Vero attorney named Fl Bar President


INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — A Vero Beach attorney was named president of the Florida Bar during the organization’s annual convention Friday in Boca Raton, according to officials.

John M. Stewart, 49, was sworn in as the 71st president for the 2019-2020 term while Miami attorney, Dori Foster-Morales, was sworn in as president-elect. Stewart’s position comes several days after another Vero attorney, Bobby Guttridge, was named president of the Indian River County Bar Association.

“I want to thank my mom and dad, who are both here in the audience, for always supporting me and encouraging me,” Stewart said Friday in his general assembly speech. “In order for anyone to take on this role as president of the Florida Bar, there are sacrifices that must be made. And while anyone taking this position is prepared to personally make those sacrifices, it also means sacrifices by their family.”

Stewart, a third-generation lawyer, is a partner at Rossway Swan Tierney Barry Lacey & Oliver, P.L. Stewart focuses on alternative dispute resolution and litigation in the areas of probate, real estate and contract disputes, officials said.

“I want to thank my firm, Rossway Swan, for standing behind me and for continuing to maintain my office despite the fact that they rarely, if ever, see me in it,” Stewart said. “Just one more year, I promise.”

Stewart also recognized his daughter, 15-year-old MaryClaire who goes by ‘MC’, during his speech.

“While many of you may think my teenage daughter will be happy to have her old man away from the house and on the road for days and weeks at a time, she has sacrificed as much or more than anyone,” Stewart said. “She is a beautiful young woman both on the inside and out. I love you very much MC.”

Stewart is a past president of the Bar’s Young Lawyers Division, officials said. He has also served as the 19th Circuit representative on the Bar’s Board of Governors for 11 years.

The newly named Florida Bar president will focus on several issues including technology’s impact on the delivery of legal services, officials said. Stewart has also been recognized for his work ethic.

In 2016, Stewart was selected as one of the Fastcase 50, which honors the law’s “smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders,” officials said. In 2018, Stewart received the Judge Walter S. Crumbly Award from the Florida Bar’s Solo and Small Firm Section for his work in practice management.

“It is important work we lawyers do,” Stewart said. “I look forward to our work together in the year ahead.”

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