I’ve practiced law since graduating from the University of Miami, School of Law in 1989.
The first seven years of my legal career was spent as a litigator handling criminal and insurance defense. I tried multiple cases involving cutting–edge legal theories involving:
- Arson, sinkholes, criminal mischief, PIP and UM
- Civil liability for the criminal acts of others
- Parental liability for the tortious behavior of their children
- Faulty eye witnesses identification
- Capital first degree murder
I assisted a life insurance company that denied death benefits to a surviving battered spouse. The widow claimed self defense after she fatally stabbed her husband. The cased resolved through negotiation.
In the Office of General Counsel for Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Company, I spent 10 years resolving complex personal injury, catastrophic property damage, bad faith, class action, and suits against the company with extra-contractual exposure.
In this position, I advised operational and executive claim and financial officers on the status of international, national and local Florida cases. Working with counsel in Florida, England, Italy, Canada and Australia, I successfully resolved a trademark infringement lawsuit pending in the US District Court for the Middle District of Florida with companion administrative actions in the United States Office of Patent and Trademark. While serving the legal needs of Nationwide Mutual Fire and its policyholders, I resolved thousands of lawsuits through mediation, arbitration and negotiations.
I’ve been fortunate to have worked with, learned from and been trained in the art of mediation by the some of the best and most well respected mediators in Florida and the United States.
In 2006, I changed the focus of my legal career to public service and joined Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, in order to assist with a backlog of thousands of disputes pending from the 2004 and 2005 hurricane storm seasons. As Director of Claims Legal Services, I staffed a team of more than 100 individual claim professionals, including adjusters and lawyers, to develop and apply consistent and equitable resolution procedures, which benefited thousands of Florida residents by allowing them to rebuild their homes and business.
As a result of these efforts, and expert testimony to the Florida State Legislature, Citizens was able to maintain its statutory protection from bad faith litigation and maximize its ability to pay claims in the full amount due under the individual facts of the loss and terms of the policy. While at Citizens and over the course of my career, I developed the skills to resolve the most intractable disputes through negotiation and mediation.