Profile

Fred Cunningham

Domnick Cunningham & Whalen
2401 PGA Blvd.
Suite 140
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410
561-625-6260
www.dcwlaw.com


Fred A. Cunningham is a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer and shareholder in the law firm of Domnick Cunningham & Whalen.  He has a statewide and national practice devoted solely to trial work with a focus on litigating complex cases involving insurance company coverage, bad faith and catastrophic injuries. Mr. Cunningham has recovered over 350 million dollars in settlements and verdicts for his clients and has devoted his practice to collecting judgments when insurance companies fail to settle valid claims.

In 1997, Mr. Cunningham was elected by his peers to serve on the Board of Directors of the Florida Justice Association (FJA), a statewide organization of attorneys who fight to preserve the civil justice system. Over the past two decades, he has risen through the ranks, chairing several committees and ultimately serving as FJA President in 2012. His service has earned him numerous awards including the President’s Award for leadership in 2015.  Most recently, he was honored with the Perry Nichols Award, the most prestigious award given by the organization to an attorney whose perseverance, commitment, and unmatched dedication to the civil justice system is at the forefront of their lives.  In addition to the FJA, his record of leadership extends to several professional bar associations including serving on the Board of Directors and as President of both the North County Section of the Palm Beach County Bar and the Palm Beach County Justice Association.  His leadership and commitment to consumer rights has led him to become one of the top political fundraisers in the state for both Democratic and Republican candidates.

In 2014, Mr. Cunningham was inducted as a Fellow into the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, an esteemed privilege that is limited to 500 active trial lawyers in the United States.  The Academy limits this distinction to ensure that those bestowed with this honor are true leaders who have same creative vision, passion for justice, and love of the law as its founding fathers.  Mr. Cunningham is also a Fellow of the American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel, an invitation-only group of 230 attorneys around the country.

Mr. Cunningham has received multiple distinctions by The Best Lawyers in America©, Florida Trend "Legal Elite" and Florida “Super Lawyers”, including being listed as one of the "Top 100" lawyers in 2012, 2013 and 2015. He has also achieved an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating available from the nation’s oldest guide to the legal profession for legal ability and ethical standards.  As a result of his successful law practice and professionalism, he is a sought after lecturer on the topics of trial practice and insurance company bad faith.

Mr. Cunningham earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 1988 and was admitted to practice in Florida in October of 1988.  He and his wife, Robin, and their son, Sebastian, live in North Palm Beach, and are active in many local charitable organizations.

Email Fred Cunningham

Practice Areas

       
  • Insurance Coverage and Insurance Bad Faith
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  • Catastrophic Injury/Wrongful Death

Bar Admissions

       
  • Florida Bar, 1988
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  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
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  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
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  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida

Education

       
  • Belmont Abbey College (Summa Cum Laude), B.A., 1985
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  • University of North Carolina, J.D. degree, 1988

Certifications / Specialties

       
  • Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer, Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization and Education

Awards & Honors

       
  • Florida Justice Association
         
    • Perry Nichols Award (2015)
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    • President’s Award (2015)
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    • FJA PAC Leadership Award – Excellence in Political Fundraising (2014)
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    • “Rough Riders” Legislative Service Award (2011)
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    • #1 Eagle Recruiting Champion Award (2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015)
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    • Crystal Eagle (2008)
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    • Gold Eagle Award (2001, 2005, 2007-2015)
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    • Silver Eagle Award (1999, 2000, 2003)
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    • Talon Eagle Award (1998)
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    • Eagle Workhorse Award (1998)
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    • Vanguard Award (2007)
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    • FPP “Tiger in the Bush” Award (2005)

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  • National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers
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  • The Best Lawyers of America (2001-2015)
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  • Best Lawyer for Insurance Law (2015)
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  • Florida “Super Lawyers” (2006-2015)
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  • “Top 100: Lawyer in Florida – Super Lawyers (2012, 2013, 2015)
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  • Florida Trend Legal Elite (2009-2015)

Professional Associations and Leadership Activities

       
  • Florida Bar Association
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  • Florida Justice Association
         
    • President (2011-2012)
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    • President-Elect (2010-2011)
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    • Treasurer (2009-2010)
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    • Secretary (2008-2009)
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    • Executive Committee Member
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    • Board Member (1997 – Present)

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  • American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel
         
    • Fellow

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  • Palm Beach County Justice Association
         
    • President (2009)
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    • Former Board Member

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  • Palm Beach County Bar Association - North County Section
         
    • Past President
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    • Former Board Member

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  • American Association for Justice
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  • International Academy of Trial Lawyers
         
    • Inducted in 2014

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  • Palm Beach County Bar Association

