Clifford B. Shepard obtained his undergraduate degree in journalism (News Writing and Editing) and graduated law school from the University of Florida, where he was a member of the Trial Competition Team, Managing Editor of The Verdict student newspaper, and a member of the law school’s student government. He moved to Orlando in 1985 and began law practice.
Cliff’s practice developed in the areas of local government law, complex commercial litigation, real estate development, insurance defense and construction law, as well as homeowner and condominium association representation, an area he developed after serving as association president to a 2400 home development in Seminole County. In 1995, Cliff attained the AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell, and is listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers®. Cliff practices and mediates extensively in the areas of government law, employment, defense, real estate, construction law, complex commercial litigation and community association law. He is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in City, County and Local Government Law.
In 1998 Cliff became “Special Counsel” to the City of Maitland, Florida in litigation and real estate matters and in 2002, was selected as City Attorney upon the retirement of the City’s former counsel. He also serves as City Attorney for Apopka, Town Attorney for the Town of Ponce Inlet and General Counsel for the Florida Redevelopment Association and multiple CRAs around the state. Additionally, Cliff is a certified Circuit Court and Appellate mediator and an approved agent for Attorneys’ Title Fund.
Cliff has been honored by Florida Trend Magazine as one of Florida’s Legal Elite (2005-2009, 2011-2013, 2016) in the areas of Governmental and Administrative Law and Commercial Litigation. Each year the magazine names a new group of top lawyers who have earned the confidence of those who know their work the best. Attorneys and judges throughout Florida were asked to name lawyers whom they hold in the highest regard – lawyers they have worked with or would recommend to others. The Legal Elite represent the top 2% of the 73,632 Florida Bar members who practice in the state. Cliff was also named a “Florida Super Lawyers”® (2005-2016) by Law & Politics Magazine. “Florida Super Lawyers”® is a consumer’s guide to the best attorneys in the state.
Cliff is a member in good standing of the Florida (1985), Tennessee (2006) and District of Columbia (1988) Bar Associations, is a current member of the City, County and Local Government Law Section of the Florida Bar and the Florida Municipal Attorneys’ Association. While he has served as an active member of a number of professional organizations, of particular note is his service as:
Past President of the Mid-Florida Chapter of the Community Associations Institute, a national clearinghouse for information on community associations issues;
Past-chair and current member of the editorial board of the Florida Bar Journal and News, the two major professional publications for The Florida Bar;
Past member of the Florida Bar Judicial Selection, Administration and Tenure Committee.
Cliff is a frequent speaker at continuing education seminars and has been a presenter on issues involving special districts, local government law, CRAs, construction, defense, real estate, and association law and has written a number of articles within these areas.
Community service has also been a staple of Cliff’s personal and professional life. Cliff has served on the Board of Directors for The Christ School, a private K-8 school located in downtown Orlando. He has served as a member of the Land Planning Agency for the City of Oviedo and as a member of the Board of Directors of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Central Florida. He has also served as the Chairman of the Board for Kids Beating Cancer, Inc., a multiple award-winning local charity that assists families touched by childhood cancer through the recruitment, DNA testing and matching of potential bone marrow donors to patients whose best hope for a cure is a bone marrow transplant. Cliff also serves as a court appointed guardian-ad-litem to children who have been abused, abandoned or neglected by their parents.
He is married to wife Mary, and has three children – Tyler, Morgan and Spencer.
Drew Smith obtained his undergraduate degree with High Honors from Mercer University in Macon, Georgia in 1999. He received his Juris Doctor degree in 2002 from Washington and Lee University School of Law in Lexington, Virginia where he was a case review author for the Law School’s Environmental Law Digest.
Shortly after graduating law school, Drew moved to central Florida and began his practice in the areas of local government law, commercial litigation, insurance defense, construction litigation and community association law. Drew achieved Board Certification with the Florida Bar in City, County and Local Government Law in 2008 and has retained that distinction ever since. In 2012, Drew attained the AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell, and is listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers®.
Drew serves as the City Attorney for the City of Flagler Beach in Flagler County, Florida and as City Attorney for the City of Edgewood in Orange County, Florida. In addition, Drew serves as Assistant City Attorney for four other central Florida municipalities, provides representation the firm’s other governmental and private clients and represents several Homeowners Associations and Condominium Associations throughout the central Florida area.
