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William "Dude" Phelan

William "Dude" Phelan
Current Employment Position(s):
email: William "Dude" Phelan

Areas Of Practice:
Business Litigation
Probate Litigation
General Civil Litigation
Civil Appeals

Bar Admissions:
Florida, 1979
U.S. District Court Middle District of Florida, 1979
U.S. District Court Northern District of Florida, 1985
U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit, 1981

University of Florida College of Law, Gainesville, Florida, 1978
Honors: With Honors, Order of the Coif, Moot Court Board (Chair, 1978) 1977-1978

University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 1976
Honors: With High Honors
Major: Business Administration

Representative Cases:
Allen v. Dalk, 826 So.2d 245 (Fla 2002)

City of Ocala v. Nye, 608 So.2d 15 (Fla. 1992)

Stevens v. Jefferson, 436 So.2d 33 (Fla 1983)

Professional Associations and Memberships:
Florida Bar, 1999 - 2005
Board of Governors

Florida Bar, 1983 - 1987
Board of Governors, Young Lawyers Division

Marion County Bar Association, 2000

Florida Bar, 1997 - 1999
Rules of Civil Procedure Committee

Florida Bar, 2001 - 2004
Budget Committee

Florida Bar, 1999 - 2005

Disciplinary Review Committee

Birth Information:

December 5, 1953, Lebanon, Tennessee

Personal Statement
By training and experience, I am a litigator. From the beginning of my career, I have been privileged to try cases in both State and Federal Court as well as represent clients in other adversarial proceedings.  In years past, I gained courtroom experience trying personal injury and criminal cases. However, for the past fifteen years I have focused my practice primarily in the fields of business litigation and probate litigation.

My business clients are carefully focused on the "bottom line" when evaluating potential litigation. As a result, I best serve these clients by being more of a problem solver than a pure litigator. Simply stated, a lawsuit is not always the answer to every problem. Particularly in commercial disputes, the direct and indirect costs of litigation can be extremely high. I find my clients appreciate an approach which views litigation as a last, rather than first, resort. Of course, having the known ability and willingness to litigate facilitates negotiated settlement of problems.

The only other area in which I routinely practice is probate litigation. My practice in this regard includes prosecution and defense of will contests, trust litigation, and fiduciary surcharge actions. I have litigated probate related issues at all levels of our court system; including the Florida Supreme Court.

I view the practice of law as a profession; not a vocation. Therefore, both my firm and I are dedicated to scrupulous adherence to ethical and professional conduct. The practice of law is a privilege and I try to give something back to the profession which means so much to me. In the past, I have served on numerous Florida Bar committees and I am a past President of the Marion County Bar Association. From 1999 through 2005 I represented the Fifth Judicial Circuit on the Board of Governors of the Florida Bar. I am proud to have assisted in charting the future of my profession through these efforts.

If you have any questions regarding my firm, my practice, or me; please do not hesitate to ask.

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