Lectures / Presentations

       
  • Workshop Leader: Al J. Cone Trial Advocacy Institute (2015)
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  • Lecturer:  “Applying Florida Bad Faith Law to Florida Accidents with Non-Florida Drivers Insured Outside the State of Florida,” Florida Justice Association Workhorse Seminar (2015)
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  • Lecturer & Program Co-chair:  “Bad Faith in Florida:  the Past, the Present, and the Future,” Florida Justice Association Masters of Justice, Insurance Bad Faith (2014)
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  • Lecturer & Workshop Leader:  “Demonstration from the Plaintiff: Direct Examination of an Expert Witness,” Al J. Cone Trial Advocacy Institute (2014)
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  • Lecturer:  “Third Party Bad Faith Law and Strategy – The Four Most Important Things You Need to Know About First Party Bad Faith Law in the Handling/Litigation of Automobile Neck and Back Injury Cases,” Florida Justice Association Workhorse Seminar (2014)
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  • Lecturer:  “Creating the Proper ‘paper trail’ of the Settlement Opportunity(ies),” Florida Justice Association Masters of Justice, Insurance & Bad Faith Seminar (2013)
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  • Lecturer:  “Handling Cases in Light of the Recent Developments in Florida Bad Faith Law,” Florida Justice Association Annual Convention Advanced Trial Skills Seminar (2013)
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  • Lecturer & Program Co-Chair:  “The Future of Bad Faith in Florida,” Florida Justice Association Masters of Justice, Insurance & Bad Faith Seminar (2013)
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  • Lecturer: "Steps You Can Take to Strengthen the Bad Faith Case," Florida Justice Association Workhorse (2012)
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  • Lecturer:  “The Behind-the-Scenes Analysis of Goheagan,” Florida Justice Association Case Law Insider Call (2012)
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  • Lecturer: "An Insurance Bad Faith Recap of 2011 and the Forecast for 2012,” Florida Justice Association Insurance Bad Faith (2012)
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  • Panelist: “Bad Faith,” Manatee Trial Lawyers (2012)
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  • Lecturer: "The Trial of the Bad Faith Case," Florida Justice Association Annual Convention Trial Skills (2011)
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  • Program Co-Chair: Florida Justice Association Annual Review (2011)
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  • Lecturer: "Update, Overview, and Analysis of First Party Bad Faith Law," Florida Justice Association Workhorse (2011)
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  • Program Co-Chair: "Considerations in Handling the Underlying Tort Case," Florida Justice Association Insurance (2010)
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  • Lecturer: "Brainstorming on Bad Faith"?(Session Theme: Paradigms in Advocacy – Changing Times), Florida Justice Association Workhorse (2010)
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  • Lecturer: "Necessary Steps Which Must be Taken by Trial Counsel in the Underlying Case in Order to Prevail in the Bad Faith Case – Third Party Bad Faith," Florida Justice Association Workhorse (2008)
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  • Lecturer: "Gauging the Complexities:? Multiple Claim Insurance Cases," Florida Justice Association Insurance (2008)
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  • Program Co-Chair: Florida Justice Association Annual Convention (2007)
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  • Lecturer: "Nuts and Bolts of a Bad Faith Case," Florida Justice Association Insurance Bad Faith (2007)
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  • Program Chair: "New Horizons for Your Practice: Emerging Areas of Law Providing Opportunities for Firm Expansion," Florida Justice Association (2007)
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  • Lecturer: "Bad Faith: Getting to the Heart of the Matter at Mediation," Florida Justice Association Mediation (2006)
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  • Lecturer: "Tips for Proving the Bad Faith Case," Florida Justice Association Insurance (2006)
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  • Lecturer: "Recognizing and Preserving the Bad Faith Case," Florida Justice Association Civil Litigation For Paralegals and Legal Assistants Seminar (2006)
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  • Co-Lecturer: "Law 102: First Party, Third Party Practice," Florida Justice Association Insurance Bad Faith Seminar (2005)
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  • Medical Malpractice – "Dealing with the Medical Malpractice Bad Faith Law," (2005)
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  • Program chair: "A Comprehensive Review of the Theory and Practice of Insurance Bad Faith," Florida Justice Association Insurance (2004)
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  • Lecturer: "The Basics of Bad Faith", Florida Justice Association Insurance (2003)
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  • Lecturer: "Litigating Bad Faith Cases in the 21st Century," Florida Justice Association Fall Convention (2003)
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  • Lecturer: "Preserving a Bad Faith Claim in the Auto Case," Florida Justice Association Auto Negligence (2003)
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  • Program Co-Chair: Florida Justice Association Insurance (2001)

Publications

       
  • Columnist: Florida Justice Association Journal