Deborah graduated from New Hampshire College in 1992 having earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business with a concentration in human resource management. Following her undergraduate work, Deborah studied at the District of Columbia School of Law in Washington, D.C. and earned her Juris Doctorate in Law. While attending law school, she was recognized for her academic achievements and was named in the Who’s Who Among American Law Students from 1993-1995. Deborah interned at the Government Accountability Project in Washington, D.C., where she worked closely with officers of the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s office (JAG) in defending military whistleblowers. She also interned with the DC Law legislative clinic and co-authored legislation for submission to Congress. Deborah is admitted to practice law by the Florida Supreme Court, the Supreme Court of New York, and the United States Supreme Court.
In 1992, Deborah was appointed by the Department of Navy to serve as Command Ombudsman and patrol squadron liaison during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. She served proudly, endeavoring to facilitate communications among the deployed Command, active duty members of Patrol Squadron 8, and the spouses and families of those serving in the Gulf War. She was also tasked with performing crisis intervention, assisting the families of the deployed military members in coping with the stress of war, and maintaining media communications. She was honored to serve those who have sacrificed and served this country so selflessly, and she wholeheartedly supports our military service members.
Deborah is an experienced civil and criminal trial attorney who initially served as a Public Defender for the Thirteenth and Sixth Judicial Circuits of Florida and, since 2005, has continued to litigate in the civil sector. Currently, Deborah’s practice is focused in family and marital law, and criminal misdemeanor and traffic offenses.
Deborah is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit Civil and Family Mediator. She has embraced mediation as an alternative to litigation because she believes that disputes can and should be resolved without conflict whenever possible. She believes that facilitating the parties to use communication and alternative methods of conflict resolution to resolve their disputes causes far less trauma to the family members because they participate purposefully and cooperatively to self-determine the outcome and obtain a more peaceful resolution to their issues.
Ms. A’Hearn was appointed to and proudly served on the Florida Bar Professional Ethics Committee from 2009 to 2015, during which time she served as program Chair of the sub-committee for the 2014 Masters on Ethics Seminar presented at the Florida Bar Annual Conference. Deborah has built her law practice on a solid foundation of ethics and integrity and holds herself to the highest ethical and professional standards in every aspect of her practice.
Deborah is a member of the Clearwater Bar Association and the Pinellas County chapter of the Florida Association of Women Lawyers.
Publications: “Bind Justice: Seeing Beyond the D.C. Superior Court Exclusion of Blind Citizens from Jury Duty”, 2 D.C.L. Rev. 431 (1994)