Faculty – Estate Planning LL.M.

Heckerling Graduate Program in Estate Planning

The graduate program attracts experts from across the nation. Over the years, the faculty has included law school professors, deans and former deans, partners and managing partners of elite law firms, former IRS commissioners and chief counsel, Tax Court judges, and other eminent teachers and scholars. South Florida is home to many of the nation's leading estate planning practitioners, and the program includes a number of these local experts on its adjunct faculty to teach the fall semester core courses.

Fall Semester Adjunct Faculty

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  • Nicholas E. Christin

    Nicholas E. Christin is a Managing Partner of the WickerSmith. He maintains a general commercial practice with an emphasis on estate planning, estate administration, probate litigation, and the representation of professionals and other individuals in their professional practices and business entities. Mr. Christin has handled estate planning and estate administration and its related tax matters and probate litigation for several high-profile cases. Most notably, he dealt with the administration of the Rebozo estate and litigation that occurred between the Rebozo Trust and the Nixon Library, as well as the Estate of Gregory H. Hemingway, who was the son of Ernest Hemingway. An AV® Preeminent™ rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell, Mr. Christin is the recipient of numerous awards and commendations. In a 1999 national survey on Trust and Estate attorneys by Bloomberg Personal Finance magazine, Mr. Christin was only one of two lawyers in South Florida mentioned and the only one in Miami. In 2005 and 2006, he was listed among Florida’s “Legal Elite” by Florida Trend magazine and named Florida Super Lawyers in estate planning and probate from 2006 to 2016. He was named a “Top Lawyer” from 2011 to 2015 by the South Florida Legal Guide and among the “Best Lawyers in America” from 2008 to 2017, including two categories in 2012, Trusts & Estate Litigation and Trusts & Estate. Mr. Christin teaches Income Taxation of Trusts and Estates.

  • James B. Davis

    James B. Davis is Gunster's Tax Practice Group Leader resident in the Fort Lauderdale, FL office. He counsels individuals and businesses on ERISA and employee benefits law, corporate, partnership, business law/taxation, and estate planning in connection with the formation, operation, merger, and liquidation of for-profit entities as well as tax-exempt organizations. He is Board Certified in Taxation by the Florida Bar, a frequent lecturer, and has served as an expert witness as to the qualification of pension plans in bankruptcy cases and civil litigation matters. Mr. Davis teaches Partnership Tax.

  • Adam S. Goldberg

    Adam S. Goldberg is a founding partner at Krause & Goldberg P.A. He has authored articles and made presentations on estate planning, tax-exempt organizations, probate, ethics, planning for disability, tax litigation, and planned giving. He is a Past President of the West Broward Estate Planning Council, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Tax Council, and the Planned Giving Council of Broward County. He currently serves as the Florida Bar’s Exempt Organizations Committee chair. Mr. Goldberg teaches Introduction to Estate Planning and Probate.

  • Nick Jovanovich

    Prior to his retirement at the end of 2018, Nick was a partner in the Fort Lauderdale office of Berger Singerman LLP and a member of the Business, Finance and Tax Team and the Wealth Preservation and Tax Planning Group. His practice concentrated in the areas of corporate, partnership and limited liability company structure and tax planning, wealth transfer tax and asset protection planning, bankruptcy and insolvency tax matters and tax controversies both at the federal and state level with particular emphasis on Florida sales and use tax. Before his retirement, Nick was “AV” rated by Martindale-Hubbell, Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Tax Law, and has been included in various lists such as “Legal Elite” for Tax Law by Florida Trend Magazine, South Florida Legal Guide for Tax Law and Corporate Law, “Florida Super Lawyers” for Tax Law, The Best Lawyers in America for Tax and Chambers USA for Tax. He is also a former Certified Public Accountant (Florida) who began his career with one of the largest national accounting firms. Mr. Jovanovich teaches Corporate Tax.

  • David Pratt

    David Pratt is the managing partner of Proskauer Rose LLP's Boca Raton office and a member of the Firm's Personal Planning Department. He is a Fellow of both the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) and the American College of Tax Counsel. He presently serves on ACTEC's Board of Regents, is the Chair of ACTEC's New Fellows Steering Committee, and is on ACTEC's Estate and Gift, Asset Protection and Long Range Planning Committees. He is Florida Board Certified in Taxation, and Wills, Trusts and Estates, and is a past Chair of the Florida Bar's Tax Section. Mr. Pratt teaches Federal Wealth Transfer Tax.

