Office of the General Counsel Staff
James Felder, Interim General Counsel
James Felder serves the University of West Florida as Interim General Counsel. His primary areas of practice include contract drafting and review, state employee liability/risk management, FERPA, public records and open meeting laws, student housing, international studies and general higher education law. He is a graduate of the University of West Florida and The Florida State College of Law. He lives in Pensacola with his wife Heather and is the father of twin daughters, Keegan and Natalie.
Anita Schonberger, Deputy General Counsel
Anita received an undergraduate degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Cornell University in 1980. In 1984 she graduated from the Washington College of Law at American University. After law school she worked at legal aid for 6 years representing abused and neglected children and the elderly. In 1995 Anita began working for Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in its internal Equal Opportunity Office. She joined FAU's legal staff in 1996 and continued there until March, 2004 when she joined UWF as an Associate General Counsel. She served as UWF's General Counsel in an interim and regular capacity from September 2005 through January 1, 2008. She is now Deputy General Counsel at UWF. Anita is admitted to practice in Maryland, New York and Florida and is admitted to practice before the Federal District Court of Maryland and the Southern District Court of Florida.
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Lisa Bernau, Assistant General Counsel
Lisa Norris Bernau is a graduate of the University of West Florida and the Florida State University College of Law. From 1997 until 2005, she served as Legal Administrator and In-House Counsel for the Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller in Escambia County, Florida. From 2005 until early 2013, she served as Chief Deputy Clerk and In-House Counsel for the Clerk and Comptroller. Lisa currently serves as the Assistant General Counsel for the University of West Florida. She is a member of the Florida Bar, the Escambia/Santa Rosa Bar Association, the National Association of College and University Attorneys, the Northwest Florida Association of Women Lawyers, and IMPACT 100 Pensacola Bay Area.
Lynn Brauer, Staff Attorney
Lynn Brauer is a graduate of Stetson University, University at Albany, and Stetson University College of Law. Her undergraduate degrees are in Slavic Languages and Literature, and she traveled to Russia at the end of the Cold War. After law school, Lynn served as assistant city attorney for several cities in Pinellas County, Florida, and worked in private practice in the areas of real estate, business, contracts, litigation, and family law. She currently serves as the Staff Attorney for the University of West Florida. She is a member of the Florida Bar and a member of the South Walton Rotary Club.
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John Parisi, Contracts Manager
John Parisi served in the US Air Force as a program manager in the disciplines of aerospace operations, quality assurance, logistics, procurement, and contracts. He was acknowledged for his leadership and improving his departments through his expertise in analysis and continuous process improvement. John received an undergraduate degree from the Community College of the Air Force and later went on to complete the Air Force Senior Non-Commissioned Officer Academy and other management courses leading to the award of the Professional Manager Certificate from Air University. Shortly after transitioning from the Air Force in 2015, he earned his degree in Technical Management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. In 2016 John relocated with his family from Arizona to Florida, where he currently enjoys serving as Contracts Manager for the University of West Florida. John is a member of the Air Force Sergeants Association and the Project Management Institute.
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Blake Thompson, Legal Assistant
Blake received an undergraduate degree in Legal Studies from the University of West Florida in 2013. That same year, he served as an intern with the General Counsel's Office while completing his studies. He also received a Certificate in Computer Programming from Pensacola State College in 2015. Later, after working as a case manager in the First Judicial Circuit for two years, Blake re-joined the General Counsel's Office in 2016 as a Legal Assistant.
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