Insurance and civil litigation defense firm Tyson & Mendes LLP announced April 20 it opened its first office in Jacksonville.
Former Wicker Smith Partner E. Holland “Holly” Howanitz is the firm’s Jacksonville managing partner.
She is joined by three additional former Wicker Smith partners: Catherine Crawley, Ashley Hollingsworth and Tara Floyd, and several associates as well.
The Tyson & Mendes Jacksonville office is the firm’s third in Florida.
Together, those offices serve clients across the state in insurance defense litigation.
The Jacksonville office is in Suite 2500 in the Bank of America Tower at 50 N. Laura St.
The firm said in a news release the timing of the new office opening coincides with the passage of Florida House Bill 837, which changes how civil suits in Florida are litigated.
The firm said it has already substantially increased the number of suits filed in the state.
“The opening of a Tyson & Mendes office in Jacksonville with this talented team of lawyers effectively doubles our presence in Florida at a time when the state is about to get slammed with civil suits,” said Strategic Managing Partner Robert Tyson.
The firm has offices in Fort Lauderdale and Tampa.
Howanitz has nearly 20 years of legal experience in practice areas including general liability, professional liability, medical malpractice, long-term care, automotive, trucking and construction litigation.
At Wicker Smith, Howanitz served as a shareholder and was the second youngest to be moved up to equity.
She has represented large corporations and individuals.
Howanitz is admitted to practice in Florida, Georgia and Tennessee.
She received her bachelor’s degree from Oglethorpe University and her juris doctor from Florida Coastal School of Law.
Partner Catherine Crawley focuses her practice on matters involving civil litigation, premises liability, construction, transportation and trucking, and medical malpractice.
Partner Ashley Hollingsworth has experience in automobile negligence, premises liability, nursing home and assisted living facility matters.
Partner Tara Floyd focuses on cases involving civil litigation, construction, insurance coverage and bad faith, medical malpractice, nursing home and assisted living, automobile litigation and premises liability.