Recognized since 2008
A formidable appellate litigator, Kathi Giddings has represented companies in numerous high-stakes civil and administrative appeals and bar ethics issues in state and federal courts nationwide. She has twice been named “Lawyer of the Year” for Appellate Practice by Best Lawyers in America and is ranked one of the “Top 250 Women in Litigation in the United States” by Benchmark Litigation. Chambers USA notes that she “is regarded as one of the premier appellate attorneys in Florida” and “peers describe hear as ‘very prominent’ and an ‘excellent lawyer.’”
Kathi’s diverse appellate work ranges from a sanctions appeal arising out of an oil and gas venture, in which claimed damages were $1.15 billion, to one disputing the legality of the Florida Department of Revenue’s statewide tax on commercial leasehold improvements. Kathi has represented market leaders from numerous sectors in appellate matters, including satellite television, retail, insurance, real estate, and healthcare.
In conjunction with her appellate practice, Kathi monitors in-house counsel and related litigation management issues nationally. This includes issues governing the tripartite relationship between insurers, insureds, and defense counsel; bad faith; and the unauthorized practice of law. She also serves as national ethics counsel for a number of major insurance companies and has appeared throughout the country in cases involving ethical issues impacting her insurance clients.
Before entering private practice, Kathi served as a staff attorney to Florida Supreme Court Justice Ben F. Overton for seven years. She is a past chair of the Florida Rules of Judicial Administration Committee, which governs administrative matters in all Florida appellate and trial courts. Kathi is also a past chair of the Appellate Court Rules Committee, served as a steering committee member for several editions of The Florida Bar’s Appellate Practice CLE Manual, is a trustee of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals’ Historical Society, and previously served a four-year term on the First District Court of Appeals Judicial Nominating Commission via appointment by the governor.
Contact & Links
- 201 East Park Avenue, Suite 300
Tallahassee, FL 32301
- Sex: Female
- Florida State University, BS, graduated 1989
- Florida, The Florida Bar
- American Bar Association - Litigation Insurance Coverage, Member Torts & Insurance Practice Committee, Member Staff Counsel Committee, Member
- American Bar Foundation - Fellow
- Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM) - Member
- Eleventh Circuit Historical Society - Board of Trustees 2013-2016
- First District Court of Appeal Appellate Inn of Court - Founding Executive Committee Member; Treasurer 2008-Present
- Florida Association for Women Lawyers - Member
- Litigation Counsel of America - Fellow
- Tallahassee Bar Association - Member
- Tallahassee Women Lawyers - Past Secretary; Past Employment Chair
- The Florida Bar - Rules of Judicial Administration Committee, Past Member and Chair Appellate Practice Section, Member Administrative Law Section, Member CLE Committee on Insurance Staff Counsel Rules of Professional Conduct, Past Member and Chair Drafting Subcommittee for
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
- U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida
Named "Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers® for:
- Appellate Practice, Tallahassee (2017)
- Appellate Practice, Tallahassee (2015)
Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® 2023 for work in:
- Appellate Practice
- Bet-the-Company Litigation
- Order of the Coif
- Martindale-Hubbell, AV Rated
- First District Court of Appeal Judicial Nominating Commission, Appointed by Governor Crist to a four-year term, 2008
- Benchmark Litigation 2012, Ranked as one of seven finalists for Female Litigator of the Year, Southern Region
- Florida Trend's Legal Elite 2005-2016, Listed for Appellate Practice
- Florida Trend's Legal Elite 2014-2015, Inducted into the "Hall of Fame"
- Super Lawyers Magazine 2011, 2013-2016, Listed in Florida as one of the "Top 100 Lawyers"
- Super Lawyers Magazine 2006-2016, Listed in Florida as one of the "Top 50 Women Lawyers"
- Super Lawyers Magazine 2006-2016, Listed in Florida for Appellate, Administrative Law, and Insurance Coverage
- Benchmark Appellate 2012-2013, Listed as a Florida Eleventh Circuit litigation star
- Chambers USA 2010-2016, Ranked in Florida for Litigation: Appellate
- Benchmark Litigation 2012-2016, Ranked as one of the Top 250 Women in Litigation in the United States
- Benchmark Litigation 2013-2016, Listed as a Florida local litigation star for Appellate and General Commercial Litigation
- Board Certified in Appellate Law, The Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization and Education
Board Certified in Appellate Law by The Florida BarBoard Certified in Appellate Law by The Florida Bar
Published Work and Lectures
- Florida Bar CLE Committee's 2016 Practicing Before the Supreme Court Seminar, Presenter, "Discretionary Review," June 9, 2016
- The Florida Bar Journal, Volume 89, No.9, Co-Author, "The Right to Relief: Untimely Notice of an Appealable Order," November 2015
- Claims and Litigation Management Alliance 2015 Staff Counsel Summit, Speaker, "Pending Challenges and Ethics Issues Regarding Insurance Defense Staff Counsel," June 4, 2015
- First District Court of Appeal In-House CLE, Speaker, "Appellate Jurisdiction," March 2015
- Advanced Appellate Practice & Certification Review, Speaker, "Administrative Appeals," January 15, 2015
- Florida Bar Appellate Practice Section's Certification Review Course, Administrative Appeals, 2009-2015
- Association of Corporate Counsel Staff Counsel Committee Roundtable, Speaker, 2009, 2012 - 2015
- 11th Circuit Historical News, Co-Author, "Tallahassee U.S. Courthouses: A Look Back in Time," Fall 2014
- Claims & Litigation Management Alliance (CLM) 2014 Staff Counsel Summit, Speaker," Staff Counsel Challenge Update and Ethical Issues," October 15, 2014
- Claims & Litigation Management Alliance (CLM) Annual Conference, Speaker, "Ethical Dilemmas in the Tripartite Relationship," April 2014
