On April 20, 2017, Christopher Largey, principal attorney at Largey Law Firm in Central Florida, gained admission to the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida. Now, in addition to his distinguished state court practice, Mr. Largey has the honor of practicing in the federal court system. This is good news for Largey Law clients who might prefer to sue in federal court or whose case might be removed to federal court. Christopher Largey can now provide those clients with the same quality legal service that has earned him an AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®.
Although any attorney who passes a state bar exam can practice law in that state’s lower courts, the requirements to practice in federal court are much steeper. These include:
- Certification to practice in at least one state’s highest court
- Two letters of recommendation from attorneys admitted to the federal bar
As a Florida personal injury attorney, Mr. Largey should have ample opportunity to put his new bar admission to use. Personal injury defendants who reside out of state often prefer to try cases in federal court, for a number of reasons:
- Federal court jury pools pull from larger areas, so these juries tend to include rural as well as urban residents. Defendants believe that rural jurors are more likely to find lower damage awards appropriate.
- Federal court rules of civil procedure limit the discovery process.
- Federal courts are more likely than state courts to grant motions to dismiss the case entirely.
- State courts move more quickly than federal courts, so defendants cannot wear down plaintiffs by dragging out the process.
Although the plaintiff decides where to file a lawsuit, a defendant can get a state court case removed to federal court if the case involves a claim under federal law, or if there is diversity among the parties, meaning the plaintiff and at least one defendant are from different states. Since Florida is a tourist destination, personal injury claims often involve diverse citizenship. For example, a driver from Maryland could cause a traffic accident. The plaintiff, a Floridian, then files suit in the state court where the accident occurred, but the attorney for the Marylander makes a motion to remove the case to federal court on the basis of diversity of citizenship.
On the other hand, tourists visiting Florida also sustain injuries. A Pennsylvanian who sustains an injury at Walt Disney World probably doesn’t want to sue one of the state’s leading employers in the state court. A better strategy might be to file in federal court.
Federal court certification will allow Mr. Largey more options, as he continues to fight for justice for his clients.
If you have been seriously injured in a Florida accident, trust Largey Law to fight aggressively for you. To schedule an appointment with an experienced personal injury lawyer, free of charge, contact our office online.