History of the Firm
In 1999, Jeanne T. Tate started her own law firm after many successful and distinguished years at Shackleford, Farrior, Stallings & Evans, P.A., where she became one of the firm's first female partners in the firm's 90-year history, and Hill Ward Henderson, P.A., where she was the firm's first female partner.
Jeanne’s goal was to create a law firm dedicated solely to the practice of adoption law, so she could continue the work she had done in the field since the early 1980s. From the beginning, the firm and its clients have been supported by a group of paralegals and legal assistants with an exceptional level of competency and professionalism.
The firm has long been devoted to pro bono service. The firm handles most of the indigent adoption related cases from Bay Area Volunteer Legal Services (“BAVLP”). Members of the law firm serve as mentors to BAVLP’s pro bono attorneys and to Bay Area Legal Services’ attorneys and staff.
Below are some additional highlights of the firm's milestones and achievements:
2018: Jeanne T. Tate was named Lawyer of the Year in Family Law by Best Lawyers in Florida, Tampa Edition 2019 and was recognized as a Tampa Bay Lightning Community Hero.
2017: Jeanne Tate recognizes by Florida Super Lawyers as one of the top 100 lawyers in the state of Florida.
2016: Jeanne Tate reappointed by Governor Rick Scott to the Florida Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission.
2016: The Florida Bar recognizes Rob Webster as Board Certified in Adoption Law.
2016: Attorney Erica T. Healey joins the firm.
2013: Jeanne Tate receives The Tobias Simon Pro Bono Award, the highest pro bono award bestowed by the Florida Supreme Court.
2013: The Florida Bar recognizes Steven Hurwitz as Board Certified in Adoption Law.
2012: The Florida Bar recognizes Nicole Ward Moore as Board Certified in Adoption Law.
2012: Governor Rick Scott appoints Jeanne Tate to the Florida Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission.
2011: The Florida Bar recognizes Jeanne Tate, Danelle Barksdale and Martha Curtis as Board Certified in Adoption Law.
2010: The Hillsborough County Bar Association (HCBA) awards its Jimmy Kynes Pro Bono Service Award to Ms. Tate.
2009: Martha Curtis receives the H.A.V.E. a Heart’s Award for Outstanding Pro Bono Service for the Kinship Care Project, a project devoted to providing legal assistance to non-parental caregivers in connection with their rights and responsibilities as caregivers, including adoption, parental consent, guardianship, and power of attorney.
2008: Jeanne Tate presents the case, J.C.J. vs. Heart of Adoptions, Inc. to the Second District Court of Appeals.
2008: Danelle Barksdale receives the Florida Bar President’s Pro Bono Service for the 13th Judicial Circuit.
2008: Non-profit Heart of Adoptions Alliance, Inc. is born and focuses its work on international and foster care adoptions.
2008: Attorney Robert L. Webster III joins the firm.
2007: Jeanne Tate presents the landmark case, Heart of Adoptions, Inc. vs. J.A. to the Florida Supreme Court.
2007: The HCBA awards its prestigious Jimmy Kynes Pro Bono Service Award to Danelle Barksdale.
2006: The law firm receives the Hillsborough County Bar Association's "H.A.V.E. a Heart" Award for Outstanding Pro Bono Service by a Law Firm.
2005: Attorney Nicole Ward Moore joins the firm and begins operating the office Orlando office.
2003: Attorney Steven Hurwitz joins the firm.
2002: Jeanne T. Tate, P.A. expands to Naples.
2001: Danelle Barksdale receives the Hillsborough County Bar Association’s (HCBA) and H.A.V.E. a Heart’s Award for Outstanding Pro Bono Service for Intake Clinic.
2001: Heart of Adoptions, Inc., is launched. Heart of Adoptions, Inc. is a fully-licensed child placing agency, and the two entities have worked closely together ever since.
2001: Attorney Martha A. Curtis joins the firm.
2000: Attorney Danelle D. Barksdale joins the firm.
1999: Jeanne T. Tate starts her own law firm after many successful and distinguished years at the law firm Shackleford, Farrior, Stallings & Evans, P.A., where she became one of the firm's first female partners in the firm's 90-year history, and Hill Ward Henderson, where she was the firm's first female partner.
Since its inception, Jeanne T. Tate, P.A. and its staff have garnered several awards, including the Tampa Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year Award and the Hillsborough County Bar Association’s Pro Bono Firm of the Year Award. Moreover, the firm's attorneys have appeared on local and national television to discuss issues related to adoption and have advocated for adoption before the Florida Legislature and Florida Supreme Court. All of the firm's eligible attorneys are board certified in adoption law.
After many years of dedicated, distinguished practice, the law firm’s goal remains the same:
to provide clients an unparalleled level of dedication, commitment, and personal service.
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