Montoya puts emphasis on ethics, gender equality, managing student loan debt, and shattering the stigma around mental health
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (Dec. 7, 2017) – The law firm of Colson Hicks Eidson announced today that partner Patrick S. Montoya seeks to represent the 11th Judicial Circuit on The Florida Bar Board of Governors. Montoya, a trial lawyer, is running for Seat 3 on the 11th Circuit, which became available when Leslie J. Lott did not pursue re-election. The vacancy was announced by Executive Director John F. Harkness, Jr., on October 2, 2017.
The 52-member Board of Governors has exclusive authority to formulate and adopt matters of policy concerning the activities of the Bar, subject to limitations imposed by the rules regulating The Florida Bar.
“I feel very fortunate to work in the field of law and want to give back to a profession that has given so much to me,” said Montoya. “Professionalism and ethics are very important to me and I look forward to the opportunity to serve The Florida Bar, its members, Miami-Dade County, and the citizens of Florida, with the same passion and commitment that I practice every day in pursuit of justice for my clients.”
If elected, Montoya’s primary focus will be to support the core function of The Florida Bar in its regulation of attorneys and ensuring the highest standards of ethics and professionalism in Florida. Additionally, Montoya plans to support the newly formed and existing initiatives from the Florida Bar on mental health and wellness of Florida lawyers, including efforts to identify ways to shatter the stigma around mental illness in the legal community.
“As lawyers, we spend a significant amount of time counseling and dealing with our clients’ personal, business, familial and financial issues while attempting to lead ‘normal’ lives and spend time with our families and loved ones,” added Montoya. “The struggle to balance our professional and personal lives creates a great deal of stress for lawyers. We need to provide every resource available to Florida lawyers for mental health and wellness. Ultimately, a lawyer’s mental health and wellness impacts clients and the judicial system.”
Montoya would also like to focus on developing programming for young lawyers on managing student loan debt following graduation, and on continuing the fight for gender equality in the legal profession through programs such as the “GOOD Guys” (Guys Overcoming Obstacles to Diversity), supported by Florida Association of Women Lawyers (FAWL) and the American Bar Association.
An advocate for women’s advancement in the legal profession, the Florida Association for Women Lawyers Miami-Dade chapter will honor Montoya with the prestigious Honorable Theodore Klein Award at the organization’s 35th annual judicial reception on Thursday, Dec. 7. Named after Judge Theodore Klein, the award recognizes a male lawyer or judge in the community who has demonstrated initiative and dedication to women’s issues.
“Patrick is a consummate professional and dedicated trial lawyer that enjoys giving back to his profession and the community,” said partner Dean Colson. “I am confident that he will serve as a strong advocate and a model representative for the 11th Circuit on The Florida Bar Board of Governors.”
With more than 15 years of experience, Montoya represents plaintiffs in personal injury litigation, commercial litigation, products liability, class action, and wrongful death. He has secured numerous multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements for his clients, including a recent $52 million verdict in Ocala, the largest in Ocala history, for a family involved in a catastrophic car accident.
In addition to his work as a trial lawyer, Montoya is active within the legal profession and the community. A fellow of the American Bar Association, Montoya currently serves on the Dade County Bar Association board of directors and as co-chair of the Davidson College Alumni Chapter for South Florida. He is also actively involved with FAWL’s Miami-Dade Chapter “GOOD Guys” program, an initiative to engage men in the advancement of women lawyers in the quest for gender equality in the profession. He previously served as president of the Miami Chapter of the American Inns of Court and on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida’s Ad Hoc Committee on Rules and Procedures.
He received the Dade Community Foundation’s “Donor Next Door” Award for his volunteerism on the executive committee for the National Conference of Community and Justice (NCCJ), Greater Miami Region.
Additionally, Montoya lectures nationally to attorneys and paralegals on a variety of legal issues and is a former adjunct professor at the University of Miami School of Law in the Legal Research and Writing program. He recently published a book on Florida Evidence and Procedure, a practical perspective on Florida’s evidentiary and procedural codes from a trial lawyer’s point of view.
Montoya earned his law degree, cum laude, from the University of Miami School of Law as a member of the Moot Court Board and Inter-American Law Review. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, with a concentration in Ethnic Studies, from Davidson College where he also lettered in football.
Election ballots for The Florida Bar Board of Governors will be mailed and emailed to members of The Florida Bar on or before March 1st, 2018. Voted ballots must be received, electronically or by mail, by March 21st, 2018. Board members serve two year terms without pay.
About Colson Hicks Eidson
The Law Firm of Colson Hicks Eidson is a trial firm with nearly 50 years of experience handling local, national and international litigation, and arbitration. Members of the firm have been involved in some of the country’s most high-profile and landmark cases resulting in impactful and precedential rulings. A mid-size firm with a diverse staff comprised of more than 50 percent women and minorities, Colson Hicks Eidson prides itself on a track record of developing future leaders within the legal profession and its civic and community involvement. Members of the firm have held notable positions serving on the boards of prominent institutions, such as the State University System of Florida and the Florida State Board of Education, and holding high-ranking offices, including President of the 60,000-member American Association for Justice; President of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers; President of the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers; President of the Dade County Bar Association; President of the Miami-Dade Florida Association of Women Lawyers; United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; and Chairman of the Florida Federal Judicial Nominating Commission.