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Matthew J. Lavisky is a Partner in the Tampa office. He focuses the majority of his practice on the defense of bad faith and other extra-contractual matters, first-party property claims, and insurance coverage disputes. Matt represents insurers in state and federal trial and appellate courts throughout Florida and in other states.

Matt is active in defense organizations. He serves as the President Elect for the Florida Defense Lawyers Association and was honored with the President’s Award in 2019 and the James A. Dixon Young Lawyer of the Year Award in 2013. Matt was the chair of the first annual Florida Insurance Network Symposium sponsored by FDLA. He also served for six years as chair of the editorial board for the Trial Advocate Quarterly, FDLA’s legal journal. Matt has presented at FDLA conferences and webinars.

He also is involved in the Defense Research Institute. In 2019, Matt received the G. Duffield Smith Outstanding Publication Award. He currently serves as the chair of Bad Faith Substantive Law Group, has published in For the Defense, and presented at the Insurance Coverage Practice Symposium.  He is the Vice-Chair of DRI’s 2023 Insurance Coverage and Claims Institute. 

Matt is an AV peer-rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell and recognized in Best Lawyers. He also is a graduate of the 2014 International Association of Defense Counsel Trial Academy held at Stanford University.

Admissions

  • Florida

Recognitions

  • DRI 2018 G. Duffield Smith Outstanding Publication Award
  • Florida Defense Lawyers Association 2013 James A. Dixon Young Lawyer of the Year Award
  • Florida Defense Lawyers Association 2015 Trial Advocate Quarterly Award
  • Florida Defense Lawyers Association 2019 President’s Award
  • AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Best Lawyers, 2022, 2023

Education

  • University of Central Florida
    Bachelor of Science
  • Barry University School of Law
    Doctor of Jurisprudence

Memberships

  • Christian Legal Society (CLS)
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI)
    Bad Faith Substantive Law Group, Chair, 2021 – 2022,
    ICCI Program Vice-Chair, 2023
  • Federalist Society
    2006-2007 Barry University Chapter President
  • Florida Defense Lawyers Association (FDLA)
    Board of Directors, 2018 – 2021;
    Secretary-Treasurer, 2021-2022; President Elect, 2022 – Present
  • Hillsborough County Bar Association (HCBA)

Courts

  • United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
  • Florida State Courts

Experiences

Penegar v. Liberty Mutual Ins. Co., 2022 WL 3359167 (W.D.N.C. 2022) – order dismissing putative nationwide class action under the Medicare Secondary Payer Act for lack of standing.

Carapella v. State Farm Florida Ins. Co., 2022 WL 2197045 (Fla. 13th J. Cir. 2022) – order granting summary judgment in third-party bad faith case.

Milazzo v. The First Liberty Ins. Corp., 2022 WL 2159371 (M.D. Fla. 2022) – order granting motion to dismiss, with prejudice, eleven count complaint alleging various extra-contractual theories.

Hart v. Travelers Property Casualty Company of America, 2022 WL 2651842 (E.D.N.C. 2022) – order denying motion to remand based on fraudulent joinder and granting motion to realign parties.

Pines West Chiropractic, Inc. v. Liberty Mutual Ins. Co., 2022 WL 324093 (Fla. 17th J. Cir. 2022) – order striking class allegations from lawsuit for Personal Injury Protection benefits.

Zamora v. State Farm Florida Ins. Co., 2021 WL 4973614 (Fla. 18th J. Cir. 2021) – summary judgment in property insurance bad faith case where no reasonable jury could conclude the insurer acted in bad faith.

Boone v. State Farm Florida Ins. Co., 2021 WL 5106081 (Fla. 9th J. Cir. 2021) – summary judgment in property bad faith case based on invalidity of Civil Remedy Notice.

Sprinkler Repair Inc. v. Ohio Sec. Ins. Co., 2021 WL 4487902 (M.D. Fla. 2021) – summary judgment in automobile insurance coverage case rejecting coverage by estoppel argument.

Terrell v. Liberty Mutual Fire. Ins. Co., 2021 WL 5106080 (Fla. Orange County 2021) – summary judgment in lawsuit regarding property insurance coverage.

Demase v. State Farm Florida Ins. Co., 2021 WL 3617403 (Fla. 5th J. Cir. 2021) – summary judgment in property bad faith case based on invalidity of Civil Remedy Notice.

