Howard Coker

Coker Schickel Sorenson & Posgay, P.A.
136 E. Bay Street
Jacksonville, FL 32202

Howard Coker is President and a founding partner of our trial law firm, formed in 1976. Recognized by peers as a prominent Florida trial attorney, he is a passionate and active advocate for the cause of justice. He is focused on representing plaintiffs who have been seriously injured by accidents, product defects, premises liability and other forms of negligence. In the pursuit of justice, Mr. Coker has tried over 250 jury trials to conclusion and handled thousands of mediated settlements — a top record for results.

Mr. Coker is AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell, board certified by The Florida Bar in Civil Trial Law, receiving this distinction in 1985. In 1987, the National Board of Trial Advocacy recognized him as a Civil Trial Specialist. He has a career-long record of providing support and leadership to a wide range of legal associations and civic organizations. In 1998, he was elected President of The Florida Bar. He also served as President of the Florida Justice Association (the state's premiere plaintiffs' trial organization) in 2002.

For his tireless service and consistent commitment to both professional and community organizations, Mr. Coker has received a number of significant awards and honors. He was named Lawyer of the Year by the Jacksonville Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocacy in 2003. In 2005, he was the recipient of the Florida Justice Association's B.J. Masterson Award for Professionalism – an award that recognizes excellence in advocacy and noteworthy contributions to advancing both ethics and professionalism in the practice of law.

In 2006, the Florida Justice Association (FJA) honored him with their top recognition – the Perry Nichols Award for lifetime achievement and dedication to the pursuit of justice. Also in 2006, he received the W. McKinley Smiley, Jr. Award, presented by the Young Lawyers Section of the FJA to an attorney who has provided outstanding leadership, and support to the newest members of the legal profession. Each year since the program's inception in 2006, Mr. Coker has been consistently chosen by peers as a Florida Super Lawyer and as a Top 100 Florida Super Lawyer. He was also selected by a survey of his peers to Florida Trend Magazine's “Legal Elite,” a designation limited to the top 1% of attorneys in the state. In 2007, Mr. Coker was named “Jacksonville Lawyer of the Year” and was selected statewide as FLABOTA's “Trial Lawyer of the Year.” In 2009, Mr. Coker was honored by the Florida Justice Association with the Al J. Cone Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2010, he was selected by Best Publications as Personal Injury Lawyer of the Year for Jacksonville, Florida.

Mr. Coker's numerous professional affiliations include: President of the Florida Supreme Court Historical Society; Charter Member and Past President of the Jacksonville Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates; Fellow and Life Member of The Florida Bar Foundation; Florida Bar Board of Governors Member; Past Chair of The Florida Bar's Executive Council of the Trial Lawyers Section; Past President of the Florida Federation of the American Board of Trial Advocates; Fellow of the American Bar Association; University of North Florida Adjunct Professor, and Trustee of the University of Florida Law School. In 2008, Mr. Coker was appointed by Florida's Governor as a member of the Florida Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission.  In 2010, Mr. Coker was appointed by the Florida Supreme Court to the Florida Innocence Commission.

In addition to these distinguished accomplishments in the field of law, Mr. Coker's resume includes a long list of civic contributions. Key civic leadership positions held include: President of the Board of Directors of the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens; Life Sponsor, Past President, and “Sportsman of the Year” of Jacksonville Ducks Unlimited; Member of the Board of Directors for the Spina Bifida Association of Jacksonville; Past President of the Florida Conservation Association; Charter Life Member of the University of Florida National Alumni Association; Member of the President's Council of the University of Florida National Alumni Association, and Learn to Read's 2007 “Kiss the Pig” top fund raiser and Business Champion of the Year. In 2010, Mr. Coker was named by Best Lawyers as Personal Injury Lawyer of the Year for Jacksonville, Florida.

Additional Information    vCard
_Personal _Born: April 30, 1947 in Jacksonville, Florida

_Education _University of Florida: _ Bachelor of Science (1969)
_ Juris Doctor (1971)

_University Honors And Activities _Phi Delta Phi
_Florida Blue Key

_Certifications _Board Certified in Civil Trial Practice, The Florida Bar (1985)
_Board Certified Civil Trial Specialist by National Board of Trial Advocacy (1987)

_Bar Admissions _Courts of the State of Florida
_U.S. District Court – Northern District of Florida
_U.S. District Court – Middle District of Florida
_U.S. District Court – Southern District of Florida
_U.S. Court of Appeals – 11th Circuit
_Supreme Court of the United States

_Professional Honors, Activities And Affiliations _Jacksonville Bar Association
_The Florida Bar: _President (1998-1999)
_Board of Governors (1994-1998)
_All Bar Conference Committee (1996)
_Annual Meeting Committee (1996)
_Chair, Board Review Committee on Professional Ethics
_Chair, Section Leadership Conference
_Budget Committee
_Chair, Program Evaluation Committee
_Executive Council of the Trial Lawyers Section (1987-1994)
(Chair, 1992-1993; Executive Committee, 1989-1992)
_Council of Sections (1991-1994; Chair, 1993-1994)
_Basic Trial Advocacy School of The Florida Bar
_Faculty and Workshop Leader (1981-1992)

_Advanced Trial Advocacy School of The Florida Bar: _Co-Chairman (1991)
_Faculty (1991-1994)
_Steering Committee (1992-1994)

_The Florida Bar Foundation: Fellow, Life Member
_American Bar Association: _House of Delegates (1997-1999)
_Fellow, American Bar Foundation

