The team that helps makes it happen

Avera & Smith has dedicated and caring professionals who are committed to helping you achieve the best results possible. Each of our team members are highly trained in their field to work for you with compassion and understanding.

This can be a traumatic time in your life, and our staff is here to help you solve your problems and move forward. At Avera & Smith, we stand for you.

Our Team

Dawn Henrich

Firm Administrator

Dawn is a Certified Public Accountant and joined Avera & Smith in 2009.

She graduated from the University of Florida with her Bachelor of Science in Accounting and went on to receive her Master of Accounting and Financial Management degree from DeVry University.

Judy Baldinelli

Receptionist/ Bookkeeper

Judy began working with Bill Avera in 1988 and has been an integral part of our team ever since.

She is the first person you speak with when contacting Avera & smith as our Receptionist. She holds a certificate in Business which assists her in her role as our Bookkeeper as well.

Christi Cuffari

Paralegal

Christi has worked for Avera & Smith since 2009 as a Paralegal to Partners Mark Avera and Dawn Vallejos-Nichols as well as Attorney Jared Comstock.

She is a Florida Registered Paralegal and also has received the prestigious Advanced Paralegal Certificate from NALA, the leading paralegal association in the U.S. Christi assists with a variety of cases such as Personal Injury, Medical Malpractice, Workers’ Compensation and Tobacco Litigation.

Dana DorLouis

Paralegal

Dana has been with Avera & Smith since 2001 when she started her career as a Paralegal.

She is a Florida Registered Paralegal and also has received the prestigious Advanced Paralegal Certificate from NALA, the leading paralegal association in the U.S. She assists Partner, Lance Avera in Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation cases.

Maggie Schrider

Paralegal

Maggie has been with Avera & Smith since 2012.

She received her Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from the University of South Florida and is a Florida Registered Paralegal. She assists Benjamin Steinberg with Personal Injury, Medical Malpractice, and Wrongful Death cases.

Rita Phillips

Paralegal

Rita has worked for Avera & Smith since 2002 as a Paralegal to Partner, Mark Avera.

She has a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing. She is also a Florida Registered Paralegal. Prior to joining Avera & Smith, Rita spent 14 years at Allstate Insurance primarily as a Casualty Claim Manager. Now, Rita uses her experience and knowledge to assist our clients in Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice cases.

Stephanie Hanley

Legal Assistant

Stephanie started with the Avera & Smith firm in 2016.

She is a graduate of Santa Fe College’s legal assisting program. Stephanie assists in many areas of law at Avera & Smith including Personal Injury, Medical Malpractice, and Workers’ Compensation.

Francesca Mangold

Legal Assistant

Francesca has been with Avera & Smith since 2009.

She is a Legal Assistant to Partner, Lance Avera. She assists in Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation cases.

Dana Norris

Administrative Assistant

Dana has been an important team member with Avera & Smith since 1994.

She currently assists with Tobacco Litigation and travels with the trial team to assist when needed. Dana also assists with the many administrative duties at the office.

Lauren Corbin

File Clerk

Lauren started with Avera & Smith in 2015.

She is currently a full time student at Santa Fe College. She currently works in the file room at Avera & Smith and maintains the client files.

Sam Espada

Administrative Assistant

Sam is the most recent addition to Avera & Smith.

She is currently a full time student at the University of Florida with plans to attend Law School in the future. As an Administrative Assistant, Sam assists with a large number of tasks here at Avera & Smith.

Leatha Holder

Registered Nurse

As an RN, Leatha has earned the prestigious CNOR certification from the Competency and Credentialing Institute.

She also assists with medical issues in Personal Injury, Medical Negligence, and Tobacco Litigation.

Need help choosing your attorney? Call 352-372-9999 and we’ll match you with the best attorney to fit your case.