The Buzz 10/13/16
Rafferty Honored On Sept. 29, the Florida Justice Association presented the 2016 Perry Nichols Award to Levin, Papantonio Law Firm shareholder Troy Rafferty at the FJA Masters of Justice Convention in Orlando. The Perry Nichols Award is the highest award given by the FJA and is presented to an attorney whose perseverance, commitment and unmatched dedication to the civil justice system are at the forefront of their lives.
“I certainly was honored and very humbled to receive the award when I found out that I had been nominated and was going to be the 37th recipient of it,” said Rafferty last week on “Pensacola Speaks.”
Perry Nichols is regarded as a pioneer in the field of personal injury law and was a revolutionary figure in his time. He was the first attorney in the state of Florida to win a verdict more than $100,000. Soon after World War II, Perry spearheaded the organization of the Negligence and Compensation Lawyers of Florida, the predecessor of the Florida Justice Association. In 1954, he became one of the founders of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and was elected president of the organization in 1965. In 1977, the Florida Justice Association created the prestigious Perry Nichols Award in his honor.
Rafferty said, “We’ve had five now out of the 37 have come from our firm, and that’s the most of any firm in the state, and I think the closest firm would be two behind us. We’re very proud of that, and we’re very proud of the organization, our involvement in FJA, and protecting the civil justice system.”
The other Levin, Papantonio attorneys who have received the Perry Nichols Award are Fred Levin, Mike Papantonio, as well as late law partners Lefferts L. Mabie, Jr. and former Florida Governor Reubin Askew.
Rafferty has been recognized numerous times for his tremendous legal talent, litigating mass tort, pharmaceutical, and major personal injury cases throughout the country. He has been with the Levin Papantonio law firm since 1994.
“I’ve been fortunate here at the firm to be able to work on a number of cases that have had some far-reaching impacts because a lot of the pharmaceutical cases we do,” he told Inweekly. “I think it’s really all the pharmaceutical cases where we’re able to effectuate the most change, and try to help protect the consumers from the dangerous drugs that are put out there in the system that does not protect the consumers a lot of times.”
Rafferty added, “We got the pharmaceutical industry who’s constantly just trying to push drugs out on the market as quickly as they can, and the FDA who unfortunately doesn’t have the resources to try and monitor them as well as they should.”
He said that even though it may seem the system makes it harder to fight for consumers, he’s proud of what he, his firm and his profession has done to push back,
“We keep fighting for the injured victims,” said Rafferty. “We keep fighting for consumers.”
Haas Center Calling Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward took to Facebook on Oct. 7 to announce the third annual Pensacola Community Survey by the UWF Haas Center.
“One of the values I focus on as mayor is being responsive to the ideas, opinions, and needs of City residents,” wrote Mayor Hayward. “Your responses will help us balance priorities and improve services so that Pensacola remains a great place to live, work, learn and play.”
In the past, the Haas Center conducted the survey over the phone. This year, researchers will also conduct live, in-person surveys of city residents at various weekend festivals and farmers’ markets.
The Pensacola Community Surveys have replaced the monthly town hall meetings that were Mayor Hayward’s “Taking City Hall to the Citizens” initiative. From Jan. 2011 to Dec. 2013, Mayor Hayward conducted 23 town hall meetings to listen to his constituents. While he touted the town halls in his campaign materials, Hayward held no town halls in 2014 while he was seeking re-election.
During his second term, he hasn’t brought back the meetings where citizens could address issues face-to-face with the mayor and his leadership team.
The first Pensacola Community Survey was done in July 2014. Pensacola residents gave Fire Department Services the highest mean satisfaction score (4.26). Respondents were also highly satisfied with Waste Collection Services, which received the only other B+, with a mean satisfaction score of 4.19.
On the other end of the spectrum, city residents were most dissatisfied with Pensacola’s Economic Health, which received a grade of C and a mean satisfaction score of 2.74. Public Works received a mean satisfaction score of 3.24, or C+, which followed closely behind Housing Options (3.28) and City Communication (3.30).
The second survey was conducted in last quarter of 2015. Again Fire (A-, 4.46) and Waste Collections (B+, 4.20) were the highest rated services, followed closely by City Parks (B+, 4.08). Police and other Parks & Rec services–Community Centers, Rec Opportunities, and City Athletic Facilities–received B ratings.
Public Works was subdivided into several categories. Of those, only street lighting and city appearance & cleanliness were rated a B-. “Communications” was changed to “Ease of Obtaining Info on City Services,” and it was again rated low (3.27), despite the emphasis the mayor had placed on social media, Constituent Services (which he formed in 2014), and the city’s 3-1-1 automated service. “Value of Services for City Taxes” was only slightly higher (3.29) than Communications. City residents were least satisfied with city streets and storm water infrastructure.