Spring 2016

Volume XVIII, Issue 1   


Inside this issue:
President's Column
Member Profile
FDLA New Members
Defense Verdicts
Committee News
FDLA Member Initiative
FDLA 2016 Winter Seminar
2016 Annual Meeting
FDLA Lunch & Learn Webinar Series - Auto Law Update
FDLA Lunch & Learn Webinar Series - Emergence of Insurers Suing Their Defense Counsel...
FDLA and DRI Joint Webinar
Orange County Bar Association Luncheon
deFENSE POST Information
Attention Members!

Take advantage of the deFENSE POST to share your verdicts, accomplishments,

recognitions and special achievements with FDLA members. Send your press releases, office relocation notices, defense verdicts and any other items of interest to the FDLA

office via email to ljude@fdla.org The content of deFENSE POST depends on

information from

 FDLA members.


The date to remember to submit your "news" for the Summer 2016 issue of deFENSE POST is May 1, 2016 - send your news in NOW!

Dates to Remeber
June 8-11, 2016
Disney's Contemporary
Lake Buena Vista, Florida
September 22-25, 2016
LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort
Naples, Florida
January 11-16, 2017 
Big Sky, Montana
June 7-10, 2017
Disney's Contemporary
Lake Buena Vista, Florida

June 6-9, 2018
Disney's Contemporary
Lake Buena Vista, Florida


FDLA Lunch & Learn Webinar Series
   Wednesday, May 11, 2016
      The Emergencies of Insurers 
      Suing Their Retained Defense
      Counsel - A Practice Guide 

   Tuesday, August 9, 2016 
      Premises Liability

Watch your emails for notices/ information on how to register for upcoming FDLA webinars!

Board of Directors

The FDLA Board of Directors meets on a quarterly basis. If any member has items/ issues he or she would like the Board to address, please use the contact information below: 


Andrew S. Bolin   

P: 813-226-3000

E: asb@law-fla.com

FDLA Office
P: 813-885-9888



The next  

Board Meetings are  

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

and Saturday, June 11, 2016

Andrew S. Bolin 
Beytin McLaughlin McLaughlin O'Hara Bocchino & Bolin
201 N. Franklin Street
Suite 2900
Tampa, FL 33602
P: 813-226-3000
F: 813-226-3001 

Robert E. Bonner 
Meier Bonner Muszynski O'Dell & Harvey PA
260 Wekiva Springs Rd 
Longwood, FL 32779
P: 407-872-7774 
F: 407-872-7997 

Jeffrey W. Johnson 
Johnson Law Group
1900 NW Corporate Blvd
Boca Raton, FL 33431
P: 561-994-9433 
F: 561-994-9099 

Dale J. Paleschic 
Immediate Past President
Luks Santaniello Petrillo
& Jones 
301 West Bay Street
Jacksonville, FL 32202
P: 904-791-9191
F: 904-791-9196
Enjoy the Spring 2016 Electronic Edition of 
President's Column
Andrew S. Bolin
FDLA President
Beytin McLaughlin McLaughlin O'Hara Bocchino & Bolin 
Tampa, FL
You Are Our Best Advertisement

Since we began our new member initiative about six weeks ago, we have seen one of the largest month-to-month increases in new membership in years. We couldn't be happier to welcome these new members to our organization. While our emails and letters have helped to spread the word that there has never been a better time for new members to join the FDLA, the most effective way for us to continue to grow our number is for members like you to help spread the word. If you aren't sure how to help, or wonder why this new member initiative is something you should help with, here are a few thoughts and ideas:
With a new membership costing only $50.00 through the month of April, now is the best time to invest in the development of the young lawyers in your office. The FDLA has excellent opportunities for young lawyers to get plugged in to a community of experienced defense attorneys where they can learn from the collective experience of the group and be exposed to educational opportunities that will give them ideas on defense strategies, basic skills and keep them up to date on the newest developments in their area of practice. If you have new lawyers in your office that aren't yet members, $50.00 is a small investment in their future and in your firm. 
The larger our numbers are, the more everyone can benefit from the collective ideas and experiences of the group. We all work with other defense counsel on a daily basis that we respect greatly. Promoting the FDLA is as easy as asking those defense attorneys you work with whether they are active members of the FDLA, telling them that we would benefit from having them as members and telling them that right now, a year of membership will only cost them $50.00. If we gained only 1 new member for every 5 members that passed along the word, the FDLA would grow exponentially and we would all benefit from the increase in diversity and experience. 
Not only can we learn from new members but the larger our organization, the more able we are to mobilize our members to address issues that affect our clients. At a time where we routinely see challenges to new legislation like Daubert, in the Supreme Court, our voice as a defense community must be louder than ever. Our brethren across the table from us are highly organized and extremely active in their attempts to tilt the balance in favor of their clients. It is vital that the FDLA also promotes balance and fairness for our respective clients. 
If you aren't sure how to go about identifying new potential members, contact me. We have lists of those individuals who have attended one of the many webinars we have hosted this year, who are not yet members. These are defense attorneys that have already been a part of an excellent educational opportunity we have offered, but for whatever reason haven't joined us as a member. It only takes a few minutes to peruse that list and reach out to the attorneys you personally know. I routinely receive comments from defense attorneys about how impressed they are with speakers at our seminars or members who distinguish themselves through providing commentary on the issues the defense community is facing. Seeing outstanding members like you in action and better yet, hearing that the FDLA is an important part of your practice is the best advertisement to entice them to give the FDLA a try to enhance their own practices. 
Thank you all for your hard work, and I look forward to continuing to welcome new members to the FDLA. 
Keep fighting the good fight,
Andy Bolin
FDLA President 