Stann v. First Liberty Ins. Corp., 845 Fed. Appx. 843 (11th Cir. 2021) – opinion affirming denial of motion for attorney fees finding post-suit payments were not confessions of judgment.

Travelers Indem. Co. v. Garcia, 497 F. Supp. 3d 1218 (M.D. Fla. 2020) – summary judgment regarding number of accidents in claim for underinsured motorist coverage.

LM Ins. Corp. v. Occidental Fire & Cas. Co. of N. Carolina, 5:19-CV-274-OC-30PRL, 2020 WL 3578522 (M.D. Fla. 2020) – summary judgment in dispute regarding order of uninsured motorist coverage.

Forthuber v. First Liberty Ins. Corp., 2018 WL 4635639 (M.D. Fla. 2018) – order dismissing, with prejudice, lawsuit for first-party bad faith arising out of a property insurance claim.

Aviation One of Florida, Inc. v. Airborne Ins. Consultants (PTY), Ltd, 722 Fed. Appx. 870 (11th Cir. 2018) – opinion affirming order of dismissal under the doctrine of forum non conveniens based on forum-election clause.

Welford v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 713 Fed. Appx. 969 (11th Cir. 2017) – summary judgment in third-party bad faith case affirmed on appeal.

Liberty Mut. Fire Ins. Co. v. Wal-Mart Stores E., LP, 269 F. Supp. 3d 1254 (M.D. Fla. 2017) – partial summary judgment in subrogation action finding tenant of insured breached duty to indemnify insured.

MSPA Claims 1, LLC v. First Acceptance Ins. Co., 2016 WL 4523850 (S.D. Fla. 2016) – order dismissing class action complaint for lack of standing.

Kropilak v. 21st Century Ins. Co., 806 F.3d 1062 (11th Cir. 2015) – jury verdict in favor of insurer in third-party bad faith case, affirmed on appeal, holding insurer has no duty to enter into a Cunningham agreement and no duty to its insured to enter into a consent judgment in excess of the limits of its policy.

Helt v. Liberty Ins. Corp., 153 F.Supp.3d 1388 (M.D. Fla. 2015) – order dismissing, with prejudice, count for third-party bad faith.

Altrui v. State Farm Fla. Ins. Co., 2014 WL 11394450 (Fla. 6th J. Cir. 2014), aff’d, 192 So. 3d 477 (Fla. 2d DCA 2016) – order dismissing, with prejudice, lawsuit for first-party bad faith in sinkhole claim after evidentiary hearing.

Wild Enters., Inc. v. Assur. Co. of Am., 2011 WL 3802246 (Fla. 4th J. Cir. 2011) – order granting summary judgment in first-party bad faith action because insured had not satisfied condition precedent to suit.

Media

Butler Proudly Sponsors DRI 2022 Annual Meeting

We are proud to be a sponsor for the Defense Research Institute (DRI) 2022 Annual Meeting. This event takes place from October 25-28, 2022 in Philadelphia, PA. Partners Pablo Cáceres, Matthew Lavisky and Kathy Maus will be in attendance. We hope to see you there! Learn more about the event here....

Hurricane Ian Webinar Series Episode 4 – Flood vs. Wind Claims Following Hurricane Ian

Our latest webinar series will inform you on issues that may arise during adjustment of Hurricane Ian claims. In the fourth part of this series, Partners David Maldoff and Matthew Lavisky, along with SEA's Paul McCullough, will provide a discussion of issues relating to flood and wind claims arising out of Hurricane Ian. Monday, October 31, 2022 @ 12:00-1:00 PM EST This program is intended for ...

Hot Topics in Bad Faith: Consent Judgements, Problem States, Time Limited Demands and More

Join Partner Matthew Lavisky and co-presenter Aaron Singer (The Hartford) as they present for the 2022 Insurance Coverage and Practice Symposium on December 7-9, 2022 in New York, New York. Partner Pablo Cáceres will be in attendance. At DRI's Insurance Coverage and Practice Symposium, you will learn about the biggest challenges and opportunities facing our industry. Their faculty of insurance ...

Best Lawyers – 2023 Edition

Join us in congratulating our attorneys who were recognized in the 2023 Best Lawyers publication! Click on their icons to learn more. Recognition by Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review. Their process is designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal ...

