Attorney Ita Neymotin, the Regional Counsel of the Office of Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional Counsel, Second District Court of Appeal of Florida, hosted a delegation from the Republic of Belarus on its unprecedented Southwest Florida visit to discuss our criminal justice system and explore mutual economic opportunity between the two regions.
During the May 3, 2016 visit to Fort Myers, FL, Pavel Shidlovsky, Chargé d’Affaires from the Embassy of Belarus in the U.S., invited Neymotin to facilitate a symposium that will be taking place between a larger Belarusian delegation and officials from the City of Fort Myers in June. That delegation will seek to establish a sister city relationship between Fort Myers and a city in Belarus. Shidlovsky approached Neymotin to serve as liaison for the visit based on the success of her mission to Ukraine to modernize that Eastern European nation’s justice system.
Neymotin then accompanied Shidlovsky and Mikhail Morgulis, the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Belarus in Florida, to meetings with Southwest Florida leaders including Mayor Randy Henderson, Lee County Board of County Commissioners Chair Frank Mann, and State Attorney Steven Russell. Shidlovsky and Morgulis presented on business opportunities in the “Switzerland of Eastern Europe” during a meeting of the Fort Myers Rotary Club, where State Attorney Russell serves as president. The Honorary Consul was co-founder of the first Rotary Club of Russia with comedian Yakov Smirnov.
In his address to the Fort Myers Rotary Club, Shidlovsky indicated the Region of Gomel in Belarus has much in common with Fort Myers. He expressed enthusiasm for establishing Belarusian investment in Southwest Florida, and vice versa. In Dec. 2015, Belarus established one of its two Honorary Consulates in the U.S. in North Port, Florida.
Neymotin said, “I developed my passion for the protections afforded by the U.S. Constitution as a child immigrating to this country with my family to escape oppression in the Soviet Union. I was privileged to work on implementing a new code of criminal procedure in Ukraine, which was a significant change from the Soviet-era code of procedure that had still been in place. To help discover shared opportunities between Southwest Florida and Belarus is another challenge I am thrilled to undertake.”
Neymotin is chair of the Local Professionalism Panel for the Twentieth Judicial Circuit and is a frequent speaker on professionalism at educational seminars, conferences and other agencies across Florida. Neymotin is on The Florida Bar Grievance Committee and was the 2015 Medal of Honor recipient from the Collier County Bar Association. She is also a volunteer adjunct professor at Ave Maria School of Law where she teaches Advanced Florida Criminal Law and Procedure.
Office of Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional Counsel
Second District Court of Appeal, Florida
Ita Neymotin, Regional Counsel was appointed by Governor Rick Scott in 2011 and reappointed March 15, 2016 to lead The Office of Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional Counsel, Second District Court of Appeal (OCCCRC2). It is one of five regional counsel offices created by the legislature in 2007 to provide legal representation to indigent persons in criminal cases in which the court grants the Public Defender’s motion to withdraw and appoints the OCCCRC2, in dependency and civil cases, and certain statutorily authorized civil commitment proceedings. OCCCRC2 also handles appeals and post conviction motions. As noted under Statute 27.511, the Florida Legislature states “it is the intent of the Legislature to provide adequate representation in a fiscally sound manner, while safeguarding constitutional principles.” Regional Counsel saves millions of taxpayer dollars every year while providing quality representation to its clients. For more information visit www.flrc2.org.