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January 13, 2016

Since our inception in 1979, one thing has become abundantly clear: Whenever a case must go to trial, achieving a favorable result is our primary mission.

Over the last few decades, however, trials have become a rarity. The primary reasons are risk and cost. The risk is a simple issue – when you venture forth into a courtroom, there’s a risk that the result will be adverse. The costs can be a multi-faceted issue – that includes not only your own costs associated with attorney’s fees and expenses but also include the damages and recovery of costs and/or attorney’s fees in favor of the opposing party. A sometimes unexpected, third issue is the result of the trial decision on other matters that the client is currently involved in. Accordingly, when a case proceeds to trial, you need the best prepared and experienced trial attorneys to assist you, or at the very least assist in presenting the matter at the time of trial. Butler is ready to do so with its Specialty Trial Team.

While the volume of cases that are actually taken to trial, before a judge or jury, has decreased over the years for the reasons stated above, the simple truth is that sometimes you don’t get a fair opportunity to resolve a case prior to trial. Sometimes there are a significant disagreement between the litigants on liability and/or damages. Also, it is more commonplace among today’s judges for motions for summary judgment to not be granted. Thus, for those matters that cannot be settled, experienced and effective trial attorneys are your best opportunity to obtain a favorable result. Butler’s Specialty Trial Team presents you with an opportunity for a more favorable result.

In the state of Florida, there are currently 104,000 attorneys. The Florida Bar has a Board Certification program, with one of its areas of law being designated for civil trial practice. Board Certification is the highest level of evaluation provided by The Florida Bar regarding an attorney’s competence and experience within a specific area of law. Approximately 1.0% of the 104,000 active lawyers in The Florida Bar, totaling 1,046, have the designation of being a Florida Board Certified Civil Trial attorney. Of these 1,046 board-certified civil trial attorneys, approximately 82% are plaintiff’s attorneys. The remaining board-certified civil trial attorneys, less than 200 in number, are defense lawyers; and an even smaller number logically have experience in insurance-related litigation. Notably, four of these board-certified trial attorneys comprise the leadership of Butler’s Specialty Trial Team.

The Butler Specialty Trial Team was created because there are times when a case presents itself from its inception as one that will proceed to trial. Additionally, there are cases proceeding to trial, where you need the confidence that comes with retaining a law firm that specializes in preparing and taking cases to trial. The leaders of the Butler’s Specialty Trial Team are Bryant Blevins (Miami); Lewis Collins (Tampa); Scott Frank (Tampa); and Kathy Maus (Tallahassee). While these attorneys are based in our Florida offices, they have handled trials in other jurisdictions and frequently work in cooperation with attorneys in all of our offices, in order to put together the best trial team for your specific needs.

In the future, the Butler Specialty Trial Team will be posting blogs addressing matters that arise during litigation of cases that are designated for trial.