Who Should Attend
- Insurance Professionals
8.0 CLER Credits
8.0 Civil Trial Certification Credits
8.0 CJE Hours
Florida Insurance Adjusters
8.0 Adjuster Law & Policy Credits
Continuing Education Credit Information
This seminar is open to the public. It has been approved for 8.0 CLE credits, including 8.0 Civil Trial certification credits, for Florida attorneys. This approval extends to Florida registered paralegals.
The Florida Office of the State Courts Administrator has reviewed this program and supports the approval of up to 8.0 hours of non-conference CJE credit.The Florida Department of Financial Services has approved this event for 8.0 intermediate-level Adjuster Law and Policy (CE0324) credit hours.
Attendance will be monitored, and attendance certificates will be available after the seminar for most individuals who complete the entire event. Attendance certificates not available at the seminar will be mailed to participants within fifteen business days.
Scott W. Dutton
Scott W. Dutton is a partner with the Dutton Law Group with offices throughout the state in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, and the Florida Keys. Mr. Dutton has handled PIP claims for over 30 years. He and his firm have handled thousands of PIP claims and lawsuits. He is a frequent CLE lecturer on PIP issues, as well as issues relating to various aspects of insurance and tort law. Mr. Dutton is a member of the Defense Research Institute and the Florida Defense Lawyers Association. He serves on the board of the Medical Claims Defense Network. He has been board certified in civil trial practice by The Florida Bar since 1992, and is AV rated “Preeminent” with Martindale-Hubbell. Mr. Dutton was chosen to sit on the PIP Roundtable for the Florida Consumer Advocate in the state’s attempts to reform the PIP statute to address PIP fraud and abuse. He was selected as a “Superlawyer” (2006, 2008-2009, 2014-2016). Mr. Dutton taught as adjunct faculty at Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, and he has judged trial and moot court competitions at Stetson Law School. He received his BA degree from Florida International University in Miami and his doctorate of law degree from Ohio Northern University, Pettit College of Law in 1984 (editorial staff, Ohio Northern University Law Review, Executive Board for the Moot Court, Order of Barristers) where he participated in four national moot court competitions. Before attending law school, Mr. Dutton worked for Miami-Dade County as a lifeguard lieutenant, and for the city of Miami as a paramedic and member of their SWAT team.
Russel Lazega is an honor’s graduate of both the Universityof Florida (B.A. `93) and The Florida State University Collegeof Law (J.D. `96, Law Review, Environmental Law Journal Editorial Board, International Law Journal Editorial Board). He began his legal career as a judicial intern to Supreme Court Justice Harry Lee Anstead, later as the assistant to the head of company regulation for the Florida Department of Insurance Legal Services Section. Currently, Mr. Lazega is an AV-rated insurance litigation attorney who heads a 15-attorney practice with offices in Miami, Winter Park, Dania Beach, Tallahassee and Tampa. He represents insurance consumers and medical service providers in pursuit of payment of reduced or unpaid insurance claims. Additionally, he is general counsel to a leading auto insurer, The Responsive Auto Insurance Company. Mr. Lazega has written and co-authored several of Thomson Reuters’ (formerly West Publishing) leading treatises on Florida insurance law including Florida Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law & Practices and Florida Insurance Law & Practice. He served as president of the North Dade Bar Association, presented proposals for insurance reform to the Florida House and Senate, has been listed on Florida Trend Magazine’s list of legal elite insurance attorneys, and helped establish a medical provider’s right to sue insurers before the Florida Supreme Court.
Steven Leiter is a partner and co-founder of Leiter, Belsky & Tharp. He has handled claims, litigated and tried cases throughout the state of Florida involving personal injury protection, first-party insurance coverage disputes, and third-party auto negligence. He has also handled various premises liability and products liability cases. He previously served as an arbitrator in PIP insurance claims and is a qualified expert to testify at attorney fee hearings. Mr. Leiter was a faculty member and presenter on “Emerging Issues in PIP” at the 2015 Annual Education Program of the Conference of County Court Judges of Florida (July 2015) and was previously selected to serve as a faculty member for PIP at the Annual Business Meeting of the Conference of County Court Judges (July 1996). In addition to being a frequent lecturer for insurance companies on PIP issues and proper claims handling procedures, he has also served as a faculty member at seminars sponsored by HalfMoon Education/ Foxmoor Continuing Education f/k/a Professional Education Systems Institute, LLC. (PESI) since 2004 and for the Broward County Bar Association (January 2013). Mr. Leiter is a Miami native who earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Georgia (1989), and his Juris Doctor degree (cum laude), from the University of Miami School of Law (1992) (articles and comments editor for The Inter-American Law Review.
J.D. Underwood has been with The Law Office of Russel Lazega, P.A. since April of 2000. He started as a law clerk and has worked as an associate attorney with the firm since September of 2000, focusing his practice primarily on representing plaintiffs in PIP litigation cases throughout Florida. Mr. Underwood recently worked closely in an advisory capacity with The Responsive Automobile Insurance Company, a new auto insurance carrier located in South Florida. He graduated from Emory and Henry College and St. Thomas University School of Law, Miami (J.D. degree, 2000). Mr. Underwood participated in Moot Court during law school and has been a contributing author to Thomsen Reuters’ (formerly West Publishing) Florida Motor VehicleNo-Fault Law (2002-2008). He has served on the Executive Board and as president of the North Dade Bar Association. He has participated in lectures to the Florida Chiropractic Practitioners’ Association, PESI Seminars (now HalfMoon Education), and the 2003 PIP law update for physicians, billers, and attorneys.
Charles Leonard Vaccaro
Charles Leonard Vaccaro is a Florida board-certified specialist in civil trial law who has been licensed to practice in the State of Florida since 1986. Mr. Vaccaro is also a member of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida and the general and trial bars for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. He has also been licensed to practice in the State of Texas since 2001 and has handled hundreds of cases involving automobile accidents and first party insurance in Texas since that time. In Florida, Mr. Vaccaro has been involved with PIP litigation since 1988 and, over the years, has defended thousands of automobile accident cases involving PIP, bodily injury and bad faith claims for numerous insurance companies. During those same time periods, he has maintained a prolific plaintiff practice, handling an even greater number of plaintiff PIP cases at both the trial and appellate level, including the noteworthy PIP cases of Amador v. United Automobile Insurance Company, and State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company v. Universal Medical Center as assignee of Blanco Franco. In September, 2015, Mr. Vaccaro and The Vaccaro Law Firm, P.A., were inducted into the 2015 Florida Verdicts Hall Of Fame in the category of wrongful death for their exceptional jury result in the case of The Estate of Fernando Castaneda v. Rigoberto Duarte and Edwin Espino, which arose out a motor vehicle accident.