- The National Association of Attorneys General's Appellate Practice Seminar, Speaker on Oral Argument Best Practices, January 2014
- The Florida Bar Continuing Legal Education Committee and the Appellate Practice Section, Speaker on Administrative Appeals, January 2014
- The Florida Bar Continuing Legal Education Commitee and the Government Lawyer Section, Speaker on Extraordinary Writs, Interlocutory Review, and Attorney's Fees, January 2014
- Claims & Litigation Management Alliance (CLM) Annual Conference, Speaker, "Staff Counsel: Benefits, Challenges, and Ethics," April 2013
- Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, Speaker, "Appellate Practice for Legal Services Trial Attorneys: Strategies, Perfecting the Record, Oral Argument," April 2013
- Florida Bar Appellate Practice Section's Practice Before the First District Court of Appeal, Faculty, Panel Moderator, and Speaker on Administrative Appeals, March 2012
- ABA Tort, Trial & Insurance Practice Section, Ethics Guidance For Insurance Defense Attorneys, August 2009
- Florida Bar Appellate Practice Section CLE, Stays of Orders Pending Appeal, February 2009
- A View From the Bench, Anticipating and Perfecting The Appeal, November 2008
- Florida Bar Appellate Practice Section CLE, Emergency Stays in Appeals, March 2008
- ABA Tort, Trial & Insurance Practice Section, Ethical Issues in Insurance Defense Representation, September 2006
- ABA Tort, Trial & Insurance Practice Section, Informed Consent , May 2006
- Insurance Litigation Seminar: Tools for Conquering New Frontiers & Familiar Foes, Managing Legal Representation June 2005
- ABA Tort, Trial & Insurance Practice Section Staff Counsel Seminar, Ethics Issues, April 2005
- Routinely provides in-house presentations for clients on various insurance topics
- The Record, Journal of the Appellate Practice Section of the Florida Bar, Vol. XIII, No.2, Co-Author, "Preservation of the Record in Administrative Proceedings"
- 25 Florida State University Law Review, 25, Co-Author, "Florida's Privacy Provision in the Age of Technology"
- Risk Management Memo, Vol. 13, No. 4, (a publication of the Professional Liability Division of Great American Insurance Group), Author, "Informed Consent Under the ABA 2004 Model Rules"
- Florida Bar Appellate Practice CLE Manual, Steering Committee Member, 2003, 2006, and 2009
- 28 Florida State University Law Review, 4, Co-Author, "Insurance Defense in the Twenty-First Century: The Florida Bar's Proposed Statement of Insured Client's Rights: A Unique Approach to the Tripartite Relationship"
- 81 Florida Bar Journal, No. 9, 36, Co-Author, "Appeals of State Agency Immediate Final Orders and Emergency Suspension Orders"
- Florida Bar Administrative Law Section, Vol. 30, No. 3, Co-Author, "Florida Supreme Court Eliminates Automatic Stay Pending Review For Governmental Entities In APA Proceedings"
- 73 Journal of Tax, 296, Co-Author, "Supreme Court Distinguishes Remedy and Retroactivity Issues Affecting State Taxes"
- 19 Florida State University Law Review, 265, Co-Author, "Partisan Gerrymandering: A New Concern for Florida's 1992 Reapportionment"
National Party Voting Dispute Appeals General Complex Civil Appeals involving:
- $1.15 billion sanctions order
- $125 million dispute over the sale of coal
- Constitutional issues
- Class actions
- Qui tam actions
- Workers compensation immunity issues
- Prospective/retrospective statutory application
- Attorney's fee awards
- Tortious Interference with a business relationship and defamation
- Alleged violations of property interests and contractual rights
- Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act involving condomimium property descrition compliance, disclosure requirements for partially exempt builders, and two year promise to build.
- Discovery Issues
- Pre-suit medical malpractice issues
- High seas choice of law issues
- Proposed constitutional amendments and initiatives
- Statute of limitations barring negligent hiring and retention claims
- Exclusion of medical expert opinion based on differential etiology analysis
- Construction lien law issues
- Indian law
- Reversal of jury verdict involving tortious interference with business relationship and defamation verdict
- Substantially affected interests
- Licensing revocation and suspension, including emergency suspension orders
- Medicaid audit challenges
- Attorney's fee awards
- Agency authority
- Highway planning
- Filing amicus curiae briefs with courts and bar associations throughout the country regarding the propriety of insurance defense staff counsel and other insurance issues of national importance, including alleged bad faith, conflicts of interest, and the unauthorized practice of law.
- Assisting insurers in properly structuring and naming staff counsel operations throughout the country.
- Handling appeals and litigation support involving a wide range of other insurance issues, including: the tripartite relationship, extra-contractual exposure/bad faith, licensing, aftermarket parts, diminished value, PIP, UM/UIM, deductible refund practices, coverage disputes, Coblentz agreements, hurricane claims, agent/broker disputes, class certifications, and general appeals involving suits against insureds where defense is provided under a policy of insurance.
Complex Tax Appeals
- Taxation of leasehold improvements
- Separate return limitation
- Documentary stamp taxes on conditional leases
- Representing major financial institutions in dozens of appeals, including complex foreclosure and post-foreclosure issues, posting of deposition testimony on You-Tube, voluntary dismissals as a matter of right where no affirmative relief has been obtained from court, writs of garnishment, indexing of recorded documents as prerequisite to priority of lien, availability of a private right of action under the Home Affordable Modification Program, loan servicer liability under Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Truth in Lending Act and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act issues, claims of bankruptcy stay violations and municipal board determinations.
Rule Amendment Proceedings
- Representing Florida Bar Rules Committees or clients before the Florida Supreme Court in more than a dozen rule amendment proceedings.
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