HLF Letter

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Michaels To Receive FJA Bronze Eagle Award

We are very proud to announce the Haggard Law Firm Trial Attorney and Partner Todd Michaels has been named a recipient of the Florida Justice Association’s 2018 Bronze Eagle Award.

Bronze EAGLE recipients are those members who go to great lengths by contributing time and money to the EAGLE cause which aims to provide resources to power FJA’s mission of:

  • defending civil justice at the Capitol and promote lasting and meaningful reforms to protect injured victims,
  • to preserve the safety of Florida’s consumers,
  • and to ensure the continued success of your practice for years to come.

Bronze EAGLE Award recipients have been very involved in EAGLE over the years and continue to be active in EAGLE.


When asked by the FJA what the FJA and EAGLE program meant to him, Michaels responded “When it comes to protecting the rights of the injured, the aggrieved, and the voiceless, there is no more important organization than the Florida Justice Association. The EAGLE program ensures FJA’s staff and leadership remain focused on protecting our practices and the rights of our clients without distraction.” Michaels has been an active member of the FJA since September of 2009.

He will receive the honor during the FJA’s Presidential Luncheon on Friday June 22, 2018 at The Breakers in Palm Beach.


For a free consultation or if you are a referring of co-counsel attorney, call 305.446.5700


Press Conference Regarding Parkland Shooting


Attorneys Representing Parkland Shooting Victims’ Families To Hold Media Conference, Will Be Joined by Parents of Shooting Victim Joaquin Oliver


Ft. Lauderdale, FL – In response to court records that indicate the Broward County School Board aims to minimize its responsibility in the shooting deaths of 17 people at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida February 14th, a press conference will be held on Friday, April 27th, 2018 at 10:30 am outside the Broward County School Board building.


According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel (click to review article ), court records show that The School Board “is portraying the mass murder as one incident with many victims.” Michael Haggard and Todd Michaels of The Haggard Law Firm, which represents the families of two victims, will be joined by 17-year-old victim Joaquin Oliver’s parents Manuel and Patricia.


Trial attorney Michael Haggard of The Haggard Law Firm says “the school board is watching its financial best interest instead of that of the families it has publicly claimed it would continuously support.” Haggard, whose law firm represents the Oliver family in this case, adds “The School Board should be ashamed. Each of these families are suffering. We have successfully litigated against School Boards in the past and will take this matter to Tallahassee if needed.”


The Haggard Law Firm represented the family of Juan Carlos Rivera, who was stabbed to death at Coral Gables High School in September of 2009. In that case, Haggard filed a claims bill in the State Legislature to finalize the $1,875,000 settlement agreed upon with the Miami-Dade County School Board.


Media Conference Details


Haggard Law Firm and Negligent Security Cases

The Haggard Law Firm has litigated nearly 200 cases involving the failure to provide adequate security resulting in the victim suffering severe injuries and/or death. Since 2007,  The Firm has handled over 175 negligent security cases and delivered over $400million in verdicts and settlements in those cases.


Establishments such as bars, restaurants, flea markets, shopping centers, nursing homes, banks, hotels and apartment buildings have all been subjects of successfully litigated negligent security claims. By representing individuals permanently injured in cases stemming from negligent security, we take an active role in making the community safe for the public.


In 2017 and 2016 TopVerdict named two different Haggard Law Firm cases as the #1 inadequate security (negligent security) verdicts in Florida each respective year.

Learn more about Haggard Law negligent security – inadequate security cases, click here


A Special Note From Michael Haggard…You Are Making a Difference

On April 6th of this year, I celebrated my 1 ½ year KIDNEYVERSARY!!  How did I celebrate?  By preparing for Trial….that was awesome!!!  I could only do that due to God’s grace, my prayers were answered and my brother-in-law, Major Allen Buckhalt (US Army Blackhawk Pilot and Iraq/Afghanistan war Veteran) was a match to donate me a kidney and save my life!!  As all of you know (BECAUSE YOU HAVE BEEN THERE FOR ME AND MY FAMILY THIS WHOLE TIME), I have Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) a genetic, life-threatening and incurable disease.  There are only two treatments, DIALYSIS or a KIDNEY TRANSPLANT.  Most PKD patients have to go on Dialysis and suffer the debilitating effects.  The PKD Foundation is changing all that as we march towards TREATMENT and a CURE!!!!

