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Fifth Judicial Circuit, Marion County, FL
Ocala, FL

2016 Visionary Award Winner

GENERAL MAGISTRATE SUSAN ROUX KEITH is a General Magistrate with the Fifth Judicial Circuit, in and for Marion County, Florida. She was previously a Child Support Hearing Officer and Staff Attorney for the Fifth Judicial Circuit. Magistrate Keith obtained her Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree from Florida State University, and her Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Florida, College of Law.  For the past twenty-three years, she has served the citizens of the Fifth Judicial Circuit and the State of Florida. For over seventeen years, she has presided over cases as a General Magistrate and Hearing Officer. She is a very active member of The Florida Bar, Family Law Section’s General Magistrate and Hearing Officer, Nomenclature and Support Committee.  Magistrate Keith is a past Chair of the Section’s Rules and Forms Committee.  She has been a faculty member of the Florida Judicial College since 2012 and was appointed to the Florida Supreme Court Family Law Forms Advisory Workgroup since 2007, having also served as Chair of that Committee.   She is a member of her local Marion County Bench and Bar Committee and has been active in the Families and Children in the Courts Steering Committee: 2009-2014; the Florida Supreme Court Self Help Work Group; the Florida Supreme Court TIMS Project and the Fifth Judicial Circuit Professionalism Committee.  In addition, Magistrate Keith is a past member of the D.R. Smith American Inn of Court; the Florida Association of  Women Lawyers Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, including the Florida Chapter.  She has lectured extensively throughout the State on behalf of The Florida Bar, Family Law Section, and various other local Bar Associations.

15th Judicial Circuit
Delray Beach, FL

2015 Visionary Award Winner

GENERAL MAGISTRATE DIANE M. KIRIGIN is a General Magistrate with the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit, in and for Palm Beach County, Florida. She is currently the Chief General Magistrate of the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit and serves at the South County Judicial Complex in Delray Beach, Florida, presiding primarily over Family Division cases. She also handles Baker (mental health) and Marchman Act (substance abuse) proceedings; as well as guardianship enforcement matters.  General Magistrate Kirigin has a B.A. in History from Florida Atlantic University; and  a J.D. from Nova University. General Magistrate Kirigin has been board certified in Marital and Family Law since June 1st, 1995. She was in private practice with the Law Offices of Bosso, Bosso &  Pardo, P.A. for over 10 years prior to becoming a General Magistrate in 1995. General Magistrate Kirigin became a member of the Faculty of the Florida College of Advanced Judicial Studies (General Magistrate track) in 1998. She is a very active member of The Florida Bar, Family Law Section and is a past Chair of the Section’s Ad Hoc Adoption Committee where she co-authored the Putative Father Registry; has been a member of The Florida Bar, Marital and Family Law Certification Committee {which is responsible for reviewing and testing all initial applicants seeking the designation of Board Certification in that practice area; and also for reviewing all recertification applications} since from 2002 – 2008, serving as Vice Chair from 2003 – 2006,  as Chair in 2007; is a member of the Executive Council of The Florida Bar, Family Law Section since 2003, and is currently a member of the Section’s Executive Committee, serving as Chair. She served as Chair of the Section’s Legislation Committee back-to-back during bar cycles 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 and helped draft the Putative Father Registry as well as revisions to Florida’s relocation statute. In 2008 the National Association of Social Workers, Palm Beach Unit honored General Magistrate Kirigin as “Public Citizen of the Year” for her work with those individuals involved in the court system through Marchman Act and Mental Health Court; in 2007 General Magistrate Kirigin was honored  by the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers with its Gavin Letts Award as “Jurist of the Year”; and is the 2006 recipient of the South Palm Beach County Bar Association’s “Lifetime Achievement Award.” General Magistrate Kirigin delivered a marital and family law legislative updates at the 2007, 2008 and 2010 Florida Circuit Judges Conference. She has lectured extensively throughout the State on behalf of The Florida Bar, Family Law Section, various other local Bar Associations and conducted numerous in-house trainings and seminars at the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit on marital and family, guardianship and mental health law.

Sasser, Cestero & Sasser, P.A.
West Palm Beach, FL

2014 Visionary Award Winner

THOMAS J. SASSER is currently a partner at Sasser, Cestero & Sasser, PA in West Palm Beach, FL. He received his undergraduate degree from The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA in 1992 and his law degree with honors from the University of Florida, College of Law in Gainesville, FL in 1995. Mr. Sasser was admitted to The Florida Bar and the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in 1995. He became Board Certified as a Marital and Family Law Specialist in 2002. Since then, he has received designations from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.

