12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Chambers Lunch with the Honorable Nicholas P. Mizell
United States Federal Building and Courthouse, Jury Room Courtroom 5D, Fort Myers Florida

Please join us for a Chambers Lunch with the Honorable Nicholas P. Mizell, United States Magistrate Judge. Come get to know Judge Mizell. And join an informal discussion about recent developments at the Federal Courthouse. A free lunch will be provided.

Our Chambers Lunch programs are always popular, and space is limited to the first ten (10) members who respond. So if your schedule permits, be sure to respond immediately. To RSVP, visit our Events Page.

Please note – registration is only open to MEMBERS. If you are not a member and would like to attend, please click here to join.

If you are not on our mailing list, you may request to be added by visiting the contact us page.


3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Kick Off Event
Old Lee County Courthouse Commission Chambers, Fort Myers FL

Mark your calendars for October 3, 2019 beginning at 3pm! 

From 3:00 to 5:00 pm we will host a judicial panel discussing “Effective Advocacy.”  The Panel will include the following:

  • The  Honorable Charles R. Wilson, 11th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • The Honorable Steven Douglas Merryday, Chief Judge of the Middle District of Florida
  • The Honorable Sheri Polster Chappell, U.S. District Judge for the Middle District of Florida
  • The Honorable Mac R. McCoy, U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Middle District of Florida
  • Moderator:  The Honorable Darryl C. Casanueva, Second District Court of Appeal of Florida


Chief Judge Steven Merryday will also discuss the state of the Middle District of Florida, and Judge Sheri Polster Chappell will discuss the state of the Fort Myers Division.  The panel discussion will take place in the old Lee County Courthouse, which is now the Board of County Commissioner chambers.

Following the discussion, we will walk to The Veranda for a cocktail reception from 5 to 7pm.

5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Naples Social at The Capital Grille Mercato
The Capital Grille, Naples Florida

Enjoy appetizers, drinks, and conversation with your local federal judges and fellow Association members at The Capital Grille in the Mercato.

Members and non-members are welcome.  We look forward to seeing you there!

4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

The Art of the Southwest Florida Lawyer CLE - Tips from the Pros
Ave Maria School of Law, Naples FL

This 2-hour seminar will cover the basics of courtroom procedure, professionalism, ethics, and etiquette for soon-to-be lawyers and new lawyers.

During the first hour, local trial lawyers will discuss the basics of courtroom procedure; highlight the ethical rules and local rules governing courtroom procedure and decorum; and provide helpful tips for new lawyers when making court appearances.

The second hour will include a prestigious judicial panel consisting of federal and state court judges, moderated by United States Magistrate Judge Mac R. McCoy.  The Judges will discuss the expectations and requirements governing appearances in their respective courtrooms, as well as do’s and don’ts for courtroom appearances.

The event will be followed by a free reception where law students and new lawyers will have the opportunity to mix and mingle with local practitioners and judges.

2.0 CLE credits are anticipated by the Florida Bar.

3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Ethics CLE: Airing of Grievances
Embassy Suites Estero, Estero FL

Join us for a 2-hour Ethics Seminar at the Embassy Suites in Estero where Henry Paul and Chardean Mavis Hill will focus on the grievance/discipline side of attorney ethics and Ed Cheffy and Traci McKee will focus the second hour on legal malpractice.




12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Opening New Cases in CM/ECF: Attorney and Paralegal Training
United States Courthouse and Federal Building, Fort Myers Florida

Beginning Tuesday, October 9, Middle District of Florida attorneys will be able to open new civil cases and submit proposed summonses electronically through CM/ECF. 

Join us for lunch on December 13, 2018 in the jury assembly room of the Federal Courthouse for training on this new feature.   Attorneys, paralegals, and legal assistants welcome!

For step-by-step instructions, see the Court’s New Civil Case Opening Guide for Attorneys.



3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Twenty Years (and Counting) of Modern Justice
United States Courthouse and Federal Building, Fort Myers Florida

With the support of United States Magistrate Judge Mac R. McCoy, the SWFL Federal Court Bar Association is sponsoring a reception and program in the lobby of the Fort Myers Federal Courthouse.  The event will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the opening of the current federal courthouse in downtown Fort Myers.  We will also recognize the contributions United States District Judge Elizabeth Kovachevich and others made 20 years ago to finalize the courthouse’s construction and to secure a full-time district judge position for the Fort Myers Division.

The event will include a meet-and-greet reception catered with light hors d’oeuvres, refreshments, and beverages.  After a short program and presentation, small groups of pre-registered attendees may attend a guided tour of the courthouse.  Please come and show your support of our federal courthouse!

9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Ross Guberman's Point Made: How to Write Like the Nation's Top Advocates
Holiday Inn Fort Myers Airport at Town Center (Estero), Fort Myers FL

Legal writing is changing, and the status quo is no longer effective advocacy.  And with fewer and fewer cases going to trial, cases are often decided on the written word.  This legal writing workshop featuring Ross Guberman, a well-respected legal writing trainer and consultant, aims to modernize attorneys’ writing and to make them more effective advocates.  Mr. Guberman is the bestselling author of Point Made and Point Taken, and has trained thousands of lawyers, judges, and law clerks nationally and internationally.

Save the date for this workshop because it is a must attend event!

10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Naturalization Ceremony - Summer Associate & Intern Program Series
United States Courthouse and Federal Building – Courtroom 6B, Fort Myers Florida

The Honorable Carol Mirando, United States Magistrate Judge, will be presiding over a Naturalization Ceremony in her courtroom located on the 6th Floor of the United States Courthouse and Federal Building.  Summer associates and interns are welcome to attend to witness an inspiring naturalization ceremony.

No registration is required to attend this event.  Please note that the end time stated is approximate. 


4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Alternative Legal Careers with a J.D. - Summer Associate & Intern Program Series
United States Courthouse and Federal Building – Courtroom 6A, Fort Myers Florida


Did you know federal agencies hire individuals with Juris Doctorate degrees?

Attend this presentation to learn about non-traditional legal careers.  Brian Kobel, Associate Division Counsel for the Tampa Field Office of the FBI and Helena (“Leni”) Kuchta, Staff Attorney with the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida, Fort Myers Division will speak to summer associates and interns about their respective careers spanning both the private and governmental sectors.

Brian has worked with the FBI for over twenty years, serving as a Special Agent investigating health care and insurance fraud and violent crime on Indian Reservations.  Brian then served as Supervisory Special Agent before his promotion to his current position.  Leni’s career began in private practice at K & L Gates.  In the government sector, Leni has served as Staff Attorney with the federal court and worked at the U.S. Embassy in London for the Department of Justice Office of Foreign Litigation where she represented the United States in civil actions in Europe and in Turkey.  Following the presentation, join the group for appetizers at a downtown Ft. Myers restaurant.


Our Purpose

To achieve our mission and vision, the Association:

  • Sponsors quality education programs for members and the public;
  • Keeps members informed of current developments in the law;
  • Addresses issues raised by members and judiciary concerning local federal practice;
  • Provides members opportunities to assume leadership roles and perform community service; and
  • Sponsors events to encourage collegiality, civility, and professionalism among members.