April 21, 2014
The Verdict Is In

Tenth year of peer recognition program honors Florida’s top attorneys.

Ten years ago, Florida Trend published its first Legal Elite special report, recognizing the top attorneys in the state as chosen by their peers. In this 10th Anniversary edition, we are pleased to report that the legal profession in Florida remains vibrant with new practice areas represented in Legal Elite, increased statewide voting and a 43% increase in the number of firms with Legal Elite attorneys.

As we looked at the winner rosters over the years, we noted that some characteristics of the Legal Elite attorneys varied little: average age, years in practice, law schools represented. The most notable change is in the number of women named Legal Elite. In 2004, women made up only 12% of the list; today women represent 23%. It's interesting to note that women now make up 21% of the Legal Elite Hall of Fame, revealing women's emergence into the upper echelons of law in Florida.

This 10th Anniversary year, we induct an exceptional class of attorneys into the Legal Elite Hall of Fame. These 28 new members have achieved the special distinction of being chosen as Legal Elite every year for the past 10 years.

Legal Elite Digital Edition is hereFlorida's Legal Leaders 2013:
Attorneys listed alphabetically


Link to Legal Elite digital Edition
Legal Elite Digital Edition is hereLook inside for attorneys listed by
Practice Area
Government & Non-Profit
Up & Comers
Hall of Fame


Members of the Florida Bar:
Voting for Legal Elite 2014 has closed. Attorneys selected as Florida Legal Elite™ 2014 will be listed in a special report in the July 2014 issue of Florida Trend. Thank you for your participation.

Featured Profiles

William A. Dean
Ford & Dean, P.A.

Marc W. Dunbar
Jones Walker LLP

Andrew L. Ellenberg
Needle & Ellenberg, P.A.

Leonard R. Ross
The Law Offices of Leonard R. Ross

Ian L. Gilden
Ian L. Gilden, P.A.

Jeffrey “Jack” Gordon
Maney|Gordon

Caryn Margo Green
West, Green & Associates, P.L.

Andrew Needle
Needle & Ellenberg, P.A.

Daniel R. Russell
Jones Walker LLP

Nicholas Shannin
Shannin Law Firm, P.A.

Richard D. West
West, Green & Associates, P.L.

How Florida’s Legal Elite are chosen

Legal Elite voting has moved from paper ballots to online voting over the years, but the process remains unchanged. Balloting for this year’s list began in October 2012 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, 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.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
An overview of the features and articles in this month's issue of Florida Trend.

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