Attorneys & Staff



David L. Kian, Vice President and General Counsel

As the University’s chief legal officer, Mr. Kian is responsible for supervising and managing all legal matters affecting Florida Atlantic University.  Primary responsibilities include serving as legal counsel to the Florida Atlantic University Board of Trustees; providing legal and policy analysis and advice to the University President and all senior administrators; directing all litigation and administrative proceedings involving the university at the hearing, trial, and appellate levels; supervising and coordinating representation with outside counsel; assisting in the development of University compliance plans for federal and state regulations; and developing and presenting training sessions, panels, and guest lectures on an array of legal topics affecting the University.

Mr. Kian has served as Florida Atlantic University’s General Counsel since 2004.  Previously Mr. Kian was Associate General Counsel and Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Florida from 1999 – 2004, an associate with the law firm of Hill, Ward & Henderson, P.A. from 1996 – 1999, and a law clerk to United States District Court Judge Steven D. Merryday from 1994 – 1996.  Mr. Kian received his B.A. and J.D. with honors from the University of Florida, where he was a National Merit Scholar, a National Endowment for the Humanities Younger Scholar, a Wentworth Scholar, a Judge James B. Whitfield Constitutional Law Scholar, and a National Finalist in the American Bar Association’s National Appellate Advocacy Competition.


Audra K. Lazarus, Senior University Counsel, Health Affairs

Audra K. Lazarus, Senior University Counsel for Health Affairs, joined Florida Atlantic University’s Office of the General Counsel in September 2008.  She serves as the University’s attorney for health affairs, providing primary legal counsel to the College of Medicine, the College of Nursing, and Student Health Services.  Ms. Lazarus received a B.A., magna cum laude, from Dartmouth College in 1996 and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She earned a J.D. with honors from Columbia Law School in 1999, where she was a member of the Business Law Review.  Prior to joining the University, Ms. Lazarus was Assistant General Counsel for the College of Medicine at the University of Miami. Before serving in that role, she was an associate for many years in the New York corporate tax departments of Cravath, Swaine and Moore, and Simpson, Thacher and Bartlett.  Ms. Lazarus is a member of the New York Bar and the Florida Bar, the Florida Bar Association, the National Association of College and University Attorneys, and the American Health Lawyers Association.


Elizabeth F. Rubin, Senior Corporate Counsel

Elizabeth F. Rubin joined the University's Office of the General Counsel in 2006 repesenting mulitple units throughout the University on transactional matters and general legal advice.  After a short hiatus as the University's Chief Compliance & Ethics Officer from 2018-2022, she returned to the Office of the General Counsel in 2022 as Senior Corporate Counsel.  Her focus is on governance, corporate, compliance and real estate matters, as well as public-finance, public-private partnerships and special projects.  She also provides primary legal support to the FAU Finance Corporation and FAU's Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute.  Prior to joining the University, Ms. Rubin served as in-house counsel to multiple Fortune 500 companies. She has a JD and a BS from the University of Cincinnati, where she was a Lead Articles Editor on the University of Cincinnati Law Review Board. 


Wendi Appelbaum, Associate General Counsel

Wendi S. Appelbaum joined the University in 2019.  As Associate General Counsel, she serves multiple client groups throughout the University, providing primary transactional and other legal support to the University's financial and business operations, including, but not limited to, Procurement Services, the Office of Information Technology, the Division of Facilities, and the University's K-12 Programs. Ms. Appelbaum received her B.A. in Psychology, with certifications in both Non-Profit Management and American Sign Language, from the University of Central Florida.  She received her Masters in Business Administration from the University of Miami School of Business, and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Miami School of Law. Prior to joining this University, she served as Associate General Counsel at Florida International University, and as Associate Counsel at a private global transportation company.


Daniel A. Jones, Deputy General Counsel

Daniel A. Jones joined the University in 2013. As Deputy General Counsel, he is responsible for the management of University litigation at both the trial and appellate levels. Mr. Jones also serves as primary legal counsel for the Division of Student Affairs and the Department of Athletics.

