Miami attorney Rossman honored for advocacy, philanthropic workStephen F. “Steve” Rossman, a Coral Gables resident and co-founding partner of the Miami plaintiff’s trial law firm Rossman Baumberger Reboso & Spier PA based in the Dadeland area, has received the prestigious Fran Peacock Coker FLABOTA Community Service Award from the Florida chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates.
In presenting the award on July 18 at its annual meeting in Fort Lauderdale, FLABOTA cited Rossman’s “selfless advocacy for civic and philanthropic causes,” in addition to his professionalism, leadership and sterling record as a lawyer. ABOTA is a national association of experienced defense and plaintiff’s trial lawyers and judges dedicated to preserving and promoting the Seventh Amendment constitutional right to a jury trial.
The group lauded Rossman’s work for nearly 30 years on behalf of Easter Seals, culminating with his three years as national board chair from 2010 to 2013 for the nonprofit that assists more than one million children and adults with autism and other disabilities annually through network of service sites in the United States, Canada, Australia and Puerto Rico. Rossman started as a volunteer and parent, and remains active nationally.
Founded in 1919, Easter Seals offers a broad range of services, including Head Start programs for children in disadvantaged neighborhoods; schools for children with autism, and adult daycare centers for Alzheimer’s patients. The Easter Seals Dixon Center in Washington, DC, helps veterans and families of veterans and the fallen to get the services they need.
Rossman’s civic efforts go deeper. After resolving a catastrophic injury case, he worked with the client to establish a foundation to fund charitable causes in South Florida. For more than 20 years, he has served as a trustee in that foundation.
Rossman is a former president of both the Florida Justice Association and the Dade County Trial Lawyers Association. He is a member of ABOTA, the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Society of Barristers. He has taught as an adjunct professor in the Trial Advocacy Program at the University of Miami School of Law, and has also served as a member of the Judicial Nominating Commission for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit.
In accepting the award, Rossman said he took pride in his efforts to diversify the Miami-Dade Circuit and the Florida Supreme Court, where he worked to reelect Justice Joseph Hatchett as the court’s first African-American justice.
He saluted his mentors, the late Bill Colson and Bill Hicks, who taught him “how to excel in the courtroom, the importance of organization and preparation, the importance of professionalism and civility,” and “that your word is your bond and that your credibility will define your career.”
“They also taught me the importance of giving back to both our profession and to our community,” he said.
FLABOTA bestows the award in memory of Fran Peacock Coker in recognition of her tireless devotion and accomplishments in the area of children’s literacy. The award is given “from time to time” to an individual, lawyer or non-lawyer, whose dedication to the community exemplifies Ms. Coker’s character, commitment and accomplishments.
Rossman co-founded Rossman Baumberger in 1974 with Charles H. Baumberger, who in 2016 will be the national president of ABOTA.
They remain partners at the firm after 41 years, together with managing partner Alex Reboso and Howard Spier, a nationally prominent railroad lawyer.