Member Profile
C. Ryan Jones

Given the impressive backgrounds described in prior member profiles, I, like Goose in Top Gun, am just lucky to be here.  My name is Ryan Jones, and at the risk of becoming very unpopular, I'll proudly state that I am a die-hard Georgia Bulldog.
I grew up in what was a small town outside of Atlanta and was introduced to the great religion that is college football at the University of Georgia in 1997.  After four years there, I managed to graduate with a degree in international business.  I also managed to have more than my fair share of fun - just ask my parents.  In fact, I had so much fun, that for my own good, I worked for two years at a law firm in Atlanta while reflecting on how a different educational experience would be needed if I was going on to law school.  It may have been the structured finance transactions at a big Atlanta firm, or the lack of 25 cent beer night Tuesdays through Thursdays, but I found my way back to school.
The fine institution of Stetson allowed me to attend its law school.  As it turns out, if you actually go to class, study, and work hard, you can accomplish amazing things.  Before I knew it, I was involved in Moot Court and Law Review - don't get me wrong, I joined Moot Court because I heard there was a team traveling to Vienna.  And there was.  After many, many practices designed to eliminate the Georgia accent, I was off to Vienna.  All of the speech lessons must have paid off because our team actually won first place in the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot.
At that point, I figured the whole litigation thing might be for me.  When I graduated, I decided to take a chance on the unknown and stay in Florida rather than return home to Georgia.  I was fortunate enough to start my career at Shook, Hardy & Bacon - a firm best known for products liability defense and trying tobacco cases.  Although I would eventually move on, I cannot say enough great things about the firm, its lawyers, or my experience there.
After a few years of receiving monthly recruiting calls from an old classmate, I joined an insurance defense firm in St. Petersburg.  I read an insurance policy for the first time and learned some new phrases like "first party property," "construction defect," and "coverage."  I found that I actually enjoyed this area of law and went to work trying to understand how a one-way fee statute was only the beginning of "a level playing field."
Shortly afterwards, we opened the St. Petersburg office of Traub, Lieberman, Straus & Shrewsberry.  Since then, I have been honored to be named a partner at the firm, receive an AV-Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubble, be named a Super Lawyer Rising Star, and most importantly, receive the FDLA James A. Dixon Young Lawyer of the Year Award.  I've also had the privilege of representing some of the finest insurance carriers in trial and on appeal.
Last year, at the FDLA Summer Meeting at the Vinoy in St. Petersburg, I got engaged to the love of my life, Heather.  As my soon-to-be better half, she has only one flaw - being a Florida Gator.  She is currently threatening to make our new bulldog puppy wear a Gator jersey during this year's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party due to an ill-advised wager by me that Georgia would win last year's game.  When we are not in the throes of rivalry, we are enjoying St. Petersburg, any outdoor activity, and of course, attending the Winter Conference.

Chandler E. Bonanno
Weekley Schulte Valdes LLC
Tampa, FL
Christopher G. Brown
Cooney Trybus Kwavnick Peets PLC
Ft Lauderdale, FL
Renee Gomez
Marlow Adler Abrams Adler Newman & Lewis
Coral Gables, FL
Matthew N. Haldeman
Beytin McLaughlin McLaughlin O'Hara Bocchino & Bolin
Maitland, FL  
Shannon R. Hladik
Fast Cat Claims Inc
Palm Harbor, FL
Kyle S. Morat
Beytin McLaughlin McLaughlin O'Hara Bocchino & Bolin
Maitland, FL
Elaine J. LaFlamme
Litchfield Cavo LLP
Ft Lauderdale, FL
Scott A. Shelton
Cole Scott & Kissane PA
Orlando, FL 
Bryan Ashlock
Gaebe Mullen Antonelli & DiMatteo
West Palm Beach, FL

Mark Atlas
Litchfield Cavo LLP
Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Jeremy D. Bailie
Abbey Adams Byelick & Mueller LLP
St Petersburg, FL

Isabel D. Barroso
Quintairos Prieto Wood & Boyer PA
Ft Myers, FL

Benjamin L. Bedard
Roberts Reynolds Bedard & Tuzzio PLLC
West Palm Beach, FL

Marius Boeru
Cooney Trybus Kwavnick Peets PLC
Ft. Lauderdale, FL

William D. Bonezzi
Bonezzi Switzer Polito & Hupp
St Petersburg, FL

Amy Jo Carter
Quintairos Prieto Wood & Boyer PA
Orlando, FL

Richard N. Conforti
DLD Lawyers
Coral Gables, FL

Andrew S. Connell Jr
Litchfield Cavo LLP
Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Andrea Cox
Arnstein & Lehr LLP
Miami, FL

Rebecca J. Davis
Cooney Trybus Kwavnick Peets PLC
Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Alejandro A. Diaz
Klein Glasser Park & Lowe PL
Miami, FL

Barry A. Dubinsky
Johnson Law Group
Boca Raton, FL

Molly J. Durso
Pearson Bitman LLP
Maitland, FL

Ernest H. Eubanks Jr.
Rumberger Kirk & Caldwell PA
Orlando, FL

Stuart J. Freeman
Brasfield Freeman Goldis & Cash PA
St Petersburg, FL

Megan M. Hall
Wilson Harrell Farrington Ford Wilson Spain & Parsons PA
Pensacola, FL

