Michael J. Bradford

Co-Chair, Maritime Litigation Practice Group

    Mike Bradford is a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer. He has significant experience defending the nation's leading insurance companies and Fortune 500 corporations, having tried both bench and jury trials throughout Florida in state and federal court, and handled multiple arbitrations and appeals. Mike focuses his trial practice on the areas of insurance defense, insurance coverage, property and casualty, construction negligence, commercial litigation, and admiralty and maritime claims.

    Mike is rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest peer review rating for professional competence. He has also been selected by his peers to Florida Trend Magazine's Legal Elite "Up and Comers" and Civil Trial lists, and he has been selected a Florida Super Lawyer by the Super Lawyers organization. Michael is also a member of the Maritime Law Association of the United States (MLA), the Propeller Club (Port of Tampa), the Tampa Bay Mariners Club and a member of the Florida Bar Admiralty Committee.

    Born and raised in the Tampa area, he served four years in the United States Army prior to attending college. Mike is active in his community and numerous professional organizations. He is a past member of the Board of Directors of the Hillsborough Head Start Community Foundation, a past member of the Board of Directors of Teaching Tools for Hillsborough Schools (formerly A Gift for Teaching of Tampa), and a former volunteer youth coach with the Tampa Metro Area YMCA and East Point Little League. Mike also served seven years as the Cubmaster for Cub Scout Pack 79, Brandon, Florida, Greater Tampa Bay Area Council, and now volunteers as an Assistant Scout Master for Troop 79, of which both of his sons are members.





    Significant Representative Matters

    Successfully obtained summary judgment on behalf of our insurance carrier client in a  declaratory judgment action seeking a determination that plaintiff was entitled to defense and indemnity under the liability coverage afforded by his homeowner’s policy.  The Plaintiff was a passenger in a vehicle driven by his wife when she veered off the road and struck a pedestrian, nearly killing him.  The pedestrian sued Plaintiff for negligently failing to render aid and assistance because plaintiff allegedly observed the injured pedestrian’s condition, but left the scene without doing anything to help.  We argued there was no coverage in the first instance because the the insured’s conduct was not “accidental.”  In addition, we argued certain exclusions barred coverage, including an exclusion for bodily injury arising from the “use” of a motor vehicle, and exclusions for expected or intended injury and willful or malicious acts.  The court agreed and granted final judgment in favor of the Firm’s client.

    Complete defense victory and successful counterclaim on behalf of a leading heavy civil marine contractor in the trial of a negligent construction claim brought against it after a subaqueous utility strike occurred during the construction of a bridge in Florida.

    Complete defense verdict on behalf of one of Florida’s largest homeowners’ insurers in first party property damage sinkhole claim, believed to be first defense/insurer verdict in a denied sinkhole claim involving a policy that requires “structural damage,” since the Florida Sinkhole Statutes significantly changed in May 2011.

    Defense jury verdict in a claim of damage to a home from nearby quarry blasting.

    Defense jury verdict in a sinkhole trial in which the proper method of repair was disputed.

    Defense verdicts in the trials of claims brought by two separate homeowners against their homeowners’ insurer as a result of damage allegedly caused by the explosion of a neighboring grow house.

    Defense jury verdict in a sinkhole claim of improper partial denial and disputed method of repair.

    Defense verdict in personal injury case involving a claim of multiple fractures and reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD).

    Defense award in arbitration of customer securities claim involving allegations of churning and violations of Florida Blue Sky Law.

    Defense judgment in a marine insurance coverage dispute tried in federal court.

    Defense verdict in personal injury case involving rear end collision. The plaintiff was awarded past medical expenses, and no future damages. The judgment was less than the amount offered in settlement.

    Commercial landlord/tenant dispute tried to conclusion. Settled on favorable terms to the client before a verdict was returned.

    Favorable verdict in personal injury claim that a recreational vehicle fell on its owner, who was crawling under the RV, after improper maintenance of the RV’s hydraulic jacking system by the defendant.

    Favorable final arbitration award in a customer securities fraud/unfair trade practices claim against a financial adviser and firm in connection with the sale of annuities.

    Favorable final arbitration award in a case involving allegations of churning and breach of fiduciary duty in a customer’s account. Although a small award was made to the claimant, it was a fraction of the multi-million dollar claim asserted.

    Favorable judgment after trial in a marine salvage case involving the salvage of a sinking yacht. A small judgment was entered in favor of the salvor, as expected, but it was far less than the amount claimed and less than was offered in settlement.

    Successful appeal before the 11th Circuit Court of Appeal in a trade dress infringement insurance coverage claim.

    Classes/Seminars Taught

    Here Comes the Boom: Cranes and Accidents, FDLA 26th Annual Florida Liability Claims Conference, Orlando, FL, June 15, 2023

    Community Associations - Exposures Close to Home, Marshall Dennehey Client Presentation, September, 2020

    Best Practices For Testifying Experts In Litigation, American Board of Vocational Experts (ABVE) Annual Conference, August, 2020

    Crew | Longshore Harbors Workers’ Compensation Act | State Worker’s Comp Liabilities, Tampa Bay Mariner’s Club 2019 Annual Maritime Industry Marine Insurance Seminar, Tampa Bay, FL, May 22, 2019

    Property Insurance Law Update, Ft. Lauderdale 10th Annual CE Seminar, Coral Springs, FL, March 2, 2018

    Published Works

    “Where Does Florida End? It Depends,” Defense Digest, September 2018, Vol. 24, No. 3

    U.S. District Court Middle District of Florida
    U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit
    U.S. District Court Northern District of Florida
    U.S. District Court Southern District of Florida
    Vanderbilt University Law School (J.D., 1999)
    University of South Florida (B.A., cum laude, 1995)
    Honors & awards
    The Best Lawyers in America®, Admiralty and Maritime Law; Commercial Litigation; Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants
    Florida Super Lawyers
    Florida Super Lawyers Rising Star
    Florida Trend's Legal Elite - Civil Trial
    2019, 2022
    Florida Trend’s Up & Coming Legal Elite
    Associations & memberships
    American Bar Association (Litigation and Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Sections)
    Claims & Litigation Management Alliance (CLM), Vice President, Western Florida Chapter
    Defense Research Institute
    Florida Bar Admiralty Law Committee, 2021
    Florida Defense Lawyers Association
    Hillsborough County Bar Association
    Maritime Law Association of the United States
    The Propeller Club - Port of Tampa
    Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute
    Tampa Bay Inn of Court
    Tampa Bay Mariners Club
    Year joined

    Board Certified Specialist, Civil Trial, The Florida Bar