Member Directory

We encourage all our Members to submit their photos to include with their Biography on this page.  Please email your photo to ABAPA Tampa Bay.  Thanks.

Lisa Hu Barquist_572-cropped-FL-bar

Bogin, Munns & Munns, P.A.

Practice Area(s): Business Litigation, Business Law, Injunction
Language(s): Mandarin
Telephone: (407) 578-9696

About Lisa: Lisa Hu Barquist has practiced law in the public and
private sectors, national and boutique law firms, on civil and federal
criminal matters, and as General Counsel in a manufacturing/logistics
company on all transactional matters totaling 29 years. She offers a
breadth and wealth of legal, practical, life experiences to her clients
and approach to all matters at hand. For example, she devoted 11
years serving as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of
Florida prosecuting criminal narcotics cases and civil Medicare fraud.


The Sixth Judicial Circuit
Chamber 23,
14250 49th Street
North Clearwater, FL 33762


Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School

Hillsborough Community College
Adjunct Professor of English,
Writing Center Staff
10451 Nancy Watkins Dr.
Tampa, FL 33619

Practice Area(s) of Interest: Legal Research & Writing, Appellate Practice, Administrative Law, Legislative Drafting
Languages: English

About Cardwell:
Daniel Cardwell is a law student at the WMU Cooley Law School. He completed his MA in English: Rhetoric & Writing and MA in Library & Information Science. He is active with the American Library Association, serving on committees through his home division, the Association of College & Research Libraries. In 2018, he was appointed to the Distance Learning Section’s Awards Committee, and this year was appointed to represent ACRL at the ALA Literacy Assembly. He is also a member of the American Association of Law Libraries and 2019 recipient of the AALL George A. Strait Scholarship.

HANNAH CHOI – Director of Social Programs
iQor US, Inc.
One Progress Plaza, 200 Central Ave.
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Practice Area(s): Labor and Employment
Language(s): Korean
About Hannah: Hannah Choi serves as the Senior Employment
Counsel and Chief Diversity Officer for

Cheffy Passidomo, P.A.
4100 W. Kennedy Blvd. Suite 335
Tampa, FL 33609

Practice Area(s): Construction, Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith,
Real Estate Disputes, Commercial Civil Litigation
Language(s): Korean
Telephone: (813) 225-2684

About Debbie: Debbie S. Crockett is a shareholder with Cheffy
Passidomo, P.A. in Tampa, FL. She concentrates in handling disputes
involving construction, insurance coverage, bad faith, and commercial
civil matters from the trial through appeal, in state and federal courts,
and represents policyholders against insurers, with an emphasis in
complex insurance disputes. Her bar activities include being a current
Co-Chair of the Nat’l Asian American Bar Assoc. Insurance Law
Committee and an active member of the FL Bar Insurance & Surety
Law and Construction Law committees, the Hillsborough Co. Bar
Assoc. Construction Law section, ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice
section, and ABA Forum on Construction Law. She serves on the FL
Bar Standing Committee on the FL Civil Procedure Rules.Attorney Profile

ZARRA ELIAS – President
Akerman LLP
401 East Jackson Street, Suite 1700
Tampa, FL 33602

Practice Areas: Labor & Employment, Commercial Litigation
Language(s): Chinese (Cantonese), Chinese (Mandarin), Tagalog
Telephone: (813) 209-5042

About Zarra:
Zarra Elias is a Partner at Akerman LLP. She focuses
her practice on labor and employment and commercial litigation. She
represents employers and businesses in employment law cases before
the federal and state courts and administrative agencies. She also
advises employers on day-to-day human resources matters and
employment issues; conducts supervisor training, investigations, and
audits; and drafts employment agreements, handbooks, policies, and
procedures. Additionally, Zarra has experience litigating commercial
disputes, including those related to non-competition agreements,
breach of contract, and unfair business practices. Zarra is an active
member of the Florida Bar’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee,
a Fellow of the L&E Committee of the American Bar Association,
and a board member of the Tampa Bay International Business Council.

Emma Hemness, P.A.
309 N Parsons Ave. Brandon, FL 33510

Practice Area(s): Probate, Guardianship and Guardian Advocacy, Special Needs Trust, Elder Exploitation, Estate Planning, Medicaid Planning, and Long Term Care Planning.
Languages: English and Mandarin Chinese
Telephone: (813) 661 5297 Ext.14

About Laura: Born and raised in Wuxi, China, Laura got her B.A. from Beijing Language and Culture University, and J.D. from Stetson University College of Law (cum laude). She is licensed to practice law both in California and Florida. Laura loves practicing elder law, believing that every encounter is an opportunity to bring more happiness, peace, and harmony to her clients, their families, and third parties. Laura enjoys flying, sailing, scuba diving, and hiking with her husband Matt – both of them are commercial and instrument rated pilots and bareboat chartering qualified sailors. Laura is also an FAA certified advanced ground instructor.

