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The Florida GOP’s top attorney is joining Steel Hector & Davis, the firm that represented Republican Secretary of State Katherine Harris in the 2000 election lawsuit. Eric Buermann will be of counsel in the firm’s real estate department in Miami while retaining his GOP post. Buermann, the state Republican Party’s in-house general counsel since 1998, also served as Florida counsel for the Bush/Cheney 2000 presidential campaign and worked on Gov. Jeb Bush’s 1994 and 1998 gubernatorial campaigns. He worked at Steel Hector from 1982 to 1984. From 1984 until his appointment with the state GOP in 1998, Buermann had his own firm, Eric Buermann P.A. “Eric has always mixed superb professional skills with a dedication to public service,” said Joseph P. Klock Jr., managing partner and chairman of Steel Hector. “We have missed him and are delighted he chose to return to our ranks.” Buermann, a 1982 graduate of the University of Miami Law School, will practice real estate law and also focus on governmental affairs and election law. He could not be reached for comment. The 200-attorney law firm has also announced that D. Jean Ryan, formerly a partner at Markowitz Davis Ringel & Trusty in Miami, has joined the firm’s small but growing bankruptcy practice in Miami. Ryan, who will be of counsel at Steel Hector, played a significant role in Markowitz Davis’ award-winning pro bono work. In March 2001 Markowitz Davis was honored at the Florida Supreme Court in Tallahassee with the statewide Law Firm Commendation Award for distinguished pro bono service. Ryan, who worked at Markowitz Davis for over four years, said she decided to move to Steel Hector because the opportunity to work with the chair of Steel Hector’s bankruptcy practice, John C. Shawde, was too good pass up. “I have known Jack for over 10 years and we have talked about working together for a long time,” said Ryan. Now Ryan will join Shawde and partner John D. Eaton in Steel Hector’s bankruptcy department. Shawde and Eaton moved to Steel Hector from the Miami office of Verner Liipfert Bernhard McPherson & Hand in 2001. After graduating from the University of Miami Law School in 1984, Ryan clerked for then-Chief Judge Sidney M. Weaver in Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida. She had a solo practice for 14 years in Miami before moving to Markowitz Davis. Ryan currently serves as director of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys and has testified before Congress on personal bankruptcy and consumer debt issues. She also is an adjunct professor of the Bankruptcy Clinic at St. Thomas University’s School of Law.

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