Spiritus Law combines a unique blend of professionals, including attorneys, government consultants, licensing assistants, and paralegals to assist its diverse clients. Our modern approach to transparent client representation and employee engagement defines our collaborative spirit and progressive energy
Yamile focuses on large-scale licensing and permitting projects, including assisting with expansion of alcohol retailers and importers, securing TTB label approvals for manufacturers, mergers and acquisitions involving alcohol licensees, completion and tracking of licensing due diligence and licensing status for retailers, and obtaining federal, state and local business permits. Yamile also assists with management and coordination of construction permitting and timelines for grand opening and new store launches.
Regulatory Consultant, Non-Attorney
Tom Busey is a Regulatory Consultant in the Alcohol Industry Group. Tom began his career with the Federal Government as a field inspector for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, now the Tax and Trade Bureau for beverage and industrial alcohol and tobacco (TTB). His career progression included area supervisor in a number of U.S. cities and senior executive positions in Washington, D.C., including Chief of the International Trade Division and Chief of the Alcohol Labeling and Formulation Branch.
Joe Carpintero is the firm’s Office Services and Facilities Manager. Joe brings twenty years of experience in office support services and leadership with various community outreach projects. Joe works with the firm’s Diversity & Community Outreach Team to identify local organizations in need of support from the firm’s resources. He also volunteers his time year-round as a Flag Football and Basketball coach at the Coral Gables Youth Center in Coral Gables, Florida.
Marilyn focuses on business permitting and alcohol licensing application processing throughout Florida and with various State of Florida regulatory agencies, including Department of Hotels & Restaurants, Department of Health, Department of Revenue, and Department of Agriculture. She assists with processing local land use applications, preliminary due diligence tracking, and local business permitting. Marilyn has also assisted with various commercial transactions including hotel real estate closings, and mergers and acquisitions, involving alcohol licensees. She is currently a licensing paralegal and has worked with the alcohol industry since 2008.
Daniel O. Espinosa
Chief Marketing Officer
Daniel Espinosa is the firm's Chief Marketing Officer. Having worked in both the corporate and non-profit realms, Daniel is a seasoned Marketing & Communications professional, bringing with him over 10 years of experience from a broad range of industries. Prior to joining Spiritus Law, Daniel worked in business development and marketing at several organizations, focusing on marketing campaigns, brand management, and corporate sponsorships. Most notable are his three years as Director of Operations at the Cuban American Bar Association, where he generated long-term growth for CABA and increased the its presence in the community.
Michelle Guarino is the firm’s Receptionist / Administrative Assistant. Michelle is a former schoolteacher and brings five years of administrative experience to the firm. Michelle is an integral part of the firm's success, she manages the day-to-day operations, provides support to the licensing paralegals and lawyers, she conducts legal research, drafts documents of various legal disciplines, manages schedules, and ensures the efficient and effective administration of the office.
Jonnie Jennings is Of-Counsel with Spiritus Law. Jonnie’s practice focuses on estate and trust planning, probate and trust administration, tax and business planning, business formation, and contracts. Jonnie earned her law degree from St. Thomas University School of Law and holds a Master of Law degree in Estate Planning from the University of Miami School of Law. She received her undergraduate degree from West Virginia State University.
Anqueisha is a Licensing Paralegal focused on large, multi-jurisdictional retailer expansion projects. She has experience handling retailer commercial transactions involving licensing due diligence and the transfer of various operating permits, alcohol licenses, food service licenses and local land-use approvals. Anqueisha also assists with the development of operational compliance reports and tracking multi-jurisdictional licenses and renewals for various clients.
