Icard Merrill Speakers Bureau

Do you need a speaker for an event, luncheon, meeting, or panel discussion?

Icard Merrill attorneys are legal experts, trusted advisors, and experienced business consultants who can speak to your group on a variety of business, financial, legal, or community-focused topics. Available for companies, organizations, or agencies.

Below is an abbreviated listing of the topics and speakers available. Please contact us with questions about other topics or to schedule a speaker.


Drew Clayton

Securities Arbitration & Litigation, Mediation


Speaking Topics


Jessica Farrelly

Employment Law


Speaking Topics

Presentations and training seminars are available on a variety of employment topics, including:

  • Best Practices Compliance and Employment Policies
  • Counseling
  • Discrimination
  • Employee Rights
  • Employment Agreements
  • Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • Handbooks and Policy Manuals
  • Leave and Accommodation Issues
  • Litigation
  • Misclassification Issues
  • Non-Compete, Non-Solicitation & Non-Disclosure Agreements
  • Reductions in Force
  • Overtime, Wage and Hour, and Minimum Wage
  • Retaliation and Whistleblower Claims
  • Separation and Severance Agreements
  • Sexual Harassment and Hostile Work Environment

Conducting an effective and lawful employment interview is a skill. Unleashing an unskilled interviewer on job candidates can spell trouble for the hiring company and create potential liability. Beyond that, inartfully conducting an interview can also leave a job candidate with a bad impression and create potential bad buzz about your company’s culture. Either scenario is not ideal.

The presentation gives some tips on how to conduct effective and lawful employment interviews.

Retaliation claims are the most common claims levied against employers. Let’s face it: it’s easy for management to get frustrated by an employee who has complained about something, whether it be unfair treatment, discrimination, lack of accommodations, or simply supporting another employee who has made a similar complaint. Such frustration, if acted on, exposes employers to potential liability.

This presentation give valuable tips for how employers can avoid costly retaliation claims.

Big Law. Wall Street. Technology. Healthcare. Entertainment. All of these industries have been in the spotlight for equal pay issues. Protection from pay inequality is provided under both the EPA and Title VII.

At the statewide level, more than 40 states and local jurisdictions have enacted or introduced bills to supplement the EPA in an effort to close the gender pay gap. Even though Florida is not currently one of the many states with its own pay equity law or salary history ban, employers in all industries should nevertheless be mindful of promoting pay equity and reevaluating their compensation practices.

This presentation discusses proactive measures that businesses should take.

Six out of 10 employers have faced employee lawsuits within the last five years. Those numbers are only expected to climb as a result of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.

It’s not just large corporations that are being hit. Roughly 41.5% of employee lawsuits are brought against private companies with between 15-100 employees. The financial damage can be dramatic; the cost of settling out of court averages $40,000, and the average jury award hits $217,000 if you go to court and lose.

This presentation discusses how companies can be proactive and avoid employee lawsuits.

Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, employers having fifteen (15) or more employees are prohibited from discriminating against employees because of their sex.  In 1978, Congress passed the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (“PDA”) which amended Title VII to expressly include pregnancy as a component of sex discrimination. Employers must remember that accommodation obligations to pregnant workers may be triggered under either the PDA, the ADA, or both.

Before your business finds itself on the wrong side of a pregnancy discrimination claim, consider whether your managers are due for training regarding sex and/or pregnancy discrimination issues.


Tom Icard

Litigation, Arbitration & Mediation


Speaking Topics

The Veterans Medical/Legal Partnership (MLP) is for qualifying veterans in Sarasota and Manatee Counties, and is part of a nationwide collaboration with the Veterans Administration.

MLP attorneys help with a range of unique legal issues that veterans face. Legal service areas include family law, housing, consumer law, bankruptcy, advanced directives, licensing, sealing/expungement, and more.

71% of households with veterans or other military personnel have experienced a civil legal problem in the past year. 79% of veterans with legal aid issues do not seek legal help. Accessible legal assistance is shown to alleviate many of the factors that negatively impact a veteran’s health and self-sufficiency -especially if the legal assistance program is tailored to veterans’ needs and advocates work with and within the Veterans Administration.


Mark Martella

Business Law, Real Estate, Bankruptcy, Foreclosure & Estate Planning


Speaking Topics

The vast majority of small business owners know that it is important to incorporate to create a separate entity to protect their personal assets from any business obligations. However, despite the fact that they have incorporated their business, they fail to “act” like a corporation to ensure that those protections afforded, in which they may have paid a lot of money for, stay in full force and effect. By failing to act like a corporation by making many common mistakes, small business owners unknowingly expose themselves and their personal assets to liabilities that they thought they would be protected from by incorporating. In this presentation, I will review the common mistakes that we see and how you can conduct your business in the appropriate manner to maintain your corporate protections.

Based upon my 32 years of practicing law, I have observed businesses in good economies and bad economies. During the challenging economies, the companies and small businesses that do not survive have common bad practices that they follow that resulted in their ultimate failure. The COVID-19 crisis has made this presentation quire relevant once again. In this presentation, I will discuss these five common mistakes and what you can do to avoid falling into these traps.

Many people enter retirement in a good financial position. However, just because they made good planning, savings, and investment decisions during their careers, does not necessarily mean that they are prepared for the difficult decision they may have to make in retirement. In this seminar, I address the seven biggest mistakes I see people make in retirement. Some mistakes are due to bad decisions while others are because of unexpected circumstances they never planned or envisioned when they started off in retirement. In this seminar, I make you aware of the unexpected and give you tools and information so that you are prepared when the unexpected arrives.

No one ever like to meet with me to discuss the possibility of filing for bankruptcy. Most of the time its because of the myths out there and the stories going on in a person’s head because of the myths. They think their credit is ruined forever and they will never be able to buy a home, car or pay for college for their children. In this presentation, I bust all those myths and more. I also explain the importance of bankruptcy to our capitalist system and why out founding father provide for it in the Constitution. In the end, I demonstrate why there is no need to endure any longer the stress and sleepless nights created by insurmountable debt.

As part of my bankruptcy and foreclosure practice, this is the most common question I am asked. In this presentation, I will review the processes involved in a short sales, foreclosures, and bankruptcy, how your credit score is affected by them and, ultimately, what may be best for you depending upon your circumstances. What most people will be surprised to find out is that your credit score is not the most important consideration when facing these issues.


Telese McKay

Community Association Law


Speaking Topics