Personal Injury Trial Attorney
Dawn’s a local Hispanic girl – Oakridge HS grad – UCF grad – and finally FSU law school grad.
At age 14, she told her mom, “I think it’s time I got a job.”. Two hours later, she came home as a new employee of Wendy’s. Mom’s jaw dropped. Dawn would take a city bus to work, do homework, work her shift and dad would come take her home at quitting time.
She’s never stopped working hard. “There’s a certain pleasure in giving all you got to your job”. To Dawn, that applies whether serving singles with cheese or serving the public as an attorney. Hence, her motto “small firm, big firm service”.
Before college, she worked at ORMC as a phlebotomist specializing in pediatrics and neonatal. She went on to give birth to 4 of her own and once had a hearing the morning after giving birth to her fourth child because she promised her client she would not let her down.
Dawn does some mediations helping other lawyers settle matters economically without the standard “chest beating aggressive” approach too common these days.
As far as her litigation practice goes, she needs three kinds of cases: 1) those that allow her to contribute back for the honor of being an advocate for the little guy against the big machine, such as insurance companies; 2) those that challenge her intellectual curiosity and unique ability to think outside the box; and 3) those that pay the bills.
Dawn is a big animal rights advocate. Her sister, also a lawyer, teaches at FSU law school. Her other sister, another lawyer, is the director for the Department of Elections. One brother is a radiology and the other a lawyer who works for the Jeb Bush foundation – not bad from an enlisted Air Force dad and the beautiful Spanish mom who doesn’t even drive.
Dawn’s zeal earns her referrals from adjusters, other lawyers, and most often, repeat business from former clients who love her.
Her empathy for the injured has taken a big metamorphosis. Recently, she is married to Roger, a locally well respected 30+ year trial/lawyer, former president of ABOTA and a lifetime success in the bigger cases, but who had to retire due to medical conditions. Her understanding of the plight of the injured grew immeasurably as a result of helping those in need.
Dawn throws herself into every case and truly cares about her clients who she regards as friends, even giving them her cell phone number. In the personal injury arena, that’s pretty much unheard of, but Dawn is not your typical lawyer.
Dawn Berlanga-Helms, Esq.
1422 Hillcrest Street
Orlando, FL 32803
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