Meet Christa Carpenter
Ms. Carpenter knew she wanted to be a lawyer at age 15 when she went to court and watched attorneys advocate for an injured client in a courtroom.
She knew she also wanted to be a nurse to impact patient lives as her parents had done. In 2006, Christa graduated from the University of Tampa with a 3.98 GPA and double major in criminology and nursing. She was the salutatorian of the school of nursing and received the Outstanding Senior of the Year Award at the University of Tampa. She was awarded a scholarship to become a bachelors-trained nurse in the surgical trauma intensive care unit at Tampa General Hospital upon graduation. In 2007, while working full time as an ICU nurse at a large hospital, Ms. Carpenter enrolled in law school at Stetson University College of Law. She worked as an ICU nurse throughout law school at multiple hospitals and began work as a law clerk at a prominent Tampa defense firm in 2008. While in law school and working two jobs, Ms. Carpenter earned top grades in Tort Law and Constitutional Law, became an editor of Stetson's Law Review, and graduated in the top 10% of her class.
Upon graduation in 2010, she defended healthcare providers, insurance companies, and major hospitals in the Tampa Bay area. In this capacity as a defense attorney, Ms. Carpenter gained invaluable experience. She has taken cases from inception through trial, with remarkable results. She has represented clients in cases involving significant bodily injury and death. Ms. Carpenter remains current on both medical and legal practice standards through continuing education, seminars, and exposure to complex medical-legal issues in cases. She harnesses this dual expertise for the benefit of her clients in their injury cases.
Meet Eric Czelusta
Mr. Czelusta's work history and legal career has been defined by one simple rule: To get the best possible result, you must give your best possible effort.
Throughout his 20-year legal career and even before he started practicing law, Mr. Czelusta has done just that. Starting at a very young age while being raised on his grandparents' farm, Mr. Czelusta learned the value of hard work. He has applied that lesson throughout his adult life and continues to carry it into his professional career.
While attending college at Florida Atlantic University, Mr. Czelusta worked several jobs during the day to pay his tuition for night classes. At the same time, he maintained a 4.0-grade point average. In 1995, Mr. Czelusta earned a bachelor's degree in Political Science and then enrolled in law school.
As a law student at Florida State University, and to ultimately become a trial lawyer, Mr. Czelusta participated in the State Attorney's trial externship program where he tried seven jury trials as a law student. After graduating cum laude from The Florida State University College of Law in 1998, Mr. Czelusta continued to improve his litigation and trial skills as an Assistant State Attorney in Escambia County and later Palm Beach County. As a prosecutor, Mr. Czelusta tried over 50 jury trials to verdict ranging from misdemeanors to life felonies.
In 2000, Mr. Czelusta joined a prominent medical malpractice defense law firm in Palm Beach County. For the next 11 years, he represented physicians, hospitals, and other healthcare providers to defend against medical malpractice lawsuits. In 2011, Mr. Czelusta joined a Pinellas County law firm where he continued his litigation and trial practice representing people who had been injured by medical negligence. In doing so, Mr. Czelusta's work ethic has been the difference-maker in achieving his clients' results. He has earned multiple seven-figure verdicts at trial for his clients and even more seven-figure settlements before trial.
Eric Czelusta joined The Patient's Law Firm in 2019, now Carpenter & Czelusta, where he plans to continue his track record of success for its clients by applying the same simple principles that propelled him through his career up to this point.
Meet Iva Valtcheva
Ms. Valtcheva knows what it takes to persevere, to dedicate oneself to the goal of success, and to sacrifice to achieve the American Dream.
Iva Valtcheva was born in Bulgaria and was raised in the Tampa Bay area after her family immigrated to the United States when she was 14 years old. At a young age, she learned that the key to success is simple - it takes a strong work ethic, dedication, and sacrifice.
Ms. Valtcheva earned her undergraduate Business degree in Economics from the University of South Florida. She graduated with the highest distinction. Ms. Valtcheva went on to earn her law degree from one of the highest-ranked law schools in the State of Florida, the Florida State University College of Law. During law school, she worked several different jobs gaining legal experience, and most importantly, she clerked for a prominent law firm where she fell in love with medical malpractice matters.
Ms. Valtcheva began her career as a trial lawyer as an Assistant State Attorney for the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit in Hillsborough County, where she prosecuted misdemeanor and felony cases while gaining valuable trial experience. Then, she joined one of the most highly respected insurance defense firms in the State, where she represented many of the largest insurance carriers in cases involving medical malpractice and premises liability. Ms. Valtcheva has practiced law in several State and Federal jurisdictions and different cities, including Boston and Tampa. She is admitted to practice law in Florida and previously in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Ms. Valtcheva continued her litigation and trial practice representing the rights of injured parties while working for America’s largest injury firm.
With over ten years of legal experience, Ms. Valtcheva has handled all phases of civil litigation, from pre-suit through jury trial. She knows how insurance adjusters and defense attorneys analyze and evaluate cases. In joining Carpenter & Czelusta, Ms. Valtcheva is proud to bring this experience to fight for the rights of the individuals and families who have suffered because they have been injured as a result of another’s negligence.