Dawson | Orr is an established civil litigation law firm with a Team that has over a century of combined legal experience. From our downtown Jacksonville office, our lawyers represent clients throughout Northeast Florida and across the nation on a variety of litigation matters, including:

In addition to our robust litigation practice, our lawyers also help clients manage risks through precisely orchestrated transactional work and comprehensive risk analyses. We consider the big picture — for example, how might the language we include in our client’s contract help them avoid litigation in the future — and take proactive steps that support our client’s best interests.

A Promise to Our Clients

Dawson | Orr is guided by steadfast principles and goals that we apply to every case. Our clients can expect us to:

  • Listen carefully to their goals
  • Provide a candid, practical assessment of the case and potential outcomes
  • Develop a plan of action tailored specifically to reaching their goals
  • Consider innovative methods for resolving challenging issues
  • Take decisive steps to move the case forward toward resolution
  • Handle the case with integrity and professionalism

Because of our comprehensive services and strategic mindset, many of our clients consider us general counsel for all of their business and personal legal needs.

The Team

Our Firm’s history of ethical, results-oriented representation was established over a half century ago. Our founding partner Carl D. Dawson laid the roots for Dawson | Orr in 1951 when he opened his practice in his hometown of Jacksonville. Carl partnered with Michael Orr to establish the Firm in 2009. The pair made it a point to attract bright, professional attorneys who could deliver the level of quality representation that is a hallmark of Dawson | Orr. Our exceptional Team of lawyers includes:

We appreciate the truth in the saying, “Two heads are better than one.” By working as a Team, we access six dynamic legal minds to resolve challenging issues. Our clients benefit from each attorney’s unique perspective and our over a century of combined experience.

Building a Strong First Coast Florida Community

Northeast Florida, also known as the First Coast, was the first area of Florida colonized by Europeans. Today, it is home to Jacksonville, the largest city by area and the 12th largest city by population in the contiguous United States. The First Coast is also home to St. Augustine, the oldest continuously occupied European-established settlement and port in the continental United States.

The residents of Northeast Florida have created thriving neighborhoods, which are close to over 100 miles of wide and uncrowded beaches, the tranquil Intracoastal Waterway and the St. Johns River. Healthy businesses and engaged residents drive our economy and improve quality of life. Dawson | Orr is committed to supporting the success of our community by delivering quality legal services to businesses and individuals throughout Northeast Florida. The members of our Team regularly volunteer for diverse organizations and causes such as the Special Olympics, Family Nurturing Center of Florida, Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Cummer Museum.


Our goal is to represent corporate and individual clients through a responsive, candid, and realistic approach to dispute resolution while adhering to the highest standards of professionalism and integrity. We are highly cognizant of the tribulations that the current legal marketplace places upon a participant, whether plaintiff or defendant. Through this understanding, the Firm is committed in representing our clients efficiently and to always move their case towards the ultimate goal of resolution. The Firm’s promise is to deliver powerful, yet specifically tailored legal services to its clients. Even though we are a forward-thinking firm, creating novel ways to present our clients’ position, we do not forget or take for granted past patterns and practices which generated successful outcomes for our clients. With this balanced approach, we believe our goal will be met with each new client that chooses to work with us.

Just as there is no typical case, there is no typical client of the Firm. We are proud of our diverse client base which ranges from the retired homeowner, to the blue collar worker, the small business owner, the entrepreneur, to the CEO to Fortune 500 companies. With this dynamic approach, the Firm obtains a unique perspective and gains an understanding of every component part of the economy, which is then utilized to benefit and advance a particular client’s goal. It is not uncommon for a client, after signing on with us for a particular matter, to seek advice and counsel on other aspects of their life and business. We are especially proud of the fact that our clients will return to us time and time again, often many years after the first assignment. Simply put, we have clients for life.

The Firm’s experienced trial lawyers have taken over 1000 civil cases to verdict. Those matters that did not result in a verdict were either resolved through summary disposition via motion practice or through favorable settlements. We handle all appeals for existing matters in house, but we also appear and serve as appellate counsel on new matters and as amicus curiae.

Below is a recent sampling of the Firm’s success throughout the years:

Recent Trials:

  • Neighbors v. Homeowners Association Clay County 2013
    – five day jury trial resulting in defense verdict for client HOA based upon allegations of negligent maintenance of storm water management ponds
  • Neighbors v. Homeowners Association Duval County 2013
    – five day jury trial resulting in defense verdict for client HOA based upon allegations of negligent maintenance of storm water management ponds
  • Neighbor v. Dog Owner Duval County 2013
    – five day jury trial resulting in defense verdict for client owners of a German Shepard based upon allegations of strict liability for dog bite to a child
  • US Government v. Concrete Contractor Duval County 2013
    – five day bench trial resulting in defense verdict for client concrete contractor based upon alleged OSHA violations on project site in Amelia Island, Florida
  • Pedestrian v. Concrete Contractor Duval County 2012
    – five day jury trial resulting in defense verdict for client concrete contractor based upon allegations of negligence
  • Homeowner v. Framing Contractor Duval County 2012
    – five day arbitration hearing resulting in minimal award against client framing contractor based upon alleged construction defects to home totaling over $400,000 in damages
  • Sub Association v. Master Homeowners Association St. Johns County 2012
    – five day bench trial resulting in defense verdict for client master HOA based upon allegations of improper board action and use of association funds for capital improvements
  • Patron v. Local Restaurant Duval County 2011
    – five day jury trial resulting in defense verdict for local restaurant based upon allegations of negligent maintenance of a chair
  • Site Contractor v. Property Owner/Developer Clay County 2010
    – five day bench trial resulting in six figure verdict for client site contractor on construction lien foreclosure case against hiring owner of the developing property.

Appellate Matters:

  • Auto-Owners Ins. Co. v. Young (Fla. 1st DCA 2008)
    – Reversal of judgment entered against client as court agreed policy did not cover subject loss
  • Truelove v. Blount, et al. (Fla. 2nd DCA 2007)
    – Reversal of significant personal injury award; judicial opinion authored by now Florida Supreme Court Justice Canady.
  • Verdieu v. Jerry’s Food, Inc., 954 So. 2nd 1168 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2007)
    – Affirmance of lower court order
  • Kone v. Robinson, et al. (Fla. 1st DCA 2006)
    – Reversal of final judgment; first opinion in the State of Florida to determine what types of companies were not within purview of Florida Statute governing indemnification in construction contracts; judicial opinion authored by then Chief Judge of the First District Court of Appeal.
  • Frank v. Wyatt, et al. (Fla. 1st DCA 2004)
    – Reversal of directed verdict on affirmative defense of conversion.
  • Florida Specialty, Inc. v. H 2 Ology, Inc. (Fla. 1st DCA 2004)
    – Reversal of dismissal of complaint because stockholder could be liable in tort.
  • Clark v. Laborers’ Int’l Union (11th Circuit 1988)
    – Reversal in part and vacation in part of lower court’s order.
  • Peninsular Fire Ins. Co. v. Wells (Fla 1st DCA 1983)
    – Affirmance of judgment finding that proximate cause of loss of ship was seizure
  • Shepard v. City of Palatka (Fla 5th DCA 1981)
    – Reversal of summary judgment on issue of architect liability.

The Team of Dedicated Professionals