Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz, P.A. has six offices in Southwest Florida. The offices are located in Fort Myers (two offices to serve you), Cape Coral, Naples, Lehigh Acres, and Port Charlotte for your convenience. Call us first at 800-332-9404 or fill out a simple case form today.
Dealing with insurance companies after a natural disaster can be as stressful as the hurricane itself. If you have homeowner’s insurance , flood insurance or other insurance policies for which you are filing claims , we can help you understand your policy and make sure that you receive the compensation that you deserve.
The law firm of Goldstein , Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz P.A would like to announce the newest addition to their staff Attorney Stephen W. Dommerich. Attorney Dommerich will assist clients who have problems concerning Personal injury, Criminal law and DUI, Commercial and Construction; FLSA and ADA, General Civil , and Consumer Protection. Since graduating from Nova Southeastern School of Law, Stephen Dommerich has become a board member for Southwest Florida Seminole Club where he helps plan and organize fundraising events for a student’s scholarship fund. He is also a weekly radio host on WLAW Radio and a proud member of the Epsilon Zeta Chapter of Sigma Chi Fraternity. Mr. Dommerich is also member of the Lee County Bar Association as well as the Calusa American Inn of Court.
GBCR&P is a proud supporter of the Gulf Coast Humane Society and wants to thank them for their service to our community. The Humane Society is a group that aims to stop human or animal suffering due to cruelty or other reasons. Their mission is to provide humane care for surrendered animals by offering refuge, providing medical care and facilitating an adopting home. Each year GCHS takes in more than 1,000 animals in need of compassionate care. The work this facility does on a daily basis is evident by the love and care they provide to abandoned and neglected animals.
In light of showing our appreciation for the Humane Society, Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice and Purtz has started a new trend on our social media pages. This new trend is entitled “Pet of the Week”. Every week we will shine light on a pet and give a small story about this pet in honor of the Humane Society. If you are interested in having your pet featured on our social media pages, please submit a photo and a brief story of your pet via email: email@example.com, mail, or direct message us via twitter,
The law firm of Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz, P.A. announces the addition to their staff of Attorney Derrick Gregory Isaac who will focus his practice on General Law, Civil Litigation, and Personal Injury Law.
Mr. Isaac, a member of the Florida Bar, graduated from Florida State University College of Law where he received his Juris Doctor degree. He is a member of the U.S. District Court,
Middle District of Florida, and Florida Middle District Bankruptcy Court.
Mr. Isaac is presently the Chair of the City of Fort Myers Planning Board, is a member of the Lee County Bar Association, and has previously worked as a Staff
Attorney for 6 years with Florida Rural Legal Services, Inc.
The Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization & Education has recertified Richard L. Purtz of the Southwest Florida law offices of Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz, P.A. as a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer. Purtz was first certified in 1996 and has successfully been recertified every 5 years by continuing to meet Florida Bar standards which require heightened experience and advanced skills as a trial attorney.
Florida Bar Board Certification is a voluntary designation program for Florida attorneys. Initial certification is valid for a period of five years. To remain certified, an attorney must apply for recertification
every five years and meet substantial involvement, peer review and continuing legal education requirements for the specialty area. Board certification identifies Purtz as a lawyer with special knowledge, skills and proficiency, as well as distinguishes him as a specialist and expert in his practice area.
J. Jeffrey Rice, managing partner of Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz, P.A., has been selected by his peers to be included in the 23rd Edition of The Best Lawyers© in America, published by Woodward/White for his work in the practice area of Commercial Litigation. Rice has received this distinction for seven years, and is recognized as one of the top attorneys in his field.
Inclusion in Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive and rigorous peer-review survey comprised of more than 5 million confidential evaluations by top attorneys. Because no fee or purchase is required, being listed in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor.
The holidays are officially upon us. The Thanksgiving turkey has been roasted and Christmas decorations are hanging. This is the time of year when family and friends come together to share goodwill. With people off work and college students home, the volume of traffic on the roads increases significantly during the holidays. With an increase in family gatherings and holiday parties, undeniably the consumption of alcohol will also increase.