Attorney, Founding Partner
Marbet Lewis is an attorney at, and co-founder of, Spiritus Law. She focuses her practice on the laws governing the production, importation, and sale of alcohol beverages to consumers. She represents clients in all aspects of alcohol and business licensing, alcohol advertising regulations, and operational compliance guidance. Marbet serves as the firm’s Chief Executive Officer and is a member of Women of the Vine & Spirits. LEARN MORE
Robert F. Lewis
Attorney, Founding Partner
Robert F. Lewis has worked with the alcohol industry for over 30 years. Rob formerly served as a special agent with the Florida Division of Alcohol Beverage and Tobacco (DABT) and later as an industry advocate and legal counsel. His experience as both a former regulator and a legal practitioner offers clients a unique perspective on enforcement and regulatory issues. Rob serves as firm's Chief Operating Officer. LEARN MORE
Evadne Maxwell has acquired over 30 years of experience in the alcohol industry as a Regulatory Specialist and field inspector with DABT. She is currently a Licensing Paralegal assisting with the management of licensing projects and the preparation, filing, and monitoring of various land use and business permitting applications throughout the State of Florida. Evadne has experience handling complex hospitality industry commercial transactions involving licensing due diligence and the transfer of various operating permits, alcohol licenses, food service licenses, and local land-use approvals. She earned an A.S. in Business Administration and an A.S. in Accounting Principles in 2008, while working with the DABT, and now focuses her career in assisting clients with various licensing and permitting matters as a member of the Alcohol Industry Group.
Loy A. "Tony" Haynes
Regulatory Consultant, Non-Attorney
Tony Haynes supports the firm’s federal regulatory practice as alcohol producers and distributors encounter new regulatory issues resulting from emerging COVID-19 business interruption and required operational changes. Haynes brings vast experience as a governmental consultant advising on licensing and compliance matters relating to alcohol manufacturing, importation and distribution. Haynes is a former chief of the National Revenue Center under the U.S. Treasury's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), now known as the Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau (the “TTB”), one of many positions he held during his 32-year tenure with the ATF. Haynes experience includes assisting with federal licensing and permit processing, trade practice investigations, and excise tax auditing. Haynes has also assisted with drafted rulings, industry circulars, and policy and procedure papers that are current today. He has knowledge and experience in the qualification and maintenance requirements for federal permits, compliance matters, and the resolution of administrative cases resulting from federal investigations of the liquor and firearms industries.
Regulatory Consultant, Non-Attorney
Debra Pender is a Regulatory Consultant in the Alcohol Industry Group. Debra served as both the Interim Division Director and the Deputy Director of the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco before her retirement from the agency in 2013. Debra is recognized as one of the architects behind many of the laws governing the retail sale of alcohol in Florida.
Jonathan Portuondo is an Associate at Spiritus Law. His practice focuses on business and transactional matters including, residential and commercial real estate, public infrastructure & development, financing, public & private partnerships, and hospitality. Jonathan is a Miami native and graduate of Florida International University, Cum Laude, and the University of Miami School of Law. Prior to joining Spiritus Law, Jonathan interned at the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office Homicide Division and worked as an associate for several small to midsize litigation law firms in South Florida.
Human Resources Manager
Susan is the firms’ Accounting and Human Resources Manager, focusing on all day-to-day accounting functions, including accounts receivable and payable, payroll, banking, account reconciliations, and client billing. Susan is also responsible for developing and implementing the firm’s human resources programs. Susan brings over 15 years of business experience to her role as accounting and human resources manager for Spiritus Law. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Criminal Justice, as well her MBA from St. Thomas University in Miami.
Zamani Thomas is Of-Counsel with Spiritus Law and his practice focuses on corporate formation, acquisitions & agreements, entertainment, music, media and intellectual property law. Zamani is also a consultant for entertainment professionals in the music and media industry.
Real Estate Paralegal
Helen Tilis is a Real Estate Paralegal with over 20 years of experience working in the real estate industry. She is experienced in complex real estate, land use and zoning matters for both public and private clients, and developer representation including condominium and hotel development and construction projects. Helen is greatly committed to offering superior customer service with an emphasis on confidentiality and discreet handling of sensitive information.
Steven W. Zelkowitz
Attorney, Managing Partner
Steven W. Zelkowitz serves as the firm's Managing Partner. His practice includes complex real estate, land use and zoning matters for public and private clients including the sale and purchase, development, and financing of commercial and residential properties, leasing, lending, and title insurance. Steven’s 30+ years of experience has allowed him to represent an array of foreign and domestic clients, including condominium and hotel developments and other major infrastructure construction projects, such as airports and sports complexes. LEARN MORE