Ervin A. Gonzalez, a Miami Law alumnus and an adjunct in the school's Litigations Skills program, has been recognized by Benchmark Litigation as Florida's "Litigator of the Year."
The publication noted that Gonzalez had been "unanimously acknowledged by his Florida peers, attaining his apparently long overdue status as local litigation star in this year's rankings." Benchmark quoted an unnamed criminal-defense lawyer as saying: "Everyone in town knows Ervin. His 'up-and-coming' days are long over. He's been making headlines and making millions for his clients. He is the toast of south Florida."
The lawyer said Gonzalez "takes on valid cases that he believes in and puts his all into them," and that when he does so, "it's serious, and the defendants will have their hands full."
Gonzalez has made a speciality of toxic Chinese drywall, litigating defective-product cases in Florida, Louisiana and all over the Southeast. In one such case, Benchmark noted, Gonzalez successfully sued a development entity that knowingly used the tainted drywall in construction of homes, and obtained a $55 million settlement from the developers on behalf of a group of Florida homeowners who had bought some of the homes. In addition to his expertise with the Chinese drywall cases, Benchmark said in its article, Gonzalez was appointed to the steering committee for the BP oil-spill cases.
Benchmark Litigation's listing is the culmination of a six-month research period that includes extensive interviews with litigators and their clients. Benchmark's researchers examine casework handled by the firms and ask sources to provide their professional opinions on litigators.
The guide's recognition adds to a list of accolades for Gonzalez from other publications. Gonzalez, a civil litigation attorney, was recently named one of the top 11 attorneys in the nation by Lawyers Weekly USA; was ranked third in Florida by Florida Super Lawyers, and was named one of the nation's "100 Most Influential Hispanics" by Hispanic Business magazine.
Gonzalez, who graduated with honors from The University of Miami School of Law in 1985, is a partner at Colson Hicks Eidson in Coral Gables. He is licensed to practice not only in Florida but in the District of Columbia, Texas, Colorado and New York. Gonzalez is a former member of the Board of Governors for the Florida Bar and the Board of Trustees of the National Institute of Trial Advocacy. He is past President of both the Dade County Bar Association and the Dade County Trial Lawyers Association.
His areas of expertise include catastrophic injuries, wrongful death, medical malpractice, product liability, trucking accidents, class action litigation and consumer-related commercial litigation. Gonzalez also represents plaintiffs in class-action suits and multi-district litigation involving such issues as vehicle rollovers, dangerous pharmaceuticals, faulty medical devices, aviation accidents, large-scale environmental disasters, shoddy construction and commercial matters.
He has shepherded at least 27 verdicts in excess of $1 million, including a $65.1 million ruling in a wrongful-death case and the highest award – $61 million for medical malpractice – ever granted in a Federal Tort Claims Act case. He has settled numerous multi-million dollar cases in his career, including a $100 million deal with Service Corporation International in a case involving the desecration of graves in a Jewish cemetery.
In 2005 and 2006, Gonzalez was selected as one the "Most Effective Lawyers in Civil Litigation" by The Daily Business Review. He has also been selected as one of the "Best Lawyers in Florida" by Florida Trend Magazine and South Florida Legal Guide.