Consuming alcohol prior to driving drastically increases the risk of motor vehicle accidents. Motor vehicle skills become impaired when alcohol is consumed. The skills that require safe driving such as concentration, coordination, reaction time, visual acuteness, and judgment become faulty after the consumption of alcohol. Statistically, Florida has the third highest rate of alcohol impaired driving fatalities in the United States (right behind Texas and California).
All 50 states have laws that prohibit driving under the influence of alcohol. Drivers are considered impaired by alcohol when their BAC (blood alcohol concentration) is .08 or higher. The more alcohol consumed, the higher the BAC, the more likely a person is to be involved in an accident. Driving alcohol-impaired comes at a price. Lives are forever changed through serious injuries and fatalities. In 2014, there were almost 10,000 deaths involving an alcohol- impaired driver—this was 31% of the total traffic fatalities for the year. According to the NHTSA, an average of one person dies in an alcohol-impaired driving accident every 53 minutes and costs the U.S. over $44 billion.
In addition to injury and death, there are also legal consequences to drinking and driving and these legal consequences are punishable by law. DUI (driving under the influence) or DWI (driving while intoxicated) is one of the most widespread criminal offenses in the United States. Once convicted of either a DUI or DWI, an individual’s punishment will depend on state law.
In Florida, a first time offender may be punished with the following: 6-9 months in jail
$500 – $2,000 fines and penalties 180 days – 1 year license suspension Interlock ignition device
These punishments increase for each subsequent offense. And once a person has fulfilled their legal consequences and paid the fines—the effects continue for years. The criminal conviction will stay on your record forever (with very few exceptions). The decision not to drive will not only save you time, money, and aggravation, but more importantly, may save someone’s life or your own. If you have been drinking, DON’T DRIVE!
Clark Griswald, a character played by Chevy Chase, epitomized the idea of holiday accidents. The 1989 slapstick comedy was based on Griswald trying to engineer a picture-perfect Christmas for his family. This comedy was a compilation of the misadventures of the entire family. Falling off ladders, high speed downhill sledding, electrocution, house fires and high speed projectiles were just a few of the mishaps that helped to propel this movie to fame. Interestingly enough, no one was seriously injured in the movie.
That’s what happens in movies… In real life, these ‘accidents’ are not funny. People often suffer serious injuries and even death when these accidents occur outside the realm of Hollywood.
While we all get wrapped up in our own seasonal activities, it’s important to know what dangers surround us this time of the year. Being extra cautious in going about certain activities could possibly save you from serious injuries and ruining your holiday.
Here are just a few holiday dangers to be aware of: food-borne illness, falling while putting up decorations, tripping over extension cords, candle and tree fires, scalding accidents, and injuries to back, neck and shoulders due to carrying luggage. These are some of the most common accidents that occur during the holiday season that leave people injured and sitting in an emergency room. All of these injuries can be easily avoided with just a little forethought and a lot of caution.
For the tenth consecutive year, Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz, P.A. offices throughout Southwest Florida served as collection points for the U. S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots Foundation, which distributes toys to less fortunate children in the community.
The attorneys at GBCR&P participated in the Lee County School district’s Constitution Week by visiting 4 different high schools and middle schools during the week of September 12th-16th.
The purpose of “Constitution Week” is to honor and celebrate the privileges and responsibilities of U.S. citizenship and help students understand and learn about the supreme law of our land.
Governor Rick Scott announced on Friday, June 24th, 2016 , the appointment of local attorney, Zachary M. Gill to the Lee County Court. Until his appointment, Gill was a partner at Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz. P.A., where he practiced for 6 years. Gill is 36 years of age.
Prior to joining the law firm Gill served as an assistant state attorney in the Ninth Judicial Circuit in 2005 and then served as an assistant state attorney in the Twentieth Judicial Circuit from 2007-2009. Gill has been recognized by Florida Super Lawyers for the past four years as a Rising Star in the field of Personal Injury Litigation. Only 2.5 percent of Florida attorneys receive this recognition.
A graduate of Florida State University, he attained his law degree from Barry University School of Law. Zach Gill fills the vacancy created by the appointment of Judge Leigh Frizzell Hayes to the Twentieth Judicial Circuit Court.
Jeffrey Rice, Managing Attorney for Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz, commented: “Zach has represented his clients with compassion, respect and integrity. We are confident he will carry these traits with him to the Bench in serving the citizens of Lee County as our newest Judge. The entire firm congratulates him on his appointment and wishes him the best.”
