One of the firm’s founders and Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer by the Florida Bar since the program’s inception, Bud Kirk 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 clients are local and nationally known companies in the fields of law, accounting, real estate development and communications.
A seasoned trial lawyer with a national reputation, Bud’s product liability practice centered on high profile cases in which plaintiffs seek recovery of millions of dollars. He 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. Bud represented clients in hostile territory in Florida and throughout the United States including Louisiana, Wisconsin, Maine, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and West Virginia.
Bud’s decades of defending professionals in the legal and accounting fields against malpractice claims earned him the moniker of the “Lawyer’s Lawyer.”
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), and as a “Lawyer of the Year” in the area of personal injury litigation–defendants for Orlando by Best Lawyers in America in 2013 and 2018.
Recognized for his successful trial career, Bud was inducted as a Fellow into the American College of Trial Lawyers, a prestigious by-invitation-only organization composed of the best of the trial bar from the United States and Canada.
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. 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.
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. For many years, he served as a member of the Board of Directors for WMFE, the local public radio and television stations. He is also a member of Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Law’s Dean’s Advisory Council.
Following graduation from law school, Bud served as an assistant professor teaching courses in real property, legislation and water law.
- Motor Vehicles
- American College of Trial Lawyers
- Florida State Committee Member
- Orange County Bar Association
- Federation of Insurance and Corporate Counsel
- American Board of Trial Advocates
- Society of Automotive Engineers
- Product Liability Advisory Council (PLAC)
- Legal Services Corporation — Board of Directors (1991-1993)
- Federal Defense Lawyers Association, Committee on Equal Justice
Chairman, Board of Directors (1991-1992)
- Defense Research Institute
Florida State Chairman (1986-1988)
- Florida Defense Lawyers Association
Board of Directors, (1982-1989)
- Lawyers for Equal Justice
Past Chairman of Board of Directors
- WMFE Board of Directors
Former member, Board of Directors
- Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Law’s Dean’s Advisory Council
- University Club
- Board of Directors, 2007-Present
University of Florida College of Law — J.D.
Stetson University — B.A., Social Science
- U.S. District Courts of Florida (Northern, Middle, Southern)
- Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer
- AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
- Best Lawyers "Lawyer of the Year" for Personal Injury- Defendants in Orlando by Best Lawyers in America 2013, 2018
- Listed in Florida Super Lawyers, Business Litigation, 2006-2018, 2020
- Listed in Best Lawyers in America. Personal Injury Litigation –Defendants. 2010-2020
- Listed in Florida Trend Legal Elite 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2012, 2013
- Listed in Who's Who Legal of Product Liability Defense Lawyers 2009, 2010
- 2010 Trial Lawyer of the Year by the Central Florida Chapter of American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)
- Recognized in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for General Commercial Litigation
- Florida Trend article “Florida Trend’s Florida Legal Elite” — Spotlighted — July 2004 and July 2005
- Florida Trend article regarding the top defense litigators — Spotlighted — February 2004
- In Hostile Territory, Show You Trust Jury,” in The National Law Journal’s annual edition of “Winning,” which presents the top ten litigators in the nation and their strategies for success in the courtroom — Featured in article — May 1996
- Justice Holmes and the Trial Lawyer: Malicious Prosecution, Bad Faith and . . . Excellence,” — Co-author — 1981
- Public Finance: New Test for Public Purpose,” — Author — 1967