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YLS Board Elections- Meet the Candidates!

Friday, May 24, 2019  
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YLS Board of Governors Elections 2019

Online Voting Opens May 29th


The elections for the YLS Board of Governors will take place online from May 29, 2019 through June 5, 2019. Live voting will take place at the YLS Annual Meeting on June 6, 2019. Election results will be announced at the Annual Meeting.

If anyone has any questions regarding the election process, please contact Craig Shoup at or call (904) 399-4486.


There are a total of three seats up for election, with two incumbents running for re-election. The seats up for election are as follows:


• Seat 1: Open seat for two-year term with incumbent Dave Chauncey


• Seat 2: Open seat for two-year term with incumbent Megan K. Moon


• Seat 3: Open seat for two-year term

  • Valeen Arena
  • Chuck Griffith
  • Kayla A. Haines
  • Shannon Schott

 Meet the candidates!

Board of Governors Candidates

Valeen Arena

Jacksonville Bar Activities:

• Jacksonville Bar Association Young Lawyers Section, Ex-Officio Board Member, 2017–19

o Ribault Future Lawyers and Leaders Committee, Co-Chair, 2017–19
o Noon in June Committee, Co-Chair, 2018–19
o Social Committee, Co-Chair, 2018–19
o Judicial Relations Committee, Co-Chair, 2017–18


Florida Bar/Other Bar Association Activities:

•  Hillsborough County Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division, Member, 2015–17 

o Used my experience with the YLD to transition from a Tampa attorney to a Jacksonville attorney and to get involved with the YLS in Jacksonville
o Participated in the Coffee at the Courthouse events in Tampa and brought the name to the YLS judicial breakfasts in Jacksonville

Civic Activities:

• The Chester Bedell American Inn of Court, Associate, 2018–19
• Tampa Connection, Member, 2016–17

Goals for the Jacksonville Bar Association:

The focus of my efforts as a YLS board member will be to maintain our momentum while making the YLS an even stronger pillar of the Jacksonville legal community. As an ex-officio board member for the past two years, I will use my experience to enhance the YLS initiatives and increase membership. The YLS is and should continue to be a valuable resource for young Jacksonville attorneys. I will fortify established resources and work to develop new resources suited for our growing community.

Dave Chauncey (incumbent)
Alexander DeGance Barnett, P.A.

Jacksonville Bar Activities:

• YLS Board of Governors, 2016-Present
• Chair/Co-Chair, Ribault High School Future Lawyers and Leaders Mentorship Program, 2016-Present
• Co-Chair, Afternoon at the Courthouse, 2016
• Opinion Articles Editor, Bar Bulletin Committee, 2017-2018

Florida Bar/Other Bar Association Activities:

• Florida Bar YLD
• Labor and Employment Law Section
• American Bar Association

Civic Activities:

• Board of Directors, Jacksonville Historical Society, 2017-Present
• Alumni Board, Teach For America Jacksonville Alumni, 2017-2018
• Member, Leadership Florida - Northeast Region
• Member, Florida Blue Key (President Emeritus)
• Member, University of Florida Alumni Association
• Member, The District Church

Goals for the Jacksonville Bar Association:

My passion is continuing my work as Chair of the Ribault High School Future Lawyers and Leaders Mentorship Program. We provide mentors to roughly 20 students every year at Ribault High School. We also schedule field trips to meet with city leaders, tour colleges/universities, and provide other sources of enrichment. During the year, we teach our students how to conduct a mock trial which they complete at the end of the year in the Federal Courthouse. I use my background as a former teacher at Ribault Middle School to help in this teaching and curriculum process. We have some amazing, bright and talented students that always seem to rise to the occasion.

I want to work to help more JBA members get involved, increase scholarships for our students, and begin to truly cement the program as one that will last over the long haul. Due to so many great volunteers, we have seen some great strides made but I am looking forward to seeing even greater success next year for our students.

I also believe there are opportunities to co-host or co-sponsor events with other young professional organizations or other civic organizations that can help young lawyers connect with other non-legal young professionals in the city, elected officials or other influencers in our community in order to positively impact our members and our city. Generally, I believe diversity of programming helps pull in people of all types and walks of life. Finally, I want to work with our incoming President and executive board to improve Afternoon at the Courthouse into an event that can provide young lawyers with tangible skills and meaningful experiences to help drive attendance.