_International Society of Barristers:  _Fellow (1998-present)

_International Academy of Trial Lawyers:  _Fellow (2001-present)

_Roscoe Pound Foundation
_Association of Trial Lawyers of America: _Board Member (2003-2004)

_American Board of Trial Advocates:  _Charter Member; President, Jacksonville Chapter (1988)
_Diplomat (1995)

_Charter Fellow of the American Board of Trial Advocates
_Florida Federation of American Board of Trial Advocates:  _President (1997)
_Jacksonville Chapter Representative (1989-present)

_Florida Justice Association (Eagle Member): _President (2002-2003)
_Board of Directors (1995-present)

_First Coast Trial Lawyers Association
_Florida Lawyer Association for the Maintenance of Excellence:  _Board of Directors (1995-1997)

_The Chester Bedell Memorial Foundation: _Board of Trustees (1996-2001)
_The Chester Bedell Inns of Court Master (1997)

_Southern Trial Lawyers Association
_University of Florida Mock Trial Team Adviser (1991-1996)
_University of North Florida-Adjunct Professor: _Torts: Personal Injury Litigation
_Legal Investigation for Legal Assistant Students

_University of Florida: _National Alumni Association Charter Life Member
_President's Council (1992-1994)

_Florida Supreme Court Historical Society (President, 2005-present)
_United States Supreme Court Historical Society
_Florida Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission (2008-present)
_Florida Innocence Commission Member (appointed 2010 by the Florida Supreme Court)  

_Civic Activities _Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens: Board of Directors, Chairman
_Florida Ducks Unlimited:  _Life Sponsor
_Area Chairman of the Year (1991-1992)

_Florida Conservation Association (President, 1994)
_Spina Bifida Association of Jacksonville Board of Directors
_Learn To Read: _2007 “Kiss the Pig” Top Fund Raiser
_2007 “Business Champion of the Year”

_Recognitions _AV-Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
_Million Dollar Advocates Forum
_The Best Lawyers in America
_Who's Who in America?
_American Board of Trial Advocacy, 2003 “Lawyer of the Year”
_Florida Justice Association: _Golden Eagle Award
_B.J. Masterson Award for Professionalism (2005)
_Perry Nichols Award (2006)
_W. McKinley Smiley, Jr. Award (2006)
_Al. J. Cone Lifetime Achievement Award (2009)

_Florida Super Lawyer: _Selected each year since program's inception in 2006
_Consistently selected as Top 100 Florida Super Lawyer

_2007 Jacksonville Financial Times & Daily Record “Lawyer of the Year”
_2007 FLABOTA's “Trial Lawyer of the Year”
_Jacksonville's Best Lawyers-Jacksonville Magazine (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009)
_2009 Jacksonville Bar Association's “True Champion For Diversity Award”
_2010 Best Lawyers “Personal Injury Lawyer of the Year,” Jacksonville, FL  

_Representative Publications And Presentations _Speaker, Induction of Candidates for Admission to The Florida Bar, October 1998.
_Celebrity Roast Honoring Sheriff Nat Glover, Spina Bifida Association, Roaster, November 1998.
_“How to Motivate Members to Use The Florida Bar”– Speaker, Collier County Bar Association, Naples, December 1998.
_“Ethics and Professionalism” — Speaker, 1st DCA Appellate Seminar, Tallahassee, January, 1999.
_“Independence of the Judiciary” — Speaker, Clearwater Bar Association, March, 1999.
_Speaker, State Mock Trial Competition, Tallahassee, March, 1999.
_“Professionalism – It Counts”– Speaker, St. Thomas University School of Law, Miami, April 1999.
_“Preparing & Presenting the Effective Opening Statement”– Speaker, 1999 Advanced Trial Skills Seminar, Orlando, November 1999.
_“The Role of the Judicial Assistant with Lawyers”– Speaker, 2000 JAAF Winter Educational Conference, Jacksonville Beach, February, 2000.
_The Florida Bar's Professionalism Seminar, Panelist, Florida Bar Convention, Boca Raton, June, 2000.
_“Successful Jury Selection Techniques” — Speaker, Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, General Session Annual Convention, West Palm Beach, June 2001.
_“The Nuts & Bolts of Final Argument” — Speaker, Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, Al J. Cone Trial Advocacy Institute, Orlando, August 2001.
_“Presentation of Voir Dire Examination in Areas of Pre-Existing Injuries and General Damages” — Speaker, Jacksonville Trial Lawyers Association, Jacksonville, May 2002.
_“Voir Dire/25 Mistakes Made by Attorneys”– Speaker, Inaugural Raymond Ehrlich Trial Advocacy Seminar, Jacksonville, June 2002.
_“Navigating the Minefield: Avoiding and Reacting to Improper Statements During Closing Arguments”– Speaker, The Florida Bar 2004 Advanced Evidence Seminar, Orlando, April 2004.
_Masters in Trial Seminar, Direct of Plaintiff's Expert, Speaker, The American Board of Trial Advocates, June 2007.
_“Lessons from Courtroom Experience”– Panelist, Florida Justice Association, Jacksonville, September 2007.
_Delegation Member and Group Leader, People to People, Russia, November 2007.
_Diversity Symposium, Moderator, Jacksonville Bar Association, February, 2009.
_“Products Liability: Danger in the Marketplace”– Speaker, 2009 Florida College of Advanced Judicial Studies, June 2009.