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Brett J. Preston - Shareholder

Brett J.  Preston

Education

Duke University, B.A., 1983, cum laude
Washington University in St. Louis School of Law, J.D., 1986
  • Order of the Coif
  • Washington University Law Quarterly

Bar Memberships

  • American Bar Association
  • The Florida Bar
  • Hillsborough County Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association
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Brett J. Preston - Shareholder

Brett is a Shareholder in the firm’s Litigation and Cybersecurity and Data Breach Groups and is the firm's General Counsel. Although his practice emphasizes the defense of professional malpractice and life, health, and disability insurance cases, Brett also represents clients involved in serious personal injury, products liability, toxic tort, and commercial disputes and represents attorneys in grievance proceedings before The Florida Bar. He is also a Certified Circuit Mediator and periodically mediates complex commercial, insurance, professional liability, and personal injury cases. 

Brett's professional undertakings include, among many others, active membership in The Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel, where he serves as a Senior Director on its Board of Directors and a member of its Executive Committee. He also recently completed his tenure as Convention Chair for its 2018 Winter Meeting, Program Chair for its 2016 Annual Meeting, and chair of its Ethics and Professionalism Committee, Law Firm Management Section, and Life, Health and Disability Section. Brett is a member of The Florida Bar and the American Bar Association, and has served in the ABA's Tort and Insurance Practice Section’s Committees on Health and Disability Insurance Law (of which he served as Chair 1999-2000), Life Insurance Law, and Professionals, Officers, and Directors Liability. He is also an active member of the Defense Research Institute (DRI).

Brett has served as the editor of the Trial Lawyers' Forum of The Florida Bar Journal and was a member of The Florida Bar's Civil Procedure Rules Committee. 

Brett has been involved in various community activities in the Tampa area. He attends Bayshore Baptist Church and spends most of his leisure time with his family. He enjoys exercise, boating, following college sports and reading.

Honors & Recognitions

  • 93068 - Brett J
  • LawyerOfTheYear-Preston
  • AVPreeminent-Logo
  • FDCC_Logosmall[1]
  • SL2018_gray
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Court Admissions

  • All Florida State Courts
  • All Florida Federal Courts
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
  • United States Supreme Court

Professional Recognition

  • Best Lawyers in America (2006-2019)
    • 2018 Tampa Legal Malpractice Law- Defendants Lawyer of the Year
    • 2013 Tampa Legal Malpractice Law- Defendants Lawyer of the Year
  • AV Preeminent Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • The American Lawyer "Top Lawyers"
  • The Best of the U.S. Lawyers
  • Florida Super Lawyers (2006-2019)
  • Tampa's Top Rated Lawyers
  • Best Lawyers Business Edition (2013)
  • Super Lawyers Business Edition (2013)
  • Florida Trend  Legal Elite (2012, 2014)

