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Culture of drinking and drugs’ blamed in student death at Eckerd College

It was about 4:45 a.m. on graduation day that Rebecca Lavin-Burgher arrived at the theater with her sister and friends to join other students on the roof for sunrise, according to the lawsuit. She was almost to the top of a ladder when she fell to the concrete floor about 40 feet below. The filing alleges the theater doors should have been locked but instead, students had “unfettered access” to the roof. At the same time, the ladder Lavin-Burgher climb…

Also Seen On: Daily Mail | Fox 13 News | WFLA

Rebecca Lavin-Burgher
Tampa Bay Times logo

A toddler choked on hamburger. His mother is suing the daycare.

Neither of the first two workers called 911, according to the lawsuit, but a 911 call was placed from Kiddie Kollege at 10:30 a.m., the lawsuit says. The caller “wrongfully described” the incident to an emergency operator so the operator provided instructions on helping a child having a seizure rather than a child who was choking, the lawsuit says….

Messiah Davis
Tampa Bay Times logo

Topic: Autonomous Vehicle Debate

“Florida has quickly become the Wild Wild West for robot cars,” says Dale Swope, the former president of the trial lawyer advocacy group the Florida Justice Association. Swope, who has researched and written about the state’s AV legislation extensively, says, “There is nothing stopping a Chinese tech company from beta-testing its autonomous 18-wheelers at 7:30 a.m. in an elementary school zone.”…

Self-Driving Test Vehicle
Published on Medium

Verdict Will Help This Young Man Rebuild His Life

On January 29, 2016, Mr. Ellis’ life was changed in an instant when a driver of a car made a left turn in front of him, t-boning him. Ellis, who in the months leading up to the wreck had decided to act on following in his grandfather’s footsteps, was deep in the process of applying to the Air Force at the time of the collision. Now, unable to run or swim from his injuries, he was forced to forever say goodbye to that opportunity….

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$3.8 Million Motorcycle Accident Verdict for Hillsborough County, Florida Man

Following two years of contentious litigation by the defense, a Florida Jury returned a verdict of more than $3.8 Million for a 24-year-old, Anthony Ellis. On January 29, 2016, Mr. Ellis, just 21 at the time, was riding his motorcycle north on U.S. Highway 301 in Riverview, Florida. A driver of a car made a left turn in front of him, t-boning him and catapulting him and his motorcycle into a drainage ditch….

Also Seen On: Law 360

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Attorney at Law Magazine

Top 7 haunted spots in Tampa Bay, from Pinellas to Hillsborough

It’s true — Halloween is really right around the corner. Since the 90-degree heat might not have you in the mood for All Hallow’s Eve — or perhaps you’re just burned out on Howl-O-Scream already — we took it upon ourselves to find out about some of the real nearby haunts you may not have heard about. We delved into local lore to find 10 places around Tampa Bay that have their own scare factor. Read on… if you dare. #4. Swope-Rodante, P.A…

Also Seen On: WFLA News Channel 8

Swope, Rodante P.A. Building
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Angela Rodante in Tampa Style Magazine

Over the course of her 22-year legal career, Angela Rodante has become a nationally recognized and highly sought-after civil litigator – winning countless awards for her groundbreaking legal work fighting for individuals who have been catastrophically injured and for taking on large and powerful corporations. While her accolades speak volumes for the level of success she’s committed to achieving on behalf of clients, it is a humble, driven…

Angela Rodante

Wrongful death lawsuit filed against Bradenton mental health facility

A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against Centerstone of Florida, Inc. after a man killed himself while under its care. Duane Scott Riddick was a nurse, fisherman and an artist. He also struggled with depression and in April of 2018, he checked himself into Centerstone Behavioral Hospital and Addiction Center. According to Riddick’s family, the facility failed him when he needed them most. The lawsuit alleges that Riddick was left alone…

