Now in its 13th year, Florida Legal Elite presents a prestigious roster of attorneys chosen for recognition by their peers. The 1,144 lawyers listed here exemplify a standard of excellence in their profession and by so doing, have garnered the respect and esteem of their colleagues. Voting for this year’s Legal Elite attorneys began in October 2015 when Florida Trend invited all in-state members of the Florida Bar to participate. Multiple announcements publicized the ballot deadline and voting guidelines.
Lawyers were asked to name attorneys whom they hold in the highest regard or would recommend to others. Voters were also asked to name three “up and coming” attorneys, and in a separate category, outstanding attorneys working in the government and non-profit sectors. The ballots were processed, checked and tabulated by Bradenton-based Outsource America and EA Fernbacher LLC in St. Petersburg. Each lawyer was given a score based on the number of votes he or she received, with more weight given to votes from outside the firm. Only lawyers who are currently licensed and practicing in Florida were eligible for selection. The list of top vote-getters was further examined using membership status and histories provided by the Florida Bar. A panel of previous Legal Elite winners, representing different practice areas in cities across the state, reviewed the selection process and the list of finalists. The resulting lists represent fewer than 2% of the active Florida Bar members who practice in Florida. The Legal Elite Hall of Fame comprises a distinguished group of attorneys who have consistently earned high rankings from their peers in the annual Legal Elite voting.