GIVING BACK

We believe in helping our communities beyond the confines of the courtroom.

Morgan & Morgan Hunger Relief Center Dedication

Morgan & Morgan Hunger Relief Center Dedication

On March 6, 2013, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida’s fight to end hunger took a major step forward with the dedication of the Morgan & Morgan, P.A. Hunger Relief Center. The new, 100,000-square foot facility—more than double the size of its predecessor—is equipped to handle millions of pounds of food the organization had to previously turn away due to a lack of adequate coolers, freezers, and general infrastructure space.

“This is one of the best things we’ve ever done,” Mr. Morgan said of he and his wife Ultima’s generous $2 million donation to the cause. “Other than the four children, this is one of the best things we’ve ever done.”

By the organization’s estimates, the value of the food stored in the Morgan & Morgan, P.A. Hunger Relief Center over the next 20 years will exceed $1.4 billion.

The Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida is a private, nonprofit organization spearheading the fight to end hunger by collecting and distributing food to more than 500 nonprofit partner agencies throughout Brevard, Orange, Lake, Seminole, Osceola, and Volusia counties in Central Florida. In addition to gathering and distributing food to those in need, Second Harvest Food Bank strives to raise public awareness on the “invisible problem” of hunger and poverty, as well as develop county-specific solutions to hunger in Central Florida.

If you would like to get involved with or donate to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, please visit their website.

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For The People Scholarship

For The People Scholarship

Morgan & Morgan is committed to helping out those students looking to get into law as a career. To help out, we formed the For The People Scholarship. Through this scholarship, we've already helped pay for law school for a first-year law student who was committed to making his or her community a better place.

John Morgan places a big emphasis on giving back to the community, and has built the firm to reflect his values of charity and public service. Many of our firm’s partners holds at least one leadership position in a charitable organization, for example.

We seek to inspire these values of charity and public service beyond our firm, and encourage aspiring lawyers to approach their careers as our attorneys already do.

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Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana

In 2013, John Morgan partnered with United for Care in campaigning to legalize medical marijuana on behalf of sick and suffering Floridians. It took nearly four years, two elections, and cost John millions of dollars, but medical marijuana was finally legalized in 2016.

John’s support for medical marijuana is personal; it helped relieve the pain of his father, who had emphysema and esophageal cancer, and his brother, who is paraplegic. Another reason he supports medical marijuana is because of the damage he’s seen caused by the powerful prescription pain medications his clients are often given by a doctor following an injury.

The initial campaign began by writing an initiative and hiring an “army of angels” to collect the nearly 700,000 signatures required to get it on the 2014 ballot. While collecting signatures proved challenging, the initiative eventually qualified for the ballot but faced a consistent and well funded opposition throughout the campaign. In the end, 58 percent of voters were in favor of the initiative, but it required at least 60 percent to pass.

Undeterred, and further inspired by Floridians who urged him to try again, John launched another campaign to legalize medical marijuana. The second time around Florida had no doubts about medical marijuana and the initiative passed with a resounding 71 percent of the vote.

boys town usa

Offers access to foster homes and guidance for at-risk youths.

harbor house

Provides help for abused women and children.

the miami project

Conducts neuromuscular and spinal injury research and testing.

united cerebral palsy

Provides vital therapy and services to children with special needs.

Firm News

Memorial Day rapidly approaching has us dreaming of long summer days spent with our friends and family. To keep you and your loved ones safe, ​​we’ve created a Memorial Day safety guide.

We’ve covered everything under the sun from road trips to being out on the water to grilling fresh meals. We hope you’re able to make the most of the long weekend while keeping things safe.

Driving Safety

  • Be sure to practice safe driving Memorial Day Weekend. The number of traffic fatalities is 14.1% higher during Memorial Day Weekend than it is a non-holiday weekend
  • Memorial Day marks the beginning of the 100 deadliest days for teen drivers. The period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is when the number of crashes and fatalities involving teen drivers increases by 16%.
  • Be on the lookout for motorcycles. Left hand turns account for 42% of crashes between cars and motorcycles
  • Across the country, golf cart accidents are on the rise. A little over 38% of all reported injuries are caused by falling from a golf cart.

