Stacie J. Schmerling is a Partner in the firm’s Fort Lauderdale office. She is a Co-Business Unit Leader of the Justice for Kids Division, the firm’s national practice dedicated to providing legal services to abused, disabled, and catastrophically injured children harmed in foster care, shelters, residential treatment centers, group homes, and other child welfare settings, as well as all children harmed by the acts of others. She practices in the areas of Foster Care and Disabled Persons damages, Civil Rights, Personal Injury, and Child welfare litigation.
She has spent much of her legal career protecting children, especially in cases of foster child abuse, child sexual abuse, child sexual assault, child-on-child sexual abuse and other harm and abuse in the child welfare system. She has helped achieve multi-million dollar damage awards and settlements and usher in systemic change in how governmental and private agencies care for the State’s most vulnerable citizens.
Prior to joining Kelley Kronenberg, Stacie and nationally recognized children’s rights advocate, Howard Talenfeld, founded Florida’s first law firm dedicated to protecting the rights of abused, disabled, and injured children. Stacie was a Partner in the firm and focused on representing children harmed in various child welfare settings. She was also previously an Associate with a prominent Fort Lauderdale law firm in the foster care / disabled persons damages practice area. Prior to becoming an attorney, Stacie dedicated the first ten years of her career to the protection of at-risk children as a Child Protective Investigator and Supervisor for the Broward Sheriff’s Office. Her team investigated allegations of child abuse and neglect, provided intervention services to at-risk families and brought serious cases of child abuse and neglect to the dependency court system. In addition, she was a case manager for the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services where she facilitated safety and permanency for abused and neglected children in the state child welfare system.
Stacie earned her Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, from Rowan University and then went on to earn her Jurist Doctor degree, summa cum laude, from Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad Law Center.