Beyond the Bio

Josh Lerner Serves Up a Diverse Practice – During His Free Time, You'll Find Him on the Tennis Court or Cycling

Josh Lerner Serves Up a Diverse Practice – During His Free Time, You'll Find Him on the Tennis Court or Cycling

Josh Lerner

Josh Lerner, a partner in RK’s Miami office, handles commercial and business litigation, primarily for banking and lending industries as well as for the insurance industry. While the firm built its reputation on product liability defense, a core practice still today, Josh, who has been with the firm since 1992, has worked to apply his and the firm’s extensive experience in complex litigation practice areas and industries that are outside the firm’s historic focus.

“I’ve always been interested in broadening the firm’s brand and even though my work focuses primarily on the financial services industries and commercial and business litigation, my practice could not be more diverse,” Josh explained. “I truly enjoy the fact that every case I work on is different,” he continued.

When talking about his practice, Josh explained that the cases he works on are as unique as the commercial or business settings from which they arise. Every transaction has its own dynamics, making each case, explained Josh, engaging and challenging.

Examples of Josh’s diverse practice include handling claims on behalf of insurance companies arising from fraudulent claims. In one case, he sued seventy-seven auto mechanic shops, tow companies and others for staging car crashes and submitting bogus claims under auto policies. In another he sued, on behalf of a life insurance company, a group “agents” for churning policies and rebating commissions. In others he has defended banks and annuity issuers in claims arising from forged checks and endorsements, bookkeeper fraud, and alleged investment fraud. Josh is presently part of a team prosecuting a breach of a teaming agreement to bid on a government contract for the maintenance of the Air Force’s long range tanker fleet. Josh thrives on unraveling the facts and navigating to the right resolution of complex situations.

“The litigator’s role is to steward people and entities through the legal system. To do this successfully, I have to be a leader and an advocate,” said Josh. “I enjoy resolving matters that are important to clients and the fact that they entrust a serious problem to me is motivating,” he explained. Oral and written advocacy are two of Josh’s strength’s as a litigator; relishes and feels privileged by the fact that he earns his living reading, thinking, writing, and speaking on behalf of clients.

About legal writing, Josh says “I strive not to sound like a lawyer writing. I use words people understand to the extent possible, and short sentences, avoiding jargon.”

The quality of lawyers and their down-to-Earth nature has kept Josh working at RK for the last 23 years. The same thing he says attracted him to the firm in the first place.

Josh was part of a team for another firm representing accountants in a securities fraud lawsuit in the Cocoa Beach area when he was introduced to RK. The case involved tens of millions of dollars lost in investments in fictional second mortgages. RK was representing a law firm in the same case.

“We were taking depositions for two weeks at a time every four weeks, so the lawyers got to know each other fairly well,” said Josh. “I was extremely impressed with the quality of work they did, not just in deposition, but also in the courtroom. I thought that if I had a problem, I’d want them to represent me. It didn’t take me long after that to decide I wanted to work with them,” said Josh. “I’ve stayed because in addition to being excellent lawyers, they are good people who enjoy working hard and spending time together. I’m proud to be a part of this group.”

Josh is also proud of his children. His daughter, aged 25, is in her second year of law school at William and Mary in Virginia after working for a few years in the Washington D.C. area. His son, aged 23, graduated from University of Virginia and now works for Capital One.

Josh said spending time following his kids around to their soccer, basketball, softball and volleyball tournaments occupied a large portion of his free time when they were young, but now that they are grown, he spends free time playing tennis – a passion since childhood –cycling, kayaking and reading.
“I have played tennis for many years and really like to visit Hilton Head and Beaufort in South Carolina’s coastal low country. It’s a great place for outdoor activities,” he said. And, considering his affinity for the region, it’s not surprising that one of Josh’s favorite authors is Pat Conroy, who has written a number of novels that take place in that region.