Patricia M. Dodson

Patricia M. Dodson

Of Counsel

Jacksonville, FL

How Patty Helps Clients

Patty brings a unique perspective and rare insight into her clients’ legal concerns and cases after seeing the law and litigation through the eyes of the defendant, plaintiff, corporation, government and in-house counsel. Throughout her 25-year legal career, she has tried more than 70 civil and criminal jury trials to verdict representing all party types. Patty’s complex civil litigation practice and experience spans labor and employment law, federal diversity actions, criminal and white-collar law and investigations, commercial and contract law, insurance law, will and probate contests, civil rights violations, personal injury, wrongful death, medical malpractice (representing and advising both patients and physicians) and more.

As the Managing Director of the State Attorney’s Office in Florida’s 4th Judicial Circuit, Patty prosecuted and tried first-degree murder cases while managing all aspects of the largest law firm in northeast Florida (government law firm with more than 350 employees), which included ensuring regulatory compliance with labor and employment laws, making hiring, discipline and firing decisions, conducting investigations into misconduct, managing and serving as the client representative in civil litigation, serving as the government liaison in local and state legislative affairs, negotiating contracts and MOU’s with government (city and state) and law enforcement agencies, and serving as direct counsel to the elected State Attorney, among other duties.

Patty is dedicated to serving her community by providing pro bono legal counsel to various organizations and individuals, mentoring young attorneys and coordinating fundraising walks and events. She teaches civics to children at the North Florida School of Special Education through the Florida Bar Justice teaching program and has been a court-appointed surrogate parent advocating for children with educational and learning disabilities.

Patty will continue in her role as embedded or General Counsel for K9s For Warriors and as Director of the affiliated entity K9s For Warriors Research Institute, where her responsibilities cover a broad range of legal services to these nonprofits with a national presence and renown for placing service dogs with post 911 military veterans suffering from PTSD, TBI and MST.

What Clients Can Expect

Patty is known for her availability and responsiveness to clients, her calm and steady demeanor when steering clients through crises, and the ability to provide judicious solutions to complex legal challenges. She will listen, gather the necessary information, then work hard with her clients on solutions for preventing and mitigating legal risk. But Patty will be a strong trial advocate if a lawsuit cannot be avoided. Her clients, private and corporate, have affectionately referred to her as the “fixer.” She is ultimately committed to providing the highest quality of legal services to her clients at the best value, without nickel and diming them.

I best serve my clients’ interests by helping them apply an old adage to every business, management or life decision, that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. But if the only cure is defending or bringing a lawsuit, I stand ready to guide my clients through the litigation process as an experienced and strong advocate.

Outside the Office

Patty is a native of Jacksonville and loves the diverse outdoor environment it has to offer. When she finds time to relax and recharge, she can be found enjoying outdoor sports with her family, exercising her four-legged children (an Australian Blue Heeler named Blue; a German Shepherd, Chase; and 4 horses, Apache, Blaze, PC and Cadi) or on the water stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking or scuba diving. For “therapy,” she regularly practices yoga and plays the piano. Patty is married to Andy, a police offer with more than 25 years of service, and has three beloved step-children, ages 13, 16 and 25.

Patty also has a deep appreciation for the arts, which stems from her study of music and dance at Florida State University and Jacksonville University before attending law school. She supports and remains involved in the local arts scene by attending performances and periodically directing, choreographing and performing in charity events.

Proof Points

  • AV® Preeminent, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Burroughs v. Corey, in her official capacity as State Attorney, et. al., Case No. 3:14-cv-33, U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida, defended the constitutionality of Florida’s Stalking Statute Sec. 782.08 on behalf of the State Attorney, trial court found facially constitutional and affirmed on appeal, United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit, Case No. 15-11251, 4/12/16
  • Ioselev v. Schilling and Lyublinsky, Case No. 3:10-cv-01091, Represented defendants in FederCourt Appointed Pro Bono diversity action with claims and counterclaims of, breach of contract, unjust enrichment, promissory estoppel, conversion and breach of fiduciary duty, jury trial and verdict, 8/30/13
  • Women Lawyer of the Year, 2011, Jacksonville Women Lawyers Association
  • State Attorney’s Office Trial Award