Tom Edwards

Senior Partner & Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer

Thomas S. Edwards, Jr. is the Senior Partner of Edwards & Ragatz, P.A. Tom has been a Florida Bar Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer since 1991. He has a Tier 1 Best Law Firms rating in both Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury. He is also rated AV Preeminent by Martindale Hubbell, was awarded the Spartans at Thermopylae award for extraordinary work in protecting the court system, is included in Florida Trend Magazine’s Legal Elite, and is recognized by Florida’s Super Lawyers. His achievements as a trial lawyer are extraordinary. Tom and his team have won million and multi-million-dollar verdicts in multiple states. He has been practicing personal injury law since 1984.

Tom is a 1981 graduate of the University of the South: Sewanee and received his Juris Doctorate (law degree) in 1983 from Stetson University College of Law – the oldest law school in the State of Florida. His activism on behalf of justice traces decades back in his family history, including his grandmother’s work during the women’s suffrage movement: she led the women of Randolph-Macon on a march in Washington, D.C., in support of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (you can read more about Lucy Edwards on the Florida Bar’s website here.)

Tom has been a leader in not only the Bar but the Jacksonville community for many years. Additional work includes past leadership in the Rotary Club of South Jacksonville, Downtown Ecumenical Services Council, the United Way, and the South Jacksonville Presbyterian Church.

As the senior partner of Edwards & Ragatz, Tom and the team are committed to the aggressive and compassionate representation of clients and their families. His goal is to achieve justice for each client. Edwards & Ragatz has repeatedly achieved extraordinary results including landmark verdicts against multi-billion-dollar corporations and insurance companies. Tom is married, raised three children in Jacksonville, and works every day to help clients through difficult times and to improve the legal system and our community.

Proudest Career Achievements:

  • Awarded the prestigious Al J. Cone Lifetime Achievement Award from the Florida Justice Association for the calendar year 2020.
  • Achieved the largest medical malpractice verdict in the United States in 2012.
  • Achieved the second-largest personal injury verdict in 2012.
  • Numerous years in Best Lawyers in America.
  • Selected in multiple years as the top medical malpractice lawyer in his area by Best Lawyers in America.
  • Selected as the top personal injury lawyer in the area by Best Lawyers in America.
  • Helped to re-write the law more favorably to consumers and victims with appeals that have gone to both the Florida Supreme Court and the United States Supreme Court.
  • Published numerous articles and chapters in legal books and awarded the 1993 Barbara Sanders Award for The Florida Bar for the top legal writing in the State.

All Honors:

  • Best Lawyers in America – 2012-present
    • Lawyer of the Year – Medical Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs, Jacksonville – 2012, 2015, 2019, 2021
    • Lawyer of the Year – Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs, Jacksonville – 2017
  • Best Law Firms – Tier 1
    • Medical Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs
    • Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs
  • Top 100 Trial Lawyers – awarded by The National Trial Lawyers – 2013-2019
  • Martindale-Hubbell 35 Year Anniversary Award – 2019
  • B.J. Masterson Award for Professionalism – awarded by the Florida Justice Association – 2014
  • Justice Raymond Ehrlich Trial Advocacy Award – awarded by The Jacksonville Bar Association – 2013
  • FlaBOTA Legislative and Education Fund Award – 2013
  • Trial Lawyer of the Year – awarded by ABOTA – Jacksonville Chapter -2009
  • Spartans at Thermopylae Award – North Florida Trial Lawyers – for great personal sacrifice in protecting the Justice system – 2009
  • Barbra Sanders Legal Writing Award awarded by The Florida Bar – 1993
    • Top Legal Article
  • FJA President’s Horsemen Award – Legislative work for consumers and victims – 2014
  • FJS President’s Rough Rider Award – Legislative work for consumers and victims – 2005
  • “AV” Rated in Martindale Hubbell – 1995-present

Additional Recognitions:

  • Florida Trend Magazine – “Legal Elite”
  • Florida “Super Lawyer”
  • AFTL Gold Eagle 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007
    • (Name changed to Florida Justice Association in 2007)
  • AFTL Silver Eagle 2006
  • AFTL Bronze Eagle 2002
  • AFTL FLAG Award 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007
  • AFTL Legislative Leadership Award 2002 & 2003
  • AFTL Staff Appreciation Award 2003