Chase E. Hattaway
Rumberger Kirk & Caldwell PA
Orlando, FL

Alexander Heydemann
Weinberg Wheeler Hudgins Gunn & Dial LLC
Miami, FL

George Goranitis
Gaebe Mullen Antonelli & DiMatteo
Coral Gables, FL

William B. Graham
Carr Allison
Tallahassee, FL

Ronald J. Isriel
Isriel Ponzoli & Simpson PA
Miami, FL

Thamir A. R. Kaddouri Jr.
Law Office of Thamir A R Kaddouri Jr PA
Tampa FL

Jennifer J. Kennedy
Abbey Adams Byelick & Mueller LLP
St Petersburg, FL

Kelly A. Lenahan
Cooney Trybus Kwavnick Peets PLC
Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Ryan E. Michaels
Cooney Trybus Kwavnick Peets PLC
Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Garland C. Morris
Dean Ringers Morgan & Lawton PA
Orlando, FL

Deborah L. Moskowitz
Quintairos Prieto Wood & Boyer PA
Orlando, FL

Justin D. Niznik
Bowman and Brooke LLP
Lake Mary, FL

Geralyn M. Passaro
Litchfield Cavo LLP
Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Shenele E. Pettis
McEwan Martinez Dukes & Hall PA
Orlando, FL

Claude DeWitt Revels
Dean Ringers Morgan & Lawton PA
Orlando, FL

Kimberly A. Sandefer
Dutton Law Group PA
Tampa, FL

Adam Santana
Nosich & Ganz PA
Coral Gables, FL

Jeffrey B. Shapiro
Arnstein & Lehr LLP
Miami, FL

James M. Shaw Jr.
Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig LLP
Tampa, FL

Keith G. Shevenell
HD Law Partners PA
Tampa, FL

Mandi Stephenson
Johnson Law Group
Boca Raton, FL

Mark J. Sullivan
Klein Glasser Park & Lowe PL
Miami, FL

Alexandra M. Taboada
Nosich & Ganz PA
Coral Gables, FL

Mary B. Thomas
Terrana Perez & Salgado PA
Tampa, FL

Zachary D. Trapp
McEwan Martinez Dukes & Hall PA
Orlando, FL

Michael E. Wargo
Johnson Law Group
Boca Raton, FL

Paul M. Weekley
Weekley Schulte Valdes LLC
Tampa, FL

Michelle H. Zeiger
Quintairos Prieto Wood & Boyer PA
Ft. Lauderdale, FL


Defense Verdicts  
Kevin Jakab  and associate Anthony Salem of Jakab Law, PLLC, Jacksonville, Florida, obtained a complete defense verdict following a five-day trial in a motor vehicle case pending in Duval County.  
The case arose out of the firm's representation of a 16-year-old boy who lost control of his red Mustang during wet road conditions in Daytona Beach. The defendant, after leaving a high school football game, entered I-95 via a circular on-ramp at the time he collided with plaintiff, a 21-year-old woman who was proceeding northbound on I-95. The defendant's Mustang was spinning out of control at the time it collided with plaintiff's vehicle.
After one hour of deliberation, the jury returned a complete defense verdict on the issue of liability. Defendant offered into evidence plaintiff's cell phone records which showed plaintiff was texting within the general time-frame of the accident.



Bradley P. Blystone, shareholder in the Orlando office of Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, obtained a defense verdict in favor of a major Orlando theme park following a seven day jury trial.  The plaintiff alleged that he slipped and fell on the handle of an unattended dustpan in the bathroom of a park pavilion.  He was subsequently diagnosed with avascular necrosis of the right hip, permanent back pain, and memory problems from post-concussion syndrome. A core decompression surgery was performed on his right hip but failed to alleviate his pain. The plaintiff sought compensation for lost wages and loss of earning capacity for the remainder of his life, and past and future medical expenses, including two future hip replacement surgeries. During closing arguments, the plaintiff and his wife requested an award in excess of $1.2 million.  Brad and his team defended on the lack of credibility of the plaintiff and the plaintiff's experts.  After nearly five hours of deliberation, the jury returned a defense verdict.



Patrick Knight of Victor Rams & Associates received a defense verdict in a motor vehicle negligence case tried in Broward County. This was a rear-end collision with admitted liability and a big impact with major damage to both vehicles. Defendant was alleged to have been racing another vehicle when he rear-ended the plaintiff stopped at a stop light. Plaintiff was a 20 year old male at the time of the accident and claimed a labral tear in his left shoulder and soft tissue complaints in his neck and low back. He ultimately had arthroscopic surgery to repair the tear in the shoulder and his total past medical expenses claimed were $48,338.090, in addition to future care needed and pain and suffering. Defendant argued that the shoulder injury was related to his work in a warehouse and pointed out several inconsistencies in the testimony of the plaintiff during the trial. The jury found no injury or damage caused by the admitted negligence of the defendant.

