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Overview

Patricia A. Leonard is a partner in the West Palm Beach office of Shutts & Bowen LLP, where she is a member of the Business Litigation Practice Group.

A Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ rated attorney, Patti has been named among the Best Lawyers in America® in commercial litigation and has been listed in Florida Super Lawyers Magazine as one of the “Top 50 Women Lawyers in Florida.” In 2012, she received the “Leaders in the Law” award from the Florida Association for Women Lawyers for her legal and volunteer service.

Patti has a diverse business and commercial litigation practice, representing businesses in their contractual disputes, including non-compete and other employment contracts, employment discrimination defense, partnership and corporate disputes, pharmaceutical and nutraceutical litigation matters, food and supplement labeling litigation, and real estate litigation. Patti has also litigated trade secret, unfair competition, defamation and copyright infringement cases.

Patti has held numerous leadership positions in the West Palm Beach community. She served on the executive cabinet of the American Heart Association’s “Go Red for Women” campaign, which raises awareness about heart disease in women. She also served as a commissioner of the Fourth District Court Appeal Judicial Nominating Commission, serves on The Florida Bar’s Client Security Fund, and currently chairs a Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Grievance Committee. She’s also active in the University of Virginia Alumni Club of the Palm Beaches’s executive committee, having previously served as the Club’s president.

Patti is a published author and a frequent speaker on various legal issues.

While in law school, Patti was a member of the moot court board and served as Senior Articles Editor for the University of Miami Law Review. Prior to joining Shutts, Patti practiced business and commercial litigation for a large, international law firm.

Education

  • University of Virginia, B.A., English Language and Literature, 1988
  • University of Miami School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude, 1995
    • Senior Articles Editor, University of Miami Law Review
    • Moot Court Board
    • Vice President, Phi Delta Phi Honorary Legal Fraternity
    • Order of Barristers
    • Order of the Coif
    • Recipient, Dean’s Honor Scholarship and Zbar Scholarship

Bar Admissions

  • Florida

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida

Recognition

  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™
  • Best Lawyers in America®, Commercial Litigation, 2014-2019, Litigation-Banking and Finance, 2018, 2019
  • “Top Lawyer,” Palm Beach Illustrated, 2018
  • Super Lawyers Magazine, “Top 50 Women Lawyers in Florida,” 2010, 2013
  • Super Lawyers Magazine, Florida Super Lawyers, 2007-2018
  • Super Lawyers Magazine, Corporate Counsel (Business Edition), 2008-2011
  • Florida Trend Magazine, “Legal Elite,” 2006, 2008-2009, 2011-2014, 2016
  • South Florida Legal Guide, “Top Up and Comer,” 2006-2011; “Top Lawyer,” 2012-2019
  • Team Member, a Law360 “Employment Practice Group of the Year,” 2011 and 2013
  • “Leaders in the Law” Award, Florida Association for Women Lawyers (FAWL), 2012
  • Finalist, Women of Worth Awards, Central Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce, 2019

Professional and Civic Activities

Professional Affiliations

  • Host Committee, Anti-Defamation League’s 2018 Palm Beach Jurisprudence Awards Dinner
  • Member, Federal Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel for the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida, appointed by Chief U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore for term December 23, 2016 through May 1, 2017
  • Fourth District Court of Appeal Judicial Nominating Commission, October 2011 to July 2016, appointed by Florida Governor Rick Scott
    • Co-Vice Chairperson, September 2013 to August 2014
  • Committee Member, Southern District of Florida 2017 Bench and Bar Conference, appointed by Chief U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore
  • Palm Beach County Bar Association, 1995 to present
    • Judicial Relations Committee, 2002-2003; 2008 to 2015 (Chair 2009-2010)
    • Independence of the Judiciary Committee, 2006 to 2009 (Co-Chair 2006-2008)
    • Professionalism Committee, 2002 to present (Co-Chair 2003-2005)
    • Young Lawyers Division, 1996 to 1998
  • Florida Association of Women Lawyers, Palm Beach Chapter, 1995 to present
    • Co-Chair, Pro Bono Committee, 2002 to 2003
    • Co-Chair, Judicial Reception Committee, 2003 to 2005
  • Florida Bar Association, 1995 to present
  • Executive Women of the Palm Beaches, 1999 to present
    • Membership Committee, 2001 to 2004 (Co-Chair, 2003-2004)
  • Host Committee member, Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County’s annual Brooks Brothers fundraising event, 2013-2018
  • 15th Judicial Circuit Grievance Committee, July 1, 2011 to July 1, 2014, and August 1, 2018 to present
    • Chairperson, September 2013 to July 1, 2014, and August 1, 2018 to present
  • Florida Bar Client’s Security Fund Committee, 2009-2012; 2016; 2018-2019
  • Economic Council of Palm Beach County, 2005 to 2011
  • Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Professionalism Committee, 2003 to 2005
  • Former Editorial Advisory Board member, American Academy of Medical Entrepreneurs (AAME)