Published Decisions
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  • Comer v. Gerdau Ameristeel US, Inc.,
    WL 4702425 8:14-CV-607-T-23AAS  United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division, September 8, 2016
  • Comer v. Gerdau Ameristeel US, Inc.,
    WL 4702425 8:14-CV-607-T-23AAS  United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division, September 8, 2016
  • Carlson v. FedEx Ground Package System, Inc.,
    WL 3856179 805CV1380T24TGW  United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division, July 15, 2016
  • Obediente v. Stonebridge Life Insurance Company,
    WL 12830478 8:15-CV-1722-T-27EAJ  United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division, November 13, 2015
  • Thorn v. Randall,
    WL 5094134 8:14-CV-862-T-36MAP  United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division, October 10, 2014
  • Carlson v. FedEx Ground Package System, Inc.,
    WL 272596 8:05-CV-1380-T-24  United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division, January 24, 2014
  • Carlson v. FedEx Ground Package System, Inc.,
    WL 3804991 8:05-CV-1380-T-24  United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division, July 19, 2013
  • Carlson v. FedEx Ground Package System, Inc.,
    WL 3772485 8:05-CV-1380-T-24  United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division, July 16, 2013
  • Carlson v. FedEx Ground Package System, Inc.,
    WL 3364446 8:05-CV-1380-T-24  United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division, July 3, 2013
  • American National Insurance Company v. Schneider,
    WL 12156086 8:12-CV-1683-T35-TBM  United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division, May 17, 2013
  • Ehlen Floor Covering, Inc. v. Lamb,
    WL 5507461 2:07-CV-666-FTM-29  United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Fort Myers Division, November 14, 2012
  • Lacognata v. Hospira, Inc.,
    WL 6962884 8:12-CV-822-T-30TGW  United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division, July, 2, 2012
  • Ehlen Floor Covering, Inc. v. Lamb,
    WL 1698351 2:07-CV-666-FTM-29  United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Fort Myers Division, May 14, 2012
  • Ehlen Floor Covering, Inc. v. Lamb,
    WL 1326823 2:07-CV-666-FTM-29  United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Fort Myers Division, April 17, 2012
  • Miller v. U.S.,
    WL 1740020 1:10-CV-38-SPM/GRJ  United States District Court, N.D. Florida, Gainesville Division, May 05, 2011
  • Miller v. U.S.,
    WL 1750442 1:10-CV-00038-SPM  United States District Court, N.D. Florida, Gainesville Division, March 29, 2011
  • Ehlen Floor Covering, Inc. v. Lamb,
    WL 2813369 2:07-CV-666-FTM29DNF  United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Fort Myers Division, July 14, 2010
  • Ehlen Floor Covering, Inc. v. Lamb,
    WL 1742105 2:07-CV-666FTM29DNF  United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Fort Myers Division, April 29, 2010
  • Ehlen Floor Covering, Inc. v. Lamb,
    WL 2734728 2:07-CV-666-FTM29DNF  United States District Court, M.D. Florida, July 08, 2010
  • Ruby Tuesday, Inc. v. Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon PA,
    WL 5218026 309-CV-438-RV-MD  United States District Court, N.D. Florida, Pensacola Division, December 30, 2009
  • Coates v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of America,
    WL 1043981 8:07-CV-291-T-26TBM, United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division, April 16, 2009
  • Mirras v. Time Ins. Co.,
    WL 4369260 8:08-CV-1331-T-30EAJ  United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division, September 16, 2008
  • Craven v. Stonebridge Life Ins. Co.,
    WL 4163225 807-CV-1788-T-23MAP  United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division, September 05, 2008
  • Ehlen Floor Covering, Inc. v. Lamb,
    WL 4097712 207-CV-666-FTM-29DNF  United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Fort Myers Division, September 03, 2008
  • In re Managed Care Litigation,
    WL 2944897 00-1334-MD, 03-21296-CIV  United States District Court, S.D. Florida, Miami Division, July 24, 2008
  • American Nat. Ins. Co. v. Glass,
    WL 2950111 3:07CV872J16TEM  United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Jacksonville Division, July 31, 2008
  • Rivers v. Residential Services Group, Inc.,
    WL 2776250 8:08-CV-84-T-30TBM  United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division, July 15, 2008
  • Walter v. 02HR, LLC,
    WL 2359915 8:07-CV-1129 T24TGW  United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division, June 05, 2008
