Cheryl R. Payne, Of Counsel


Cheryl Payne is a member of the firm's Estate, Trust & Wealth Preservation Practice Group. She focuses her practice on adoption law, providing the legal education, guidance and services that the prospective adoptive parent, stepparent, grandparent, or other family relative needs to successfully adopt newborns, toddlers, and adults. She also assists clients who wish to domesticate foreign adoptions. Cheryl has an extensive and successful track record in providing Florida's adoptive parents with an immeasurable depth of passion, empathy, and compassion throughout the family-building process, as well as providing them with the legal protection needed. Most of her adoptions involve bringing children from outside the state of Florida into their new homes within the state. Ms. Payne is well-seasoned in the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children for crossing state lines, and adoption involvement with the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978.

Prior to joining Quarles & Brady, Cheryl was actively involved for more than 25 years in medical risk management, malpractice, and personal injury, both in the educational field and in her own firm, and continues her licensure as a registered nurse. She previously provided support to law firms by reviewing and interpreting medical and dental records, performing medical research, advising on risk management as a licensed Health Care Risk Manager, preparing medical witnesses for depositions and trials in state and federal courts, as well as providing mediation and arbitration support. Cheryl also qualified and served as an expert witness in federal court as a registered nurse and in evaluating medical records. She has authored an article published in the AORN Journal pertaining to infertility, and appeared in a final segment on "ABC Nightly News" for National Adoption Day in 2016. She is a member of the Florida Bar, Collier County Bar Association, Collier County Women's Bar Association, Florida Adoption Council.

Legal Services

Education and Honors

  • Stetson University College of Law (J.D., 1992)
    • Trial Advocacy Society. ABA/LSD. Florida Bar IOTA Public Service Fellow. Stetson Law Journal. Phi Delta Phi.
  • Pennsylvania State University (BSN, high distinction, 1987)
    • Degree: Nursing.
  • Pennsylvania State University (B.A., 1976)
    • Degree: Biology.

Bar Admissions

  • Florida

Professional and Civic Activities

  • Collier County Bar Association (Member)
  • The Florida Bar (Member)
  • Florida Adoption Council (Member)
  • Sigma Theta Tau (Member)
  • Phi Delta Phi (Member)
  • American Bar Association (Member)
  • National Association of Nurses (Member)
  • National Association of School Nurses (Member)
  • Florida Association of School Nurses (Member)

Selected Presentations/Publications

  • Featured, "Q&A with Cheryl Payne, attorney at Quarles & Brady,", March 7, 2013
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