Colleen was born in Cincinnati, Ohio and has lived in Sarasota, Florida since early childhood where she attended elementary, junior high and high school. After graduating from Riverview High School in Sarasota, Colleen worked as a paralegal prior to and during undergraduate school. Colleen graduated cum laude from Manatee Community College and later graduated from University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida with her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, and a minor in Philosophy. Colleen attended law school and obtained her Juris Doctor from Florida Coastal School Law in Jacksonville, Florida. While in law school, Colleen was a member of the Moot Court Honor Board where she accomplished great success in appellate procedures. Colleen received advanced legal writing and research recognition in law school. Colleen worked as a law clerk all through law school in the area of insurance defense litigation. After admission to the Florida Bar, Colleen remained in Jacksonville for several years where she practiced law in the areas of criminal defense and insurance defense litigation, until she returned home to Sarasota where she has focused her practice exclusively on all aspects of matrimonial and family law.
Colleen represents a vast number of clients in complex family litigation matters to include high conflict custody disputes; paternity; domestic violence injunctions; stalking injunctions; same sex family law and custody matters; custody crossing state lines and involving jurisdictional disputes; UCCJEA/jurisdictional litigation; collaborative divorce; guardian ad litem; relocations, high net worth divorces; the unique area of custody by extended family members; and post judgment modifications, enforcement and contempt actions.
Colleen is Certified by the Florida Supreme Court as a Family Law Mediator. She is also a member of the Sarasota County Bar Association, the Family Law Section of the Sarasota County Bar Association, the Florida Association for Women Lawyers, the Family Law Section of the Florida Bar and the Florida Academy of Collaborative Professionals.
Colleen has been an active participant in law week, educating youth about our country's legal system. While residing in Jacksonville, Colleen was inducted into the distinguished E. Robert Williams Inns of Court. She is also a former member of Manatee County Inns of Court. Colleen has been the current chair of the Family Law Section of the Sarasota County Bar Association since August 2018.
Colleen is a member of the Florida Bar and she is also admitted to practice law in Federal Court in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida. Colleen is a 2017 graduate of the National Family Law Trial Institute in Houston, Texas and is also a 2016 graduate of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Institute for Associates, Advanced Training in Chicago, Illinois. Colleen is certified by the Florida Supreme Court as a Family Law Mediator is can effectively assist with these types of matters.
The American Institute of Family Law Attorneys lists Colleen as one of the 10 Best Female Attorneys in Florida in 2017. The American Institute of Family Law Attorneys also lists her as one of the 10 Best Attorneys in Florida in 2018, 2019 and 2020. In both 2019 and 2020, Attorney and Practice Magazine lists Colleen as one of the Top 10 Family Law Attorneys in the state. She was selected for inclusion in the list of Super Lawyers in 2020 and 2021. She also has been awarded the AV Preeminent Martindale-Hubbell 2020.
Colleen has received her certificate for being a Qualified Parenting Coordinator by Conflict Solutions Group, LLC (2020). Being a qualified parenting coordinator means you are certified in the areas of parenting coordination concepts and ethics, the parenting coordination process and techniques, family dynamics in separation and divorce, child and adolescent development, family systems theory and application, and Florida Family Law Rules and Procedures.
Colleen supports and encourages clients to consider a collaborative or cooperative approach. But when those options are not viable she is well accomplished in and ready to engage in complex litigation.
Outside of the courtroom, Colleen's personal passion is baseball. She is an active supporter of children in USSSA youth travel baseball and Sarasota Little League, the latter of which she actively sponsors. Her favorite professional baseball teams include the Cincinnati Reds and the Tampa Bay Rays.
- Florida, 2009
- U.S. District Court Middle District of Florida
- Collaborative Law
- Complex Marital/Family Law
- Child Custody
- UCCJEA/Jurisdictional Litigation
- Guardian Ad Litem
- Domestic Violence
- Stalking Injunctions
- Relocation in Custody