Matthew Lavisky Named President-Elect for FDLA

Please join us in congratulating Tampa Partner Matthew Lavisky for being named President-Elect for the Florida Defense Lawyers Association (FDLA) on June 16th, 2022. The Florida Defense Lawyers Association was formed in April 1967 to represent the interests of lawyers in private practice whose focus is primarily the defense of civil matters. Click here to learn more....

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Attorney’s Fees as an Element Damages in an Uninsured Motorist Bad Faith Lawsuit Make the Plaintiff Whole, not His or Her Attorneys

A plaintiff cannot recover attorney’s fees in a Florida lawsuit for Uninsured Motorist (“UM”) benefits unless there is a dispute about whether the insurance policy provides coverage.1  However, attorney’s fees from the underlying lawsuit can be recovered as an element of damages in a lawsuit for statutory bad faith, which is brought after the lawsuit for UM benefits resolves favorably to ...

Removing Your Case to Federal Court and Keeping it There (Article)

Defendants often prefer that their cases be heard in federal court. Rice, Jill Cranston, The Federal Rules are Right for our State Courts, 59 No. 5 DRI For Def. 13 (May 2017). We assume your client shares this preference. This article provides a go-to reference for young practitioners and helpful pointers for senior lawyers to remove your case to federal court and keep it there. The Basics – Re...

Marketing in the New Normal

Join Partner Matthew Lavisky and co-presenters Margaret Grisdela (Legal Expert Connections, Inc.) and Frank Ramos (Clarke Silverglate, PA) as they present for the 2021 Law Firm Leaders Summit on September 24, 2021. Together, they will provide a discussion on developing business in a post-Covid world where less personal contact will be the new normal. ...

More than one collision, but how many accidents?

Automobile insurance policies specify a maximum amount the insurer will pay for a single accident. This coverage limit applies both to liability and uninsured/underinsured motorist (“UM”) coverages. Insurance policies often contain language providing that the applicable coverage limit is the most the insurer will pay in any one accident regardless of the number of vehicles involved. This seem...

Recognizing the Best Lawyers in America 2022

Please join us in congratulating our Partners for being recognized on “The Best Lawyers in America” list for 2022. Recognition in Best Lawyers is widely regarded by both clients and legal professionals as a significant honor, conferred on a lawyer by his or her peers. For more than three decades, their publications have earned the respect of the profession, the media, and the public, as the m...

Matt Lavisky | Florida Defense Lawyers Association Secretary-Treasurer

Join us in congratulating Partner Matt Lavisky for being selected Secretary-Treasurer of the Florida Defense Lawyers Association. This is an incredible honor and we are proud of Matt's hard work and dedication to his craft. The Florida Defense Lawyers Association (FDLA) is a state organization of Lawyers involved in the defense of civil litigation....

How will Florida’s amended summary judgment standard affect bad faith cases?

The Florida Supreme Court ended 2020 with a bang!  The Supreme Court amended Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.510 to adopt the federal summary judgment standard.  This change will affect different types of civil litigation in varying ways.  Here, we discuss how the change will affect bad faith litigation.  Background of the amendment  In 2019, Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeal dec...

From AOBs to Bad Faith – Past and Potential Legislation

Partner Matthew Lavisky and co-presenter Michael Beltran (Ansa Assuncao LLP) presented “From AOBs to Bad Faith: Past and Potential Legislation” for the Florida Insurance Network Symposium (FINS) on October 6, 2020....

Local Florida Governments have Issued Orders Suggesting Covid-19 caused Property Damage

DOES THIS MATTER FOR INSURANCE POLICY INTERPRETATION? Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued an Executive Order declaring a state of emergency due to COVID-19.  Many Florida cities and counties have issued their own orders to reduce the spread of the virus.  At least two of the orders contained language that was curious to those connected to the property insurance industry. Broward County Emerge...

Butler Sponsors DRI Insurance Coverage and Practice Symposium

Butler is proud to be a sponsor for the Defense and Research Institute (DRI) Insurance Coverage and Practice Symposium on December 5, 2019, in New York, New York. This year’s symposium will give attendees the opportunity to: Engage with a distinguished faculty of insurance industry leaders, experts, and coverage lawyers. Be informed on emerging issues, recent court rulings, national trend...

