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Brian James Connelly

Brian James Connelly

Practice areas:

Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, Medical Malpractice, Social Security

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About Me

Brian J. Connelly was born in Vero Beach  and returned to his home town to practice personal injury and civil trial law in 1995. Mr. Connelly joined Gould Cooksey Fennell in 2000 and focuses his practice in the areas of personal injury, wrongful death, product liability, social security disability and insurance litigation.  Mr. Connelly is "AV" rated, the highest conferred for legal ability and ethics, from the prestigious Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory. He also received his board certification as a specialist in Civil Trial Law by the Florida Bar.


Mr. Connelly obtained his undergraduate degree from the College of the Holy Cross and his law degree from Stetson University College of Law.  Mr. Connelly's experience as a trial lawyer includes complex product liability cases in the areas of medical implant products, automotive components, heavy equipment, ladders and includes serving as co-counsel in one of the first tread separation tire cases that was the precursor to the Firestone tread separation cases, wrongful death and complex brain injury cases. Mr. Connelly's commitment to the practice of personal injury law has resulted in the creation of new law in Florida involving the parameters of expert testimony for cases involving personal injury and includes such reported cases as Mattek v. White, 695 So. 2d 942 (Fla. 4th DCA 1997) and Allstate v. Mattek, 735 So. 2d 1283 (Fl. 1999). Mr. Connelly's recent trial work has resulted in the largest verdict in Indian River County history for a non-surgical automobile accident case. While serving as co-counsel with partner David Carter, the two obtained a jury verdict which ranked among the highest awards in personal injury cases in the history of our community, and was recently featured in Florida Lawyer Magazine.


Additionally, Mr. Connelly's appellate court experience was instrumental in the creation of new law in the Florida dealing with the obligations of corporate and private defendants to disclose financial relationships with testifying experts. Mr. Connelly also served as co-counsel with firm member Troy Hafner against the State of Florida that secured homestead tax exemptions for homeowners utilizing certain trust structures. Nolte v. White & Dunn, 784 So. 2d 493 (Fla. 4th DCA 2001).


Mr. Connelly is dedicated to obtaining fair and just compensation for our clients who have suffered injury through the negligence of others. He is active in the Vero Beach community with volunteer service for the American Cancer Society and is a past board member of the Mental Health Association of Indian River County. Mr. Connelly also serves on the Board of Directors in the elected position of President for the Indian River County Bar Association and served for three years as the Indian River County Pro Bono Liaison for the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit. He is also a member of the American Bar Association, the Florida Bar and the Florida Justice Association and is licensed to practice in both the Florida state courts and the Federal courts in the Southern District of Florida.


Photos and Videos

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Practice Areas

Licensed since 1995

  1. Personal Injury: 60%
    20 years
  2. Medical Malpractice: 15%
    20 years
  3. Wrongful Death: 15%
    20 years
  4. Social Security: 10%
    20 years



Contingent (25-40%)

Payment Types:


Attorney Endorsements

1 total

  • Kathryn Bridget Johnston

    As a fellow Vero Beach attorney representing injury victims, I have witnessed Brian's dedication to his clients, hard work, and zealous advocacy in and out of the courtroom for many years. I would not hesitate to recommend Brian's services to any client needing representation in the area of personal injury.


    Kathryn Johnston Mediation Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact Info

Gould Cooksey Fennell, P.A.

979 Beachland Blvd
Vero Beach, FL, 32963


FLMember in Good Standing199505/07/2015

Professional Misconduct

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo Contributions
Legal Answers
Award NameGrantorDate Granted
Board Certified Specialist in Civil TrialFlorida Bar2015
AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review RatedMartindale-Hubbell2012
Florida's Top Ranked Law FirmsLexis Nexis & Martindale-Hubbell2012
AV Peer Review RatingMartindale-Hubbell2011
AV Peer Review RatingMartindale-Hubbell2010
AV Peer Review RatingMartindale-Hubbell2009
AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review RatedMartindale-Hubbell2008
The Florida Bar President's Pro Bono Service AwardFlorida Bar2006

Work Experience
TitleCompany NameDuration
PartnerGould Cooksey Fennell, P.A.2000 - Present
Associate AttorneyWilliam S. Frates, P.A.1995 - 2000

Association NamePosition NameDuration
Youth GuidanceVolunteer2010 - Present
Sun-Up ARCBoard of Directors2008 - Present
Indian River County Bar AssociationPast President2008 - 2010
Florida Justice AssociationEagle Member2007 - Present
American Bar AssociationMember1996 - Present
Indian River County Bar AssociationMember1996 - Present
Florida Bar AssociationMember1996 - Present
Academy of Florida Trial LawyersMemberN/A
Florida Justice AssociationMemberN/A
Mental Health AssociationBoard of DirectorsN/A

Legal Cases
Case NameOutcome
Freeman v. Direct Seafood3.8 million dollar verdict
Jane Doe v. Major Restaurant Franchise$525,000
Plaintiff v. State Farm InsuranceJury Trial Verdict $654,000

See all Legal Cases 

School NameMajorDegreeGraduated
Stetson University College of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1995
College of the Holy CrossN/AN/AN/A

Speaking Engagements
Conference NameTitleDate
Law WeekLaw Week2011