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Donna Ballman

Attorney, Author

                Donna Ballman is the award-winning author of The Writer's Guide to the Courtroom: Let's Quill All the Lawyers, a book geared toward informing novelists and screenwriters about the ins and outs of the civil justice system.  She's been practicing employment law, including negotiating severance agreements and litigating discrimination, sexual harassment, noncompete agreements, and employment law issues in Florida since 1986. Her blog on employee-side employment law issues is Screw You Guys, I'm Going Home. She writes a regular post for AOL Jobs on employment law issues, and has been an invited guest blogger for Monster.com, Ask A Manager and the Huffington Post. You can follow her on Twitter as @EmployeeAtty, where she tweets the latest employment law headlines. She has taught continuing legal education classes for lawyers and accountants through organizations such as the National Employment Lawyers Association, Sterling Education Services, Lorman Education Services, Alison Seminars, the Florida Association for Women Lawyers, and community organizations.  Ms. Ballman has published articles on employment law topics such as severance, non-compete agreements, discrimination, sexual harassment, and avoiding litigation. She's been interviewed by MSNBC, the Wall Street Journal, Lifetime Television Network, the Daily Business Review, and many other media outlets on employment law issues. She was featured on the Forbes Channel's "America's Most Influential Women" program on the topic of severance negotiations and non-compete agreements.

          Donna's book, The Writer's Guide to the Courtroom: Let's Quill All the Lawyers, received First Place in the 2010 Royal Palm Literary Awards. She won the Law Category in the 2011 International Book Awards. Donna's blog, Screw You Guys, I'm Going Home covers employee-side employment law issues. She is a regular, weekly columnist on AOL Jobs (affiliated with CareerBuilder and the Huffington Post). She has also been an invited guest blogger on Monster.com, the world's leading job search site. She tweets on employment law as @EmployeeAtty with over 3500 followers.  

         She also blogs about using the law in stories at The Write Report, and she teaches writers how to help their characters navigate the civil justice system at writers' conferences. She also speaks about writing and publishing news and other issues for writers in her internet radio program The Debriefer, and as a regular panelist on Litopia After Dark, with over 20,000 listeners, every Friday. She tweets on writing and publishing as @WriterDonna, with over 5700 followers. 

            Over the years, her cases have been anything but dull. The then-mayor of Miami once accused her of trying to turn Jose Marti Park into Martin Luther King Park after she forced them to elect their commission members using districts so they would have black representation. She once sued a mobster for sexual harassment.  

Donna represented Bill Clinton as his Florida General Counsel for his first presidential campaign. When he was sued personally, she defended him, although she says the case lasted about ten minutes. During the campaign, she got to spend a day riding around with Hillary Clinton. She introduced Hillary to Marjory Stoneman Douglas (also a Wellesley alum), and was present when Hillary met Janet Reno. Her husband and she spent two nights at the White House when Marjory Stoneman Douglas received the Medal of Freedom.  

            Having the attitude that, if you have a minute with the most powerful man in the world, you ought to ask him for something, Donna convinced then-President Clinton to free the children that were in Guantanamo when it was being used as an immigration holding facility, after Lizbet Martinez, the little girl with the violin, brought the issue to the public eye. Donna knew the President was releasing them when she got a letter telling her so. He apparently hadn't told the State Department yet, so they were a bit surprised. 

            She has received multiple accolades from colleagues and professional organizations over the years. Her husband and she were named one of "Fort Lauderdale's Finest Couples" by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for their work in the community. Ms. Ballman has been featured on Sky Radio Network on the Forbes "America's Most Influential Women" program, Lifetime Television Network's 1996 special, "Full Disclosure: Sexual Harassment," and Bulgarian TV Co-Op's program: "Women in America:  Atlanta/Miami."  She's been interviewed about her cases and as an expert on legal issues by numerous media, ranging from radio and television news to newspapers including the Wall Street Journal.

             She has taught numerous seminars for legal and community organizations.  She also has served on the Editorial Advisory Board for James Publishing, a legal publishing company.

            Donna named her two daughters after powerful women - Madeline, 13, after Madeleine Albright and Amelia, 9, named after Amelia Earhart. She lives in Fort Lauderdale in horse country with her husband Ben, Shih Tzu Frankie, and cat Dean-O. She vows to never be a dull mom.

 

 


PracticeArea Profile:

Law School Attended   University of Miami
Law School Graduation Year   1986
Persona Name   Pre-Law Student
Preference Name   Labor & Employment


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