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I have spent the past 32 years defending global manufacturers, drug and medical device companies, theme parks, insurance companies and businesses of all sizes when they are sued for product liability, personal injury, or premises liability. I have been AV-Preeminent Rated for longer than I care to remember.  I have attained the respect of my peers and inducted into the International Association of Defense Counsel (which, according to its website is comprised of 2,500 invitation-only peer-reviewed world's leading corporate and insurance lawyers), the Defense Research Institute, the Litigation Counsel of America and other prominent professional organizations.  I have previously been selected as a Florida Legal Elite several times, and have been fortunate enough to have been named a Florida SuperLawyer for the past 8 consecutive years.  Our goal is to maintain a small, collegial boutique law firm in central Florida which understands and responds to the significant litigation needs of the business community in areas of the law we know best.  Our Firm practices throughout the state, in every federal district and major metropolitan area. I am admitted to practice before the Courts of Florida, Alabama, all three U.S. Districts in Florida, the 11th Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court.  I am an inaugural Certified Litigation Management Professional, certified by the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance, after a focused program at Columbia Law School.  I am a proud 1984 graduate of the University of Alabama School of Law,  and I received my B.S. With Great Honor from the University of North Alabama. Our Firm is dedicated to excellence in representation while doing so in a professional manner.  Since 1999, I have served on the Florida Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism, and served as the Chair of its Diversity Subcommittee an unprecedented 3 times.  I am also deeply committed to, and involved in, diversity and inclusion efforts.  This has led to some recognition, including the ABA's Section of Litigation  2013 Diversity Leadership Award; The Florida Bar 2013 Henry Latimer Diversity Award; and the 2015 Defense Research Institute Sheryl J. Willert Diversity Pioneer Award.  I was an inaugural recipient of the LCA Peter Perlman Service Award which recognizes  individuals "who contribute in meaningful ways to society by giving back their time and resources in an effort to improve the lives of others."   I serve as the Co-Chair of The Florida Bar Standing Committee on Diversity & Inclusion, I Chair the Orange County Bar Association's Diversity and Inclusion Committee, I serve on The Florida Bar Standing Committee on Professionalism, and I have previously served as Chair of the ABA Section of Litigation Ethics & Professionalism's Diversity Subcommittee.  I have authored a number of articles on professionalism and diversity as well as on substantive topics.  In the latter regard, I serve as Co-Chair of the Product Liability Committee of the Florida Defense Lawyers Association. I haved also served terms on both The Florida Bar Code & Rules of Evidence Committee and the Rules of Civil Procedure Committee, helping write the rules which govern imporant issues in civil litigation.  My goal is to learn, lead, and serve as I advocate for the interests of my clients. 

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Contact info

Southern Trial Counsel, Plc

205 S Eola Dr
Orlando, FL, 32801-4500

Practice areas

Licensed

  1. Litigation: 100%

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License
StateStatusAcquiredUpdated
ALAuthorized to practice law198507/19/2016
FLMember in Good Standing198406/21/2016
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Awards
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Sheryl J. Willert Pioneer Diversity AwardDefense Research Institute2015
Peter Perlman Service AwardLitigation Counsel of America2014
Section of Litigation Diversity Leadership AwardAmerican Bar Association2013
Henry J. Latimer Diversity AwardThe Florida Bar2013
Florida Legal EliteFlorida Trend Magazine2010
SuperLawyerFlorida SuperLawyers2007
AV Preeminent Rated 5 out of 5Martindale-Hubbell2005
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Managing PartnerSouthern Trial Counsel | PLC2010 - Present
Associations
Association namePosition nameDuration
Transportation Lawyers AssociationMember2014 - Present
The Wm. Reese Jr., Leadership AcademyMember, Committee2013 - Present
Diversity Law InstituteMember2012 - Present
Litigation Counsel of AmericaSenior Fellow2011 - Present
International Association of Defense CounselMember2009 - Present
American Bar FoundationFellow2008 - Present
Defense Research InstituteMember1992 - Present
Florida Defense Lawyers AssociationMember1988 - Present
American Bar AssociationMember1985 - Present
Publications
Publication nameTitleDate
For The Defense (DRI, Defense Research Institute)The LGBT Legal Community: Times Change, Challenges Remain2015
Florida Defense Lawyers AssociationThe Changing Face of Failure to Warn Claim2014
Litigation Management MagazineBe Nice, Save Money: The Economic Benefits of Practicing With Professionalism2014
For the Defense, Defenses Research InstituteThe LGBT Legal Community: Times Change, Challenges Remain2014
American Bar Association, Litigation SectionBridge Over Troubled Waters: Service During Disaster as a Form of Professionalism2011
ABA Section of Litigation, Ethics & Professionalism CommitteeBatson Challenge Does Not Extend to Unidentified Minorities2010
ABA Section of Litigation, Ethics & Professionalism CommitteeReflections on the 30th Anniversary of In re Eim2010
Education
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of North AlabamaCriminal JusticeBS - Bachelor of Science1979
University of Alabama School of LawN/AN/AN/A
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Diversity Conference“Death by a Thousand Cuts:” Confronting Hidden Bias and Ethical Considerations in the Legal Communit2015
Annual Meeting“Product Liability – Differences in the Restatement 2nd and Restatement 3rd of Torts as Relates to Product Liability Claims and Various Nuances of Failure to Warn Claims,2015
Planned ConferenceGuardians of the Legal Profession: Benefits of Serving as a Community Leader2014
Diversity SeminarA Year After Windsor: Panel Discussion2014
Diversity Institute SummitProfessionalism and Diversity: The Outlook for the Invisible Minority2012
National Diversity ForumBuilding Strength Through Diversity2011
Annual ConferenceTrial Management: Using Technology to Increase Effeciveness2011
ConferenceTeam Building and Leadership Skills2010
The Florida Bar Voluntary Bar Leaders ConferenceBuilding Bridges Between the Bench, Bar and the Community2009
CEU Institute for National Insurance & HealthcareCase Law Update2009
Annual ConferenceLitigating High Profile Cases During Governmental Agency Investigation: A Multi-Prong Arrpoach2009
Annual ConferenceOutlook for the Invisible Minority2009
Annual ConfernceDiversity: Creating the Winning Edge2008
Spring ConferenceStrategic Use of Summary Judgment: Cutting the Catastrophic Case Down to Size2007
Solo and Small Firm SectionProfessionalism2007
Fall ConferenceProfessionalism and Diversity: The Outlook for the Invisible Minority2007
Voluntary Bar Leadership ConferenceDiversity2006
Pathways to Diversity ConferencePanel Discussion2006
Second Annual Diversity SymposiumPanelist2005
ConferenceThe Cutting Edge: Case Law Update2003
Automotive ConferenceHow Similar is Substantially Similar? A Defense Perspective2002
Automotive ConferenceProof of Defect Without Testimony: Can a Plaintiff Survive Summary Judgment?2002
Masters in ProfessionalismDiversity2001
Emerging Issues in Automotive Product LitigationThe Hot Seat: Seat Back Claims Issues and Trends2000
Annual MeetingSuccessful Lawyering in a Diverse Society: Diversity: Its Good Business2000
ConferenceProduct Liability Concepts1999