Pipas Law Staff

We’d be lying if we said we could do it all without our amazing team. To put a face to a name that you may speak to, learn more about our all-star Pipas Law team.

Pipas Law Group's Paralegal Lauren Zahorniak

Lauren Zahorniak


Lauren Zahorniak attended Florida Gulf Coast University and received her degree in Paralegal Studies in 2010. In 2009 she began work in a family law firm before transiting to personal injury in 2011 in the Tampa Bay area. Outside of work Lauren enjoys traveling and spending time with her dogs.

Ernie Zimmerman


Earnie Zimmerman began his journey at Pipas Law as a rising star intern and extern while completing his AS degree in Paralegal Studies from Saint Petersburg College and simultaneously working for the Dept. of Homeland Security – Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Before completing his Paralegal Studies degree, Ernie earned a B.A.S in Public Safety Administration. 

Ernie loves spending time with his wife, two children, and newest adopted addition (puppy) Milo!

Cherrish McCarthy


Cherrish McCarthy attended Rasmussen College and received her degree in Paralegal studies in 2015. In January 2015, she began her career in Personal Injury working at a large well-known PI firm in Tampa, Florida.

Cherrish is a Florida Notary, U.S. Army Veteran, and a member of the National Honor Society.

Outside of work she enjoys spending time with her son, working out, and attending church.

Christina Johnson


Christina Johnson is a Florida Native, born and raised in Pinellas County. She has over 3 ½ years of experience as a legal assistant in personal injury, as well as experience as a Chiropractic Assistant with an emphasis in personal injury. Christina is also a classically trained Opera Singer and a Plus Size Model for Curv Exchange. When Christina isn’t working she enjoys drinking too much coffee, spending time with her family and friends and living a life full of adventure!

Joseph Gettinger


Joseph Gettinger moved to Tampa from Cincinnati, OH where he had earned his Bachelor’s in Secondary Education Language Arts while working at the University of Cincinnati’s Marx Law Library.  He spent 9 years teaching and coaching soccer before transitioning to a freight brokerage career that allowed him to transfer to Florida.  Joseph is a former Professional Arena Soccer Player, who continues to play recreationally on the outdoor soccer pitch as well as in the local kickball leagues. 

Kandice Hyatt


Kandice Hyatt was born and raised in Pinellas County FL. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Paralegal Studies from St. Petersburg College and graduated Magna Cum Laude. Kandice is also a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society.

Kandice loves spending time with her family and traveling. 

Elyse Hummel

Elise Hummel


Elise Hummel is a United States Navy Veteran with a Masters in Cultural Studies and the Humanities. She takes pride in her leadership roles in the community, spending her last 3 years prior to coming to Pipas Law Group as Peer Mentor and the Secretary of the Student Veteran Organization at the Military Veteran Success Center at The University of South Florida St. Petersburg. Elise’s drive to help others and passion for community-led to her receiving the Women in Leadership and Philanthropy Wilma Fowler Scholarship and The Next Greatest Generation Veteran Endowment. Her interests include going to the beach, reading, mediating and socializing.

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