Disciplined in Sophisticated Defense and Insurance Litigation

A Partner at Butler, James Michael Shaw, Jr. practices in our Coverage Defense and Extra-Contractual departments, focusing primarily on defending claims of insurer bad faith.  He also represents insurance intermediaries, including agents and brokers, in defense of error-and-omission claims.  Mr. Shaw also has a background in aviation law, having represented airlines, aviation repair facilities, aircraft-part manufacturers, airports, and aviation insurers.  Since joining the firm in 2007, James has written and spoken on topics as diverse as insurance-intermediary liability, constitutional law, and the law governing Unmanned Aircraft systems, more colloquially known as  drones.  He is rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubble. 

James is admitted to practice in all Florida state courts; the United States District Courts for the Northern, Middle, and Southern Districts of Florida; and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. He is a member of the Florida Bar, Hillsborough County Bar Association, and the American Civil Liberties Union, for which he has chaired the Legal Panel for the Greater Tampa Chapter since 2007. He graduated magna cum laude from Oakland University with a Bachelor’s degree in music composition and magna cum laude from the University of Miami School of Law, where he served as Articles and Comments Editor for the University of Miami Law Review.


  • Florida


  • Oakland University
    Bachelor in Music Composition
  • University of Miami School of Law
    Doctor of Jurisprudence


  • American Bar Association (ABA)
  • American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
  • Aviation Insurance Association
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI)
  • Drones: Regulations, Operations and Litigation Committee of the American Bar Association's Forum on Air and Space Law
  • Florida Defense Lawyers Association (FDLA)
  • Hillsborough County Bar Association (HCBA)
  • Order of the Coif
  • Phi Delta Phi
  • The Florida Bar

Bayfront Cent. Sec. & Sys., Inc. v. N.Y. Cent. Mut. Ins. Co., 17 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 181a (Fla. 6th Jud. Cir. 2010) – order dismissing multi-count complaint against New York automobile insurer for lack of personal jurisdiction

Bayshore TBI, Inc. v. MemberSelect Ins. Co., No. 8:19-cv-01281-MSS-AAS, 2019 WL 6696245 (M.D. Fla. Dec. 4, 2019) – order staying a Michigan No Fault action under the Colorado River abstention doctrine in deference to an earlier-filed case pending in Michigan

Bele v. 21st Century Centennial Ins. Co., 25 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. D193a, 2015 WL 3875491 (M.D. Fla. May 15, 2015) – order denying motion to remand where Plaintiffs contended that the amount-in-controversy requirement had not been proven

Bele v. 21st Century Centennial Ins. Co., 126 F. Supp. 3d 1293 (M.D. Fla. 2015) – order dismissing an unripe bad-faith action and a declaratory-judgment claim seeking to fix damages in the bad-faith claim, both of which were joined to a claim for UM coverage

Bennett v. 21st Century Sec. Ins. Co., No. 2013-CA-012378-O, 2016 WL 4398685 (Fla. 9th Jud. Cir. Aug. 17, 2016) – summary judgment entered for insurer where underlying action was dismissed with prejudice pursuant to a joint stipulation for dismissal

Betzoldt v. Auto Club Group Ins. Co., 26 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 385a, 2018 WL 4491359 (Fla. 13th Jud. Cir. 2018) – order entering summary judgment on a plaintiff’s vicarious-liability claim and rejecting plaintiff’s argument that an insurance company is vicariously liable for the legal malpractice of a law firm retained to represent its insured

Bollinger v. State Farm Mut. Auto Ins. Co., 23 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. D159, 2012 WL 112937 (S.D. Fla. 2012), aff’d, 538 Fed. App'x. 857 (11th Cir. 2013) – summary judgment entered and affirmed in first-party bad-faith action where the plaintiff had not filed a Civil Remedy Notice

Borrego v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 24 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. D350a, 2014 WL 2615192 (S.D. Fla. 2014) – order dismissing a spousal-derivative bad-faith action where Civil Remedy Notice was silent as  to the spousal claim

Higgins v. W. Bend Mut. Ins. Co., 85 So. 3d 1156 (Fla. 5th DCA 2012) – summary judgment entered and affirmed against Minnesota plaintiffs attempting to invoke Florida law to assert a bad-faith claim against a Wisconsin insurer

Holliday v. Lloyd’s, Underwriters at, London, No. 8:17-cv-2063-T-33AEP, 2017 WL 6624160 (M.D. Fla. Dec. 28, 2017) – order dismissing pro se litigant’s claim against “Lloyd’s, Underwriters at, London” on the ground that such is not a legal entity capable of being sued

Holliday v. Markel Syndicate 3000 at Underwriters at Lloyds, London, No.  __ Fed. App’x __, 2020 WL 488832 (11th Cir. Jan. 30, 2020).

