Jacksonville, Florida Personal Injury, Criminal Defense and Civil Litigation Lawyers
Law Firm OverviewFallgatter, Farmand & Catlin, P.A. is a law firm based in Jacksonville, FL providing a variety of legal services to clients throughout the surrounding cities and counties of Florida.
The attorneys at Fallgatter, Farmand & Catlin have assisted countless clients with cases involving personal injury, criminal defense, and civil litigation. The firm’s team of attorneys has a great deal of experience as trial lawyers and will work diligently to protect your rights.
If you are facing criminal charges or have been the victim of an injury caused by another party’s negligence, you don’t have to struggle alone. The attorneys at Fallgatter, Farmand & Catlin treat your case as more than just a file and case number – they understand that it’s your life and liberty on the line. Your case will always be handled by a seasoned attorney who will fight tirelessly to get you justice and secure your best interests. Personal injury cases are taken on a contingency basis, meaning no legal fees are charged unless the firm is able to recover your settlement.
Areas of Law
- Appellate Practice
- Back & Neck Injury
- Bad Faith Insurance
- Bicycle Accident
- Birth Injury
- Brain Injury
- Burn Injuries
- Bus Accidents
- Business Litigation
- Car Accident
- Catastrophic Injuries
- Child Abuse
- Child Pornography
- Civil Litigation
- Class Actions
- Commercial Litigation
- Competition Law
- Computer Crime
- Constitutional Law
- Construction Accidents
- Construction Injuries
- Controlled Substances
- Credit Card Fraud
- Criminal Defense
- Criminal Law
- Defamation, Libel & Slander
- Defective Drugs
- Defective Products
- Domestic Violence
- Drug Crime
- Failure to Diagnose
- Family Law
- Identity Theft
- Industrial Injuries
- Insurance Fraud
- Juvenile Crime
- Juvenile Law
- Mass Tort
- Medical Malpractice
- Medication Errors
- Money Laundering
- Motor Vehicle Accidents
- Motor Vehicles
- Motorcycle Accident
- Nursing Home Abuse
- Pedestrian Accident
- Personal Injury
- Premises Liability
- Product Liability
- Product Liability Litigation
- Professional Liability
- Professional Malpractice
- Sex Crimes
- Sexual Abuse
- Slip & Fall
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Surgical Errors
- Traffic Ticket
- Truck Accident
- White Collar Crime
- Wire Fraud
- Workplace Injuries
- Wrongful Death
Areas of Law Description
Fallgatter Farmand & Catlin, P.A. provides legal services and representation in the following areas of law:
When the failure of others to exercise due care results in personal injury to us or our families, the law allows us to obtain compensation, and to set right the wrongs inflicted upon us by the negligence of others.
You may have the right to receive compensation for your medical and hospital bills, lost wages, pain, suffering, and other related losses - because the law says that it is only fair that the victim be made ”whole.” The law requires, in many situations, that business and individuals carry liability insurance for such purposes.
Personal injury law is a broad field and encompasses numerous types of accidents and serious injuries. At Fallgatter Farmand & Catlin, P.A, while we represent clients in many different types of injury cases, we focus primarily on the following legal areas:
While there never is a timely death in a family, a wrongful death is one that occurs unexpectedly, as a result of another’s wrongful act or negligence. The loss created by such a tragedy not only leaves a family in grief, but is compounded by the injustice, carelessness, or the inherent irresponsibility of another’s negligence, and knowing that your loved one would still be with you, but for that carelessness. Surviving families are left to deal with the financial burden of costly medical bills, lost income, and funeral expenses, as well as the traumatic impact of the unnecessary death.
At Fallgatter, Farmand & Catlin, P.A., our injury lawyers represent clients in wrongful death cases. We help them gain closure on their loss, by holding negligent parties responsible, and by recovering compensation to ease financial stress. Dealing with our client’s in a compassionate manner, we diligently work to protect their rights, and handle all the legal aspects of filing a wrongful death claim, such as obtaining all the records and witnesses, researching the legal issues, presenting compelling arguments, and taking the appropriate courses of action to achieve a just and superior resolution.
Numerous auto accidents are caused by either negligence or intentional, reckless conduct on the part of a driver. Other accidents may result from other factors, such as unsafe roads, hazardous weather conditions or defective vehicle parts. Improperly functioning safety equipment, such as seat belts or airbags, can result in needless injury. When a party involved in a car accident has failed to exercise reasonable care, grounds may exist for a personal injury claim, whether the party is another driver, a commercial transportation company, a manufacturer, or the local government that bears the responsibility for maintaining safe roads.
