As head of the legal team, Jeff has offered advice and representation to health care providers throughout Florida since 1989. He is the former Staff Attorney to the Senate Committee on Health Care in the Florida Legislature where he helped draft laws relating to regulation of physicians, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, chiropractors, and many other licensed health care professionals. Mr. Howell has also represented clinics, hospitals, and other health care facilities. Howell served as the CEO/Administrator to a rural hospital and in 1999 was appointed Chairman of the Florida Hospital Associations Small and Rural Hospital Council.
Jeff represents licensed health care professionals with disciplinary issues in front of state regulatory agencies such as the Florida Department of Health and Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA). Jeff is experienced in helping individuals with background problems and licensing issues, including resolving licensing denials.
Jeff is a member of the Health Law Section and Workers Compensation Section of the Florida Bar. He is admitted to all State Courts in Florida as well as the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Atlanta), and U.S. Supreme Court. Since 2002, Jeff has served as an Adjunct Professor at Florida A & M University’s School of Allied Health Services where he teaches undergraduate and Masters level courses in Health Law, Legal Aspects of Health Care & Ethics, and Health Policy.
Jeff is available to consult with clients nationwide regarding health care law in Florida.
Rickey Strong is a 2001 graduate of Florida State University. He also earned his MBA from Mercer University in Atlanta, Georgia in 2005 and his law degree from the Florida A&M University College of Law in Orlando, Florida in 2008.
Rickey spent years as in-house legal counsel for the Florida Department of Health. During his time with the Department, he provided legal counsel for the Unlicensed Practice of Medicine (ULA), Medical Professional Licensing, Vital Statistics, Public Health, Disease Control, Environmental Health, and Epidemiology. Additionally, Rickey reviewed, and edited contractual agreements entered into by the state Health Department. He was certified by the state as a contract’s manager, taught the legal portion for state certification for Contract Managers.
Throughout his career, Rickey has provided legal counsel in health care and health care facility licensing through the Agency for Healthcare Administration (AHCA). Rickey also has experience in real estate law, including holding a real estate license since 1999.
Rickey is a member of the Health Law Section of the Florida Bar, he is admitted to all state courts in Florida as well as the U.S. Federal District Court for the Middle District of Florida.
Thomas Buchan has been admitted to practice in all state courts of Florida since 2018. Thomas handles licensure defense of professionals and health care facilities. These cases typically involve the administrative complaint process or issues with background screenings. He also handles the defense of a variety of complex civil litigation cases which include areas of employment discrimination, wrongful death, and negligence. Thomas is a member of the Health Law and Administrative Law sections of the Florida Bar.
Thomas is from Sarasota, Florida, and graduated from Florida State University College of Law in 2018 where he received the Katzentine/Simon Endowed Scholarship. He received his B.S.B.A. in Accounting from the University of Central Florida in 2012 and also attended the Junior Statesmen Summer School at Yale University in 2008.
Liane LaBouef serves as an Associate Attorney. Liane joined the practice in the Tallahassee location in May 2019 as a law clerk and advanced to Associate Attorney in October 2020.
LaBouef attended Florida State University College of Law (Tallahassee) graduating with her Juris Doctorate degree in 2020. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Indian River State College in Port St. Lucie and an Associate of Arts degree in Psychology.
Liane represents clients in civil litigation, health, and administrative law. She has a particular interest in defending the interests of licensed professionals, including psychologists and mental health counselors.
Jonathan “Jon” Zachem is a Tallahassee based lawyer with a Master’s in Business Administration. Prior to entering private practice, Jon was appointed by former governor Rick Scott to lead Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation. As Secretary, Jon licensed and regulated over one million entities and professionals in businesses including alcohol beverage and tobacco, pari-mutuel wagering, real estate, hotels and restaurants, veterinary medicine, construction, and athlete agents. Jon was actively engaged with over 20 Boards and Commissions around the state and has provided expert testimony before the Florida legislature. Prior to being a senior manager at the Department, Jon was chief legal counsel for the Department’s Pari-Mutuel Wagering division.
Jon began his legal career as an attorney with the Florida Department of Health prosecuting administrative actions against medical professionals in front of the Board of Medicine. Jon has experience drafting administrative complaints, appearing before the Division of Administrative Hearings (“DOAH”), and executing settlement agreements.
Jon, a Florida native, holds a B.A. from the University of Florida, a J.D. from Barry University School of Law, and a M.B.A. from the University of South Florida. Jon and his wife, Betty, have three sons.
Jeff is of counsel to the firm. He has more than twenty-five years’ experience in health care and corporate transactional and regulatory matters, including acquisitions and divestitures, federal and state licensure, and compliance. Jeff’s clients include health care providers such as hospitals, physician practices, and privately held corporations. He represents clients in transactions involving the provision of professional services to licensed health care entities, the formation and transfer of licensed health care organizations, and the management of licensed entities by business organizations. He also advises clients with respect to business planning, growth, succession, and exit strategies; governance, control, and operational issues; and the impact of state and federal legislation, including anti-self-referral, anti-kickback, Medicare and HIPAA.
Jeff was formerly a Board Member of the Association for Corporate Counsel, West Central Florida Chapter, and served as both President and Vice President of that organization. He was also a Board Member of the Association for Quality Imaging, a national lobbying organization based in Washington, D.C., and lobbied Congress on multiple occasions for changes to the Medicare payment laws.
Jeff writes frequently for the health care blog of Atlantic Health Solutions and speaks on various regulatory topics for many of his clients. He is active in community charitable work and school related activities. He and his wife and three children live in Tampa.
Michael Brown has been an attorney in the Orlando area for 10 years and is Of Counsel with Howell, Buchan & Strong. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Florida before entering the Florida A&M Law School, where he earned his Juris Doctorate Degree. He was a prosecutor for over five years with the State Attorney’s Office in Orange and Osceola County. There, he handled misdemeanor cases, juvenile cases, felony cases, felony violations of probation, and litigated over twenty jury trials. Mr. Brown left the State Attorney’s Office to become a civil litigator in the areas of foreclosure, breaches of contract, and insurance defense.
As Of Counsel, Mr. Brown can provide representation on your criminal case, while considering potential legal issues which may arise regarding your professional license. Mike practices in Administrative Law, has appeared before the Board of Massage Therapy, and Division of Administrative Hearings (DOAH). He is admitted to practice before all three federal courts in Florida. Mr. Brown has been a member of the Orange County Bar since 2009, serving on several committees. He is a board member of the Skobel Charitable Foundation and has volunteered with the children of Teen Court as a Judge and Jury Adviser since 2011. Mr. Brown is also a member of the Advisory Board for the Law Explorers in Orange County through the Boy Scouts and has been recognized for his pro bono work.