Mr. Sasser has been actively involved in The Florida Bar through his involvement in the Family Law Section as Chair (2006-2007), Executive Council member for a number of committees including Support Issues, Commentator, Continuing Legal Education, Chair of the Board Certified Review Course, Legislation and FAMSEG. He has also served on the Associates Institute Committee for the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and the U.S. Chapter Executive Council for the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. On the local level, Mr. Sasser has served on the Family Law Practice Committee for the Palm Beach County Bar Association.

During the course of his career, Mr. Sasser has received many awards including the Florida Bar Family Law Section Chair’s Outstanding Service Award five times from 1999 – 2005, Florida Trend’s Florida Legal Elite four times from 2004-2007 and Florida Super Lawyers two times from 2006-2007.

Mr. Sasser has lectured extensively throughout the State on behalf of The Florida Bar Family Law Section, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and the Palm Beach County Bar Association. He has also authored many articles for the Family Law Section Commentator and FAMSEG publications, as well as The Florida Bar Journal.

Fogel Rubin & Fogel
Miami, FL

2013 Visionary Award Winner

SCOTT L. RUBIN practices marital and family law, family mediation and a small amount of commercial litigation with the AV rated law firm of Fogel Rubin & Fogel throughout South Florida and, occasionally, other parts of the state. Mr. Rubin has been a principal of that firm, which has represented community leaders in hundreds of complex matrimonial matters, for nearly twenty-five years.

Mr. Rubin has been certified by The Florida Bar as a Specialist in Marital and Family Law since 1992 and currently serves on the Board of Legal Specialization and Education. He is a past member and Chair of the Florida Bar’s Marital and Family Law Certification Committee and was its Examination Consultant for three years. He also has served The Florida Bar as a member of the Family Law Rules Committee, The Florida Bar’s Special Committee to Study Paralegal Regulation, the Family Law Section’s Executive Council (for over 15 years), its Legislation Committee and as Chair of the Family Law Section’s Rules and Forms Committee.

He currently serves on several committees for the Family Law Section. He is a Past Chair of the Family Law Section (2008 – 2009) and Past Chair of The Florida Bar’s Florida Registered Paralegal Program Committee. He has received recognition and numerous awards for his outstanding service to The Florida Bar and the Family Law Section.

Mr. Rubin has been published and lectured frequently in the area of marital and family law and has been interviewed by CNBC, The Miami Herald, the Daily Business Review and other members of the press. He presented and served as a Workshop Leader at the Family Law Section’s 2007 and 2011 Trial Advocacy Program. He is active in several local and national legal organizations. He has been selected as one of Florida’s “Super Lawyers” for 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. Mr. Rubin was a Founding Member of the First Family Law American Inn of Court and a Founder of Kid’Side, Inc., a not for profit organization established to maintain and expand services focused on helping children whose parents are engaged in litigation in the family, domestic violence and unified family court divisions of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court. He has also managed judicial campaigns.

Fort Lauderdale, FL

2012 Visionary Award Winner

BARBARA M. BEILLY is a General Magistrate in the family division of the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, Broward County, Florida.  Prior to her accepting this position, she had a private family law practice and mediation practice. She graduated from NSU Law School in 1980. Barbara is a past President of the Florida Association of General Magistrates and Child Support Hearing Officers. She is also a past President of the Association of South Florida Mediators and Arbitrators, a past President of the Broward County Women Lawyers Association, past chair of the Family Law Section of the Broward County Bar Association, past chair and present co-chair of the General Magistrate Committee of the Family Law Section of the Florida Bar, and past chair of the Support Issues Committee of the Family Law Section of the Florida Bar. Barbara  is a frequent lecturer and author in the area of Florida Family Law and Mediation.

2011 Visionary Award Winner

DEBORAH O. DAY received her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Florida Institute of Technology and is a Licensed Psychologist, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, and

Certified Family Mediator. Dr. Day is in private practice with Psychological Affiliates, Inc., of Winter Park, Florida. Her practice specialties include forensic psychology including divorce/parenting plan evaluations, collaborative law practice, Factitious Disorders (Munchausen By Proxy), child abuse, and criminal matters. She has testified regarding numerous psychological issues and presents professional workshops and seminars throughout the country.

