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College of Law

Florida State University


Adjunct Faculty

The College of Law is proud to offer an unusually rich set of course offerings taught by adjunct professors. These instructors, though not on the regular faculty of the law school, bring a diversity of experiences and talents to the school and a very high degree of professional accomplishment and expertise.

Adjunct Faculty Spring 2018

  • Solicitor General Amit Agarwal

    Solicitor General Amit Agarwal will teach Separation of Powers Seminar this semester. Agarwal was appointed as Florida’s solicitor general in June 2016. He served as deputy chief to the Appellate Division of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida before being named solicitor general. Previously, he clerked in the Supreme Court of the United States for Justice Samuel Alito and served as an attorney advisor in the Office of Legal Counsel of the United States Department of Justice. Additionally, he served as a law clerk for the Honorable Brett Kavanaugh in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and the Honorable Edward Becker in the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia, PA. He graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center and earned a B.A. in English from Duke University. The Florida solicitor general is the state government's principal appellate counsel, representing the interests of the state throughout Florida's appellate courts and in the United States Supreme Court. The solicitor general also serves as the Richard W. Ervin Eminent Scholar Chair and a visiting professor of law at the FSU College of Law.

  • The Honorable Stephen Brown

    The Honorable Stephen Brown will teach Jury Selection this semester. He recently retired after serving for 21 years as a United States magistrate judge for the Southern District of Florida, the last three years as the chief United States magistrate judge. Prior to that position, he was a partner in a Miami law firm where he was a civil trial lawyer for 19 years. He has taught courses in the trial advocacy program at UM Law and CLE courses. Brown also has spoken before bar associations throughout the United States and overseas.

    For more information, email

  • Sarah Butters

    Sarah Butters will teach Gratuitous Transfers this semester. She is a 2001 summa cum laude graduate of Florida State Law. Butters is currently a shareholder at Ausley McMullen, and she has extensive experience in wills, trusts and probate law. She serves on the executive council for the Real Estate, Probate and Trust Law Section of The Florida Bar.

    For more information, e-mail

  • David Coburn

    David Coburn, a 1977 graduate of Florida State Law, will co-teach Florida Legislative Practice: The Budget & Appropriations Process this semester with Richard Herring. Following a distinguished three-decade career in the Florida Legislature, Coburn was awarded one of FSU’s highest honors, the James D. Westcott Medal, presented to those “whose life and work exemplify the values of strength, skill, and character that the university seeks to nurture in its students.” Considered one of the most knowledgeable experts on the state budget, Coburn served as staff director for the Rules Committee in both chambers, among a number of other key positions. He also served in the executive branch as the governor's director of the Office of Planning and Budgeting. In 2011, he and three partners launched Capital Analytics LLC, a firm that offers analysis and support on state and local government issues. As noted in the presentation of the Westcott Medal, he has been a longtime friend and supporter of FSU and the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy. He holds a B.A. in social science and a master's degree in urban and regional planning. 

  • Terence C. "Terry" Coonan

    Terence C. "Terry" Coonan will teach Human Trafficking this semester. He is the executive director of the Florida State University Center for the Advancement of Human Rights as well as an associate professor of criminology at Florida State University. He leads the multidisciplinary center's efforts to educate and train a new generation of human rights advocates, track human rights issues and serve as an advocate for human rights nationally and internationally. Coonan has served as the managing editor of the Human Rights Quarterly. He also has worked at the Department of Justice in the Executive Office of Immigration Review, litigated asylum and immigration cases nationwide, and has worked on various United Nations human rights projects.

  • Jeffrey P. Dambly

    Jeffrey P. Dambly will teach Law Enforcement & Privacy this semester. Dambly is a senior attorney for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and previously served as a criminal prosecutor. He has participated in the Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, coached competition teams, and judged in regional and international rounds for the competition. Dambly received his J.D. from the University of Florida, and his LL.M. in National Security and U.S. Foreign Relations Law from the George Washington University. He previously taught international law at the University of Central Florida.

