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College of Law

Florida State University


2005 Press Releases

Alumni Jim McConnaughhay and Steve Rissman create endowment for excellence at law school

Dec 01, 2005

TALLAHASSEE--With a $200,000 gift to the Florida State University College of law, charter class member Jim McConnaughhay, ’69, and Steve Rissman, ’72, have created the McConnaughhay and Rissman Endowment for Excellence.

The gift from the two noted workers’ compensation lawyers celebrates the working relationship between the College of Law and the Florida Workers’ Compensation Institute, which they established in 1987. It can be used to fund a McConnaughhay and Rissman Scholar, for faculty incentives and for co-curricular activities, such as the law review, Moot Court and Mock Trial.

“We are giving the gift because we both have an abiding interest in workers’ compensation and in the law school,” said Rissman, of the Orlando firm of Rissman, Weisberg, Barrett, Hurt, Donohue & McLain.

Rissman and McConnaughhay, of McConnaughhay, Duffy, Coonrod, Pope & Weaver in Tallahassee, say they are hopeful that Florida State law professors will continue to provide judges of workers’ compensation claims with relevant education at the Institute’s annual Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference and become more involved with workers’ compensation issues.

As general chair and program chair, respectively, of the Institute, McConnaughhay and Rissman have organized the annual education conference in Orlando since 1987. This nationally recognized meeting draws between 7,000 and 8,000 attendees, and is the nation’s largest gathering of individuals involved in workers’ 2 compensation issues, including insurance agents, employers, lawyers, doctors, judges, mediators, nurses, rehab providers and adjusters.

The Florida Workers’ Compensation Institute also has sponsored among other things an annual Moot Court Competition, scholarships for children of employees injured on-the-job, educational functions for judges, and an annual update spring forum on workers’ compensation.

McConnaughhay and Rissman, who have been friends since the late 1970s, keep in close contact with their alma mater, and have taught workers’ compensation courses at the College of Law.

“Workers’ compensation law and the FSU law school have been major players in our legal careers, McConnaughhay said. “We are extremely pleased to join the two together to enhance the study of workers’ compensation, an area of the law that is extremely important to the State of Florida.”

December 2005