About Us

Our Staff

The team of attorneys and support staff in the Office of the General Counsel work closely together to provide and ensure responsive, timely and accurate legal advice and counsel to the University of South Florida including its component units, direct support organizations and the Board of Trustees. Our daily work is focused on facilitating the implementation of USF's strategic vision, priorities and goals. We remain dedicated to a tradition of excellence, professionalism, fairness, ethics and diversity.

Attorneys

Click on an attorney's name below to view more information. 

Gerard D. Solis, General Counsel

Mr. Solis joined USF's General Counsel's Office in 2003 as an Assistant General Counsel. Since that time, Mr. Solis has worked in multiple practice areas serving virtually all areas and levels of USF. Mr. Solis regularly advises on a range of governance, labor and employment, constitutional and compliance matters. He has authored numerous materials on the subjects of labor and employment, collective bargaining and constitutional law in the higher education context. Mr. Solis has also spoken many times on those same subjects to professional and academic audiences. Mr. Solis is board-certified by the Florida Bar as a legal specialist in education law.

  • B.A., Philosophy, Kenyon College, 1995
  • J.D., North Carolina School of Law, 2000

Areas of practice: Academic Affairs, Administrative Law, Ethics and Conflict of Interest, Research Matters/Grants, Civil Litigation, Compliance, Constitutional Law, Employment Discrimination, Employment Law, Equal Opportunity & Civil Rights, Governance, Import/Export Controls, Labor Law, Open Meetings Law, Public Records

Robert A. Pelaia, Deputy General Counsel

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Mr. Pelaia joined the USF Office of General Counsel in 2015 after 18 years with the Office of the General Counsel at the University of Florida where he served as the Senior University Counsel for Health Affairs. He provides a wide range of legal support services for USF Health. Mr. Pelaia is certified as a Health Care Law Specialist by the Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization and Education. He also is certified as a Professional Coder and a Professional Compliance Officer by the American Academy of Professional Coders. He began his legal career with two large Washington, D.C. law firms where he represented health care providers on an array of health regulatory matters arising under Medicare, Medicaid and other third party payment programs. In addition, he provided legal counseling in the areas of federal and state fraud and abuse matters, including issues of anti-kickback, self-referral and false claims. Mr. Pelaia is admitted to practice in Florida, the District of Columbia and New Jersey.

  • B.A., French and International Communications, State University of New York at New Paltz, 1985
  • J.D., Seton Hall University School of Law (concentration in health law and policy), 1995

Areas of practice: Compliance, Conflicts of Interest, Contracts, Corporate Matters, Ethics, Health-HIPAA, Health Law, Liability Issues, Medical Residency, Open Meetings Law, Public Records, Research Matters, Student Records (FERPA), Subpoenas.

Joanne (Jodi) Adamchak, Senior Associate General Counsel

Ms. Adamchak joined the Office of the General Counsel in 2003. She is a former Pennsylvania District Court Judge. During her tenure on the bench, Ms. Adamchak was appointed the Bucks County Violence Prevention Task Force where she worked extensively in the areas of domestic violence and truancy prevention. Prior to her election to the bench, Ms. Adamchak was in private practice in Princeton, New Jersey as a litigation and land use attorney. She then served as a prosecutor for the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office, Economic Crimes Unit, specializing in the investigation and prosecution of white collar crimes and as a prosecutor in the Hillsborough County State Attorney's Office. Ms. Adamchak is admitted to the New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida Bar.

  • B.A., Economics, Lafayette College, 1982
  • J.D., College of William and Mary, Marshall Wythe School of Law, 1985

Areas of practice: Administrative Law, Health-HIPAA, Open Meetings, Public Records, Student Affairs, Student Records (FERPA), Subpoenas.

Hilary M. Black, Senior Associate General Counsel

  • Email
  • 813-974-0749
  • Assistant: Danielle Lang, Contract and Legal Affairs Administrator , 813-974-7774

Ms. Black joined the Office of the General Counsel in 2007. Prior to joining USF, Ms. Black worked in private practice focusing primarily in the areas of commercial real estate and finance. Ms. Black is a member of the Florida Bar.

  • B.S., Telecommunications, University of Florida, 1993
  • M.P.H., University of South Florida, 1996
  • J.D., Northwestern University School of Law, 2000

Areas of practice: Business and Financial Transactions, Construction, Contracts, Corporate Formation, Corporate Matters, Distance Learning, International Transactions, Liability Issues, Open Meetings, Public Finance, Public-Private Partnerships, Public Records, Real Estate.

Liz Gierbolini, Senior Associate General Counsel

  • Email
  • 813-974-6977
  • Assistant: Lori Mohn, Legal Administrative Specialist, 813-974-1679

Luisette (Liz) Gierbolini joined the Office of the General Counsel in 2014. Prior to joining USF, Liz worked in private practice focusing in labor and employment matters. She also served as a staff attorney at the Second District Court of Appeal, where she worked in criminal and civil appeals. Liz earned her bachelor's degree (magna cum laude) from the Florida State University and received her J.D. (with high honors) from the Florida State University College of Law. Liz is a member of the Florida Bar and is admitted to practice in Florida state court as well as the federal district courts of the Northern, Middle and Southern districts of Florida. She was selected for inclusion in Florida Trend's Florida Legal Elite "Up & Coming Lawyers" category in 2006 and 2007.

