Monthly Archives:' February 2016

Trial Attorney Willie Gary Speaks at the 2nd Annual Treasure Coast Justice Association (TCJA) Installation Banquet

Attorney Willie Gary Presents on “How to Win Multi-Billion Dollar Verdicts”

Prominent attorney Willie Gary of the Stuart, Florida based law firm of Gary, Williams, Parenti, Watson and Gary, P.L.L.C., attended the second annual Treasure Coast Justice Association (TCJA) Installation Banquet, which was held at the Willoughby Golf Club in Stuart, Florida.

Attorney Gary addressed more than 75 local attorneys, judges and legal professionals on the topic of “How to Win Multi-Billion Dollar Verdicts”, in which he detailed and documented his unprecedented $23.6 billion verdict against RJ Reynolds. During his presentation, Gary discussed key points in delivering a winning closing argument, including the use of visual aids. The crowd was in awe as Gary read a brief passage of the actual closing argument he delivered in the Florida wrongful death smoking case – which rendered a $23.6 billion jury award. Mr. Gary also shared memories of his humble beginning in Martin County and stressed the importance of mutual respect for one another in honor of Black History month.

Associate attorney, Pierre Daniel in the medical malpractice department of Gary, Williams, Parenti, Watson & Gary, P.L.L.C., is a founding member of the TCJA and serves as the secretary for the organization.

TCJA president Chad Hastings, who began his legal career as a law clerk at the Gary, Williams, Parenti, Watson & Gary law firm commented, “Willie Gary inspired me to help people that are victims of negligence many years ago when I worked at his firm. As I complete my term as the first president of the TCJA, there is no better way to close than to see Mr. Gary inspiring our membership.”

Attorney Willie E. Gary and his legal team are no strangers to seeking justice.   Mr. Gary is known for taking on some of the nation’s most powerful corporate giants. In 2014, a jury awarded Gary and team an unprecedented $23.6 billion verdict against RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company.

In 1995, a jury awarded Gary and his legal team a record-breaking, half-billion dollars against one of the world’s largest funeral chains, The Loewen Group. In addition, Gary is noted for winning a $240 million jury verdict in Orange County against the Walt Disney Corporation for his clients who alleged that Disney stole their idea for a sports theme park. In 2001, a jury awarded Gary a $139.6 million verdict for the Maris Distributing Company against Anheuser Busch.

Attorney Willie Gary poses with associate attorney Pierre Daniel

Attorney Willie Gary poses with associate attorney Pierre Daniel

The TCJA incoming and former presidents; Gloria Seidule (center) and Chad Hastings (2ND to last on the right) pose with officers of TCJA

The TCJA incoming and former presidents; Gloria Seidule (center) and Chad Hastings (2ND to last on the right) pose with officers of TCJA

Wake Forest University School of Law's Black Law Student's Association's 31st Annual Scholarship Banquet

Trial Attorney Willie Gary Delivers Keynote Address at Wake Forest University School of Law Black Law Students Association’s 31st Annual Scholarship Banquet

The Wake Forest Black Law Students Association (BLSA) hosted its 31st Annual Scholarship Banquet on Friday, Feb. 12, at the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts

Trial Attorney Willie Gary was featured as the keynote speaker at the Wake Forest Black Law Students Association’s 31st Annual Scholarship Banquet on Friday, Feb. 12, at the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts.

According to Ashlee Johnson, BLSA member and event chair, his speech was called “Fulfilling the Dream,” and was an eloquent reimagining of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech of 1963.

Mr. Gary reflected on what people are doing today to fulfill Dr. King’s dream, especially in the vein of on-campus movements, student protests, and presidential elections.

The Black Law Students Association request Mr. Gary to speak with these students to empower them to become stronger leaders and voices to the voiceless. Third year law students and members of BLSA, “BLSA holds a special place in my heart,” commented Mr. Gary, “it is important that lawyers and judges serve as mentors and role models for law students and while practicing law is important it is just as meaningful to offer my time, talent and resources to young people, specifically BLSA.”

The speech finished with a rousing ovation by the crowd, giving testament to Mr. Gary’s efficacy as an orator in the courtroom, as well as his ability to inspire young professionals of the future.