It is not lost on me, that I am now 100% back to normal and Allen is proudly serving us overseas once again!!  Living Kidney Donation is phenomenal and we need to encourage everyone to GIVE LIFE!!  However, the PKD patient community is on the verge of something amazing—-Through all the $$$$ you have raised with us, we are on the verge of the FIRST EVER PKD DRUG to be released to market!!!!!  Not to mention, all the clinical trials still ongoing to develop not only a Treatment but a CURE!!!

As most of you also know the curse of this disease is also the blessing!!  It is genetic…….Both Maddie and Carson each have a 50% chance of inheriting this disease……and as you can imagine that “haunts” me each night!  But even if you told me tomorrow Maddie and Carson were in the clear, we would never stop fighting this fight.  All you have to do is see the devastating effects of PKD on families.  I have lost my maternal grandmother, uncle and mother to this disease and I intend on beating it out of existence!  Because it is genetic we have made advances that have never been accomplished in other disease research—-because we can isolate the Gene!!!!

This year we are hosting our 8th ANNUAL PKD KIDNEY CASINO FOR A CURE!!!   Last year we raised well over $100,000 for the PKD FOUNDATION and this year WITH YOUR HELP, we hope to surpass that Goal!!!  WE HAVE CHANGED LOCATIONS this year and are going to Host the event at the University of Miami’s UM Newman Alumni Center at 7 pm.  It is a phenomenal venue and we know all of our Friends and Family will enjoy!!!

Bekki and I have recently agreed to Chair the PKD FOUNDERS COUNCIl–where we are accelerating all efforts to have every DOLLAR raised go immediately into PKD Research!!  Over $10 Million has been raised in this effort!! With your incredible help the past decade we have raised an additional $600,000 which has funded multiple PKD research projects!!!  We will find a cure for PKD in my lifetime!!!  I have been given a Second Chance at Life and I will not waste it……I know you will help us with our goal.  Many of you have donated in the past and we desperately need your help again!!!  Please do what you did last year or if you possibly can—-DO EVEN MORE!!!  We want all of you to come to the event, but if you cannot please look at the sponsorship levels and consider being there in spirit with us!!!

I cannot thank each of you enough for your past support and hope that you will continue to support our efforts this year. If you cannot join us on Saturday, May, 19th, you can still donate to our cause. NO donation is too small. Checks should be made payable to the PKD Foundation and can be mailed directly to The Haggard Law Firm, 330 Alhambra Circle, Coral Gables, FL 33134.  ATTN: Sibyl Fernandez.  The attached document also allows you to RSVP, sponsor a table, purchase tickets or donate directly to the PKD Foundation.  The Kidney Casino Night is live on the PKD Foundation’s website so you can RSVP and register online using a credit card!!  Visit

Please consider Becoming a Sponsor

Platinum All in Presenting Sponsor:  $10,000 (The Haggard Law Firm)

  • Diamond “Double Down” Sponsor:  $5000 –  Includes 12 tickets to the event (each event ticket includes 2 complimentary drink tickets and “fun money” for the casino), prominent listing on invitation & website and signage at the event
  • High Roller Sponsor:  $2500 –  Includes 6 tickets to the event (each event ticket includes 2 complimentary drink tickets and “fun money” for the casino), prominent listing on invitation & website and signage at the event
  • Lucky 777 Sponsor:  $1000 –    Includes 4 tickets to the event (each event ticket includes 2 complimentary drink tickets and “fun money” for the casino), prominent listing on invitation & website and signage at the event
  • Full House Sponsor:  $500 –   Includes 2 tickets to the event (each ticket includes 2 complimentary drink tickets and “fun money” for the casino), listing on invitation & website and signage at the event
  • Single tickets:  $125.00 or $200.00 per couple  PRE-SALE, $125.00 each ticket at the door  –   Each event ticket includes 2 drink tickets and “fun money” for the casino

Thanks again and I really hope to see you on SATURDAY MAY 19TH!!!!!!!!!!!

Michael A. Haggard | Managing Partner

T: 305.446.5700

F: 305.446.1154

330 Alhambra Circle, Coral Gables, Florida 33134




2017 Top Verdict in a Negligent Security Case – Haggard Law Firm

The Haggard Law Firm has been recognized by TopVerdict for notable results in 2017. TopVerdict recognizes U.S. law firms and attorneys who have obtained one of the highest jury verdicts, settlements, court or arbitration awards in the Nation or an individual State, in a particular area of law, and year

The $12 million verdict obtained by Haggard Law in Machado v Waves of Hialeah was named by TopVerdict as the number one inadequate security (negligent security) verdict and third highest premises liability verdict in Florida in 2017. The negligent security, wrongful death case was litigated by our Christopher Marlowe, Jason Brenner, James Blecke and co-counsel Alexis Izquierdo, ESQ.

