Ken Turkel is a third generation Tampa native, and a 1982 graduate of Jesuit High School. His practice is focused on the prosecution and defense of complex business and civil litigation matters, including intellectual property cases, as well as the representation of clients in the sports and entertainment industries.
During the course of his career Ken has tried numerous cases in state and federal court, representing clients in numerous industries on both the plaintiff and defense sides in business matters concerning breach of contract claims, restrictive covenant cases, defamation and privacy torts, business torts, trade secret and intellectual property disputes, employment and discrimination matters, unfair business practices, and shareholder and corporate disputes. Ken has also tried numerous disputes in arbitration before the AAA, NASD (now FINRA), and private arbitrations. He has significant experience in litigation before administrative and regulatory bodies, and has represented companies in the conduct of internal investigations and parallel criminal investigations at the state and federal level. Ken has also served as counsel in numerous class action proceedings.
Ken received his J.D. in 1990 from Stetson University College of Law, and served as an Assistant State Attorney in Florida’s Sixth Judicial Circuit until he joined Williams Schifino Mangione and Steady, PA, a mid-size Tampa firm, in late 1991. He practiced there for 19 years until July 2010, when Ken and his partner Steve Cohen joined up with their friends and colleagues, Pedro Bajo and Tony Cuva, with the mutual vision of building a strong Tampa based litigation and trial firm focused on servicing clients in the Tampa Bay area and throughout the great state of Florida.
Ken has been active in his local, state and national bar associations, and served as the President of the Hillsborough County (Tampa) Bar Association from 2009-2010. When he isn’t working Ken enjoys following high school football and all professional sports in the Tampa area. He coached youth baseball, softball and football for 15 years, was President of his local Little League, and still occasionally assists youth teams as a coach. He also plays drums in a local classic rock band.
- Stetson University College of Law, J.D., 1990
- Order of the Barristers
- International Academy of Trial Lawyers Award
- Member of Law Review, Notes Editor
- Member Moot Court Board
- Member Mock Trial Team
- Tulane University, A.B. Freeman School of Business, B.S.M, 1986
- Major: Finance
Awards and Recognition
- Florida Plaintiff’s Attorney of 2016 by Courtroom View Network
- AV Rated by Martindale Hubbell
- The Best Lawyers in America, Commercial Litigation, 2009-2021
- Florida Super Lawyers, 2009-2020
- Florida Super Lawyers 2019 – Top 50 Lawyers in Tampa Bay
- Florida Super Lawyers 2019 – Top 100 Lawyers in Florida
- Tampa Magazine Top Lawyers 2020
- Florida Trend’s Legal Elite, 2010-2012, 2014-2019
- Hillsborough County Bar Association’s Outstanding Young Lawyer Award, 1999-2000
- Florida, 1990
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
- U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida
Professional Memberships and Activities
- The Florida Bar
- Florida Bar Board of Governors 2020-Present
- Young Lawyers Division Board of Governors, 1996-2000
- Code and Rules of Evidence Committee, 1992-2002; Vice Chairman 1998-2002
- Grievance Committee D, Member, 1999-2002; Chair, 2001
- Hillsborough County Bar Association
- President, 2009-2010
- Board of Directors, 2003-2011
- Young Lawyers Division
- Board of Directors, 1996-1999
- President, 1999-2000
- American Bar Association
- Young Lawyers Division National Conferences Chair, 1996-1997
- Florida Supreme Court Committee on Standard Jury Instructions for Contract and Business Cases 2019-Present
Notable Client Work
- Represents entertainment industry client against movie studio in false advertising case related to the promotion of the movie War Dogs – Incarcerated Entertainment, LLC v. Warner Bros. Pictures, Case No. 8:16-cv-1302-T-35AAS (M.D. Fla. 2017).
- Represented shareholders of government sponsored enterprise in lawsuit against big four accounting firm related to company audits and obtained confidential settlement.
- Obtained record jury verdict of 140 million dollars against media entity for violation of privacy based on non-consensual publication of surreptitiously recorded sex tape of a celebrity client.
- Represent multiple purchasers in ILSA and fraud claims arising out of potential condominium project marketed by the Trump Organization and Donald Trump.
- Successfully blocked a temporary injunction and obtained a dismissal of case filed by Don King against “Sugar” Shane Mosley, which tried to stop a pay-per-view boxing match against Ricardo Mayorga.
- Defended large, privately held company and its executives in hostile work environment case in federal jury trial.
- Defended publicly held petroleum company in one of the first same sex harassment trials in Florida.
- Defended publicly held petroleum company in 2-week state court wrongful death trial arising from exploding gasoline dispenser.
- Represented former executive of a publicly held company in jury trial arising from breach of commission and bonus contract.
- Defended grocery co-operative in state court jury trial seeking damages for breach of membership contracts.
- Represented plaintiff survivor in multi-defendant wrongful death trial arising from medical negligence.
- Represented curator of estate of large privately owned dairy in claims against guardian, guardian’s counsel and estate counsel for negligence in failing to protect ward from undue influence.
- Represented publicly held health care company in government civil and criminal investigation involving Medicare fraud allegations.
- Represented numerous witnesses in parallel civil/criminal fraud investigations in areas of health care and securities law.
- Represented home building franchisee in weeklong trade secret and unfair competition trial.
- Represented publicly held food distributor in multi-defendant restrictive covenant and trade secret case.
- Represent Olympic and professional athletes in endorsement and other contract matters.
Published Work and Lectures
- Panel Discussion, “Jury Selection in Publicized Cases Involving Public Figures” [2017 Civil Trial Practice Beach and Bar Seminar – The St. Petersburg Bar Association Civil Trial Section (May 2017)]
- Panel Discussion, “Does the Internet Risk Bankrupting the First Amendment? The Hulk Hogan v. Gawker Verdict on the Anniversary of Reno v. ACLU” [American Bar Association Forum on Communications Law (February 2017)]
- Panel Discussion Moderator, “The Verdict is In: The Jury Speaks” [20th Annual Hillsborough County Bar Association Bench Bar Conference (November 2016)]
- Panel speaker, The Florida Bar 2016 Reporters’ Workshop, “Libel and Privacy: What Should Journalists Learn from Bollea v. Gawker (the Hulk Hogan case)?” (September 2016)
- Panel speaker, The Association of Business Trial Lawyers (Los Angeles chapter), “Juries Speak Loud and Clear About Privacy in the Internet Age: The Lead Trial Lawyers Analyze the Gawker and Erin Andrews Trials (September 2016)
- Panel speaker, The Florida Bar Convention Media Law Conference, “The Privacy Machine v. The Press” (June 2016)
- Lecturer, “Jury Selection in the Bollea/Gawker Trial” [Hillsborough County Bar Association, March 2016]
- Lectured and presented at the ABA and ABA YLD on topics such as Multi-Disciplinary practice, attorney professionalism and attorney peer-review.
- Lectured at numerous Florida Bar and private seminars, on the following topics: Basic Evidence, Evidentiary Privileges, Trade Secrets, Restrictive Covenants, and Trial Advocacy.
- Lectured at Hillsborough County Bar Association seminars in the areas of lawyer professionalism and civility, lawyer peer review, trial advocacy, civil procedure and discovery.