Attorneys

The Team You Want In Your Corner

The attorneys at BBDG are tenacious and committed to client service. We’re eager to use our passion, experience and creativity to solve your legal problems. These are the top-notch professionals who will be serving you.

Robert W. Bleakley

Partner

ABOUT
Robert Bleakley comes from a family of lawyers. After beginning his career as an associate attorney in one of Tampa’s most prestigious law firms, Bleakley joined a law firm owned by current partner, Chuck Bavol. In April 2000, Bleakley opened “The Bleakley Law Firm” as a solo practitioner mainly defending trucking companies in personal injury cases and defending workers' compensation claims. Bleakley gradually added talented lawyers, new practice areas, new clients, and new partners to the growing firm. In January 2019 the firm became “Bleakley, Bavol, Denman & Grace”. BBDG has a statewide litigation practice. The firm also handles corporate, real estate, probate, estate, and guardianship transaction matters as well as litigation related to those areas.

PRACTICE AREAS
 Premises Liability
 Trucking and Commercial Auto Claims
 Employment Litigation
 Workers Compensation Defense
 Commercial Litigation

EDUCATION
1988: University of Michigan, B.A.
1992: Thomas Cooley Law School, J.D., Cum Laude
Thomas Cooley Law Review Member
BAR ADMISSION: 1992: Florida

REPRESENTATIVE CLIENTS
 Advance Auto Parts
 URW Westfield
 True Blue, Inc.
 Interstate Cleaning Corporation
 OPIS Resources
 Quality Distribution
 Smithfield Foods
 Little Caesars
 Detroit Tigers
 Florida Everblades
 Orlando Solar Bears

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
North Tampa Young Life:
Board Member: 2014 - Present
Board Chair: 2014 – 2018
Carrollwood Day School:
Board of Trustees: 2015 – 2019
Idlewild Baptist Church
Member: 1993 – Present
Avila Golf & Country Club
Member: 2003 - Present

Charles D. Bavol

Partner

ABOUT
Chuck Bavol is a civil trial lawyer with over 30 years of experience trying a broad range of cases in federal and state courts across the country involving a wide variety of complex issues including products liability, commercial litigation, construction defect litigation, medical negligence, and guardianship/trust litigation. Chuck has also successfully litigated mass tort cases, both individual and class action, involving a variety of medical devices, implants, pharmaceuticals, and building products.

In the commercial area, Chuck has litigated cases involving private and public contract issues, UCC sales, insurance contracts and insurance coverage, trademark counterfeiting, environmental pollution, construction, fraud proceedings, and non-competition and employment disputes.

In the mass tort area, Chuck served as National Trial Counsel for Dow Corning Corporation in its defense of silicone implant product liability cases involving its many and varied non-mammary implants. In that capacity, he has tried silicone mass tort cases across the country, as well as serving on the National Litigation Team managing local counsel throughout the United States and Canada. Chuck continued to serve Dow Corning Corporation during its Chapter 11 reorganization brought about by the silicone mass tort cases by serving the company’s efforts to develop its generic trial strategies and defenses for cases expected to be defended in the Litigation Trust formed through the plan of reorganization. Thereafter, Chuck continued to work with the Litigation Facility in the ultimate successful resolution of all non-mammary opt-out cases.

Other mass tort representations have included the successful resolution of cases involving products in both the medical and non-medical arenas. Mass tort medical product representations have included an adhesion prevention solution used during gynecologic procedures, drug infusion (“pain”) pumps, implantable defibrillator leads, uterine sling devices, cochlear implant systems, female hormone replacement therapy medications, and fen-phen. Non-medical products mass tort representation has included products as diverse as bulletproof vests (alleged defective Kevlar-type product sold to law enforcement) and table saws (allegedly failing to employ an automatic shut-off technology within milliseconds of a blade touching skin).

Chuck has also served as Florida Trial Counsel to manufacturers supplying parts and products to the automobile industry, including air bag and seat belt automotive product liability litigation.

