Jeff Garvin Awarded “Trial Lawyer of the Year” at FLABOTA Annual Convention

Jeff Garvin Awarded “Trial Lawyer of the Year” at FLABOTA Annual Convention

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

Each year, the Florida Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (FLABOTA) presents the Trial Lawyer of the Year Award to one individual that has exemplified their selection criteria:  being an excellent advocate with a distinguished career, having a superb reputation of high ethics and fair play, and having achieved outstanding results for his or her clients. A lawyer can only receive the Trial Lawyer of the Year Award once in his or her career. Part of the esteemed award includes a $5,000.00 cash donation to the law school of the recipient’s choosing.

Trial Lawyer of the YearMembers of FLABOTA select the recipient of the award, and this year Jeff Garvin, of the Garvin Law Firm with offices in Fort Myers and Fort Lauderdale, received the once in a lifetime honor. Garvin chose his alma mater and Jennifer Zedalils of the University of Florida College of Law was on hand to receive the cash portion of the award.

The Garvin Law Firm focuses their practice on personal injury, medical malpractice, and wrongful death law. Garvin was a charter member of the local FLABOTA Chapter and is the immediate past president of the statewide organization. Garvin has been recognized for taking aggressive measures to help stop legislative initiatives that threatened to harm the Florida court system and impair the independence of the judiciary.

Garvin states, “While I have enjoyed leadership roles in both community and statewide organizations during my 37 years as an attorney, the Trial Lawyer of the Year award from FLABOTA means more to me than any award or acknowledgment I have ever received, and I am deeply honored by it.”

In addition to the Trial Lawyer of the Year, the Jurist of the Year Award was presented to the Honorable J. Thomas McGrady, Chief Judge of the Sixth Judicial Circuit, and the Fran Peacock Coker Community Service Award to Attorney Wayne Hogan of Jacksonville, FL. The attendee list for the evening included Chief Justice Charles T. Canady and Former Chief Justice Peggy A. Quince of the Florida Supreme Court, as well as, Circuit Judges and Trial Lawyers from around the state.

The awards were presented last Saturday July 23rd at the 14th Annual FLABOTA Convention at the Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast, FL.


Jeffrey R. Garvin: Garvin has practiced law for over 35 years in the state of Florida, and is currently in practice with his son, Leland Garvin, with offices in Fort Myers and Fort Lauderdale. The Garvin Law Firm focuses their practice on personal injury, medical malpractice, and wrongful death law, in addition to, select criminal defense cases. Among many distinctions, Garvin has been included in the Best Lawyers In America ® from 2006-2011, and chosen as the top personal injury lawyer in Fort Myers for 2011. He is also listed in Florida Super Lawyers, as well as, Law and Leading Attorneys in Florida. Garvin has been a member of ABOTA for 14 years, and currently serves as the Co-Chair of the ABOTA Legislative Review Committee.


Casey Anthony Trial: What the @#$! and Now What?

Casey Anthony Trial: What the @#$! and Now What?

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

With the recent announcement of a not guilty verdict in the Casey Anthony trial, many onlookers are left to wonder how and why a case that seemed like a slam dunk could result in Casey Anthony walking free.

The backlash was seen not only in emotional crowds outside the courtroom, and across various broadcast channels, but with the advent of the internet and real-time sharing, many shared their opinions through Facebook, Twitter, and blog posts.

As referenced in the Palm Beach Post, the case was referred to as “the social media trial of the century.” Amy Singer, jury consultant for Anthony’s defense team, went on to say that at one point “over one million people were blogging about the trial, not including the thousands more who were either tweeting, texting, or discussing the case in online chat rooms.”

Many of these bloggers and influencers were convinced that Anthony was not only guilty, but they had actually come to hate her. It was unsurprising, when her verdict was read, that a general uproar and disappointment in our legal system came to light.

From this criminal defense lawyer’s perspective, however, our legal system did its job. What most people do not realize is that our legal system was designed under the premise that it is better for 10 guilty people to go free than convict a single innocent person. While our criminal justice system may favor the defendant by placing the burden of proof on the government, there are still many innocent people who are wrongly convicted. According to the Innocence Project, there have been 272 post-conviction DNA exonerations in the United States.

At any rate, this week’s jury’s verdict does not mean that Casey is innocent, only that she is not guilty. It means that the government was not able to prove that the crimes happened beyond and to the exclusion of every reasonable doubt. When the prosecution brings a case against a defendant, it is their duty to prove their case. In the Casey Anthony trial, the prosecution failed to prove the charges, the charges that they selected and chose to file.

As in the case of the Duke Lacrosse Team, it is the jury’s duty to keep the government in check, and protected from over zealous prosecutors, who have the freedom to bring charges against anyone they choose.

While the verdict may not be a popular one, the jury did their job and followed the law after fully examining every piece of evidence that they and only they had the opportunity to view. Many people across the nation are incredibly angry with the result of this case and there is even a movement to pass a law entitled “Caylee’s Law,” making it a federal offense and a felony for a parent or guardian to fail to report a child’s disappearance to law enforcement.

As a final thought, (and especially if you weren’t happy with the verdict) make sure you show up next time you receive a summons for jury duty; I heard a judge once say that it’s the second most patriotic thing you can do for your country, besides serving in the military during a time of war.