Attorney Willie E. Gary is no stranger to seeking justice.   Mr. Gary and his legal team are known for taking on some of the nation’s most powerful corporate giants. In 2014, a jury awarded Gary and his legal team an unprecedented $23.6 billion verdict against RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company.  In 1995, a jury awarded Gary and his legal team a record-breaking, half-billion dollars against one of the world’s largest funeral chains, The Loewen Group. In addition, Gary is noted for winning a $240 million jury verdict in Orange County against the Walt Disney Corporation for his clients who alleged that Disney stole their idea for a sports theme park. In 2001, a jury awarded Gary a $139.6 million verdict for the Maris Distributing Company against Anheuser Busch.

Attorney Willie Gary poses with Wake Forest University School of Law’s Black Law Students Association (BLSA) members and advisors

Attorney Willie Gary poses with Wake Forest University School of Law’s Black Law Students Association (BLSA) members and advisors

Prominent Trial Attorney and Humanitarian Willie E. Gary, Serves as Keynote Speaker for the Florida Department of Transportation’s 13th Annual Black History Month Program

Trial attorney Willie E. Gary recently served as the keynote speaker for The Florida Department of Transportation’s 13th Annual Black History Month program in Bartow, Florida.

Gary addressed an audience of over 200 business leaders, educators, legal professionals, elected officials and clergy on the topic of “David vs. Goliath.”  Audience members listened attentively as Gary spoke about the importance of making a positive impact in our respective communities, and reaching back to help the underserved and downtrodden.  Gary also enthusiastically encouraged attendees to provide job and internship opportunities for young boys and girls.  He challenged everyone to play a role in the success of future generation by equipping them with the necessary tools and resources to succeed in life.

Gary was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation on behalf of the State of Florida Department of Transportation for his contributions to Black History.  The program concluded with City Commissioner Leo Longworth proudly presenting Mr. Gary with a Key to the City.

“Many great men and women have sacrificed and fought hard for our civil rights,” said Gary.  “Today, we celebrate those leaders and legends who have paved the way.  Thanks to their foresight and perseverance, we have been afforded opportunities our grandparents only dreamed of having.  While I am pleased that we have made substantial strides; I am also reminded of the fact that we have a long way to go,” continued Gary..

Attorney Willie E. Gary is no stranger to seeking justice.   Mr. Gary and his legal team are known for taking on some of the nation’s most powerful corporate giants. In 2014, a jury awarded Gary and his legal team an unprecedented $23.6 billion verdict against RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company.  In 1995, a jury awarded Gary and his legal team a record-breaking, half-billion dollars against one of the world’s largest funeral chains, The Loewen Group. In addition, Gary is noted for winning a $240 million jury verdict in Orange County against the Walt Disney Corporation for his clients who alleged that Disney stole their idea for a sports theme park. In 2001, a jury awarded Gary a $139.6 million verdict for the Maris Distributing Company against Anheuser Busch.

Famed Attorney Willie Gary and NFL Wide Receiver Devard Darling Demand Answers from State Legislature on Extreme Delay in Granting Claims Bill

NFL Star Devard Darling Speaks Out for the First Time

About the Sudden and Unnecessary Death of his Twin Brother, Devaughn Darling

Prominent attorney Willie Gary of the Stuart, Florida based law firm of Gary, Williams, Parenti, Watson & Gary, P.L.L.C., along with football wide-receiver Devard Darling and nearly a dozen NFL players gathered in Tallahassee, Florida in memory and support of Devaughn Darling.  Gary and Darling made the request for immediate action from the State Legislature and petitioned for the authorization of the claims bill, in the case of Devaughn Darling.  The wrongful death lawsuit filed by the Gary Law Firm settled for $2 million in June 2004, of which Florida State University paid $200,000. Gary and his legal team have pursued the remaining $1.8 million that must be approved by the Legislature since that time.

At the press conference, NFL star Devard Darling, former wide receiver for the Baltimore Ravens, spoke out for the first time about the sudden and unnecessary death of his twin brother, Devaughn. Devaughn Darling, an 18-year-old freshman linebacker for the Florida State University football team collapsed and died, while participating in a series of intense conditioning tests in February 2001.  Devard Darling traveled to Tallahassee to meet with the leadership of the State Legislature, in an effort to bring about awareness of the untimely death of his brother and to impress upon the legislature the need to approve the claims bill.  This was Devard Darling’s first time returning to Tallahassee since the death of his twin brother.