Rob Blank of the Tampa office of Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell and a colleague obtained a defense verdict in a product liability case concerning a 2004 Toyota Camry in Volusia County, Florida on November 17, 2015 on behalf of Toyota Motor Corporation and Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., the manufacturer and distributor of the Camry. Plaintiff alleged the 2004 Camry was an unreasonably dangerous, defective product because it was not equipped with curtain shield airbags as a standard feature and because Defendants failed to provide any warnings regarding the risks of that design. Plaintiff alleged that due to the lack of curtain shield airbags, her daughter suffered permanent injuries and her granddaughter suffered loss of parental consortium, seeking over $63,000,000 in damages. Defendants denied the 2004 Toyota Camry was defective or unreasonably dangerous, asserted it was a reasonably safe vehicle without curtain shield airbags, exceeded all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, conformed to the state of the art in the automotive industry at all relevant times and that curtain shield airbags would not have prevented or reduced Plaintiff's injuries in this severe crash. The jury returned a defense verdict after four weeks of trial.  



Johnny Sarber and Heath Vickers of Marks Gray, P.A. received a complete defense verdict on January 29, 2016, following a five-day jury trial in Duval County Circuit Court. Mr. Sarber and Mr. Vickers represented Seldomridge Body Shop, a family-owned repair shop and towing company in Hilliard, Florida, along with the founder and owner of the company. The Plaintiff alleged that the Defendant's driver allowed the tow truck he was driving to drift out of his lane and strike her pickup truck head-on as she waited in an intersection to make a left turn. Using physical evidence, expert analysis, and exposure of numerous inconsistencies in the Plaintiff's story, Mr. Sarber and Mr. Vickers successfully argued that the Defendant properly maintained his position within his lane and that the Plaintiff solely caused the accident by turning in front of the tow truck, violating the Defendant's right of way.

The Plaintiff had two low back surgeries that she claimed were caused by the accident, and sought past and future medical expenses, future lost wages, and pain and suffering. The Plaintiff's counsel, Harrell & Harrell, asked the jury to return a verdict totaling around $1.2 million.

Despite not complaining of low back pain for more than a month after the accident and despite an initial neurosurgical consult where surgery was not indicated, the Plaintiff's primary treating physician testified at trial that the Plaintiff's back pain and surgery resulted from the accident. He sent the Plaintiff to a surgeon, who performed surgery in November 2012 and March 2014 and testified by affidavit. The Plaintiff also called a radiologist and pain management physician as trial witnesses.

The Plaintiff admitted her traffic light was a green ball obligating her to yield the right of way but she maintained that she was sitting still and had not moved into the tow truck's lane at the time of impact. The defense played an audiotape recording of the Plaintiff's post-accident statement to an investigator claiming that she had a green arrow and had started to make her turn. The Defendants' accident reconstruction engineering expert demonstrated that gouge and tire marks proved that the initial point of impact was 6 feet within the tow truck driver's lane. The Plaintiff was allowed to call two accident reconstruction experts at trial, neither of whom was able to refute the physical evidence.



Caryn L. Bellus
Kubicki Draper
Phone: 305-982-6634 
The Amicus Committee is seeking FDLA members ready, willing
and able to author amicus briefs.

Benjamin A. Kashi, Esq.
Cooney Trybus Kwavnick Peets PLC
Phone: 954-568-5091

The Auto Committee recently had a webinar. Attendance was good and the feedback was helpful. When we do group emails, it would be helpful to have as many people as possible exchange ideas and interact. We are all busy with our professional schedules; however, perhaps when a thought pops into your head and you are waiting for your case to get called at motion calendar, you can send a quick two-line email to the group about an issue with which you are dealing. It could even be about the issue which you are addressing at your motion calendar. The more we interact, the more we will get out of our committee. I hope that we can all do our best to take five minutes out of our hectic schedules to share our thoughts and contribute to the collective effort of pooling ideas and making this organization as meaningful as possible. If anyone has any thoughts on making our committee more productive, please feel free to share them.
J. Charles Ingram, Esq. 
Estes Ingram Foels & Gibbs PA
Phone: 407-481-9449

David A Corso, Esq.
Fisher Rushmer
Phone: 407-843-2111

If anyone has any suggestions regarding topics for future seminars or webinars, 
please contact either of the CLE Committee co-chairs: Chuck Ingram or David Corso.

Michael B. Bittner, Esq.
Marks Gray
Phone: 904-398-0900

Meagan L. Logan, Esq.
Marks Gray PA
Phone: 904-807-2145

Christienne H. Sherouse, Esq.
Gaebe Mullen Antonelli & DiMatteo
Phone: 305-667-0223

Alva Cross Crawford, Esq.
Cross HR Law
Phone: 813-727-4574

John A. Chiocca, Esq.
Chiocca & Chiocca PA
Phone: 561-253-0230

Heath L. Vickers, Esq.
Marks Gray
Phone: 904-807-2163

Mark C. Greene, Esq.
Banker Lopez Gassler PA
Phone: 813-221-1500

Larry D. Smith
Southern Trial Counsel PLC
Phone: 407-422-6100

New Committee member Lauren Humphries with the Banker Lopez Gassler firm in Tampa recently had the Committee's second major article published in the TAQ, Winter 2016 edition, entitled "Daimler: A Litigator's Roadmap to Personal Jurisdiction". We continue to seek out new members for our group that practice in any field of Product Liability, including claims premised on construction defects, toxic exposures, manufacturing and design defect claims and claims premised upon negligence and strict liability. If you have an interest in our Committee, please contact me directly and we will get you signed up.

Carrie M. Roane, Esq.
Guilday Schwartz Simpson West Hatch & Lowe PA   
Phone: 850-224-7091

Renee F Knaust, Esq.
Beytin McLaughlin
Phone: 813-226-3000

Matthew J. Lavisky, Esq.
Butler Pappas Weihmuller Katz Craig LLP
Phone: 813-281-1900

The TAQ committee continues to publish articles of interest
to the membership.

