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William "Dude" Phelan

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

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

University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 1976
B.S.B.A.
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
President

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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