Have you met local attorney Emma Hemness? Emma is the founding owner of Hemness Faller Elder Law, a central Florida law firm located in Brandon that specializes in helping Florida seniors and their loved ones deal with challenges surrounding the aging process. Emma also is a dedicated advocate in serving the needs of persons with disabilities and their families as an integral part of her elder law practice as well.
As a native of Polk County, she focuses her practice on ensuring Floridians have access to the advocacy and support they need. She opened the first law office in Lakeland, Florida in January 1998, and by May 2000, she opened a second law office in Brandon. With all the opportunities available to her, she believes her mission is to support her community and give back to the community where she was raised, and we are lucky to have her in our own backyard!
Emma Hemness is not one to brag yet she is one of only a handful of Elder Law Attorneys in Florida who are Florida Board Certified. With her Board Certification by the Florida Bar in 2004, Emma is considered an “expert” and a “board certified specialist” (BCS) in the field of Elder Law.
In addition to her Florida Bar certification, she became nationally certified in Elder Law as a Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) in 2005 by the National Elder Law Foundation. In 2008, she also became accredited by the Veterans Administration, with accreditation being a federal requirement for anyone counseling veterans. In 2008, she won the “NAELA Outstanding Elder Law Attorney of the Year” award for the state chapter, where she is a current member of the Academy of Florida Elder Law Attorneys and a past President.
2008 was the first year Emma was named a Florida Super Lawyer in Elder Law, a distinction earned only by the top 5% of all lawyers in a given area or expertise. She has frequently received this distinction. We are excited to announce that Emma has been named to the 2022 Florida Super Lawyer Top 50 Women List.
As stated in the Super Lawyers website, “Super Lawyers selects attorneys using a rigorous, multiphase rating process. Peer nominations and evaluations are combined with third party research. Each candidate is evaluated on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement. Selections are made on an annual, state-by-state basis. The objective is to create a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of outstanding attorneys that can be used as a resource for attorneys and consumers searching for legal counsel. Since Super Lawyers is intended to be used as an aid in selecting a lawyer, we limit the lawyer ratings to those who can be hired and retained by the public, i.e., lawyers in private practice and Legal Aid attorneys. The Super Lawyers selection process involves three basic steps: creation of the candidate pool; evaluation of candidates by the research department; and peer evaluation by practice area.”
Emma has volunteered thousands of hours towards protecting the practice of elder law attorneys in the State of Florida and the clients whom they serve. She was in the primary position of leadership for Florida elder law attorneys as the Chair of the Florida Bar’s Elder Law Section in 2007-2008. In addition to these roles, Emma was invited to join a special Task Force of the Elder Law Section and Academy of Florida Elder Law Attorneys whose principle work is to review the policies and processes of the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) to ensure compliance with federal and state rules and regulations. She is currently serving as Co-Chair of this special Task Force.
Emma Hemness is a frequent lecturer teaching other attorneys at Florida Bar Continuing Legal Education seminars, as well as the public. She is often asked to give presentations on elder law and special needs planning issues to churches, organizations, and caregiver support groups. If you need an experienced speaker on the issues surrounding the disabled and aging population she is here to support you.