About Attorney Tasha Simmonds
As a law student, I began my journey of practicing in the areas of family and dependency law at the Seminole County Bar Association Legal Aid Society, assisting primarily low-income and elderly clients in every phase of the litigation process. It was also during this time that I was introduced to guardian-ad-litem and attorney-ad-litem work on behalf of Florida’s abused, abandoned and neglected children.
Prior to gaining my license to practice law, I became a Statewide Guardian-ad-Litem Program volunteer and have been performing GAL or AAL work on behalf of children in the foster care system and with special legal needs ever since. My first full-time role as an attorney was with the guardian ad litem program as a staff attorney, on whose behalf I have filed successful appellate briefs via their Defending Best Interests program.
For me, I’ve always taken the approach of practicing family law as an advocate for children and victims (or, better, “survivors”) of abuse. It is my belief that one’s experience with the family court system should not cause further trauma for a client/victim. While courts cannot provide the healing one truly needs from certain life situations, the court should postulate judges, mediators, staff and an overall experience that serve as a kind of therapeutic or empowering tool for litigants to move forward in their lives.
I prepare each case as if I were going into battle with Goliath at trial while seeking a peaceful and fair resolution that obviates the costly and draining litigation process. In addition to appearing in family court as an attorney, I have also accepted court appointments to mediate family cases as well as investigate issues involving children as a private, court-appointed Guardian-ad-Litem.
Listening to clients and ensuring they know they are not alone. It takes endurance and grit to see one’s way through to the end of a contested family matter. As my client’s liaison to the court, I strive be a competent, supportive, and compassionate counselor.
What I Find the Most Exciting in Legal Practice
Aside from assuring my clients that I’m their ally throughout a difficult time, I enjoy reading case law and learning how my District Court of Appeals has ruled on various family issues. It is worth waiting for the release of the newest appellate opinions every Wednesday to find out how the court tackled a complex and novel issue, or up-ended norms by changing the course of the law. I feel that this is one of the things that helps me provide excellent consultation to current and prospective clients.
My Personal Life
Family, faith and music… I’ve centered my life on this trinary of values and activities since I was a young girl. I am the last of six siblings whom were all raised by a very hard-working Christian mother and musician-turned-pastor father who labored in carpentry and masonry. No matter what, we always had God, each other, and something creative to share with those around us. I personally find joy in singing and playing guitar when an opportunity or invitation arises. Currently, I am immersed in researching my family tree and uncovering all the intriguing stories, cultures, and backgrounds that lie within our roots.
I am grateful to have developed a track record of success, as far as achieving my clients’ objectives in a given case. In just ten years, I’ve developed a reputation as a “go-to counselor” amongst my peers and even with colleagues who have practiced far longer than I. I always say, “Don’t let a lawyer tell you they’ve ‘never lost’; they’ve probably never fought a battle.” But I have achieved far more wins for my clients than “losses” by soberly analyzing all the moving parts in family case and setting expectations accordingly. My reputation precedes me, as they say, because I’ve not only received referrals from former clients, but judge’s assistants, court clerks and other individuals who don’t know me personally but have seen me in action.
- Ayo & Iken Associate Attorney
- Member of the Florida Bar
- Founder of my own legal practice in Fort Lauderdale, concentrating in the area of family and marital law.
- Juris Doctor from • Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law