Wayne Hogan: Driven to Action

The Jacksonville attorney works to keep teens focused on the road

Published in 2013 Florida Super Lawyers Magazine

Wayne Hogan, a personal injury lawyer with Terrell Hogan in Jacksonville, is well aware of one major cause of crashes: driver distraction.

So when he heard last year about a national effort to recruit lawyers to warn teens about the dangers of inattentive driving, he signed up.

End Distracted Driving’s Student Awareness Initiative, sponsored by the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation, came about after a 21-year-old college student died after being hit by a distracted driver in 2009.

Hogan, 65, speaks to Jacksonville-area high schools several times a year, using graphic terms and images to illustrate the dangers of texting while driving. The focus is on training students to have passengers make phone calls for drivers and to avoid using the phone while in the driver’s seat.

“They may be saving not only their own lives but those of the others,” Hogan says. “We’re all out there on the roads.”

The program is one of two major community efforts that Hogan supports. The other: Florida State University’s Summer for Undergraduates program, which brings students, mostly minorities, to campus for a monthlong dose of legal life.

Hogan himself has more than 40 years of legal experience, including 26 verdicts against defective-product makers. He represented the plaintiffs in Florida’s first asbestos-related illness case that resulted in punitive damages. He was also on the legal team that settled with cigarette makers in the ’90s on behalf of the state of Florida, which wanted reimbursement for the Medicaid-related health care costs of treating smokers. The team earned a $17 billion settlement, which included removing all billboard advertising of cigarettes.

In 2000, Hogan and his wife, Patricia, designated part of a $2 million gift to FSU to endow the Summer for Undergraduates program; another $1 million in 2003 to maintain funding for 60 students annually.

“Periodically, I hear from students who’ve completed the program and gone on to law school,” says Hogan. “There’s nothing more rewarding than the warm feeling of knowing you’ve made a difference in a prospective student’s life.”

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