Holliday v. Syndicate 3000 at Lloyd’s, Underwriters at, London, No. 8:17-cv-2063-T-33AEP, 2018 WL 2214648 (M.D. Fla. May 15, 2018) – order dismissing pro se litigant’s claim for inadequate service of process

Holliday v. Syndicate 3000 at Lloyd’s, Underwriters at, London, 27 Fla. Weekly Fed. D169a, No. 8:18-cv-1327-T-33CPT (M.D. Fla. Nov. 7, 2018) – order dismissing claim for malicious prosecution as barred by the statute of limitations

Johnson v. State Farm Mut. Auto Ins. Co., 26 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. D6a, 2016 WL 277768 (M.D. Fla. Jan. 22, 2016) –order denying remand of a removed bad-faith action appended to a UM case.  Read more.

Mathurin v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 285 F. Supp. 3d 1311 (M.D. Fla. 2018)  – order dismissing first-party bad-faith claim on the ground that the Civil Remedy Notice attached to the Complaint listed a policy number corresponding to a different insurance policy than the one that was the subject of the claim for bad faith

Signature Flight Support v. Lan Chile Airlines – Award for the defendant in an international arbitration regarding the cause of a December 1, 1998 aircraft-wing fire that began under a fuel truck’s cab and quickly spread to the wing of a Boeing 747

Smith v. 21st Century Centennial Ins. Co., 25 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. D52, 2014 WL 5474591 (M.D. Fla. 2014) – dismissing a declaratory-judgment action seeking to fix damages for an unripe bad-faith action and abating the unripe bad-faith action

Swanson v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., No. 6:19-cv-422-Orl-31-DCI, 2019 WL 1763244 (M.D. Fla. Apr. 22, 2019) – order dismissing a complaint that sought to assert a claim for the “willful tort of bad faith,” agreeing with State Farm’s argument that Florida law does not recognize such a cause of action

Thorne v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 25 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. D117a, 2015 WL 809530 (M.D. Fla. 2015) – order denying a motion to remand an unripe bad-faith action asserted prior to the resolution of the underlying action for uninsured-motorist benefits

Thorne v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 25 Fla L. Weekly Fed. D116a, 2015 WL 864936 (M.D. Fla. 2015) – order dismissing an unripe bad-faith action brought before resolution of the underlying action for UM benefits

West Bend Mutual Insurance Co. v. Higgins, 9 So. 3d 655 (Fla. 5th DCA 2009) – certiorari quashing a trial-court order that required disclosure of an insurer’s post-judgment communications with its counsel

March 12, 2020 PUBLICATIONNew Appleman Florida Insurance Law (2020 Edition)

The New Appleman Florida Insurance Law details a beginner's guide to insurance law all the way to rehabilitation and liquidation of funds...

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December 04, 2019 PUBLICATIONDrones: Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Cancel Your Pirate Insurance

So, what are the sorts of trouble that we should expect to see when bad actors get their hands on drones? Because bad actors are less likely to seek proper licensure before using their drones, the FAA’s gradualism in integrating drones into the national airspace has not slowed them down. 

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May 14, 2019 PUBLICATIONButler on Drones (Third Edition): A Practical Guide for Insurers

Drones – also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) or unmanned aircraft systems ( UAS ) – have left no industry unaffected, and the insurance industry is perhaps affected most of all. Unlike manned aircraft, whose risks are largely confined to the industry’s aviation sector...

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Drones – also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) or unmanned aircraft systems ( UAS ) – have left no industry unaffected, and the insurance industry is perhaps affected most of all. Unlike manned aircraft, whose risks are largely confined to the industry’s aviation sector, the affordability, versatility, and ubiquity of drones are bringing exposures to sectors of the insurance industry that were previously insulated from aviation risks. For these carriers especially, it is vitally important to acquaint themselves with this technology and the complex web of federal, state, and local laws that governs them. 

Request a copy of the EBook here.

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September 20, 2017 PUBLICATIONFlorida Insurance Litigation (2017 Edition)

LexisNexis Practice Guide: Florida Insurance Litigation provides the practitioner with immediate access to knowledge and strategy on every aspect of insurance practice in Florida. The publication concisely presents the terms, conditions and exclusions that govern coverage offered against the risks under each line of insurance. This approach provides a comprehensive exploration of key concepts, policy language and insight for litigation of common and esoteric disputes under those policies. Each chapter also provides task-oriented checklists, examples, strategic points, and cross-references to governing statutory and case law.

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January 03, 2017 PUBLICATIONIf you invade someone's privacy with a drone, your insurance might not cover it

Drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles or unmanned aerial systems, can be equipped with cameras, thermal scanners, license plate readers and facial-recognition software.

