Bryan Gowdy

Bryan Gowdy

Curriculum Vitae

Sample Briefs

Wilsonart, LLC, et al. v. Miguel Lopez, et al. in the Supreme Court of Florida
Tabraue v. Doctors Hospital, Inc. et al. in the Supreme Court of Florida
Gallardo v. AHCA in the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals
Graham v. Florida in the Supreme Court of the United States

Sample Oral Arguments

Wilsonart, LLC, et al. v. Miguel Lopez, et al. in the Supreme Court of Florida (10/8/2020)
Coleman v. Marks in the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal (10/9/18)
Graham v. Florida Transcript in the Supreme Court of the United States (11/9/2009)
Graham v. Florida Audio in the Supreme Court of the United States (11/9/2009)

Bryan Gowdy

Bryan Gowdy is a board-certified appellate lawyer.  His practice is limited to handling appeals, post-conviction motions, and trial support for matters likely to be appealed.  His practice encompasses all substantive areas of the law, including plaintiff's injury and products liability, commercial cases, criminal law, and family law.  He has briefed and orally argued appeals before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, the Supreme Court of Florida, and Florida's district courts of appeal.   He also has handled appeals in the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the First, Fourth, Fifth, and Ninth Circuits.  He is AV-rated by Martindale Hubbell and has been selected as a Top 100 in Florida Super Lawyer, Top 25 in Jacksonville Super Lawyer, and a "Legal Elite" by Florida Trend Magazine.  In 2019, Mr. Gowdy began serving as the Chair for the Florida Justice Association Amicus Curiae Committee.

Before joining the firm, Mr. Gowdy was with the national law firm of McGuireWoods LLP, where he primarily handled commercial litigation at the trial and appellate level.  Mr. Gowdy began his legal career as a law clerk for federal judges at the trial and appellate level.  Mr. Gowdy attended the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he was first in his class, a member of the Order of the Coif, and the management editor of the Florida Law Review. 

Before law school, Mr. Gowdy was an active-duty surface warfare officer in the United States Navy, and he graduated from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.

Notable Cases:

  • Graham v. Florida.  Mr. Gowdy represented a teenager sentenced to life without parole for an armed burglary.  For the first time in its history, the U.S. Supreme Court categorically applied the Eighth Amendment's cruel and unusual punishment clause to a non-capital punishment, and it declared unconstitutional all life-without-parole sentences imposed on juveniles for non-homicides.  The ruling invalidated in part the juvenile sentencing laws of thirty-seven states, the federal government, and the District of Columbia.
  • Wilsonart, LLC v. Lopez.  Mr. Gowdy represented an estate in a wrongful death action. Summary judgment was entered against the estate by the trial court. The lower appellate court reversed and certified a question of great public importance. The Supreme Court requested briefing on whether Florida should adopt the federal summary judgment standard. Mr. Gowdy argued that any such change in the standard should be done only via the Court's rule-making authority to apply prospectively and so as not to apply to the estate's appeal from the trial court's decision.  In a decision issued on December 31, 2020, the court affirmed the lower appellate court's decision.  The Court, under its rule-making authority, changed the summary judgment standard prospectively and did not apply the new rule to the estate's appeal from the trial court.
  • Charles v. S. Baptist Hosp. of Fla., Inc.  Mr. Gowdy represented a patient who exercised her right under a state constitutional amendment, commonly known as Amendment 7, to request access to a hospital's adverse incident reports. The Supreme Court of Florida reversed a lower appellate court's holding that Amendment 7 was preempted by the federal Patient Safety Quality Improvement Act.
  • Adinolfe v. United Technologies Corp.  Mr. Gowdy represented hundreds of homeowners claiming damages for diminution of property value due to contamination from nearby industrial facility. The Eleventh Circuit reversed the district court's dismissal with prejudice by holding, among other things, that Florida law did not require homeowners to plead or prove actual contamination of their properties to seek damages for the diminution in their property values caused by the nearby contamination.
  • G.S. v. T.B.  Mr. Gowdy represented maternal grandparents who were seeking to adopt their orphaned grandchildren.  The Supreme Court of Florida answered a question of great public importance and ruled that a court may not deny an adoption petition simply to preserve the orphaned children's relationship with non-parental relatives who have not filed a petition for adoption.

Recent Publications:

  • What does your Amicus Committee do (and not do)?, Florida Justice Association Journal (September/October 2020)
  • Amendment 7 Lives Again But Be Prepared for More Attempts to Kill It, Florida Justice Association Journal (March/April 2017)
  • Get Your Client's Treating Physician Paid Reasonable Fees for Deposition and Trial Testimony, Florida Justice Association Journal (September 2014) (co-author: Jennifer Shoaf Richardson)
  • Dealing with the Media in a U.S. Supreme Court Case, The Defender (Summer 2014)
  • Four Years Later: Terrance Graham's Attorney on Issues Created by the Landmark Decision, The Defender (Winter 2013/2014)

Speaking Engagements:

  • 2021 Annual Review & Legislative Case Law Update, Florida Justice Association Annual Convention, Orlando, FL (June 11, 20201)
  • "Supreme Court Preview: The 2020-21 Term," The Federalist Society Jacksonville Chapter Webinar (October 5, 2020) 
  • "How to Argue To A Textualist Judge," Florida Justice Association Appellate Practice Seminar (June 25, 2020)
  • "Constitutional Limits on the Emergency Powers of the Political Branches of Government - The COVID-19 Executive Orders," The Federalist Society Jacksonville Chapter Webinar (May 12, 2020)
  • "Practical Tips for Telephonic and Zoom Oral Arguments," Appellate Practice Section Webinar CLE (May 11, 2020)
  • "57.105 Motions and Defense: Motions for Fraud on the Court," Florida Justice Association Webinar CLE (August 27, 2019)
  • "Then and Now: Graham v. State of Florida," Catholic Lawyers Guild Luncheon, Jacksonville, FL (May 14, 2019)
  • "Medical Malpractice Arbitration, Florida Justice Association," Masters of Justice Seminar (October 15, 2018)
  • "Getting You and Your Client Paid without having to Prove Bad Faith," Jacksonville Justice Association Annual Seminar (December 1, 2017)
  • "Nuts & Bolts of Practice Before the U.S. Supreme Court," Appellate Practice Section Webinar CLE (August 15, 2017)