At Fallgatter, Farmand & Catlin, P.A., our injury lawyers assist clients injured in auto accidents by beginning an immediate investigation of their case--to preserve evidence, interview witnesses and establish sources of liability. Our firm has the resources available to prepare an in depth analysis of the accident, which may include accident reconstruction, detailed medical evaluation of injuries, assessment of future medical treatment, and, in extremely severe injury cases, assessment of long term care and rehabilitation costs.
Truck accidents are uniquely different from other types of vehicle accidents, based on three factors:
* Accidents with trucks usually cause serious injury or death - because of impact involving heavy tonnage
* When trying to recover damages, the injured often come up against skilled law firms representing insurance companies or the trucking industry
* Immediate investigation and case preparation for plaintiff injury claims are often crucial for a favorable outcome, and may require investigation of multiple parties
Multiple party claims often arise in trucking accidents, because multiple individuals or companies that can typically be held liable when a truck collides with a passenger car. For example, the following parties could be subject to an accident claim:
* The individual or company that owns the truck cab
* A different company that owns the truck trailer
* The driver of the truck
* The trucking company employing the driver
* Manufacturer of defective truck vehicle parts
* Mechanics or maintenance company responsible for truck repair
* County or state - for unsafe road conditions
Trucking is an industry heavily regulated - under both federal and Florida state laws. consequently, truck drivers and companies have the responsibility of complying with laws regarding cargo weight, equipment compliance, driver road test and medical clearance, as well as background checks for employment history, driving record and criminal record. In addition, drivers must adhere to a limited number of driving hours, and take scheduled breaks. Trucks must pass inspection at specified intervals.
The average person trusts the health care provider, whether it is a doctor or hospital, to provide safe and effective care. Yet, the medical profession has become extremely specialized and highly technical, leaving the average person in the dark as far as knowing whether the practitioner’s skills and practice of medicine have met required medical standards. All too often, it is not until severe injury or death has resulted, that we suspect the medical professional might bear some liability. While medical malpractice takes on various forms, here are some common examples:
* Birth injuries
* Infections resulting from treatment
* Improper operation of medical devices
* Restraint injuries
* Errors in blood transfusion
* Inaccurate x-ray readings
* Surgery performed on the wrong organ or limb
* Surgical errors
* Pressure ulcers
* Improper medication
* Failure to diagnose
* Delayed diagnosis
* Wrong diagnosis
Not every case of an unwanted result means a doctor or hospital was negligent. Not every act of negligence means medical malpractice. Even where there is medical malpractice, there are many hurdles and procedural rules that can block a legitimate claim. Your medical malpractice lawyer is required to obtain an affidavit from a qualified medical professional that states reasons for believing medical malpractice occurred. There are strict and short time limits for submitting medical malpractice claims, called statutes of limitations. The legislature has passed caps, reducing the amount of compensation that can be recovered for medical malpractice injury.
Premises Liability / Slip and Fall
When unreasonably dangerous conditions inside a building, such as slippery floors, poorly lit stairwells, uneven flooring, loose steps and other hazards, cause people to slip and fall, serious injuries can result. Such injuries can also occur outside, because of holes in the ground or crevices in parking lot pavement, as well as ice and snow on building steps or sidewalks. These types of accidents are referred to as slip and fall, or premises liability cases.
The owner of the premises, such as property or a building, is responsible for maintaining the property and keeping it safe. When unsafe conditions cause fires, accidents or otherwise result in injury, they may be held liable.
If you have been injured and believe the owner of the premises was negligent, speaking with a personal injury lawyer at Fallgatter Farmand & Catlin can help you determine whether you have a case. We must be able to prove that the owner actually created the hazard or knew about it and failed to take responsibility during what would be considered a reasonable amount of time after the hazard’s discovery. The success of a slip and fall claim relies on establishing negligence on the part of the property owner. That is where your attorney can help you.