  • Rachel Davidson

    Rachel Davidson, a 2012 graduate of the FSU College of Law, will teach Doing Deals: Due Diligence this semester. Davidson was the president of Jonathan Bernstein Consulting Corp. from May 2012 – January 2016. She negotiated and structured the acquisition, sale, financing, construction, leasing and joint-ventures for a portfolio of commercial real estate located in Brooklyn, NY, and Miami, and valued at over $1.5 billion. She managed in-house legal and administrative staff, as well as outside litigation and brokerage teams.

  • Peter M. Dunbar

    Peter M. Dunbar will teach Condominium & Community Housing Law. He has published five books in this field and has practiced administrative and land use law for many years. He is a member of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers and is currently serving his second term on the Florida Condominium Advisory Council. He also has served as a member of the Florida House representing Pinellas and Pasco counties, as a member of the Florida Commission on Ethics, and as general counsel and director of legislative affairs under Governor Bob Martinez.

  • Charles Ehrhardt

    Charles Ehrhardt will teach Evidence this semester. He is the author of Florida Evidence (West 2014), the leading treatise on the topic, and Florida Trial Objections (West 5th ed. 2012). Ehrhardt has been cited as an authority by appellate courts more than 500 times. He taught Torts, Evidence, Trial Practice and Trial Evidence Seminar, and was named Outstanding Professor seven times. After serving as the Ladd Professor of Evidence for 35 years, he earned emeritus status in 2007.

  • Mark Ellis

    Mark Ellis will co-teach International Human Rights: Special Topics with Professor D’Alemberte this semester. A 1984 graduate of the Florida State University College of Law, he served as executive director of the American Bar Association Central European and Eurasian Law Initiative (CEELI) before becoming executive director of the International Bar Association in 2000.

  • Tor J. Friedman

    Tor J. Friedman is serving as the co-director of the FSU Trial Team and has served as a coach of the Trial Team since 2007. He is the managing partner of Friedman & Abrahamsen Law Firm in Tallahassee, which specializes in DUI & criminal defense, personal injury and wrongful death litigation, and employment discrimination sexual harassment cases. He is a former felony prosecutor at the Leon County State Attorney’s Office and has handled over 100 trials. He has been named to Florida Trend's Legal Elite in the categories of Criminal Defense and Government Attorneys from his time at the State Attorney’s Office. He has been quoted in the New York Times and Washington Post for his legal experience.

    You can learn more about Tor J. Friedman at

  • Richard Herring

    Richard Herring will co-teach Florida Legislative Practice: The Budget & Appropriations Process this semester with David Coburn. He has 35 years of experience in Florida government, including 26 years with the Legislature. Over the last 20 years, he has been directly involved in analyzing many of the state’s major policy initiatives, with a focus on the state's financial issues. From 2007 through 2010, he served as special counsel to Senate President Ken Pruitt and Senate President Jeff Atwater. During that time, he worked on a wide variety of issues including, among others, property and automobile insurance, gaming, property taxation, ethics, response to the gulf oil spill, sovereign immunity, commuter rail, sovereign lands, the state revenue cap, trade secrets and state bonding.

  • Steven Hogan

    Steven Hogan will teach Estate Planning this semester. He is a 2010 graduate of Florida State University College of Law, where he served as the senior articles editor for the Florida State University Law Review. Hogan is now an associate with the firm Ausley McMullen, working in the areas of commercial litigation, and state and federal tax law. In addition to his professional experience, Hogan has also published a wide range of articles on the intricacies of tax law.

  • Laurie D. Jones

    Laurie D. Jones will teach Professional Responsibility this semester. She is a 2000 graduate of the FSU College of Law, graduating first in her class and serving on the editorial board of the Florida State University Law Review. Since graduating, she clerked for Judge Lanier Anderson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and has served many times as an adjunct professor for the law school.

  • Fred Karlinsky

    Fred Karlinsky will teach Law & Risk Management in our annual Spring Break class. Karlinsky is a shareholder at Greenberg Traurig, LLP in their Fort Lauderdale and Tallahassee offices. His practice focuses on the areas of insurance law and administrative law. Karlinsky has been involved in revisions to the Florida automobile insurance law, worker’s compensation laws and medical malpractice laws. He earned his J.D. from Florida State Law in 1992.

