DANIEL J. McDERMOTT, ESQ.
Dan was appointed Executive Director by the Florida Lawyers Assistance, Inc Board of Directors, effective June 15, 2020.
A native of Dubuque, Iowa, Dan graduated from Yale University in 1976 and The University of Iowa College of Law in 1979. Following a two-year clerkship with the Chief Judge of the US District Court for the Northern District of Iowa, Dan practiced law in Cedar Rapids, Iowa for 5 years before moving to Washington, DC. There Dan began what is now a more than three decades-long stint as a lawyer in recovery. In Washington, he engaged in a government relations career where he headed up the US Government Relations departments of a number of companies in the financial services and technology sectors before moving full-time to South Florida in 2017.
Beyond his professional pursuits Dan enjoys music, both listening and
performing, and plays drums and sings in rock ‘n’ roll bands. Dan also enjoys books and movies, and has been involved in two film projects. Dan and his wife have three adult children, all of whom live in the New York City area.
At FLA, Dan is responsible for overseeing its day-to-day operations. At the foundation of his work is assuring that members of Florida’s legal community with whom we work receive compassionate interaction and appropriate counseling.
CAROL PARKS, MBA, MS, CMHP, CRRA, TTS
Born and raised in rural Pennsylvania, Carol was educated at The Pennsylvania State University, where she received her B.A. in Psychology. Shortly thereafter, Carol moved to South Florida where she began her career in the treatment of psychiatric patients while in graduate school. She became a Florida Certified Mental Health Professional, received a Master of Science in Counseling from Nova University, and a Master of Business Administration, With Honors, from St. Leo University. Born of a passion for recovery and recovery-related endeavors, Carol has worked tirelessly to educate and treat those suffering from addiction and mental health issues. From behavioral health technician to Chief Executive Officer of 100-bed dual-diagnosis facilities, Carol has the advantage of understanding all aspects of treatment from evaluation to aftercare and from discovery to recovery. As a therapist, she has been described as kind and compassionate; as a leader she has been described as knowledgeable and loyal.
These are the qualities Carol brings to FLA. A champion of the struggling professional, Carol is dedicated to assisting all who meet her to utilize their gifts to navigate the complexities of life circumstance and succeed in future endeavors.
In her free time, Carol enjoys bicycling, playing guitar, swimming, working out, and reading. Her two rescue dogs enjoy watching it all. Her bucket list includes writing a book about recovery and traipsing through Italy with friends.
John Lesko joined the FLA team in April, 2019, and brings a unique perspective due to his experience as a former attorney and a credentialed treatment provider specializing in addictions. A graduate of the University of Cincinnati College of Law (1994), John practiced litigation in the areas of workers’ compensation, personal injury, and Social Security law. In 2008, he initiated a new career working with lawyers suffering from substance use and mental health disorders. As a trusted clinician and advocate, John has helped scores of attorneys, in Florida and nationally, to achieve personal recovery and re-establish successful careers.
Finance & Testing Manager
Dawn has been a member of the FLA family for nearly 15 years. Her FLA role is nicknamed “Drugs and Money” since she is the contact for all drug testing and billing issues.
An educator in Massachusetts and then Montreal for 30 years, Dawn feels happiest in a job of service, making FLA a great fit.
Born in Sudbury Mass., Bachelors of Education at Wheelock College in Boston and a citizen of both the US and Canada, Dawn finds joy in spending quality time with her children and grandchildren as well as keeping healthy as an avid cyclist, gardener and kayaker.
Dawn is just a phone call away, always ready to help and happy to chat with clients.
LAUREN MORRIS, LMHC
Lauren Morris, case manager and monitor, has worked in the arenas of mental health and substance use since 1990, and thus brings a depth of professional experience that greatly benefits all FLA participants.
Indeed, Ms. Morris was well-prepared for her current role, since prior to joining the FLA team in 2020, Lauren spent 20 years consulting with FLA as a participants’ monitor and group facilitator. In addition to her extensive experience helping lawyers overcome difficulties and achieve recovery, Lauren has worked with the Intervention Project for Nurses, South Miami Hospital and Fellowship House, and has even assisted early release inmates with societal re-entry and successful transition to living independently.
Finally, Lauren M’s bio would not be complete without noting that she is a grateful member of AA enjoying a period of recovery that is now counted in decades.
Leisure time includes family, friends, pets and wildlife, travel and photography.
Lauren can be reached by email at Lauren@fla-lap.org