Aaron Watson

The Watson Firm, PLLC
850 S Palafox St Ste 202
Pensacola, FL 32502
(850) 607-2929
www.watsonfirmlaw.com


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

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. 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 his alma mater, Stetson University College of Law. He has served on the Board of Governors for the American Association for Justice and the Florida Justice Association. He has recently been named one of the National Black Lawyers Top 100 attorneys in the United States. Super Lawyers Magazine has named Mr. Watson to its prestigious honoree list, based upon his peer recognition, professional achievement, verdicts/settlements, representative clients, experience, pro bono, and community service. No more than 5% of lawyers in each state are selected for this honor. Additionally, Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review rating systems have rated attorney Watson "AV Preeminent," the highest possible rating given to attorneys by this prestigious organization. The "AV Preeminent" rating is assigned to attorneys ranked at the highest level of professional excellence for their legal expertise, communication skills, and ethical standards by their peers.

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. It resulted in one of the largest civil rights settlements to date against the city of Pensacola. In 2015, Watson achieved the honor of becoming the first African-American shareholder of the Levin Papantonio law firm, a personal injury law firm, since 1954. He subsequently founded The Watson Firm in 2016.

MILLIONS OF DOLLARS RECOVERED FOR CLIENTS
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.

Additionally, 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 of 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 the "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.

In 2016, Mr. Watson recovered a one-million-dollar settlement (insurance policy limits) on behalf of a Pensacola family injured due to a house fire. In 2019, he obtained a $750,000 settlement on behalf of a slip and fall victim wounded at a local business.

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, Reverend Larry Watson, Sr's, fiery sermons. Locally, he has served on the board of directors for the YMCA of Northwest Florida and as choir director and general counsel 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. Each year, he and his wife host bookbag and school supply giveaways, holiday turkey and dinner giveaways, and Christmas dinner giveaways. In 2019, the Watsons gave away 500 whole turkeys and grocery bags to Pensacola families in need for Thanksgiving. Mr. Watson and his wife, Kimberly Watson, co-founded The Watson Family Foundation to provide support, mentoring, and resources to local families.

Bar Admissions

Florida
The United States Supreme Court
U.S. District Court Northern District of Florida
U.S. District Court Southern District of Florida

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

Classes/Seminars Taught

Public Speaker: How Information from Focus Groups Can Shape Your Damages, American Association for Justice National College of Trial Advocacy, CLE (2021)
Opening and Managing Your Law Practice, Escambia-Santa Rosa Bar Association, CLE (2019)
Leadership and the Law: Building your Brand, Stetson University College of Law (2018)
How to Grow Your Entrepreneurial Mindset to Create Success, Entrecon Business and Leadership Conference (2016)
The Recipe for a Successful Lawsuit, SHRM, 2017
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

Employment

Levin Papantonio, Shareholder
Willie Gary Law, Law Clerk 2008
Ruden McClosky, Law Clerk 2007

Education

Law Degree, Stetson University College of Law
Honors: Book Award, Civil Procedure, 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