Phone: 941-906-1199
Fax: 941-362-0137

Attorney Bios

Robert M. Fournier

Robert FournierRobert M. Fournier has been a member of the Florida Bar since 1978 and has practiced law in Sarasota since 1980. Mr. Fournier currently serves in the capacity of City Attorney for the City of Sarasota, having been appointed by the City Commission in 2004. As City Attorney, Mr. Fournier is responsible for providing legal counsel to the City Commission and to City staff in the conduct of its daily business. He is also responsible for the preparation of municipal ordinances, resolutions and agreements and for oversight of both prosecution and defense of lawsuits to represent the interests of the City of Sarasota. Mr. Fournier formerly served as Deputy City Attorney and as legal counsel to the City of Sarasota Planning Board and Charter Review Committee. He has broad experience in all phases of municipal law and is board certified in City, County and Local Government Law by the Florida Bar. Mr. Fournier is a graduate of the University of Florida, College of Law and is admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida and the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

Michael A. Connolly

Mike ConnollyMichael A. Connolly received a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and History from the University of Scranton in 1979 and a juris doctor from Stetson University College of Law, St. Petersburg, Florida in 1981. Mr. Connolly is a member of the Florida Bar and is admitted to practice before the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Mr. Connolly received his Florida Bar certification in City County and Local Government Law in 2001. Mr. Connolly has been representing the City of Sarasota since 1987 and was appointed Deputy City Attorney in February 2005. Mr. Connolly serves as legal counsel to the City of Sarasota Planning Board and the Board of Adjustment.


Sarah E. Warren

Sarah WarrenSarah E. Warren has been a member of the Florida Bar and a practicing attorney in Sarasota since 1995. She is Board Certified in City, County and Local Government Law and currently practices in the areas of general local government law, labor and employment law, contract and procurement law, and civil litigation. Ms. Warren has broad public sector experience, having served as an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Sarasota since 2005 and as an Assistant County Attorney for Sarasota County from 1995-2000. From 2001-2005, she operated a successful solo practice, representing clients in civil litigation, civil and criminal appeals, and in petitions before local governments and school boards. She is admitted to practice in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court. Ms. Warren graduated cum laude from Stetson University College of Law in 1994, where she was a member of the Stetson Law Review and received the American Jurisprudence Award for excellent achievement in the study of appellate practice.

John K. Shamsey

John ShamseyJohn K. Shamsey practices in the areas of Local Government Law, Real Estate/Title Insurance, Real Property, Land-Use/Zoning, Foreclosures, Quiet Title actions, and Special Needs Law. Mr. Shamsey is board certified in City, County and Local Government Law by the Florida Bar.

Mr. Shamsey received his undergraduate degree from the Samford University in 1995 and graduated with honors from Florida State University College of Law in 2002. Upon receiving his Juris Doctor, Mr. Shamsey became an Assistant County Attorney for Charlotte County representing and counseling the County Commission on land-use/zoning and real property matters. After serving in the government sector, Mr. Shamsey entered private practice in Sarasota where he continued his land-use and real property work. Mr. Shamsey continues to represent clients in real estate closings, and has served as the title agent for dozens of transactions. Mr. Shamsey currently serves as an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Sarasota, assisting the city in numerous property, land-use, code enforcement and real estate matters and serves as board counsel to the Parks, Recreation and Environmental Protection Board.

Mr. Shamsey, a Sarasota native of over thirty-five years, has been involved in numerous community boards and organizations, including the Sarasota County Historical Commission, the Young Professionals' Group of the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, the Sarasota Bar Young Lawyers' Division, the Affordable Housing Committee of the Real Property Probate & Trust Law Section of the Florida Bar, the City, County & Local Government Law Section of the Florida Bar, the Gulf Coast Latin Chamber of Commerce, SOLVE Maternity Homes and FACE Autism.

