About Paul Abercrombie

Paul Abercrombie Articles written 6

Articles written by Paul Abercrombie

Crash and Learn

Florida's many allures will work their magic again, but it might take some time, say these real estate lawyers

C. Joseph Coleman has seen his share of economic thunderstorms in the Sunshine State. But few, he confesses, have seemed as threatening as the current crisis. "Some days I swear I almost hear the hoofbeats of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse," the Fort Myers business attorney says, sounding as though he's only half-joking. With a busted budget, anemic tourist traffic and a residential real estate market in tatters, Florida's outlook does not—right at the moment—seem all that sunny. Hank …

Shane Kelley’s Lawyerly Lineage

The estate attorney's ancestors trekked by horse and wagon to Fort Lauderdale, where his great-grandfather hung his law shingle. The rest is history        

In a family that has produced 11 attorneys in four generations, Shane Kelley is rightfully curious about his genes. "Lawyering seems to be in our DNA," the 36-year-old attorney concedes with a laugh. His most recent claim to fame was being appointed administrator ad litem in the probate proceedings to decide where Anna Nicole Smith would be buried. Much of the traceable history of Kelley's family is rooted in a seaside village in Florida that would become the thriving city of Fort Lauderdale. …

Smoked Out

Steve Yerrid helped hold Big Tobacco’s feet to the fire—to the tune of $13.6 billion

Long before the multimillion-dollar courtroom victories, the private jet, the 65-foot fishing boat and other worldly rewards of an extraordinarily successful career as a trial lawyer, Steve Yerrid was helping those in need. “When I was a young man, my father taught me the realities of the world and of how it takes more than just dreaming big to succeed. It takes guts,” says Yerrid, 57. The walls of the spacious downtown Tampa offices of Yerrid Law Firm are adorned with splashy newspaper …

Senior Partner

Jim Wilkes keeps an eye on nursing homes

Things like this happen all the time to Tampa lawyer Jim Wilkes. After last year’s tsunami, Wilkes was in Thailand viewing damaged areas and helping as best he could with relief efforts. One morning, as he stood in the lobby of a Bangkok Hotel while meeting with local officials about making a personal donation of $100,000, he ran smack-dab into Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who’d just arrived on his own mission of aid.   Bush did a double-take: “Jim Wilkes? Are you everywhere?”   Anyone who …

Eternally in Demand

Tom Carey’s business is dying … and it’s booming

Clearwater attorney Tom Carey’s legal niche is guaranteed to be eternally in demand: cemetery and funeral home malpractice. Carey’s law firm, Carey & Leisure, happens to be one of the few law firms around the nation that claim such an esoteric expertise. Judging from his growing record of multimillion-dollar judgments and a burgeoning case load, Carey’s peculiar practice appears to be thriving. Death is big business.   Still, Carey says he hardly began his career imagining he would …

Welcome to Termite World

You think bugs are bad? Pete Cardillo takes on some really bad exterminators

You could call Pete Cardillo the Anti-Orkin Man. A couple of years ago, the Tampa attorney founded what is likely the only firm in America devoted exclusively to suits involving termites. He left his post as head of litigation for Buchanan Ingersoll’s Tampa office, determined to wipe out what he sees as widespread fraud and deception in one of Florida’s biggest industries. Today, he plans to expand his practice as a swarm of complaints against pest-control companies continues around the …

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