Michael D. Fowler, J.D., LL.M

With a deep commitment to serving seniors and their families, attorney Michael D. Fowler, J.D., LL.M has practiced law on the Treasure Coast since 1980.

Michael’s commitment is demonstrated in the recognition he has received from his peers for professional excellence as well as his active involvement in both the legal community and the Treasure Coast community as a whole.

Michael is Florida Bar Board Certified in both Elder Law and Wills, Trusts and Estates, a distinction held by few attorneys in the state. He has also earned the AV Preeminent® rating from Martindale-Hubbell®, the highest possible rating for both ethical standards and legal ability.

Michael is an active member of the St. Lucie County Bar Association and the Port St. Lucie Bar Association, having served in various capacities over the years and receiving multiple Pro Bono Service Awards. A member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and the Academy of Florida Elder Law Attorneys, Michael is also a charter member of ElderCounsel, an organization of attorneys focused on innovative and forward-thinking advocacy for seniors.

Dedicated to giving back to the Treasure Coast community he loves, Michael frequently speaks at local forums to educate the public about important estate planning and long-term care planning issues. He served as chair of the fund-raising committee for the construction of the St. Lucie County Hospice House on Midway Road, and also served for many years as a member of the Board of Directors and the Foundation Board for Hospice of the Treasure Coast. He is a member of the St. Lucie County Advisory Board for Alzheimer’s Community Care, prior member of the Royal Palm Society Board for Heathcote Botanical Gardens and is a member of the St. Lucie Chamber of Commerce. The firm is a benefactor of Treasure Coast Advocates for Seniors, for which Michael has served on the board.

A Navy veteran who spent six years flying single-seat jets as a naval aviator, Michael graduated from Tulane University in 1968 and earned his Juris Doctorate degree, with honors, as well as a Masters of Law in Taxation from the University of Florida College of Law.

Michael and his spouse, Virginia, reside in St. Lucie County, having raised their five children here on the Treasure Coast. He enjoys bicycling, motorcycling, golf and other outdoor and fitness activities.


Heather L. Smith, Of-Counsel

Heather graduated in 1999 from Boston College, in Chestnut Hill, MA, with a degree in English. Heather earned her Juris Doctorate in 2002 from The Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA.

Heather’s interest in elder law began during her Nonnie’s 8-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease when she and her family had to navigate the byzantine elder care system. Heather practices this kind of law to help other families avoid the painful mistakes her family made.

Heather is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and the Academy of Florida Elder Law Attorneys. Heather is Treasurer of the Port St. Lucie Bar Association, a member of the Board of Directors of the Council on Aging of St. Lucie County, and Secretary of the Vestry of St. Simon the Cyrenian Episcopal Church in Fort Pierce. Heather and her husband, Joseph, live in Fort Pierce with their two sons, David and Joseph Jr. Originally from Buffalo, New York, Heather is a loyal, but frequently heartbroken, fan of the Buffalo Bills. She also enjoys travel, reading, and eating food that other people have cooked.


Joannie Rodriguez, Associate Attorney

Joannie graduated from Adelphi University in 2010, and earned her Juris Doctorate degree from Touro College – Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center in 2013. She recently relocated to Port St. Lucie, Florida and will concentrate her legal career in Elder Law, Wills, Trusts and Estates.

She enjoys living in Florida because it has brought her closer to her parents and siblings who live in Orlando, Florida. In her spare time she is planning a November wedding and also enjoys taking in the new sights with her fiancé and 9 year old Chihuahua.


Ally Stewart, Administrator

Ally is the youngest child of Michael and Virginia Fowler and began her career with ETELF in August 2008. She obtained her Associate of Arts Degree from Indian River State College in May of 2011 and is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.

Ally serves on the Advisory Board for Alzheimer’s Community Care and is a member on the Outreach Committee for Treasure Coast Advocates for Seniors. She is an advocate for raising awareness in the community on latest developments in estate and long-term care planning. She welcomes the opportunity for scheduling speaking opportunities on behalf of the attorneys.

Ally married her high school sweetheart, Josh, in March 2013. She enjoys the Florida sunshine, her furry child, Bella, and being a mommy to Daisy Kay. Daisy was born on March 26, 2015.


Jo Thomas, Probate Paralegal

Jo has a thorough knowledge of estate, guardianship, trust administration and estate taxes by virtue of over 30 years of experience working with probate attorneys from Boca Raton to West Palm Beach and now on the Treasure Coast. After graduation from Longview Community College in Kansas City, MO, Jo worked primarily in criminal, civil and corporate law with Missouri’s top ranked criminal defense law firm in Columbia, MO before moving to Jupiter, FL.

While she maintains her deep passion for Mizzou Football and Basketball, she is a proud member of the Gator Nation. Jo enjoys spending family time with her husband, Chip, their two married sons and grandchildren. Jo also enjoys sewing which includes custom made Halloween costumes for her family, cooking and baking special themed birthday cakes.


Darrah Mage, Estate Planning Paralegal

Darrah graduated from Indian River State College with her A.S. in Paralegal Studies in May of 2013 and is thoroughly enjoying her role as the firm’s estate planning paralegal. Darrah worked in early childhood education for 7 years before obtaining her degree. She is happily married to her husband, Clay, and has two children; TJ and Paytyn. Darrah enjoys spending time with her family, yoga and going to the beach.


Doreen Brothers, Paralegal/Medicaid Specialist

Doreen obtained her paralegal degree in 2011 from Penn Foster Career School located in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Originally from West Milford, New Jersey, her family moved to Jensen Beach in 2012. Doreen has been doing estate planning and Medicaid for more than 16 years.

Married to her husband Chris for 17 years they have 2 lovely children, Jesse and Nicole. Doreen loves the outdoors, bike riding, swimming, and fishing with her family.

Renee Hudson, Client Intake Specialist

Renee joined the ETELF family in July 2016 as the client intake specialist. She moved to Florida from Michigan in 2014 and resides in Martin County. Renee has extensive customer service experience and thrives on putting our clients and their families at ease during difficult times.

Renee received her Medical Assistant certificate from Carnegie Institute in Troy, Michigan. Renee has three children and is married to Forest. Her and her husband are enjoying the Florida lifestyle and have become avid boaters.

Brenda Webster Summerlin, Administrative Assistant

Brenda graduated from Indian River State College with an A.S. in Real Estate and a Certificate in Legal Technology.

She is a Florida Pioneer Descendant, a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the St. Lucie Historical Society.

Brenda enjoys photography, spending much of her time In St. Lucie County’s natural areas and preserves.  She also enjoys spending time with her daughter and grandchildren.

Cathy Adcock, Receptionist

Cathy M. Adcock graduated from the Stuart School of Business Administration in New Jersey and gained her experience as a Legal Assistant from aiding the General Counsel of a reputable developer to working over a decade at a top three Law Firm in New Jersey as the Assistant to the Managing Partner. As credible as she is, what we love most about her is her outgoing personality. She will always greet you with a smile. Her passion is health and wellness and it is a passion she loves to share. She is always looking for holistic remedies and attempts substituting harsh chemicals with natural solutions into her everyday life. Born and raised at the Jersey Shore, she loves the shore vibe and is thrilled to have just bought her first home in beautiful Port St Lucie, Florida, where she is looking forward to exploring all this amazing area has to offer.