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As one of the nation’s most preeminent jurists put it, domestication of horses did not give rise to a “law of the horse,” and the rise of the Internet era did not give rise to a “law of cyberspace.”1 Likewise, the proliferation of drones will not give rise to a new area of law called “drone law.” What will happen instead is much more complex.

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February 22, 2016 PUBLICATIONFlying Witnesses: Admissibility of Drone-Gathered Evidence in Florida

If reported surveys are accurate, Americans are ambivalent about the potential consequences of operating drones in both the public and private sectors; however, mixed feelings do not seem to be slowing the growth in their ownership and use. It seems inevitable that trial courts will be called on to exclude or admit evidence that was gathered remotely. The following article explains the legal framework the Florida courts will use when ruling on drone-gathered evidence.

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November 23, 2011 PUBLICATIONProximate Causation In Third-Party Bad Faith: Not Every Bad Decision Is A Bad-Faith Suit

Proximate causation is an element of a claim for bad faith. An often-overlooked element, but an element nonetheless. Even claims with grievous claim-handling errors and high excess judgments can still be very defensible if there is no proximate causation between the two. This article examines the element of the bad-faith cause of action that is most often glossed over. 

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February 24, 2011 PUBLICATIONThe Duty to Initiate Settlement Negotiations: Where Does it Begin and How Far Does it Go

In some jurisdictions, including Florida, the courts recognize a duty in some circumstances for a liability insurer to initiate settlement negotiations with a third-party claimant before the claimant has ever made a demand. This duty is a relatively recent invention in the common law and has yet to be fully defined. While most articles on the subject tend to focus on whether or not this duty should exist in the first place, this article skips that threshold question and delves into the particulars that apply in the jurisdictions that recognize it. What triggers the duty? What is required of the insurer to discharge it? What are the defenses to a claim for bad-faith failure to initiate settlement negotiations? This article tackles these emerging questions and more in attempt to define this nascent duty.

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May 13, 2010 PUBLICATION(Almost) Twenty Years After Powell: Case Studies On A Liability Insurer's Duty To Initiate Settlement Negotiations

The Florida Third District Court of Appeal’s 1991 decision in Powell v. Prudential Property & Casualty Insurance Co. recognized a duty, in some circumstances, for a liability insurer to initiate settlement discussions with a third-party claimant who has not made a demand. The case proved to have a strong ripple effect, bringing about a sea change in bad-faith jurisprudence for the next twenty years. This article examines the expansion of Powell from a unique facts-driven anomaly to an entire branch of bad-faith jurisprudence and discusses early indications that the courts may be retreating again to applications more in line with the original case.

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February 25, 2010 PUBLICATIONExtracontractual Recovery Without Bad Faith

Insurance intermediaries (insurance agents and insurance brokers) are especially vulnerable to claims by insureds. While bad-faith actions continue to be the favored method of pursuing recovery beyond a policy limit, some litigants turn to claims against insurance intermediaries (and the insurers they represent) for extracontractual recovery. In addition to bad-faith law, insurers need to know what kinds of claims can be brought in relation to the procurement of the insurance policy itself and what defenses can be raised. This article delves into this often-misunderstood area of the law and illuminates some legal issues with which every insurer should be familiar.

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Blog Posts

June 04, 2020 BLOG POSTButler's Thursday Tips #7 | Civil Remedy Notices

Join us for this week's Thursday Tip as Partner James Shaw, Jr. discusses Civil Remedy Notices.

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January 15, 2019 BLOG POSTThe Federal Aviation Authority Reauthorization Act of 2018 and Its Effect on Drones

The Federal Aviation Authority (“FAA”) Reauthorization Act of 2018 (the “Act”) was signed into law on October 5, 2018, by President Donald Trump. The Act was the first five-year FAA reauthorization since 1982.  Such reauthorizations provide the FAA with guaranteed funding for the next five years. The Act contains a plethora of supplementary provisions in addition to the provisions regarding the authorized funding of the FAA.  The Act can be broken down into five areas: (1) funding authorizations; (2) airline customer service; (3) aviation safety; (4) airports; and (5) unmanned aviation systems (“UAS”), also known as drones.

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December 14, 2018 BLOG POSTDrone Accident Excluded Under CGL Policy's Aircraft Exclusion

In the most recent edition of our book, Butler on Drones, we reported that ISO has issued specific exclusions for unmanned aircraft for inclusion into CGL policies, but it was an open question whether a CGL policy’s standard aircraft exclusion already excluded coverage for liability arising from the use of a drone. A California federal district court has now weighed in on the question – the first to do so, as far as we are aware. And we like the answer.

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May 24, 2017 BLOG POSTThe D.C. Court of Appeals Just Scrapped the Drone Registry and May Have Also Turned Homeowners Insurers into Aviation Insurers

Model-aircraft hobbyist John Taylor didn’t want to register his model aircraft with the FAA pursuant to the newly created drone registry. So he took on the FAA, challenging new regulations aimed at unmanned aircraft registration and flight restrictions.

