In honor of International Women’s History Month, we will be highlighting our female partners each week. Read below to learn more about SLW partner, Heidi Isenhart:
1. How long have you been at Shuffield, Lowman & Wilson? Since August of 2004. I was the 5th partner to join the firm, the 2nd woman, next to one of the founders, Lynne Wilson, Esq.
2. What drove you to become an attorney? My dad is a country lawyer in a small town in Illinois. Sometimes he got paid in canned goods or pick-up trucks full of corn, for example. Frankly, it was surprising to learn about “bad attorney” jokes when I grew older because my dad was well-respected in the community. My father had a plaque on his wall that read, “Don’t tell your daughter to marry a doctor or lawyer. Tell her to be one.” I loved to volunteer in nursing facilities when I was younger and in college. I wanted to carry on the advocacy that I witnessed for much of my life.
3. What piece of advice do you have for other women aspiring to enter the legal profession? My piece of advice is this: You cannot have it all. You make your choices but you can still be successful in your legal career and your personal family life. I don’t believe that law school traditionally prepares women for the realities of the legal profession nor its sacrifices. I love what I do every day, but it does come with a cost. Going into this profession with a clear vision is important. I am always happy to mentor young women with the realities of practice and encourage them to reach their full potential on many levels. We need to support one another.
4. Who was a female role model or inspiration to you? My mom was an inspiration. She had myself and my twin sister, Allegra, in Venezuela when she and my father were missionaries. My sister did not survive. My mom then raised me and my 3 younger siblings while my dad worked hard to build his legal career. Our family grew all of our own vegetables and hauled water when there was a drought. My mom hosted dinners and kept a positive face when I’m sure she was exhausted with keeping up with the chores of raising a family and being a part of the community. Now there is no question of the joys she felt in these roles. She is an artist and leader in the community choir to this day. I am blessed to have such good parents who sacrificed for myself and my siblings.
Heidi practices in the areas of elder law, Medicaid planning, guardianship, probate and trust administration, probate, guardianship, trust litigation, estate planning, and special needs trusts. Learn more about Heidi by visiting her attorney biography: https://shuffieldlowman.com/heidi-w-isenhart/.
ORLANDO, FLORIDA – ShuffieldLowman recently announced that attorney Justin McConnell has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Greater Orlando Society for Human Resource Management (GOSHRM). Director of Legislative Affairs, he will represent the Board by monitoring and evaluating legislative, regulatory and legal action at the federal, state, and local level that may have an impact on the management of human resources. McConnell’s legal practice includes employment law and civil litigation, partnering closely with business owners, management, and human resource professionals.
McConnell holds his J.D. from the University of Florida Fredric G. Levin College of Law and his undergraduate degree, summa cum laude, from the University of Central Florida. While in law school, he was a Trial Team Final Four Finalist in the 2013 Regional National Trial Competition, the Best Advocate of the First Annual 1L Closing Argument Competition, and the recipient of Book Awards, which are awards reserved to the top-most performing law students, in both Trial Team and Trial Practice. He is admitted to The Florida Bar and the U. S. District Courts for the Southern and Middle Districts of Florida.
ShuffieldLowman’s four offices are located in Orlando, Tavares, DeLand and Port Orange. The firm is a 40 attorney, full service, business law firm, practicing in the areas of corporate law, estate planning, real estate, and litigation. Specific areas include tax law, securities, mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property, estate planning and probate, guardianship and elder law, planning for families with closely held businesses, tax controversy – Federal and State, non-profit organization law, banking and finance, land use and government law, commercial and civil litigation, fiduciary litigation, construction law, association law, bankruptcy and creditors’ rights, labor and employment, and mediation.
Sean Ryan CPCU, AIC loves what he does and it shows. Caring, concern for every client and a desire to exceed expectations is the foundation Sean has built his insurance and financial services business, BRP Ryan Insurance, LLC, on for the past 21 years. In the process, his firm has grown into two offices, 14 employees and a long list of satisfied clients, many with him from the beginning, including ShuffieldLowman’s own Janet Martinez.
While the firm has a long history in DeLand, BRP Ryan Insurance is a fairly new name, stemming from a partnership in 2017 with Baldwin Risk Partners (BRP), located in Tampa. The partnership allowed Ryan Insurance to enhance services for the firm’s clients and offer a broader geographical reach. Today the firm’s DeLand and Clermont offices provide a wide variety of options, including full-service personal, family and business insurance plans along with life insurance, annuities, mutual funds and securities investing.
What makes BRP Ryan Insurance special is a commitment to service that starts with an unrelenting quest for the best rates and coverage possible and continues with open and available communication. This includes a welcoming receptionist, at the ready to answer your calls and a team of professionals to address questions, assist with claims and plan ahead for needs and opportunities. Recently, the firm has found that connecting via social media, blogging and newsletters offers an excellent channel for sharing helpful hints, tips, videos and other useful information of value to clients.
Another rare competitive advantage offered by the firm is the fact that immediately prior to starting his firm, Sean worked for 9 years as a claim adjuster, so he knows the insurance business from the inside-out. This combined with his work as an expert witness, for both plaintiffs and the defense, and his understanding of the litigation process gives him a unique perspective when it comes to advocating on behalf of his clients, when the need arises.
According to ShuffieldLowman partner Janet Martinez, “Sean Ryan has been my go-to for insurance matters for almost 20 years. Not only does he have a caring staff that is quick and very responsive, Sean never hesitates to offer a personal assist for any insurance need I may have for our clients or myself. We first met while serving together on the St. Barnabas Episcopal School Board many years ago, and his commitment to community service carries forward to this day. He has a keen eye for doing what is right for both his clients and our community. It is a real pleasure doing business with him.”
ShuffieldLowman and Janet Martinez have worked with BRP Ryan Insurance in a variety of ways, including serving as their registered agent, record keeper and general counsel for more than 20 years. The firm has also assisted with buy/sell agreements, enforcement of non-compete’s, litigation, asset purchases and has provided estate planning services to Sean through the years.
If you are unable to qualify for a loan backed by traditional collateral, you can still secure the loan using assets such as art, yachts, accounts receivables or service contracts. At ShuffieldLowman, we can assist borrowers and lenders alike in performing the due diligence necessary to confirm whether traditional collateral will be sufficient or whether non-traditional assets can be used to secure the transaction. Watch as ShuffieldLowman attorney, Jordan Horowitz, explains more about non-traditional asset-based financing.
A very important component to any real estate transaction is the review of a current survey, no more than 90 days old, of the subject property. ShuffieldLowman can assist in reviewing your commercial or residential survey to confirm that aspects such as the legal description, title commitment, and encroachments and access have been examined. Reviewing the survey prior to closing will help avoid any problematic issues down the road. Watch as ShuffieldLowman real estate attorney, John Junod, explains the importance of a survey review in real estate transactions.