Stephen M. Fernandez received his law degree, with honors, from the University of Florida College of Law. While in law school he focused on courses relevant to the field of personal injury and trial practice. Mr. Fernandez was also an active member of the University of Florida Journal of Law and Public Policy. Prior to studying law, he graduated with high honors from the University of Florida with a degree in Political Science. He also earned minors in Business Administration and Environmental Studies.
Mr. Fernandez has focused his career on representing accident victims and their families in personal injury and wrongful death claims. He also represents the victims of wrongful insurance denials.
Mr. Fernandez is licensed to practice law in both Florida and Georgia. He is also admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida. His experience includes handling automobile accidents, uninsured/underinsured motorist claims, motorcycle accidents, commercial trucking cases, premises liability, negligent security, watercraft accidents, assault/battery, and insurance denials under both state law and ERISA.
Activities, Associations and Awards
Mr. Fernandez has quickly built a reputation as a skilled litigator and zealous advocate for his clients. He has been named a “Rising Star” by Florida Super Lawyers magazine in 2010 and 2011. This distinction is awarded to no more than 2.5% of attorneys and is based on factors such as academic achievement, peer recognition and professional accomplishments.
In 2011 he was also named one of the “Top 40 Under 40” by The National Trial Lawyers organization. He maintains a “Superb” rating by Avvo.
Mr. Fernandez is a member of the American Association of Justice, the Florida Justice Association, the Tampa Bay Trial Lawyers Association, the Manasota Trial Lawyers Association Board of Directors, the Sarasota Bar Association, and the Association of Plaintiff's Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America. He is also on the Board of Sarasota Bay Watch, a non-profit organization committed to preserving and restoring Sarasota Bay.
Mr. Fernandez has written various publications on subjects ranging from the handling of insurance claims to fly-fishing. In 2003 his article "Captive-bred Exceptions: An Unconventional Approach to Conservation Under the ESA" won the Barbara W. Maker award and was published in the UF Journal of Law and Public Policy. He has also published fishing and conservation articles in Fisheries Magazine, Florida Sportsman and Salt Water Fly Fishing. When not representing his clients, Mr. Fernandez can most often be found fly fishing the inshore waters off Florida's west coast.