With a career that spanned nearly 60 years, Henry Burnett, founding partner of Fowler White Burnett, was well-known as a distinguished attorney in South Florida’s legal community. Mr. Burnett was the third lawyer to join the firm’s Miami office in 1950.
One of only 189 attorneys welcomed into the Florida Bar’s 50-Year Member list, Mr. Burnett’s contribution to the legal community was significant. Mr. Burnett helped establish the foundations of the Defense Research Institute, Dade County Defense Bar Association and the Florida Defense Lawyers Association. He served as the first president of the FDLA in 1966 and the second president of the DCDBA in 1967. He also served as president to the International Association of Defense Counsel in 1976.
The Florida Defense Lawyer’s Association recognized Mr. Burnett’s achievements, in June 2006, by establishing the Henry Burnett Trial Advocacy Award at Stetson University College of Law. The award is in recognition of the “indelible impression made by Mr. Burnett on the defense practice throughout the State of Florida.”
Mr. Burnett devoted his litigation practice to insurance defense, with a specific emphasis on medical malpractice. For many years, he served as lead counsel to a major South Florida medical school. Once he retired, he continued to advise the Medical Malpractice Group on legal issues surrounding active cases for the same medical school.
Mr. Burnett also successfully litigated claims relating to professional liability, personal injury, wrongful death, products liability and premises liability before State and Federal Courts. Among his more noteworthy matters, Mr. Burnett handled a precedent-setting Florida Supreme Court case, Nardone v. Reynolds, which involved important policy questions concerning Florida's "discovery rule" and the meaning of the term "injury" as it affects commencement of the limitations period.
Professional Associations and Memberships
- International Association of Defense Counsel
- American College of Trial Lawyers
- Florida Defense Lawyers Association
- Dade County Bar Association
- Dade County Defense Bar Association
- University of Miami Citizens Board
- Children’s Home Society of Florida