  • William A. Snyder

    William A. Snyder is the founding partner of Snyder & Snyder, P.A., a boutique estate planning firm located in Davie, Florida. He is a former Chairman of the Board Certification Committee of The Florida Bar for Wills, Trusts and Estates, and is a Fellow in The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC). Mr. Snyder teaches Federal Income Taxation of Trusts and Estates.

Bill McQueen“Having re-entered the active practice of law at age 51 after a 16 year hiatus, I found the Heckerling Graduate Program in Estate Planning to be exactly what I needed not only to get back up to speed but to take my knowledge to a much higher level. I especially enjoyed the spring semester when we had the top attorney or professional in the country on that week's topic as our instructor. Getting to know these world-class professionals on a personal basis alone is well worth the price of the tuition.”
Bill McQueen - LL.M. '13
McQueen and Siddall LLP, St. Petersburg, FL

Spring Semester Adjunct Faculty

The concentrated week-long modules in the spring provide the opportunity to include not only local specialists, but also preeminent estate planning experts from around the nation.

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  • John F. Bergner

    John F. Bergner is a shareholder in the Dallas, Texas office of Winstead PC where he is chairman of the wealth preservation practice group. Mr. Bergner is a specialist in estate planning and probate law certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is active in the American Bar Association and is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC). Mr. Bergner teaches Chapter 14.

  • Turney P. Berry

    Turney P. Berry concentrates his practice in estate planning, fiduciary matters, and charitable planning. Mr. Berry is Chair of Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs’ Trusts, Estates & Personal Planning Service Team, and a past member of the firm’s Executive Committee. Mr. Berry is active in the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), currently serving as Chair of the Estate & Gift Committee and State Chair for Kentucky, and is a past Regent of the College, former President of the ACTEC Foundation, and previous chair of the Charitable and Tax Exempt Committee. Mr. Berry teaches Planning for the Family Business.

  • Lawrence Brody

    Lawrence Brody is a partner of Bryan Cave LLP, an international law firm and resident in the St. Louis office. He is a member of its Private Client Service Group and its Technology, Entrepreneurial & Commercial Practice Client Service Group. He is the author or co-author of numerous articles and books on life insurance in estate and employee benefit planning, including two BNA Tax Management Portfolios, two books for the National Underwriter Company, and several volumes in the ABA Insurance Counselor Series. He is a member of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) and The American College of Tax Counsel. Mr. Brody teaches Life Insurance.

  • Louis J. Chiavacci

    Louis J. Chiavacci, Managing Director at the Private Banking & Investment Group of Merrill Lynch is an adjunct professor at the University of Miami School of Law the Heckerling LL.M Graduate Program. Mr. Chiavacci has been providing wealth management advice since 1986 and has over thirty years of investment experience. From 1986 to 1997, Mr. Chiavacci was Vice President with Goldman Sachs Private Client Services in New York and Miami. Mr. Chiavacci attended the United States Naval Academy and holds an MBA and BS from Indiana University where he was an Associate Instructor of Financial Accounting. Mr. Chiavacci teaches Investment Planning.

  • Deborah Packer Goodall

    Deborah Packer Goodall is an attorney in the Boca Raton office of Goldman Felcoski & Stone. She practices in the area of estate planning, post mortem tax planning, probate administration and trust administration. She is a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and has been named in Best Lawyers® by Woodard/White, Inc. for the years 2010 – 2016. She is also listed in Florida Trend’s Florida Legal Elite. She is immediate past chair of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law ("RPPTL") Section of the Florida Bar. She has previously served as Director of the General Standing Committees, Division Director of Probate and Trust, chair of the CLE Committee, co-chair of the Professionalism and Ethics Committee, and Secretary for the RPPTL Section. Debbie is co-author of a chapter entitled "Preliminary Considerations," Practice Under Florida Probate Code. She is a frequent speaker on issues involving ethics, estate planning and estate administration. Ms. Goodall teaches Ethical & Practical Aspects of Estate Planning.