Bar & Public Service:

ADMISSIONS

  • Florida, 1984
  • Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer by The Florida Bar, 1991
  • Re-Certified 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011, 2016 and 2021

LEADERSHIP

Supreme Court Appointments

  • Florida Commission on Access to Civil Justice – 2014-2020
  • Florida Supreme Court Judicial Management Council – 2013-present
    • Chair – Access to Court Workgroup
    • Trial Court Security Workgroup
    • Improved Resolution of Civil Cases
  • Florida Standard Jury Instruction Committee – Civil – 2006-2012
  • Florida Standard Jury Instruction Committee- Business – Founding Member – 2007-2011
  • Supreme Court Committee on the Standards of Conduct for Judges (responsible for ethics opinions for Judges) – 1993 and 1994
  • The Florida Bar Trial Lawyers Section Executive Council – 2009-2017
  • The Florida Bar Special Committee on Lawyer Referral Services – 2011-2012

Jacksonville Area Legal Aid

  • Board of Directors – 2011 – 2017

Florida Justice Association/Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers

  • President – 2008-2009
  • Board of Directors – 2001-2010
  • Executive Committee – 2003-2010
  • Florida Justice PAC – Chair 2009

American Board of Trial Advocates – Jacksonville Chapter

  • President – 2006
  • National Board of Directors

Master of the Bench, Chester Bedell, American Inns of Court

  • Counselor – 2003-2004

Jacksonville Bar Association

  • President – 1998-1999
  • Board of Governors – 1990 to 1991 and 1992 to 2000
  • Young Lawyers Section
    • President – 1990-1991
    • Board of Governors – 1987-1991
  • Law Week Committee – Chairman 1988
  • Long Range Planning Committee – Chairman 1999

Jacksonville Justice Association/Jacksonville Trial Lawyers Association

  • President – 2000
  • Board of Governors – 1994-2000

Fourth Judicial Circuit

  • Grievance Committee – 1997-2000; Chairman 1999
  • Fee Arbitration Committee – 1995-1997
  • Professionalism Committee – 1998-2001

International Academy of Trial Lawyers

  • Fellow – January 2013 – present
  • Board of Directors
  • Admissions Committee

COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES

  • Rotary Club of South Jacksonville – 1987-2013
    • Board of Directors – 1997-1999; 2002-2003
    • Programs Chair – 1998
  • Editor of The Gear – 1989, 1990
  • Multiple Paul Harris Fellowships
  • Downtown Ecumenical Services Council Board Member – 1997-1998
  • United Way – Professional Division Chair – 2000
  • South Jacksonville Presbyterian Church
    • Deacon – 1997-1999
    • Chair – Board of Deacons – 1998 and 1999
    • Elder – 2000-2003

PUBLICATIONS

  • Thrasher and Edwards, Hospital Liability, Journal of the Florida Medical Association, July 1983, at 581
  • Thrasher and Edwards, The Physician – Patient Relationship, Journal of the Florida Medical Association, September 1983, at 842.
  • Edwards, Termination of Life Support Systems in Florida, Trial Advocate Quarterly, January 1985, at 13.
  • Edwards, Bad Faith in Florida; Changing Responsibilities Under Liability and Uninsured Motorist Policies, The Florida Bar Journal, February 1993, at 37.
  • Edwards and Sharp, Fabre/Allied Signal/Dosdourian Trilogy; Questions Answered, More Created*, The Florida Bar Journal, April 1994, at 22.
  • *First Place Winner – The Florida Bar Journal Barbara Sanders Memorial Writing Award Competition 1993-1994 for excellence in legal writing.
  • Edwards, Florida Automobile Insurance Law, Chapter 5, Liability Coverage, 3rd Edition, 1995 and 1998 supplements
  • Edwards, Florida Civil Practice Before Trial, Chapter 5, Choice of Remedy, 5th Edition, 1996, 1998 and 2002 Supplements
  • Edwards, American Inns of Court – Florida Civil Procedure, Lawyers Cooperative Publishing Company, The Complaint, Ch. 10, and Responsive Pleadings and Motions, Ch. 11

