David F. Cooney
Dave began practicing law as a trial lawyer in Southeast Florida in 1978 and his trial skills have received the highest recognition by his peers: He is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell, a Diplomate of the American Board of Trial Advocates, a Diplomate of Litigation Counsel of America and listed in Leading Florida Attorneys, Who’s Who in American Law, and Florida Super Lawyers. Dave represents and defends several national and international corporations including Ryder Truck Rental, Target Corporation, Costco Wholesale Corporation, and The Hertz Corporation. Dave has tried in excess of 150 cases to verdict, successfully defending clients in major lawsuits involving wrongful death, catastrophic brain injury, paralysis, loss of limbs, and rape/sexual assault.
Bruce M. Trybus
Bruce Trybus grew up in Zimbabwe, then obtained his undergraduate and first law degree from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, before being admitted to practice in South Africa in 1987. Bruce joined the the firm after obtaining his second law degree (cum laude) from Nova Southeastern University in 1992. Bruce has tried serious cases (some of them months-long) including death, brain-damage, and amputation lawsuits in state and federal courts in south Florida and elsewhere. He represents corporations, third party administrators and insurers (and their insureds) and has a particular interest in cases involving complex or unusual injuries and medical issues. Bruce is AV-rated by Martindale Hubbell.
Warren B. Kwavnick
Originally from Canada, Warren obtained his Bachelor’s degree (with Great Distinction) from McGill University in 1993, before graduating with his law degree (magna cum laude) from Nova Southeastern University in 1996. Warren then clerked with the Fourth District Court of Appeal in West Palm Beach before entering private practice. He has handled over 150 appeals and over 70 oral arguments in Florida’s appellate courts and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Warren is the firm’s appellate partner and focuses on appeals and insurance coverage. He also teaches appellate practice at Nova Southeastern University.
Alphonso O. Peets
Al obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of Central Florida. He earned his law degree from Nova Southeastern University where he won the school’s Moot Court Competition. He developed an interest in medical malpractice defense while attending Nova and working for Emergency Medical Services Associates, which later became known as Inphynet Medical Management. Upon graduation he specialized in medical malpractice defense, defending various hospitals, nursing homes, physician groups and healthcare providers. Al also specialized in drug and medical device litigation while defending American Home Products and Wyeth/Ayerst during the Phen-Fen mass tort litigation claims. Like the other founding partners, he is a member of the Florida Defense Lawyers’ Association and the Defense Research Institute, and also belongs to the Florida Medical Malpractice Claims Counsel.
Benny began his career as a prosecutor and gained valuable experience from that job. Since then, and for the majority of his career, he has focused his practice on tort and insurance defense litigation. Over the years, Benny has handled many serious cases, including ones involving serious personal injuries, death and major property damage. He also has significant trial experience and has been published and given seminars in defense work.
Rebecca J. Davis
Rebecca was born and raised in South Florida. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, concentrating in accounting and finance, from Boston University and her Juris Doctor from Marquette University Law School. Upon graduating from law school, Rebecca returned home to enter private practice, where she has defended physicians, nurses, and other individuals, and hospitals and other corporations in medical malpractice, wrongful death, products liability, premise liability, general liability, automobile, and sexual assault cases.
Sterling was born in North Carolina and grew up in Sarasota, Florida. She worked in the Executive Office of the Governor under Governor Jeb Bush prior to attending law school. During law school, Sterling spent a semester at Harvard Law School’s Legal Services Center and represented the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations, Division of Alcohol and Tobacco in over 200 administrative hearings. Since entering private practice in South Florida, Sterling has defended individuals, insurance companies, and international corporations in matters ranging from maritime and trucking accidents to premises liability and sexual assaults.
Matthew R. Wendler
Matthew was born in La Jolla, California, raised in Pennsylvania, and earned his B.S. and J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh. While in law school, Matthew served as a judicial intern for the Honorable Jacqueline O. Shogan of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania and as a judicial extern for the Honorable Nora Barry Fischer of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. He also served as the chairperson of the moot-court board and received a certificate in International and Comparative Law. In pursuit of the certificate, he spent a semester studying at Temple University’s Japan campus. Upon graduating from law school, Matthew served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable David C. Klementik of the Court of Common Pleas of Somerset County, Pennsylvania. Thereafter, he practiced in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, focusing on the defense of manufacturers of firearms, automotive vehicles, industrial cranes, and pharmaceutical products in product-liability actions filed in state and federal courts throughout the country. During his representation of a prescription-drug manufacturer, Matthew obtained extensive knowledge of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act’s effect on product-liability claims. After the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in PLIVA, Inc. v. Mensing, he obtained favorable results in state- and federal-court cases involving questions of first impression, was an integral part of a team that successfully argued that all cases pending before a multi-district litigation panel (including numerous wrongful-death cases) must be dismissed, helped draft an amicus curiae brief filed in the U.S. Supreme Court’s Mutual Pharmaceutical Co. v. Bartlett case, and has both spoken and written about the Mensing and Bartlett decisions. Matthew co-authored the Third Edition of the book Pennsylvania Causes of Action. His articles have been published in the National Law Journal, The Legal Intelligencer (a prominent Pennsylvania publication), and the Florida Defense Lawyers Association’s Trial Advocate Quarterly. (For more information on his publications, please see his LinkedIn profile.) His recent successes include a defense verdict in a wrongful-death action arising from a motor vehicle accident that involved a pedestrian.
Kelly A. Lenahan
Kelly was born and raised in Florida. As an undergraduate, Kelly earned a B.A. in Political Science and History and was an Anderson Scholar Highest Distinction. After graduating from law school, Kelly served as a law clerk for an appellate judge at the Fourth District Court of Appeal. Kelly recently co-authored an article with Matthew Wendler that was published in the Trial Advocate Quarterly Spring 2017 issue titled “Call Me Maybe: Punitive Damages in Cases Arising from Motor Vehicle Accidents Caused by Cell Phone Use”.
Caroline A. Lewis
Caroline A. Lewis was born and raised in South Florida. She graduated cum laude from the University of Florida and later attended the Nova Southeastern University, Shepard Broad Law Center where she earned her Juris Doctorate and graduated magna cum laude in 2013. Caroline began her legal career at a mid-size bankruptcy firm where she handled matters arising under Chapter 7, Chapter 11, and Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code. Caroline then went on to practice at an insurance defense firm in 2014 where she focused on first-party property damage and coverage claims as well as third-party claims in the areas of property damage, automobile negligence, wrongful death actions, and premises liability. During law school, Caroline was a Senior Staff Member of the Nova Law Review and actively involved in the Hispanic Law Student Association. She also published her article, “Cyber Bullying: A Scourge that Needs to End,” in the Broward County Justice Association newsletter in May of 2013. Caroline’s article, “LMM: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly,” was also published in the Southern District of Florida, Bankruptcy Bar Association Journal in 2014.