Chuck Griffith
Papalas & Griffith, PLLC

Jacksonville Bar Activities:

I have served as an exofficio board member of the JBA/YLS Board for the past two years. During that time, I served on both the 2017 and 2018 YLS Golf Tournament Committees and the 2019 Chili CookOff Committee, and will serve as CoChair for the 2020 Chili CookOff. In 2019, I headed up the YLS's Health and Wellness Month efforts by applying for a grant through the Florida Bar YLD, and as part of that process, I helped create the YLS's ongoing Health and Wellness Challenge. I have also participated in the Ribault "Young Lawyers" Program, serving as a mentor, during my time with the YLS Board.


Florida Bar/Other Bar Association Activities:

• Florida Bar Solo & Small Firm Section


Civic Activities:

• Urban Land Institute Northeast Florida- Center for Leadership, Inaugural Class of 2019
• Florida Coastal School of Law Alumni Board of Directors
• Annual participant in Florida Coastal's attorney-student mentoring program

Goals for the Jacksonville Bar Association:

From my perspective, the two main objectives of the YLS are (1) to provide opportunities for young lawyers in the Jacksonville community to connect with one another and learn from each other's experiences as young professionals and practitioners, and (2) to serve as a philanthropic wing of the JBA through our various projects to benefit local charities. Likewise, my big picture goals do not require reinventing the wheel, but continuing to maximize the reach of our charitable efforts in the community while also improving our programming for young lawyers in a way that encourages both the growth of our membership as well as more consistent participation by the members we already serve. On a more specific level, I want to see our Board continue to encourage our lawyers, young and old, to refocus on the importance of our mental and physical health with additional programming through CLEs, speakers and publications, by promoting creative group activities (such as our ongoing wellness challenge), and by creating an accessible database of resources and mentoring programs.

Kayla A. Haines
Smith, Hulsey & Busey

Jacksonville Bar Activities:

• Young Lawyers Section of the Jacksonville Bar Association

o Ex Officio Board Member 2018-2019
o Chili Cook-off

Co-Chair 2019-2020
Committee member 2018-2019
Committee member 2017-2018

o Golf Tournament

Committee member 2018-2019


Florida Bar/Other Bar Association Activities:

• The Florida Bar

o Appointed to serve on the Florida Bar Annual Convention Committee 2019-2020

• Jacksonville Women Lawyers Association

o Director of Judicial Reception 2019-2020
o Director of Membership 2018-2019

Drove membership to over 375 members, a record number of members
Oversaw and assisted in organizing the JWLA Golf Academy

o Judicial Reception

Committee member 2018-2019
Committee member 2017-2018
Committee member 2016-2017

o Co-Chair of the Special Events Committee 2017-2018

Organized, designed, and opened the Lactation Lounge in the Duval County Courthouse
Organized JWLA’s team to participate in the 2018 YLS Chili Cook-off

• Jacksonville Chapter of the Florida Coastal Alumni Association

o President 2017-present 

Goals for the Jacksonville Bar Association:

I have three main goals for the YLS. First, I would like to implement more substantive programming specifically catered to young lawyers or lawyers just starting out in the profession. One of our missions as an organization is to provide members opportunities to learn and grow as attorneys. For example, I would like to incorporate panel discussions at our happy hours, where more seasoned attorneys could speak not only on their practice specialty, but also on topics relevant to young lawyers, like starting a law firm, finding a mentor, and community involvement.

Second, I would like continue to grow our amazing charitable events. 2018-2019 has been a year of record-breaking fundraising and giving between our Golf Tournament and our Chili Cook-off. The Chili Cook-off is one of our most fantastic events because it allows the community, as a whole, to be involved. I would like to add additional opportunities for our young lawyers to give back to the Jacksonville Community.

Third, I would like to grow our membership and promote greater member involvement. I believe we can do this by implementing more relevant programming for our members, providing additional opportunities for our members to network with other practitioners and our local judiciary, and fostering the relationship between attorneys and the Jacksonville Community.

If elected, I believe I will bring a breath of experience, wisdom, and drive to this YLS board. Through my heavy involvement not only with the YLS, but with JWLA as well, I have the tools to make 2019-2020 a great year for YLS.

