DANIEL J. McDERMOTT, ESQ.

Executive Director

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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.

Joan Bibelhausen, JD, and Robin Wolpert, Esq. 

THE PRESENTATION 1-2PM

TITLE:  Sleep, Neuroscience, Ethics

1.25 CLE Credit

Sleep impairment impacts all aspects of client representation, including competence, focus, diligence, decision-making, effective client communication, and case management. Sleep deprivation predicts lawyer misconduct by increasing anxiety, interrupting working memory, and impairing effective executive thinking. This program provides the latest neuroscience behind sleep, and its impact on mental health, substance use, ethical behavior, and performance. It also provides the latest neuroscience behind trust and how to generate the moral molecule—oxytocin—to enhance ethical behavior, performance, joy, and better self-care practices.

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Joan Bibelhausen, JD, has served as Executive Director of Minnesota’s Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers since 2005. She is an attorney and received her JD from the University of Minnesota Law School. Joan is nationally recognized for her work in the lawyer assistance and diversity and inclusion realms and has significant additional training in counseling, mental health and addiction, diversity, employment issues, and management. 

(for more, visit Staff - Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers (mnlcl.org)

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Robin Wolpert, Esq., is an accomplished business and criminal defense litigator who carries a passion for public service.  Robin has earned recognition as a speaker at previous ABA conferences on lawyer wellness, and she is deeply committed to ethics in law.  She serves on numerous committees supporting lawyers’ success, taught as an adjunct law professor in 2022, and is a past president of the MN Bar Association.  (To see more on Robin’s numerous roles promoting lawyer well-being and ethics, as well as her diverse private practice activities, visit Our Team | Sapientia Law )

Leah Claire Bennett, Ph.D. 

Disarming the Defenses: Delving Beneath the Attorney's Resistance

1.0 CLE Credit

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Content of Presentation

The presenter will explore personal traits and environmental factors that commonly impact attorneys, and will help attendees learn to identify and overcome these often unrecognized impediments to maximized personal happiness and career success.  In this presentation, objectives will include the following:

  • Understand developmental and environmental factors for attorneys that contribute to difficulties in personality

  • Identify and discuss resistance to change and emotional drivers for these patterns

  • Learn what is being protected with each defense mechanism/personality

 

Biography 

Leah Claire Bennett, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist and nationally recognized authority as a clinician with more than 17 years of experience helping attorneys with vocational and relational issues, maladaptive personality problems, addiction, disruptive workplace behavior and sexual issues..  As a regular speaker addressing professionals’ wellness, Dr. Bennett is lauded for her deep understanding of human motivations and her insights to spur positive change in highly-skilled professionals.  Dr. Bennett serves as Clinical Operations Director at Pine Grove Behavioral Health & Addiction Services, where she has been a leader in the Professional Enhancement Program (PEP) since 2005. 

(To learn more about Pine Grove treatment for professionals and the PEP program at https://www.pinegrovetreatment.com/specialized-programs/ ; and to  hear Dr. Bennett discuss Taming Disruptive Behavior, go to https://www.voiceamerica.com/guest/25392/leah-claire-bennett-phd#guest-episodes ).


 

JENNIFER ANGIER, MS
Presenter/VP of Addiction Services, Meadows Behavioral Healthcare

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Jennifer Angier, MS, is celebrated nationally for her compassionate, personal, and inspirational approach to helping individuals who are struggling with behavioral issues and emotional turmoil.  As a recognized expert on addiction treatment techniques, Jennifer regularly speaks at national conferences to paraprofessionals groups, and in employee assistance programs, healthcare, and collegiate programs.  A veteran in the behavioral healthcare field, Jennifer Angier has more than three decades of clinical and operations experience. She is currently the Vice President of Addiction Services for Meadows Behavioral Healthcare, which includes heading up Meadows Case Management, a program she is personally passionate about.

(To hear Jennifer discuss The Deeds of Mercy, visit https://beyondtheorypodcast.com/jennifer-angier-on-the-deeds-of-mercy/ , and to view Jennifer’s CLE (2.0 credits available/$15) at the 2021 FLA Workshop, please select The Movement of Grace at https://www.fla-lap.org/continuing-education )

TITLE:  The Depths of Mercy in Recovery

2.0 CLE credits

Participants in this workshop will be challenged to recognize the emergence and the living experience of mercy in professional patients struggling with the disease of addiction, trauma, and mental illness, as well as broaden their own understanding of the intimate qualities of their abstinence. Often, these patients experience a broad range of difficulties in their efforts to come to terms with the impact trauma, anger, isolation, addiction, and mental illness has had on all facets of their lives. The journey from pain to redemption is a story that provides hope to those who are edging toward living deeply in love and mercy.