In the construction litigation area, Chuck has handled the gamut of construction related cases from defending general contractors in litigation involving public projects, wastewater treatment plants, and the like, to defending luxury home builders involved in construction defect/mold claims involving oceanfront property. Chuck serves as Florida Trial Counsel for TopBuild Corp., the leading installer and distributor of insulation products to the United States construction industry. Chuck also serves as Florida Trial Counsel for Masco Corporation and its subsidiaries in all manner of construction related litigation matters.

A significant portion of Chuck’s trial practice has been in defense of medical malpractice claims against physicians, dentists and hospitals.

Along with partner Ron Denman, Chuck was part of the BBDG trial team winning a recent landmark $16.4 million verdict in a federal district court trial in West Palm Beach on behalf of a guardianship estate of an incapacitated ward for breach of professional and fiduciary duties by a law firm hired by the professional guardian.

Chuck was appointed to the 2010 faculty of the esteemed Trial Academy of the International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC), the preeminent trial advocacy training program for defense lawyers seeking to improve trial skills and techniques. The Trial Academy faculty is annually selected from lawyers recognized as the best civil defense litigators in the country.

Chuck is a member of The Florida Bar, State Bar of Michigan, U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan, the U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Middle and Southern Districts of Florida, and the U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth and Eleventh Circuits. He is also a member of the Defense Research Institute. He was selected as a "Leading Florida Attorney," a recognition conferred upon fewer than 6% of the state’s attorneys. Chuck served as Past President and Emeritus Director of the Florida Easter Seal Society, and also served on the Executive Committee of the Tampa Downtown Partnership.

On a personal note, Chuck and his wife Georgia enjoy travel and time away at their summer home in northern Michigan. An avid golfer, Chuck is a member of Tampa Palms Golf and Country Club and Crystal Mountain Resort (Michigan). Chuck also served as co-chairman of the Great Lakes Golf Academy, a charitable organization seeking to provide talented young golfers access to professional instruction and necessary exposure in order to receive college opportunities and scholarships.

PRACTICE AREAS
 Commercial Litigation
 Construction Litigation
 Drug and Medical Device Products Liability
 Automotive Products Liability
 General Products Liability
 Professional Malpractice Defense
 Guardianship/Trust Litigation

J. Ronald Denman

Partner

ABOUT
J. Ronald Denman is a Litigation Partner with extensive courtroom experience in state and federal courts throughout the country. Licensed to practice in Florida and North Carolina, Denman has a national litigation practice and represents individuals, and public and private companies in a wide variety of complex commercial litigation matters, including intellectual property litigation, deceptive and unfair trade practices, directors’ and officers’ liability, professional liability, defamation and slander personal injury and products liability defense, and construction litigation. Denman also represents personal representatives, heirs, beneficiaries, Guardians, and trustees in all areas of litigation involving Guardianship matter, will contests, and trust litigation throughout Florida. Denman also represents high wealth individuals in family law matters that involve complex business issues.

Beginning his career as Assistant State Attorney in 1990 in Sarasota and Orange County, Denman quickly began prosecuting major felony crimes. In 1993, he entered the civil arena representing insurance companies and corporations in a variety of litigation matters, focusing on product liability, medical malpractice, director and officer liability, and professional liability defense. In 1998, Denman joined the prestigious Miami law firm Bilzin Sumberg, and expanded his practice to include aviation defense, complex commercial litigation and intellectual property, and high profile family law matters. There, Denman achieved the status of a Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ Peer-Review Rated lawyer, which he continues to maintain today.

In 2003, Denman was asked by one of his largest clients to join his company as General Counsel and Executive Vice President of Operations. This company quickly grew to become an international manufacturer and distributor with more than $300 million in annual revenues. During his tenure with this company, Denman was able to oversee national and international litigation, intellectual property, and governmental regulation. In this position Denman regularly met with Senators, Governors, Attorneys General, and was honored by the governor of Colombia in connection with the construction of a new manufacturing plant.

