ZARRA ELIAS – President
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 and a
board member of the Tampa Bay International Business Council.
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
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.
HAKSOO STEPHEN LEE – Secretary
Lee Law Group, PLLC
3804 W. North B St. Tampa, FL 33609
Practice Area(s): Civil Practice Law, Bankruptcy, Business
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.
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
Telephone: (727) 567 6156
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
About Hannah: Hannah Choi serves as the Senior Employment
Counsel and Chief Diversity Officer for iQor.
SARAH LAHLOU-AMINE – Pro Bono Liaison
Banker Lopez Gassler, P.A.
501 E. Kennedy Boulevard, Suite 1700
Tampa, Florida 33602
Practice Area(s): Appellate and Insurance litigation
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.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
DEBBIE SINES CROCKETT – Director
Debbie Sines Crockett, Esq.
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
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.
JIN LIU – Director
Carlton Fields Jorden Burt
777 S. Harbour Island Blvd., #4, Tampa, FL 33602
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.
STEVE BERLIN – Director
Rumberger Kirk & Caldwell
100 North Tampa Street
Suite 2000 Tampa, Fl 33602
Practice Area(s): Casualty Litigation
Telephone: (813) 223-4253
About Steve: Steve Berlin is a litigation associate who focuses on
casualty litigation with an emphasis on deconstructing complex
matters and issues involving technology. Steve’s practice areas include
the legal impacts of using technology. This includes concepts like data
storage and transmission, cybersecurity compliance, cell phone use,
social media, and insider threat mitigation. He helps clients develop
their internal policy and defends them in litigation. He is also
experienced in working with the defense contracting community. He
interfaces with defense contracting clients on the wide variety of legal
issues within the firm’s practice areas because he understands the
client and their customer.