Meet the Team
We are a team of dedicated professionals, ready to do what ever it takes to make your business grow
MARK C. ELIA, ESQ.
Mr. Elia came to Van Ness Law Firm in 2007, and has practiced in the areas of real property foreclosure, municipal law, and family law. Mr. Elia’s primary duty at his prior firm was representation of the City of Dania Beach in foreclosure actions on municipal liens. He prosecuted hundreds of municipal ordinance violation cases as Special Assistant Prosecutor for Dania Beach, and also represented the Town of Pembroke Park at code enforcement hearings. Our loan servicing clients are well aware of the negative impact tax liens, zoning violations, code enforcement liens and other “local” concerns can have on a property. Mr. Elia’s background in local laws and procedure is a vital asset to our firm. Mr. Elia is a graduate of Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida. He received his Juris Doctorate from Nova Southeastern University School of Law in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where he was a Goodwin Scholarship recipient. He is a member of the Florida Bar Association.
Mr. Elia has been with the law firm ten years and is responsible for oversight of hearing attendance, attorney assignments and oversees paralegal teams instrumental to our default servicing practice areas.
DAVID A. FRIEDMAN, ESQ.
Mr. Friedman came to Van Ness Law Firm in 2013, and has practiced in the areas of commercial litigation, employment and labor law, real property foreclosure, and consumer protection. Mr. Friedman is native of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. He thereafter obtained his Juris Doctorate, cum laude, from Nova Southeastern University’s Shepard Broad Law Center. Mr. Friedman was awarded a Goodwin Scholarship in the form of a full three year stipend, the Shepard Broad Law Center’s highest honor.
Prior to working at Van Ness Law Firm, Mr. Friedman practiced in labor and employment law, where he represented management in wage and overtime disputes, non-competition agreements, and stockholder disputes. Mr. Friedman is a member of The Florida Bar, the Broward County Bar Association, and is admitted to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
Mr. Friedman handles litigated matters for preferred clients, and regularly attends contested non-jury trials, depositions, and mediations.
MATTHEW R. GELBER, ESQ.
Mr. Gelber came to Van Ness Law Firm, PLC in June 2017 and has practiced in the areas of mass torts, personal injury, insurance defense, and uncontested foreclosures. Mr. Gelber graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Psychology. Afterwards, he received his Juris Doctorate degree from Nova Southeastern University’s Shepard Broad Law Center. Mr. Gelber is a native of South Florida and is a member of the Florida Bar Association.
In addition to his focus in uncontested foreclosures, Mr. Gelber is currently a part of the growing personal injury department at the Van Ness Law Firm
EVAN R. HEFFNER, ESQ.
(Litigation, Misc. Matters Associate)
Mr. Heffner came to Van Ness Law Firm in November, 2013 and has practiced in the areas of foreclosure. Mr. Heffner is a graduate from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor’s degree in Legal Studies and received his Juris Doctor degree from Nova Southeastern University’s Shepard Broad Law Center. Mr. Heffner is a native of South Florida and is a member of the Florida Bar.
IAN D. JAGENDORF, ESQ.
Mr. Jagendorf came to Van Ness Law Firm in 2011 and has practiced in the areas of foreclosure, title related and uncontested matters. Mr. Jagendorf is a graduate of George Washington University’s School of Business & Public Management, where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance, and received his Juris Doctor Degree from New York Law School.
Mr. Jagendorf began his legal career as an agency intern for the New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services, where he participated in hearings on the agency’s behalf before the New York City Civil Service Commission. Prior to arriving at Van Ness Law Firm, Mr. Jagendorf spent five years as an in-house corporate counsel for a prominent real estate development firm located in Aventura, Florida. Mr. Jagendorf also enjoys constitutional, consumer and public interest law, and is a member of the Florida Bar.
MARIAN KENNADY, ESQ.
Ms. Kennady came to Van Ness Law Firm in July, 2013 and has practiced in the areas of real estate, commercial litigation and representing creditors, lenders and trustees in bankruptcy court.
Marian received her J.D. with honors from the University of Florida Levin College of Law in 2000. While there, she was a staff member of the Florida Journal of International Law which published her Student Note regarding gender and the adjudication of asylum claims. She was an active member of the International Commercial Moot Arbitration Team and a member of the Virgil Hawkins Civil Clinic.
