Bud Kirk, one of the firm's founders, concentrates his practice in the areas of product liability, commercial litigation and professional liability.
A significant portion of Bud's practice is devoted to the representation of clients in commercial litigation matters. He represents clients in commercial cases including those involving claims of contract breach, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, and professional malfeasance. Among his commercial litigation clients are local and nationally known companies in the fields of law, accounting, real estate development and communications.
Bud's product liability defense has centered on high profile cases in which plaintiffs seek recovery of millions of dollars. He has represented domestic and foreign manufacturers of passenger cars and trucks throughout the United States, as well as manufacturers in the aviation and heavy equipment industry. A seasoned trial attorney, Bud has represented clients in hostile territory in Florida and throughout the United States including Louisiana, Wisconsin, Maine, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and West Virginia.
The defense of professionals in the legal and accounting fields is also part of Bud's practice. Known as the "lawyer's lawyer," he has defended individual lawyers, accountants and their firms against malpractice claims
In 1996, Bud's prowess in the courtroom was recognized by The National Law Journal in its annual edition of "Winning" which highlights ten top litigators in the country. Bud was asked to share his strategies for achieving success in the courtroom which he did in the article featuring him, "In Hostile Territory, Show You Trust the Jury." In 1999 he was recognized by The National Law Journal again as being one of the "Top Litigators." He has since been recognized for his advocacy skills in numerous articles and publications, including designation by Florida Trend magazine as one of the "Top Defense Counsel." In 2010, Bud was named "Trial Lawyer of the Year" by the Central Florida Chapter of American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). . Bud has also lectured on topics related to professional liability. Most recently, Bud has been recognized as a "Lawyer of the Year" in the area of personal injury litigation--defendants for Orlando by Best Lawyers in America.
In February of 1991, Bud was appointed by former President George H. W. Bush to the Board of Directors of the Legal Service Corporation which administers nearly a half billion dollars to programs throughout the United States rendering legal services to the poor. He served in that position for three years. Bud is currently a member of the Product Liability Advisory Council, Defense Research Institute, Florida Defense Lawyers Association, American Board of Trial Advocates and the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Florida Defense Lawyers Association and is a former member of the International Association of Defense Counsel. Bud has been a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer by the Florida Bar since the program's inception.
Within the firm, Bud formerly served on the Executive Committee and as Managing Partner for thirteen years. In addition to his professional activities, Bud is active in the community in the After School Outreach program for Howard Middle School children. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for WMFE, the local public radio and television stations.
Bud attended the University of Florida College of Law where he was a member of Florida Blue Key and Executive Editor of the Florida Law Review. Bud remained at the College of Law following graduation as an assistant professor at the law school teaching courses in real property, legislation and water law. He practiced with a prominent firm in Orlando before he, Thom Rumberger, and Dick Caldwell left that firm to form Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell in 1978.