During his visit, Darling visited the Devaughn Darling Memorial Tree at Doak Campbell Stadium.  Darling also hosted a VIP reception at the Governor’s Club, showcasing the work of the As One Foundation, which he established in honor of his brother with the mission to educate and increase awareness of  Sickle Cell Trait while encouraging youth to achieve their dreams in the face of life’s challenges. 

“I am thankful that we were able to turn to one another to seek resolution and understanding in this matter,” commented Gary.  “However, make no mistake that there is no amount of money that can compensate for the loss of a child.  Devaughn was more than just a great athlete.  He was a phenomenal person who was a role model for many young boys and girls and he died prematurely and unnecessarily,” Gary continued.

Attorney Willie E. Gary and his legal team are no strangers to seeking justice.   Mr. Gary is known for taking on some of the nation’s most powerful corporate giants. In 2014, a jury awarded Gary and team an unprecedented $23.6 billion verdict against RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company.  In 1995, a jury awarded Gary and his legal team a record-breaking, half-billion dollars against one of the world’s largest funeral chains, The Loewen Group. In addition, Gary is noted for winning a $240 million jury verdict in Orange County against the Walt Disney Corporation for his clients who alleged that Disney stole their idea for a sports theme park. In 2001, a jury awarded Gary a $139.6 million verdict for the Maris Distributing Company against Anheuser Busch.

Attorney Willie Gary poses with friends and family of Devaughn Darling at a press conference in Tallahassee, FL

Attorney Willie Gary poses with friends and family of Devaughn Darling at a press conference in Tallahassee, FL

 

Corey Simon retired NFL player; State Representative Mia Jones-Jax; Willie Gary; Devard Darling brother of Devaughn Darling; Jesse Solomon retired NFL player

Corey Simon retired NFL player; State Representative Mia Jones-Jax; Willie Gary; Devard Darling brother of Devaughn Darling; Jesse Solomon retired NFL player

Facts about Class Action Lawsuits

The first thing that you need to know about class action lawsuits is that one of the parties is going to be consisted of a group of people. They may be represented individually or collectively by a member of the group. The state of Florida has seen a lot of these cases, especially lately. There are certain advantages and disadvantages to class action lawsuits, which are mainly due to the nature of the claims. It’s important to know that in order to be aggregated in a class action lawsuit the claims must be entitled to the same court and should be within the same practice area of law. They are extremely popular in personal injury law and the main example consists of an employer who has wronged several employees. The labor legislation understands class action cases for wrongful termination, for instance.

The main advantage of class action is the increased efficiency of the particular legal process. This entails that because of the strong aggregation of claims, the court would be able to issue a binding decision which is going to be mandatory for all of the parties. This eliminates the need for individual hearings and rulings, which is incredibly time-saving as well as economical as legal expenses would also be combined in the particular class action.

Legal Jurisdiction in Florida

However, the state of Florida is known for its tight restrictive legislation which regulates the class action lawsuits. A several years ago the Governor of Florida signed on a legislation bill which tightened those restrictions even more. The particular act is known as the F.S. 768.734 and imposes sever requirements for filing class action claims. It addresses the individual capacity to file a claim of each of the plaintiffs as well as the damages that they may recover from. Moreover the non-residential claimants no longer have the broad access to the state courts of Florida and they must fit the particular expectations set forth by the act.

It is arguable whether or not this bill in particular is beneficial for the legal system. Restricting class action lawsuits can be considered as beneficial for the corporation. However, having in mind that the labor legislation in general is widely impacting and benefiting the employee, it is only logical that personal injury class action lawsuits follow the same logic. This is a sign of discontinuity which may lead to some serious complications when it comes to the representation of groups of people. The contradiction is obvious and it needs to be addressed. As to this moment there are no rulings of the Florida Supreme court which follow one way or another but are strictly abiding by the questionable act. Class action lawsuits are highly regarded especially in the United States of America and it is unreasonable to limit their application as much.