Partner Matt Lavisky Awarded the G. Duffield Smith Outstanding Publication Award

Partner Matt Lavisky and Toni Frain of Liberty Mutual have been awarded the G. Duffield Smith Outstanding Publication Award at the 2019 DRI Annual Meeting. They received the prestigious award for their article titled “Fighting Removal Spoiler Claims Against Adjusters, Attorneys, and Agents in Bad Faith Lawsuits” which was published in DRI's For The Defense publication in 2018. ...

Matthew Lavisky – Winner of the 2019 FDLA President’s Award

Join us in congratulating Partner Matthew Lavisky for winning the FDLA's 2019 President's Award. This award is presented annually by the Florida Defense Lawyers Association (FDLA) for outstanding service. The Florida Defense Lawyers Association (FDLA) is a state organization of Lawyers involved in the defense of civil litigation....

Harvey V. Geico Gen. Ins. Co. – Where Do We Go From Here?

Anthony Russo, David Krouk, Matthew Lavisky and Mihaela Cabulea presented "Harvey v. GEICO Gen. Ins. Co. - How bad is it, and where do we go from here?" This presentation took place in Disney's Boardwalk Inn on June 6, 2019. This panel of experienced bad faith attorneys discussed the landscape of third-party bad faith claims in Florida following the Supreme Court's recent opinion in Harve...

Matthew Lavisky Named Event Chair for Fins

Partner Matt Lavisky has been named Event Chair for the FDLA's first annual Florida Insurance Network Symposium (FINS). Congratulations, Matt! This event will take place on August 15—16, 2019 at the Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk....

Why Butler? (Watch Video)

At Butler, we believe that meeting the client's expectations is one of the most important things we do. Watch the video to see how we strive towards excellent service every step of the way. Watch the video below.   ...

Introducing the New Florida Supreme Court (from an Insurance Perspective)

Ron DeSantis, the newly sworn Governor of the State of Florida, was given a unique opportunity to remake the Florida Supreme Court within his first days of office. Three of the seven justices of the Florida Supreme Court were forced to step down in the first days of January 2019 due to mandatory retirement. Those justices were Barbara Pariente, Peggy Quince, and Fred Lewis. These three justices ge...

Fighting Removal Spoiler Claims Against Adjusters, Attorneys, And Agents In Bad-Faith Lawsuits

This article is originally a publication of the Defense Research Institute, October 2018. Legal opinions may vary when based on subtle factual differences. All rights reserved. Partner Matthew Lavisky wrote an article titled "Fighting Removal Spoiler Claims Against Adjusters, Attorneys, and Agents in Bad-Faith Lawsuits" for the DRI. This article discusses cases permitting and prohibiting lawsu...

Challenges and Strategies Defending Florida Property Insurance Claims – 2018 WEBINAR

Partner Matthew Lavisky held a discussion on Florida property insurance trends and recent case law. In this presentation, he covered topics including defenses to lawsuits for breach of contract and case law developments regarding first-party bad faith. Approved for 1.5 FL Bar Credits. This webinar was hosted by the Florida Defense Lawyers Association....

Matthew Lavisky Elected to the Board Of Directors for the Fdla

Congratulations to Partner Matthew Lavisky for being elected to the Board of Directors for the FDLA! The Florida Defense Lawyers Association was formed in April 1967 to represent the interests of lawyers in private practice whose focus was primarily the defense of civil matters. Over 1000 strong, FDLA now extends membership to lawyers employed by public agencies and private corporations. The FDLA...

Not so Fast! The Confession of Judgment Doctrine in Dispute-Over-Amount Cases

Florida law allows an insured to recover attorney’s fees if the insured prevails in a lawsuit against the insurer for insurance benefits. See § 627.428, Florida Statutes. The plain text of the statute requires a “judgment” against the insurer. In Wollard v. Lloyd's & Companies of Lloyd's, 439 So. 2d 217 (Fla. 1983), however, the Florida Supreme Court held that an insurer’s post-suit...

Nbi’s Advanced Insurance Bad Faith Seminar

Join Partner Matthew Lavisky as he presents Strategic Discovery in Bad Faith Lawsuits on Wednesday, August 15, 2018 at the National Business Institute's Advanced Insurance Bad Faith Seminar....