Reinaldo Alvarez
Luks Santaniello Petrillo & Jones
Phone: 305-377-8900

John M. Miller, Esq.
Henderson Franklin Starnes & Holt PA
Phone: 239-344-1310

Brett M. Henson, Esq.
Dickinson & Gibbons PA
Phone: 941-336-4680

Miguel R. Roura, Esq.
Roig Lawyers
Phone: 813-514-1865

The Young Lawyers Committee is looking to host a joint happy hour with DRI's Young Lawyers Committee in Jacksonville, Tampa, Orlando, or Miami. If you are a young lawyer who practices in one of these areas, please contact Brett Henson (bhenson@dglaywers.com
for more information.
The Young Lawyers Committee will be hosting a service project during the 2016 FLCC 
to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank in Orlando. Please see details in the 
2016 FLCC information in this newsletter.

If you are interested in joining-or becoming active in any of FDLA's committees, please contact either the Committee Chair or the FDLA office (ljude@fdla.org).

Join a Committee TODAY!!


Roig Lawyers Announces Their New Managing Partner,
Nelson C. Bellido 

Roig Lawyers, a minority-owned multi-practice litigation law firm dedicated to serving clients across six offices throughout Florida, is pleased to announce that Nelson C. Bellido the managing partner of its Miami office was a Visiting Professor and Guest Speaker at Duke University in Durham, NC on February 9-10, 2016. Bellido presented to undergraduate, graduate and professional students and administrators on the topic entitled "Diversity & Ethics in the Legal Profession: The Changing Cultural Landscape and Role of Higher Education."
"As a graduate of Duke University, I am honored to participate and provide vital insight to our future leaders of tomorrow. The legal profession is changing rapidly as it has become more competitive and there are fewer jobs for graduates. Today, more than ever, the importance of diversity and high ethical standards must be addressed.  We also have an obligation to address the role that higher education, especially undergraduate and law schools have on the future of the legal profession and how Duke and other colleges in the U.S. can be leaders of change," saidBellido.
Bellido is heavily involved with Duke University. He formerly served as President of the Duke Alumni Association of Miami & Fort Lauderdale from 1999 to 2011. He is immediate past National Chairperson of the Duke Hispanic Latino Alumni Association, whose objectives are to promote and provide communication services for the Duke Hispanic community and its alumni, to assist in recruitment of Hispanic students, faculty and administration into the University, and to support the University in its efforts to increase sensitivity toward the shared culture and interests of its Hispanic community and alumni. Bellido serves as Chairperson of the Duke Alums Engage Community Service Program in South Florida, which has partnered with organizations such as the Overtown Youth Center, Children's Home Society, Miami Children's Museum and Missionaries of Charity to serve less fortunate individuals in our community. In addition, Bellido is the Chairperson of Duke Alumni Association Advisory Council that was created in 2012 to help former board members continue in their work of helping to engage, connect, and celebrate Duke's alumni.  His most recent endeavor is to promote the Duke Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative. Bellido also serves as Commissioner on the Miami-Dade County Commission on Ethics and Public Trust. 


Marks Gray Announces New Shareholders!
Marks Gray is pleased to announce four new shareholders effective January 2016. Each has underscored the firm's capabilities in insurance, medical and professional liability litigation, and its growing intellectual property practice.
The firm's newest shareholders are Meagan L. Logan, Jill F. Bechtold, Michael D. Kendall and Crystal T. Broughan.
"These attorneys have achieved outstanding results for our clients and have differentiated themselves as leaders," said Firm Chair Gerald Weedon. "Their practices support the firm's core mission of integrity and superior service to our clients. They're an important part of Marks Gray's continued success and exciting future."
Meagan L. Logan handles matters involving municipal liability, civil rights, appellate litigation, and general liability defense. She is a Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ rated attorney with experience managing multi-defendant litigation matters. Ms. Logan represents municipalities, public and private business organizations, and corporate entities. She is licensed to practice in both Florida and Georgia, including the U.S. District Court for the Middle, Northern and Southern Districts of Florida, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, Georgia State, and Superior Courts, U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, as well as the Georgia Court of Appeals. She is also a member of the Florida Bar Association, the Georgia Bar Association, Jacksonville Bar Association, the Florida Defense Lawyers Association (FDLA), and the Jacksonville Association of Defense Counsel (JADC). Additionally, she has been selected as a Florida Super Lawyers Rising Star for 2010 - 2016. Ms. Logan earned her law degree from Florida Coastal School of Law in 2005, and joined Marks Gray in 2008. She can be reached at mlogan@marksgray.com.
Jill F. Bechtold practices in the areas of medical and professional liability defense, products liability and general civil litigation defense. She has been recognized as a top lawyer by Florida Super Lawyer and Florida Trend magazines, has an AV Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, and is a member of the Defense Research Institute (DRI), Chester Bedell Inn of Court, and the Florida Defense Lawyers Association. Ms. Bechtold earned her law degree from the University of Florida and joined Marks Gray in 2013. She speaks nation-wide before defense lawyers on the Reptile Strategy and related topics. She can be reached at jbechtold@marksgray.com.
Michael D. Kendall is the Chair of the workers' compensation practice area and has been practicing law since 2000. His work focuses primarily on representing insurance carriers and employers in Workers' Compensation matters.  He counsels insurance companies, hospitals, government entities, and individuals in all aspects of civil litigation. Mr. Kendall has served as adjunct professor at Florida Coastal School of Law, Judicial Staff Attorney for the Fourth Judicial Circuit, and past President of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Jacksonville. Today, he still has significant influence with the charity as a member of the Board of Directors. Mr. Kendall is a 2000 cum laude graduate from the University of Dayton School Of Law. He is a top rated civil litigation attorney and was selected as a Florida Super Lawyers Rising Star for 2010-2015. He can be reached at mkendall@marksgray.com.
Crystal T. Broughan leads the Intellectual Property Law practice, handling complex matters in trademark, trade secret, and copyright legal advocacy to clients ranging from start-ups to international corporations. She represents clients before the Trademark Trials and Appeals Board of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, as well as managing infringement litigation for all types of intellectual property matters in federal and state courts. An AV rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell, Ms. Broughan is a member of the International Trademark Association's (INTA) Law Firm Committee and the former chair of the Jacksonville Bar Associations Franchise Intellectual Property and Technology Law Committee. In addition, she manages insurance fraud investigations and litigation on behalf of the special investigation units for insurance companies. During her more than 25 years of practice, she served as the Chief Assistant Statewide Prosecutor in Jacksonville for the Florida Office of the Attorney General and as an Assistant State Attorney for the Fourth Judicial Circuit. In 2012, she was awarded the Insurance Lawyer of the Year award by the Florida Insurance Fraud Education Committee (FIFEC). She is a Master in the Chester Bedell Inn of Court, a member of the Jacksonville Women's Network, a graduate of Leadership Jacksonville, Class of 2010 and Leadership Orlando, Class of 1984. Ms. Broughan graduated from the Florida State University College of Law in 1990. She can be reached at cbroughan@marksgray.com.