PRESENTATIONS

  • Donation of Bodily Organs and Termination of Life Support Systems in Florida, Amelia Island, Jacksonville Association of Defense Lawyers, Continuing Legal Education, August 3, 1985.
  • Premises Liability – Inadequate Security, Ponte Vedra, Florida Defense Lawyers Association, Continuing Legal Education, September 27, 1986.
  • State of the Law – Tortious Interference with Business Relationships, Commercial Litigation Section, Jacksonville Bar Association, Continuing Legal Education, Jacksonville, Florida, December 9, 1988.
  • Update – Ethics and the Florida Lawyer, Jacksonville Bar Association, Continuing Legal Education, Jacksonville, Florida, December 9, 1988.
  • Nursing Home Litigation, Jacksonville Bar Association, Continuing Legal Education, Jacksonville, Florida, May 5, 1992
  • Business Litigation – Update on the Law, Commercial Litigation Section, Jacksonville Bar Association, Continuing Legal Education, Jacksonville, Florida, May 4, 1994.
  • Medical Malpractice Update, Jacksonville Legal Assistants, Continuing Legal Education, Jacksonville, Florida, May 19, 1994
  • Initial Client Interview, Florida Bar Association, Bridge the Gap Seminar, Continuing Legal Education, Jacksonville, Florida, March 1994, 1995
  • Anti-Disparagement Rule – Ethics for Florida Lawyers and Judges, Florida Bar Association Annual Meeting, Public Interest Law Section, Continuing Legal Education, Orlando, Florida, June 21, 1995
  • Medical Malpractice Jacksonville Legal Assistants, Inc., Jacksonville, Florida, May 2, 1996
  • Comparative Fault – Legal Update First Coast Trial Lawyers Association, Jacksonville, Florida, February 1996
  • Florida Rules of Civil Procedure – Annual Update First Coast Trial Lawyers Association, Jacksonville, Florida, February 1997
  • UNF – PreLaw – Guest Lecturer 
  • Insurance Litigation – Lorman Business Institute Jacksonville, Florida, September 22, 1998
  • Bad Faith Litigation in Florida – National Business Institute Jacksonville, Florida, 1998, 1999 and 2000
  • Nursing Home Litigation in Florida – Lorman Business Institute, Jacksonville, Florida, 1999 and 2000
  • Medical Malpractice Seminar – The Florida Bar Trial Lawyers Section, Tampa, Florida, March 14, 2014
  • Legal Lessons: Dependency Court and You, Topic: Professionalism & Ethics – Family Support Services of North Florida Inc., Jacksonville, Florida, October 22, 2014
  • Lecturer and Instructor – The Florida Bar Advanced Trial Advocacy Seminar – Gainesville, Florida, numerous years
  • Lecturer and Instruction – FJA Al Cone Trial Advocacy Seminar – numerous years

Education:

STETSON UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF LAW 
St. Petersburg, Florida
Juris Doctorate, December 1983

Honors and Activities: 

  • Stetson Moot Court Board – Chairman
  • 1983 National Moot Court Team – Craven Competition
  • Stetson Intramural Moot Court Champion
  • Phi Alpha Delta Legal Fraternity – Justice
  • Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities

UNIVERSITY OF THE SOUTH 
Sewanee, Tennessee
B.A. in Economics, May 1981

Honors and Activities: 

  • Algernon, Sydney Sullivan Award for Outstanding Character and Leadership (Top Graduating Senior Award)
  • Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities
  • Register of Outstanding College Seniors in the United States
  • Orders of the Gownsmen

Employment:

EDWARDS and RAGATZ, P.A.
F/K/A PEEK, COBB, EDWARDS & RAGATZ, P.A.
Jacksonville, Florida
Shareholder — May 1990 to Present

DAVID, MORROW & EDWARDS, P.A.
2501 Gulf Life Tower, Jacksonville, Florida 32207
Shareholder — November 1988 to May 1990

COMMANDER LEGLER WERBER DAWES SADLER & HOWELL, P.A. (now known as Foley and Lardner, P.A.) 
200 Laura Street, Jacksonville, Florida 32202
Attorney — January 1986 to November 1988

MARKS GRAY CONROY & GIBBS, P.A. 
Post Office Box 447, Jacksonville, Florida 32201
Attorney — January 1984 to December 1985