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Alex Peterson, Esq.
Owner, Principal Attorney
and Speaker

Alex is a proud father (of twins) and husband, a Baltimore, Maryland transplant, a parishioner at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church and a graduate of Ave Maria School of Law.

He practices exclusively matrimonial and family law and has helped many families find stability in the midst of divorce or custody disputes.  To further his knowledge, Alex has studied at Parent Coaching International as well as the Proctor Gallagher Institute.

Alex enjoys volunteering at the Collier County Teen Court program. He's very passionate about music and has played drums in a band as well as at masses at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church. In his spare time he enjoys CrossFit, video games, paddle boarding and virtually any outdoor activity.

 

Diane Cotroneo
Sr. Associate Attorney

Diane is a proud wife, mother of three, and “Nana” to one. She moved to Naples year-round in 2012 after practicing Family Law in Missouri for nearly a decade. A graduate of University of Missouri School of Law—Kansas City, Diane dedicated her practice to representing the best interests of children in abuse and neglect cases.  Also working as a Court appointed Guardian ad Litem in Missouri, Diane will tell you the most gratifying experience was seeing parents come together and agree to a parenting plan that most benefitted the child’s relationship with both parents.  In addition, Diane was certified for Family Law Mediation in Missouri, representing the best interests of children in adoption cases.  At adoption finalization hearings, she happily designated herself as the photographer who
could convince any Judge to pose and commemorate
the special day. 

Diane is a member of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Naples.  When not in the office, Diane enjoys cooking, traveling, attending book club, and fast-walking with Maya the Havanese.  Her famous mac ‘n cheese recipe is also available upon request. 

Diane is admitted to practice law in Florida and Missouri.

 

Ross Schulman
Associate Attorney

Ross joined the Family First Legal Group team after relocation from New York City. Prior to practicing law, Ross spent over a decade in finance, developing his negotiating and deal making skills on Wall Street. Ross uses his advanced negotiating skills to create favorable outcomes for you and your family.

Trading financial products at Spear Leeds & Kellogg (later Goldman Sachs) and Bear Stearns, and later working as a financial advisor at Morgan Stanley, Ross became extremely knowledgable about various asset classes and financial products. Ross is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. 

Outside of the office, Ross and his family are enjoying exploring their new home town. Ross is becoming quickly acclimated to the local dining scene (he is a foodie), kid friendly hangouts, and local beaches. If you're lucky, you might even spot him skimboarding with his kids!

Ross is admitted to practice law in Florida and New York.  

 
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John Gilhart II
Associate Attorney

John is a native of Florida, growing up in Naples. He attended Stetson University, earning his Juris Doctorate from their College of Law and MBA from their School of Business Administration. After graduating he moved back to Naples to remain close to his family.

John began his practice in civil litigation where he was exposed to wide variety of cases in matters of probate, domestic violation, construction defect, insurance, collection, employment, and landlord tenant. While he enjoyed civil litigation John desired to narrow his focus to that which he finds most important, family. Thus, he joined the team of Family First Legal Group.

Outside the office John is an active private pilot and a member of the Naples Pilot Association. He enjoys Archery, SCUBA diving, and playing the piano, guitar, and ukulele. Occasionally, you may find him sitting in with a local band. Any other portion of his free time is occupied by taking care of his new puppy Charlie; a fast-growing German Shepard. 

John is admitted to practice law in the state of Florida.

 
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Gill "Jill" D'Achiardi
Client Intake Specialist

Originally from the Chicago area, Gill relocated to Naples in 1997. She graduated from FGCU in 2010 with a B.A. in Legal Studies. Shortly after, Gill married her husband who was enlisted with the U.S. Marine Corps. After being stationed in Jacksonville, NC and having their first child, they chose to make Naples their permanent place of residence. There is no better place they would prefer to raise their family and are grateful to be part of this wonderful community.   

Gill is very family oriented. When not in the office, she spends any time she has planning barbecues, coordinating slumber parties for her nieces and nephews and organizing Family Park Party Sundays. Both her and her husband love camping and take every opportunity to 4-wheel and trail blaze throughout Southwest Florida. 

 
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Doresmi Torres Griffiths
Paralegal

Doresmi (Dores) has over eighteen years experience as a paralegal, specifically focusing on family law for the last thirteen years.  Dores is a Florida Registered Paralegal and is currently working on becoming a certified court interpreter.

Dores is a creative problem solver dedicated to assisting clients with compassion during a difficult time in their lives.  She values knowing that the end result of a case is the stepping stone for clients to begin their new journey in life. 

Born in Puerto Rico, raised in Naples, Dores now lives in Cape Coral with her husband, two children, and her rescue fur baby, Kiki.  Dores is a pastor's child and is an active member in her church. She enjoys snuggles with her two nuggets (her kids). 