Mr. Shamsey is a member of the Florida Bar, the Florida Municipal Attorneys Association, the Sarasota County Bar Association, and the Armenian Bar Association, and is admitted to practice in the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida.

Joseph C. Mladinich

Joe MladinichJoe Mladinich received a Bachelor in Business Administration with a minor in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin in 2001. After his undergraduate studies, Mr. Mladinich worked in procurement for NASA at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. He then took a job in international diplomacy in Belfast, Northern Ireland for the next three years before attending law school at Stetson University. During law school, Mr. Mladinich studied international law at the Universidad de Buenos Aires. He also served as a law clerk for Judge Robert N. Davis of the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veteran's Claims in Washington, D.C. While in law school he was a member of the Dean's List, recipient of the Judge Edith M. Atkinson Scholarship, and earned the William F. Blews Pro Bono Service Award. Upon graduating from law school, Mr. Mladinich prosecuted criminal cases for the Office of the State Attorney, 12th Judicial Circuit. As trial counsel, he garnered convictions for multiple high profile crimes, ranging from fraud to homicide. Mr. Mladinich joined the firm in January 2013 and enjoys a wide and varied Local Government Law practice, including Contracts, Contraband Forfeiture, Constitutional Law, Public Records, Sunshine Law, Personal Injury, Procurement, and general Civil Litigation.

Joseph J. Polzak

Joe PolzakMr. Polzak received a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from Florida State University in 1996, graduating in the top 5% of his class, Magna Cum Laude, and a Juris Doctor from Stetson University College of Law in 2005, with an Honors Certificate in International Law. At Stetson Law he was selected for an In-House Counsel Internship at FCCI Insurance Group, Corporate Legal Department, in Sarasota. Mr. Polzak then worked as a Corporate Consultant for a local international consulting company before serving as an Assistant State Attorney for the State of Florida, Office of the State Attorney, 12th Judicial Circuit, from 2007 - 2014. He worked in the Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto offices, conducting over 30 jury trials and hundreds of contested motion hearings. Mr. Polzak successfully litigated many complex cases, achieving jury convictions for crimes such as Capital Sexual Battery, Armed Kidnapping, Attempted Murder, and Armed Home Invasion. Mr. Polzak has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Keiser University's Sarasota campus since 2007, in Keiser's Legal Studies program. At Keiser University, he has taught over 40 courses in civil and criminal law and was awarded the Evelyn C. Keiser Teaching Excellence Award of Instructor Distinction. Mr. Polzak joined Fournier, Connolly, Warren & Shamsey in 2014 and practices in the areas of Contracts, Contraband Forfeiture, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Employment Law, Public Records, Police Liability, Sunshine Law, Personal Injury, and general Civil Litigation.

Mr. Polzak is a member of the Florida Bar, the Sarasota County Bar Association, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Florida Association of Police Attorneys, and is admitted to practice in the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida.

Our Paralegals

Haley Bond

Haley Bond, ACP, FCP, FRP

Haley Bond is a Florida registered paralegal with over 20 years' experience working as a legal assistant. She was nationally certified as a paralegal by the National Association of Legal Assistants in 2009 and holds an advanced certification in contract management. She was awarded the designation of Florida Certified Paralegal by the Paralegal Association of Florida in 2010. Ms. Bond serves as liaison to the City of Sarasota Civil Service Board. She is a native Floridian and has worked for the firm since 2007.

Melanie Marken

Melanie A. Marken, CP, FRP

Melanie A. Marken, CP, FRP is a Certified Paralegal and Florida Registered Paralegal. Ms. Marken received a B.A. in English and American Literature from USF. Ms. Marken has over ten years' experience in the area of local government law and assists the firm's attorneys in civil litigation matters, personal injury defense and public records litigation. She is a member of the National Association of Legal Assistants and the Florida Association of Legal Support Specialists. Ms. Marken is the current President of the Sarasota Manatee Association of Legal Support Specialists, and also serves as a fire commissioner on the Southern Manatee Fire Rescue District board.