Water Safety

  • Don’t drink and swim. Alcohol has been found to be a factor in as many as 70% of all water recreation injuries and deaths.
  • Use barriers to prevent easy access to water. In 69% of drownings that involve young children, they were not expected to be in or at the pool.
  • Always check conditions before entering the water at the beach. Rip currents are not always visible from shore and are responsible for most rescues performed by lifeguards.
  • Florida has recently surpassed 1 million registered recreational vessels, living up to the unofficial title of the “Boating Capital of the World.” Unfortunately, the state also leads the nation with the highest number of recreational boating accidents.

Grilling Safety

  • There’s no better way to cap off a summer day spent outside than a tasty meal cooked on the grill. Summer is also the time to be more aware of grill safety as over half of grill fires occur during the months of May, June, July, and August.
  • Keep children at least three feet away from the grill at all times. Children under 5 account for an average of 39% of grill-related burns each year.
  • Charcoal is the safer way to go. Gas grills are the leading cause of grilling incidents, responsible for 84% of home fires caused by grills.
  • Don’t spoil all of your hard work. Food needs to be placed in the freezer or fridge within two hours of cooking or one hour if it’s over 90°F outside. 

Want to learn more? Find out all the ways Morgan & Morgan can help if your summer activities hit a snag.

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Tue, 05/17/2022 - 15:53

Across the country, identity theft is becoming an increasingly frequent crime, especially near the end of the tax year. It’s vital that individuals take the appropriate measures to protect themselves from such a damaging situation. Identity theft can have a considerable impact on your life, including your personal finances and ability to take out credit in the future.   

To assist you with making smart decisions to safeguard your identity, we have put together a list of six tips to protect yourself from identity theft.

1. Protect your sensitive information from third parties

Your private information is sensitive, and if it gets into the hands of an unauthorized third party, you could be faced with serious repercussions, including identity theft. A number of actions can be taken to protect your personal details from coming into contact with the wrong individuals, including: 

  • Shred or tear up paper documents that contain sensitive details.
  • Lock away sensitive materials.
  • Make sure your employer has secured your personnel records.
  • Always take receipts containing credit or debit card details—never dispose of them in public trash.
  • Don’t post personal information online, e.g. putting your birthdate on social media websites.
  • Only use websites that have secure payment methods. A site is only secure when there is an unbroken padlock icon in the URL bar of your browser, and the URL starts with “https.” If the URL begins with “http,” it is not secure. 

2. Don’t share your social security number

Never share your social security number with anyone unless absolutely required, and never carry it on yourself. Always make sure it’s locked away somewhere secure. 

3. Order a free credit report each week

To help protect your personal finances and to ensure you have not been a victim of identity theft, regularly check your credit reports.

Through December 2022, everyone in the U.S. can get a free credit report each week from all three nationwide credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. By checking your credit reports, you’ll be able to see if someone is misusing your personal information to run up charges on your credit cards, take out new credit or open a new account that’s in your name and steal your identity. The sooner you spot this fraud, the faster you can take action to stop the financial harm and correct the errors.

To order a free credit report, you can go to AnnualCreditReport.com or call 877-322-8228 directly.

4. Ensure that you read your credit reports very carefully

Once you have received your credit reports, take the time to carefully look back through the report, making sure that everything recorded points back to you and not someone misusing your identity.

Each time you look at your credit report, you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you recognize the accounts on your report?
  • Do they list credit applications?
  • Did you apply for credit at those places?

Make sure to check your personal information too. Are your name, address, and Social Security number correct?

5. Dispute any anomalies

If you see a mistake on your credit report, it’s incredibly paramount that you immediately dispute the mistake. You can do this by directly contacting the credit bureau and the business that reported the information. When contacting the credit bureau and the business, ensure that you ask both to correct their records. You need to ensure that you include as much detail as possible, plus copies of supporting evidence, including documents, like payment records. 

6. Report the suspected identity theft to the appropriate authorities

If you don’t recognize an account recorded on your credit report, immediately visit IdentityTheft.gov to report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and obtain a recovery plan.