  • B.A., International Affairs, Florida State University, 1993
  • J.D., Florida State University College of Law, 1997

Areas of practice: Academic Affairs, Administrative Law, Employee Benefits, Civil Litigation, Compliance, Conflicts of Interest, Employment Discrimination, Employment Law, Equal Opportunity & Civil Rights, Ethics, Labor Law, Non-Competition, Open Meetings Law, Public Records, Sexual Harassment, Subpoenas.

Joel Londrigan, Senior Associate General Counsel

Mr. Londrigan joined the Office of the General Counsel in 2014. Prior to joining the Office of the General Counsel, Mr. Londrigan worked as in-house counsel with a national publicly traded technology staffing firm and as a health care supply chain and technology executive. Mr. Londrigan is admitted to practice in the State of Florida.

  • B.S., Computer & Information Science, University of North Florida, 2001
  • M.B.A., Stetson University, 2006
  • J.D., Stetson University College of Law, 2006

Areas of practice: Athletics, Business/Commercial Transactions, Cyber Law, Intellectual Property, Purchasing, Software Licensing, Technology.

Craig S. Dawson, Associate General Counsel

  • Email
  • 813-974-4882
  • Assistant: Lori Mohn, Legal Administrative Specialist, 813-974-1679

Mr. Dawson joined the Office of the General Counsel in 2016. Prior to joining USF, Mr. Dawson worked in private practice representing employers, including a large research university, in all areas of labor and employment law. Mr. Dawson is a member of the Florida Bar and is admitted to practice in Florida state court as well as the federal district courts of the Northern, Middle and Southern Districts of Florida.

  • B.S., Journalism, University of Florida, 2005
  • B.A., Political Science, University of Florida, 2005
  • J.D., University of Florida, 2008

Areas of practice: Academic Affairs, Administrative Law, Civil Litigation, Employee Benefits, Employment Discrimination, Employment Law, Equal Opportunity & Civil Rights, Labor Law, Non-Competition, Public Records, Sexual Harassment.

Frederic (Eric) P. Skinner, Senior Associate General Counsel

Frederic (Eric) Skinner joined the USF Office of General Counsel in 2016 after 12 years with the University of Florida where he served as the Director of Contract Services for the College of Medicine-Jacksonville and later the Deputy Director of the Contracts Unit of the Office of the Vice President and General Counsel. He provides a wide range of legal support services for USF’s research endeavor. He began his legal career with a health system based in Watertown, New York where he represented two hospitals, a nursing home and health care providers. Mr. Skinner is admitted to practice in Florida.

  • B.S., Biology, Washington and Lee University, 1989
  • M.B.A., Graduate Management Institute of Union College, 1999
  • J.D., Albany Law School of Union University (concentration in health law with honors), 1999

Areas of practice: Business Transactions, Contracts, Research Matters / Grants, Intellectual Property.

Brittany Dix, Associate General Counsel

Ms. Dix joined the Office of the General Counsel in 2017, where she began her legal career. She is a member of the Florida Bar.
 
B.S., Finance and Business Management, Florida State University, 2014
M.B.A., Stetson University, 2017
J.D., Stetson University College of Law, 2017
 
Areas of practice: Contracts, Public Records, Purchasing, Research Matters, Student Affairs

Timothy C. Mays, Jr., Associate General Counsel

Mr. Mays joined the USF Office of the General Counsel in 2019. Prior to joining the Office of the General Counsel, he served as Associate Director for USF Procurement Services.  Before joining USF, he worked in grant management for the Catholic University of America and as in-house counsel for a general contractor in Tampa.  He is a member of the Florida Bar.

  • B.A., Political Science, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 2005
  • J.D., Columbus School of Law, 2009

Areas of practice: Business Transactions, Contracts, Research Matters / Grants.

Lynn Cash, OPS Attorney

Ms. Cash joined the Office of the General Counsel in 2000. She formerly practiced law with the Hillsborough County Attorney's Office, chiefly in the areas of county charter law, elections and voting rights, Sunshine Law, ethics, public records, housing and community development, housing finance, and contracts. Prior to law school, Ms. Cash worked with the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council as a coastal zone and economic development planner.

  • B.A., Geography, Florida State University, 1971
  • J.D., Stetson University College of Law, 1983

Areas of practice: Ethics and Conflicts of Interest, Contracts, Legal Research, Open Meetings Law, Public Records, Research Matters/Grants, Subpoenas.

 

Mariela Tassone, Assistant Attorney

Email

Biography coming soon.

 

Support Staff

  • Ruth O'Brien, GC Office Administrator, 813-974-1674

  • Kiara Guzzo, Associate Director, Board Operations, 813-974-8246

  • Danielle Lang, Contract and Legal Affairs Administrator, 813-974-7774
  • Patsy Ciaccio, Paralegal, 813-974-1661

  • Lori Mohn, Legal Administrative Specialist, 813-974-1679

  • Tammy Brown, Administrative Specialist, Board Operations, 813-974-6442