Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

J. Suzanne M. Lehner

J. Suzanne M. Lehner, Partner

Mrs. Lehner joined the firm in December 2016 and is the managing partner of the firm’s Tampa office, which opened in December 2016. Mrs. Lehner has over 20 years of litigation experience and has tried over 70 cases to verdict in both state and federal courts.

Experience

After gaining trial experience as a prosecutor, Mrs. Lehner accepted a position with Nationwide Insurance Company, first in its captured counsel/trial division and later as Claims Legal Counsel. During her 5 years with Nationwide, Mrs. Lehner provided training and participated in committees, relating to multiple areas of insurance, including: Nationwide Leadership, Florida Legal Audit teams, Florida Litigation Management, Florida Sinkhole litigation and proposed policy changes, SIU & Insurance Fraud, EUO’s and issues relating to Material Misrepresentations.

After going into private practice, Mrs. Lehner has maintained her insurance defense centered litigation practice. Mrs. Lehner provides to her multiple insurance clients advice and defense to both the insurers or their insureds in all areas of personal and commercial line cases, including first and third party Auto, Homeowner and Commercial cases. Mrs. Lehner also provides pre-litigation opinions regarding coverage issues as well as allegations of fraud or insurer bad faith. Mrs. Lehner litigates on behalf of, and provides training to, national insurer clients in multiple areas of insurance defense, including: Bad Faith, Auto (PIP, BI & UM), Homeowner (3rd & 1st party) and Commercial (3rd party & 1st party, construction defect, premises liability and professional negligence) litigation.

Recognition

Mrs. Lehner is AV Rated by Martindale Hubbell™ which is the highest rating a lawyer may achieve and a testament to the fact that her Florida peers and members of the Florida Judiciary rank her at the highest level of professional excellence by rating her 5.0 out of 5.0 in their reviews. In 2015, Mrs. Lehner was recognized in the Tampa Times as one of the Top Lawyers in Tampa Bay. While in law school, Mrs. Lehner received the Book Award for Trial Practice.

Certifications

In 2010, Mrs. Lehner was certified by the Florida Supreme Court as a Circuit Civil Mediator. In 2012, Mrs. Lehner was approved as a Federal Court Mediator for the U.S.M.D. of Florida. Mrs. Lehner actively maintains her mediation certifications to this day.

Mrs. Lehner is certified by the Florida Department of Financial Services to provide Insurance Professional Adjuster Continuing Education Seminars which qualify for the statutorily required Insurance Adjuster’s CE credits. Mrs. Lehner presented numerous number adjuster CE approved seminars over the past 15 years, including presentations at the 2016 WINDSTORM conference in Florida and the 2014 annual meeting of National Connect Force Claims, Inc. in Louisiana.

Education

University of Florida, B.A., 1991
University of Florida, College of Law, J.D., 1994

Court Admissions

Florida State Courts
United States District Court, Northern District of Florida
United States District Court, Middle District of Florida
United States District Court, Southern District of Florida
Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals

Background

Partner, Hamilton, Miller & Birthisel, LLP (April 2015 – December 2016)
Partner, Quinteros, Prieto, Wood & Boyer (2013-2015)
Partner, Garrison, Yount, Forte, Mulcahy & Lehner (2010-2015)
Contract Attorney, Rywant, Alvarez, Russo & Guyton (2004-2010)
In-House Counsel/Claims Legal Counsel, Nationwide Insurance Co. (1999-2004)
Prosecutor, State Attorney’s Office for the Sixth Judicial Circuit of Florida (1994-1999)