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John M. (“Mac”) Fite is a former senior litigation shareholder in the firm’s litigation section and is now “of counsel”. He graduated as a member of Order of Coif from Vanderbilt University School of Law in 1974. While at Vanderbilt, Mac was a member of the Editorial Board of the Vanderbilt Law Review, with two student articles published.  Mac is a 1968 graduate of Florida Presbyterian College (renamed Eckerd College) with a degree in history. He served in the United States Army and is a Vietnam Veteran. He was awarded the Bronze Star and Army Commendation Medal for Vietnam service.  Mac has 40 years experience in civil litigation and has tried over 80 cases to a jury verdict in Federal District and State Circuit Courts, in over 13 different Florida counties. He has trial experience in virtually all areas of personal injury and wrongful death law. He is rated “av” by Martindale Hubbell.

Mediation Experience
Although Mac has extensive trial experience, most cases do not go to trial. Over the last 20 years, mediation has become the norm, both court-ordered and voluntary. This practice has led to fewer civil trials. Mac mediated hundreds of cases as an advocate after mediation was instituted in Florida in the mid-1980’s. Some of these mediations involved multiple defendants and plaintiffs, catastrophic injuries and/or multiple deaths, and settlements into millions of dollars.  Mac was certified by the Florida Supreme Court as a Circuit Court Mediator in 2005, and, in his “of counsel” status now, limits his practice to mediation.

Education

Florida Presbyterian College, BA, 1968
Vanderbilt University School of Law, JD, 1974
Patrick Wilson Fellow
Editorial Board, Vanderbilt Law Review
Order of Coif

Professional Activities

Bay County Bar Association
The Florida Bar
St. Andrews Bay Inn of Court, President 2002-2003

Articles

  • Narcotics Offenders and the Internal Revenue Code: Sheathing the Section 6851 Sword, Vanderbilt Law Review, Vol. 28, Number 2 (March 1975).
  • Case Comment, Vanderbilt Law Review, Vol. 27, Number 3, p. 560 (April 1974).
  • Suggestions for Defending the Deep Pocket, Trial Advocate Quarterly, Vol. 8, Number 1 (January 1989).

Significant Representations

  • Defended physician in medical malpractice action involving death of man due to idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP).
  • Defended fast food restaurant in product liability case involving serious injury allegedly caused by ecoli contamination of hamburger.
  • Defended sporting goods manufacturer in product liability case involving allegedly defective shin guard and serious injuries to high school soccer player.
  • Defended heavy equipment manufacturer in product liability case involving allegedly defective design of ingress-egress system.
  • Defended manufacturer of power take off (PTO) equipment in product liability action involving catastrophic injuries.
  • Defended large corporation in motor vehicle accident case in which the defendant vehicle crossed centerline and collided head-on with plaintiff vehicle and the defendant driver was killed.
  • Defended employer of tractor-trailer driver who was convicted of vehicular homicide and in prison at time of trial. Accident caused death of two children and their grandfather.
  • Defended physician in medical malpractice action involving death of child due to closed head injury
  • Defended fuel carrier whose driver was accused of forcing plaintiffs’ vehicle into median of interstate highway, followed by multiple rollovers.