Products generally become defective as a result of flawed product design, faulty manufacturing, or a marketing failure to properly advertise, label and warn customers of possible risks. Some items become defective when improperly stored for sale, in which case the distributor would be held liable. Examples of types of products that have been released on the market and later discovered as defective include the following:
* Pharmaceutical drugs
* Car seats
* Medical devices
* Power tools
* Manufacturing equipment
* Industrial equipment
* Baby seats
Our lawyers at Fallgatter Farmand & Catlin will evaluate your case and determine whether there is sufficient evidence to establish cause, liability and injury, to file a products liability claim on your behalf against the responsible party. In addition to establishing the cause, source and the extent of your injury, we will evaluate your injuries and losses to determine the amount of compensation you are entitled to receive.
Brain Injury and Damage
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) takes place when, as a result of a forceful action, the brain crushes against the inside of the skull, such as from a violent shaking or a blow to the head. While traumatic brain injury may result from an object penetrating the skull, neither penetration nor actual contact with the head has to take place in order for TBI to occur.
Severe whiplash from an automobile accident, forceful jarring during sports activity or vigorous shaking from any source may all result in brain damage - known as traumatic brain injury. While the person experiencing traumatic brain injury may go unconscious, unconsciousness often does not occur. Birth injuries are not categorized as traumatic brain injury, nor is brain damage resulting from oxygen deprivation, toxic substances or congenital disease.
Personal Injury Settlements and Disputes
Insurance coverage issues range from simple matters to complex, multi-faceted issues. While our firm primarily represents plaintiff clients who are policyholders, Fallgatter Farmand & Catlin also represents clients in insurance defense cases.
Typically, insurance policies are written in contract language, which is often difficult to understand, even for seasoned businessmen and women.
Our firm assists clients with interpreting and analyzing insurance policies, not only in an effort to resolve disputes, but also by offering legal advice when entering into a policyholder contract. We also strive to protect the insured by helping them understand the coverage they have paid for, and the benefits to which they are entitled.
There is perhaps no more frightening and difficult moment in life than being accused of a crime or being arrested. When under threat of criminal charges, the entire power and force of the legal system seems to fall directly on us. Our freedom, our security, and our peace of mind are all at risk, as is the security and peace of mind of our families, our loved ones, and those who look to us for support.
Fallgatter Farmand and Catlin are highly skilled in protecting your rights during any stage of a criminal proceeding—from investigation to appeal. Our criminal defense team is headed by the former Chief Federal Prosecutor for the Jacksonville area, who personally participates in each case. He has been selected as one of the top criminal defense attorneys in the nation. Our lawyers have experience in handling the most complex multi-jurisdictional cases, as well as cases in all courts, for any and all criminal charges. While we have defended clients in a wide range of criminal cases, some of our most common and frequently litigated criminal defenses include:
Burglary / Theft
Being accused of burglary is a serious crime, and burglary is classified as a first degree, second degree or third degree felony. The severity of burglary charges increase if the person is armed with dangerous weapons or commits an assault or battery. It is a fairly common misconception that you must break and enter to commit burglary, and while this may be true in some states, it is not the case in Florida.
Initially, under Florida law, burglary was defined as entering or remaining in a dwelling, structure or conveyance with the intent to commit an offense (such as theft), provided that the premises were not public property and that the person entering was not invited or licensed to enter.
Florida laws regarding burglary changed in 2001, to include circumstances where an invited person became uninvited, or was asked to leave, or when, even if invited or licensed to be there, the person surreptitiously intended to commit, attempted to commit or committed a felony within the premises.
White Collar Crimes
Typically, white-collar crime is considered non-violent crime, committed through sophisticated means for financial gain, usually by individuals who are considered intelligent and educated. Numerous different crimes fall under the category of white-collar crime, and some of them include:
* Credit card fraud
* Computer /Internet fraud
* Insurance fraud
* Health care fraud
* Phone / telemarketing fraud
* Bankruptcy fraud
* Financial fraud
* Securities fraud
* Mail fraud
* Government fraud
* Mortgage fraud
* Forgery / counterfeiting
* Environmental law violations
* Tax evasion
* Economic espionage
* Antitrust violations
* Insider trading
* Public corruption
* Money laundering
* Trade secret theft
Depending on which court has jurisdiction, white-collar crime charges may be brought by federal or state prosecutors. Various federal agencies investigate white-collar crime, including the FBI and IRS, to name a few. FBI reports show that billions of dollars are lost in the U.S. every year as a result of white-collar crime—so the FBI typically vigorously pursues their cases—but they often target the innocent, or violate the rights of those they investigate. Either way, you have a Constitutional right to require the government to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Drug crimes carry serious consequences under both federal and Florida law, and if under investigation or indicted on alleged drug charges, the immediate involvement of legal counsel will help protect your rights. As a result of the large number drug trafficking and drug offenses, the Florida legislature and courts have bolstered enforcement and stiffened penalties for drug crimes. Even pleading to a minor drug charge can result in a criminal record.
Possession of narcotics may be regarded as a felony or misdemeanor, depending on the quantity of the drug in possession and whether there was intent to distribute, manufacture, or traffic the drugs. Possession of the following amounts of narcotics can result in felony charges:
* Marijuana - first degree misdemeanor for possession of more than 20 grams
* Cocaine - felony for possession of more than 10 grams
* Heroin - felony for possession of more than 10 grams
* MDMA - felony for possession of more than 10 grams
* LSD - felony for possession of more than 1 gram
Based on Florida law, a second-degree felony has been committed if a narcotic listed under the statutes is possessed with the intention of unlawful manufacturing, or is distributed knowing it will be used to unlawfully manufacture the substance. Imprisonment sentences for drug felonies are often very harsh, and can lead to many years in prison, if the case is mishandled.
At Fallgatter Farmand & Catlin, our criminal defense lawyers intervene on behalf of our clients, dealing with prosecutors and other authorities, in an effort to obtain the best possible result for our clients. Sometimes we are able to have investigations dropped before charges are filed, or have charges dismissed before the grand jury convenes to render an indictment. We do our best to keep your matters private and away from the media. When a case does move forward to trial, as the defendant, you have our decades of experience at your side to see that your rights are protected. Sex crimes encompass a wide number of charges, some of which include:
* Sexual battery
* Child molestation
* Internet sex offenses
* Lewd conduct
* Possession of child pornography
* Indecent exposure
* Failure to register as a sex offender
* Lewd or lascivious act
At the first sign of investigation or possible allegations, we encourage you to arrange a consultation with a criminal defense lawyer at our firm. You may consult with one of our attorneys at no cost, and there is no obligation.
The repercussions of a misdemeanor conviction are frequently more devastating than people realize which is why hiring an experienced criminal defense lawyer is a wise decision. Not only will your attorney explain the significance of the charges and take much of the mystery out of the legal process, but your chances of lessening the consequences are greater when obtaining seasoned legal counsel.
Keep in mind that judges are not subject to sentencing guidelines for misdemeanors, which leaves quite a bit of leeway in sentencing. Having the right lawyer by your side can make a considerable difference in the outcome of your case.
At Fallgatter Farmand & Caitlin, we pursue legal avenues to minimize the consequences of a criminal charge, such as early intervention to convince the prosecutor not to file charges or to lessen the charges. If you have little or no prior criminal history, we can apply on your behalf for a diversion program, which would avoid the trial process and allow us to get the charges dismissed, based on the successful completion of the program.
Many other approaches are utilized as well, such as presenting mitigating evidence to judges and prosecutors, negotiating for a withhold of adjudication (so you are not labeled a convicted felon), and transferring a drug case to drug court where rehabilitation may be allowed in lieu of incarceration.
When a federal agent comes knocking at your door, you need to understand there is a good possibility that you have been targeted in a federal investigation. The FBI, DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration), Secret Service and IRS are some of the more common federal agencies that investigate federal criminal.
To their detriment, many people, instead of picking up their phone and calling their lawyer for advice, and using him to protect them, mistakenly listen to the agent’s misrepresentations that it is in their best interest to cooperate in an interview. Even though an individual may be a savvy businessman or woman, or a very skilled professional in his or her field, most people lack the legal skills and necessary know-how to effectively deal with an FBI or IRS agent. That is how they take advantage of you.
At Fallgatter Farmand & Catlin, our firm has extensive experience in representing federal cases. Having served as a federal prosecutor for 17 years, and having run the Jacksonville office as its Chief Assistant, supervising 20 attorneys, and handling some of the most complex federal prosecutions, Senior Partner Curtis S. Fallgatter acquired invaluable insight into federal case strategies and prosecutions, all of which he can now use to help you.
DUI / DWI Defense
A DUI is not an open and shut case. There are many requirements of proof and issues of evidence that the State should be made to overcome before deciding whether to plead guilty. If you were stopped improperly, all evidence that comes from that stop can be excluded, kept out of court, and not used against you.