In 2010 Denman returned to private practice and joined the Miami law firm of Perlman Bajandas Yevoli and Albright heading up the Miami litigation department. Besides continuing to provide business consultation services for a number of companies in connection with all aspects of operations, finance, human resources, mergers and acquisitions, risk management and international business development, Denman rebuilt his commercial litigation practice and continued to focus on complex commercial litigation, director and officer liability, professional liability, family law and probate and guardianship litigation.

Denman joined Bleakley Bavol Denman & Grace in 2014 and continues to maintain a statewide practice in a wide variety of complex commercial litigation matters, professional liability, personal injury and products liability defense, construction litigation, probate, trust and guardianship litigation, and family law matters.

In 2012 Denman became a Member of the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States. He is also a member of the U.S. District Court for the Southern and has served on the Florida Bar Aviation Standing Committee and as a Director of the Orange Bowl Foundation. Denman has also served as a Volunteer Attorney, Lawyers for Children and Guardian Ad Litem Program, and participated with the Miami-Dade County Put Something Back Program, and served as a director for the Miami Beach JCC. He is a member of the Federal Bar Association, American Bar Association and Defense Research Institute. For a list of clients, or significant cases, please inquire.

PRACTICE AREAS
 Commercial Litigation
 Construction Litigation
 Probate and Guardianship Litigation
 Family Law Matters

Gerard P. Duignan

Partner

Gerard (Jerry) Duignan joined Bleakley Bavol Denman & Grace in 2016. Duignan has extensive experience litigating first and third-party insurance matters.

Duignan was born in Oyster Bay, New York but grew up in Tampa, Florida where he attended the University of South Florida. Duignan subsequently earned his Juris Doctor degree in 1997 from the University of Florida.

Since becoming a member of the Florida Bar, Duignan has handled a wide array of cases including automobile negligence claims, premises liability claims, defense of sinkhole claims, professional liability claims, construction claims, insurance coverage issues, and personal injury protection claims. Duignan also has appellate experience, including arguing before the Second District Court of Appeals.

Duignan lives in Lutz with his wife, Annabel, and two sons. He is an avid sports fan and enjoys playing guitar.

CHRISTINA C. HEBERT

Partner

Christina C. Hebert joined Bleakley Bavol Denman & Grace in January 2006, bringing ten years of legal experience working with a small Tampa firm. Ms. Hebert has continued to focus her practice in the areas of contracts, corporate and business law, securities, and estate planning and probate.
Born in Daytona Beach, Florida, Ms. Hebert is a native Floridian. She attended the University of Florida in Gainesville, where she received her Bachelor of Science, with High Honors, in Accounting in 1992. Ms. Hebert continued her education at the University of Florida College of Law where she earned her Juris Doctor graduating with Honors in 1995. During law school, Ms. Hebert was a Legal Research and Writing Teacher’s Assistant, the Chairperson of the College of Law’s Honor Code Committee, and a member of the John Marshall Bar Association. She is a member of the Golden Key National Honor Society and the Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society.
Currently, Ms. Hebert is a member of the Hillsborough County and American Bar Associations, the Florida Bar, and the Real Property, Probate, and Trust Law Sections of both the Hillsborough County and Florida Bar Associations. She is admitted to practice in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida. Ms. Hebert is also a member of the Hillsborough County Association of Women Lawyers and the North Suncoast Estate Planning Council. In addition, Ms. Hebert authored the chapter, Dissolution, in the first edition of the LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANIES IN FLORIDA, a Florida Bar CLE Manual published in 2004.
An avid golfer, Ms. Hebert is a member of the Executive Women’s Golf Association, Tampa Bay Florida Chapter (Golf Events Committee Co-chair 2005 - 2008). Ms. Hebert is married with two sons and daughter and lives in Land O’ Lakes, Florida.