  • Patrick Kinni

    Patrick T. Kinni will teach Civil Pre-Trial Practice this semester. He presently serves as general counsel to the Blueprint Inter-government Agency, a special district focusing on both infrastructure improvements and economic development for the Tallahassee community. He  previously served as deputy county attorney for Leon County, where he practiced for over 20 years. He has litigated employment, land use, contract, class action and other matters related to local governmental disputes at both the trial and appellate court levels. Prior to his work for Leon County, Kinni was a municipal prosecutor for the City of Fort Lauderdale from 1990-1996. He received his B.S. in political science from Jacksonville University and a J.D. from the NSU College of Law. He has been an adjunct professor at the FSU College of Law since 2007 and a coach for the FSU Trial Team since 2014.

    For more information, call 850.219.1060 or email

  • The Honorable Terry P. Lewis

    The Honorable Terry P. Lewis, who sits on the Circuit Court for Leon County, will teach Florida Civil Practice this semester. Judge Lewis earned his J.D. with honors from the Florida State University College of Law in 1976. He has been recognized with such awards as Judge of the Year by the Florida Law Related Education Association and Trial Judge of the Year by the Tallahassee Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates. 

    For more information, call 850.577.4400 or e-mail Judge Lewis,

  • Robert A. McNeely

    Robert A. McNeely, a practicing attorney at Messer Caparello, Esq., will reprise his popular Entertainment Law course this semester. McNeely is an alumnus who has worked and published on topics in the areas of entertainment law, family law, legislative practice, intellectual property and appellate practice.

  • R. Scott Palmer

    R. Scott Palmer will teach Antitrust this semester. An employee of the Florida Department of Legal Affairs, Palmer holds board certifications in Antitrust and Trade Regulation Law. From 1997-2007, he headed the Antitrust Practice at Berman DeValerio; from 1988-1997, he served in the Economic Crimes Division of the Attorney General’s Office, where he oversaw its complex litigation; and from 1982-1986, he was the chief prosecutor of the Statewide Grand Jury, responsible for the prosecution of multi-circuit organized crime cases. Palmer earned his J.D. with honors from the University of Miami and his B.A. from the University of Michigan. 

    For more information, contact Palmer at

  • Robert A. Pierce

    Robert A. Pierce, a shareholder of Ausley & McMullen law firm in Tallahassee, will co-teach Estate Planning with Steven Hogan this semester. He has previously taught several tax related courses at the law school. He is a 1973 graduate of FSU Law and a 1976 graduate of the graduate tax program at the University of Florida. He has previously served as general counsel of the Florida Department of Revenue. Pierce has a broad based practice that includes estate planning, wills and trusts, state and federal tax planning, business planning and transactions, and mergers and acquisitions.

  • The Honorable Ricky Polston

    The Honorable Ricky Polston, of the Florida Supreme Court, will teach Insurance Law  this semester. Justice Polston, an alumnus of Florida State Law, is a certified public accountant and was previously a certified circuit court mediator and judge on the First District Court of Appeal. Prior to becoming a judge, he practiced public accounting for seven years as an audit manager with Deloitte Haskins & Sells, C.P.A.s, and law for 14 years (commercial litigation in federal and state courts throughout Florida). 

    For more information, e-mail Justice Polston at

  • The Honorable Stephanie Ray

    The Honorable Stephanie Ray, of the Florida First District Court of Appeal, will be teaching Judicial Externship Perspectives Seminar this semester. Judge Ray earned her J.D., with honors, from Florida State University College of Law in 1995. She served as an editor for the Florida State University Law Review, the Journal of Land Use & Environmental Law and the Journal of Transactional Law & Policy. Before her judicial appointment in 2011, Judge Ray worked in private practice, and was appointed to various deanships at Florida State University College of Law. She has also been presented numerous honors and awards, including The Florida Bar Standing Committee on Professionalism Service Award, and her selection as a member of the inaugural group of Outstanding Women in the Law by the Florida Association of Women Lawyers.

  • Captain Alan S. Richard

    Captain Alan S. Richard is teaching Admiralty Law this semester, a topic on which he has published extensively and taught previously at the law school. He is a captain with the Division of Law Enforcement for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. Richard earned his J.D. from Florida State Law in 1994, with highest honors. As a student, he was a member of the Florida State University Law Review and the Journal of Land Use & Environmental Law, and graduated as a member of the Order of the Coif.