IdentityTheft.gov will be able to help you to create a sworn Identity Theft Report. Once a report has been created, you can send it to the credit bureaus, who will be able to block identity theft-related debts from appearing on your credit report. Also, report the theft of your identity to the FBI and the IRS. 

Contact Morgan & Morgan

If you think your identity has been stolen, it’s crucial to approach guidance from an identity theft lawyer who can provide clear, efficient advice on your rights and the necessary steps to take.

Contact us at Morgan & Morgan to speak to an expert attorney.

Thu, 05/12/2022 - 12:18

Keith Mitnik, a senior trial lawyer and part-owner of Morgan & Morgan, is one of the unique attorneys that only come about once in a generation. Beginning at the firm of Robertson, Williams, Mitnik, and McDonald, Mr. Mitnik has made leaps and bounds throughout his career and helped litigate numerous high-profile cases, including Casey Anthony’s civil trial and the suit by the Backstreet Boys against their former manager. His ability to achieve multi-million dollar verdicts has made him a pillar of justice in the legal industry, and he frequently speaks at seminars and conferences to teach others how to pull off the same results. While other attorneys might wake up every day and go through the motions, Mr. Mitnik has made it his goal to use his career to help victims of negligence and unfortunate circumstances improve their condition, and he’s pretty good at it, too.

Over the last few years, Mr. Mitnik has reached jury verdicts of $1 million, $1.35 million, $2.4 million, $2.7 million, $5.1 million, $18.1 million, $27 million, and $40 million. In 2010, he achieved a $90 million verdict that was the sixth-highest in America for that year, earning his spot as one of the top lawyers in the country. We had an opportunity to speak with Mr. Mitnik about his career, and the transcript is transcribed below. 

This interview was lightly edited for clarity.

Keith Mitnik on the phone

Did You Always Want to Be a Lawyer?

Keith: It was a dream job. Strangely, one time, the guidance counselor at my school told my mother that I said I wanted to be a lawyer when asked about my career plans. Honestly, I didn’t know a single lawyer at the time. There were no family friends, no neighbors, and no family that were lawyers. The only thing I can think that came from was my love for watching Perry Mason. Well, that, and I read a book that really moved me. It was one of the first novels I read as a youngster, and there was a lawyer in the story that changed everything for somebody. It really got to me, which probably solidified my goals, but it must have been Perry Mason because, honest to God, I wouldn’t even know what a lawyer was in elementary school. My guidance counselor mainly worked in the high school, but she had records of mine going back years and said, “Your son, every time he's been asked about his career since elementary school, has said he was going to be a lawyer.” It was just my destiny.

What Is the Key Ingredient Every Plaintiff Attorney Needs to Be Successful?

Keith: You have to believe in what you’re doing. You have to believe that what you’re doing matters, and it’s righteous. You have to have integrity. Shoot straight with jurors, judges, your clients, and the other side. Once you get a reputation as someone who’s not a straight shooter, you’re in a different category and will never rise above it. You have to dedicate yourself to it like a professional athlete does. 

Lastly, you have to be wired to run at problems rather than away from them. You have to be able to face hurdles, stare them down, and figure out a way around instead of panicking and running away. You’ll also need to have some steel in your spine, and some problem-solving intellect; if you have those three things, belief in what you’re doing, integrity, and the determination to overcome obstacles, you will rise to the top.

Successful attorneys come in all kinds of packages. Some are flamboyant, some are very low-key, but it doesn’t matter as long as you’re a reliable guide to the truth. That’s the key, and that comes in so many packages

Is There Something About Personal Injury That Spoke to You More Than Other Areas of the Law?

Keith: It does now, but the honest answer going forward is no. I didn’t know what civil lawyers did; I watched Perry Mason. I was going to be a criminal defense lawyer, and when I went to law school, I was told the best person that you can be a clerk for was a guy named Vandercreek. He’s since passed away, but he was a nationally known specialist in complex federal/jurisdictional venue-type things. He was hired by big-time lawyers around the country, and they said, “If you work for him, he can get you in with all kinds of great people when you’re looking for a job.” So, in my first year of law school, I walked into his office, knocked on his door, and said, “Are you looking for a replacement for your research assistant?” 

