Meet our attorneys
One of the benefits of hiring a lawyer is that you will have an expert on your side who knows how to navigate legal proceedings. We are committed to providing our clients with exceptional customer service and ensuring they understand their options so we can help them make informed decisions about what’s best for them during difficult times in life.
Stephen M. Bernhardt
Athena Pearl Riley
Gretchen R. Cothron
Criminal Defense Attorney | Forensic Scientist
Meet Our Staff
Our expert legal staff has decades worth of experience helping our community thrive with a mix of personal care and professional skill!
Jessica has been working with the firm since its initial formation and manages the business administration needs of the law office as our Office Manager. She handles our business with skill and efficiency without sacrificing personability and kindness. Jessica treats each client as family and strives diligently to work with each and every client in order to find a representation arrangement that works for them and their specific individual circumstances.
Rebecca has been a Paralegal for Bernhardt Riley since 2022. Rebecca has more than 12 years’ experience in various areas of law, with a primary focus on civil litigation. Rebecca’s knowledge and experience has been beneficial in assisting the attorneys with case management and trial preparation . Rebecca provides support to the attorneys in the civil litigation matters in all aspects of scheduling and filing, the discovery process, including preparation for witness and expert depositions, document productions and e-discovery, and trial preparation.
Jill Mello has been a Legal Assistant for Bernhardt Riley since early 2021. Jill brings her experience as an administrative assistant at a prestigious professional office suit in Pinellas County. Jill’s thoughtful and kind demeanor is a joy for our clients as she is often one of the first points of contacts. Jill continues to expand her legal education as she is in the process of earning a registered paralegal certificate.
Debt Defense Coordinator
Thiago Lanes has been the Debt Defense Coordinator for Bernhardt Riley since 2020. Thiago was born in Brazil and lived there until 2000 when he moved to Connecticut. Thiago attended Western Connecticut State University where he was a two-way starter for the University’s Football program and graduated with a degree in Justice and Law Administration, with a focus on Legal. Thiago’s hard work and professionalism help him effectively handle a large caseload in a manner that is appreciated by clients and respected throughout the industry.