Joseph H. Varner III is a partner in Holland & Knight's Tampa office and serves on the firm's Directors Committee. Mr. Varner is experienced in complex commercial litigation, business torts, securities litigation, professional negligence, and personal injury and wrongful death litigation. Mr. Varner has litigated complex liability and medical issues ranging from corporate shareholder disputes to wrongful death arising from medical malpractice. He has obtained significant jury verdicts and settlements in commercial and personal injury litigation and has conducted numerous jury trials in state and federal court. Mr. Varner is also a certified mediator in state and federal court.
Mr. Varner has specialized in civil trial practice in Florida for his entire career. He has been continuously Board Certified in Civil Trial Advocacy by the Florida Bar Board of Legal Education and Specialization since 1993. As listed below, Mr. Varner has received much recognition for his professional accomplishments, including The Best Lawyers In America and Florida Trend Legal Elite. Mr. Varner was also named in Attorney at Law Magazine's "Attorneys to Watch in 2012" list. He is a member of the prestigious Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an organization whose membership is limited to trial attorneys who have achieved verdicts or settlements in the amount of one million dollars or more.
Mr. Varner has twice been appointed to positions of service by the Federal Judges of the Middle District of Florida, serving on the Merit Selection Panel for U.S. Magistrates in 1999 and as a member of the Civil Justice Reform Act Advisory Group for the Middle District of Florida from 1994-1996. Mr. Varner has been invited to attend the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals Judicial Conference on multiple occasions and was also appointed as Special Counsel for the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission in 1998.
Mr. Varner is active in the community and has been recognized for his charitable contributions as a member of the United Way Keel Club. In recent years, Mr. Varner has been actively involved with Voices for Children and Metropolitan Ministries. Mr. Varner has also served as a member of the United Way of Tampa Bay Campaign Cabinet and Community Service Youth Development Team. He served on the board of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Tampa Region, and chaired the Sixth Annual Skins Challenge Golf Classic in 1995. He participated in Leadership Tampa in 1992-1993 and has been involved in Leadership Tampa Alumni since 1993. He was named Man of the Year by the Leukemia Society/Brooks Brothers in 1992-1993. Mr. Varner has also served on the University of Tampa Board of Counselors, University of Tampa Institutional Advancement Committee, and The Tampa Connection.