Civic Activities

  • Executive Board, University of Virginia Alumni Club of the Palm Beaches, 1995 to present
    • President, 2002 to 2004
    • Vice President, 1999 to 2002
  • Executive Cabinet, American Heart Association’s “Go Red for Women” campaign, 2015-2016
  • Board of Directors, Bak Middle School of the Arts Foundation, 2012-2015
  • Overtures: Young Friends of the Palm Beach Opera (Steering Committee, 2006 to 2008)
  • Member, Craig S. Barnard American Inns of Court, 1997 to 2005
    • Group Leader, 2002 to 2003
    • Emeritus Member, 2004 to 2005

Presentations

  • “The Pros – Business Trials from Beginning to End,” Panelist, Palm Beach County Bench-Bar Conference, February 22, 2019
  • “Women Trial Lawyer Leaders,” Moderator, Palm Beach County Bar Association Young Lawyers’ Sidebar Series, November 5, 2018
  • “Deposition Strategies,” Federal Boot Camp Seminar, Pincus Professional Services, September 28, 2017
  • “Commercial Litigation,” Palm Beach County Bar Association Bench-Bar Conference, February 9, 2016
  • “ADR in 2016 – Challenging Old Paradigms,” Panelist for “What Do ADR Consumers Want?” panel, Palm Beach County Bar Association ADR Committee CLE Seminar, February 8, 2016
  • “Dealing with Difficult Attorneys in Depositions,” Palm Beach County Chapter of FAWL CLE Seminar, September 10, 2015
  • “Labeling Litigation: Strategies for Marketing Products While Avoiding the Courtroom,” Natural Products Expo West, Anaheim, CA, March 7, 2015
  • “Networking and Rainmaking,” Palm Beach County Chapter of the Florida Association of Women Lawyers Mentoring Lunch, October 16, 2013
  • “Avoiding HR Nightmares with Employees and Staff,” The Medical Entrepreneur Symposium, Delray Beach, FL, April 19,2013
  • “Avoiding Pitfalls with Employees, Human Resources, Payroll and Payroll Services,” The Medical Entrepreneur Symposium, Delray Beach, FL, March 30, 2012
  • “Commercial Trial Advocacy,” Palm Beach County Bar Association Bench-Bar Conference, March 9, 2012
  • “Ethics and Professionalism,” CLE Seminar: Hot Topics in Employment: What you Must Know Now, Palm Beach County Bar Association, May 13, 2011
  • “‘Bringin’ In the Rain: Successful Strategies from Women Rainmakers,” Florida Association of Women Lawyers, March 17, 2011
  • “Commercial Litigation and Commercial Trial Advocacy,” Palm Beach County Bar Association Bench-Bar Conference, November 7, 2008
  • “Making a Good Name for Yourself as a Lawyer,” Palm Beach County Bar Association Bench-Bar Conference, October 12, 2007 and November 7, 2008
  • “Making a Good Name for Yourself as a Lawyer,” Palm Beach County Bar Association, Young Lawyers Seminar, October 26, 2007
  • “Litigation Skills in Florida: Offers of Judgment/Proposals for Settlement,” Lorman Education Services, June 2000

 

Publications

  • Co-author, “Leave Law,” Troubleshooting HR Legal Nightmares, National Business Institute (June 2017)
  • Co-author, “Wellness Programs that Invite Legal Liabilities,” Troubleshooting HR Legal Nightmares, National Business Institute (June 2017)
  • “Addressing Unprofessional Deposition Conduct,” Palm Beach County Bar Association Bulletin (December 2015)
  • “Do Extraterritorial RICO Claims Still Exist in a Post-Morrison World?” The Federal Lawyer (2012), co-authored with Gerardo Rodriguez-Albizu
  • “Re-examining the Presumption in Favor of Arbitration in Complex Commercial Cases,” Florida Bar Journal (2010), co-authored with Robert Hanser and Raymond Kramer
  • “Is Expert Testimony Really Needed in Attorneys’ Fees Litigation? Island Hoppers’ Call For Change and Other Ways to Reduce the Burdens of Fees Hearings,” Florida Bar Journal (2003), co-authored with Robert Hanser and Raymond Kramer
  • “Reasonable and Realistic Assessments: Nominal Offers of Judgment in Florida after Eagleman v. Eagleman,” Florida Bar Journal (1997), co-authored with Roy Fitzgerald
  • “The Clean Air Act’s Mandate of Employer Trip-Reduction Programs: Is this a Workable Solution to the Country’s Air Pollution Problems?” University of Miami Law Review (1995)