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Program Speaker

Kathy L. Cerminara, JD, LLM, JSD

Professor Kathy Cerminara bridges the medical and legal professions with her work on patients' rights in the end-of-life decision-making arena. She co-authors the nationally known treatise, The Right to Die: The Law of End-of-Life Decision making, and is a reviewer for several medical and medical-legal journals. Her scholarship most recently has focused on the intersection between end-of-life care, palliative care, and health care coverage policy. At the Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law, she is a full professor. She is also an affiliate faculty member at NSU's Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Allopathic Medicine.

Professor Cerminara teaches Health Policy & Bioethics, Bioethics and Law and Medicine seminars, Mental Health Law, and other health-law-related courses, in addition to Torts, Civil Procedure, and Administrative Law. She also created and was the initial director of the online Master of Science in Health Law program for non-lawyers.

Professor Cerminara has enjoyed nation and international recognition for her scholarship and service. Most recently, she was awarded the 2023 Distinguished Health Law Service Award from the Association of American Law Schools' Law, Medicine & Health Care Section. In 2017, she received a Scholars Award for innovative interprofessional work with the Broward County Mental Health Court. In 2013, she earned an American Health Lawyers Association 2012 Pro Bono Champion award for co-organizational work on Wounds of War: Meeting the Needs of Active-Duty Military & Veterans With Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, a symposium taking place at NSU law school on February 1, 2013.

Additionally, since 2012, she frequently has been a member of the International Scientific Committee for the International Academy of Law & Mental Health, based in Montreal, Canada. In that position, she has co-organized the stream of therapeutic jurisprudence presentations for four of the Academy's bi-annual Congresses: one in Amsterdam in 2013, one in Vienna in 2015, one in Prague in 2017, and one in Rome in 2019. In recognition of that work, in 2017, the International Society of Therapeutic Jurisprudence awarded her and her co-organizer the first-ever Wexler/Winick Distinguished Service Award in Prague.

Prior to joining the College of Law faculty, Professor Cerminara taught at the University of Miami School of Law and St. Thomas University School of Law, clerked in the Western District of Pennsylvania and the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and practiced law with Reed Smith Shaw & McClay in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Professor Cerminara received her J.D. magna cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh and her LL.M. and J.S.D. from Columbia University. She is an affiliate member of the Health Law and Tort Trial and Insurance sections of The Florida Bar, a retired member of the Pennsylvania Bar, and a member of organizations such as the American Bar Association, and the American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics.