Virginia M. Buchanan
Levin Papantonio Rafferty
316 South Baylen St.
Pensacola, FL 32502
Virginia Buchanan is a shareholder at Levin, Papantonio, Rafferty, Proctor, Buchanan, O’Brian, Barr & Mougey, P.A., having joined the firm in 1989. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Florida in 1985, and received her Juris Doctorate Degree, with honors, from the University of Florida in 1989.
She has served as lead/co-lead counsel in more than 50 jury trials, with results exceeding $500 million. She has a national practice and works extensively in her local Pensacola and surrounding community. She is a member of Florida Super Lawyers and Florida Legal Elite, and listed by Martindale-Hubbell as a Top Rated Lawyer in Personal Injury. She has been repeatedly designated as a Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Top Consumer Lawyer.
Ms. Buchanan is a member of the American Association for Justice (formerly Association of Trial Lawyers of America), as well as the Florida Justice Association (“FJA”) (formerly Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers). She is a Distinguished Fellow and Eagle Member of FJA, and was elected to the Board of Directors in 2021. She has served on the Board of Directions of the Florida Bar Foundation and has been Treasurer of ABOTA, Chairperson of the Civil Process Server Grievance Committee and has been a member of the Chief Judge's Council on Children. She currently is a member of the Women's Caucus of the Florida Justice Association, and serves on The Florida Bar Ethics Committee.
Ms. Buchanan is a member of the American Bar Association, and has served as a member of the subcommittee of the American Bar Association on legislation affecting litigation and was appointed to a special committee of the American Bar Association on health care.
Ms. Buchanan has served on the Judicial Liaison Committee of the Escambia-Santa Rosa Bar Association and as a member of the Escambia-Santa Rosa County Bar Association Grievance Committee for attorney complaints, and has also been a member of the First Circuit Fee Arbitration Committee. She has served on the Women's Life Center Advisory Board to the West Florida Regional Medical Center and to the Board of Directors to the Shands Home Care Project.
While attending the University of Florida, Ms. Buchanan was a Bickel Scholar, Scripps-Howard Scholar and received several jurisprudence awards. She was selected to the University of Florida Moot Court Team and was a Finalist in the Florida Annual Moot Court Competition and Finalist in Benton National Moot Court Competition in Chicago, Illinois. She was selected to the Order of the Coif and to Phi Delta Phi, an honors fraternity, while in school.
Year Joined Law Firm
Areas of Practice
Ms. Buchanan limits her practice to serious cases involving personal injury and wrongful death. She is the head of the firm’s medical negligence department and is co-chair of the firm’s class action department.
- United States Supreme Court
- U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida
- U.S. District Court, Middle District of Alabama
- United States Court of Claims
- Law Degree, University of Florida College of Law, Gainesville, Florida, 1989
Honors: Order of the Coif
Honors: With Honors
Honors: Bickel Scholar
Honors: Scripps-Howard Scholar
Honors: Received Several Jurisprudence Awards
Honors: Member, Moot Court Team
Honors: Finalist, Florida Annual Moot Court Competition
Honors: Finalist, Benton National Moot Court Competition, Chicago, IL
Honors: Phi Delta Phi
- B.S., University of Florida, Journalism College, 1985
Honors: Graduated First in Class Telecommunication
Honors: High Honors, Academics, (Special Project Committee vote)
Honors and Awards
- Florida Bar President’s Award for Pro Bono Service for 1st Judicial Circuit, 2014
- Florida Bar Professional Ethics Committee Member, 2019-2022 (Appointed by the President of the Florida Bar)
- Florida Justice Association, selected by peers and leadership as Distinguished Fellow (2019)
