Founding & Managing Partner: Aaron S Podhurst
Number of partners: 12
Number of other lawyers: 6
Number of other lawyers (Of Counsel): 1
Podhurst Orseck continues a legal practice established over half a century ago, concentrating exclusively on trial and appellate litigation. The firm is dedicated to offering the highest caliber legal representation in both federal and state trial and appellate courts. The firm’s commercial practice focuses on complex civil litigation of all types, including class actions. The firm serves as litigation counsel to major corporations and law firms, and represents companies and individuals in complex and significant commercial litigation. The firm’s general tort practice places a major emphasis upon representing claimants in aviation, mass torts and products liability litigation. From its inception, the firm has also developed an appellate practice that handles appeals of not only trial lawyers, but of other lawyers throughout the nation, in the various state and federal courts, including the United States Supreme Court. The firm’s practice serves clients residing or based throughout the United States, and in several foreign countries.
Main Areas of Practice:
General Tort Practice Concentrating in Mass Torts & Product Liability Litigation:
Since its inception, a significant portion of the firm’s trial practice has been general tort law. The firm’s experience runs the gamut of such cases from mass tort cases to complex products liability, to business-related torts. Literally thousands of general negligence and product liability cases of all sorts have been prepared, negotiated or tried by the members of the firm. An abbreviated listing of the type of cases handled would include all types of general negligence cases (from premises liability to boating accidents), product liability cases (involving cranes, automobiles, rollover and tire tread separation, food processing equipment, marine engines, pharmaceuticals, hand tools and ladders, to name a few) and complex legal, accounting, architectural and engineering malpractice claims.
A major emphasis within the firm’s general tort practice is aviation litigation. The firm is recognized worldwide for its work as a plaintiffs’ aviation law firm. Podhurst Orseck believes that it has handled more plaintiffs’ aviation cases than any other firm in the southeastern United States and more foreign air crashes than almost any other firm in the country. The firm has represented multiple victims of major air disasters over the past four decades, most of them as lead counsel or in another leading role. In addition, the firm has handled in excess of 100 small or light plane and helicopter crashes involving private, non-commercial aircraft.
Nearly 50% of the firm’s trial and appellate litigation involves the resolution of corporate and commercial disputes on behalf of plaintiffs and defendants. Its practice varies from the most complex commercial cases, including RICO, securities fraud and legal malpractice to basic contract litigation. The firm’s commercial clientele includes Fortune 500 companies, law firms, small and middle-sized companies and private individuals.
The firm has a very active class action and multi-district litigation practice. Members of the firm have been court appointed lead or liaison counsel in numerous major class actions, ranging from securities litigation, investor fraud cases, pharmaceutical, consumer, healthcare and insurance litigation. In addition, firm lawyers have chaired and served on the steering committee of many national multi-district litigation proceedings in federal courts involving product defects, consumer fraud, major commercial aviation crashes and other mass torts. Significant firm resources have been invested, and a sizeable support staff trained and developed to service this practice area.
Defense of Legal & Accounting Professionals:
The firm is often retained to defend legal and accounting professionals against allegations of malpractice and other wrongdoing. In recent years, the firm has defended two of the ‘Big Four’ accounting firms, as well as national law firms. In several of these cases, the firm has been successful in either dismissing cases completely or significantly reducing the exposure faced by these professional firms.
Because some of its partners are former federal prosecutors, the firm has a special interest and concentration in the areas of white-collar crime and commercial fraud. The focus of this practice is the representation of individuals, corporate executives and corporations in both state and federal proceedings, ranging from grand jury investigations to criminal prosecutions and appeals. The firm has handled litigation involving environmental matters, bank fraud, tax fraud, mail and wire fraud, RICO violations, securities fraud, antitrust price fixing, bar grievances, official corruption, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and various other economic crimes. The firm has also handled quasi-criminal forfeitures and seizures of assets.
Two of the firm’s attorneys devote their practice primarily to appellate litigation and complex trial level motions, handling all in-house matters as well as referrals from attorneys and clients all over the United States. They practice primarily in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, the Florida Supreme Court and the intermediate Florida District Courts of Appeal. The firm’s appellate practice mirrors the substantive diversity of the firm’s trial practice, and includes plaintiff’s personal injury, and wrongful death cases, including aviation related matters, as well as commercial cases of all types, including class actions.
Many of the firm’s members are recognized annually by their peers for their work as trial and appellate lawyers, regionally, nationally and internationally. The firm has also been recognized by numerous publications, including the National Law Journal, which in 2014 named Podhurst Orseck among ‘America’s Elite Trial Firms’. In 2019, seven of the firm’s partners were selected by their peers for inclusion in the ‘Best Lawyers in America Guide;’ eight of the firm’s partners were named ‘Top Lawyers in South Florida’ by the South Florida Legal Guide; nine of the firm’s partners were named ‘Florida Super Lawyers’ and three others ‘Rising Stars’ by Super Lawyers Magazine and in 2018, three of the firm’s partners were named as being among ‘Florida’s Legal Elite’ by Florida Trend Magazine.