Most Effective Lawyers: South Florida attorneys who scored significant victories for their clients

12/07/2009

Most Effective Lawyers: South Florida attorneys who scored significant victories for their clients
Review staff
December 07, 2009

Every year, in what has become one of the most closely watched attorney recognition programs in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, the Daily Business Review highlights the work of private and public sector lawyers through the Most Effective Lawyers in South Florida. The Daily Business Review's fifth annual Most Effective Lawyers program recognizes more than 80 attorneys in 16 categories: real estate , pro bono, complex/business litigation, international, appellate law, public interest, class actions, criminal justice, persona l injury, product liability, regulatory, medical malpractice, labor & employment, securities, bankruptcy/receivership, environmental law.

Video: How the Most Effective Lawyers were selected

Lawyers recognized in this special project handled the largest SEC receivership in Florida history, fought for the rights of mentally ill prison inmates, got restitution for the victims of the bombing of the USS Cole, secured the reversal of 15 death row convictions, got public financing to move forward for the Florida Marlins' new home, took on the cause of gay adoption, successfully defended a giant fruit producer from a massive class action and uncovered prosecutorial misconduct.

The attorneys were measured on one critical benchmark: results for the client.

Most Effective Lawyers has quickly become the recognition that distinguishes the top attorneys in South Florida.

This is not a lifetime achievement award. Selections are not made through a popularity contest or an anonymous survey by a publication that doesn't understand or cover the law in South Florida. No outside committees or panels judged the nominees.

The nominees' work was evaluated by the editorial staff of the Review based on tangible results and impact on public policy and business interests. The Review's editors conducted a three-month selection process that focused on client outcomes and the complexity of cases.

The process of selecting the Most Effective Lawyers began with more than 300 nominations in about two dozen practice area categories. Only South Florida lawyers qualify for results achieved from Oct. 1, 2008, through Sept. 30, 2009.

An initial cut was made to eliminate nominations that were incomplete, did not meet the criteria or clearly did not belong in this recognition program. The DBR's research director reached out to many of the nominees for information to buttress their nominations.

The editors then scored the nominees before meeting to select the semifinalists. Again more information was sought from the nominees and by the DBR staff to help editors select the finalists.

The editors met last month to select the finalists.

Some of the categories that proved to be the most competitive were criminal justice, real estate, complex/business litigation, appellate and public interest.

The Review's law reporters and several freelance contributors were assigned to research and report out the cases handled by the finalists.

The editors reconvened in November to review the findings and research by writers from the Review staff and by the outside contributors. In each category, the editors selected one case that featured attorneys worthy of being recognized as South Florida's Most Effective Lawyers.

Still, all of the lawyers featured in today's special report - whether they are finalists or ranked at the top of their categories - deserve recognition. All of the selections published here represent significant victories on behalf of clients - the ultimate measure for any lawyer.

- The Editors