Berrette & Zuppke

Attorneys at Law

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Berrette & Zuppke Attorneys at Law, LLC. 

Location:  5235 Ramsey Way Ste. 14, Fort Myers, FL 33907   

Telephone: (239) 768-5003

Maria C. Berrette

 

Attorney Maria C. BerretteAttorney Maria C. Berrette

 

Maria Cristina Berrette is a fierce advocate for people in need. She is resident of South West Florida with an impressive and extensive track record of public service to her community. Maria is the daughter of Mexican immigrants who were migrant farmworkers in Florida, Michigan, and Texas depending on the harvest season. As a child of a farm worker family, she faced many obstacles while growing up, including economic pressures and the burdens of moving around from school to school. The tribulations she faced did not deter her. She attended high school in Edinburg, TX where she excelled academically and graduated from Edinburg High School in 1996 with Honors. She briefly attended the University of Texas-Pan American before moving back to South West Florida.

 

Maria continued her education and graduated from Florida South Western University with a A.S. in Paralegal Studies in 2003. She attended Florida Gulf Coast University and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.S. in Legal Studies in 2006.  Following graduation, Maria taught government, economics, and world history at East Lee County High School for several years.

 

In 2009, Ave Maria School of Law opened a campus in Southwest Florida, Maria pursued the opportunity to attain her law degree.  This allowed her to stay in the local community that she proudly calls home.  During law school, she served as the Vice President of the Minority Law Society, where she was awarded the Florida Bar Foundation Summer Fellows Program for two years in a row as a law clerk at Equal Justice Center focusing on immigration, housing, and education issues. She also participated as Co-Law Student Governor for the Florida Young Lawyers Division for the Florida Bar.  She was as an active member in several other organizations, as well.

 

Maria was also a Student Advocate at Ave Maria’s Asylum and Immigrant Rights Law Clinic where she learned immigration law and procedures and had the opportunity to represent actual clients in a collaborative setting. She was also involved in the Mediation Law Clinic where she learned, used, and devolved skills as an advocate and mediator. Maria was a student volunteer for the Collier County Bar Association Pro Bono Clinic, Legal Aid Services of Collier County and the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program. Maria was also an active member of several school organizations and was the Vice President the Minority Law Society and served as a Law Student Governor for her school’s Board of the Florida Young Lawyers Division of the Florida Bar Association.

 

During her last semester of law school, she interned for a local immigration law firm and later became an associate attorney upon obtaining her bar license. After a brief period, Maria continued her career as an Assistant State Attorney for the State Attorney’s Office of the 20th Judicial Circuit in Lee, Hendry, and Glades County from 2013-2017. As an Assistant State Attorney, Maria fairly and efficiently litigated a wide range of cases including; misdemeanor, felony, juvenile delinquency, traffic violations, fish and wildlife conservation violations, municipal and county ordinance violations, and violations of probation hearings. During her tenure as a prosecuting attorney, Maria managed a significant caseload from intake through trial where she developed and demonstrated her substantial courtroom skills. The insights and experience that she gained through her work as a prosecuting attorney provided her with an advantageous perspective and an invaluable asset to help accused offenders.

 

Maria is a member of the Lee County Bar Association, current member and past Secretary of the Hendry/Glades County Bar Association, and Lee County Association for Women Lawyers. She is fluent in both English and Spanish. While Maria is passionate about her professional activities, she is equally dedicated to her family. She is married to Ronald Berrette and they are the proud parents of three teenage children who are all active in the local community.  She enjoys cooking and traveling with her family.

 

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