Robert N. Heath, Jr. is a native of Pensacola, Florida and a graduate of Auburn University and the Florida State University College of Law. A former state court prosecutor, Robert has a wide range of legal experience representing both plaintiffs and defendants in personal injury, product liability, insurance, medical malpractice, and mass tort cases for over 38 years. He has been board certified as a civil trial lawyer by The Florida Bar and the National Board of Trial Advocacy for over 29 years and a Board Certified Civil Practice Advocate since 2012. Robert holds an AV peer review rating from Martindale-Hubbell, has been recognized as one of Florida's Legal Elite, and as a Florida Super Lawyer for the past 12 years.
Robert has tried over 100 jury trials and argued cases before the First District Court of Appeal and the Florida Supreme Court. He is one of thirteen lawyers nationwide appointed on a bipartisan basis by the U. S. District Court in Louisiana to serve on the Appeals Panel of the Deepwater Horizon Economic and Property Damage Settlement Program, the largest settlement in U.S. history.
Robert has been a certified mediator for over 25 years and has mediated over 2,000 disputes involving personal injuries, product liability, medical malpractice, construction defects, police misconduct and excessive force, fire loss, sexual harassment/employer liability, homeowner associations, real property claims, hurricane damage claims, and toxic tort litigation. He is a Fellow of the American College of Civil Trial Mediators, a Fellow of the American College of Board Certified Attorneys, a member of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals, and the Florida Academy of Professional Mediators. He received a special appointment by the Florida Insurance Commissioner to mediate and resolve hurricane claims arising from Hurricane Erin and Opal and has mediated numerous disaster claims.
Robert is also a Florida Supreme Court Qualified Arbitrator and has extensive experience as an arbitrator, having served as a nationwide arbitrator for the Celotex Asbestos Settlement Trust, the Fibreboard Global Asbestos Settlement Claims Trust, the Dalkon Shield Claimants Trust, and the Piper Aircraft Corporation Irrevocable Trust. He has arbitrated cases throughout the United States and served as chief arbitrator for consolidated toxic exposure claims arising from a chemical exposure as well as numerous insurance and property disputes.
Robert has a proven track record of resolving disputes and the experience from both sides of the courtroom that make him an effective mediator.
In his spare time, Robert writes novels and is the author of the award-winning legal thriller, The Judas Dilemma. His book is available on Amazon in paperback, e-book, and audiobook at the link below:
MEDIATION / ARBITRATION
• Certified Circuit Court Mediator, Florida Supreme Court Mediated over 2,000 cases in claims involving personal injury, wrongful death, product liability, construction defects, medical malpractice, professional negligence, police misconduct, fire loss, premises liability, insurance coverage, insurance bad faith, and hurricane windstorm and flood claims
• Qualified Arbitrator, State of Florida
• Registered Mediator, Alabama Center For Dispute Resolution
• Arbitrator, Celotex Asbestos Settlement Trust Served as arbitrator on nationwide panel for Celotex asbestos claims. Arbitrated over 100 personal injury and wrongful death claims under the settlement trust related to asbestos exposure.
• Arbitrator, Fibreboard Global Asbestos Settlement Claims Trust Served as arbitrator on nationwide panel for Fibreboard asbestos claims. Arbitrated approximately 120 cases from 1997 – 2000 involving personal injury and wrongful death claims under the settlement trust related to asbestos exposure.
• Chief Arbitrator, Consolidated Toxic Exposure Claims Served as Chief Arbitrator for multiple consolidated toxic exposure claims in Pace, Florida for cases alleging injuries caused by chemical exposure.
• Arbitrator, Savannah, Georgia Served as sole arbitrator for personal injury claim involving claimant injured in a sulfuric acid spill.
• Appeals Panel, Deepwater Horizon Economic and Property Damage Settlement Agreement Appointed to Appeals Panel for the Deepwater Horizon Economic and Property Damage Settlement Agreement claims by the Honorable Carl J. Barbier, United States District Judge, Eastern District of Louisiana, 2012 – present.
• Serve as one of 13 appeal panelists in quasi-judicial capacity ruling upon appeals filed by BP or claimants arising from the Deepwater Horizon Economic and Property Damage Settlement Agreement, the largest damages settlement in U.S. history. Personally presided over claims totaling more than $425 million. Authored over 1,200 appellate opinions to date.
• Special Master, Clark Allen, et al v. A.E. New, Jr., Inc. et al Court appointed special master in 2016 to assist pro se claimants in class action arising from the explosion of the Escambia County Jail. Under court supervision, assisted approximately 85 claimants out of class of 668 in obtaining payments from settlement fund totaling over $17 million.
• Hurricanes Erin and Opal Special Appointment by Florida Insurance Commissioner to mediate and resolve hurricane damage claims in Northwest Florida arising from Hurricanes Erin and Opal in 1995-1997.
Practice Areas Consumer Debt Relief Banking & Finance Law Collections Consumer Protection Law Credit Repair Debtor/Creditor Motor Vehicle Accidents -- Plaintiff Personal Injury -- Plaintiff
Education Florida State University College of Law, Tallahassee, Florida J.D. - 1981 Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama B.A. - 1978
Bar Admissions Florida, 1981 U.S. District Court Middle District of Florida, 1986 U.S. District Court Northern District of Florida, 1986 U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit, 1986 U.S. Supreme Court, 1988
Honors “AV” rating by Martindale-Hubbell Named a Florida Super Lawyer, 2007 - 2020 Named one of Florida’s “Legal Elite” by Florida Trend Magazine, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2020 Named one of Florida’s Top 100 Lawyers by the National Trial Lawyers Association
Litigation Percentage 75% of Practice Devoted to Litigation
Certified Legal Specialties Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer, Florida Bar Board of Certification, 1990 - present Diplomate, Board Certified Civil Trial Advocate, National Board of Trial Advocacy, 1990 – present Board Certified Civil Practice Advocate, National Board of Legal Specialty Certification, 2012 - present Certified Circuit Court Mediator, Florida Supreme Court (Certification Number 6145CR) 1994 to present
Professional Associations and Memberships American College of Civil Trial Mediators, Fellow American College of Board Certified Attorneys, Fellow American Bar Association, ABA Dispute Resolution Section Mediation Committee National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals Florida Academy of Professional Mediators Florida Circuit-Civil Mediator Society