  • American Nat. Ins. Co. v. Glass,
    WL 2157106 3:07-CV-872-J16TEM  United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Jacksonville Division, May 21, 2008
  • U.S. ex rel. Alderson v. Quorum Health Group, Inc.,
    WL 824227 8:99-CV-413-T-23TGW  United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division, March 26, 2008
  • Coates v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of America,
    WL 269133 807CV291T26TBM  United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division, January 30, 2008
  • Sharkey v. Food & Drug Admin.,
    WL 2914212 06-11774  United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit, October 05, 2007
  • Midland Nat. Life Ins. Co. v. Scott,
    WL 2208828 8:07CV745 T26TBM  United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division, July 27, 2007
  • Sharkey ex rel. Sharkey v. Food and Drug Admin.,
    WL 508044 204CV552FTM33SPC  United States District Court, M.D. Florida, March 01, 2006
  • Rodriguez v. J.C. Penney Life Ins. Co.,
    WL 208775 8:02-CV-695-T-17MAP  United States District Court, M.D. Florida, January 25, 2006
  • Bordenkircher v. American Home Products,
    WL 6066933 5:03-CV-443-OC-10GRJ  United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Ocala Division, April 27, 2004
  • Bordenkircher v. American Home Products,
    WL 6066904 5:03-CV-443-OC-10GRJ  United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Ocala Division, March 25, 2004
  • Bordenkircher v. American Home Products,
    WL 6066924 5:03-CV-443-OC-10GRJ  United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Ocala Division, January 26, 2004
  • Helm v. Foote,
    WL 1786095 2D02-663  District Court of Appeal of Florida, Second District, April 04, 2003
  • Watson v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co.,
    WL 34373973 8:01CV368T27MAP  United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division, July 11, 2002
  • Demint v. NationsBank Corp.,
    WL 1575167 8:94CV2094T23TGW, 8:94CV995T23TBM  United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division, May 31, 2002
  • Durkin v. Davis,
    WL 851300 2D01-2520  District Court of Appeal of Florida, Second District, May 03, 2002
  • Hayward & Associates, Inc. v. Hoffman,
    WL 491223 2D01-1828  District Court of Appeal of Florida, Second District, April 03, 2002
  • Littell v. U.S.,
    WL 480891 8:99CV2808T17EAJ  United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division, March 11, 2002
  • U.S. ex rel. Alderson v. Quorum Health Group, Inc.,
    WL 1480549 8:99-CV-413-T-23TGW  United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division, November 08, 2001
  • Hayward & Associates, Inc. v. Hoffman,
    WL 912681 2D00-4324  District Court of Appeal of Florida, Second District, August 15, 2001
  • Heilig v. Scott,
    WL 33996251 2:99-CV-412-FTM-29D  United States District Court, M.D. Florida, September 20, 2000
  • Heilig v. Scott,
    WL 33996252 2:99-CV-412-FTM-29D  United States District Court, M.D. Florida, September 20, 2000
  • Levy v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp.,
    WL 35184005 96-2296-CIV-T-24(B), 96-2280-CIV-T-24(B)  United States District Court, M.D. Florida, April 19, 1998
  • Cray v. NationsBank of North Carolina, N.A.,
    WL 688802 94-981-CIV-T-17E  United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division, October 21, 1997
  • Watkis v. American Nat. Ins. Co.,
    WL 366048 96-624-CIV-T-17A  United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division, June 13, 1997
  • Unkel v. Liggett Group Inc.,
    WL 200046 96-1683-CV-7-17B, 96-1716-CV-T-17B, 96-1710-CV-T-17B, 96-1712-CV-T-17B, 96-1701-CV-T-17B, 96-1689-CV-T-17B, 96-2281-CV-T-17B, 97-580-CV-T-17B, 96-1707-CV-T-17B, 96-1695-CV-T-17B, 96-1698-CV-T-17B, 96-2294-CV-T-17B, 96-2885-CV-T-17B, 96-2640-CV-T-17B, 97-582-CV-T-17B  United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division, April 10, 1997
  • Modder v. American Nat. Life Ins. Co. of Texas,
    WL 67961 88,402  Supreme Court of Florida, February 20, 1997
  • Eloian v. Mutual Life Ins. Co. of New York,
    WL 683616 96-336-CIV-T-17A  United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division, November 25, 1996
  • Modder v. American Nat. Life Ins. Co. of Texas,
    WL 328068 95-3020  United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit, July 01, 1996
  • Eloian v. Mutual Life Ins. Co. of New York,
    WL 379042 96-336-CIV-T-17A  United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division, July 01, 1996
  • Quirk v. Anthony,
    WL 52319 89-01682  District Court of Appeal of Florida, Second District, April 25, 1990

