When a case involving a World Indoor Football League player’s wrongful death came across veteran South Florida attorney Mark Kaire’s desk three years ago, he immediately knew who to call for help as co-counsel in a lawsuit – his former University of Miami classmate and fellow litigator David Heffernan, whose unique insight as a former college and NFL player could be used to great advantage.
“There were significant questions and issues with the level of preparedness by the team, the league and the on-field response to such an injury,” says Heffernan. “They didn’t have in place what you’d find in most high schools, and it’s really troubling in a game where there are potential repercussions. We litigated this case against a national insurance firm who initially denied coverage to the league and team, and we ultimately prevailed on the coverage issue.”
While still working together on that case, Kaire brought Heffernan in on a suit involving a man who had been rendered paralyzed below the waist following a robbery at his uncle’s restaurant. They immediately filed a lawsuit against the land owner, the landlord, his franchisee uncle and the international franchisor and were able to reach a settlement that netted their client millions of dollars and afforded him appropriate medical care and treatment. Their suit against the corporate franchisor took longer – just under two years – however they ultimately were awarded a recovery in the high seven-figure range.
“They had abandoned him, putting him up in a motel room,” says Kaire. “He was really at the bottom of the barrel when he found us. David and I had enjoyed working together so much on the other case, and it was beneficial, so I brought him in on this case. Now, you can never bring back his ability to walk and give him back all the functions he had before, but at least at the end of the day you know you made a difference in his quality of life, and that’s a really good feeling.”
Recognizing their complimentary skills, Kaire and Heffernan joined forces in January by merging their practices and forming Kaire & Heffernan, LLC. The firm focuses on wrongful death, medical malpractice, personal injury, truck/commercial vehicle death and bicycle accidents, which was a natural given their mutual propensity for cycling.
Beyond their professional commonalities, both 1991 UM graduates are dedicated family men with three children each. Kaire, a fluent Spanish speaker, is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the Multimillion Dollar Advocates Forum – exclusive groups of trial lawyers who have won multimillion dollar cases – and the Soaring EAGLE Program, the fundraising arm of the Florida Justice Association. Heffernan, himself an obtainer of numerous seven-figure verdicts and settlements, is a member of the Orange Bowl Committee, the Iron Arrow Society (the highest honor attainable at the University of Miami) and is an adjunct professor in the trial program at the UM School of Law. Aformer football analyst for both 610 WIOD and 560 WQAM, he donates time as legal counsel to the Palmetto Bay Broncos Football Organization.
“It’s only been a couple of months, but it really feels like we’ve been working together for much longer than that,” says Heffernan.
“Our staff has blended very well together and I believe we share many philosophical beliefs, not only in the practice of law but in our personal lives as well.” “We’ve seen what we can do when we work together,” Kaire concurs.
“We’ve gotten tremendous results, and obviously we’d like to continue to do that and grow our practice to serve not only South Florida but handle cases outside the state of Florida as well.”
Kaire & Heffernan is located in the Brickell BayView Centre at 80 SW 8th St., Suite 1710. For more information, call 305-372-0123 or visit online at <www.kairelaw.com.