About Dan Millott

Dan Millott Articles written 14

Articles written by Dan Millott

Street Smarts

Ramon Rasco is on a mission: to end Miami's homelessness

As a teenager growing up in Miami, Ramon Alvaro Rasco remembers seeing many homeless people on the streets of the city. "It made a lasting impression," says Rasco, 32. "You want to be able to act and do something—and do something effectively, rather than giving people money on the street." When his parents fled from Cuba shortly after Castro took power, their families were not much better off than those homeless people Rasco wanted to help as a child. His own parents and grandparents lost …

As Green As They Come

Nicole Kibert wants to save the planet

For Tampa attorney Nicole Kibert, "going green" is a lifetime pursuit. As a child, she fretted about animals losing their habitats. She was also influenced by her dad, one of the earliest engineers of energy-efficient "green" buildings. In high school, Kibert decided it was time to take some action of her own. "We had an organization called 'Save What's Left,'" she says. "We ran our own recycling program. For not very much work, you could have a tremendous impact. ... Those experiences made me …

Immigrant Experience

Giselle Carson knows what it's like to be the newcomer

When Giselle Carson left Havana, she thought she was headed to Czechoslovakia for a 15th birthday present. But upon arriving in Montreal for a refueling stop, her family deplaned and never reboarded. After a couple of days, the teenager learned she was not going back to Cuba. Carson was not happy. Growing up in a communist system, she had been taught that, in the United States and Canada, only rich children could go to school and people could get killed just walking down the street. But Carson …

Take Two

A short-lived acting career pays off for James R. Holland  

If James R. (Jamie) Holland seems particularly at ease in front of a courtroom, there's a good reason: He started out his professional life as an actor. After studying drama at the University of Southern California, he landed roles on two soap operas: The Young and the Restless and Santa Barbara. Holland loved acting, but he didn't see himself making a living at it. That's when he headed for the University of Alabama School of Law. In 1993, armed with a law degree and a resume that included the …

Marathon Man

‘Chip' Merlin takes it to the finish line, at work and after hours  

In a dozen years, Tampa attorney William "Chip" Merlin Jr. has run 26 marathons. When he's not running, he faces an even greater challenge: winning claims for clients whose lives have been devastated by major hurricanes. Merlin represents insurance policyholders who feel their insurance companies have failed them in claims ranging from life insurance to medical bills to sinkhole coverage. Much of his work involves hurricane damage. His career as a plaintiff's insurance law attorney began in the …

Shark Patrol

Kimberly Leach Johnson's unlikely idea of a vacation        

Growing up in a small Ohio town, Kimberly Leach Johnson worked as a lifeguard at her community pool. After moving to Florida and getting a law degree from the University of Florida—then a master's in tax law from University of Miami—she went deeper into her hobby. She became a scuba diver. She really became serious about diving after moving to Naples in 1982 with lawyer-husband Ken Johnson. They have since taken diving trips to Cozumel, the Cayman Islands, the Bahamas and the South Pacific. …

Bottled Up

James B. Davis' hobby is an Rx for boredom        

Some lawyers like to fish or golf. James B. Davis, with Fort Lauderdale's Gunster Yoakley & Stewart, likes to collect old medicine bottles. Some date back to the 1800s; some have the medications still inside. How did one of the state's top attorneys in estate planning, taxation and employee benefits latch onto such an unusual hobby?  "I had an uncle, Robert Leiberz, who came to South Florida in 1949 and started a scuba diving shop in the Florida Keys," Davis explains. "He would walk the …

How Michael Sullivan Went from Football to Law School

The football career flopped, but law was a touchdown

Fresh from a stint as a running back at Yale University, Michael Sullivan took a stab at the pros, signed on as a free agent with the Cleveland Browns and was cut after four weeks. Undeterred, he traveled to the New York Jets camp—where his tour lasted a total of one day. "That is when I concluded my football career was over," the real estate attorney says with a chuckle. His Yale degree was in business administration, but the business climate in New England in 1980 was stagnant. So he sought …

Despot Defender

Even Noriega deserved a good lawyer.

If lawyers got Academy Awards, Neal Sonnett’s mantel would be lined with Oscars. The accolades have been coming for years. In June 2006, Sonnett, 64, was given the coveted Selig I. Goldin Memorial Award for his contributions to the criminal justice system. In December, Nova Southeastern University Law School in Fort Lauderdale presented him an honorary doctor of laws degree. And in February, the American Bar Association honored him with its Outstanding Service Award. Sonnett, a white-collar …

Horse Sense

Outside the office, Equels is an accomplished equestrian.

Thomas Equels is a defender of civil rights, an equestrian, a steward of the environment and a highly esteemed trial attorney. And—based on testimony from the bishop of Orlando—he’s a very good pilot as well. The flying expertise dates from the Vietnam War, when Equels flew more than 300 combat missions in a Cobra helicopter gunship. When he returned to the States—bringing home a pair of Distinguished Flying Crosses, 15 Air Medals, a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart—Equels was sent to …

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