Roig Lawyers Managing Partner, Nelson C. Bellido, Panelist at 
the 2016 Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) 
Corporate Counsel Conference
Nelson C. Bellido, managing partner of the Miami Office of Roig Lawyers, was a panelist at the 2016 Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) Corporate Counsel Conference. He spoke on a panel entitled "Judges that Google: The Ethics of Judicial Use of Internet Resources" on March 18, 2016.
Bellido was joined by other panelists who include Minnesota Court of Appeals Judge Peter Reyes, Judge Celeste Villarreal of the Austin Municipal Courts, and Elia Diaz-Yaeger of the Lugenbuhl, Wheaton, Peck Rankin & Hubbard firm in Louisiana. The panel discussed the concerns of accuracy, fairness, and permanency that comes as a result of judicial searching "outside the record" and citing of Internet materials. Judges should exercise caution in accessing factual information on the Internet, making sure to not let questionable website materials improperly influence case decisions. 
Bellido has been practicing law for over 22 years. His main areas of practice are in complex commercial litigation, insurance defense litigation, insurance fraud special investigations, finance law, products liability and shareholder and partnership disputes. Bellido has substantial jury trial experience in both federal and state courts throughout Florida.


FDLA is excited to announce a MEMBERSHIP INITIATIVE that we have now started. Through April, the FDLA is pleased to offer all new members their first year of membership for only $50.00. If you are a member who has been looking for an opportunity to get other attorneys in your office who have not yet joined involved, or if you know colleagues who are not FDLA members, this is a great way for them to start realizing the benefits of membership, there is no better time than now to do so! 
FDLA is confident that if we can bring the benefits and value of membership to defense attorneys who have not previously been involved with our organization, they will want to remain members for years to come. This year has already been a productive and exciting one for the FDLA. We have more educational opportunities and greater benefits than ever before. It is truly a great time to be a Florida Defense Lawyers Association member, and there has never a less expensive time to join.
FDLA extends an invitation to you to encourage all members of your firm, and your colleagues, to become a member. 
Please contact the FDLA office (ljude@fdla.org) for a membership application. Simply complete the application and mail it to the FDLA office with the $50 check to start enjoying the benefits of the FDLA. We look forward to having you join us. 



FDLA returned to Big Sky Montana for the 2016 FDLA Winter Meeting over the Martin Luther King weekend in January. Big Sky offers some of the best skiing in one of the West's most spectacular resorts!
In keeping with FDLA Winter Seminar tradition, the CLE program was exceptional. This small seminar promotes in-depth discussion and exchange of ideas among many of FDLA's most experienced defense lawyers.   

Surviving and Thriving in Federal Court (Robert E. Bonner-Meier Bonner-Longwood, FL); Update on Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA / "Obamacare") and Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act (PSQIA) (Edward J. Carbone-Roig Lawyers-Tampa, FL); Case Law Update T(homas E. Dukes, III and Philip Moring- McEwan, Martinez & Dukes, P.A.-Orlando, FL); How To Litigate The Low Policy Limit,  High Damages Minefield (Atheseus R. Lockhart -Meier Bonner-Longwood, FL); Worley v. Central Fla. Young Men's Christian Assoc., Do the Plaintiffs Get their Cake and Eat it too - i.e. Can Plaintiff's Attorney's Make Referrals to Unscrupulous Medical Practitioners Who Ridiculously Inflate Bills Then Prevent Disclosure of the Referral or Relationship?  2015 WL 2259293 (Fla. 5th DCA May 15, 2015) (Joseph R. Flood Jr.-Dean Ringers-Orlando, FL); and Addressing Multiple Cause of Loss (C. Ryan Jones-Traub Lieberman-St Petersburg, FL).

