With more than 20 years of experience as a trial attorney, Russell Buhite focuses his practice on life, health and disability insurance coverage litigation, as well as myriad ERISA matters. He is also experienced in defending employers in employment law matters before the EEOC and in state and federal courts. Russell also represents a wide range of professionals including agents, brokers, attorneys, appraisers, engineers and others in all manner of alleged malpractice and errors and omissions claims. He is also experienced in insurance coverage and bad faith litigation. In addition to his legal practice, Russell serves as the managing attorney of the Tampa office.
A former chair of the Health & Disability Insurance Committee of the Tort, Trial and Insurance Practice Section of the American Bar Association, in 2010 Russell was named to the Health Care Reform Task Force. Russell has once again been named as a member of the ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section Task Force on Federal Involvement in Insurance Regulation and Modernization and Health Care Reform (FIIRM and HCR) for 2014-2015. In addition to Russell's admission to the bar in Florida, he is also admitted to practice in Missouri, as well as the U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth and Eleventh Circuits and all federal district courts in the state of Florida.
Russell is recognized as AV Preeminent peer review rated by Martindale-Hubbell and has been named to The Best Lawyers in America
Significant Representative Matters
•Lawrence v. Pioneer Plastics, Middle District of Fla. ERISA matter. Bench trial verdict for defense.
•Weiss v. Western-Southern Life Ins. Co., Mid-FL., summary judgment for the defense in ERISA disability case.
•McDaniel v. AIG Life Ins. Co., Hillsborough County Circuit Court. Jury verdict for defense in occupational accident disability case.
•Lee v. Labiner, Broward Co., FL Cir. Ct., representation of attorney in defense of alleged malpractice.
•Hamilton Risk Mgmt. v. John M. Kennedy et al, S.D. FL, represented insurance broker regarding claims of misrepresentation in sale of health coverage.
•Joblove v. Miller, Lowell, representation of registered reps in FINRA arbitration.
•Sherwood v. RBC, representation of company regarding ERISA and common law claims in FINRA arbitration.
•Roer v. John Hancock, S.D. FL., summary judgment for defendant in life insurance case
•Co-author, The 11th Circuit, ERISA Survey of Federal Circuits, 2014 Edition, ABA, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section
•Private Healthcare Exchanges Grow in Popularity While Affordable Care Act Struggles, ABA TIPS Section's Tortsource Magazine, Vol. 16, No. 2, Winter 2014
•ERISA Survey of Federal Circuits, ABA, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, Health and Disability Insurance Law Committee, 2005, 2007, 2010, 2012, 2014 Ed.
•Righting the Ship in the Nick of Time? Congress Reauthorizes NFIP, WestLaw Journal, Volume 22, Issue 52, October 2012
•11th Circuit Chapter of ERISA Survey of Federal Circuits, Co-Author, ABA Publishing, 2012 Edition
•Top 10 Things for HR Professionals to Watch For in 2011 and Beyond, Sterling Education.com
•Watts v. Bell South Telecommunications, The 11th Circuit Breaks From the Pack on Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies, ABA TIPS Newsletter, Spring 2003
•Recent Development, Random Urinalysis and the Fourth Amendment, Can They Co-exist?, 33 J.Urb. & Contemp. L. 801, 1988
•Appraising the Appraisal Process, 14 Trial Advocate Quarterly, No. 2, April, 1995
•Insurance Policy Application Misrepresentations and their Consequences Under Florida Law, 15 Trial Advocate Quarterly, No. 2, April, 1996
•The Facts of the Matter - Standard of Review of ERISA Plan Administrator's Factual Determinations, Life and Health News, Defense Research Institute, Summer, 1996
•Supplementation of the Administrative Record with Additional Evidence in ERISA Litigation, American Bar Association's 40th Annual TIPS Mid-Winter Symposium on Insurance and Employee Benefits, January 16-18, 2014
•Effects of Healthcare Reform Law, Dunkin Donuts Independent Franchisee Org., Ft. Lauderdale, February 24, 2013
•Employment Law Update, Sterling Education Programs, Tampa, August 23, 2011
•What Insurance Lawyers Need To Know About New Long Term Care Insurance Products, ExecSense Webinar, May 2011
•What Insurance Lawyers Need To Know About The Impact Of State Of Florida v. U.S. Department Of Health & Human Services (N.D. FL. Jan. 31, 2011) On The Survival Of The Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act, ExecSense Webinar, March 2011
•Directors and Officers Liability Insurance, Fowler White Boggs Banker Business Department Seminar
•Insurance Coverage Law in Florida, National Business Institute, 1994 - 1997
Honors & Awards
•AV Preeminent by LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell
•Best Lawyers in America - Litigation - ERISA, 2011-Present
•Florida Super Lawyers, 2006-2007, 2013-2014
•Florida Trend's Legal Elite, 2011
Year Joined Organization: 2011
•Phi Delta Phi