Stuart Z. Grossman and Gary M. Cohen
Grossman Roth congratulates partner, Stuart Grossman, for being named by Best Lawyers
Lawyer of the Year in Personal Injury Law, 2014, Miami, and partner, Gary Cohen, for being named Lawyer of the Year in Medical Malpractice Law, 2014, Boca Raton.
Grossman Roth began life twenty-five years ago trying cases involving catastrophic personal injuries and medical malpractice—founding partners Stuart Grossman and Neal Roth are legendary in those practice areas. However, it is now known as much for its class action lawsuits, multi-district litigation, and high-stakes commercial work as it is for representing individual plaintiffs. Uniting the firm’s work across all of these areas of the law is a deep commitment to perfecting the art of trial advocacy and an unwavering focus on achieving justice for the firm’s clients. If you ask the firm’s partners what matters most, they will tell you that it is giving a voice to people who have suffered a wrong and obtaining justice for them. Consider the firm’s work on what are known as the bank overdraft cases, federal multi-district litigation against more than 35 banks that overcharged their customers by re-ordering debit card transactions from the order in which they occurred to highest to lowest dollar amount in order to deplete customer account balances and maximize the bank’s overdraft fees. In several years of litigation, the firm and its co-counsel have obtained settlements in excess of $1 billion for customers bilked by some of the largest banks in the country. Despite this, the members of the firm are not satisfied. “Because of the Supreme Court’s decision in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion
, some banks were able to get away with the same conduct that led others to return tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars to their customers as a result of this litigation, all because they had an arbitration clause with a class action waiver in their account agreements,” says partner David Buckner, who is heavily involved in the firm’s class action work and who joined the firm after nearly a decade as a federal prosecutor. “It is remarkably unfair, and a prime example of how capricious the law in this area has become.” Partner Seth Miles, another former federal prosecutor, agrees. “That’s not justice. It’s court-ordered immunity.”
These complex, high-stakes cases are indicative of the entrepreneurial, nimble spirit that animates the firm and its trial lawyers, who today number more than a dozen. Founding partner Neal Roth says the firm’s size offers clients a distinct advantage over its larger, full-service competition.
“It’s about flexibility,” says Roth, whose career as a trial lawyer has spanned more than three decades. “And that is toward anything that’s required. If a client comes to us in need of an advocate, regardless of the area of law, we say yes, we can handle it. And we can, and do, every day. There’s not a lot of rigidity in the firm. That’s been a very important part of how we do business and how we treat our clients.” And as founding partner Stuart Grossman puts it, there is a lot to be said for a willingness to learn and evolve in a world of hyper-specialization. “We’re still known for the significant personal injury cases we try, and we’re still committed to getting the best results possible,” he says. “But we can take cases that are across the board in terms of different areas of practice. We handle complex commercial litigation, whistleblower cases, securities litigation…the list goes on.”
Even so, helping catastrophically injured people remains a critical part of the firm’s practice. And the firm’s results—many of them record-setting—speak for themselves. There’s the $37 million jury verdict on behalf of the family of a teenage girl who died in a car accident after a crew from Florida Power & Light cut power to a major intersection after a minor fire, and the $24 million jury verdict on behalf of a woman who suffered a massive stroke during a procedure meant to help ease her migraine headaches. That’s not to mention the countless favorable settlements and judgments the firm has obtained over the years in cases involving defective products, automobile accidents, birth injury, wrongful death, aviation accidents, and more. Just this past year the firm settled a case on behalf of a worker with a catastrophic brain injury for $7.7 million by overcoming the statutory workers’ compensation immunity. That immunity would otherwise have limited his recovery to far less than the client’s family needed to care for him for the rest of his life. The litigation in United States district court was hard-fought, and the case settled only on the very eve of trial. But for Miles, who with Buckner, Grossman and Brett von Borke built the case and negotiated the settlement, there was never any question about the firm’s course or commitment to see it through. “Grossman Roth puts its clients and their interests first every time,” says Miles. “It is this ethos that sets us apart.”
The firm’s commitment to justice goes far beyond its work on behalf of individual clients. In the last year alone, Neal Roth orchestrated the successful campaign to retain three of Florida’s highly-respected Supreme Court justices in the face of an effort to unseat them because of their commitment to equal justice for all Floridians. And the firm’s lawyers have appeared in state and federal courts throughout Florida in matters that will never result in a fee for the firm but are critical to keeping the courthouse doors open to all citizens of this state. These include arguments before the Florida Supreme Court and the federal courts against new rules adopted by the Florida Legislature designed to limit access to the courts. “We are committed to a fair and impartial system of justice,” says Roth. “It’s not just something we say, we back that commitment up with action.”
It all comes back to powerful and effective advocacy, whatever the forum. After all, Grossman Roth lawyers are trial lawyers first and foremost. “There are a lot of litigators out there who have never tried a case,” says Buckner. “We get in the courtroom. Our competitive advantage is that we try cases. We happen to have a collection of trial lawyers at this firm who are very good at what they do. It’s at the very heart of this firm.”