Haggard Law Firm managing partner Michael Haggard explains his firm’s compassionate, empathetic and fervent advocacy for its clients.
How long has the firm been serving South Florida clients? “Close to 50 years.”
How many attorneys work for the firm? “Eight.”
What are the firm’s legal specialties? “The firm’s specialty is the fact it is a boutique plaintiff’s trial firm representing only victims of negligence. Haggard Law has particular niches in negligent security cases and drowning cases. We have also obtained some of the largest automobile accident and slip-and-fall verdicts in Florida history.”
What is the best part about practicing law in South Florida? “One great aspect of being a trial lawyer here is that South Florida is home to some of the greatest trial lawyers in the country, both on the plaintiff and defense side. Going up against the best in our area makes it that much easier when we handle cases across the United States.”
Is there a particular case that exemplifies the firm’s work and success? “The Sami Barrak case really changed our firm’s landscape. We represented a young man from Tunisia who was shot in a parking lot of a shopping center and he was rendered a quadriplegic. The shopping center had a history of 26 prior violent crimes. The jury returned a verdict of more than $100 million. It showed the public, corporate defendants and the legal community that safety must come first over company profits. Our practice has changed ever since.”
What is something people may not know about your firm that you would like them to know? “We have handled a number of suction entrapment cases where children have been stuck to a pool or spa drain and either drowned or suffered catastrophic brain injury as a result. Fortunately, we have been able to pass both state and federal laws to prevent these types of incidents from occurring in the future. That type of accomplishment makes this high-stakes law practice worth it in the end. Also, it is worth noting that I am the current president of the National Crime Victim Bar Association, and the Florida Justice Association recently presented me with the Perry Nichols Lifetime Achievement Award.”
Does the firm have any major plans for 2018-’19? “We have had the overwhelming responsibility of representing families whose lives have changed forever, parents of children who have drowned and crime victims who have suffered unspeakable trauma. An epidemic across the planet and our country is the proliferation of human trafficking. Florida has unfortunately become one of the go-to states for traffickers to operate. We intend to not only file several human trafficking cases in 2018-’19, but to strengthen the laws for holding those accountable who facilitate human trafficking, such as hotels, massage parlors and strip clubs.”