  • Mark R. Schlakman

    Mark R. Schlakman serves as senior program director for the Florida State University Center for the Advancement of Human Rights (CAHR) and will be teaching Immigration Law this semester. He received his J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center. He has held several senior positions in state and federal government, including serving as a senior advisor to a number of Florida governors. While living in Washington, D.C., he held the position of foreign affairs officer for the U.S. Department of State, where he was awarded the Superior Honor Award. In addition to his work with CAHR, Schlakman is the longest serving board chair of The Innocence Project of Florida.

  • Kyle Sill

    Kyle Sill, a graduate of Florida Coastal School of Law, is teaching International Sales and Arbitration this semester. He previously served as a law clerk for the Honorable Scott Makar, and as senior law clerk for the Honorable Nikki Clark, and currently fills the position of senior law clerk for the Honorable Susan Kelsey. Additionally, Sill has taught as an adjunct professor at Florida Coastal School of Law, Florida State College at Jacksonville, and Universitè d’Auvergne, Facultè de Droit (located in Clermont-Ferrand, France).

  • Richard Tanner

    Richard Tanner will teach Trial Practice this semester. Tanner is the managing partner of the Tallahassee branch of deBeaubien, Knight, Simmons, Mantzaris & Neal. He has successfully litigated numerous criminal and civil trials and has served as an arbitrator and mediator. Tanner also has served as the moderator of CLE programs run by The Florida Bar and has given several CLE lectures on trial practice topics. He earned his J.D. from the University of Illinois College of Law in 1969.

    For more information, please email

  • Herbert Thiele

    Herbert Thiele will teach Local Government Law. He has served as Leon County attorney since 1990 and was city attorney of Delray Beach from 1981-1990. He earned his B.A. from Notre Dame in 1975 and a J.D. from the University of Florida in 1978.

    For more information, e-mail Mr. Thiele at

  • Stephen Turner

    Stephen Turner will teach Current Legal Topics Colloquium this semester. He is a partner at Broad and Cassel and is an ex-officio member of the firm’s Management Committee. He is former chairman of the Appellate Practice Group and senior member of the Constitutional Law and Governmental Litigation team. Turner concentrates in specialty litigation and appellate practice, and in administrative and governmental law, and has served as trial and/or appellate counsel in a broad range of cases. 

  • Melissa VanSickle

    Melissa VanSickle, a 2002 graduate of FSU College of Law who handles all areas of commercial and residential real estate matters, will be teaching Florida Real Estate Practice: Beyond the Fundamentals this semester. VanSickle is a shareholder with Clark, Partington, Hart, in their Tallahassee office, which she opened for the firm in 2011. She is a fellow with the Real Estate, Probate and Trust Law Section of The Florida Bar and is active in several local voluntary bar and non-profit organizations.

    For more information, e-mail

  • Matus Varga

    Matus Varga will be teaching Immigration Enforcement & Procedures this semester. Varga is the founder and managing member of the Varga's Immigration Attorneys PLLC. Because of the complexity of immigration law, Varga focuses his practice only on U.S. immigration law and related aspects of international law. He is admitted to The New York Bar and is licensed to represent his clients in immigration matters in all 50 states of the U.S. He received his first law degree in Slovakia at the age of only 22. He subsequently studied law at the University of Cambridge, UK, and Florida State University. He spent several years working in different immigration law firms in Central Florida, practicing different aspects of immigration law.

  • John F. Yetter

    John F. Yetter will teach Sports Law this semester. He is a frequent lecturer for The Florida Bar and judicial education programs, and is the editor of Florida Civil Trial Guide (Matthew Bender & Co. 1990). He teaches Criminal Law and Procedure, Evidence, Florida Criminal Procedure, and Sports and the Law. Distinguished in his service to The Florida Bar, Yetter has been awarded the 1998 Selig I. Goldin Award, the highest honor given by The Florida Bar Criminal Law Section, and has also chaired the Executive Council, Criminal Law Section of The Florida Bar and of the Florida Criminal Procedure Rules Committee, and The Florida Bar Commission on the Practical Aspects of Death Penalty Appeals.