Click here to view multiple media reports on the Machado verdict. 

The Machado case was also named one of the Top 50 Verdicts overall in Florida in 2017.

This is the second straight year Haggard Law has earned the #1 Inadequate Security verdict recognition. In 2016, Brenner and trial attorney Douglas McCarron were recognized for the $1.7 million verdict obtained in Navas V Regal  Entertainment Group. That case involved injuries suffered by a Monica Navas after moviegoers trampled her while trying to frantically escape a theater after a suspicious person started a fight days after the Aurora Colorado movie theater mass shooting.

Christopher Marlowe and trial attorney Pedro Echarte were the litigators of the #3 ranked inadequate security case on the 2017 list. The pair delivered a $1 million result in Gilbert v. Cryptical Development LLC.


$907K Verdict in Waffle House Parking Lot Beating Case

Late Friday, a Ft. Myers jury awarded long haul trucker Steve Long $907, 211 for the injuries he sustained from a 2014 beating by several people in the parking lot of a Waffle House.

The Haggard Law Firm’s Todd Michaels co-counseled the negligent security case along with Dave Mishael of the Law Offices of David B. Mishael and Steven N. Kassner  of Steven N. Kassner, PA.

The team of attorneys explained to the jury that for the 3 years before Long was attacked on April 19, 2014, , there were 24 significant crimes committed on the property. Those crimes included multiple fights (one involving nearly 100 people) and three incidents involving gun shots.

Haggard Law’s Todd Michaels explains “all of the crime and danger occurred in the 3rd shift, nonetheless, there was nothing done about it, IE: no security in the parking lot, no outside security cameras, poor lighting and no manned security.” 


 (Scroll down to watch video RE: importance of Foreseeability in Negligent Security Cases)

Haggards Part of Legal Organization Supporting Assault Weapons Ban


The International Academy of Trial Lawyers has announced it is supporting assault weapons. The Haggard Law Firm’s Managing Partner Michael Haggard and Senior Partner Andy Haggard are both members of this renowned legal organization. Michael is currently on the Board of Directors and Admissions Committee Board Member.

IATL is an international legal association both in spirit and membership. The Academy limits Fellowship to 500 active trial lawyers from the United States and includes over 150 Fellows from nearly 40 countries across the globe.

Fellowship in the Academy is by invitation only, and trial lawyers become Fellows only after an extremely rigorous vetting process, which includes both peer and judicial review. The Academy seeks out Fellows who have achieved a career of excellence as shown by their skills in trial, and as demonstrated by their integrity and professionalism. Members are often heavily involved in pro bono efforts and contribute generously of their time and resources to their local communities.

The organization sent out the following news release on the day of the March for our Lives protests around the country:


Contact: Janel Fick, Executive Director

Elite legal organization backs assault weapon ban, student protests

Austin, Texas, March 24, 2018 –  The International Academy of Trial Lawyers this week adopted a resolution supporting an assault weapons ban and endorsing protests aimed at ending gun violence in communities and schools.

The Academy’s board unanimously approved the resolution March 21, citing its interest in maintaining a civil society. The resolution said:

We, as an Academy, believe all assault weapons and high capacity magazines should be banned. The Academy also gives its undisputed support for the protests going on around the United States, including the March for Our Lives events, which demand that safety become a priority and that we end gun violence in our schools and communities.

The Academy, chartered in 1954, is an organization of elite lawyers nominated and selected based on their demonstrated skill and ability in jury trials and other court proceedings. The organization promotes professional excellence, legal reforms, and integrity in the legal profession.


I Became a Trial Lawyer Because…

Michael Haggard says he wanted to become a trial lawyer thanks to the example set by his father Andy Haggard and what he watched his father do to help clients effected by tragedy.




Haggard has established himself as a powerful force in the South Florida Legal Community as the Managing Partner for The Haggard Law Firm. After spending time as a Public Defender and working with a small personal injury firm before joining The Haggard Law Firm, Haggard was named a partner in 2001, secure in the belief that every case holds equal importance and could mean the opportunity to award a family resolution to a devastating incident.




He soon captured national headlines as the only plaintiff’s personal injury attorney to secure three separate $100 million dollar verdicts on behalf of individual clients. Haggard secured two consecutive $100 million verdicts on behalf of children involved in pool accidents. Several years later, a third $100 million verdict was awarded by a jury in a negligent security case, deemed the largest of its kind for that genre of case law.

to read his full bio click here:


$12 Million Haggard Law Verdict Featured in VerdictSearch Periodical

A recent issue of the VerdictSearch periodical named a $12 Million verdict earned by Haggard Law in a wrongful death, negligent security case as the “Featured Verdict” of the month.

