Joanne Fanizza is the principal attorney at Law Offices of Joanne Fanizza, P.A. She is admitted to practice law in New York, Florida and the District of Columbia. She is also admitted to practice before the 5th and 11th U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals, the U.S. District Courts for the Southern District of Florida (Trial Bar and General Bar) and the Eastern District of New York. (She was admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court until she resigned on June 24, 2022, which became effective on July 8, 2022.) She also has been qualified to represent veterans before the Veterans Administration.
Joanne is a member of The Florida Bar's Elder Law Committee; the American Bar Association, including the Real Property, Trusts and Estates Section, the Intellectual Property Section and the Solo and Small Practice Section; the New York State Bar Association, including the Elder and Special Needs Law Section and the Trust and Estates Section; the Nassau County (NY) Bar Association, including the Elder Law Committee, Surrogate's Court Estates and Trusts Committee, and Solo and Small Firm Committee; the Suffolk County Bar Association; and the Broward County (FL) Bar Association.
Joanne received her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Florida College of Law in December 1987, where she received the book award for Constitutional Law, served as research editor for the UF Journal of Law and Public Policy, earned honors during several semesters, tutored underclassmen in civil procedure, and served the student body in the John Marshall Bar Association.
After law school, Joanne associated with Ferrero & Middlebrooks, P.A., a boutique plaintiff's personal injury and media law firm in Fort Lauderdale, from 1988 through 1994. There she handled high-stakes litigation cases and all aspects of newspaper representation. Her first jury trial resulted in a $3 million verdict for the firm's client in a motorcycle products liability case and made case law in Mississippi. She also made case law for the newspaper client in the areas of First Amendment law and public records law. (See "Reported cases" page.)
Joanne then opened the Law Offices of Joanne Fanizza, P.A. in January 1995, where she expanded her practice into the areas in which she practices today: estate planning and elder law, probate and estate administration, real estate, corporate and commercial law and civil litigation.
Joanne's public service in Florida includes service on the Wilton Manors Board of Adjustments and Appeals (1992-1998), on the Wilton Manors City Council (1998-2002) and on the Broward County Commission on the Status of Women (2000-2001). During the disputed Presidential election in 2000, she served as a recount observer for the Democratic Party in Broward County, counting "chads". She provided the Florida Supreme Court her experience serving in this capacity for its Election 2000 Memory Project, which you can read here: www.memory.floridasupremecourt.org/Attorneys/Joanne-Fanizza
She also served as a voting rights attorney with the New York Democratic Lawyers Council, an organization that provides election protection in New York. In the rough-and-tumble world of partisan Florida politics, she became the subject of an ethics complaint filed by a partisan opponent, which she fought and won in the Fourth District Court of Appeal. The State of Florida was required to pay her costs.
Joanne also served the legal community in Florida by winning multiple pro bono awards, including The Florida Bar President's Pro Bono Award for the 17th Judicial Circuit in 2005. On Long Island, she serves the legal community by participating in pro bono programs for senior citizens, and has served in pro bono programs for Storm Sandy victims and mortgage foreclosure victims. She has been recognized as an Access to Justice Champion by the Nassau County Bar Association and was named Pro Bono Attorney of the Month by NCBA for December 2015. She was also recognized as a Pro Bono Champion by the Suffolk County Bar Association in October 2018. She is named to Who's Who in America, Who's Who in American Law, Who's Who in the South and Southwest and Who's Who of American Women.
Prior to becoming a lawyer, Joanne was a newspaper reporter and editor for The Fort Lauderdale (FL) News, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and The Gainesville (FL) Sun from 1977 to 1986. Her "beats" included covering municipal government, the police beat and investigative reporting. She won the Top of the News Award at the Sun-Sentinel in 1981.
Joanne received her Bachelor's Degree in Political Science (with a subspecialty in Sovietology) from the University of Florida (1981), and taught National Government and State and Local Government as an adjunct professor at Broward Community College from 1988 to 1991. She has guest-taught civil liberties to public school students on behalf of the Nassau County ACLU. Currently, she teaches the U.S. Constitution to elementary, middle, high school and college students through the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia as a "Constitutional Scholar".
Joanne was born in Brooklyn, New York. As a child and teenager, she lived in Brooklyn, Nassau, and Suffolk counties. In 1972 her family moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where she finished high school. She attended college and law school in Gainesville, Florida, then practiced law in Fort Lauderdale for 20 years before relocating back to New York in 2007. She is happy to be back among her extended family members on Long Island.
Contact Joanne Fanizza by calling the New York office at (631) 647-9595, the Florida office at (954) 565-5445 or by sending an email to: email@example.com.