Matthew Garnett Partner
Matthew S. Garnett is a Partner in the Firm’s Miami office. He completed his undergraduate studies in 2000 at the University of Rochester, where he played Men’s Soccer for the Yellowjackets, and graduated in 2006 from the Vanderbilt University School of Law, where he was the Executive Editor and Co-Founder of the Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law. Prior to joining Boyd Richards Parker & Colonelli, P.L., Mr. Garnett worked in North Miami as the managing attorney of a large general liability and property insurance department of a regional insurance defense firm. He has practiced law in Florida for over 15 years and earned a reputation as a formidable advocate in the courtroom against even the most well-resourced adversaries.
Mr. Garnett has a concentration handling legal disputes involving first and third-party property and liability claims, all commercial and personal lines claims (including service as coverage counsel), automobile liability, construction defect claims, products liability claims, premises liability (including negligent security) claims, commercial landlord/tenant disputes, indemnification defense based in contract, and a variety of professional negligence actions in both state and federal courts throughout Florida. Further, an important part of Mr. Garnett’s practice is dedicated to assisting consumer-driven businesses as well as professional entertainers with a variety of contractual, copyright and trademark matters. Finally, as a legal academic, Mr. Garnett is a frequent lecturer to both legal industry professionals and business partners on a variety of topics, including events where clients have reached out to him to develop training seminars for insurance professionals.
Mr. Garnett is admitted to practice before the Florida Supreme Court (includes all Florida State courts) and the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Middle Districts of Florida (trial bar).
Vanderbilt University School of Law, Nashville, TN, Juris Doctor, 2006 Executive Editor and Co-Founder, Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law
Defense verdict in a 9-day commercial trucking bodily injury claim. The jury heard from a professional engineer, two accident reconstructionists, and a doctor in industrial engineering whom all placed blame on the client for misinstalling a wheel which came off and struck two joggers on the Rickenbacker Causeway. During trial, it was undisputed that the defendant installed the wheel 92 days prior to the accident, did not use an industry-standard torque wrench to apply and confirm the torque, and the defendant testified at deposition that he had torqued the wheels to 2.5 times the recommended levels. Still further, it was undisputed that there was no testimonial or physical evidence that some other party modified the wheels prior to the accident. Finally, the trial court had ruled shortly prior to trial that commercial tractor trailer wheels do not come off vehicles in the absence of negligence, and that the jury was required to apportion negligence against the parties. The jury rejected the arguments of both the plaintiffs and co-defendants in placing blame for the wheel-off on defendant. A defense verdict was returned by the jury.
Summary Judgment defending a national hotel chain and franchisee in a negligent security claim where two hotel guests were shot in a drive-by shooting. The trial judge rejected attempts by counsel for one of the victims to delay summary disposition so additional discovery could be completed, and after a round of supplemental briefing on disputed legal issues ordered by the trial court, the defendant received a final judgment in its favor. The trial court decision was not appealed.
Obtained a dismissal for fraud-upon-the-court against a plaintiff in a heavily litigated premises liability action. The fraud motion practice included two evidentiary proceedings, three motions to compel related to electronic discovery, as well as a Kozel motion which raised multiple issues of suspected discovery misconduct. A highlight of the litigation was a last minute motion by the plaintiff which suggested that the alleged fraud could only have been discovered if defendant already had access to key documents that plaintiff claimed did not exist. The strategy implemented to obtain this result is currently being developed into a case study summarizing and providing practice recommendations for fraud-upon-the-court proceedings in the Third District Court of Appeals.
Entrusted with being the first attorney in Florida to argue a post-trial motion concerning the interpretation of a recently enacted statute that placed constraints on the award of attorneys’ fees in certain property insurance claims. The ruling by the trial court judge was in the favor of the defendant and was one of a handful of cases whose outcome ultimately required approval by the Florida Supreme Court. Same property insurance client also endorsed Mr. Garnett’s analysis of a related statute, whose text had not changed since 1970, which he interpreted to further constrict the availability of attorneys’ fees. The legal briefing was deemed so persuasive by the trial court that it was skeptical that the issue had not previously been litigated. Mr. Garnett’s argument was then complemented by the client’s 20-year appellate attorney, also present at the hearing, who confirmed this was the first case in Florida where the argument had been raised. The trial court ruled in the defendant’s favor and the result was affirmed on appeal (on different but related grounds).