Winkles Law Group, P.A.

Tampa Theatre Building
707 North Franklin Street, 2nd Floor
Tampa, Florida 33602
Telephone: 813-226-3090 Fax: 813-226-3128
Disability Cases - ERISA and non-ERISA - Personal Injury
Federal Criminal Cases - Appeals - Grand Jury Investigations
2003 Trial Lawyer of the Year



Jonathan Hutson, TLPJ, 202-797-8600 x 246
Arthur H. Bryant, TLPJ, 510-622-8150 x 202

2003 Trial Lawyer of the Year Award Finalists Announced

The TLPJ Foundation has named the attorneys who worked on eight outstanding cases as finalists for its 2003 Trial Lawyer of the Year Award. The nationally prestigious award is bestowed annually upon the trial lawyer or lawyers who have made the greatest contribution to the public interest by trying or settling a precedent-setting case. The winner will be announced on July 22, 2003, at The TLPJ Foundation's 21st Annual Awards Dinner and Party at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco.

"These exceptional attorneys exemplify how trial lawyers use their skills and determination to create a more just society," said TLPJ Foundation President Paul Stritmatter of Stritmatter Kessler Whelan Withey Coluccio in Hoquiam, Washington.

The finalists -- 41 lawyers in eight cases -- were nominated for their committed work in cases addressing a broad range of social issues, including exposing government misconduct, protecting access to health care, safeguarding our civil rights, holding insurers and HMOs accountable, fighting for workers' rights, holding corporations accountable, and battling Big Tobacco. This year's finalists are listed alphabetically below.


  • D. Frank Winkles and Claude H. Tison, Jr. of Winkles Law Group, P.A. in Tampa, Florida set the stage for exposing an insurance giant's rampant bad faith practices in Tedesco v. The Paul Revere Life Insurance Co., winning a $36.7 million punitive damages verdict against an insurance company that wrongfully denied disability payments to an ophthalmologist disabled by Parkinson's disease and a back injury. The factual record developed by the plaintiff's attorneys provided an evidentiary trove for many nationwide cases that followed, helping others win substantial verdicts against UNUM Provident, the parent company of Paul Revere and the largest disability insurance company in the world. This case, highlighted by CBS's "60 Minutes," stands as an example of how tenacious trial lawyers can force corporate giants to change their practices by making them pay for their wrongdoing.


Trial Lawyers for Public Justice is the only national public interest law firm dedicated to using trial lawyers' skills and resources to advance the public good. Founded in 1982, TLPJ utilizes a nationwide network of more than 3,000 trial lawyers to pursue precedent-setting and socially significant litigation. It has a wide-ranging litigation docket in the areas of civil rights and liberties, consumer rights, worker safety, toxic torts, environmental protection, and access to the courts. TLPJ is the principal project of The TLPJ Foundation, a not-for-profit membership organization. It has offices in Washington, DC, and Oakland, CA. The TLPJ web site address is www.tlpj.org.