Gerald L. Hemness, Esquire
Gerald is the managing attorney for the Law Firm of Emma Hemness, P.A. He and Emma were both admitted to practice in the State of Florida in 1995, shortly after they were married.
Born and raised in the Midwest, Gerald spent time in Minnesota, Kentucky and Ohio and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Kentucky in 1990. He resigned his position as a Deputy Sheriff in 1992 to attend law school at the Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, Florida where he received his Doctor of Juris Prudence (JD), cum laude, in 1995. After graduating from Stetson, Gerald returned to law enforcement, serving for more than five years prosecuting criminal trials as an Assistant State Attorney for the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit before entering private practice. Gerald joined the Law Firm of Emma Hemness, P.A. in 2003 and now handles all of the firm’s litigation, as well as Guardian Advocacy, Guardianship, Exploitation, and Probate.
Gerald has served the elder law community as chair of both the Litigation Committee and the Abuse and Exploitation Committee of the Florida Bar’s Elder Law Section; is the author of Chapter 21, Guardian Advocate, of Florida Guardianship Practices 8th Edition; and has also served on the Board of Directors of the Florida State Guardianship Association at both the organization’s statewide level and for its Hillsborough County chapter. Gerald has been recognized as an expert on various aspects of guardianship law by multiple circuit courts.
Gerald is a frequent lecturer on issues related to guardianship, guardian advocacy and exploitation and has presented at numerous Florida Bar Continuing Legal Education seminars. He also frequently speaks to local civic organizations and educational groups, including many Hillsborough County schools. Some of his recent presentations include: Florida Southern College, February 2012; Planning for Seniors, November 2012; Pepin Academy, November 2012; Brandon Down Syndrome Support Group, March 2013; Hillsborough County School Board ESE Support Meeting, October 2013; Elder Court of Tampa, October 2013; Hillsborough County School Family Fair, February 2014; Hillsborough County School Board ESE Support Meeting, April 2014; Central Florida State Guardianship Association Luncheon, June 2014.