Personal Injury / Wrongful Death
Just after sundown in rural Brevard County, an airboat ride turned tragic as the driver miscalculated his turn, striking one tree and ping-ponging off several others. In the melee one of the passengers was thrown out of the airboat, striking a tree, the impact nearly causing his death. Due to the dense swampland, emergency first responders were unable to locate the injured man. Fortunately, a nighttime training mission involving Blackhawk helicopters from Patrick Air Force Base was taking place at that time, and crew members were able to use night-vision goggles to rescue the man as he clung to life.
The injuries the victim sustained from the accident justified a lawsuit, the man’s family from Tennessee chose Mary Ann Morgan of Winter Park as their lawyer. The referral had come by way of another lawyer, one who had been on the opposite side of the courtroom from her in previous litigation . His respect for her passionate representation of her client in that case prompted him to suggest Mary Ann to represent this man and his family. Many of her clients come to her from other well regarded lawyers in the community.
She immediately flew to Tennessee to meet with the man and his wife, who left the meeting feeling like they had been taken into the Billings, Morgan & Boatwright family. “Mary Ann frequently ‘adopts’ her clients; they become part of our family,” said Sue Pearson, her secretary of 26 years.
The multi-million dollar recovery came only after Mary Ann recreated the conditions surrounding the accident by hiring her own airboat captain as well as an expert in the field of maritime law. Together they were able to pinpoint the exact location of the accident down to the specific tree the boat had struck. Mary Ann knew that on complex and catastrophic cases like this one, accident reconstruction can make the difference between winning or losing. Going the extra mile for her clients is one of the hallmarks of Mary Ann Morgan, managing partner with the Billings, Morgan & Boatwright law firm.
The first woman hired by the firm, she feels her strength lies in her ability to listen to and empathize with her clients. “I represent the individual,” Morgan explains. “When I go to work in the morning, I know I am representing someone who cannot do for themselves what I can do for them. Practicing good listening skills is a priority of being a true counselor-at-law. When I lay my head on my pillow at night I feel a sense of gratitude knowing God has blessed me with the opportunity to change lives for a living.”
Currently serving her 7th year on the Florida Bar Board of Governors, she is one of only three lawyers representing the 9th Judicial Circuit (all of Orange and Osceola’s lawyers and judges) She is the Past President of the Orange County Bar Association, and Past President of the Orange County Legal Aid Society, where she has been a pro bono volunteer since joining the firm in 1986.
Morgan was recently honored to be among the three finalists in the 2015 Barry University Champion of Justice Award. The award was deservedly given to former Chief Judge Belvin Perry with Senator Mel Martinez and Mary Ann as the other honorees.
Mary Ann Morgan is an encourager, a daunting presence in the courtroom, and a committed member of the Central Florida legal community. She and her husband Patrick Burke live in Winter Park with their daughter Beth.
• Florida Bar Board of Governors
• Past President Orange County Bar Association
• Past President Legal Aid Society
• Central Florida Trial Lawyers Association Board of Directors
• Central Florida Association for Women Lawyers State Representative
She has been chosen by her peers to be included in:
• Florida Trend Legal Elite
• Florida Super Lawyers
• Leading American Attorneys
• Law Dragon’s Top 500 Lawyers in America
• National Association of Distinguished Counsel – Nation’s Top 1%
• National Trial Lawyers – Top 100 Trial Lawyers
• Million Dollar Advocates Forum
Billings, Morgan & Boatwright
399 Carolina Avenue, Ste. 100
Winter Park, FL 32789