GRANT W. KINDRICK

Partner

Melissa D. Krepps

Partner

ABOUT
From the beginning of her legal career, Krepps has represented international corporations in product liability actions in both state and federal jurisdictions, from inception through appellate resolution. Over the years, she has added to her practice the defense of medical/dental practitioners in Florida malpractice cases and in administrative actions brought by the Department of Health, as well as commercial litigation and trademark infringement. In 2011, Krepps joined the firm now known as Bleakley Bavol Denman & Grace as a partner.

PRACTICE AREAS
 Product Liability (pharmaceuticals/medical devices)
 Product Liability (toxic torts)
 Product Liability (automotive, construction, and general consumer products)
 Medical Malpractice
 Commercial Litigation

EDUCATION
1993: Bradley University, B.A.
1996: Syracuse University College of Law, J.D.
Executive Editor, Syracuse Law Review
1996:Syracuse University, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, M.A.

BAR ADMISSION:
1997: New York, Missouri
2002: Florida

REPRESENTATIVE CLIENTS
 The Dow Chemical Company
 St. Jude Medical, Inc.
 Abbott Laboratories
 Wright Medical Technology, Inc.
 Intuitive Surgical, Inc.
 OMS National Insurance Company
 Fortress Insurance Company
 Advance Auto Parts
 AmTrust

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
Crisis Center of Tampa Bay: 2010-2016

Jonathan Newlon

Partner

ABOUT
Jon has been representing families and businesses in Florida since 1999. After graduating from the University of Florida College of Law, Jon joined a mid-sized Tampa firm, then a large national firm, working in the areas of real estate and corporate transactions and tax planning. In 2001, he took over the estate and tax planning practice of a well-respected attorney in Pasco County, Florida. During his time in that practice, he developed his estate planning expertise and added probate, trust, and family law litigation to his skill set. Today, Jon advises clients in all facets of estate planning and represents people in family law matters, probate and trust administration, probate and trust contests, and guardianship/fiduciary disputes.

PRACTICE AREAS
 Estate and Tax Planning
 Probate and Trust Administration and Litigation
 Guardianship and Fiduciary Litigation
 Family Law Litigation

EDUCATION
1995:University of South Florida, B.A.
1998:University of Florida College of Law, J.D., with Honors
Senior Editor, Florida Tax Review
Editor-in-Chief, Florida Law Review

BAR ADMISSION:
1999: Florida

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
 Coach and former board member, East Pasco Youth Soccer League.
 Member, East Pasco Bar Association.
 Athletic and Academic booster, Pasco High School.

Associate Attorneys

Marko Crespo

Associate

ABOUT
In March 2018, Marko joined Bleakley Bavol Denman & Grace primarily defending Employers and Carriers in workers’ compensation claims. Marko has dedicated his career to workers’ compensation defense as well as general insurance defense litigation. When not at the office, Marko enjoys spending his weekends with his family and rooting for the Buccaneers and Seminoles.

PRACTICE AREAS
 Workers Compensation Defense
 Insurance Defense

EDUCATION
2008: Tampa Jesuit High School
2012: Florida State University, B.S.
2015: Stetson University College of Law, J.D.

BAR ADMISSION:
2015: Florida

REPRESENTATIVE CLIENTS
 AmTrust North America
 Progress Energy
 Johnson Controls, Inc.
 Publix
 Penske
 United Natural Foods, Inc.
 Kuehne & Nagel
 Hussmann
 CCMSI
 Berkshire Hathaway Homestate Companies

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
Hillsborough County Bar Association
Jesuit Bar Association

Victoria M. Pearce

Associate

Victoria M. Pearce primarily practices with general and complex litigation, estate and probate litigation, and construction litigation. Ms. Pearce is a member of the Young Lawyers Division and the Real Property, Probate & Trust Division of the Florida Bar. Ms. Pearce joined Bleakley Bavol Denman & Grace in March, 2018 following her employment with the firm as a Summer Associate in 2017. As a Summer Associate, Ms. Pearce was able to participate and play a key role in the firm’s record $16.4 million jury verdict award in a professional malpractice/guardianship matter.

Ms. Pearce received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, Magna Cum Laude, from the University of South Florida in December of 2014 and graduated Cum Laude from The Florida State University College of Law in December of 2017. In fact, Ms. Pearce completed her undergraduate and law degrees in 5 years total.