Cases he is handling are being reassigned to other attorneys in the firm and clients have been notified so that a seamless transition in caring for clients is ensured.
Christopher J. Smith, partner at Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz, P.A., has been selected by the Florida Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (FLABOTA) as a Member in their Southwest Chapter.
FLABOTA is an association whose purpose is to foster improvement in the ethical and technical standards of practice in the field of advocacy to the end that individual litigants may receive more effective representation and the general public be benefitted by more efficient administration of justice consistent with time-tested and traditional principles of litigation. As an invitation-only association, members must exhibit the principles of courtroom civility, integrity and professionalism over the course of their legal profession. It is widely accepted that to be invited to join ABOTA is a prestigious honor for individuals of stellar character and in-depth experience within the legal profession.
Christopher Smith is a member of the American Bar Association and the Florida Justice Association. He is admitted to practice in front of all of the state courts of Florida and also the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida. He previously served as a mentor for Take Stock in Children, where he mentored at- risk high school students to help them earn college scholarships. Smith is a trial attorney for personal injury cases.
Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz helped sponsor the 8th Annual Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce Tournament-Four Person Scramble to benefit Junior Leadership Charlotte. The event took place on May 21 at Kingsway Counrty Club.
Junior Leadership Charlotte is a program sponsored by the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce and by the adult leaders involved in the county’s Leadership Charlotte Program.
Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz was in part a sponsor of the 2016 Realtor® Golf Benefit Tournament to benefit the Boys and Girl’s Clubs of Lee County. The event held by the Royal Palm Coast Realtor® Association took place on June 2 at The Forest Golf & Country Club.
The mission of the Boys and Girl’s Clubs of Lee County is to enable all young people, especially those who need us the most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.
On Monday, July 4th, Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz participated in the City of Cape Coral’s Red, White & Boom event held on Cape Coral Parkway. Employees of the firm were on hand to celebrate Independence Day by offering free promotional items and speaking to those in need of legal assistance.
A special thanks to those who volunteered for the event: Anna Wilsker, Stacy Rodriguez, Deena Allen, Anne McRae, Richard Purtz, Ray Liviosi, Andrea Smith and Christopher Smith. Also, thank you to all who stopped by our booth. It’s always nice to talk to current and previous clients and vendors.
Congratulations Brooke Sweat! Brooke is an Olympic qualifier who starred in a Public Service Announcement television promotion, produced though Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz., to build awareness and support of student athletes who aspire to compete in the Olympics. Brooke starred in one of a few similar PSA’s produced by the firm recently that will appear over most of the local television outlets leading up to and through the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Brooke is a local athlete, born and raised in Fort Myers. She will be playing beach volleyball on Copacabana Beach in Rio. Beach volleyball games will be played August 5– August 21. Join GBCR&P in wishing Brooke good luck!
Justice Starts Now is a publication produced and managed by Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz. The purpose of this publication is to keep the public informed of firm news, what we are doing in the community, as well as information about dangerous consumer products and medical recalls. Clients, email correspondents and those who requested to receive firm information receive this publication on a quarterly basis. This newsletter is available via postal service or email. If you wish to change the delivery of this newsletter, please contact Denise Kovalick at 239-334-1146 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For over 50 years, the attorneys at Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz has been actively involved in the communities where we live and work. Our Speaker’s Bureau is one of the many ways our firm participates within the community.
The more you know about your rights, the more prepared you’ll be to deal with any situation. That’s why at Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz, we think it’s important to educate the entire community on all types of legal matters. Our attorneys welcome the opportunity to speak at events, dinners, ceremonies and public gatherings. In the past, we’ve spoken on such diverse issues as personal injury law, insurance law, premises liability law and civil and construction law. Call our office at 239-334-1146 or toll free at 800-332-9404 to schedule an attorney to speak at your event.
Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz sponsored a TEXTING AND DRIVING Public Safety Announcement (PSA) CONTEST for local high school students. The contest was part of the law firm’s Put the Phone Down (http:// www.putthephonedown.org/) campaign that began in 2013.
