Florida's Children First

Stacie J. Schmerling, Esq. – Fort Lauderdale, FL

Stacie J. Schmerling joined Colodny, Fass, Talenfeld, Karlinsky, Abate & Webb in 2010 as an Associate in the Firm’s Foster Care/Disabled Persons Damages Division, where she practices in the area of civil rights and child welfare.  Ms. Schmerling previously served as a law clerk for the Firm.

Ms. Schmerling, a former child protective investigator for the Broward Sheriff’s Office, supervised a six-person staff that investigated allegations of child abuse and neglect, provided intervention services to families at risk and brought serious cases of child abuse and neglect to the dependency court system.  Prior to that, Ms. Schmerling was employed by the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services, where she worked to facilitate safety and permanency for abused and neglected children in the State foster care system.

In addition to her years of experience as a child protective investigator and case manager, she received a Certification in Child Advocacy from Montclair State University in 2002.  This Post-Bachelor of Arts Certificate Program emphasized a multidisciplinary understanding of the child advocate’s role as seen through the disciplines of law, sociology and psychology.

While subsequently earning her Juris Doctor, summa cum laude, from Nova Southeastern University, Shepard Broad Law Center, Ms. Schmerling served as a Certified Legal Intern for the school’s Children and Families Clinic. There, she was involved in all aspects of family law relating to domestic relations cases typically referred by Legal Aid Services of Broward County, such as filing petitions, discovery and attending mediations and hearings.

Ms. Schmerling, who graduated third in her law school class and was a Goodwin Scholarship receipient, served as the Submissions Editor for the Nova Law Review, for which her student article Combating the ‘Baby Dumping’ Epidemic:  A Look at Florida’s Safe Haven Law, was selected for publication.

While at Nova, Ms. Schmerling worked as a Research Assistant to Professor Michael J. Dale, a nationally renowned juvenile law attorney.  While working for Professor Dale, she participated in litigation involving various aspects of juvenile law including dependency and delinquency.  She also contributed substantially to Professor Dale’s annual survey of juvenile law for Nova Law Review and his publication in Matthew Bender’s two volume text, Representing the Child Client.

A member of the Florida Bar, Ms. Schmerling earned her Bachelor of Arts in Law and Justice, magna cum laude, from Rowan University in 1998. Ms. Schmerling is also admitted to practice in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.



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