Samantha Duke: Having a Career and Family are not Mutually Exclusive

07.18.19 | Permalink

Samantha Duke has always liked to be challenged, which is exactly what she likes about her practice that is focused on consumer and product defense and class actions. Growing up in Gainesville, Samantha says she was always a good student and was motivated to take on tough courses that were thought-provoking and challenging. Years later, Samantha says these are the same qualities she enjoys most about her law practice and work. “I like that each case is different, complicated and interesting,” she said. Samantha joined Rumberger eight years ago and began working with partner Doug Brown on consumer defense claims under the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA).

“Consumer defense claims cases lend themselves to class action lawsuits,” explained Samantha. “These cases are typically economic injury cases based on an advertising claim or claim of defective product without injury. “Because the stakes are typically high in these cases, you get to explore creative, new and interesting defenses,” she said. “I like the opportunity to think through really tough and complex issues,” she continued. “I also like that I get to touch a lot of different areas of law. For example, I’ve been worked class actions for consumer protection issues, product liability, employment, civil rights, warranty and Telephone Consumer Protection Act cases. While the framework of the class action is the same, the underlying substantive issues are different and that makes my work a lot more fascinating,” she said.

In 2016, Samantha assisted in securing a denial of class certification in a multi-state putative class action venued in the Northern District of California.

Samantha thrives on the diversity of her work. “One week I’m doing legal research in the office and then the next I’m out of the office doing depositions, hearing or inspections. “It’s very different than my first job when I worked as a claims adjuster after graduating from college. She admitted that law school was always in mind.

When she is not working, Samantha is busy playing and spending time with her two daughters and husband. “With two girls under the age of five, we definitely spend a lot of time at Disney and at the pool during the summertime. Even a trip to Publix can be considered a field trip.” she laughed.

“It’s important to me that I show my daughters that you can be a mom and have a career you enjoy,” noted Samantha. “I want them to see that they have choices to do whatever they want,” she added. “It’s also good that they know they are not the only important thing in my life. I have a job and sometimes I have to travel. They are very well adjusted and handle that well because they have a great father who is able to be home and doesn’t need to work late or on the weekends,” she explained. “They actually get excited when I’m out of town because they’ll get to watch television shows during dinner,” she laughed.

Samantha’s husband teaches fifth grade, so in addition to him having a regular schedule, he is also home during the summer. “He likes that he’s able to do home improvements projects and take care of the house during the week so that the weekends are filled with fun.”

Before the girls were born, Samantha and her husband liked spending time outdoors hiking. “We really enjoy the mountains and visiting places like the Grand Canyon and Yosemite. On one hike, we climbed Yosemite Falls and the sign said it was a three mile trail. We figured we’d be done in an hour, but it was so steep, it took us six hours to get to the top and back. It was the most exhausted we’ve ever been,” she remembered. “While we won’t be doing any trails like that for a long time, I’m excited to take the girls with us to spend time exploring the trails in Utah and Yosemite.” 

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