In 1955, David Levin and Reubin Askew founded the law firm of Levin & Askew. The two were the sole attorneys in the firm, assisted by just one additional staff member. As did most young attorneys, David and Reubin accepted virtually every case regardless of the area of law involved.
In 1961, David's brother Fred Levin joined the firm and quickly became recognized as one of America's premier personal injury lawyers after achieving several multi-million dollar jury verdicts, including one in 1980 that was the largest compensatory damage verdict in U.S. history at the time.
During his legal career, Fred received more than 30 jury verdicts in excess of $1 million. At various points in his career he held the national record for jury verdicts involving the wrongful death of a child, the wrongful death of a housewife, the wrongful death of a wage earner, the wrongful death of an African American, and the largest personal injury verdict in the state of Florida.
Fred was listed in every edition of Best Lawyers in America; was a member of the Inner Circle of Advocates (limited to 100 of the nation’s top trial attorneys); and was inducted into The National Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame. Fred was best known, however, for rewriting Florida’s Medicaid Third-Party Recovery Act to allow the State of Florida to sue and recover billions of dollars from the tobacco industry for smoking-related illnesses.
In 2014, New York Times bestseller Josh Young published a comprehensive biography of Fred's life. It's called And Give Up Showbiz? How Fred Levin Beat Big Tobacco, Became a Chief of Ghana, Earned Boxing Manager of the Year & Transformed American Law. In 2015, Mr. Levin was named Trial Lawyer of the Year by The National Trial Lawyers.
More than thirty years ago, Mike Papantonio joined the law firm and started one of the most respected mass torts departments in America. His work in complex litigation involving prescription drugs and medical devices has placed Mike at the center of the nationwide mass torts and class action legal community.
In 2004, Mike helped launch a nationwide organization called Mass Torts Made Perfect. Today, this organization holds annual conferences attended by the top personal injury attorneys across America in an effort to develop successful litigation strategies for confronting wrongdoing by multi-national corporations.
Mike is listed in the publications Best Lawyers in America and Leading American Attorney. In 2008, he was selected by the Public Justice Foundation as a finalist for its Trial Lawyer of the Year. In 2011, he was awarded the Perry Nichols Award, the highest honor given by the Florida Justice Association. In 2015, he was inducted into The National Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame. Today, he hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer."
Video--Fred Levin Discusses Our History
Troy Rafferty joined the firm more than twenty-five years ago and continues to build upon the firm’s legacy of success. He has achieved state and national recognition for his work as a trial lawyer and has been appointed to handle some of the nation's largest pharmaceutical and mass tort cases, including the national prescription opiate litigation. Troy has obtained numerous multi-million dollar jury verdicts in 2017 Troy obtained verdicts in two pharmaceutical cases of $150 million and $140 million which were the 13th and 15th largest jury verdicts in the country that year.
Board certified in civil trial law by The Florida Bar, Troy is also active in the Florida Justice Association, where he served as President from 2014 – 2015. He has been recognized as one of the country's top lawyers through inclusion in the publication, The Best Lawyers in America, as well as The Legal 500. Troy was also recognized as one of Florida's top lawyers by Florida Super Lawyers and he was awarded an AV rating by Martindale-Hubbell legal directory, the highest rating for competence and ethics issued by that publication, and reserved for attorneys designated as outstanding in their field.
Troy’s professional excellence has earned him a variety of recognitions. He is a recipient of the Perry Nichols Award from the Florida Justice Association, the highest award given by the organization and presented to an attorney who has demonstrated an extended and distinguished commitment to the cause of justice in Florida and the nation.
Community is also important to Troy. Along with donating to a number of local charities, he also funds two local scholarships under his name (The Rafferty Scholarship/Award), which are awarded annually to two area high school prep athletes. He funds two annual scholarships for under privileged youth through Pensacola’s Southern Youth Sports Association and he has been awarded the Living the Dream HK Matthews Legacy Award in recognition of his commitment, vision, leadership, service, and contribution to keeping Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream alive. In 2020, Troy was awarded the Sportsman of the Year by the Pensacola Sports Association for his work with youth sports.
Our Commitment to Our Clients
Much has changed for our law firm since it was formed more than sixty-five years ago. Reubin Askew, one of the two founders, went on to become a two-term governor for the State of Florida and candidate for President of the United States.
The firm now has 40 lawyers; has successfully represented thousands of clients throughout the country; and has received jury verdicts and settlements in excess of $4 billion.
Our accomplishments in personal injury law have been featured on CNN, Fox, ABC, CBS & NBC. Our lawyers have appeared in The Wall Street Journal; The New York Times; Forbes magazine; Time magazine; National Law Journal; and US magazine.
One or more of our attorneys are listed in Best Lawyers in America; National Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame; America's Elite Trial Lawyers; U.S. News & World Report Best Law Firms; Martindale-Hubbell Preeminent Woman Attorney; and SuperLawyers.
The one thing that has not changed with our firm, however, is that we know the importance of showing each and every client the individual attention and respect they deserve. And if you contact us, we always respond no matter how big or small your case might be.