- Florida Super Lawyers, 2006 - 2021
- Florida Trend Magazine, Florida "Legal Elite" 2013, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2020 Award
- ALM and Martindale-Hubbell recognition as a 2013 Top Rated Lawyer in Labor & Employment Law
- AV Preeminent Rating by Martindale Hubbell by peer reviews 5.0 out of 5
- Bickel Scholarship
- Final Four Finalist, Alumnus of University of Florida Moot Court
- Finalist, National Moot Court Competition, Chicago, IL
- First Runner Up, Florida Bar Annual Moot Court Competition
- Florida Bar Committee on Student Education/Admission to the Bar, 2017-2018 (Appointed by the President of the Florida Bar)
- Florida Bar Examination Top Score and Invited Speaker for Attorney Swearing In Ceremony, Tallahassee, FL 1989
- Jurisprudence Awards, Criminal Law, Legal Writing & Legal Ethics
- Martindale-Hubbell - 2013 Top Rated Lawyer in ‘Personal Injury Law’
- Lawdragon, designated one of top 500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers – 2010, 2019, 2020, 2021
- National Trial Lawyers (Top 100 Trial Lawyers)
- Nominee for the Trial Lawyer of the Year Award from the Public Justice Foundation, 2008
- Order of the Coif - University of Florida Law School
- Public Justice - Board Member (Board Member July 2020-July 2023)
- Scripps-Howard Scholarship
- University of West Florida Legal Studies Advisory Board, 2015
- Women Trial Lawyers, National Trial Lawyers – Top 25 (Member, 2021)
- Selection to Florida Justice Association, ad-hoc committee on Claims Bill Reform, September 2015
- Shands Hospital, Shands Homecare Advisory Committee, member
- The Florida Bar - Civil Procedure Rules Committee, July 1, 2008 - June 30, 2011, member (Appointed by the President of the Florida Bar)
- False Claims, Trial Diplomacy Journal. April 1993.
- Errata Sheets Aren't Just to Correct Misspellings, Summation. December,1995.
- Jury Selection in 2002: Perils and Pitfalls; Moving into the 21st Century Computer Software and other Jury Selection Aids, AFTL Journal. November/December. 2002.
- When Defendants Don't Pay on Time, AFTL Journal. January 2003.
- When the Hospital Has to Pay for a Doctor's Mistakes, AFTL Journal (Submitted on behalf of the Women's Caucus). September 2003.
- Introducing the Hon. Margaret C. 'Casey' Rodgers U.S. District Court of Florida, Northern District, AFTL Journal. January 2004.
- Summary of the 2003 Medical Malpractice Legislation; Major Impacts from the Plaintiff Perspective and From the Defense Perspective, The Summation. March 2004.
- Discovering Personnel Records: Who Can Object?, AFTL Journal. August 2004.
- Vioxx: Once Again We Learn That Neither Manufacturers Nor the FDA Look Out For The American People, AFTL Journal. November/December 2004.
- A Fresh Look at Anti-Dumping Claims: Why It Is Worth Your While, AFTL Journal. January 2005.
- When Defendant's Seek to Recover Private Information From Plaintiff's Non-Party Family Members; What We Should Do To Fight It, AFTL Women's Caucus Article. September 2005.
- Kids Will Be Kids...Legal Liability for the Misdeeds of Minors: Who Pays for Junior's Torts?, AFTL Journal. April 2006.
- Welcome to Our First Resident Federal Judge in Panama City, Northern District of Florida The Honorable John Richard Smoak, AFTL Journal (Submitted on behalf of the Women's Caucus). April 2006.
- Judicial Misconduct - Is the Judge Misbehaving?, AFTL Journal. June 2006.
- I Always Feel Like Somebody's Watching Me, AFTL Journal (Submitted on behalf of the Women's Caucus). September 2006.
- The Florida Bar's Legal Fee Arbitration Program: Is it Right for You?, AFTL Journal (Submitted on behalf of the Women's Caucus). February 2006.
- Jury Verdicts: Please Don't Take My Sunshine Away, Women's Caucus of the Florida Justice Association, May 2007. Misdiagnosis Occurs In More Than 1 in 4 ICU Deaths, article published on website of Ring of Fire Radio on 11/21/12.
- Recent Study Shows Malpractice Claims Decreasing, article published on the website of Ring of Fire Radio on 11/25/12.
