Macfarlane Ferguson & McMullen has a group of senior attorneys with extensive state and federal appellate experience, including the unique perspective of serving as a Clerk for a Circuit Judge of the United States Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. The Firm’s appellate attorneys assisted, when necessary, by other lawyers and research staff, handle virtually any appellate matter, and some concentrate solely in appellate work and are board certified in appellate practice. These attorneys often routinely take over a case after trial and handle the appeal in a co-counsel relationship with outside trial counsel.
The Firm’s appellate lawyers have been involved in numerous proceedings in both the state and federal appellate courts, including the Supreme Court of Florida and the United States Supreme Court The Firm has also developed experience in all phases of administrative appeals, representing both private clients and state and local governments.
A client may need appellate services only after being involved in litigation. However, many clients have turned to the Firm for independent appellate counsel both before and after entry of a judgment in litigation conducted by other attorneys. The Firm’s appellate lawyers often assist independent trial counsel and advise on issues that will likely result in an appeal. This consulting practice of the Firm enables the client to rely on the strengths of both the independent trial counsel and the Firm’s appellate lawyers.
Macfarlane Ferguson & McMullen litigation lawyers have extensive experience in representing all types of entities and persons relating to their claims arising out of various business transactions. These types of claims include collections, landlord/tenant matters, trust and estate administration, corporate governance, real estate transactions, and general business dealings.
This group has frequently represented clients with claims involving the Uniform Commercial Code, the Unfair Trade & Deceptive Practices Act, Confidentiality/Non-Competition/Non-Solicitation Agreements, the Florida Uniform Trade Secrets Act and other business-related statutory claims and torts.
In the area of legal malpractice, the Firm’s attorneys have experience in the prosecution and defense of negligence, fraud and federal and state securities law actions related to the representation of corporations and financial institutions. Our representation includes the defense of other lawyers and legal staff accused of malpractice. Such representation is typically in civil negligence actions but also includes the defense of grievances before The Florida Bar and representation in attorney’s fee disputes.
Our attorneys are also often retained to counsel lawyers on matters involving ethics and the extent of the attorney/client privilege; especially in circumstances where a lawyer is subpoenaed to testify as a fact witness.
Physicians, hospitals, major medical clinics, health care providers, and insurance companies continually fight to prevent medical negligence. When one or more of them fails, today’s world of new managed care plans, “gatekeepers,” integrated delivery systems and enterprising plaintiffs’ lawyers who continue to find new theories of liability ranging from corporate negligence to EMTLA (Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act), it can make the answer to the question, “Who is liable?” increasingly blurred.
Macfarlane Ferguson & McMullen has numerous attorneys who, collectively and assisted by a staff of paralegals, registered nurses, and persons knowledgeable in the health care field, represent some of the largest hospitals and physician insurance carriers in Florida. They approach each assigned case from a risk management standpoint, carefully analyzing liability and damages from a fresh viewpoint. The lead attorneys currently have over 75 years combined experience in defending health care practitioners and have developed strong expert contacts in all fields of medicine, allowing them to give a client a second opinion before costs become insurmountable.
Combined with the Firm’s appellate lawyers, the Firm’s health care trial lawyers have helped shape Florida law involving jury instructions, joint and several liability, NICA (Neurological Injury Compensation Association), standards for expert witnesses, and collateral sources. They have helped write portions of the Florida Statutes and currently serve on national committees striving to curtail the excesses in the nation’s tort liability system.
Finally, some of the Firm’s attorneys are involved on a national basis in health care education and are accredited by all the health care licensing boards to conduct continuing medical education seminars and regularly conduct such seminars for several insurance and hospital clients.
As the oldest law firm in Florida, the attorneys of Macfarlane Ferguson & McMullen have developed an extensive practice in the areas of wills, trusts and estates, representing multiple generations of long-term clients in this now very sophisticated area. Our attorneys are actively involved in advice and representation pertaining to, and preparation of documentation for, simple or complex wills involving trusts and estate planning within their terms, inter vivos revocable and irrevocable trusts, family limited partnerships, life insurance or wealth transfer trusts, qualified personal residence trusts, charitable remainder annuity or unitrusts, and other available plans to implement a client’s goal to transfer assets, while simultaneously seeking to minimize estate or other succession taxes.
In addition to creating plans for distribution and implementing those through the preparation of documentation and transfer of assets, the Firm also represents corporate and individual fiduciaries, estate and trust beneficiaries, or others having an interest in an estate or trust situation where litigation is threatened or instituted. The Firm has attorneys experienced in prosecuting or defending will and trust contests, construction of documents and judicial proceedings involving changes to charitable trusts to reflect changes in the law or in the appropriate beneficiaries or fiduciaries.