Shareholders Robert Wilkins and Joanne O’Connor were among several distinguished speakers who assembled in Tampa, Florida for The Florida Bar’s continuing legal education (CLE) course titled “Civil Trial Update & Board Certification Review.”
The course prepares practitioners to sit for The Florida Bar Civil Trial or the Business Litigation Certification exam. Board certification recognizes an attorney’s special knowledge, skills, and proficiency in various areas of law and professionalism and ethics in practice. Only about 7% of Florida’s lawyers have earned the certification.
Joanne O’Connor, a Board Certified Business Litigation Specialist and Chair of The Florida Bar’s Business Litigation Certification Committee which oversees the Civil Trial and Business Certification exams, presented “Recent Developments in Business Litigation.” A variety of topics were discussed, including The Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practice Act (“FDUTPA”); business torts and other statutory claims; and new developments in arbitration.
Rob Wilkins, a dual Board Certified attorney in Business Litigation and Civil Trial, presented “ESI Issues for Trial Lawyers.” Topics included best practices for handling electronic discovery, including preparation of an ESI protocol; the collection, review, and production of ESI; and recent case law on ESI-related spoliation and evidentiary issues.
Rob is the Litigation & Dispute Resolution Practice Group Leader and has over 35 years of experience as a trial lawyer. He represents and counsels clients in complex business litigation matters, including e-discovery and data privacy issues, construction litigation, shareholder and partnership disputes, employment and non-compete matters, civil RICO, securities, and commercial real estate landlord/tenant matters. He is experienced in defending actions seeking certification of nationwide and statewide classes and has served as Co-Counsel in defense of a multidistrict litigation matter with potential damages in excess of $100 million.
Joanne O’Connor focuses her practice on complex commercial litigation including contracts and business torts, partnership and corporate disputes, civil RICO, real estate and land use litigation, and lawyer and law firm defense. Joanne has experience defending actions seeking certification of nationwide and statewide classes, including consumer claims brought under the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). She counsels governmental entities on statutory, constitutional and civil rights claims and both governmental and private entities on Florida’s Public Records Act and Sunshine Law. Joanne is an experienced litigator who advocates for her clients in jury and non-jury trials and appeals in state and federal courts and before private arbitration panels.