Bill is an accomplished trial lawyer who has tried dozens of jury trials in high-stakes cases involving tens of millions of dollars in compensatory and punitive damages. Bill has had tremendous success in the courtroom, winning six straight jury trials over a two-year period from 2013 to 2015. He has won defense verdicts throughout the state of Florida, including Miami, Fort Lauderdale, St. Petersburg, and Jacksonville. Based on his courtroom victories, Bill was named by Law360 as a Product Liability MVP and by Miami’s Daily Business Review as a “Most Effective Lawyer” in 2015.

Bill’s experience ranges from commercial and business disputes, to product liability, legal malpractice and professional liability claims. Chambers USA has described him as "intellectual, client-friendly and a superb trial lawyer," and has awarded him a Band 3 ranking in Litigation. BTI Consulting Group named him a 2016 Client Service All-Star based on interviews with general counsel.

Bill's courtroom victories contributed to Shook Miami’s recognition by ALM's Daily Business Review in 2013 and 2015 as "Litigation Department of the Year," and in 2016 as "Product Liability Litigation Department of the Year." Because of his keen understanding of jury trials from voir dire to closing, Bill is a frequent speaker at corporate counsel events on issues such as jury selection, courtroom advocacy and attorney-client privilege.

Trial Experience

Bill has tried cases in state and federal jurisdictions throughout Florida, obtaining defense verdicts in at least a dozen. His work as lead counsel has focused on fighting compensatory and punitive damages claims in product liability litigation. Some of his recent successes include:

  • obtaining a full defense verdict for Philip Morris USA in a case where the plaintiffs were awarded more than $43 million against other defendants (Summerlin v. Philip Morris);
  • obtaining a defense verdict in a wrongful death case where the plaintiffs sought $40 million in damages (Cavanaugh v. Stryker); and
  • securing a defense verdict for Philip Morris USA in a case where the plaintiff asked for $11 million (Kogan v. Philip Morris).

As one of Shook’s leading trial lawyers, Bill frequently prepares and tries multiple cases to verdict each year. His trial work includes:

  • Summerlin v. Philip Morris USA Inc. (Mass. Super. Ct., Middlesex Cty. 2018)
  • Cavanaugh v. Stryker Corp. (Fla. Cir. Ct., St. Lucie Cty. 2018)
  • Bryant v. Philip Morris USA Inc. (Fla. Cir. Ct., Escambia Cty. 2017)
  • Johnson v. Philip Morris USA Inc. (Fla Cir. Ct., Hillsborough Cty. 2017)
  • Kogan v. Philip Morris USA Inc. (Fla. Cir. Ct., Palm Beach Cty. 2017)
  • Brown v. Philip Morris USA Inc. (Fla Cir. Ct., Pinellas Cty. 2017)
  • Martin v. Philip Morris USA Inc. (Fla. Cir. Ct., Broward Cty. 2016)
  • Varner v. Philip Morris USA Inc. (Fla. Cir. Ct., Broward Cty. 2016)
  • McCall v. Philip Morris USA Inc. (Fla. Cir. Ct., Broward Cty. 2016)
  • Danielson v. Philip Morris USA Inc. (Fla. Cir. Ct., Escambia Cty. 2015)
  • Collar v. Philip Morris USA Inc. (Fla. Cir. Ct., Indian River Cty. 2015)
  • Russo v. Philip Morris USA Inc. (Fla. Cir. Ct., Miami-Dade Cty. 2015)
  • McMannis v. Philip Morris USA Inc. (Fla Cir. Ct., Charlotte Cty. 2015)
  • Starbuck v. Philip Morris USA Inc. (M.D. Fla. 2014)
  • Gonzalez v. Philip Morris USA Inc. (Fla. Cir. Ct., Miami-Dade Cty. 2014)
  • Jacobson v. Philip Morris USA Inc. (S.D. Fla. 2013)
  • Rizzuto v. Philip Morris USA Inc.(Fla. Cir. Ct., Hernando Cty. 2013)
  • Hancock v. Philip Morris USA Inc. (Fla. Cir. Ct., Broward Cty. 2012)
  • McCray v. Philip Morris USA Inc. (M.D. Fla., Jacksonville Div. 2012)
  • Hallgren v. Philip Morris USA Inc. (Fla. Cir. Ct., Highlands Cty. 2012)
  • Junious v. Philip Morris USA Inc. (Fla. Cir. Ct., Miami-Dade Cty. 2011)
  • Oliva v. Philip Morris USA Inc. (Fla. Cir. Ct., Clay Cty. 2011)
  • Frazier v. Philip Morris USA Inc. (Fla. Cir. Ct., Miami-Dade Cty. 2010)
  • Douglas v. Philip Morris USA Inc. (Fla. Cir. Ct., Hillsborough Cty. 2010)
  • Barbanell v. Philip Morris USA Inc. (Fla. Cir. Ct., Broward Cty. 2009)
  • Gelep v. Philip Morris USA Inc. (Fla. Cir. Ct., Pinellas Cty. 2009)
  • Menchini v. Philip Morris USA Inc. (Fla. Cir. Ct., Miami-Dade Cty. 2007)
  • Arnitz v. Philip Morris USA Inc.  (Fla. Cir. Ct., Hillsborough Cty. 2004)
  • Routh v. Philip Morris USA Inc. (Fla. Cir. Ct., Miami-Dade Cty. 2003)
  • Tucker v. Philip Morris USA Inc. (Fla. Cir. Ct., Miami-Dade Cty. 2002)
  • Quiepo v. Philip Morris USA Inc. (Fla. Cir. Ct., Miami-Dade Cty. 2002)
  • Fontana v. Philip Morris USA Inc. (Fla. Cir. Ct., Miami-Dade Cty. 2001)

Publications and Presentations

Handling the Difficult Expert, Dade County Bar Association's Giants of the Courtroom (Panelist), Miami, Florida, June 9, 2017. 

What Every In House Lawyer Should Know About Data Privacy, Class Actions, and Attorney-Client Privilege (Speaker), Daily Business Review’s Corporate Counsel Summit, April 25, 2014.

Opening Statements and Closing Arguments 101, (Speaker), American Bar Association, Section on Litigation, April 24, 2014.