Is the FL lawfirm Palmer & Reifler & Associates?
If so, check them out online. They have been sued in at least one class action lawsuit for their conduct in regards to the thousands of civil penalty letters they mail each year. Whether any such case is still pending would take some legal research.
Some out-of-state lawfirms try to collect money from unsuspecting laypersons in Illinois by threatening to sue over a few hundred dollars. Since the filing fee for a lawsuit in Cook County if $402 it is unknown under your circumstances if they would actually follow through with the threat of litigation.
If there are no criminal charges against you yet, you need not hire a criminal defense attorney to defend the shoplifting in criminal court.