November 29, 2021
A heavy loss

Photo: Levin Papantonio Rafferty

"It's all very emotional to me. I was Fred's dear friend and partner for 40 years," says Mark Proctor.

Profiles in Law

A heavy loss

Mark Proctor, President, Levin Papantonio Rafferty, Pensacola

| 6/29/2021


President, Levin Papantonio Rafferty, Pensacola

In January, several years after beating cancer, Pensacola plaintiff’s attorney Fred Levin died at 83 from COVID-19. Although Levin had still been working, he’d long since stepped away from daily management of his law firm, Levin Papantonio Rafferty.

With 45 attorneys and 200 staff members, the firm — now led by UF-educated trial lawyer Mark Proctor — represents plaintiffs in local personal injury claims and national mass tort cases. Proctor himself is a longtime fixture at the firm, having worked there for 40 years, 20 of them as president.

Growing Up: “I actually grew up in Gainesville. My father was Sam Proctor, the historian for the University of Florida for 62 years. I began my law practice in 1975 in Jacksonville, moved to Tallahassee, and then, I hate to admit it as a Florida native, when I arrived on the beautiful shores of Pensacola, I barely knew that Pensacola existed. I thought Florida stopped at Tallahassee.”

Firm’s Evolution: “In 1955, Fredric’s older brother, David, began the firm as a general practice firm with his best friend, Reuben Askew, who as you know became a revered governor of Florida. Fredric came on board about 10 years later and, due to a funny happening in an early divorce case, where he got threatened by the other side, he decided matrimonial law was not for him, and he became a personal injury lawyer. Although we maintain a very vital, traditional personal injury practice — wrongful death cases, workers’ compensation, Social Security disability and medical malpractice — we’ve grown over the years into a national mass tort practice. Probably 85% our annual revenue comes from the practice of mass tort law.”

Life with Fred Levin: “Because of the fact that cancer had slowed him down so much, the firm had continued on business-wise for several years before his unbelievably untimely death. It’s all very emotional to me. I was Fred’s dear friend and partner for 40 years. I mean, we were together all day, almost every day, for 40 years. But the firm goes on from a business standpoint without any interruption.”

Fred Levin earned a reputation as one of the country’s top trial attorneys in 1997, when he helped the state reach a $13-billion settlement with tobacco companies in Florida. He also managed the career of Pensacola boxing legend Roy Jones Jr. and was a prominent philanthropist — UF’s law school is named after Levin, a 1961 graduate of the school.


Read more in Florida Trend's July issue.
Select from the following options:

Tags: Government/Politics & Law, Feature


Florida Business News

Florida Trend Video Pick

In Florida, winter is for the birds
In Florida, winter is for the birds

Florida’s winters are known for their mild temperatures. Snowbirds and birds from snowy places pour into the state when the temperatures begin to drop. It’s the best time of year for bird-watching in the sunshine state.

Earlier Videos | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

Ballot Box

What are your travel plans for the upcoming holiday season?

  • No travel plans
  • Staycation
  • Road trip
  • Air travel within the 50 states
  • Overseas travel
  • Other (Please share your comments in the comment section below)
  • Working during the holiday season

See Results

Florida Trend Media Company
490 1st Ave S
St Petersburg, FL 33701

© Copyright 2021 Trend Magazines Inc. All rights reserved.