The Everglades Law Center Board of Directors serves in a professional advisory capacity, providing expertise, direction and final approval for all litigation actions. Our board plays a central role in the thoughtful, deliberate process by which we select cases to take on.
Board President: Dr. Joel A. Mintz, Esq.
Dr. Joel A. Mintz is a Professor of Law at Nova Southeastern University College of Law, where he has taught Environmental Law and related courses since 1982. Joel has published extensively in the fields of Environmental Law and State and Local Taxation and Finance. He has authored or co-authored nine books in these areas, as well as numerous articles in such prestigious journals and law reviews as the Harvard Environmental Law Review, The Yale Journal of International Law, the Columbia Journal of Environmental Law, the Georgetown International Environmental Law Review, and the A.B.A.-sponsored Environmental Lawyer.
Joel’s biography appears in Who’s Who In America, Who’s Who in American Law, the Directory of American Scholars and Contemporary Authors. He is a member-scholar of the Center for Progressive Reform, an elected member of the American Law Institute, an elected member of the American Bar Foundation, an elected member of the Academy of Environmental Law of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, and an elected member of the International Council of Environmental Law. He is a member of the American Bar Association Section of Energy, Environment, and Resources, a member of the Society of American Law Teachers, an associate member of the Environmental Law Institute, and the newsletter editor of the Association of American Law Schools Section on State and Local Government Law. Mintz is also currently the only lawyer or legal academic serving as a member of the Standing Committee on Chemical Demilitarization, which advises the U.S. Department of Defense and its contractors on the safe, environmentally-sound destruction of stockpiled chemical weapons.
Robert N. Hartsell, Esq.
Robert N. Hartsell is an attorney whose primary practice areas are environmental, land use, zoning, permitting and Everglades restoration law. Robert is well known in these practice areas for his work on high profile cutting edge litigation and advocacy. He has successfully litigated a number of important and precedent-setting cases in Federal, State, Appellate and Administrative courts, including cases involving the National Environmental Policy Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, Florida’s Growth Management Act and Florida’s environmental laws. Among his several distinguished honors, he was recently awarded the 2010 Public Interest Lawyer of the Year from the Florida Bar’s Environmental and Land Use Section. Robert worked as a trial lawyer for the Everglades Law Center for over 8 years and was instrumental to many of the Law Center’s courtroom successes.
In addition to his legal accomplishments, Mr. Hartsell also has 12 years experience in environmental consulting and engineering. Robert provided consulting services to a host of government, private, and international entities on environmental permitting, site assessments, contamination assessments, remedial action, risk-based corrective action, quality assurance planning, underground storage tank administration, and government reimbursement programs. He brings this experience to his practice of law.
Mr. Hartsell is also an adjunct professor of at Shepard Broad Law Center at Nova Southeastern University where he teaches land use law and select clinical courses in advanced environmental and land use law. Robert frequently lectures on current trends in Florida environmental and land use law. Robert received his undergraduate degree from the University of South Florida and his J.D. with honors from Nova Southeastern University, Shepard Broad Law Center. He is a member of the Florida Bar and United States District Court Southern District of Florida, Middle District of Florida and the eleventh circuit court of appeals. He also sits on the Executive Council for the Environmental and Land Use Section of the Florida Bar Association and is Co-Chair of the Land Use and Public Interest Subcommittees.
Karen T. Marcus
Karen T. Marcus served as Palm Beach County Commissioner for 28 years, representing District One. She also served as President of the Florida Councils Association, was President of the Florida Association of Counties from 2000-2002, served on the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council, and chaired the School Advisory Council for Palm Beach Gardens High School. An advocate to protect the County’s natural resources, Karen supported the acquisition of park and recreation property and environmentally sensitive land to protect it from development. She worked to get approval and funding for the Juno Pier and negotiated to keep baseball in Palm Beach County, which resulted in the building of Roger Dean Stadium.
Karen received the distinguished Executive Women of the Palm Beaches 21st Annual Women in Leadership Award for the Public Sector in 2004, was named a Community Development Leader in 2006, and received the Women of the Year Award from the Northern Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce in October 2012. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors for the Everglades Law Center, Karen also serves on the boards of the Maltz Theater, the Loggerhead Marine Life Center, the Abacoa POA, and Sustainable Palm Beach County. She is a member of the Roger Dean Stadium Advisory Board and the Friends of MacArthur Park.
In 2012, the Palm Beach County Commission voted to name a 154-acre park after Marcus, in honor of her conservation efforts on behalf of Palm Beach County. The “Karen Marcus Ocean Park Preserve” is currently being constructed in the town of Jupiter.
Sara Fain, Esq.
Sara Fain served as Executive Director of the Everglades Law Center from 2010-2014. She moved to the San Francisco area in 2014, where she currently works as an immigration attorney with the International Institute of the Bay Area. In addition to her time as our Executive Director, she also served as Program Manager for the National Parks Conservation Association from 2005-2010. Sara received a joint JD/MA, magna cum laude, from the University of Miami, with a focus on coastal and ocean law and policy.
Mrs. Durst is an environmental activist. Born in Denmark, she spent part of her childhood on her grandparents’ self-sustaining farm. Her parents worked in landscapes and the flower industry. Mrs. Durst traveled all over Europe with her father studying plant growth, and earth conditions in the wild and in nurseries. At 21, she moved to New York City for a job at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital as a lab technician in a cancer research program for melanomas. She married Douglas Durst in 1967, and they have three children. Along with her husband, Mrs. Durst founded one of New York’s largest certified organic farms – McEnroe Organic. The farm has been in operation for more than 30 years, has a large teaching facility and focuses not only on sustainability and organic growing but also the importance of the environment and the wildlife within it. She previously was a board member of the Nature Conservancy and the Audubon Society. Mrs. Durst has been coming with her family and horses to Wellington, Florida, for the past 35 years. After her horses were retired, she moved to Palm Beach where she now is involved in the coalition for the protection of the wildlife in our unique inlet and lagoon communities.
Michael J. Pucillo
Michael J. Pucillo recently retired from the practice of law after nearly forty active years in the profession. Mr. Pucillo practiced almost exclusively in the area of securities litigation, representing public pension funds and other investors in class actions and related claims. He has been appointed lead counsel in numerous shareholder class actions by Federal District Courts throughout the United States. Mr. Pucillo has lectured on complex and class action litigation at the Advanced Judicial College, the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, the Florida Bar and the American Bar Association. He has appeared on the PBS Nightly Business Report, and served as a panelist on Professional Liability Insurance Underwriting symposiums. He has also served as managing partner to Burt & Pucillo LLP, the law firm he founded in 1994, and one of the managing partners to its successor firm, Berman DeValerio.
In 2011 Mr. Pucillo was elected to the Town of Palm Beach Town Council where he served for six years, the last two years as Council President. He remains active in civic affairs and currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Palm Beach Civic Association.
Mr. Pucillo graduated from Georgetown Law School. Upon graduation, he clerked for United States District Judge Charles Fulton in the Southern District of Florida, and Senior United States District Judge William Campbell of the Northern District of Illinois. He also served as an attorney in the Enforcement Division of the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington D.C.
Mr. Pucillo received his undergraduate degree from Williams College. He has served as President of the Palm Beach County Chapter of the Williams College Alumni Association, and served for six years, the last four as chairman, on the Board of the Robert Gaudino Memorial Fund at Williams College.
Mr. Pucillo lives in Palm Beach, where he grew up, with his wife Debbie, a retired Palm Beach County Judge, and their yellow lab, Bea. They have three grown children.