Western Michigan University- Cooley Law School- Tampa Bay Campus
9445 Camden Field Parkway, Riverview, FL 33578

Practice Area(s):
Academia, Civil Litigation
Languages:  Haitian Creole
Telephone: 813-419-5100- ext 5161

About Joseline: Professor Hardrick joined WMU-Cooley Law School in July 2019. She most recently served as a federal judicial law clerk for the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida, in Tampa, Florida for the Hon. Charlene Edwards Honeywell and the Hon. James S. Moody, Jr. Prior to her clerkship, Ms. Hardrick was a litigation associate at Bush Ross, P.A. She is the founder and director of Diversity Access Pipeline (DAP), a nonprofit organization that promotes diversity and creates access for law students. DAP provides cash scholarships and leadership development training to third year law students.

Office of the Public Defender, Thirteenth Judicial Circuit
700 E. Twiggs Street, 5th Floor, Tampa, FL 33602

Practice Area(s) / Area(s) of Interest: Indigent Criminal Defense, Criminal Law

Languages: English, Spanish
Telephone: 813-307-4000

About Ms. Holt: Julianne Holt is a graduate of the University of South Florida and South Texas College of Law. She was as Public Defender, 13th Judicial Circuit in 1993, and has served our community for 27 years.  Ms. Holt serves as an adjunct professor at the University of South Florida. Additionally, she participates on many committees which focus on issues pertaining to the criminal justice system, as well as improving the quality of life for youth.  In recognition of her commitment to our community and public service she was inducted into the Hillsborough County Women’s Hall of Fame in 2018.

Client Executive
Esquire Deposition Solutions
101 E. Kennedy Blvd., Suite 3350
Tampa FL 33602

Practice Area(s): Providing Court Reporting Services
Languages: Vietnamese and English
Telephone: 813-523-6341

About Coc: Coc Ignaut has been in the litigation support industry for nearly 13 years. She has been with Esquire for ten years (and counting) and have worked collaboratively with hundreds of clients in providing guidance in the court reporting industry. Prior to that Ms. Ignaut worked with law firms in consulting with their electronic discovery and document management needs.

Raymond James & Associates, Inc.
880 Carillon Parkway,
St. Petersburg, FL 33716

Practice Area(s): Global Wealth Solutions – Institutional Fiduciary
Solutions, Insurance group, Alternative Investments, Structured
Products, Retail Options, Mutual Fund Research and Marketing,
Wealth Solutions, Private Client Group
Telephone:  (727) 567-6442
About Vashti: LinkedIn Profile

Ankura Consulting Group, LLC
101 E. Kennedy Blvd., Suite 2250
Tampa, FL 33602

Practice Areas: Forensic Accounting, Financial Investigations, Litigation Support
Languages: Cantonese
Tel: (813) 277-1913

About Kevin: Kevin Kwan is a Managing Director at Ankura, based in Tampa. He has over 23 years of experience providing consulting and expert witness services in various business disputes, complex commercial litigation matters, and financial investigations. Kevin’s experience includes development of complex financial models, as well as compilation, organization, and analysis of large volumes of historical data through the development of databases. He has provided expert witness testimony in federal and state court cases and an arbitration panel.

Sarah Lahoe - Amine

Banker Lopez Gassler, P.A.
501 E. Kennedy Boulevard, Suite 1700
Tampa, Florida 33602

Practice Area(s): Appellate and Insurance litigation
Telephone: 813.384.3994

About Sarah:  Board Certified in Appellate Practice, Sarah Lahlou-
Amine practices in all areas of state and federal appellate and
insurance litigation, and provides litigation advice and strategy on
insurance coverage, defense, and extra-contractual matters. In her
appellate practice, Sarah helps clients and litigators seeking to protect
their appellate record or properly prepare a case for appeal. In the
event of an appeal, Sarah partners with trial counsel to protect a
favorable ruling, seek a reversal, or obtain other appellate relief. Sarah
handles a variety of insurance matters, including advising on coverage
issues, bad faith exposure, best practices, and litigation and appellate
strategy. She litigates and advises on issues involving commercial
liability, commercial property, homeowners, automobile, directors and
officers, errors and omissions, professional liability, and excess
policies, among others.

Stephen Lee
Lee Law Group, PLLC
3804 W. North B St.
Tampa, FL 33609

Practice Area(s): 
Civil Practice Law, Bankruptcy,
Business Litigation
Language(s): Korean
Telephone: (813) 606-4533

About Haksoo: Haksoo Stephen Lee is a Korean-American attorney
practicing in the areas of creditors’ rights, civil litigation, and business litigation.
Some of Stephen’s current clients include large institutional lenders, high net-worth individuals, and local residents. Bio


Johnson Pope Bokor Ruppel & Burns, LLP
SunTrust Financial Centre
401 East Jackson Street, Suite 3100
Tampa, FL 33602

Practice Areas:
 Bankruptcy and Commercial Litigation; Creditors’
and Debtors’ Rights; Workouts; Banking and Transaction
Language(s): Malay, Hokkien, Fujanese
Telephone: 813.225.2500

