Our Team


Robin M. Petersen, Esquire.

2014 05 16 04.26.13 240x300 Our TeamRobin Petersen is the Founder and Principal of the Estate Planning & Elder Law Center of Brevard. His practice is dedicated exclusively to Elder Law, Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Administration, and Veterans Benefits.

Mr. Petersen takes a personal approach to the practice of law. His extensive experience has taught him that effective plans and sound legal solutions can only be achieved by taking the time to gain a thorough understanding of his clients’ greatest concerns and most cherished goals. As a result of his face-to-face approach and commitment to efficient yet compassionate service, many of Mr. Petersen’s clients have become clients for life.

Mr. Petersen is Board Certified in Elder Law by the American Bar Association. He is also a U.S. Veterans Administration Accredited attorney and admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Military Appeals. As a former Air Force Captain, U.S. Air Force Legal Officer (JAG), he is uniquely qualified to meet the legal needs of veterans and their families.

A former Assistant Public Defender, Mr. Petersen is listed in Who’s Who in American Law, Florida SuperLawyers, an instructor of law to college students, and a sought-after writer and lecturer. He is also a graduate of the Atlanta Institute of Music.

Mr. Petersen’s memberships and professional associations include:

  • Board Member and Vice-President of the Brevard Chapter of the Florida State Guardianship Association
  • Board member and Vice-President of Space Coast Guardianship Association
  • Former Chairman, Florida Bar 18th Circuit Unlicensed Practice of Law
  • Brevard County Estate Planning Council
  • Charter Member, American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys (Former Member)
  • National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
  • Florida Bar Association’s & American Bar Association’s Probate & Estate Planning Sections
  • Brevard County Bar Association
  • Florida Bar Association
  • Virginia Bar Association
  • The American Bar Association
  • Member and Past Secretary, Florida Bar Consumer Protection Committee
  • Secretary/Treasurer and Executive Council Member of the Vassar B. Carlton Inns of Court

Mr. Petersen’s services to the community include:

  • Secretary/Treasurer and Board Member of Hospice of Health First
  • Ex-President and Member of Hospice of Health First Advisory Counsel
  • Town of Indialantic Variance Review Board, Ex-Chairman
  • Board of Trustees, Keep Brevard Beautiful, Former Board Member
  • South Brevard Chamber of Commerce
  • Leadership Brevard
  • Former Vice President, Board of Directors of Red Cross, Vero Beach Chapter
  • Florida Bar Fee Arbitration Committee
  • Founding Board Member, Vero Beach Community Choir

Mr. Petersen earned his Juris Doctorate from the Florida State University College of Law in 1981, where he was a Staff Writer for Florida State University Law Review; Clerk for Circuit Judge J. Lewis Hall of Tallahassee, Florida; Research Assistant to Dean of the Law School; President, Florida State University Chapter of Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA); Associate Justice on University Supreme Court; and Treasurer, Bar Association.

He earned his Bachelor of Science, Cum Laude,  from Florida State University in 1977.

When not practicing law, Mr. Petersen enjoys spending time with his daughter, playing classical guitar, traveling, yoga, martial arts, bicycling, and hiking.


Emily Ann Criste, Esquire

Emily New Pix 3 262x300 Our TeamEmily Criste is an Associate at the Estate Planning & Elder Law Center of Brevard. She practices exclusively in the areas of Elder Law, Estate Planning, Estate and Trust Litigation, Guardianship, Probate, Trust Administration and Veteran’s Benefits.

Emily attended the University of Tennessee, Knoxville where she graduated summa cum laude with her B.S. in Communications, minor in Psychology. Emily received a Broadcasting Scholarship and was a member of Alpha Epsilon Rho, the UT Honor Chapter of the National Broadcasting Society, as well as the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.

Ms. Criste’s memberships and professional associations include:

  • Florida Bar Association: Real Property, Probate, and Trust Law Section
    • Appointed: Senior Lawyers Committee
  • Brevard County Bar Association
  • Orange County Bar Association: Estate, Guardianship & Trust Committee
  • Brevard County Association for Women Lawyers
    • President & Membership Director – January 2014 – Present
    • President-Elect & Membership Director – June 2013 – January 2014
    • Membership Director – August 2012 – June 2013
      • State Membership Recruitment Award – June 2013
  • Central Florida Association for Women Lawyers
  • Florida Association for Women Lawyers
    • Communications Committee
  • American Inns of Court
    • Brevard County: Vassar B. Carlton Inn of Court
      • Associate July 2012 – Present
        • Legal Cloud Computing Presentation March 2013
    • Orange County: Central Florida Family Law Inn of Court
      • Associate July 2011 – Present
      • Pupil July 2010 – July 2011

In law school, Emily worked diligently as a research assistant to Law School Professor Carlo Pedrioli, J.D., PhD. in preparation of his article published in the Harvard Journal on Racial & Ethnic Justice. Respecting Language as Part of Ethnicity: Title VII and Language Discrimination at Work, 27 Harv. J. Racial & Ethnic Justice 97 (2011)

Emily is admitted to practice in front of all Courts of the State of Florida as well as the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida.

When not practicing law, Emily enjoys playing tennis, traveling, pretending to know how to surf, and spending time with her Shih Tzu fur child.

Support Staff

Legal Support

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Marla E. Rhodes

Paralegal – Guardianship / Estate Planning



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Ronna R. Schindler

Paralegal –   Probate / Trust Administration / Estate Planning



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Karen M. Wortman

Paralegal – Estate Planning



Administrative Support

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Albert J. Fielder, Jr.

Firm Administrator



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Kristin C. Whaley

Accounting / Billing Coordinator



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Cassidy V. Petersen

Administrative Assistant



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Carolynn Jaskot

Client Intake Coordinator / Receptionist