Background of Case

A Miami Dade County jury awarded the parents of Yaimi Guevara Machado $12 million following a five-day trial that originated from a wrongful death negligent security lawsuit filed against the Chesapeake Motel.

On April 10, 2016, their daughter, 30-year-old Machado was locked out of her hotel room only wearing a bra and jeans when she asked the staff of the Hialeah motel for help . They refused. Moments later, police say, she was beaten to death by Ronald Lopez Andrade who has been charged with first-degree murder.

Machado’s family filed the lawsuit against the owners of the Chesapeake Motel because they believe its staff had several opportunities to prevent the tragedy. Along with not assisting Machado when she approached them, the hotel’s staff:

  • Allowed Andrade, who was not a hotel guest,  to linger on the property
  • sold Andrade alcohol
  • fielded a request from the inebriated Andrade for help to find a prostitute
  • did not kick Andrade off property when he sought sexual favors from a housekeeper

The Haggard Law Firm’s Christopher Marlowe and Jason Brenner were joined by co-counsel, Alexis Izquierdo, in litigating this case.

Over the last decade, The Haggard Law Firm has handled hundreds of premises liability / negligent security cases, delivering more than $300 million in verdicts and settlement in that time.

To read the entire feature by click here:

Media Coverage

The tragic and preventable crime and subsequent verdict was covered by media outlets across the area and internationally. The parents of Machado continue to hope the exposure of the case will help change motel and hotel security policies so no one else loses their loved one








FL. Senate Kills Human Trafficking Survivors Lawsuit Bill

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In a move that most would call a surprising, members of a Florida Senate Committee pulled a bill that would allow human trafficking survivors to sue Florida hotels and other businesses where they were sold for sex. The partnering House bill had already passed two committees and was headed to the House floor.

“This was a chance for our state leaders to take a stand against modern day slavery and they chose the hospitality lobby” says Haggard Law Firm Managing Partner Michael Haggard.

Haggard, who is the current president of the National Crime Victim’s Bar Association, added “to say this is disappointing is a vast understatement. Florida ranks as the third worst in number of human trafficking cases in our country. Studies show that the majority of trafficking victims, primarily for sexual exploitation, are abused in hotels and motels.”

The NCVBA has a long-standing commitment to civil justice for victims. As President, Haggard  plays an intricate role in advising and setting the annual agenda on what issues the organization will focus on in support of crime victims. This year Haggard has earmarked support of human trafficking victims as a primary goal.

The Orlando Sentinel reported: “…ex trafficking survivors spoke tearfully of betrayal by Florida lawmakers Friday as bills that would have allowed the hotel industry to be sued for willfully ignoring the problem came to a puzzling halt this week…”

The legislation would hold business owners liable if they “knowingly or in willful blindness” facilitate trafficking crimes.

“With or without state leadership, The Haggard Law Firm is 100% committed to using the tool of the civil justice system to hold business owners accountable for their negligence due to ignorance and those who choose to profit on trafficking by seemingly turning a blind eye to this multi-billion dollar criminal enterprise conducted on their property” says Haggard.

Multiple media outlets reported that the hospitality industry, namely The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association and Disney,  had been lobbying hard against it behind the scenes,

“As crime victim trial attorneys we know civil court remedies will effect change on a wide scale while helping victims pick up the pieces of their life and start a new”


Article Sources

Orlando Sentinel Story:

Brandenton herald:

Haggard to Lead Seminar During Aquatic Law Symposium

national driving prevention alliance

Our Michael Haggard will be one of the featured presenters during the upcoming 2018 National Drowning Prevention Alliance Educational Conference’s Aquatic Law Symposium.  The objective of the symposium is to provide plaintiff and defense attorneys with information about principles and practices of aquatic law. The event will be held April 2nd to the 7th at the Marriott Waterside in Tampa. Haggard’s seminar “Developing Theories of Negligence Citing Important Litigation Cases by Firm” is scheduled for the morning session which begins at 8:50am on Saturday, April 7th.

The legal symposiums are certified by the Florida Bar and in every state via reciprocity agreement for CLE credits (8 Credits Available)

Michael Haggard’s Aquatic Law Experience

Michael Haggard and The Haggard Law Firm has a long history of successfully litigating cases involving drownings and near-drownings…