About Angelina: Angelina Lim started the practice of law, in New
York, in the bankruptcy departments of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver
& Jacobson in 1993 and subsequently at Dewey Ballantine (now
Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP). She clerked with the Honorable Cornelius
Blackshear, Bankruptcy Judge (now retired) in the United States
Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York. In 1998, Angelina
moved from New York to Florida. In 2000, she was the first Law Clerk
to the Honorable Michael G. Williamson, bankruptcy judge in the
United States Bankruptcy Court, Middle District of Florida, Tampa
Division. In 2005, she joined the firm of Johnson, Pope, Bokor,
Ruppel & Burns, LLP, in the firm’s bankruptcy, creditor’s rights and
insolvency related practice group. At Johnson, Pope, Angelina has
successfully represented both corporate and individual debtors
(primarily in Chapter 11 reorganization cases), secured creditors,
landlords, creditor’s committees, trustees and receivers in state court

JIN LIU – Board Member
Carlton Fields
Corporate Center Three at International Plaza
4221 W. Boy Scout Boulevard, Suite 1000
Tampa, Florida  33607-5780

Practice Area(s): Real Estate, Finance, Corporate.
Language(s): Mandarin Chinese
Telephone: (813) 229-4209

About Jin: Jin Liu is a Board Member and Founding Member of
APABA Tampa Bay.  Jin represents note holders, servicers, and other
financial institutions in workouts, loan transactions, loan sales, and
disposition of real estate. Jin also represents resort developers and
other developers of large commercial and residential projects in
purchase and sale of both improved and unimproved property,
business planning and implementation, transaction structuring,
partnerships, limited liability companies, joint ventures, and a variety
of loan transactions. Jin has experience advising developers and
financial institutions with respect to Florida condominium filings and
condominium related due diligence issues. As a bi-cultural and
bilingual attorney who received legal education in both the United
States and China, Jin has represented international, in particular,
Chinese, clients in a variety of commercial transactions.  Jin currently
chairs the International Investment in Real Estate Committee of the
American Bar Association’s Real Property, Trust & Estate Law Section.

BEEJAL P. THAKORE – Vice President
Thakore Law, PLLC
3030 N. Rocky Point Dr.
Suite 150
Tampa, FL 33607

Practice Area(s): Real Estate and Commercial Litigation, Real
Estate Transactions, Condo and HOA Law
Language(s): Gujarati
Telephone: (813) 598-1303

About Beejal: Beejal Thakore practices in the areas of real estate,
contracts and business transactions and litigation.  After nearly a
decade of practicing at other law firms, Beejal started Thakore Law,
PLLC to assist individual and corporate clients throughout
Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties.   Thakore Law’s mission
statement is to provide every client with precise, practical and
personalized legal representation.  Beejal has lived in Florida for over
30 years and is a proud triple graduate of the University of Florida,
where she earned Bachelor’s degrees in Criminology and Psychology
and her Juris Doctorate degree in 2007.  She is also fluent in Gujarati.

1801 N. Highland Ave
Tampa, Florida 33602

Practice Area(s): Community Association Law, General Business Litigation.

Languages: English
Telephone: 813-224-9255

About Ciara: Ciara Willis focuses her practice on civil litigation, primarily in matters involving business and contract disputes, condominium associations, homeowner associations, community development districts, real estate, employment litigation, and other general commercial litigation matters. Ciara serves as an elected YLD Governor on The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division Board of Governors. She also currently serves as the Hillsborough Association for Women Lawyers (HAWL) YLD Chair. Ciara is a proud graduate of FSU where she earned Bachelor’s degrees in Finance and Applied Economics, and is a graduate of Stetson Law where she earned her Juris Doctorate degree.  Find more information at:

Gray Robinson
401 East Jackson Street
Suite 2700
Post Office Box 3324 (33601-3324)
Tampa, Florida 33602

Practice Area(s): Administrative & Regulatory, Food Law, Senior Housing, Tobacco,
Land Use Law, Residential Resort & Club, Restaurant, Alcohol Beverage, Hospitality, Government
Language(s): Mandarin, Taiwanese
Telephone: (813) 273-5043

About Grace: Grace Yang is a shareholder based in the Tampa office of GrayRobinson. Her practice includes multistate compliance issues for alcohol beverage and food vendors; multistate alcohol, hotel, restaurant and occupational licensing work; the representation of alcohol and hospitality industry members before local, state and federal administrative agencies; land use issues, including alcohol-related conditional or special use permitting and variance issues; drafting and negotiating various types of agreements; and other matters affecting hospitality industry members. Grace is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell. This rating is Martindale-Hubbell’s highest rating. Grace has handled the purchase, sale and licensure of thousands of retail stores, resort and hotel properties, restaurants, and other businesses located throughout the United States.

LINDA J.Z. YOUNG – Treasurer
Raymond James Financial, Inc.
880 Carillon Pkwy
St Petersburg, FL 33716

Practice Area(s): 
Bankruptcy, Business Disputes, Contract
Disputes, Real Estate Litigation, Banking Litigation
727 567 6156
About Linda:
LinkedIn Profile