 
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Jenna Ritter
Paralegal

Jenna is a rarity of South Florida…she’s a native! Originally from Homestead she has lived in Cape Coral since 2001. She began her legal career in a Personal Injury law firm at only 16 years old and has worked solely in Family Law since 2006. Jenna has a passion for family law, having been through a paternity case herself, and continues her knowledge by being involved with the Association of Family Law Professionals.  

Jenna is a proud Mother of three; her son, Aaron, and two stepchildren, Ashley and April.  Prior to marrying her amazing husband, Kevin, in October 2013, Jenna was a single mother to her son.  This experience helps her relate to clients and gives her a great desire to help others. 

In her spare time, Jenna is a very dedicated "Baseball Mom.” When not at work, she is more than likely at a baseball field. She is also on the Board of Directors for Cape Coral National Little League. 

 
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Alison Henley
Paralegal

Alison joined our Firm after relocating from Colorado Springs, CO. Alison started out as a Staff Reporter covering crime and government beats for various newspapers throughout Colorado.  This experience gave her a passion for the law which compelled her to obtain a certification in Paralegal Studies. 

Alison has been working as a Family Law Paralegal for almost ten years and is also a Florida Supreme Court Certified County Mediator.

Alison is proud to be the mother of five children. Family is the most important thing to her. Having gone through a divorce and custody case herself, Alison understands what many of her clients are going through. She is pleased to assist her clients through those difficult times and help them see the light at the end of their case.

In her spare time, Alison enjoys reading, rowing, singing (when she thinks she’s alone), and traveling. She has visited four continents and 48 of the 50 states. Alison is a member of the Order of Eastern Star and serves as an Advisor for DeMolay.

 
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Amy Vaughan
Discovery Director

Amy grew up in a small town (as in 10,000 people) in southern Missouri. After her mom fell in love with the place after a visiting a friend, she moved to Naples in 2005.

Amy worked at the front desk of an executive complex for 10 years. During that time, she worked with numerous attorneys and court reporters who conducted business in the complex. She became more intrigued by law and made the decision to go to school to obtain her Paralegal Certification.

In Amy’s free time, she enjoys going to rock concerts, spending time with her rescue dog, Lizzy, and sitting at home working on a good puzzle book.

 
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Katie Lang
Legal Assistant

Katie is originally from Knoxville, Tennessee.  She fell in love with Naples when vacationing in 2004, and moved here immediately.

Katie has worked with several attorneys in Naples and the surrounding counties, over the last decade.  She became more intrigued by law and made the decision to go to school to obtain her degree in Paralegal Studies.  Katie recently obtained her Associates Degree and graduated Summa Cum Laude, and is now continuing her education to obtain her Bachelors Degree in Legal Studies.

In Katie’s free time, she enjoys going to the beach, spending time with her foster daughter, Pamela, and her Maltipoo, Gemma, and relaxing at home watching a good movie.

 
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Amanda Spartz
Administrative Assistant

Amanda is originally from Northern Illinois and relocated to Naples in the summer of 2007. She always had a passion for law and was amazed at the amount of legal classes her high school offered. This helped her continue her journey into college where she majored in Pre-Law at Florida Southwestern State College. Amanda is now at Florida Gulf Coast University majoring in Legal Studies. Joining the Family First Legal Group team was her first step into her law career path and she could not be any happier working with such an amazing and caring staff.

When Amanda is not working or studying for classes, she spends her time at the dog beach or dog park with her labrador retriever, Jake.

 
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KATIE PETERSON
Contract FIRM ADMINISTRATOr, Director of Operations

Katie is a happy wife and mother of twins, who keep her rather busy. She was born and raised in Baltimore, MD and moved to Naples in 2010. 

She spent over 15 years in the media industry, focusing on online and print advertising, sales, marketing and production including acting as the Director of Operations for a National magazine for well over a decade. With all of this knowledge, she started her own consulting business (Family First Consulting Group, LLC) with a focus on helping small businesses with their day-to-day operations, marketing initiatives, financials, staffing and more on an executive level. She works with Family First Legal Group on various projects and is constantly helping to create and update the Firm's policies and procedures to make our office as efficient as possible and to ensure that clients receive the best service possible from the staff.

Should you or someone you know have a business that could use Katie's expertise, feel free to reach out to her at katie@familyfirstconsultinggroup.com. 

In her spare time, Katie enjoys being outdoors whether lounging or paddle boarding at the beach, swimming at her pool or basking in the glorious sun Naples has to offer. She always wanted to be a chef, and loves cooking, watching cooking shows/competitions and finding new restaurants to dine at around town.