Michael E. Chionopoulos, Esq.

Following admission to the Oklahoma Bar in 1992, Absolute Law founder Michael E. Chionopoulos practiced general civil law for five years, and was then appointed General Counsel of a public company traded on NASQ. His career was put aside for service in the US Army in the Middle East, where he was decorated for his service as an Infantry Officer and attained the rank of Major.

 

Upon his return, Mr. Chionopoulos was appointed as Judge and served on the bench until moving to Florida in the summer of 2007. In 2010, he founded Absolute Law in 2010 as a full-service firm by hiring associate lawyers with a wide variety of legal experience.

 

As a former judge, Mr. Chionopoulos is an experienced litigator with significant experience doing jury trials, non-jury trials and appeals. While he practiced in most civil areas, his particular expertise lies in civil litigation, foreclosure defense and family law (including divorce, paternity, custody and child support). Currently, Mr. Chionopoulos engages in a general civil practice, while focusing the majority of his work in family law and appeals.

Paul E. Liles, Esq.

Paul E. Liles is a Senior Attorney at Absolute Law, P.A. He previously owned his own general trial and appellate law practice handling cases in the areas of civil rights, construction litigation, criminal defense, family law, foreclosure defense, personal injury, and school law. Liles is admitted to practice in all Florida state courts, as well as the following federal courts: U.S. District Courts for the Middle District, Northern District, and Southern District of Florida; Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals; U.S. Court of Federal Claims; and United States Supreme Court. He has significant experience in administrative hearings, state and federal trial courts, and state and federal appellate courts.

 

He is a member of Lee County Bar Association; Hillsborough County Bar Association; Phi Kappa Phi; and Phi Alpha Delta. He is a past member of the Professional Advisory Board for the Lee County Chapter of Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder ("CHADD") and past Board Member of the Healthy Start Coalition of Southwest Florida. Liles was on the Executive Council of the Lee County Bar Association from 2003 to 2007 and served as its President in 2007. He has spoken at numerous local seminars and workshops special education and disability law and its application in Florida. Liles has also given several presentations to schools and civic organizations in Lee County on a variety of other legal topics. Liles served as a mentor in the Teen Court program in Lee County for 15 years and in the Take Stock in Children program for 10 years.

 

From 1972 through 1987, Liles was on active duty in the United States Navy. He obtained his AA degree in 1981 from Mohegan Community College, his B.S. degree (with University Highest Honors) in 1982 from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, and his J.D. degree in 1991 from New England School of Law.

Margaret H. White-Small, Esq.

Margaret H. White-Small is of Counsel at Absolute Law, P.A. After graduating from the University of Missouri’s School of Law in 1981, where she won a moot court award for her preparation of an appellate brief, White-Small worked briefly drafting legislation at the Legislative Reference Bureau in Springfield, Illinois.

 

Soon thereafter, she began working as a Staff Attorney at the Fifth District Court of Appeal in Mount Vernon, Illinois, where she worked for nearly four years.

 

She then moved to Florida, where she spent twenty-two years as a Staff Attorney at the Second District Court of Appeal, working for Judge Monterey Campbell and Judge Charles A. Davis.

 

Since leaving the court in 2008, she has been doing both civil and criminal appellate work, litigation support, and writing for the Florida Defender and Res Gestae,  in addition to founding and chairing the Appellate Section of the Lee County Bar Association.

Samantha Stevins

Samantha Stevins is of Counsel at Absolute Law. P.A..  and handles cases for the firm in Naples, Florida.  Her trial skills are often applied in the areas of complex civil litigation, family law, criminal defense, civil rights, criminal appeals, and civil appeals.

 

In 1995, she graduated from the University of Miami with two degrees - a BA in Broadcast Journalism & Creative Writing, and a BS in Political Science with a minor in Philosophy.  After working for Herzfeld & Rubin as a legal secretary/paralegal doing pharmaceutical defense in Miami, Florida, she decided to attend law school.

 

Prior to earning her JD, Ms. Stevins clerked at the Assistant United States Attorney’s Office (AUSA’s) in Tampa Florida in the civil division, the criminal division, and the appellate division. While at the AUSA’s office, she also assisted with creating press releases for the public relations section of the office.  She earned her JD from Thomas M. Cooley Law School with a concentration in Litigation in 2000 and became admitted to practice law in all Florida state courts in 2001.

 

Early in her legal career, Ms. Stevins worked as a part-time Assistant Public Defender while being an adjunct professor at what is now Hodges University teaching degree seeking students of all ages Legal Research and Writing; Business Law; Torts; Constitutional Law; and Criminal Law. During her career, she has served as an Assistant Public Defender in 5 different Florida counties: Collier, Duval, Glades, Hendry, and Lee.  Ms. Stevins has handled every type of criminal case from arrest up through and including appeal.

 

Ms. Stevins is admitted to practice in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida; the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida; Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals; and the United States Supreme Court.

 

Ms. Stevins is a former board member of Project HELP in Naples, Florida – a non-profit organization staffed by professional counselors and advocates committed to providing hope, empowerment, and healing to those affected by sexual violence, sudden death, and other crimes.  She is a current member of the Collier County Women’s Bar Association; the Collier County Bar Association; Inns of Court; and is a 2002 graduate of the Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers College.

 

She is actively assisting doctors and business owners with understanding the existing laws surrounding the up and coming medical cannabis industry in Florida.  It is her goal to assist local and state governments with drafting and implementing laws in this area that will create a win-win situation for all parties involved.

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