  • Bernard A. Krooks

    Bernard A. Krooks is a founding partner of the law firm Littman Krooks LLP and Chair of its Elder Law and Special Needs Department. Mr. Krooks is a nationally-recognized expert in all aspects of elder law and special needs planning. Mr. Krooks is a member of the NAEPC Estate Planning Hall of Fame and is the recipient of the Accredited Estate Planner (AEP)® Distinguished designation, past President of the Special Needs Alliance (SNA), past President of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), a Fellow of NAELA, past Chair of the NAELA Tax Section and past Editor-in-Chief of the NAELA News, a certified as a Certified Elder Law Attorney® (CELA®) and is an Accredited Estate Planner ®(AEP). Mr. Krooks is past Chair of the Elder Law and Special Needs Section of the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA), past Editor-in-Chief of the Elder Law Attorney, and a member of the Trusts and Estates Law Section and Tax Section of the NYSBA. Mr Krooks teaches Elder Law.

  • Alan F. Rothschild, Jr.

    Alan F. Rothschild, Jr. is a shareholder in the Columbus and Atlanta law firm of Page, Scrantom, Sprouse, Tucker & Ford, P.C. He is past Chair of the American Bar Associations's Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section and a Fellow of The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) and The American College of Tax Counsel. Mr. Rothschild teaches Charitable Gifts and Foundations.

  • Daniel S. Rubin

    Daniel S. Rubin is a partner in Farrell Fritz, P.C. and his practice concentrates on domestic and international estate and asset protection planning for high-net-worth individuals and their families. Additionally, he counsels clients on estate administrations and tax controversies, among many other matters. Daniel is a distinguished presenter to various professional groups, and has written numerous articles on estate and asset protection planning matters for expert and scholarly publications. Prior to joining Farrell Fritz, Daniel was a partner at Moses & Singer LLP. He serves as the chair of the International Estate Planning Committee of the Trusts and Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association and is a member of The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC). Mr. Rubin teaches Asset Protection.

  • Bruce M. Stone

    Bruce M. Stone is a shareholder with Goldman Felcoski & Stone P.A. in Coral Gables, Florida. His practice consists primarily of estate planning for both domestic and foreign clients. A significant portion of his practice involves disputed or complex problem situations in which he is retained to find creative planning solutions or to serve as an expert witness, mediator, or arbitrator. He is a Past-Chair of the Florida Bar Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section and a Past-President of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC). He is an Academician in the International Academy of Estate and Trust Law. Mr. Stone teaches Drafting for Estate Planning.

  • Conrad Teitell

    Conrad Teitell is a principal in the Connecticut and Florida-based law firm of Cummings & Lockwood, resident in the firm's Stamford office. Mr. Teitell is a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) and the recipient of The American Law Institute/American Bar Association's Harrison Tweed Award for Special Merit in Continuing Legal Education. His "Philanthropy and Estate Planning" columns appear in Trusts & Estates and the New York Law Journal. He is the author of the five-volume treatise, Philanthropy and Taxation and editor and publisher of Taxwise Giving, a monthly newsletter. Mr. Teitell teaches Charitable Gifts and Foundations.

  • Steven E. Trytten

    Steven E. Trytten is one of the founding partners of the Pasadena, California-based firm of Beacon LLP and is a nationally recognized authority on tax and estate planning. He is a "Certified Specialist" in Taxation Law and Estate Planning & Probate Law (certification by the Board of Legal Specialization of the State Bar of California). He is also a Fellow of The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) and a Member of the ACTEC Employee Benefits Committee. He is an active member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of California, the Los Angeles County Bar Association, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and the California Society of Certified Public Accountants. Mr. Trytten teaches Distributions from Qualified Plans.

  • Lauren Wolven

    Lauren Wolven is a partner in the Trusts & Estates Group of Levenfeld Pearlstein, LLC in Chicago. She concentrates her practice on estate planning, tax and succession for privately held businesses, charitable planning and fiduciary risk management. A Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, and Illinois State Chair for ACTEC, Lauren is a frequent lecturer and author on a variety of estate planning and trust administration topics. She has co-authored two BNA portfolios, "Estate Planning for Unmarried Adults" and "Managing Litigation Risks of Fiduciaries". Lauren is a past president of the Chicago Estate Planning Council and a former Board Member of the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education. She was named by Law Bulletin Publishing Company as one of its “40 Under 40” in 2010, has been included in Chambers USA since 2015 and in Best Lawyers since 2012. Lauren has been listed by SuperLawyers as one of the Top 50 Women in Illinois and as one of the Top 100 Attorneys in Illinois. Lauren is a 1996 graduate of Indiana University and was part of the 3rd class of Wells Scholars. She earned her J.D. from the University of Illinois College of Law. Lauren is actively involved with several charitable organizations, including the Arthritis Foundation. Ms. Wolven teaches Marital Deduction.