Twyla Sketchley, B.C.S., Attorney
Twyla Sketchley is a Florida Bar Board Certified Elder Law Attorney. She is licensed to practice law in Montana and Florida and founded The Sketchley Law Firm, P.A. in Tallahassee in 2002. Ms. Sketchley’s practice focuses on elder law, guardianship, fiduciary representation, and elder law related litigation. She is a past Chair of the Elder Law Section of the Florida Bar and a past President of the Academy of Florida Elder Law Attorneys (AFELA). In 2016, she founded The Sketchley Method, the nation’s leading resource on the prevention of the maltreatment of elders and people with disabilities.
In addition to being an active member of the Florida Bar and its Sections, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Florida Association for Women Lawyers, and the Montana Bar, Ms. Sketchley is active in her community. She works with statewide organizations that work to develop laws and rules that improve the lives of elders. She is a frequent speaker to community organizations regarding elder law issues. She speaks to national organization about elder law, caregiving, and exploitation. She writes regularly on elder law and guardianship and has been accepted by Florida courts as an expert in guardianship issues. She has also served as a court monitor in Florida guardianship cases to investigate and report to the court on issues involving court-appointed guardians.
Ms. Sketchley has received special training in Florida circuit civil mediation, Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders (SHINE), and Yoga. In her spare time, she gardens, sews, visits National Parks with her husband, and spends time with her family.
Honors & Awards
- 2011-2022 Florida Super Lawyer
- 2010-2022 Florida’s Legal Elite
- 2009, 2017 Florida Bar Elder Law Section Charlotte Brayer Award (Public Service)
- 2016 Woman of Distinction in Law Award, Girl Scout Council of the Florida Panhandle
- 2011 Florida Association for Women Lawyers Leaders In The Law
- 2014 Richard W. Ervin Equal Justice Award
- 2014 National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys Florida Chapter Member of the Year
- 2009, 2010 Florida Super Lawyer Rising Star
- 2009 Florida Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Award, Second Judicial Circuit
- 2009 Guardian Angel Award, Office of Public Guardian, Inc.
- Distinguished Woman Award, Smith-Williams Service Center Foundation (October 2008)
- Professionalism Works Award Honoree, The Florida Bar’s Henry Latimer Center for Professionalism (July 2008).
- Nominee, Elder Rights Advocacy Hall of Fame, 2008, The National Association of Legal Service Developers
- Outstanding Legal Services Award, Office of Public Guardian, Inc. (2005)
Al Bowden, Attorney
Al Bowden became associated with the firm in 2022. He has practiced law in Tallahassee for over 30 years. For most of his career, he was a civil litigation attorney for the Florida Attorney General, where he attained the position of Special Counsel. In 2009, he was named b y Florida Trend as a top government attorney. Mr. Bowden has litigated in federal and state courts throughout Florida, and he has been the lead trial counsel in many jury and bench trials. For twelve years, Mr. Bowden was an adjunct professor of law at the Florida State University College of Law, where he taught pre-trial practice. He is an active mediator, having mediated over 100 disputes. Mr. Bowden serves as an arbitrator for various organizations and for court-appointed matters. His practice now focuses on elder laws, guardianship, and elder law related litigation. For many years, Martindale-Hubbel has given Mr. Bowden an “AV” rating, which means that Mr. Bowden has reached the highest of professional excellence and is recognized for the highest levels of skill and integrity. He is married, the father of three adult children, and a member of Good Shepard Catholic Church. When not practicing law, Mr. Bowden enjoys lifting weights, cycling, and swimming, and also spending time with his dog, a Cavapoochon.
Stormy Sketchley, Head Purr-a-Legal
Stormy Sketchley is the firm’s Head Purr-a-Legal. He joined the law firm in May 2018 at just eight weeks old after learning the hard knocks of life in the storm drains of SouthWood. Since joining the firm, he has initiated a unique happiness program for firm clients and staff. He is also responsible for a regular feature on the firm’s social media called “Tip of the Day From Our Head Purr-a-legal”. Stormy enjoys spending time napping at his desk, chasing his toys, and stealing his coworker’s snacks.
Marisa Stidam, Florida Registered Paralegal and Office Manager
Marisa has been with The Sketchley Law Firm since July of 2018. Marisa handles much of the firm’s Guardianship and Medicaid cases. She is an honor’s graduate of Tallahassee Community College with an Associate’s Degree in Paralegal Studies and Intro to Legal. She is currently working towards her Bachelor’s Degree from St. Leo University in Criminal Justice. Marisa is a Florida Registered Paralegal. She is a mother of three and is active in the community. She has been active in the senior community for nearly ten years, by providing in home health care, and volunteering with the Alzheimer’s Project. Marisa is a member of the NALA Paralegal Association and the Tallahassee Network of Young Professionals. Marisa enjoys spending time with her children, crafting, and traveling.
Tazara Weilhammer, Law Clerk and Social Media Marketing Manager
Tazara Weilhammer has been with The Sketchley Law Firm since August of 2020. Tazara is currently attending law school at the Florida State University College of Law. Tazara handles the Elder Care and Estate Planning Client Maintenance Programs and is the Social Media and Marketing Manager for the firm. Tazara is a former law enforcement officer and has a Bachelor’s of Arts in Creative Writing and a Bachelor’s of Science in Law Enforcement Intelligence from Florida State University. Tazara is also a graduate of Tallahassee Community College with an Associate’s Degree in Paralegal Studies. . Tazara volunteers her time serving the local community as a youth soccer coach. She is a member of OUTLaw, the Women’s Law Symposium, the Real Estate, Probate and Trust Law Society, and Law Students Practicing Wellness. Tazara has two adorable children and a goofy German Shepard. In her spare time, she likes to spend time with her children, read, and go to the gym.
Marti Simmons, Legal Assistant
Marti is a highly skilled legal assistant. With an insurance license for Medicare, Marti possesses a comprehensive understanding of the intricate regulations and policies surrounding vital healthcare programs. Her expertise and attention to detail ensure that clients receive the necessary guidance and support they need. Marti’s dedication to her work is fueled by her genuine compassion for the elderly, making her an invaluable asset in providing crucial assistance to those in need. Outside her professional endeavors, Marti is actively involved in volunteer work within her community. Recognizing the importance of giving back, she generously donates her time. Marti’s selflessness and commitment to serving others leave a lasting impact on the lives of those she helps. In her downtime, Marti finds solace in the world of classic literature. She has a deep love for timeless books and treasures the profound wisdom and beauty found within their pages. Marti’s passion for reading not only enriches her own life but also allows her to engage in vibrant discussions and share her literary insights with others. Above all, Marti cherishes spending quality time with her son and husband, creating precious memories and fostering the bonds of love and togetherness that bring joy and fulfillment to her life.