawton Chiles; special advisor to Gov. Jeb Bush during his first several months in office; senior advisor to Gov. “Buddy” MacKay in Washington, D.C., when the governor was White House Special Envoy to the Americas during the final two years of the Clinton administration. Mr. Schlakman subsequently served as a Foreign Affairs Officer for the U.S. Department of State at the outset of the George W. Bush administration where he received a Superior Honor Award for his service at the White House and had follow-on assignments as a special assistant and interim foreign policy advisor to four-star Marine Corps. General Peter Pace, Commander, U.S. Southern Command, and as an Alternate Representative for the U.S. Permanent Mission to the Organization of American States (OAS). Mark received his B.A. from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, FL, graduating magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi; and received his J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., where he served as president of the Student Bar Association and received the Dean’s Certificate at graduation. Following law school, he completed Harvard University’s Kennedy School post-graduate Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government in Cambridge, MA. He was a member of the American Bar Association’s Florida Death Penalty Assessment Team.

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