Megan Moon (incumbent)

Jacksonville Bar Activities:

Jacksonville Bar Association, Young Lawyers Section

• Board of Governors, 2016 – present 
• Law Week Committee 2015 – present

o Chair, Rendezvous on the Rooftop
o Chair, Naturalization Ceremony
o Secretary

• Chili Cook-Off Committee 2014- present

Jacksonville Bar Association, Member Services Chair, 2016 – present


Florida Bar/Other Bar Association Activities:

• Florida Bar, Judicial Nominating Procedures Committee, Appointee
• U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida, Pro Se Clinic Project, committee member
• Association of E-Discovery Specialists – Jacksonville Chapter – Executive Board, Programming and Sponsorship Chair


Civic Activities:

• Leadership Jacksonville, Class of 2019
• Jacksonville Jaguars, Jax MVP Program, Class of 2020
• Jacksonville Business Journal, 40 Under 40 
• YMCA, Winston Branch, Board member 2016 – present 
• Hearts for Children, Inc., Board Member
• Chester Bedell Inn of Court, Associate, 2016 – present 
• Florida Blue Key, Member, 2010-present 
• Jacksonville Chamber, Impact JAX, Public Policy Committee
• University of Florida Alumni association

Goals for the Jacksonville Bar Association:

The Jacksonville Bar Association, and particularly the Young Lawyers Section, has had such an impact in the Jacksonville community as a direct result of involved, passionate leadership and our member’s enthusiastic participation.  As a current member of the YLS Board, we understand that the benefits you reap from the JBA are directly correlated to the passion and effort we put in. I have served the JBA, the YLS and its members for half a decade – I would like to continue the hard work I do for you on the YLS Board for the next two years. We have so much work to do! Though our goal is to continue to host local charities and to put on the best social, civic and charitable events in town, I want to take steps to ensure the reach of the JBA stretches further beyond the legal arena. This goal involves partnering with other professional and civic organizations to diffuse the JBA’s influence to our fellows in business, charity and beyond and to make our JBA even more visible, relevant and valuable to the Jacksonville community.

Shannon B. Schott
Plata Schott Attorneys & Counselors at Law

Jacksonville Bar Activities:

Shannon is currently, Co-Chair of the Solo & Small Law Committee of the Jacksonville Bar and will continue in that roll next year. Previously, Shannon served as Chair, Criminal Law Section - 2017, Vice-Chair, Criminal Law Section - 2016, and has served as a Law Day Committee Member. Shannon volunteers regularly for various events, and recently played on the winning, all-ladies Jacksonville Women Lawyers Association team at the annual golf tournament and won the "Longest Drive" competition for the ladies.


Florida Bar/Other Bar Association Activities:

Shannon is a Board Certified Specialist in Juvenile Law. She is admitted to practice in Florida and the Middle District of Florida. She has tried more than 30 trials to verdict and represented more than 2500 clients.

Shannon serves on the Florida Bar's Juvenile Law Board Certification Committee and is the President-Elect of the Florida Association of Criminal Lawyers Northeast Chapter, and he is a Board member of the Jacksonville Justice Association. She is a member of the Catholic Lawyers Association, Florida Justice Association, Jacksonville Women Lawyers Association, Florida Women’s Association and the Florida Justice Association.


She has been named an Ultimate Attorney by Jacksonville Business Journal and named a "Rising Star" by Super Lawyers Magazine 2016-2019. She was also honored by The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division 2014-2019 for her pro bono work, and Shannon volunteers regularly through Jacksonville Area Legal Aid. Her work with survivors of human trafficking was featured on an award-winning episode of CBS 48 Hours in 2018.


Civic Activities:

After suffering a pre-term labour which resulted in her son being born eight weeks premature, Shannon became actively involved with The Women’s Board benefiting Wolfson Children’s Hospital and the March of Dimes. As an Alpha Delta Pi alumnae, she also participate in efforts to support Ronald McDonald House.

Goals for the Jacksonville Bar Association:

The Young Lawyers Section has done a wonderful job creating and executing programming for the members. As a board member, I would like to continue to focus on mental and physical health and wellness, social events, judicial networking, athletics and amazing fundraising for the newest members of the Bar. Additionally, in light of the statistics that have recently revealed that 70% of women are leaving the practice of law within the first three years and the evidence that almost all women are no longest practicing at 50, establishing programming to help women through the crucial first three years is vital to keeping out membership diverse in perpetuity.

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