During her tenure at FSU, Ms. Pearce was on the Dean’s List (2015-2017), an active a member of the Law Review, and received Book Awards in recognition of receiving the highest grade in Florida Constitutional Law and the Seminar on the Constitution Revision Commission. Ms. Pearce published her student note, A Family Affair: Presumption Of Benefit If Family Member?, with the Florida State University Business Review in Spring 2017. Ms. Pearce also published an op-ed, Oink, puff – and pass the statutory initiative, in the Tallahassee Democrat on the Constitution Revision Commission in 2017.

Ms. Pearce is a Tampa Bay native and grew up racing motocross across the United States. Prior to attending college, Victoria raced in the women’s professional class. Outside of the office, Victoria enjoys CrossFit, volunteering with Make-A-Wish, “betting the ponies,” and working on her farm

Josephine B. Rahn

Associate

Josephine (Josie) Rahn joined Bleakley Bavol Denman & Grace in March 2019. Josie came to the firm with multiple years of experience defending complex medical malpractice and nursing home cases, wrongful death matters, and general litigation and premises liability claims.

Josie is originally from Atlanta, Georgia. She graduated cum laude from the University of Georgia with her Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Telecommunications, with a minor in French. She then relocated to Florida and received her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Florida Levin College of Law. During her time in law school, she served as a senior editor for the Journal of Technology Law and Policy, worked as a legal research and writing assistant, and served on the Executive Boards for the Law Association for Women and the Entertainment and Sports Law Society.

Josie is a member of both the Florida Bar and the Georgia Bar. She also serves as an active member of the Young Lawyers Division of the Florida Bar and the Women Lawyers Association.

In her free time, Josie enjoys outdoor activities, traveling, and rooting for the Georgia Bulldogs from enemy territory.

Courtnee C. Reid

Associate

Courtnee C. Reid joined Bleakley Bavol Denman & Grace in July, 2017. Ms. Reid concentrates her practice in the areas of workers compensation and insurance defense litigation. Prior to joining Bleakley Bavol Denman & Grace, Ms. Reid practiced exclusively in the area of workers compensation defense for three years at a large law firm in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Ms. Reid was born in Miami, FL and grew up between Florida and the island of Jamaica. She attended The University of Miami in Coral Gables, FL, earning her Bachelor of Arts, with Honors, in Psychology. Ms. Reid continued her education at Vanderbilt University Law School where she received her Juris Doctor.

During law school, Ms. Reid was a First Amendment and Professional Responsibility Legal Research Assistant, a member of Moot Court, the Vice President of the Black Law Student Association, and selected as a Cal Turner Fellow. Following law school, Ms. Reid was chosen for a pro bono fellowship at Dade Legal Aid, practicing in the areas of family law, focusing on domestic and child custody issues.

In her free time, Ms. Reid loves to spend time with her family and close friends. An avid traveler, she has been to over twenty countries and loves to explore new cultures, while meeting new people.

Richard Ervin

Associate

ABOUT
Richard William Ervin, IV is a member of the Florida and District of Columbia Bars, he is admitted to practice law in all state courts in Florida and the federal Middle District Court of Florida. He practices in the areas of business, civil litigation, family, real estate, and appellate law.

Richard received his B.S. degree in political science from Florida State University in 1997. While attending Florida State, Richard interned at the Florida legislature for Representative Barry Silver and assisted with his political science professor’s mayoral campaign. Richard was also a member of Sigma Pi Fraternity. Richard earned a second bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Florida in 2003 where he excelled academically, graduating with honors and gaining admission into Golden Key International Honor Society. Richard continued his education at Florida State where he earned a master’s in business
administration and achieved honors on the Dean’s List. Richard earned his law degree from Nova Southeastern Law School. While attending Nova Law, Richard interned at the Public Defender’s office, 2nd Circuit, the Ft. Lauderdale City Prosecutor’s office, and Yoss LLP. Richard was awarded Nova Law School’s highest pro bono distinction for completing over 500 pro bono service hours.

