Paula J. Phillips is Shareholder and Litigation Chair at Phillips Perez, P.A. An experienced civil litigator and trial lawyer with over twenty years of experience in practice, her command includes subject matter ranging from aviation, to catastrophic product liability, to construction, to first and third party insurance coverage and claims defense, professional malpractice, premises liability, personal injury, complex commercial subrogation litigation and appeals. She has been admitted to practice in all Florida courts, along with the United States District Courts for the Southern, Middle and Northern Districts of Florida and the United States Circuit Courts of Appeal for the Tenth and Eleventh Circuits.
Some highlights of Ms. Phillips' career include serving as co-counsel to the famous (and now infamous) criminal defense attorney F. Lee Bailey during her first year as a public service lawyer. Thereafter, as an associate with Anania Bandklayder, Ms. Phillips defended Valujet in litigation arising from the catastrophic crash in the Florida Everglades. During her five years with Hinshaw & Culbertson, she represented Lucent Technologies in a catastrophic chemical spill inside a computer chip fabrication facility in Orlando, Florida. Most recently, as part of her pro bono service, Ms. Phillips had the opportunity to argue before the Hon. Neil Gorsuch in the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in Denver, before his appointment to the United States Supreme Court.
She recently prevailed in a Circuit Court Appeal requiring insureds to seek relief before the Office of Insurance Regulation prior to bringing lawsuits related to premium refunds.
Ms. Phillips served as Chair of the Insurance Litigation Division at Zumpano Castro, LLC from January 2013 to October, 2017. Prior to that, she was a senior associate at Cole Scott & Kissane from 2008 to 2013, during which she was appointed as chair of the First Party Property division in the Fort Lauderdale office.
Ms. Phillips has been certified by the Florida Department of Financial Services to teach continuing education courses for insurance adjusters and attorneys.
Ms. Phillips earned her undergraduate degree from Cameron University in her home state of Oklahoma. She was a scholarship recipient at The University of Miami School of Law, where she served as Chair of the Student Bar Association Senate, Executive Editor of the Entertainment and Sports Law Review, and competed against schools from across the United States on behalf of the University of Miami at the ABA’s National Negotiation Competition. She continued to coach the Negotiation Competition for more than a decade, taking teams to regional and national finals. She was selected by her classmates as the Student Speaker at the 1997 Commencement Ceremony, where she received her Juris Doctor degree, cum laude.
Ms. Phillips is devoted to community service. Through the Florida Legal Aid Clinic, she provides free legal advice in the areas of guardianship and family law to indigent clients. She is also active in the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust, Ethical Governance Program, and serves as parliamentarian to various organizations. She also enjoys participating in marathons and triathlons, and, true to her Oklahoma roots, cooking and candy-making.
Reach Paula via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Alejandro “Alex” Perez is the Chair of the Firm’s First and Third Party Property Litigation division. He focuses primarily on representing insurance carriers in first party property insurance litigation, insurance coverage disputes, and defending homeowners as appointed counsel. In addition to his litigation expertise, Mr. Perez has handled numerous appeals in a variety of substantive areas, many of which have resulted in published opinions.
Mr. Perez earned his undergraduate degree at St. John’s University in Psychology, where he graduated summa cum laude. His achievements won him invitations to the Skull & Circle Honor Society and the Golden Key National Honor Society. He moved on to Seton Hall University School of Law, where he was a member of the Moot Court Board and graduated cum laude. Following law school, he served as law clerk to the Hon. Dennis M. Cavanaugh, United States District Judge for the District of New Jersey.
Mr. Perez is licensed to practice law in Florida, New York, and New Jersey, and has been admitted to the United States District Court for the Southern, Middle, and Northern Districts of Florida and the District of New Jersey. He has also been admitted to practice in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and the District of Columbia Circuit.
Reach Alex via email at email@example.com
Civil Trial Attorney
Certified Civil Court Mediator
Born and raised in Miami, Florida, Ms. Poole received her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Houston, Bates College of Law. While attending law school, Ms. Poole taught high school sciences. She is a proud graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, where she earned a degree in biology and premedical studies.
Licensed to practice law in both Texas and Florida in 1981, Ms. Poole has been an active trial lawyer in Florida for 38 years. She has represented defendants in personal injury cases arising from automobile collisions, premises liability incidents, and other general negligence matters. She has also handled PIP and SIU matters. Ms. Poole also has litigated first party property insurance claims over the course of her career. Ms. Poole has extensive trial experience, having tried approximately 58 jury trials either in first chair or second chair capacity. She has has represented many of the largest insurance carriers operating in the state.
Ms. Poole has been awarded an “AV Preeminent” rating by Martindale Hubbell Peer Rating, the highest rating attainable by an attorney. Ms. Poole is also a Florida Supreme Court Certified Civil Court Mediator and Qualified Arbitrator.
Ms. Poole's interests outside the practice of law include growing orchids and gardening.
Reach Jocelyn via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Louis Kaye has practiced law for over twenty years, focusing on insurance defense litigation such as automobile and premises liability, first and third party coverage, and bad faith litigation. Based in Orlando, he has been named one of Orlandoʼs Top Lawyers by Orlando Home and Leisure. He is an “AV Preeminent” rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell.
Mr. Kaye attended Deerfield Academy, before matriculating to Washington & Lee University. There, he earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Accounting. He worked for Walt Disney World, in financial reporting, before deciding to join the legal profession. He earned his juris doctor from the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University. During law school, Mr. Kaye was selected to serve as judicial intern for the judges of the Ninth Circuit of Florida, including Chief Judge the Hon. Belvin Perry, who later presided over the trial of Casey Anthony. Mr. Kaye is licensed to practice law in Florida and Georgia, and has been admitted to the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida. He has been qualified to serve as an expert witness for determination of reasonableness of attorney’s fees, and certified to teach continuing education courses for insurance adjusters by the Florida Department of Financial Services.
Reach Louis via email at email@example.com
Leo Sutkin is an attorney whose practice area focuses on intellectual property, corporate general counsel, and civil litigation. He is a member of the Florida and New York State Bars, as well as the United States Patent and Trademark Office as a licensed patent attorney. He is also admitted to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida as well as the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Mr. Sutkin is a graduate of Cornell University, where he earned a Bachelor of Sciences in Science and Technology Studies. He earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Miami School of Law. He serves the community by volunteering to represent underprivileged youth in criminal matters. Mr. Sutkin is an accomplished artist and is fluent in Russian.
Reach Leo via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Annette Garcia-Ferreiro is a litigation paralegal who has been working in the insurance defense field since 1993. Born to Cuban-American parents and raised in Miami, she graduated from Southwest Miami Senior High School in 1990. She went to work as a legal assistant, while working towards earning her Associate in Science for Legal Assistant in 1998. Ms. Garcia-Ferreiro has taken a leading role among support staff for more than twenty years, serving as head paralegal and office manager of several well-respected law firms in South Florida. She joined Phillips and Muir in 2017. Her competence and reliability make her an important asset to the firm. She also speaks Spanish fluently. Ms. Garcia-Ferreiro has two daughters and a son, ages 19, 17 and 12.
Reach Annette via email at email@example.com
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