Attorney John Uustal works to protect the rights of real people against massive corporations and insurance companies. At Kelley/Uustal, he specializes in helping catastrophically injured victims. For example, Uustal obtained a $51 million verdict after a horrible car accident involving a defective seatbelt. The verdict was one of the largest ever awarded on behalf of an individual. Uustal represented a Marine veteran who became paralyzed after his seatbelt failed. He was driving home from work for a Fourth of July barbeque when another driver ran a red light and slammed into his truck. He was ejected from his truck even though he was wearing his seatbelt. Uustal brought suit against the truck manufacturer, the seatbelt manufacturer and the driver who ran the red light. The manufacturers settled for an unprecedented amount prior to trial.
Uustal has repeatedly been named one of the Best Lawyers in America. He has obtained many multi-million dollar verdicts. He has frequently been named in the American Lawyer’s Top Verdicts of the Year, which covers the entire country. He has also been recognized in several editions of Florida Super Lawyers. Uustal has given seminars throughout Florida and the United States on a number of topics, such as investigating automobile defect cases. He also serves as Editor of the Florida Products Liability Blog. In addition to catastrophic injury cases, Uustal’s practice covers class actions, fraud, and contingency business litigation.
“Yes, we have some incredible results, but we are most proud of the fact that our clients tell us that we care about them as people first. Caring about people is what gives you the strength to fight so hard for them.”
Uustal has been board certified by the Florida Bar as a Civil Trial Specialist, a designation reserved for just one percent of Florida’s 90,000 lawyers. Obtaining this certification required a favorable showing of Uustal’s actual trial experience, positive reports from other lawyers and judges familiar with his abilities, and the successful completion of a comprehensive examination testing knowledge of civil trial law. Board certified civil trial lawyers must partake in continuing legal education specifically in this field. Furthermore, the continuing legal education requirements for board certified lawyers are significantly higher than those required for non-certified lawyers.
Prior to entering private practice, Uustal served as a law clerk for the Honorable Peter T. Fay of the United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit. Judge Fay was a renowned trial attorney appointed to the Federal Bench by President Nixon, and elevated to the Court of Appeals by President Ford. Judge Fay reinforced Uustal’s interest in representing the “underrepresented.” Before joining Judge Fay, Uustal worked in the prosecutor’s office of the Florida State Attorney in Dade County, Florida.
- B.S., Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service
- J.D., Summa Cum Laude, University of Miami
Areas of Practice:
- Catastrophic Injury
- Defective Products
- Medical Malpractice
- Automobile Accidents
- Consumer Fraud
- Business Litigation
- Wrongful Death
- U.S. District Court for Middle District of Florida
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
- U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit.
Awards and Honors:
- Florida Super Lawyer (2009-2011)
- Best Lawyers in America (2008-2010)
- Florida Rising Star Lawyer (2009)
- Legal Aid Law Firm of the Year (2010)
- Avvo Rated Lawyer
Professional Associations & Activities:
- Board of Directors – Florida Justice Association
- Appellate Section Chair – Broward County Bar Association
- Member – American Association for Justice
- Member – Broward County Trial Lawyers Association
- Member – Martindale-Hubbell’s Register of Preeminent Lawyers