Randall C. Berg, Jr., was hired by leaders of the private bar in 1978 to establish and direct the Florida Justice Institute. Since that time, Randy has been involved in numerous individual and major statewide class action lawsuits for injunctive relief and damages aimed at improving Florida’s prisons and jails, as well as numerous other large impact cases for the poor in the areas of housing discrimination, disabilities, and for violations of Floridians’ civil rights and civil liberties. He also established and directs the Volunteer Lawyers’ Project for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. He previously established and directed the Public Interest Law Bank (now known as “Put Something Back”) for the Dade County Bar Association. He was a consultant to the ABA and LSC to establish other pro bono programs nationwide.
Randy worked for years to develop our nation’s first interest on lawyers’ trust account (IOLTA) program in Florida, established and initially staffed the offices of The Florida Bar Foundation after IOLTA commenced operation, and then assisted nationwide in establishing IOLTA programs and defending the constitutionality of IOLTA as the Executive Director and founder of the National IOLTA Clearinghouse and later as Legal Counsel for the National Association of IOLTA Programs (NAIP). IOLTA has since been responsible for creating over $4 billion nationwide to primarily fund legal services for the poor.
Randy is past Chairman of the Corrections Committee of The Florida Bar, past President and Legal Panel Chair of the ACLU of Florida, and is an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Miami School of Law. Randy wrote and continues to publish the Older Floridians Handbook: Laws and Programs Affecting Older Floridians. Among the honors Randy has received are Common Cause’s Public Service Achievement Award, the Human Rights Award from Amnesty International, the Stanley Milledge Award from the ACLU, and several awards for developing and defending IOLTA from The Florida Bar Foundation, the ABA and NAIP.
Randy is a former officer in the U.S. Navy. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the George Mason University School of Law. Randall is admitted to practice in the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits, and U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Middle, and Southern Districts of Florida.
Dante P. Trevisani received his B.A. from the University of Miami, graduating summa cum laude and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and his J.D. from the University of Florida Levin College of Law, graduating magna cum laude. At UF, Dante was a Managing Editor of the University of Florida Law Review and a member of the Florida Moot Court team. During law school, he served as a Public Service Law Fellow at Florida Institutional Legal Services, a nonprofit prisoners’ rights organization, and also received the Florida Bar Foundation Public Interest Law Fellowship to work as an intern at FJI.
After graduation, he completed a clerkship for Senior U.S. District Court Judge James Lawrence King in the Southern District of Florida. Dante was then selected to receive an Equal Justice Works Fellowship, and joined FJI as an EJW Fellow for two years, working primarily on a project that sought to help people with civil rights restoration and other legal issues stemming from criminal convictions. Since completion of the project, Dante has been working as a staff attorney on FJI’s systemic civil rights litigation and advocacy efforts. He has been with FJI since 2010.
Dante has served on the Executive Council of the Public Interest Law Section of the Florida Bar (and is the former chair of the Civil Rights Committee), is on the Board of the Greater Miami Chapter of the ACLU, and is the former President of the South Florida Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. He has testified before the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Task Force on Restoration of Rights and Status After Conviction, and is on the Board of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition. He was one of the 2014 recipients of the Miami ACLU’s C. Clyde Atkins Award, given for exceptional contributions to the advancement of civil liberties, for his work on the Pottinger case.
He is a member of the Florida Bar, and is admitted to practice in the U.S. District Courts for the Southern, Middle, and Northern Districts of Florida, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court.
Before joining the Florida Justice Institute as a staff attorney in 2015, Erica Selig was a law fellow at the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) in Montgomery, Alabama, where she advocated on behalf of people with death sentences, children sentenced to die in prison, and others unfairly convicted and sentenced. At EJI, Erica also documented abusive prison conditions in Alabama and conducted historical research and site investigations of lynching in the South for EJI’s Race and Poverty Project.
Erica received her B.A. in History from the George Washington University and her J.D. from Columbia Law School, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and a recipient of the Jeffrey Williams Memorial Prize for Critical Rights Analysis. During law school, Erica participated in the Human Rights Clinic, where she documented labor and human rights violations at tea farms in India and also helped document conditions of confinement in U.S. jails and prisons for people accused of terrorism. She also interned at the Orleans Public Defenders, Human Rights Watch, the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem, and the Human Rights Law Network.
Erica is a member of the Florida Bar, is a special member of the Alabama Bar, and is admitted to practice in U.S. District Courts for the Southern, Middle, and Northern Districts of Florida.
Ray joined the Florida Justice Institute in 2018 and brings to FJI many years of litigation experience in civil rights and criminal defense cases. Upon graduation from law school in 1982, he began his career as a trial attorney with the Office of the Public Defender in Miami. As a public defender, he has represented clients charged with all levels of criminal offenses and has tried nearly a hundred cases to verdict. After relocating to New York City in 1989, he worked briefly for the Juvenile Rights Division of the Legal Aid Society in Brooklyn. Ray then joined the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem (NDS), a community based indigent defense and civil rights non-profit law firm located in Harlem. There, he was a supervising attorney of a team of lawyers providing direct representation of clients in the criminal courts of Manhattan and the Bronx.
In 1994, Ray returned to the Public Defender’s Office in Miami as a Senior Trial Attorney. His responsibilities included the defense of death penalty cases, appeals, post-conviction matters, and the supervision and training of lawyers in the felony trial division.
In 2006, he joined Chavez & DeLeon, PA, a public-minded private law firm where he litigated civil rights, criminal defense and personal injury cases. In 2010, he opened his own law office, Ray Taseff, PA, which concentrated on civil rights and criminal defense litigation. His civil rights practice specialized in representing victims of police misconduct and a wide range of people whose rights under the First Amendment were violated. In 2014, Ray teamed up with FJI to represent the family of Travis McNeil, a young man who was senselessly killed by a Miami police officer. That case reached a settlement for $1.125 million.
Ray was an Adjunct Professor at the University of Miami School of Law and has taught criminal justice courses at Florida International University. He served for many years as the Legal Panel Chair of the Miami ACLU and is active in UPPAC, a grass-roots, community activist group in Miami Gardens.
Ray graduated from Illinois State University and the Southern Illinois University School of Law. He is a member of the Florida, New York and District of Columbia Bars, and is admitted to practice in the U.S. District Courts for the Southern, Middle, and Northern Districts of Florida, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
Jessica M. Pla
Phone: (305) 358-2081, x. 224
Jessica M. Pla has been with the Florida Justice Institute since 1995 as an Office Manager and Legal Assistant and has over 28 years of experience in the legal field. Prior to joining FJI, Jessica’s experience was in Federal civil litigation and bankruptcy. Although she found satisfaction working in the legal field, working in the corporate sector did not satisfy her desire to make a difference in the community. FJI has provided a perfect blend of legal work while at the same time aiding individuals in need.
Phone: (305) 358-2081, x. 221
After graduating cum laude from Barry University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education, Carlieny went on to obtain her paralegal certification from the University of Miami and immediately joined a prominent personal injury firm. Carlieny’s altruism led her to seek out a place where her devotion to the welfare of others would be fulfilled.