Peggy Smith Bush

Special Counsel

    Peggy is Special Counsel in the Casualty Department. She is an experienced litigator, advocate and counselor.  She joins the firm with has almost 18 years experience defending corporations, large self-insureds, and public entities against claims of premises liability and product liability.  Born and raised in North Alabama, Peggy is proud of her reputation for balancing strategic thinking and results-oriented litigation skills with professionalism and civility.

    Peggy routinely defends claims involving premises liability, product liability, negligent security, food contamination and adulteration, amusement and theme park litigation, and general liability.

    Peggy brings experience handling commercial matters (breach of contract, breach of warranty, contract review and interpretation, indemnification), code compliance and enforcement, defamation, environmental toxic tort, crisis management and damage control, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, negligent hiring and retention, non-compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in premises and complex website claims. She also has over ten years experience in public entity defense, including: Florida’s Public Records Act (Chapter 119, Florida Statutes); Florida’s Sunshine Law (Chapter 286, Florida Statutes); sovereign immunity in tort actions, statutory damage limitations, attorney fee issues, statutes of limitations, protections and exclusions under Florida Statute §768.28; reviewing and advising on compliance with policies and procedures, enforcement of performance contracts; and working with risk management in investigation of claims, litigation and risk avoidance.

    Peggy began her legal career at  a well respected Orlando defense litigation firm where she earned valuable trial experience.  In 2010 she became a founding shareholder of Southern Trial Counsel | PLC where she served as managing partner for several years.  She worked her way through law school, including law clerk to in-house general counsel of an international restaurant company headquartered in Orlando.  Rounding out her over 30-year career of working with and for businesses, she began in television, radio and then stock brokerage (carrying Series 7, Series 6, and Series 63 licenses). She holds Martindale-Hubbell’s highest rating 5.0/5.0 Preeminent©, is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Mediator, and a Certified Claims and Litigation Management Professional. 

    Peggy has been married to her husband, Stephen, since 1985. Stephen is a software engineer and at the moment a stay at home parent to their 3-year old twins, Jack and Finnian.  They live in Orlando with their calico cat, Harlie.  Peggy treasures time with her children exploring their backyard and eating snacks out of dump trucks, and enjoys music, cooking, reading, and spending time with family and friends.  She dedicates her professional volunteer activities to mentorship of younger professionals, and her personal free time is dedicated to activities which benefit children and animal welfare.

    Classes/ Seminar Taught

    Rules of the Trucking Industry: Staying on Track!, Transportation Lawyers Association (TLA) Annual Conference - Virtual, June 24th, 2021

    U.S. District Court Middle District of Florida
    U.S. District Court Northern District of Florida
    U.S. District Court Southern District of Florida
    U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit
    U.S. Supreme Court
    Barry University School of Law (J.D., cum laude, 2002)
    University of North Alabama (B.S., 1984)
    Honors & awards
    Barry University School of Law Outstanding Achievement Alumni Award, 2017
    Best Lawyers in America©, Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants
    Florida Elite-Civil Trial by Florida Trend Magazine
    Florida Super Lawyers Rising Star
    Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit Court Mediator
    Litigation Management Institute, Graduate 2013 (CLMP)
    University of North Alabama 2023 Alumni Award for Public Service
    WTS International Executive Signature Leadership Program
    Associations & memberships
    Alabama Federation of Women's Clubs (AFWC), 1992-Present
    American Bar Association
    Central Florida Association for Women Lawyers - Awards Chair (2019-2020)
    Florida Association for Women Lawyers
    Florida Bar Association - Standing Committee on Mental Health & Wellness of Florida Lawyers, Senior Lawyers Committee (2017-2019), Animal Law Section
    The George C. Young First Central Florida American Inns of Court - Master Level
    GFWC du Midi Women's Club, 1992-Present
    International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC) - In-House and Law Firm Management Committee; Product Liability Committee
    National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms
    Orange County Bar Association - In-House and General Counsel Committee, Professionalism Committee, Mentorship Program
    Public Risk Management Association (PRIMA)
    Transportation Lawyers Association (TLA) - Co-Chair of Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee; Executive Committee
    WTS International, Central Florida
    Year joined