He says, “Well, I don’t hire first-year students; I only hire third-year students.” I said, “Hold on, hold on. I have a four-year degree in doing legal research. You get one class up here, and I already have a degree in it. I promise you; I can do better research than any third-year law student can.” He looked at me and said, “Well, I’ve got something I have to file in the 11th Circuit Court appeals on Tuesday, and you’ll give it to me on Monday. But, I’ll tell you this: I’m not going to work on it this weekend, and if you bring me a paper of garbage on Monday, you’re done here.”

He asked, “Are you sure you want it?” and I said, “Yes, sir.” He laid out what I had to do by Monday. At the time, I was thinking, “What have I done?” as it was a complicated topic I didn’t fully understand. But I brought him the research paper back and held my breath. He never said “good job” or anything like that, but three days later, he said, “I’ve got something else I need you to do,” and that was that. Two years later, I walked into his office and asked, “Hey, do you know any trial lawyers in Orlando?” He said that he knew “two of the very best” and helped introduce them to me. Those two lawyers, Robertson and Williams, hired me for the summer and then hired me full-time once I graduated. 

So, did I want to be a civil personal injury lawyer? I didn’t know what it was, but after meeting those two guys, all I ever did was civil cases, and I never looked back. So, did I want to be a civil personal injury lawyer? I didn’t know what it was, but after meeting those two guys, all I ever did was civil cases, and I never looked back. It just felt like the white hat fit my head better in that arena.

Keith Mitnik in the office

Is There a Case Over the Course of Your Career That Spoke to Your Heart More Than Others?

Keith: I’m going to give you two and a third one that others wouldn’t see as all that important, but it meant the world to me. I am driven to be an anti-bully. One case that touched my soul was the first time we took on cigarette companies and beat them. They’re gigantic and very difficult to beat. They are the classic giant bully. Their lawyers have been defending these cases forever, and we hit them for a $90 million verdict. To take on that industry, one that’s caused so much death and loss in our country, and bring back a substantial, meaningful verdict against them, was so fulfilling to the side of me that’s driven to stand up to bullies.    

The second one just happened. I got a verdict representing this amazing lady. She was born paralyzed from the waist down, but she would not give up. Instead, she bucked up and had a full life in spite of her condition. She went on to get a master's degree in education and spent 30 years in a public school teaching special education kids. She retired and ended up with a broken leg, forcing her to stay in a nursing home for rehab. While there she developed a pressure wound that ended up going all the way down to the bone. Without going into too much detail, it had a profound impact on her life. Her situation moved me because she had such radiance and never felt sorry for herself. She loved her life in a way that others wouldn’t understand. I felt the weight of the world when the verdict was about to be read. If they did wrong by her and I didn’t come through, it would’ve broken my heart. The jury came back, and we reached an over $10 million verdict, which was so fulfilling. I did right by someone who needed someone to stand up and do right, so I’ll carry that case with me forever.

This third one might sound small to some people, but it’s not. I represented a guy in a first-party case where the client was fighting over a truck that had been burned up. He was a young man that immigrated from Cuba, came here for asylum, and was building a life, but an insurance company accused him of setting fire to the truck himself, all because they didn’t want to pay the $30,000 themselves. This was only my second first-party trial. When I met that young man, I again felt that calling to stand up to bullies. After we won, the man hugged me and cried, saying, “I loved this country, and now I love it more. If they had come back and said I committed fraud, I would have never felt the same about living here. This verdict and what you did, confirmed all the reasons I wanted to move here.” 

That guy does beautiful, handmade furniture. Six weeks after the trial, a big van pulls up outside of my house and delivers the most spectacular handmade rocker and end table that he made himself. I still have it; It reminds me of why we do what we do. 

If There’s One Thing You Could Be Remembered for in the World of Law, What Would You Want to Be Remembered For?

Keith: “For Keith Mitnik, law was a calling.”

Wed, 05/11/2022 - 15:07
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