Joe Zarzaur is a Board-Certified Civil Trial lawyer. Only about 1% of lawyers in Florida earn this designation. Joe’s clients have received record jury verdicts in both Escambia ($9.3 Million) and Santa Rosa ($2.5 Million) counties in injury cases that did not involve death.
His career is dedicated to representing families that have been the victim of another’s wrongdoing. 100% of his practice is dedicated to 1 type of case – Personal Injury and Wrongful Death cases. Joe is not afraid of a Big Defendant. Joe Zarzaur has sued international companies including Johnson & Johnson and the World Anti-Doping administration. He has tried cases to juries in many states across the country including California, North Carolina, Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi.
Joe attended Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama where he was a pre-law, sociology major. While at Spring Hill, Joe served in various offices for his student government association, including being elected President of the student body in his senior year. Joe graduated from Spring Hill College in 1993 and went straight to law school.
Joe chose Cumberland School of Law, at Samford University for one main reason, its student mock trial program was one of the best in the country. In fact, the entire law school curriculum at Cumberland is designed so that students get into the class courtroom as quickly as possible. Joe took full advantage of this Cumberland offering and, by his first year, was competing in student mock trials. Ultimately, he would earn a spot on Cumberland’s National Trial Team and competed against law schools from around the country.
Joe Zarzaur Is Proud To Be A Personal Injury Lawyer In Pensacola, Florida.
Immediately following law school, Joe was chosen to serve as a judicial law clerk to a trial judge. For a year, Joe was able to work and observe how a trial judge works in our system and more importantly, he was able to work with the jurors who served on trials. Joe was able to quietly observe how lawyers try cases in real life. He had a front row seat on what worked for trial lawyers and what did not work. Given his position with the Court, he was also able to see how jurors responded to lawyers who made all types of argument. Joe says this experience took most of the “mystery” out of trials for him and permitted him to view the judge and jury in a more ordinary and commonplace fashion. Joe says of this clerkship “They are all there to do their jobs and they are all just like everyone else despite all the pomp and circumstance associated with both prestigious positions, judge and jury.”
Following this judicial clerkship, Joe was offered a position with an insurance defense firm who agreed to permit him to get as much trial work as possible. After about a year of this, Joe started to see that not many civil defense cases go to trial. So, to stay on his career track, Joe went to his firm and proposed that they permit him to take on “pro bono” criminal defense work to make sure he got jury trial experience. Joe started taking these criminal cases and started having huge success. Because of this success, Joe was being sought out as a criminal defense lawyer for more and more serious cases, including felonies.
In 2000 and 2001 Joe was co-counsel in two capital murder trials, and in late 2001 Joe was hired as primary counsel in another capital murder case. Joe ended up trying this particular capital murder case to a jury and was successful. After the trial, the son of the deceased victim cornered Joe in the courthouse hallway. Frightened about what was going to happen next, Joe was shocked to hear one of the greatest compliments he would ever receive. “Mr. Zarzaur I sat through all two weeks of this trial, and I frankly didn’t like one thing that came out of your mouth, but I can assure you that if I ever need a lawyer for any reason, I will call you.” Years later that gentleman did seek out Joe for a personal injury matter.
Joe realized that working for criminal defendants was not as rewarding as he once thought. He loved the trials but was not enamored with the clients. He sought out a trial lawyer position in a plaintiff personal injury practice.
Board Certified Civil Trial Expert
By 2006, Joe had accomplished enough to apply for Florida’s Civil Trial Board Certification. He applied and sat for the Civil Trial Certification Bar Exam and passed it. Then he received the necessary recommendations from judges and lawyers that had worked with him at trials. At 36, Joe was one of the youngest Board-Certified Civil Trial lawyers in Florida and for several years was one of the youngest in the Florida panhandle. Only about one percent of Florida lawyers are board certified and it is the only designation that Florida lawyers can utilize when comparing themselves to other lawyers.
He has obtained a 10.0 Superb rating by AVVO, an independent lawyer rating service and is a Florida “Super Lawyer.”