The Florida Bar approved the seminar for 6.0 hours of CLER (including 1.0 ethics) and 6.0 Civil Trial Certification credits.
Thanks to John Miller for coordinating the seminar.
Following the seminar, attendees hit the slopes or tried some of the many winter activities available in Big Sky. The Big Sky Resort-Moonlight Basin interconnect gave access to more skiing than anywhere else in the United States-with shorter lift lines and smaller crowds. Winter activities abounded-cross-country  skiing-snowshoeing- ice skating-zip lines-horseback riding-snowmobiling in Yellowstone National Park.


Each evening, attendees gathered at a reception to mix, mingle, and share their moments of glory or chagrin.  On Saturday evening, attendees were treated to dinner and fun at the Annual Farewell Dinner with entertainment provided by a local duo from Lone Mountain Trio.

The Winter Seminar, held over Martin Luther King Weekend is one of FDLA's best-outstanding  CLE credits, socializing, family fun and of course-terrific skiing, snowboarding or a host of other outdoor winter activities.  Once you've attended an FDLA Winter Seminar-you'll want do so again!
The 2017 Winter Meeting will be over the Martin Luther King weekend, January 11-16, 2017 in Big Sky Montana. We invite anyone interested to join us! Put these dates on your calendars and watch for additional details.

to the Sponsors of the 2015 Winter Meeting!


20th Annual
Florida Liability Claims
Conference 2016
-June 8-11, 2016-
Disney's Contemporary Resort
4600 North World Drive
Lake Buena Vista, Florida

Online registration is available at 
The online link contains the complete schedule and additional 
information on the 2016 FLCC.  Registrants have the option of 
downloading a PDF brochure and registering by mail with a check 
or registering online and using a credit card for payment through 
PAYPAL. Credit Card Payments are accepted only online.
The Conference begins at 8:30 am on Thursday, June 9
(Registration/continental breakfast begins at 7:30 am) 
and the conference ends on Friday afternoon, June 10.
14.05  CLER (including 2.5 ethics)14.5 Civil Trial Certification 
approved by The Florida Bar.
The Florida Department of Financial Services Bureau of Agent and Agency Licensing 
has approved the 20th Annual FLCC Conference for the credits listed below.
       Course Authority CEO5620                                Course Authority CEO324-
       5-Hour Law and Ethics Update                           2016 FLCC Law & Policy
       Course ID: 93688                                                Course ID: 96092
       Offering ID: 1043753                                           Offering ID: 1044637
       Up to 5 hours                                                       Up to 5 hours
Course Authority CEO325-B                              Course Authority CEO324-C
2016 FLCC Ethics                                               2016 FLCC Optional
Course ID: 96125                                                Course ID: 96091
Offering ID: 1044327                                           Offering ID: 1044329
Up to 2 hours                                                       Up to 5 hours                         
For the number of credit hours for both adjusters and Florida lawyers, it is hard to beat the price and time! Now we need to fill the seats so there is full audience. Please encourage your clients and contacts in the "claims world" to attend-and encourage your fellow attorneys to attend as well.
Feel free to send them the link to the registration brochure 
and encourage their attendance.
Room Reservations 
The cut-off date for the room block for the 
2016 FLCC is May 6, 2016
Call: 407-939-4686
Name of Group: Florida Liability Claims Conference 2016
Room Rate: Single/Double $198.00 per night 
(plus sales & resort tax)
Disney has created a Micro Site for FLCC attendees to book reservations, 
do on-line check-in, purchase discounted theme park tickets and much more. 
It also includes a link to make on-line room reservations. 

Go to: 
Young Lawyers Committee 
"High Five Kids' Pack" Program
The FDLA Young Lawyers Committee will host the "High Five Kids' Pack" Program at the 2016 FLCC on the afternoon of Thursday, June 9, 2016
This program will benefit the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida in their effort meet the nutritional needs of elementary-aged children during the summer months.  Second Harvest will come onsite and set up stations so that volunteers can quickly assemble food packs, which will then be distributed by Second Harvest to mobile food pantries at 10 at-risk schools in the Greater Orlando area during the summer months. 
The Young Lawyers Committee invites all attendees to participate in helping reach its goal of assembling 400 packs. This program is funded through the Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division Affiliate Outreach grant program.

September 22-25, 2016
LaPlaya Beach 
& Golf Resort
Naples, FL

Be sure to mark your calendars and plan to attend the 2016 FDLA Annual Meeting at LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort! Join FDLA as we celebrate our 50th Anniversary!
The unmatched calm waters of the Gulf are a focal point of LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort. As the only true beachfront resort in Naples, attendees will learn, dine, relax, and sleep all while listening to the gentle sounds of the waves hitting the beach.

Like all FDLA events, the seminar topics will be outstanding!
Learn more about LaPlaya and to see all that this location has to offer,
The LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort offers white sand beaches, elegant rooms, fitness center, rejuvenating spa and a private golf course.
Come stay with FDLA at one of the best Naples, Florida hotels!
Watch for room reservation and registration information-you will want to attend the 2016 FDLA Annual Meeting!





Auto Law Update - A Medley of Issues

FDLA's Auto/Transportation Committee presented the second in FDLA's LUNCH & LEARN WEBINAR series on Thursday, February 11, 2016.

