George A. Vaka

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Appellate Attorney in Tampa, FL

Vaka Law Group P.L.
 | 777 South Harbour Island Boulevard, Suite 300
Tampa, FL 33602
Phone: 813-549-1799
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2007, 2009 - 2017
Licensed Since: 1983
Practice Areas:
  • Appellate (40%),
  • Insurance Coverage (40%),
  • Personal Injury - General: Plaintiff (20%)
Attorney Profile

George A. Vaka, Founder and Managing Partner of Vaka Law Group, is a skilled trial and board certified appellate lawyer with more than 30 years experience in personal injury and insurance practice. Mr. Vaka is also recognized as a Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit and Appellate Mediator, appointed to act as a Federal Mediatior.  He is a Fellow for the American College of Coverage and Extra-contractual Counsel and a Member of the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers. Mr. Vaka has a diverse practice having represented clients in matters ranging from auto accidents, medical malpractice, aviation disasters, defective products, mass torts and Engle tobacco cases.  He has extensive experience in the litigation of insurance matters involving personal, professional, business and commercial insurance, as well as, insurance company misconduct and insurer bad faith. He has been Board Certified by the Florida Bar since 1994 as a specialist in Appellate Practice.  He is admitted to practice law in all Florida State Courts, the U.S. District Court's Middle District of Florida, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court.

A Rutgers University graduate, Mr. Vaka attended the University of Florida College of Law and became a board member of the University of Florida's Law Review. He earned his Juris Doctor in 1983 and started his legal career at the law firm of Fowler, White, Gillen, Boggs, Banker & Villareal in Tampa, Florida.  

Mr. Vaka continues to give back to the legal community through his involvement with legal associations, speaking engagements and numerous legal articles and publications. He has served on the Florida Justice Association's Board of Directors, Florida Bar Appellate Practice and Advocacy Section Charter Member and Counsel, Florida Defense Lawyers Association Board, University of Florida College of Law Board of Trustees and the Association Internationale de Droit des Assurance, to name a few. He has been awarded an AV-Preeminent* rating by Martindale-Hubbell.

*AV-Preeminent and BV-Distinguished are certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell ratings fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

 
Practice Areas
Lawyer Practice Area Pie Chart

Appellate (40%): Appeals

Insurance Coverage (40%): Insurance, Bad Faith Insurance

Personal Injury - General (20%): Motor Vehicle Accidents, Personal Injury - Plaintiff, Wrongful Death, Brain Injury, Premises Liability - Plaintiff

Focus Areas

Appellate: Appeals

Insurance Coverage: Insurance, Bad Faith Insurance

Personal Injury - General: Motor Vehicle Accidents, Personal Injury - Plaintiff, Wrongful Death, Brain Injury, Premises Liability - Plaintiff

Selections

Selected to Super Lawyers for 10 yearsbottom-image

Super Lawyers: 2007, 2009 - 2017

Certificates and Credentials

Florida Bar Board Certified

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About George Vaka

Admitted 1983, Florida

Professional Webpage: http://www.vakalaw.com/lawyers_vaka_g.php

Honors and Awards:

  • President's Award for Outstanding Service, Florida Defense Lawyers Association, 1996 and 1999
  • Best Lawyers in America 2014 and 2017 Lawyer of the Year, Insurance Law, Tampa  
  • Top 100 Trial Lawyers, The National Trial Lawyers
  • Recognized as "Best Lawyers" by Corporate Counsel Magazine
  • Recognized "Best Legal Eagle" in the state by Florida Monthly Magazine
  • Recognized as one of the Best Lawyers in Tampa Bay by Tampa Bay Metro Magazine
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • Recognized in Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers
  • Recognized as one of Florida's "Legal Elite" by Florida Trend Magazine
  • AV Preeminent Rated by Martindale-Hubbell

Special Licenses/Certifications:

  • Florida Supreme Court Circuit and Appellate Certified Mediatior, appointed to act as a Federal Mediator
  • Board Certified by Florida Bar as a specialist in Appellate Practice, 1994-Present