Also Seen On: Bradenton Herald | Bay News 9 | 88.5 WMNF


Battling Monsanto: Tipping the Scales of Justice (Op/Ed by Dale Swope)

For close to 30 centuries, the story of David and Goliath has been woven into our cultural consciousness. The term has entered our language as a metaphor for improbable victories by some weak party over someone far stronger. Last week’s San Francisco jury verdict ordering Monsanto to pay $289 million in damages to a school groundskeeper who developed terminal cancer after using the weedkiller, Roundup, was a David and Goliath moment. It marked…

Also Seen On: Daily Mail | Fox 13 News | WFLA News Channel 8

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Man alleges Florida law firm failed to accept settlement before $24 million judgment was entered against him

A Tampa law firm is alleged to have failed to accept a settlement offer. Daniel R. Drakulich filed a complaint on June 15 in the 13th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida in and for Hillsborough County against HD Law Partners PA, formerly known as Hass, Lewis, DiFiore PA, and Lewis alleging negligence and breach of fiduciary duty. According to the complaint, the plaintiff was involved in a vehicle-pedestrian collision in 2011 in Florida and the ped…

Also Seen On: Daily Mail | Fox 13 News | WFLA

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Topic: Guillain-Barré Syndrome

That’s a lot of clams for some bad oysters. A jury in Florida awarded a couple $6.7 million after a restaurant served them oysters that caused food poisoning and led to a rare disorder for one of them that could’ve ended in paralysis. The jury ruled in favor of Angel Martinez and his wife, Marie Elena Martinez, in May after their December 2013 meal at Lobster Haven on Hillsborough Avenue in Tampa. On their eleventh visit to the restaurant, the…

Also Seen On: WFLA News Channel 8 | WTSP 10 News | Tampa Bay Times


Topic: Responsible Autonomous Vehicle Legislation

Autonomous vehicles or self-driving cars are in the development stage. Companies such as Google, Tesla and the major automakers are road testing cars right now—to see how self driving cars in all sorts of conditions. The hope is that AV’s will become the predominant form of ground transportation in the country. Among the benefits touted by the companies—safer roads, more efficient use of highways, reduced need for parking garages, more freedom…


Swope, Rodante P.A. Announces New Shareholder, Brent Steinberg

Swope, Rodante P.A. is proud to announce that attorney Brent Steinberg has been become a shareholder. The firm first welcomed Mr. Steinberg as a law clerk in 2009 and then as an associate attorney in 2010, after he graduated from the University of Florida Levin College of Law. “Since joining Swope, Rodante, I have been incredibly fortunate to learn from brilliant attorneys and be a part of some truly miraculous outcomes for our clients,”…

Swope, Rodante P.A.

Attorneys come together to stand against human trafficking

A bill that would have held hotels accountable for turning a blind eye to sex trafficking mysteriously died just before the session ended. Advocates against human trafficking spent last week scrambling to get Florida lawmakers to reconsider Senate Bill 1044 that would allow victims to file civil suits against establishments that allowed them to be trafficked. Despite hearing heart wrenching stories from victims, lawmakers didn’t pass the bill….

10 News

Dale Swope To Receive the Champion of Justice Award

Founding partner, Dale Swope of Swope, Rodante P.A., has been recognized with the Champion of Justice Award by the Tampa Bay Trial Lawyers Association (TBTLA). In the near 20 year history of the organization this award has only been given out eight times, it is an honor awarded only to those who demonstrate an exceptional lifetime commitment to the service of justice. To date, the recipients of this prestigious award include: Hon. James D…

Law Firm Newswire

Personnel note: Dale Swope named president of Florida Justice Association

Tampa attorney Dale Swope has been named the 58th president of the Florida Justice Association, the group announced in a press release Monday. Swope took the presidency at the Association’s 2017 Annual Conference in St. Pete Beach last week. The group is the only statewide professional association dedicated to trial attorneys and their clients in the state. “I’m honored my colleagues have placed their trust in me to lead the Florida Justice Asso…

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