While at the University of Florida College of Law, Ms. Kennady served as Summer Judicial Extern to the late Alexander M. Paskay, United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Middle District of Florida. Upon graduating from law school, Ms. Kennady served as Law Clerk to the Honorable Raymond B. Ray, United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Southern District of Florida from September of 2000 through September of 2002.
Ms. Kennady has acquired a diversity of litigation experience in federal and state courts, representing individuals as well as a variety of commercial entities. Ms. Kennady has provided Chapter 7 trustee representation and has represented creditors in proceedings under Chapters 7, 11, 12, and 13 of the Bankruptcy Code throughout Florida.
Ms. Kennady possesses appellate experience and has presented oral argument before Florida’s First and Third District Courts of Appeal. Published opinions include: Lyon v. Sanford, 911 So. 2d 806 (Fla. 1st DCA 2005); Cohn v. Woolin, 971 So. 2d 869 (Fla. 3d DCA 2007); Shestack v. Horvath, 95 So. 3d 238 (Fla. 3d DCA 2012); and Gosum Investments, Inc. v. Estate of Sumar, 997 So. 2d 1146 (Fla. 3d DCA 2008).
Prior to joining the Van Ness Law Firm in July of 2013, Ms. Kennady was engaged in commercial litigation with the Coral Gables firm Concepcion, Martinez & Bellido (formerly Concepcion Sexton & Martinez). Ms. Kennady is currently engaged in real estate litigation and mortgage foreclosures.
Ms. Kennady is admitted to practice in all Florida state courts as well as the U.S. District Courts for the Southern, Middle and Northern Districts of Florida.
NELSON A. PEREZ, ESQ.
Mr. Perez came to Van Ness Law Firm in June 2015 and has practiced in the areas of residential and commercial foreclosure, personal injury, landlord-tenant disputes and bankruptcy. Mr. Perez, is a graduate from Florida International University where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, and received his Juris Doctorate Degree from Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad law Center. Prior to joining the Van Ness Law Firm, Mr. Perez served as a Litigation Associate at prior real estate focused law firms wherein he represented the interest of lenders and servicing institutions in foreclosure and foreclosure related matters. Mr. Pere focuses in the area of title related matters expertise is in title related matters. Currently, Mr. Perez serves the firm in the Complaint and Uncontested Foreclosure department. Mr. Perez has been a member of the Florida Bar since April 2013.
In addition to his focus in real estate matters Mr. Perez has experience in personal injury and is currently a part of the growing personal injury department at the Van Ness Law Firm.
WILLIAM C. STANFORD, ESQ.
Mr. Stanford came to Van Ness Law Firm in March, 2015 and has practiced in the areas of real estate litigation, personal injury, property damage claims and insurance defense, first and third-party. Mr. Stanford earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Michigan Statute University and earned his Juris Doctorate Degree from Nova Southeastern University. William is a member of the Florida Bar Association and currently handles litigated matters, including depositions, mediations and trials.
BRENDA E. CARPENTER, ESQ. (Of Counsel)
Brenda Carpenter serves as “Of Counsel” for the law firm in the Pan Handle area having previously been a Litigation Attorney for the firm handling both Foreclosure and Personal Injury Matters.
She also had assisted the firm in development of a Personal Injury practice. Before arriving at Van Ness Law Firm, Brenda had been practicing Personal Injury Law in both Oklahoma and Florida. During her nineteen years of law practice she has practiced in the areas of Commercial Litigation, Personal Injury, Real Estate, Probate and Family Law. She is a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi (BS 1989; MS 1996) and the University of Tulsa College of Law (JD 1999). As a solo practitioner throughout the majority of her career, Ms. Carpenter has represented clients in various types of personal injury claims including wrongful death, bad faith, premises liability and motor vehicle collisions, as well as other civil matters. She has successfully represented clients in obtaining settlements in hundreds of personal injury cases, in addition to representing clients in litigated matters related to foreclosure, real estate, and personal injury among others. Since her admission to the Florida Bar, Ms. Carpenter has been engaged in the practice areas of Foreclosure, Creditors Rights and Personal Injury in the Florida Panhandle.