- Judge Finds Dirty Medical Equipment Caused Vet’s Illness, article published on the website of Ring of Fire Radio on 11/29/12.
- Severe Injuries From Patients Falling Out of Bed Due in Part to Inadequate Prevention Methods Used by Hospitals, article published on the website of Ring of Fire Radio on 12/6/12.
- Pediatric Organization Reverses Its Anti-Thimerosal Position, Citing Lack of Evidence, Need for Vaccines in 3rd World, article published on the website of Ring of Fire Radio on 12/17/12.
- Smoking Deadlier Than HIV According to New Study, article published on the website of Ring of Fire Radio on 12/20/12.
- Better Watch Out, Better Not Pout. Holiday Heart and Energy Drinks, article published on the website of Ring of Fire Radio on 12/21/12.
- Surgical Malpractice Associated With Surgeon Inexperience, article published on the website of Ring of Fire Radio on 1/7/13.
- American Cancer Society Issues Controversial Guideline to Try to Reduce Lung Cancer Deaths, article published on the website of Ring of Fire Radio on 1/14/13.
- Pediatricians Welcome President’s Proposed Gun Reforms and Increased Mental Health Care, article published on the website of Ring of Fire Radio on 1/20/13.
- Primary Care Doctors Miss Excess Drinking By Not Asking Right Questions, article published on the website of Ring of Fire Radio on 1/23/13.
- National Trial Lawyers Article, January 17, 2013: American Cancer Society Issues Controversial Guideline to Try to Reduce Lung Cancer Deaths.
- 2013: Publication in Downs Syndrome Archives: Bipolar Drug May Benefit Down Syndrome Patients.
- Co-author, book chapter, Anatomy of a Personal Injury Lawsuit, 4th Ed. John Romano, Editor, 2015.
- “Getting it Off Your Chest: Why Allergan Breast Implants Are a Big Problem,” V. Buchanan and M. McBride, Journal of The Florida Justice Assoc., May/June 2020
- George Washington University Law School, James F. Humphreys Complex Litigation Center, Drafting Team Member, Class Action Best Practices, 2021
- Psychology and the Law, Pensacola Junior College, 1992
- Sexual Harassment & Legal Accountability, Monsanto Corporation, 1996
- Medical Negligence, Estate Planning, Seminar for Physicians, 1997
- Legal Ethics & Confidentiality, 1998 - 2000
- Nursing Malpractice, Association of Operating Room Nurses, 1998
- Be All You Can Be, Lincoln Park Elementary School, 1993 - 1996
- Tort Reform Overview: How It Was; How It Is, Joe J. Harrell Trial Seminar, 2004
- Professionalism and Ethics, Northwest Florida Paralegal Association, 2004
- The Essential Role of the Legal Investigator In The Development of Damages for Mediation and Trial, Inner Circle of Investigators, 2004
- Preparing and Presenting Your Expert Witness in a Contested Liability Case, AFTL, Tampa, Florida, 2005
- Ethical Considerations for the Paralegal, Florida Justice Association seminar at The Breakers, Palm Beach, FL, June 14, 2007
- Symposium on Medical Malpractice topics include "History of Medical Malpractice," "Ways to Avoid Litigation," and "How a Plaintiff's Attorney Approaches a Medical Malpractice Case." University of Florida College of Medicine Department of Anesthesia, June 7, 2008
- Presentation, Mass Torts Made Perfect, Las Vegas, NV: "BCBS MDL: History, Status, Future, Discovery Planning & Cost Management" (with Ed Gentle, Esq., Megan Jones, Esq., Chris Hellums, Esq.). October 2013
- Co-chair of Florida Justice Association, Masters of Justice program on Medical Malpractice, with Mark Avera, held September 2014
- Speaker, 360 Advocacy Series, “Trial Skills from the Woman’s Perspective,” Topic: Maximizing Damages, presented September 2014
- Northwest Florida Paralegal Association - The Anatomy of a Case Seminar, “Discovery Strategies within Medical Malpractice.” September 2014
- Co-Chair, Florida Justice Association Medical Malpractice , Best Practice Series – 10 part webinar series on cutting edge medical malpractice topics 2015