The winning entry was submitted by Stefan Hustrulid, a freshman at Florida SouthWestern Collegiate High School. Hustrulid’s winning video outlined the dangers of texting while driving and earned both him and his high school $250.
Put the Phone Down is a campaign to help educate motorists on the dangers of texting and driving. This year Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz enlisted the help of high school students to bring awareness to young drivers regarding the alarming statistics of distracted driving caused traffic crashes. Lee, Collier and Charlotte County high school students were invited to submit a video PSA bring awareness of the dangers of texting and driving.
In partnership with Florida Repertory Theatre, Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz sponsored in part the Gulf Coast Symphony’s presentation of Carousel in Concert at Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall on Friday, April 15th and Saturday, April 16th.
Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz is a proud sponsor of the Lee County Association for Women Lawyer’s 2016 Judicial Appreciation Reception Honoring Circuit Judge Lauren L. Brodie on Thursday, May 5th at The Marina at Edison Ford.
On Saturday, February 6th, at the Cultural Center of Charlotte County in Port Charlotte, mothers, daughters, sisters and girlfriends had the opportunity to reconnect during a day of shopping, demonstrations, pampering, makeovers, and giveaways. Admission was free to the Pantyhose-Free Zone Women’s Expo where over 100 professionals specializing in the areas of fashion and beauty, health and fitness, finance, travel, education and art offered ladies a day to remember.
On February 25, an attorney represented Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz at the Lee County Christian Chamber of Commerce Business Expo. The LCCCC Business Expo is an annual event that provides area businesses with the opportunity to network with other businesses within the community.
Each year for History Day, the Classical Christian Academy in Fort Myers turns their gymnasium into a wonderland of the time period they are studying. This year the gym was transformed into the Medieval Times era. The students are assigned a section of the gym to create a booth depicting the era. A GBCR&P attorney participated, along with parents and students, by dressing the part. A castle was created with a mote, rocks, and a drawbridge. Students participated in jousting by using stick horses to ride and struck a target with their swords—instead of one another. Also included in this ‘medieval’ wonderland was a marketplace, tannery, apothecary, church, dancing, arts and crafts, a photo booth and so much more.
The cafeteria was transformed into a medieval dining hall with its very own King and Queen coronation. Students played the violin. Smoked chicken drumsticks and corn on the cob was the lunch for the day.
On April 27th, Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz celebrated its employees at an Employee Luncheon at the Edison. During this luncheon, employees were recognized for their hard work and dedication. A few notable employees celebrating milestone anniversaries included Linda Mintz (40 years), Elaine Festa (40 years), Jeff Rice (40 years), Laura Graham (25 years), Debbie Chapman (25 years) and Jackie Moore (10 years). Congratulations on your work anniversary and THANK YOU for your hard work and dedication to helping make our law firm a success.
On Wednesday, April 27, around 7 pm, a power line fell on our downtown office building causing a small structure fire. Due to the prompt response of the Fort Myers Fire Department, the fire was quickly
contained and no one was injured. No files or client records were damaged and the office was up and running by noon on Thursday. The downtown office will remain open as repairs are made to fix the fire and water damage. Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz has five other locations in Southwest Florida for your convenience.
The firm would like to thank the Fort Myers Fire Department for their fast and efficient efforts in responding to this emergency.
As you may be aware, Radiology Regional Center is responsible for the release of patients’ private information exposing patients to the threat of identity theft. Radiology Regional patients were notified of the breach of their private and confidential medical data on February 12, 2016. It is reported over 480,000 patients are affected by this privacy breach.
Our firm has been retained by multiple individuals who have had issues of identity theft relating to the Radiology Regional Center privacy breach that occurred on or about December 19, 2015. Whether you have encountered such a theft or not, you are eligible for compensation due to the risk created by the release of these records. Radiology Regional’s offer to provide credit monitoring for one year falls far short of what is recommended in the security industry.
If you have received a notice from Radiology Regional or have been affected by the Radiology Regional privacy breach, contact our office at 239-334-1146. We will be happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have.
It’s almost summer and everyone is starting to make their plans for the 4th of July. Be sure to join the GBCR&P team at Red, White & Boom on Cape Coral Parkway. This is a family friendly event with tons of food, music and entertainment for people of all ages. The event starts at 5:00 pm with fireworks starting around 9:30 pm. Watch for announcements regarding road closures and be sure to come see us under the blue GBCR&P tent!!!
Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz is sponsoring a Texting and Driving Public Service Annoucement (PSA) Contest for local high school students. This contest is part of the law firm’s Put the Phone Down (www.putthephonedown.org) campaign that began in 2013.
Put the Phone Down is a campaign to educate motorists on the dangers of texting and driving. This year Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz seeks to enlist the assistance of high school students to bring awareness to young drivers on the alarming statistics of distracted driving caused by traffic crashes. If you are a high school student in Lee, Collier or Charlotte County, you are invited to submit a video PSA to help make people aware of the dangers of texting and driving. Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz will award $250 to the winner AND $250 to the winner’s high school.
Entering is easy—create a short video (suggested length 2 minutes or less) in the form of a Public Service Announcement. The video should make viewers aware of the dangers of texting and driving by using graphics, pictures, storytelling, statistics or your other creative talents. The winner will be chosen based on content of video, impact, and creativity. You do not need to be a professional videographer to enter—enter a submission as a group, individual or a class.
To apply, create a short video on texting and driving, upload it to YouTube, complete the entry form found on www.gbclaw.com and include the link to your YouTube video, then simply submit. Entries must be submitted and received by the law firm by April 4th, 2016. Please read all terms and conditions prior to submitting videos. If you have any questions, please call Denise Kovalick (239) 334-1146.
Richard L. Purtz and Matt Raulerson, attorneys at Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz, P.A., were guest judges at the 2016 Lee County Mock Trial Competition for high school students on Friday, January 29, 2016.
The Florida High School Mock Trial Competition is an academic competition, held by The Florida Law Related Education Association, Inc. The competition is a two day event, in which a team of 6-8 students simulate the roles of both attorneys and witnesses in a fictional trial situation. Students have approximately five months to prepare for their roles. Local judges and attorneys are asked to volunteer as judges to preside over each competition.
“The students exhibited a good understanding of the facts and issued presented by the case. Each student exhibited a genuine interest in learning about the law and how it applied to our justice system. Several competitors showed much promise and I am hopeful they will continue to pursue a career in the legal field,” according to Mr. Purtz.
Mr. Raulerson found the student attorneys and witnesses to be well prepared and persuasive. The mock case was taken from today’s headlines involving online threats and stalking. “The competition was hard fought and the contestants were professional,” said Mr. Raulerson.
Gulf Coast Symphony presents Carousel in Concert at Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall on Friday, April 15th and Saturday, April 16th. Presented in partnership with Florida Repertory Threatre and sponsored in part by Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz.
Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz is once again proud to be a program sponsor of the 2016 Edison Festival of Light. The Edison Festival of Light Committee and Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz are proud to distinguish Deputy Mike Zazwirsky as the Honorary Grand Marshal of the Grand Parade of Light set to take place on February 20th.
Nominated by the Rotary Club of Fort Myers, Deputy Zazwirsky is a 12 year veteran of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office who is currently assigned in the North District of Lee County. As a service to the community, Deputy Zazwirsky has done wonderful things to feed the hungry in our community. He has also developed a juvenile arrest monitor system that is being modeled throughout the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, according to Sheriff Mike Scott.
As Honorary Grand Marshal, Deputy Zazwirsky will be spotlighted in the Edison Festival of Light Grand Parade. In addition, Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz will make a contribution to a charity of Zazwirsky’s choice.
Burn case— $195K Settlement
Slip and Fall w/ knee injury which aggravated a pre-existing chronic knee condition— $125K Settlement
Motor vehicle accident w/ shoulder injury— $175K Settlement
Motor vehicle accident w/ neck and low back sprain and strain injuries— $85K Settlement
Motor vehicle accident w/ knee injury which aggravated pre-existing chronic knee condition— $150K Settlement
Motor vehicle accident chiropractic treatment only for neck— $29K Settlement
Motor vehicle accident w/ soft tissue injuries— $30K Settlement
Bicycle accident w/ soft tissue injuries— $100K Settlement
Violations of the Fair Credit and Reporting Act and Breach of Contract by for a Loan Modification Settlement
Resulted in Satisfaction of Mortgage ($114K) and $75K Settlement
*All results are different and case specific