Benjamin Kashi (Cooney Trybus Kwavnick Peets PLCin Ft. Lauderdale) presented a case law update (recent cases) in common areas of auto litigation practice. This was a chance for those too busy to keep up with the most recent decisions in this area of practice to receive a quick primer from the convenience of their office. From ownership issues to recent PIP cases to coverage issues and more...
The webinar was approved by The Florida Bar for 1.50 CLER and 1.5 Civil Trial Certification credits.  Webinar attendees earned credits from their own offices over the lunch hour.
The next in FDLA's  Lunch and Learn Webinar Series is Wednesday, May 11, 2016.  Topic is "The Emergence of Insurers Suing Their Retained Defense Counsel-A Practical Guide For The Practitioner".
The Lunch and Learn Webinar Series continues on Tuesday, August 9, 2016 on premises liability.
If any FDLA Committee or member is interested in presenting a webinar, please contact the FDLA office and FDLA President, Andy Bolin.




Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Emergence of Insurers Suing Their Retained Defense Counsel -  A Practical Guide For The Practitioner

Rob Klein will discuss evolving theories of liability with unique applicability to insurance defense lawyers, including the increasing trend of insurers suing panel counsel for malpractice for failure to protect against bad faith claims, and the converse, in which insureds bring breach of fiduciary duty claims against their assigned counsel for supposedly "selling them out" in favor of the more valuable insurance carrier relationship.
Course instructor:  Robert M. Klein, Esq.
       Klein Glasser Park & Lowe, P.L.
                               Miami FL
CLER:                   1.50 Ethics CLER and 1.5 Civil Trial Certification 
                              credits Approved by The Florida Bar 
Registration Fee:   $109.00

Register Now by clicking on the secure link below   

Join us on May 11, 2016


Were you unable to attend recent FDLA webinars? Now's your change to view them on YOUR schedule. The webinars below are available on-demand, 24/7. These are replays of the original webinars with the same speakers, CLER credits and materials. If you missed any of the following, this is your chance. Choose one, two or all three.

- Registration Cutoff is Friday, April 29, 2016 - 
Effective Use of Daubert Motions to Exclude Expert Testimony
Presented June 18, 2015
FDLA was pleased to present a webinar regarding effective use of Daubert motions to exclude expert testimony. Understand the Daubert trilogy of cases, review recent Eleventh Circuit, US District Court and Florida state court cases applying Daubert, and learn practical pointers for drafting effective and winning Daubert motions.

1.5 General CLER/1.5 Civil Trial Certification
Electronic Discovery - Understanding the Framework of Florida Electronic Discovery Law and Practical Tips for Management
Presented on November 10, 2015
E-discovery has become a necessary piece of virtually all litigation.  The presentation discusses the current state of E-discovery law and tips for streamlined and cost-effective methods of management.

1.5 General CLER
Auto Law Update-A Medley of Issues
Presented on February 11, 2016
Case law update (recent cases) in common areas of auto litigation practice. Too busy to keep up with the most recent decisions in your area of practice? Here is your chance for a quick primer and you can log in from the convenience of your office. From ownership issues to recent PIP cases to coverage issues and more. 
1.5 General CLER/1.5 Civil Trial Certification

Registration Fee: $109.00 each (valid for one replay)
Attend all three (3) for $250.00

Make your choice and Register Now by clicking on the link:


FDLA and DRI presented a joint webinar on 
Friday, January 29, 2016. Over 300 attorneys from across the country 
attended Debunking the Reptile Theory, 
presented by Bill Kanasky, Jr and Michael O'Neill.
This program was designed to define "reptile" strategies, used by 
Plaintiff's attorneys which have resulted in billions of dollars of damage awards 
across the nation. The program focused on use of the theory during the discovery 
phase of litigation and will provided strategies that defense lawyers can use to 
identify, diffuse and counter-attack the strategy, including ways to prepare defense witnesses so they do not fall prey to this popular ploy.
Attendees gained a clearer understanding of how the reptile tactics really work 
and a blueprint of how to counter-attack, rather than defend against Plaintiffs 
who use reptile theory during the discovery phase of litigation.
The Florida Bar approved the webinar for 2.0 CLER.


January 28th 
Orange County Bar Association Luncheon
In an on-going efforts to make FDLA better known in the legal community, FDLA 
helped sponsor the January 28 luncheon of the Orange County Bar Association. 
Sally Seltzer (Quintairos Prieto Wood & Boyer PA-Miami) and
Kimberly  E. Lorenz (Fisher Rushmer PA-Orlando) represented FDLA 
at the luncheon-an event attended by over 400.
Kimberly "manned the FDLA table" prior to the luncheon and had an opportunity to hand out FDLA applications and seminar flyers.  Due to the weather, air travel was terrible and Sally arrived from Miami just in time to walk straight from the front door to the microphone and give a great presentation about the FDLA! Thanks to Sally, FDLA 
couldn't have staged a better entrance. 
FDLA thanks both Sally and Kimberly for helping increase awareness of FDLA.

Copyright © 2015


deFENSE POST is published four times a year by the Florida Defense Lawyers Association.


While information in deFENSE POST is believed to be accurate, it is recommended that interested parties telephone or write to the submitting attorney named in each case report or article before incorporating the information into their work product.


Items of interest to the membership are welcome and may be sent to the Association office for inclusion in deFENSE POST.


Linda L. Jude, Executive Director

Florida Defense Lawyers Association

6105 M Memorial Highway

PO Box 260037

Tampa, Florida 33685

Phone:(813) 885-9888

Fax:(813) 885-5547

E-mail: ljude@fdla.org