PRACTICE AREAS:

   INSURANCE DEFENSE

   LITIGATION

   CONSTRUCTION LAW

Paula J. Phillips, ESQ.

Partner

Paula.Phillips@ZumpanoCastro.com 
305.503.2990

Paula J. Phillips is an experienced civil trial lawyer and Chair of the Firm’s Insurance Litigation Division.  She has extensive litigation experience, including construction law, catastrophic product liability, first and third party insurance coverage and claims defense, professional malpractice, premises liability, aviation law, civil rights litigation, personal injury, complex commercial subrogation litigation and appeals.  In addition to all civil and county courts in Florida, Paula is admitted to the U.S. Federal District Courts for the Northern, Southern, and Middle Districts of Florida, and to the Tenth and Eleventh Federal Circuit Courts of Appeal.

Early in her career, Paula served as co-counsel to F. Lee Bailey.  Shortly thereafter, as an associate with Anania Bandklayder, Paula represented Valujet in defense of the civil action against it following a catastrophic crash in the Florida Everglades.  During the course of her legal career since that time, Paula has represented clients in a wide range of civil matters, including complex commercial litigation, catastrophic product liability, and a wide range of insurance coverage and defense.  Paula has also argued before the Tenth and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeal.

Paula is approved by the Florida Department of Financial Services as a Certified CE Instructor to teach courses for adjuster legal CE credits on the topics of Proposals for Settlement and Critical Issues in Early Evaluation of Catastrophic Claims.  She has also been approved by the Florida Speaker’s Bureau for presentations related to small business development and administration in the legal field.

Paula received her JD cum laude from the University of Miami School of Law, where she was selected from amongst her classmates to serve as Student Speaker at the 1997 UM Law Commencement Ceremony.  During her studies, she served as Chair of the SBA Senate, Executive Editor of the Entertainment and Sports Law Review, and represented the University of Miami at the ABA Regional Negotiation Competition.  After graduation, she returned to the University as coach of the Negotiation Competition Team for 14 years.  

In her spare time, Paula is involved with the Florida Legal Aid Clinic, providing free legal advice in the areas of guardianship and family law.  She is also active in the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust, Ethical Governance Program, and serves as parliamentarian to various organizations.

When not engaged in legal work, Paula trains for various endurance events, and is a participant in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training program.  She has completed the Nation’s Triathlon in Washington D.C., and has completed numerous marathons, including the Berlin Marathon, the Nike San Francisco Marathon, and the Disney Goofy Marathon and an Half.  True to her Oklahoma roots, Paula also enjoys cooking and, in particular, candy making.  She currently resides in Coral Gables, Florida.


Education

  • J.D., University of Miami School of Law, 1997

  • B.A., Cameron University, 1993


Admitted to Practice

  • Florida: all State trial and appellate courts

  • United States District Court for the Southern, Middle and Northern Districts of Florida

  • United States Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit

  • United States Court of Appeals, 10th Circuit