Robert N. Heath, Jr. is a native of Pensacola, Florida and a graduate of Auburn University and the Florida State University College of Law. A former state court prosecutor, Robert has a wide range of legal experience representing both plaintiffs and defendants in personal injury, product liability, insurance, medical malpractice, and mass tort cases for over 41 years. He has been board certified as a civil trial lawyer by The Florida Bar and the National Board of Trial Advocacy for over 29 years and a Board Certified Civil Practice Advocate since 2012. Robert holds an AV peer review rating from Martindale-Hubbell, has been recognized as one of Florida’s Legal Elite, and as a Florida Super Lawyer for the past 15 years.
Robert has tried over 100 jury trials and argued cases before the First District Court of Appeal and the Florida Supreme Court. He is one of thirteen lawyers nationwide appointed on a bipartisan basis by the U. S. District Court in Louisiana to serve on the Appeals Panel of the Deepwater Horizon Economic and Property Damage Settlement Program, the largest settlement in U.S. history.
Robert has been a certified mediator for over 28 years and has mediated over 3500 disputes involving personal injuries, product liability, medical malpractice, construction defects, police misconduct and excessive force, fire loss, sexual harassment/employer liability, homeowner associations, real property claims, hurricane damage claims, and toxic tort litigation. He is a Fellow of the American College of Civil Trial Mediators, a Fellow of the American College of Board Certified Attorneys, a member of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals, and the Florida Academy of Professional Mediators. He received a special appointment by the Florida Insurance Commissioner to mediate and resolve hurricane claims arising from Hurricane Erin and Opal and has mediated numerous disaster claims.
Robert mediates cases throughout Florida and has mediated cases pending in 18 of the 20 judicial circuits in the state and the federal Northern, Middle, and Southern Districts.
Robert is also a Florida Supreme Court Qualified Arbitrator and has extensive experience as an arbitrator, having served as a nationwide arbitrator for the Celotex Asbestos Settlement Trust, the Fibreboard Global Asbestos Settlement Claims Trust, the Dalkon Shield Claimants Trust, and the Piper Aircraft Corporation Irrevocable Trust. He has arbitrated cases throughout the United States and served as chief arbitrator for consolidated toxic exposure claims arising from a chemical exposure as well as numerous insurance and property disputes.
Robert has a proven track record of resolving disputes and the experience from both sides of the courtroom that make him an effective mediator.
In his spare time, Robert writes novels and is the author of the award-winning legal thriller, The Judas Dilemma. His book is available on Amazon in paperback, e-book, and audiobook at the link below:
MEDIATION / ARBITRATION
• Certified Circuit Court Mediator, Florida Supreme Court
Mediated over 3500 cases in claims involving personal injury, wrongful death, product liability, construction defects, medical malpractice, professional negligence, police misconduct, fire loss, premises liability, insurance coverage, insurance bad faith, and hurricane windstorm and flood claims
• Certified Mediator, United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida.
• Qualified Arbitrator, State of Florida
• Registered Mediator, Alabama Center For Dispute Resolution
• Arbitrator, Celotex Asbestos Settlement Trust
Served as arbitrator on nationwide panel for Celotex asbestos claims. Arbitrated over 100 personal injury and wrongful death claims under the settlement trust related to asbestos exposure.
• Arbitrator, Fibreboard Global Asbestos Settlement Claims Trust
Served as arbitrator on nationwide panel for Fibreboard asbestos claims. Arbitrated approximately 120 cases from 1997 – 2000 involving personal injury and wrongful death claims under the settlement trust related to asbestos exposure.
• Chief Arbitrator, Consolidated Toxic Exposure Claims
Served as Chief Arbitrator for multiple consolidated toxic exposure claims in Pace, Florida for cases alleging injuries caused by chemical exposure.
• Arbitrator, Savannah, Georgia
Served as sole arbitrator for personal injury claim involving claimant injured in a sulfuric acid spill.
• Arbitrator/Referee, Dalkon Shield Claimants Trust
• Mediator, Piper Aircraft Corporation Irrevocable Trust
• Appeals Panel, Deepwater Horizon Economic and Property Damage Settlement Agreement
Appointed to Appeals Panel for the Deepwater Horizon Economic and Property Damage Settlement Agreement claims by the Honorable Carl J. Barbier, United States District Judge, Eastern District of Louisiana, 2012 – present.
Serve as one of 13 appeal panelists in quasi-judicial capacity ruling upon appeals filed by BP or claimants arising from the Deepwater Horizon Economic and Property Damage Settlement Agreement, the largest damages settlement in U.S. history. Personally presided over claims totaling more than $425 million. Authored over 1,200 appellate opinions to date.
• Special Master, Clark Allen, et al v. A.E. New, Jr., Inc. et al
Court appointed special master in 2016 to assist pro se claimants in class action arising from the explosion of the Escambia County Jail. Under court supervision, assisted approximately 85 claimants out of class of 668 in obtaining payments from settlement fund totaling over $17 million.
• Hurricanes Erin and Opal
Special Appointment by Florida Insurance Commissioner to mediate and resolve hurricane damage claims in Northwest Florida arising from Hurricanes Erin and Opal in 1995-1997.