Changes in The Florida Personal Injury Statutory

Personal injury law is constantly evolving. This is because it needs to be flexible in order to meet the ever changing requirements of society. Some injuries become a lot more relevant than others and as such they need to be addressed respectively. Even though some of the magistrates tend to believe that a stable and permanent law is a guarantee of longevity and reliability, the fact is that law needs to be versatile. It needs to adapt to the social trends in order to provide the adequate legal protection. However, when it comes to Florida personal injury statutory regulations, it’s worth mentioning that over the last couple of years the law has shifted quite a bit, regarding different areas of personal injury.

One of the major changes of the Senate Bill accepted all the way back in 1860 requires that victims involved in motor vehicle accidents should receive their initial medical service as well as care within the first 14 days after the accident has taken place. They are going to be reimbursed only if they fall within the limitations and boundaries of what is lawfully provided. If any follow up services are required they should be legally referred by the treating expert or otherwise they won’t be addressed by the court and they won’t be subjected to compensation.

The death benefits are also increased. Previously the death benefits of unused Personal Injury Protection was only limited to $5,000. As per the new changes this threshold is increased to $5,000 in benefits as well as in $10,000 in medical benefits.

The No-Fault disputes related to personal injury protection which involve paying legal fees for attorneys are also altered. The changed bill requires that the attorney bills which are awarded have to be compliant with the professional standards which are set forth by the practice. This is incredibly helpful as it regulates what had to be regulated before that. This would prevent attorneys from signing off immense legal fees and it protects the losing party. Thus, the advantages hold promise and advantage to both parties.

All in all, it’s safe to say that recent changes to the Florida personal injury statutory provisions are navigating the practice area towards a positive approach. They are executed in a sense of responsibility which aims to deliver a proper protection as well as legal representation. Some argue that the last alteration might lower the incentive of personal injury lawyers to present the proper protection but there are ethical regulations which would imply severe responsibility which might even reach criminal one if the lawyer does not provide the required service due to monetary incentives. It’s important that the law remains stable and intact in the alterations as they need to be properly implemented to the legal system to gain the required continuity.

News about Product Malfunctions

The state of Florida regards product liability under a variety of different statutory regulations. The Statute of Limitations is likely to be one of the most important in this particular matter as it has a double coined meaning and it impacts both the claimant and the defendant. On the one side, we have the plaintiff who is required as per the Statute point 95.11 to file his claim in a term of four years after which time frame it becomes void. This is intended to further stimulate the pursuit of responsibility. However, on the other hand, we have the defendant who is protected from timeless claims. His responsibility has to be put in some limits, and the Statute of Limitations is representing this in particular.

Decision of the Florida Supreme Court

The Florida Supreme Court came up with a recent decision which had great impact on product liability cases. This is a state-specific rule which aims to limit tortuous actions provided that the damages are only economic – this is now only limited to cases deriving from product liability. This has great impact on tort law in general and especially on personal injury claims. The decision entails that a tortuous prosecution claim can’t be filed against the defendant if the only damages incurred by the defendant are monetary. There is an exception to the rule. The claim will be allowed if it relates to product liability.

Now, this decision shifts the legal parameters of personal injury law in relation to product malfunctions. As it is known, personal injury derives from tort law and this particular ruling is one of the few steps which are clearly stating that persona injury is absolutely necessary and can’t be overlooked. Product malfunction is one of the most commonly regarded personal injury cases and the spotlight has shifted towards it even more. The ruling of 2013 forbids any other tort claims to be filed unless they are from product malfunction, provided the damages are only monetary. Of course there is a wide speculation as to what exactly does economic loss means. Some magistrates tend to accept that this might also derive from subjective reasoning which has to be taken into proper consideration. The ability of one to emotionally perceive things definitely leads to monetary results, especially in the corporate environment.

Whether or not those perceptions are going to be accepted by the court is another question and the ruling of the Florida’s Supreme Court kind of delivers a negative answer. If the matter is regarded as to its strictly objective side, if you are experiencing only monetary losses from a tort you won’t be able to file, unless it’s related to product defect or malfunction, which are the main product liability claims. Thus, it is best to get an honest opinion from an experience lawyer, if you are a victim of a product malfunction.