- Panelist/Presenter, Florida Justice Association Webinar Series, Best Practices in Medical Malpractice, Expert Requirements, May 2015
- Panelist for Symposium sponsored by the Florida State University College of Medicine and College of Law: “Medical, Legal and Ethical Aspects of Pain Management in Florida.", January 2016
- Florida Justice Association Bootcamp, Webinar Presentation on Venue/Practical Considerations for Where and When to File Suit, 2019
- Presenter, 2019 Annual Conference of Alliance of Women Trial Lawyers, New Orleans, Louisiana
- Present, 2019 Mass Torts Made Perfect Presentation "Class Actions: Nuts & Bolts"
- Presenter, Webinar, MTMP Connect, Europe-The New Frontier, April 2020
- Presenter, Webinar PSBplaybook Series, Allergan Breast Implant Litigation, with Pete Kaufman of Panish, Shea & Boyle, June 2020
- Presenter, “New Causes Of Action Outside Chapter 766,” Florida Justice Association, Masters of Justice Fall Seminar, September 23, 2020
- Presentation at National Trial Lawyers Summit on the Business of Law, May 4, 2021
- Presentation at National Trial Lawyers Summit on Handling a Class Action from Start to Finish, May 7, 2021
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Academy of Trial Advocacy, member
- Board of Governors - Alabama Trial Lawyers Association, sustaining member
- AFTL Medical Malpractice Task Force, member
- Alabama Trial Lawyers Association, member
- American Bar Association, member, Subcommittee on Health Care
- American Bar Association, member, Subcommittee on Legislation Affecting Litigation
- American Board of Trial Advocates, 1999 – present, treasurer, member
- Association of Trial Lawyers of America, member
- Chief Judge's Council for Children, member
- Escambia-Santa Rosa Bar Association, member, Committee on Professionalism
- Escambia-Santa Rosa Bar Association, member, Judicial Liaison Committee
- Escambia-Santa Rosa Bar Foundation, 2000, member
- Escambia-Santa Rosa County Bar Association, member, Grievance Committee
- First Circuit Fee Arbitration Committee, member
- Florida Bar Association, member
- Florida Justice Association, member (Eagle Benefactor-2015, Senior Fellow Program Member - 2018, Distinguished Fellow – 2019; Director 2021)
- Grievance Committee to Investigate Process Servers, chairman
- International Society of Barristers, Fellow
- Northwest Florida Association of Women Lawyers, July 1, 2008 - June 30, 2009, member
- Science/Expert Committee of MDL for VIOXX, 2005, member
- The National Trial Lawyers (The NTL) (Top 100 Trial Lawyers), Member, 2011-present
- Trial Lawyers Section 2017, Florida Bar Association, Member
- West Florida Regional Medical Center, Advisory Board, Women's Life Center
- Women's Caucus Steering Committee for Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, member
- Women's Caucus Steering Committee, AFTL, 1996, member
Mass/Class Action Projects – Appointments, Co-Lead Counsel:
- Perrine v. E.I. Du Pont De Nemour & Co.
Co-Lead Counsel, Lead Trial Counsel for Medical Monitoring Segment of Trial
An environmental class action in Harrison County, West Virginia for property cleanup, medical monitoring and punitive damages on behalf of Spelter, West Virginia class members impacted by a Zinc smelter, with jury verdicts of $381,737,522.
- IN RE: Blue Cross Blue Shield Antitrust Litigation MDL 2406
Appointed Co-Chair, Class Certification Committee, Subscriber Track
Settlement (with Preliminary Approval) of Subscriber Track claims with important monetary and non-monetary terms, to include payment of $2.7 Billion Dollars and injunctive relief intended to benefit the class members.
- IN RE: Allergan Biocell Textured Breast Products Liability Implant Litigation MDL 2921
Appointed Co-Lead Counsel in litigation against Allergan, Inc., et al, for risks of breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (“BIA-ALCL”) caused by its textured breast implants.