RICHARD M. BECKISH, JR.
2994 Meredith Drive
Pensacola, Florida 32504
I am a successful attorney with over 20 years of experience and extensive trial and appellate work in both state and federal courts.
• I have managed a law office, teams of attorneys, and complex litigation, all of which require time management, organizational and communications skills as well as knowledge of broad areas of the law.
• I am licensed to practice in both Alabama and Florida and am also admitted to practice before the United States District Courts for the Southern District of Alabama, Northern and Middle Districts of Florida, and U. S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. I am also a Registered Mediator in Alabama.
5/05 - Present Liberis & Associates, P.A., Pensacola, FL.,
Position: Senior Litigation Attorney
Highlight Case: Citizens Property Insurance Corp. v. San Perdido Association, Inc. , 2012 Fla. LEXIS 2354. The client, a major condominium in the Pensacola area, suffered extensive damage from hurricane Ivan. After getting a multi-million dollar judgment against Citizens Property Insurance Corpor5ation for breach of contract, we filed suit for bad faith. The central issue in the case is whether Citizens, a quasi-governmental entity, is immune to bad faith liability for failure to promptly pay damage claims. The trial court denied a motion to dismiss based upon Citizens’ assertion of immunity and Citizens filed an interlocutory appeal. The Florida Supreme Court denied the appeal on procedural grounds and the case is currently remanded back to the trial court. This case has the potential for widespread impact on Florida property owners who depend upon Citizens as the insurer of last resort.
Duties and Responsibilities: As the senior litigator I was in charge of all major litigation for the Firm in the areas of business, construction, real estate development, condominium and HOA law, and property and casualty insurance claims. As a result, I have handled some of the most complex legal issues, including corporate and partnership breakups, large scale construction warranty issues, development agreement disputes, qui tam actions, zoning and MSBU, and major hurricane claims.
1/94 - 7/04 Richard M. Beckish, P.C., Mobile, AL.,
Highlight Case: Ex parte Lewter, 726 So. 2d 603 (Ala. 1998). This case involved allegations of fraud and conversion against an automobile dealer. The case was notable in that it set an important and widely cited procedural precedent in Alabama. The Alabama Supreme Court held that in order for a party to preserve error for appeal connected with a jury instruction, the party must first object at trial. Failure to do so constitutes a waiver of any such alleged error.
Duties and Responsibilities: I operated a general litigation practice with emphasis on small business law, contracts, personal injury, collections, and criminal defense. This required the skills of both a lawyer and a business owner.
9/92 - 1/94 C. S. Chiepalich, P. C., Mobile, AL.,
Position: Associate Attorney
Highlight Case: Sherrin v. Northwestern National Life Ins. Co., 2 F3d 373 (11th Cir. 1993). The case concerned allegations of bad faith failure to pay on a life insurance contract. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff on claims of breach of contract and fraudulent misrepresentation or suppression of material facts, awarding compensatory damages in the amount of $50,000 plus interest and an additional $150,000 in punitive damages. The Eleventh Circuit reversed in part and affirmed in part, holding that while the verdict for breach of contract was warranted based on the evidence, but that there was no evidence supporting the Plaintiff’s fraud claim because of Plaintiff’s testimony that she believed that she was insuring her own life, not that of her deceased husband.
Duties and Responsibilities: As an associate for a plaintiffs’ firm I was called upon to handle a wide variety of cases, including personal injury claims, insurance claims, bad faith litigation, and criminal defense. This was my first job out of law school and within seven days of being employed I argued the Sherrin case. The very first court I ever set foot in was the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta.
Cumberland School of Law, Birmingham, Alabama. J.D.,
* National Mock Trial Team: ATLA National Mock Trial Competition. (Finalist)
* Cumberland Trial Advocacy Board
* Judicial Intern: U. S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit.
University of New York, Albany, New York. B.S. Business*.
Golden Gate University, San Francisco, California. A.A. Public Administration.
* (Completed undergraduate work during active military duty)
1/84 - 6/89 U.S. Navy
Honorable Discharge, Rank: E-5.
* Duties: operations, intelligence, special warfare, diver.
* Numerous commendations and military schools.