Drew has been selected to the annual Law & Politics Magazine’s Super Lawyers Rising Stars List since 2012. “Florida Super Lawyers”® is a consumer’s guide to the best attorneys in the state and only approximately 2.5% of Florida’s lawyers are named to the Rising Stars List. In 2013, Drew was also named as one of Orlando’s “Top Attorneys” by Orlando Home and Leisure Magazine.
Drew is a member in good standing with the Florida Bar and Orange County Bar Association and is a current member of the City, County and Local Government Law Section of the Florida Bar.
Drew has been a frequent speaker at continuing education seminars and panels and has presented on issues involving local government law, special districts, Florida’s sunshine law and public records law.
Drew is actively involved with the “That Others May Live Foundation.” The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) that provides scholarships, aid and support to family members of Air Force Rescue personnel that have lost their lives or suffered life-altering injuries during their military service. He is also actively involved in his community and serves on the Board of Directors for his Homeowners Association.
He and his wife Kathryn make their home in Winter Springs, Florida.
Patrick Brackins received his undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Florida and, in 2006, his Juris Doctor degree from St. Thomas University School of Law. Patrick moved to Orlando in 2006, where he began his career as a staff attorney for Florida’s Ninth Judicial Circuit Court. Prior to joining Shepard, Smith & Cassady, P.A., from 2008 to 2016, Patrick served as the career law clerk for a United States Magistrate Judge in the Orlando Division of the Middle District of Florida, which statistically is the second busiest district court in the United States.
Patrick’s federal litigation experience and his understanding of state court practice allow him to focus on all aspects of local government law, commercial litigation, social security disability appeals, wage and hour litigation, insurance defense, and business transactions. In addition to serving local governments and business organizations, Patrick is committed to meeting the needs of individuals, families, and small employers. Patrick is also an active participant in the Orlando community, serving on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the Christian Service Center of Central Florida since 2014. He is a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Orlando, the Florida Bar (2006), and the Orange County Bar Association. Patrick is a native Floridian and resides in Orlando with his wife, Alison Chastain Brackins, and their two children – Russell and Reese.
Andrew J. Hand focuses his practice on all aspects of local government, land use, business and real estate law. He is a Board Certified Specialist by the Florida Bar in City, County and Local Government Law and presently serves as City Attorney for the City of Dunnellon and City of Mascotte. He also serves as Assistant Counsel for the City of Satellite Beach CRA as well as the Florida Redevelopment Association and is a special magistrate for the City of Ocoee.
In addition to representing municipal clients, Andrew provides legal services to a variety of business organizations and individuals. He has represented both large and small scale developers, including a military contractor to whom he provided legal assistance during the development of a one-hundred-fifty million dollar project. A leader in Florida’s “green” movement, Andrew is skilled in assisting local government and private sector clients who require the assistance of an attorney knowledgeable of legal issues that arise during the course of green and sustainable development projects.
Andrew is also an active participant in legal academia and has served on the University of Florida, Levin College of Law Faculty as an Adjunct Professor of Florida Land Use Law. Currently, he actively assists and provides lectures to the law college’s Conservation Clinic.
Andrew received his law degree (with honors) and an LL.M. in Environmental and Land Use Law from the University of Florida Levin College of Law where he was a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and Phi Delta Phi service fraternity. Andrew has also earned a Masters of Science Degree in Real Estate as well as a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration (with honors) from the University of Florida. While a student, Andrew was a member of Golden Key National Honor Society, the Classics Honor Society, and Society of National Collegiate Scholars.
“Senate Bill 360 Essentials for Real Estate Professionals,” University of Florida Friends and Alumni of Real Estate Quarterly Newsletter, (Fall 2009)
“Funding Available to Central Florida Local Governments under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009,” SS&C, (March 2009)
“Amendment One Need Not Have a Chilling Effect on Local-Government “Green” Building Efforts in Florida,” Quality Cities Magazine, (March/April 2008)
“Local Government Authority to Remove Abandoned and Derelict Vessels,” Waterways and Waterfronts, (January 2007)