Good-Faith Claim Handling In Florida – Part Ii

This article is originally a publication of the Southern Loss Association's Newsletter, June 2018. Legal opinions may vary when based on subtle factual differences. All rights reserved. This article is a continuation of the "Good-Faith Claim Handling in Florida" article that appeared in the Southern Loss Association Newsletter in February 2018. That article discussed the history and background ...

Defending first-Party Property Bad Faith Lawsuits

Lawsuits for First-Party Property bad faith presented unique challenges to Florida insurers. In Part Two of this webinar series, common issues insurers face when defending these lawsuits have been discussed. We explored allegations commonly made by insureds and their attorneys to support bad faith lawsuits, the damages recoverable by a successful plaintiff, discovery, and strategies for defending...

Defending first-Party Property Bad Faith Lawsuits

Lawsuits for First-Party Property bad faith presented unique challenges to Florida insurers. In Part Two of this webinar series, common issues insurers face when defending these lawsuits have been discussed. We explored allegations commonly made by insureds and their attorneys to support bad faith lawsuits, the damages recoverable by a successful plaintiff, discovery, and strategies for defending...

First-Party Property Bad Faith in Florida – Podcast

Matthew Lavisky hosted a Webinar on the topic "First-Party Property Bad Faith in Florida".  Increasingly, property insurers in Florida are being sued for bad faith. What accounts for this increase? Mainly, it has been driven by recent appellate court decisions that have eroded and all but eliminated any prerequisites to bad faith actions. In part one of this two-part webinar series, we will out...

First-Party Property Bad Faith in Florida – Podcast

Increasingly, property insurers in Florida are being sued for bad faith. What accounts for this increase? Mainly, it has been driven by recent appellate court decisions that have eroded and all but eliminated any prerequisites to bad faith actions. In part one of this two-part webinar series, we will outline the legal environment created by those decisions; attempt to define “bad faith”; explo...

Good-Faith Claim Handling In Florida

This article is originally a publication of Southern Loss Association, Newsletter February 2018. Legal opinions may vary when based on subtle factual differences. All rights reserved. Like many states, Florida law allows a person under a first-party insurance contract to sue an insurer if the person has been damaged by certain actions often referred to as "bad-faith" claim handling practices. Th...

Duty to Initiate Settlement Negotiations Under Powell not Triggered Unless Liability is Clear

In a recent decision, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed an important order of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida in a so-called “Powell claim.” Welford v. Liberty Mutual Ins. Co., --- Fed. App’x ---, 2017 WL 5899784 (11th Cir. November 29, 2017). The District Court order can be found at Welford v. Liberty Ins. Corp., 190 F. Supp. 3d 1085 (N.D...

2017 Dri Insurance Coverage And Practice Symposium – Hot Topics In Problem Jurisdictions

Matthew Lavisky from Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig along with co-presenter Dan D. Kohane presented in New York, NY at the 2017 DRI Insurance Coverage and Practice Symposium on the topic of "Hot Topics in Problem Jurisdictions". The latest first and third-party challenges for insurers in Florida and New York, including partial disclaimers, “assignment of benefits,” additional insured obligati...

Existing Tools To Curb Runaway Attorney Fee Awards

This article is originally a publication of Trial Advocate Quarterly. Legal opinions may vary when based on subtle factual differences. All rights reserved. Florida provides one of the most generous insurance fee-shifting mechanisms in the nation.  The lure of a large attorney fee award has spawned the very litigation that the fee-shifting statute was intended to avoid.  It is common for atto...

Why Butler?

Watch as Partner Matthew Lavisky explains why Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig was his first choice. ...

Liability And Damages: Understanding Property Insurance Bad Faith Litigation In Florida

Florida recognizes two general categories of insurance bad faith: first-party and third-party. A cause of action for third-party bad faith exists at common law, but also may be brought under the Florida bad faith statute. The essence of a cause of action for third-party bad faith is that the insurer breached its duty to its insured by failing to properly or promptly defend claim, which resulted in...

Florida Defense Lawyers Association “Young Lawyer of the Year” Award

The firm is pleased to announce that Matt Lavisky has been awarded the FloridaDefenseLawyersAssociation "Young Lawyer of the Year" award. This year, Matt also served as chair of the editorial board for the FDLA Journal. Please join us in congratulating this well-deserved achievement. FLORIDA DEFENSE LAWYERS ASSOCIATION...

Matthew Lavisky