Community & Civic Affiliations

  • Guardian Ad Litem

Professional Associations

  • Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel
    • Member of Board of Directors, Senior Director
    • Member of Executive Committee 
    • Ethics Liaison to Board of Directors, Past
    • Program Chair 2016 Annual Meeting
    • Convention Chair 2018 Winter Meeting
    • Litigation Management College Faculty
    • Ethics and Professionalism Committee
      • Past Chair
    • Law Firm Management Conference
      • Past Chair
    • Management, Economics & Technology of Practice Section
      • Past Chair
    • Life, Health and Disability Section
      • Past Chair
    • Insurance Coverage Section
      • Member
    • Products Liability Section
      • Member
    • Trial Tactics, Practice and Procedures
      • Member
    • Visibility Project
      • Member
    • Professional Liability Section
      • Member
    • Toxic Tort and Environmental Law Section
      • Member
    • Commercial Litigation Section
      • Member
    • Drug, Device and Biotechnology Section
      • Member
  • International Association of Defense Counsel
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Florida Defense Lawyers Association
  • Florida Academy of Professional Mediators
  • Certified Circuit Mediator
  • Professional Liability Defense Federation
  • American Bar Association
    • Life Fellow

Publications & Presentations

  • “A Real Estate Practitioner’s Guide to Committing Legal Malpractice.” Presenter, Sarasota County Bar Real Estate Lawyers Meeting, May 2016.
  • “Managing Ethical Risks and Avoiding Malpractice in Close Attorney-Client Relationships.” Presenter, DRI Labor and Employment, April 2016.
  • “Ethics and Legal Malpractice-Avoidance Tips for In-House Counsel.” Presenter, DRI Life, Health, and Disability Conference, April 2016.
  • “Role of General Counsel in Law Firms.” Presenter, FDCC Annual Meeting, July 2015.
  • “Change in Demographics for ERISA Claims.” Presenter, FDCC Annual Meeting, July 2015.
  • “Learning from Others: Legal Malpractice Defense.” Presenter, DRI Trial Tactics Seminar, March 2015.
  • “Young Professionals Roundtable: Managing the Tri-Partite Relationship.” Presenter, ABA National Legal    Malpractice Conference, Fall 2014.
  • “Pssst … Secrets of Highly Successful Law Firms.” Presenter, FDCC Annual Meeting, July 2014.
  • “Ethics and Professionalism: Managing Risks and Avoiding Malpractice in Familiar Attorney-Client Relationships.” Presenter, FDCC Annual Meeting, July 2013.
  • “Ethics and Professionalism: Managing Risks and Avoiding Malpractice in Familiar Attorney-Client Relationships.” Presenter, DRI Business Litigation Seminar, May 2013. 
  • “Institutional Risk Management: Firm-Wide Professional Liability Risks and Systems to Manage Them.” Moderator, FDCC-IADC Joint Law Firm Management Conference, May 2013.
  • “What Will They Think of Next? Planning for ‘Over the Horizon’ Disasters.” Presenter, Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel Annual Meeting, July 2012. 
  • “Case Law Update.” Presenter, ABA National Legal Malpractice Conference Spring Meeting, April 2012.
  • “Managing Risks and Avoiding Malpractice in Familiar Attorney-Client Relationships.” Presenter, Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel Winter Meeting, March 2012.
  • “Ethics: Managing Risks and Avoiding Malpractice in Familiar Attorney-Client Relationships.” Presenter, Defense Research Institute Life, Health and Disability Conference, April 2011.
  • “Madoff and Me: How to Avoid Accidentally Representing Crooks.” Presenter, ABA National Legal Malpractice Conference Fall Meeting, September 2010.
  • “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Understanding Healthcare Reform Legislation.” Presenter, Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel Winter Meeting, March 2010.
  • "Risk Management Program: 60 Tips in 59 Minutes.” Presenter, Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel Winter Meeting, March 2010.
  • “A Lawyer’s Risk Management Program:  60 Tips in 59 Minutes.” Presenter, Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel Winter Meeting, March 2010.

News

  • Brett recently delivered papers and made presentations to the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel and the ABA Standing Committee on Professional Liability, and is scheduled to do so again in the coming months.

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