Prior to attending law school, Richard pursued a career in banking and finance, working as a financial analyst for Branch Banking and Trust and a financial planner with American Express Financial Advisors. During that time, Richard gained valuable experience in analyzing financial data and reports.

After graduating law school, Richard assisted with and litigated a wide range of cases including breach of contract, real estate transactions, shareholder actions, fraudulent transfers, breach of fiduciary duties, deceptive trade practices, securities fraud, family law, and landlord tenant matters.

Richard has been active in the community, volunteering for the Trey Curry Foundation, Metropolitan Ministries, Volunteer Reading Tutors, and The Sharing Tree.

PRACTICE AREAS
 Contract Disputes
 Business Litigation
 Real Estate Litigation
 Family Law
 Appeals

EDUCATION
1997: Florida State University, B.S.
2003: University of Florida, B.S.
2005: Florida State University, M.B.A.
2011: Nova Southeastern, Shepard Broad Law School, J.D.

BAR ADMISSION:
2015: Florida
2017: Washington D.C.

REPRESENTATIVE CLIENTS
 Scott’s One Hour Air
 Flex It Nutrition
 Dempsey Construction

Andrew Meinking

Associate

ABOUT
Mr. Meinking primarily focuses his practice on business/corporate law transactions, and commercial litigation. He joined Bleakley Bavol Denman & Grace in August, 2019 following his graduation from Florida State University College of Law. Mr. Meinking graduated magna cum laude and received the Business Law Certificate. During his law school career, he received Book Awards in recognition of receiving the highest grade in Civil Procedure, Civil Pre-Trial Practice, Antitrust Law, and Sales and Leases. In addition, Mr. Meinking spent a semester as the Research Assistant for Dean Emeritus Donald Weidner, assisting in revising the Revised Uniform Partnership Act. He was also a member of the law school’s ABA Negotiations Competition Team and competed at a national negotiation tournament.
Andrew is originally from Kansas City, Missouri and was involved in competitive sports from a young age. Andrew continued his athletics career into college at Baker University, where he played soccer. Outside of the office, Andrew enjoys watching soccer and football, being active with his german shepherd puppy, and traveling.

PRACTICE AREAS
 Business and Corporate Law Transactions
 Commercial Litigation

EDUCATION
2012-2016: Baker University, B.S.
2017-2019: Florida State University College of Law, J.D., Magna Cum Laude
Florida State University College of Law Business Review Member

BAR ADMISSION:
2019: Florida

Matt Prado

Associate

ABOUT
In October 2019, Matthew joined Bleakley, Bavol, Denman, & Grace. Matthew practices primarily defending Employers and Carriers in Workers’ Compensation matters. Prior to joining Bleakley, Bavol, Denman, & Grace, Matthew worked at a large insurance defense firm in Downtown Tampa. Matthew was born and raised in Tampa and attended Jesuit High School. During his free time, Matthew enjoys working out, attending USF football games, and spending time with family and friends.

PRACTICE AREAS
 Workers Compensation Defense
 Insurance Defense

EDUCATION
2008: University of South Florida, B.A.
2012: Thomas M. Cooley Law School, J.D.
2014: Villanova University School of Law, LL.M.

BAR ADMISSION:
2012: Florida

REPRESENTATIVE CLIENTS
 Advance Auto Parts
 Detroit Tigers
 AmTrust North America
 Progress Energy
 Johnson Controls, Inc.
 Publix
 Penske
 United Natural Foods, Inc.
 Kuehne & Nagel
 Hussmann
 CCMSI
 Berkshire Hathaway Homestate Companies

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
 Krewe of the Knights of Sant Yago

Learn More About BBDG

With more than 25 years of litigating experience, we’re an aggressive team with a strong history of serving clients in Florida and throughout the country.

We are ready to use our passion, tenacity and experience to represent you.

Let our team fight on your behalf to get the results you deserve.

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