Dr. Day is the co-editor of the book, Munchausen By Proxy Syndrome: Misunderstood Child Abuse. Her most recent publications, Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome and Child Custody Evaluations are Essential appear in the Journal of Forensic Psychology Practice. She completed a three-year appointment to the Judicial Nominating Commission for the Florida Supreme Court and seven-year appointment with the Mediation Ethics Advisory Commission. She is active in the Florida Bar’s Family Law Section, previously Vice-Chair of the Domestic Violence Committee and Co-chair of the Litigation Support Committee. Currently, she is Special Advisor to the Section Chair on Children’s Issues, Domestic Violence, and Legislation. Dr. Day is a member of the American Psychological Association, Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, the Florida Psychological Association, and an affiliate member of The Florida Bar. Dr. Day is the past President of the Florida Psychological Association, Central Florida Chapter and current Ethics Chair. She is a founding board member of the Central Florida Collaborative Law Group. She completed two terms as a founding board member of the Florida Association of Family and Conciliation Court (FLAFCC).

In 2010, Dr. Day received the Family Law Section “Making a Difference” award, recognizing her commitment to volunteerism during her career. Dr. Day has extensive television and news experience. She has provided commentary for Court TV, American Health Network, CNN, and all the major network news broadcasts.

2010 Visionary Award Winner

JUDGE AMY KARAN was the Administrative Judge of the dedicated Domestic Violence Court in Miami, Florida from 1997 until March 2009.  The Court hears civil injunctions for protection and criminal misdemeanors involving domestic violence. Judge Karan taught legal and judicial education at the National Judicial College, the County and Circuit Court Conferences of Florida, the Advanced Judicial College of Florida and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. Judge Karan was also an Adjunct Professor of Law at St. Thomas University where she taught Evidence, Family Law and Florida Practice, and was Co-Coach of the Mock Trial Team.

Judge Karan chaired the Miami Dade County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council from 1997 until March 2009, The Florida Bar Family Law Section Domestic Violence Sub-Committee from 1998 until March 2009, The Florida Bar Code and Rules of Evidence Committee from 2007 until 2009, Family Law Section Executive Committee from 2004 to 2008, and the Advisory Panel of the Miami-Dade County Fatality Review Team from inception until 2009.

Between 1997 and 2008 Judge Karan was recognized with the And Justice for All Award; the In the Company of Women Award; the Governor’s Peace at Home Award: the Stopping Domestic Violence and the Unsung Heroes of Domestic Violence Award and the Chairs Award of Merit, Family Law Section of the Florida Bar, Family Law Section Chairs Award, Chair’s Visionary Award.  In October 2010 she will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from The National Judicial College.  Judge Karan has been featured on television both in the United Sates and in Europe.

Judge Karan is the author/co-author of several articles on Family Violence and Evidence including: “Domestic Violence Courts: What Are They and How Should We Manage Them?”, Karan, Keilitz and Denaro, Juvenile and Family Court Journal, Spring 1999; Florida’s Four Orders of Protection: Distinguishing the Difference, Judge Amy Karan and Lauren Lazarus, Fla. Bar J., December 2003 and reprinted December 2008, Office of State Court Administrator Newsletter;  “A Lawyer’s Guide to Assessing Dangerousness for Domestic Violence,” Judge Amy Karan and Lauren Lazarus, Fla. Bar J.,  March 2004.  Judge Amy Karan is considered one of the preeminent authorities on the issue of Firearms and Domestic Violence and has co-authored “Domestic Violence and Firearms: A Deadly Combination The Juxtaposition of Federal and Florida Laws”, Judge Amy Karan and Helen Stampalia, Fla. Bar J., October 2005.

Judge Amy Karan resigned from the bench on January 31, 2010 due to illness and has since passed away.

Past Visionary Award Winners

Year Recipient Location Presenter
2009 Cynthia Greene Miami, Florida Chair Scott Rubin
2008 Debby Beck Tallahassee, Florida Chair Allyson Hughes
2007 Amy Hickman Boynton Beach, Florida Chair Thomas Sasser
2006 Senator Walter G. “Skip” Campbell Fort Lauderdale, Florida Chair Jorge Cestero
2005 Honorable Raymond T. McNeal Ocala, Florida Chair Evan Marks
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