Mary is a Supreme Court Certified Circuit Civil Mediator and a Certified Arbitrator. Mary has formal training in the specialized areas of Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation; Elder Mediation/Shared Family Decision Making. She is an attorney and partner with the law firm of Porges, Hamlin, Knowles & Hawk, P.A. in Bradenton, Florida. She has been in practice since 1998 in the Sarasota/Bradenton area, and is the head of the Firm’s Civil Litigation and Dispute Resolution Department. Mary concentrates her mediation and litigation practice in the areas of commercial law, contract disputes, condominium and homeowner association law, elder mediation, real estate law, probate litigation, landlord/tenant law, and mobile home law. Mary has a Bachelor’s degree from Florida State University (Fine Arts, cum laude), a Bachelor’s degree from Georgia State University (Journalism, with honors), and her law degree from Georgia State University College of Law (magna cum laude).
Mary was the recipient of several academic awards in law school, and was a member of the Georgia State University Law Review, where two of her articles were published. She has volunteered as a judge for the Stetson College of Law annual International Environmental Moot Court Competition, the American Bar Association Representation in Mediation Competition, and the National Pre-Trial Competition. She also has served as a Coach for local Mock Trial Teams. She has spoken on the topics of community association law, elder abuse, hoarding, disability accommodation, and landlord-tenant law to civic and professional organizations in Manatee and Sarasota Counties.
Mary is a member of the Florida Association of Women Lawyers, Manatee Chapter, and the Manatee and Sarasota Bar Associations. Mary has served on the Board of Directors and as President of Community Associations Institute – West Florida Chapter, the Friends of De Soto National Memorial, Inc., and as a director on the Manatee County Bar Association Board of Directors. Mary has served as chair of the Florida Bar 12th Circuit (12B) Grievance Committee and on the 12th Circuit Local Professionalism Panel. Mary has also mediated and arbitrated fee diputes for the Florida Bar. She is licensed to practice law in Florida, Georgia, the United States Supreme Court, the Middle District of Florida (federal), and the federal 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. She is committed to helping parties in dispute resolve their issues and move on with their lives, careers and future plans.
Mary would like to acknowledge all that she has learned from her mother, Zelda Hawk, a mediator and attorney of more than 40 years in Gainesville, Florida.