Many times, officers will claim that a driver has failed the field test, only for us to review the video and prove them wrong - perhaps as often as 50% of these videos. Breath tests too, can be flawed, and since they are often given several hours after you were last driving, there are defenses to a "failed" breath test, too. We do all these things, and do them daily.
If you did plead guilty that first morning in court - don't think it's too late to get help. It isn't. We can also assist in withdrawing your plea, under many circumstances, and fighting your case. Find out your options. The only way to surely lose is not to understand your rights.
If you were in an accident, and blood was drawn, there are rules and procedures the State must follow, in order to convict you of DUI. Many times, officers are unfamiliar with all the rules, or just cut corners. Those rules and procedures exist to protect you and your rights. We make sure the police follow all the rules. You are entitled to nothing less, and we see to that.
Finally, many times other traffic tickets are given along with a DUI. Or, it may be that you simply got traffic tickets and no DUI. We can help there, too. Tickets can mean points on your license, and like a DUI, they can mean higher (or unavailable) insurance - often for years. And, if you got a ticket for being in an accident, a conviction may prevent you from denying fault if you are sued.
At Fallgatter Farmand & Catlin, our criminal defense lawyers represent clients in pornography cases and provide a strong affirmative defense on your behalf. Early involvement in your case may allow us to correct the government’s misperception of your alleged pornography activity, and present you in a more favorable light. Sometimes unwitting individuals have been charged when they were receiving unsolicited images, or another employee had been using their computer, and so on. In some instances, targets have been subjected to illegal searches and seizures. Whatever your situation, we are prepared to protect your rights.
At Fallgatter Farmand & Catlin, our criminal defense lawyer handling such cases was a former federal prosecutor, for 17 years, and was the Chief Assistant for the Jacksonville, Florida office, who prosecuted and oversaw the prosecution of federal fraud cases. Bringing decades of criminal law experience from the perspective of both sides of the courtroom, he works diligently to examine your records and determine what the prosecution is looking for, so your rights can be protected.
The sooner you obtain our firm, the better jump we can get on case preparation and making motions. While our first objective is either to avoid having charges filed, to have charges dropped or to present evidence that convinces a grand jury not to vote for an indictment, in the event that your case does go to trial, we are prepared to present a powerful and compelling defense.
Domestic violence laws have stiffened and are strictly enforced. Domestic violence charges can be abused as means of revenge, when animosities flare up during arguments, or during divorce actions, or when immigration issues are involved. Many people don’t realize that a call to the police for help may result in their loved one being hauled off to jail or, if he or she is an immigrant, can result in deportation, whether evidence of assault or battery exists or not.
At Fallgatter Farmand & Catlin, our lawyers are on your side, providing decades of criminal law experience. Involving a lawyer early in the case is very important and can often allow alternative resolutions, such as dismissing charges, filing lesser charges, or other approaches that permit records to be sealed or expunged if conviction does occur.
During the course of business transactions, and through managing commercial enterprises, disputes arise, facts change, and duties go unmet. Damages and harm take many forms, including lost profits, uncompensated expenses, and seemingly squandered investments of time, labor, goods and monies.
Whatever the circumstance - whether you or your company have been wrongfully sued, whether a party with whom you do business has failed to meet its obligations, or even if you are just uncertain as to your rights and responsibilities under a contract, our lawyers at Fallgatter Farmand & Catlin can help.
In this country, we have a system of justice designed to aid commerce and protect businesses and individuals to achieve resolutions through negotiated settlements, mediation or courtroom litigation. Knowledgeable and experienced attorneys and support staff at our firm will strive to protect and serve you and your company. As a Certified Mediator, one of our partners has exceptional skills to offer in assisting clients with issues involving civil litigation. Our law firm has assisted clients in numerous types of civil disputes, with a primary focus on representation in the following areas:
* Business disputes
* Contract disputes
* Probate disputes
* Construction disputes
Laws, rules, and regulations governing business, commercial and other civil matters are often complex, requiring legal help. If you are considering a lawsuit or simply need legal advice for negotiating a settlement, we encourage you to arrange a consultation to see how our firm can benefit you.
- American Bar Associations
- The Florida Bar
- Jacksonville Bar Association
- Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers
Mr. Harold H. Catlin
Mr. Curtis S. Fallgatter
Mr. Musa K. Farmand
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Jacksonville, Florida Criminal Defense Attorneys
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