The Foundation’s activities are directed by outstanding staff members who work in close partnership with the staff of the Florida Justice Association. By sharing people, space, and operational resources, the FJA Research and Education Foundation can ensure its funds are dedicated to delivering programs and projects that benefit all Floridians.
John Brazzell, Executive Director
John Brazzell, Executive Director of the FJA Research and Education Foundation, has worked on legislative and political initiatives since 1987, starting with statewide campaigns in Virginia. In 1995, John’s first assignment as a member of the FLA staff was to coordinate Eagle fund-raising for FJA’s North Florida region. Each year brought additional FJA responsibilities in membership, business development, and continuing legal education. John progressed from Director of Association Operations in 2017 to Chief of Staff in January 2019 when he was also given responsibility for FJA’s Foundation.
John is a graduate of the University of West Florida where he received his Bachelor of Arts in 1987 and Master in Applied Politics in 1990. He has always been a great athlete, especially in competitive swimming, and also enjoys camping and hiking. He and his wife, Hilary, have three sons and John serves as their Scout leader and baseball coach.
Michelle Eagen, Finance Director
Michelle Eagen is the Finance Director of the Florida Justice Association Research and Education Foundation. She is a licensed and active Florida CPA and is a member of the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants (FICPA). She received her Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Florida Fisher School of Accounting in 1991 and her Master of Accounting degree from Nova Southeastern University in 1994. Michelle has over 25 years of accounting experience in the publishing and legal publishing industries prior to joining the FJA.
Michelle and her husband, Scott, have a son and a daughter. She and Scott enjoy golfing, cycling, and traveling in their RV.
Bill Cotterall, General Counsel
Bill Cotterall, a graduate of Florida State University, received his law degree from St. Thomas University School of Law in Miami in May 2002.
After several years with large law firms, he founded The Cotterall Law Firm in 2010 to focus his practice on personal injury cases stemming from all types of accidents and wrongful deaths as well as consumer protection and commercial litigation for regional businesses.
Bill and his wife live in Tallahassee, Florida where they raise their two children and stay active in youth sports and local activities.
Melissa Robbins, Assistant Administrator
Following a successful accounting career in the private sector, Melissa Robbins joined the Florida Justice Association as Assistant Accounting Manager in May 2018. In January 2019, she was also appointed as the FJA Research and Education Foundation Assistant Administrator.
Melissa received her degree from Okaloosa Walton College (Now Northwest Florida State College). In December 2018, she earned the Qualified Association Specialist Certificate from the Florida Society of Association Executives.
She and her daughter live in Quincy, Florida, where Melissa is active in youth, school. and local events.