Member Directory

Aaron Watson

The Watson Firm, PLLC
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Aaron Watson
The Watson Firm, PLLC
Pensacola,
 FL

Aaron Watson is a Personal Injury and Criminal Defense Lawyer. Before graduating law school, Attorney Aaron Watson was named a national champion in trial advocacy after he defeated 248 teams from 148 law schools in the American Association for Justice student trial competition. The competing teams were judged by other lawyers and judges on their trial advocacy skills, opening statements, examination of witnesses, use of facts, and closing arguments. During this time, Mr. Watson was also named Who's Who Among American Universities & Colleges.

Mr. Watson is involved in the following legal associations:

·        Escambia Santa Rosa Bar Association

·        American Bar Association, Member

·        Florida Bar Association, Member

·        American Association for Justice (AAJ), Board member

·        Florida Justice Association (FJA), Board member

·        Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., Member

·        First Circuit Attorney Grievance Committee

·        Board of Directors for The Guardian Ad Litem Program, Northwest Florida

RECOGNIZED FOR EXCELLENCE

Mr. Watson has served as president for the Black Law Students Association, interned with the United States Department of Justice, and volunteered with the Florida Attorney General's office. He was selected for the Stallworth Trial Team Award by faculty at Stetson College of Law for his achievement of excellence in trial advocacy, and he was inducted into The National Order of Barristers for attaining high honor in the art of courtroom advocacy. Mr. Watson currently serves on the Board of Governors for the American Association for Justice and the Florida Justice Association, and has recently been named one of the National Black Lawyers Top 100.

Because of his outstanding legal work, Mr. Watson has earned several prestigious accolades:

·        The National Trial Lawyers: Top 40 under 40

·        Million Dollar Advocates Forum: The Top Trial Lawyers In America

·        2018 Florida Super Lawyers

·        Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Life Member

·        2018 Top 100 Black Lawyers in the U.S by the National Black Lawyers

·        2018 Power List Top 100 Most Influential People in Pensacola

In 2008, Mr. Watson participated in multi-billion dollar litigation alongside famed civil litigator and mentor, attorney Willie Gary. In 2009, the Pensacola News Journal recognized his achievement by naming him a "Panhandle Personality.” In 2010, Mr. Watson served as lead counsel in a high profile civil rights case against the City of Pensacola. The Steen case received national attention through news agencies such as CNN and the St. Petersburg Times, and resulted in one of the largest civil rights settlements to date against the city of Pensacola.

MILLIONS OF DOLLARS RECOVERED FOR CLIENTS

In 2013, Mr. Watson recovered one of the largest verdicts to date in the national Yamaha Rhino litigation on behalf of a Pensacola resident who was seriously injured while operating a defective Yamaha Rhino vehicle. After nearly three weeks of trial, a Montgomery County jury returned a verdict of $3.3 million dollars as compensation for his clients. In 2014, Mr. Watson obtained a jury verdict of $12.6 million dollars for his client for injuries sustained in a truck accident in Pensacola, Florida. The verdict was named in the National Law Journal as one the Top 50 Trial Verdicts in the nation in 2014. Additionally, in recognition of his achievements both inside and outside the courtroom, the National Trial Lawyers Association recognized Mr. Watson as one of the top trial lawyers in the nation under the age of 40 in 2014. Membership into “Top 40 Under 40” organization is by invitation only and is extended to individuals who exemplify superior qualifications, trial results, and leadership. Mr. Watson was also invited to become a Life Member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, a prestigious organization for those who have obtained million and multi-million dollar verdicts. Less than 1% of U.S. lawyers are members.

GIVING BACK TO THE COMMUNITY

Mr. Watson credits his award-winning style of advocacy to his church background and his experience listening to his father's impassioned sermons. Locally, he has served on the board of directors for the YMCA of Northwest Florida, and as choir director for the Englewood Missionary Baptist Church. He is a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., and enjoys mentoring and public speaking at local colleges, high schools, and churches.

Bar Admissions:

·        Florida

·        U.S. District Court Northern District of Florida

·        U.S. District Court Southern District of Florida

 

Education:

·        Law Degree, Stetson University College of Law

·        Honors: Honor Roll

·        Honors: Member, Stetson Trial Team

·        Honors: National Champion – AAJ National Trial Advocacy Competition

·        Honors: Regional Champion – AAJ National Trial Advocacy Competition

·        Honors: Stallworth Trial Team Award for Excellence in Trial Advocacy

·        Honors: Inducted into The National Order of Barristers

·        Honors: Selected for Who’s Who Among America’s Colleges and Universities

·        Honors: Voted “Most Likely To Be In Library” by Graduating Class

·        B.A., Florida State University

 

Representative Cases:

·        Hendrix v. Burford Tree, 2014, Florida, 1st Cir, 2013 WL 9060750

·        McMahon v. Yamaha, 2012, AL 2012, 95 So.3d 769

·        Steen v. City of Pensacola, 2011, N.D. Florida, 809 F. Supp. 2d 13452

 

Prior Employment:

·        Levin Papantonio, Shareholder

·        Willie Gary Law, Law Clerk 2008

·        Ruden McClosky, Law Clerk 2007

 

Classes/Seminars Taught:

·        Overlooked Issues In Proving Damages in Motor Vehicle Crash Cases, American Association For Justice, 2016

·        Florida Insurance Law, Peoples Law School, Pensacola State College, 2015

·        My First Trial Series, moderator, Florida Justice Association, 2014

·        Media Management in High Profile Cases, National Trial Lawyers, 2012

 

Community Involvement:

·        Named to IN Magazine’s Power List, 100 Most Influential People In Escambia and Santa Rosa County (IN Magazine 2015 and 2016)

·        Avvo Client's Choice Award Recipient (2015)

·        Public Speaker: 100 Black Men Award Banquet (2016)

·        Public Speaker: University of West Florida (2016)

·        Public Speaker: Pensacola NAACP Chapter

·        Public Speaker: Autism Pensacola

·        Living The Dream Award Recipient: Southern Youth Sports Association

·        Recipient of The Living The Dream Award, Southern Youth Sports Association (2014)

·        Attorney Coach, Tate High School, Florida High School Mock Trial Competition Championship Team (2010)

·        Board of Directors, YMCA of Northwest Florida

·        TV Personality, BLAB TV (a call-in legal talk show)

·        Honored as Rising Black Urban Professional (Pensacola News Journal, 2013)

·        Honored as Rising Star in Pensacola (IN Magazine, 2012)

·        High School Public Speaker and EndDD.Org Texting and Driving Campaign Participant

·        Lecturer, The People’s Law School Community Event

 

In The News:

·       JET Magazine Article

·       IN Weekly Article

·       Stetson Law Article

·       CNN Article

·       Legal News Line Article

·       Ring Of Fire Article

·      WEAR News Channel 3 Article


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