Donna Ballman Interview

Click here to download

Donna worked for two law firms before founding her own employment law practice, Donna M. Ballman, P.A., where she’s practiced since 1990. She focused her writing on nonfiction for a number of years, publishing numerous articles on issues such as discrimination, sexual harassment, and employment law.

Donna’s book, The Writer’s Guide to the Courtroom: Let’s Quill All the Lawyers, has been released this year by Behler Publications as part of their award-winning “Get it Write” series. She blogs about using the law in stories at The Write Report, and she teaches writers how to help their characters navigate the civil justice system at writers’ conferences. She also podcasts about writing and publishing news and other issues for writers in the Litopia podcasts twice a week. She’s currently working on a couple of Young Adult novels.

Over the years, her cases have been anything but dull. The then-mayor of Miami once accused her of trying to turn Jose Marti Park into Martin Luther King Park after she forced them to elect their commission members using districts so they would have black representation. She once sued a mobster for sexual harassment.

Donna represented Bill Clinton as his Florida General Counsel for his first presidential campaign. When he was sued personally, she defended him, although she says the case lasted about ten minutes. During the campaign, she got to spend a day riding around with Hillary Clinton. She introduced Hillary to Marjory Stoneman Douglas (both fellow Wellesley alums), and was present when Hillary met Janet Reno. Her husband and she spent two nights at the White House when Marjory Stoneman Douglas received the Medal of Freedom.

Having the attitude that, if you have a minute with the most powerful man in the world, you ought to ask him for something, Donna convinced then-President Clinton to free the children that were in Guantanamo when it was being used as an immigration holding facility, after Lizbet Martinez, the little girl with the violin, brought the issue to the public eye. Donna knew the President was releasing them when she got a letter telling her so. He apparently hadn’t told the State Department yet, so they were a bit surprised.

She has been named one of The Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiffs' Lawyers in America, 2007; was named in 2000 as a member of Leading Florida Attorneys, voted on by members of the Florida Bar; has been named a Top South Florida Attorney in 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 by South Florida Legal Guide; and is listed in Who's Who in American Law. Her husband and she were named one of “Fort Lauderdale’s Finest Couples” by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for their work in the community. Ms. Ballman has been featured on Sky Radio Network on the Forbes “America’s Most Influential Women” program, Lifetime Television Network's 1996 special, "Full Disclosure: Sexual Harassment," and Bulgarian TV Co-Op’s program: “Women in America:  Atlanta/Miami.”  She’s been interviewed about her cases and as an expert on legal issues by numerous media, ranging from radio and television news to newspapers including the Wall Street Journal.

She has taught numerous seminars for legal and community organizations.  She also has served on the Editorial Advisory Board for James Publishing, a legal publishing company.

Donna named her two daughters after powerful women – Madeline, 11, after Madeleine Albright and Amelia, 8, named after Amelia Earhart. She lives in Fort Lauderdale in horse country with her husband Ben, shih tzu Frankie, and cat Dean-O. She vows to never be a dull mom.

Liked this? Share it!

Subscribe to our RSS feed. Share on Facebook Tweet this! StumbleUpon Reddit Digg This! Bookmark on Delicious

Comments are closed on this post.