Mr. Jones received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Samford University and his Juris Doctor from the University of Alabama School of Law. Upon graduation from law school, Mr. Jones was commissioned as an officer in the United States Air Force, where he served for four years as a litigator in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps. After completion of his Air Force service, Mr. Jones practiced as a Senior Associate with the law firm of Hightower & Partners in West Palm Beach. In 2010, he joined the Florida Attorney General’s Office as an Assistant Attorney General, serving as litigation counsel for the State of Florida. As Assistant Attorney General, Mr. Jones was responsible for providing legal services to state agencies and state officials, including the litigation of civil rights claims, tort claims, RICO actions, and claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Mr. Jones is licensed to practice in New York and Florida.

In December 2015, Mr. Jones received a Master of Arts in History from Florida Atlantic University and now serves as Adjunct Instructor for the Department of History in the College of Arts and Letters, as well as the Department of Higher Educational Leadership and Research Methodology in the College of Education. When he is not practicing law or teaching, Mr. Jones can be found fly-fishing for tarpon, chasing sailfish, piloting a Cessna to the Keys, snowboarding in the Rockies, camping on a remote riverbank, or planning his next adventure.


Tori L. Winfield, Associate General Counsel

Tori L. Winfield joined the University in 2016 as Associate General Counsel and serves as primary legal counsel to the Office of the Provost and Division of Academic Affairs. In that capacity, Ms. Winfield advises the Provost, Deans, and other academic administrators on matters including compliance with laws, regulations, and policies governing employment and contractual relationships. She is also the primary legal advisor to the University Police Department, Human Resources, and other institutional clients.

Ms. Winfield graduated with honors from the University of Miami and obtained her Juris Doctorate from the University of Florida where she also received the Book Award in Legal Research & Writing. Prior to joining the University, Ms. Winfield was employed as Senior Litigation Counsel for a national multi-line insurer where she directly handled and supervised litigation in the Southeast, an associate at regional defense firms where she specialized in employment law, and a law clerk to United States District Court Judge Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr. Ms. Winfield is an avid public speaker who routinely advised clients on federal and state employment laws and was selected by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to speak at its training seminars on varying topics in Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. She is the author of various training materials and an article published in the Florida Bar Journal. Ms. Winfield is licensed to practice in Florida and Mississippi, enjoys an AV Preeminent rating, and is a member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys.


Myles H. Lathrop, Assistant General Counsel and Export Control Officer

Myles Lathrop joined FAU’s Office of the General Counsel in March 2020. In this capacity, Mr. Lathrop advises multiple units on matters associated with the University’s research enterprise, health affairs, and those impacted by export control laws and regulations. Prior to joining the Office of the General Counsel, Mr. Lathrop spent the previous 5 years working within FAU’s Division of Research as its Assistant Director of Legal Affairs and Export Control. Mr. Lathrop received his J.D. from Suffolk University Law School and his B.A. in Management from the University of Massachusetts.



Suzanne Prescott, Office Administrator and University Agency Clerk, Legal Assistant


Cassandra A. Rey, Paralegal

Cassandra A. Rey joined Florida Atlantic University’s Office of the General Counsel in October 2019. She serves as the University’s paralegal assisting the University’s Counsel with research, subpoenas, pretrial preparation, litigation matters, transactional items, regulations and Board of Trustees meetings. She also serves as the liaison between the Office of the General Counsel and other agencies and departments.

Ms. Rey obtained her bachelor’s degree in Paralegal Studies and Psychology from Nova Southeastern University. She is a Florida Registered Paralegal and also a member of the Florida Bar, National Association of Legal Assistants, National Federation of Paralegal Association and South Florida Paralegal Association. Prior to joining the University, Ms. Rey worked as a corporate paralegal for a healthcare staffing company and as a paralegal in various south Florida law firms supporting attorneys with civil litigation, family, probate and immigration matters. In her spare time, Ms. Rey enjoys yoga, reading, baking, biking and travel.