April 26, 2015

Highest Honors
Peer recognition program honors Florida's top attorneys

Now in its eleventh edition, Florida Legal Elite presents a prestigious roster of attorneys chosen for highest honors by their peers.

The 1,165 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 2013 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.

This year we induct 13 new members into the Legal Elite Hall of Fame. These attorneys have been consistently ranked in the top tier in Legal Elite voting over the years.The 2014 inductees are: David Paul Ackerman, A. Graham Allen, Oliver David Barksdale, Steven L. Brannock, Raymond Thomas Elligett, Jr., Katherine Eastmoore Giddings, David Thomas Knight, Christopher S. Knopik, Thomas D. Masterson, Jane Wollner Moscowitz, Aaron Samuel Podhurst, Michael Grant Tanner and William B. Wilson.

Florida Legal Elite The Legal Elite Digital Ezine is now available
Find attorneys listed by:

Practice Area

Government & Non-Profit

Up & Comers

Board Certified

Featured Profiles

Andrew G. Diaz
Gaylord Merlin Ludovici Diaz

S. Cary Gaylord
Gaylord Merlin Ludovici Diaz

Jeffrey "Jack" Gordon

Crystal Collins Spencer
Spencer Meador Johnson

Barry A. Stein
De Cardenas Freixas Stein & Zachary, P.A.

Members of the Florida Bar:
Voting for Legal Elite 2015 has concluded. Attorneys named as Legal Elite 2015 will appear in the July special report in Florida Trend.

Digital Access

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


Florida Business News

Florida Trend Video Pick

Chipola Feather Fest Preview
Chipola Feather Fest Preview

Between April 24-26 the Great Florida Birding & Wildlife Trail festival will take place in the Chipola area of the Florida Panhandle. See what the birders are looking for.

Earlier Videos | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

Ballot Box

About the Everglades, we should...

  • Increase efforts toward restoration, esp. in light of rising sea level
  • Status quo - keep trying to fix it, as we have been
  • Get realistic. We will never restore it with millions living in South Florida.

See Results

Ballot Box