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Derek is board certified in appellate practice and handles all of the firm’s appeals, having appeared in the Florida Supreme Court, the five state intermediate appellate courts, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and the California District Court of Appeal. He also maintains an extensive trial practice that includes government liability, general liability, construction claims, and commercial litigation. Derek has spent his whole career with the firm and has tried approximately twenty cases in state and federal courts.

Prior to attending law school, Derek interned with two national general contractors assisting project management teams on high profile construction projects. In law school, he clerked for state and federal prosecutors, including two externships with the United States Attorney’s Office in San Francisco.

Professional and Civic Activities 

  • Orange County Bar Association, Appellate Practice Committee
  • Florida Bar Trial Lawyers & Appellate Practice Sections
  • Florida Defense Lawyers Association
  • Derek has given CE credit-earning presentations for insurance adjusters in Nebraska and Oklahoma and is available for similar services upon request

Honors & Accolades 

  • Ninth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee 200 Hours of Pro Bono Service Award, 2017
  • Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association Certificates of Appreciation, 2013, 2015, 2016
  • United States Attorneys’ Office Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces Certificate of Appreciation, 2008

Publications

  • Authored Florida section of A Survey of the Law of Non-Contractual Indemnity & Contribution, International Society of Primerus Law Firms (April 2012) 

Representative Appellate Results

  • Planned Parenthood of Greater Orlando, Inc. v. MMB Props., 211 So. 3d 918 (Fla. 2017): affirming interpretation of property declarations prohibiting abortions.
  • Sanislo v. Give Kids the World, Inc., 157 So. 3d 256 (Fla. 2016): disapproving four out of five appellate districts in expanding the enforceability of pre-injury exculpatory contracts.
  • Jones v. Michael, 656 F. App’x 923 (11th Cir. 2016): reversing denial of officers’ qualified immunity in § 1983 wrongful arrest and excessive force case.
  • Foley v. Orange Cty., 638 F. App’x 941 (11th Cir.), cert. den., 137 S.Ct. 378 (2016): reversing on jurisdictional grounds order finding Orange County ordinance unconstitutional. 
  • Martinique Condos., Inc. v. Short, 230 So. 3d 1268 (Fla. 5th DCA 2017): granting certiorari and quashing order severing third-party claims.
  • Mid-Continent Cas. Co. v. R.W. Jones Constr., Inc., 227 So. 3d 785 (Fla. 5th DCA 2017): reversing enforcement of attorneys’ charging lien on due process grounds.