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April 13, 2017 BLOG POSTThe Answers to Some of Your Questions About What Airlines Can Do When a Flight is Overbooked and Someone Is Going to Have to Get Off of the Plane

Suddenly, the entire world is interested in learning about the laws governing airlines’ actions when a flight is overbooked. It isn’t every day that the entire world suddenly wants to learn all about something that you’ve spent years studying, so this post is for our clients who insure aviation risks, our clients who are frequent air travelers, and perhaps a few curious strangers who have no business with our law firm but have nonetheless been led here by their quest for answers. 

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May 20, 2016 SPOTLIGHTAmerican Civil Liberties Union

I came to see that it was a lot more complex than that, that they were actually protecting the rights themselves from being slowly eroded away, and standing up for people was one of several ways to do that. It was thankless-but-essential work, and it impressed me that there were people doing it for no reason other than that they thought it should be done.

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January 24, 2020 EVENTThe Drone Will See You Now: Law Enforcement from Above and Litigation from Below

Dr. Dedmon leads this panel that lets these experienced sUAS professionals and litigators share with you the real-world realities of sUAS law enforcement...

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May 09, 2019 EVENTThe Use of Drones and Other Remote Technologies in Property Insurance Claim Adjustment

Claims professionals are increasingly using drones and other remote technologies to assist with the investigation and adjustment of property losses. In this session, the panel will address legal and regulatory hurdles, as well as potential extra-contractual exposure, which can arise from the use of drones in the adjustment process.

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March 08, 2018 EVENTIt's About More Than The Cake

James Shaw from Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig and Chairman of the Legal Panel for the Greater Tampa Chapter of the ACLU was part of a panel in Tampa, FL at the "It's About More Than The Cake", an important conversation on the First Amendment and anti-discrimination law.

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February 07, 2018 EVENTNAMIC Claims Conference - Aerial Imagery – Advantages and Liabilities: A Discussion Panel

James Shaw from Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig presented in Orlando, FL at the 2018 NAMIC Claims Conference on the topic of "Aerial Imagery – Advantages and Liabilities: A Discussion Panel".

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October 03, 2016 EVENTSchoolchildren & the Constitution in 2016

American Civil Liberties Union

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June 01, 2012 EVENTPAF's 2012 Spring Seminar

Civil Liberties and New Technology

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March 13, 2020 NEWSJames Shaw, Jr. Elected to ACLU Chair

Join us in congratulating Partner James Shaw, Jr. for being elected as Chair for the ACLU of Florida State's Legal Panel. 

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September 18, 2019 NEWSCongratulations to James Shaw, Jr.!

Join us in congratulating James Shaw, Jr. for being elected to the Board of Directors of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida.

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August 01, 2019 NEWSJames Shaw, Jr. Named "Member of the Month" by the Phi Delta Phi

Partner James Michael Shaw, Jr. was recently named as the "Member of the Month" for Phi Delta Phi's Barrister Brief.

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October 17, 2018 NEWSPartner James Shaw, Jr. Featured on Fox 13 News

Partner James Shaw, Jr. provided comments for a Fox 13 news report on the growing privacy concerns about increased traffic cameras in the Bay Area. 

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October 11, 2018 NEWSPartner James Shaw, Jr. Was LIVE During the MidPoint Radio Show

On October 11th, 2018, Partner James Shaw, Jr. was LIVE on air during the MidPoint show on radio station 88.5 WMNF. James spoke with radio host Shelley regarding the Florida state ballot amendment.

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March 09, 2018 NEWSJames Shaw, Jr. awarded the American Civil Liberties Union's Greater Tampa Chapter First Amendment Award

Partner James Shaw, Jr. was awarded the American Civil Liberties Union’s Greater Tampa Chapter First Amendment Award. James has a 20 year history with the organization that began in high school and continued throughout college and his professional career. He is the Chair panel for this organization and has held this title for over 10 years. In this panel, James and other volunteer attorneys meet regularly to review complaints and act on them. Sometimes this requires a simple phone call to fix the complaint, other times it could be as extensive as filing a suit through cooperating counsel. James’s “tireless dedication to civil rights and civil liberties” was one of many reasons that the ACLU honored him with this award at the Florida Annual meeting.

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February 17, 2017 NEWSDrone Insurance: Because You Will Crash Your Drone

Ryan Hilton and James Shaw, Jr., Partners at Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig, were featured in NerdWallet.com’s latest article written by Barbara Marquand, “Drone Insurance: Because You Will Crash Your Drone.” Be sure to read the article as Hilton and Shaw explain why it is important to check with your insurer about coverage for your drone, and why renters or home insurance doesn’t cover drones in certain instances.

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