Attorney Thomas S. Edwards Jr.

Senior Partner

Thomas S. Edwards Jr.

Tom is the senior partner in Edwards & Ragatz, P.A., is AV Rated (highest rating possible along with outstanding ethics) and Board Certified in Civil Trial by The Florida Bar since 1991. His achievements as a trial lawyer are extraordinary. Tom and his team have million and multi-million-dollar verdicts in multiple states. 

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. He has been practicing personal injury law since 1984.

As the leader of Edwards & Ragatz, Tom and the team are committed to aggressive and compassionate representation of clients and their families. Our goal is to achieve justice for each client, even in cases where we are up against multi-billion-dollar corporations. 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.

  • The largest medical malpractice verdict in the United States in 2012 and the second largest personal injury verdict in 2012; multi-million-dollar verdicts in numerous other areas of the law including bank trust fraud, nursing home cases, and trucking cases;
  • 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;
  • Tom handles select appeals and has helped 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;

Tom published numerous articles and chapters in legal books and was awarded the 1993 Barbara Sanders Award for The Florida Bar for the top legal writing in the State.

In addition to recognition in Best Lawyers in America, Florida Trend, Florida Super Lawyers, and the Top 100 Lawyers in the United States, Tom received awards for outstanding professionalism and ethics. The awards include:

  • Martindale-Hubbell 35 Year Anniversary Award in 2019
  • B. J. Masterson Award for Professionalism from the Florida Justice Association (State Trial Lawyers) – 2014;
  • Justice Raymond Erhlich Trial Advocacy Award from the Jacksonville Bar Association – 2013; and
  • The Trial Lawyer of the Year from the American Board Of Trial Advocates -Jacksonville Chapter in 2009.

In addition, Tom has been a leader in numerous legal organizations including:

  • Past President of the following:

– Florida Justice Association (State Trial Lawyers);
– Jacksonville Bar Association;
– Jacksonville ABOTA;

Additional leadership includes:

  • Florida Supreme Court Judicial Management Council (advises the Supreme Court on management of the State legal system) – Appointed by the Chief Justice (and reappointed by two additional Chief Justices);
  • Florida Commission on Access to Justice – Appointed by the Chief Justice;
  • National Board of Directors – American Board of Trial Advocates;
  • National Board of Directors – The International Academy of Trial Lawyers;

Additional Past Leadership includes:

  • The Florida Bar Trial Lawyers Section Executive Counsel;
  • Florida Supreme Court Civil Jury Instructions Committee (writes jury instructions for the juries);
  • Florida Supreme Court Business Jury Instruction Committee;
  • Florida Fourth Judicial Circuit Grievance Committee (past chair) – investigates and makes probable cause determinations regarding attorneys’ ethics violations;



Best Lawyers in America – 2012-present
-Lawyer of the Year – Medical Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs, Jacksonville – 2012, 2015, 2019
-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

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

Admitted to The Florida Bar — May 31, 1984
Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer by The Florida Bar 1991
Re-Certified 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011 and 2016



Jacksonville, Florida
Shareholder — May 1990 to Present

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

Post Office Box 447, Jacksonville, Florida 32201
Attorney — January 1984 to December 1985


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

Sewanee, Tennessee 37375
B.A. in Economics, May 1981

Honors and Activities:
Algernon, Sydney Sullivan Award for Outstanding Character and Leadership
Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities
Register of Outstanding College Seniors in the United States
Order of the Gownsmen

Bar & Public Service

Supreme Court Appointments:

  • Florida Commission on Access to Civil Justice – 2014-present
  • Florida Supreme Court Judicial Management Council – 2013-present
    Chair – Access to Court Workgroup
    Trial Court Security Workgroup
  • 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

American Association for Justice/Association of Trial Lawyers of America

American Bar Association

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


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


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