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • United States Circuit Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
  • Fellow, American College of Coverage and Extra-contractual Counsel
  • Member, National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers
  • Insurance Coverage Committee, Hillsborough County Bar Association
  • Executive Council, Appellate Practice and Advocacy Section, The Florida Bar, 1994-1997, 1997-2000
  • Law Alumni Council Member, University of Florida College 1985-2005
  • President, University of Florida College of Law Alumni Council, 2004-2005
  • Board of Trustees, Law Center Association, Law Center Association, University of Florida College of Law, [Emeritus May 2012] 2006 - Present
  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Circuit Court of Appeals, Eleven Circuit
  • United States District Court for Middle District of Florida
  • Association Internationale de Droit des Assurance (Int'l Association for Insurance Law)
  • Defense Counsel, International Association, 1991-1999
  • Member, Florida Defense Lawyers Association, 1984-1999
  • President's Blue Ribbon Committee on Insurance Company Practices, Defense Research Institute, 1991-1999
  • Member, Defense Research Institute, 1991-1999
  • Appellate Advocacy Committee, Hillsborough County Bar Association
  • Member, Trial Lawyers Section, The Florida Bar
  • Vice-Chairman Membership Committee, Appellate Practice and Advocacy Section, The Florida Bar, 1997-1998
  • Chairman Legislative Committee, Appellate Practice and Advocacy Section, The Florida Bar, 1997-2000
  • Charter Member, Appellate Practice and Advocacy Section, The Florida Bar
  • Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee, American Bar Association
  • Tort and Insurance Practice Section, American Bar Association
  • Litigation Section, American Bar Association
  • American Associations for Justice (formerly Association of Trial Lawyers of America)
  • Amicus Curiae Committee, Florida Justice Association (formerly Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers), 1999-Present
  • Chair, Appellate Section, Florida Justice Association (formerly Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers), 2003-2006
  • Board of Directors, Florida Justice Association (formerly Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers), 2003-2006
  • Associate Attorney, Fowler, White, Gillen Boggs Villareal & Banker, P.A. 1983-1988
  • *Supervising Partner, Appellate and Insurance Coverage Litigation Groups
  • Shareholder, Fowler, White, Gillen Boggs, Villareal & Banker, P.A. 1988-1999
  • Member, Vaka, Larson & Johnson, P.L. 1999-2009
  • Member, Vaka Law Group, P.L. 2009 - Present
  • Member, Leading American Attorneys

Scholarly Lectures and Writings:

  • Mr. Vaka has authored numerous articles and acted as a contributing author in several books on topics ranging from insurance to successful appellate practice.
  • "Image is Everything – Winning Your Case in the Court of Public Opinion" – Earth, Wind, Fire and Water: Cutting Edge Issues in Property Insurance Claims Following a Natural or Man-Made Disaster presented by American Bar Association – St. Thomas, USVI, April 2001
  • Faculty Member, First through Fourth – Annual Program on Successful Appellate Practice presented by Stetson College of Law and Appellate Practice and Advocacy Section of the Florida Bar, 1998-2001
  • "Appealable Orders and Extraordinary Writs" – Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers Workhorse Seminar, March 2003
  • "Good Hands? Good Neighbors? Good Grief!" – Confessions of a Born-Again Bad Faith Lawyer - Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers Annual Convention, June 2003
  • Annual Update Evidence and Civil Procedure – Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers Annual Convention, June 2004
  • The Care and Feeding of Experts in Your Insurance Case: Finding and Retaining Expert Witnesses, and Presenting Their Testimony, The American Bar Association, Section of Litigation – Tucson, Arizona, March 2005
  • The Basics of Coverage – Florida Liability Claims Conference, June 2005
  • Welcome to Law School – University of Florida College of Law, September 2008
  • Bench/Bar Association, October 2012
  • Contributing Author, Police Records Bill Clouds Status of Meetings – Florida Freedom of Information Clearing House Newsletter, Vol. 6, No. 9, November 1982
  • Contributing Author, Alpert, Florida Settlements and Release, 1982
  • Co-Author, Child Molestation: Intentional Act, Unintentional Injury? – The Advocate, Vol. XI, No. 3, June 1985
  • Co-Author, Alpert, Products Liability, The Law in Florida – 1982 Supplement, 1982
  • Possibility Plus Foreseeability Equals Liability: It's Time to Rethink the Proximate Cause Equation in Florida – Trial Advocate Quarterly, Vol. 6, No. 1, January 1987
  • Bad Faith Actions in Florida, Defendant's Perspective – Florida Insurance and Tort Law Update, Professional Education Systems, Inc., 1990
  • Case Comment, Shelby Mutual Insurance Company of Shelby, Ohio v. Mary Lou Smith – Trial Advocate Quarterly, Vol. 9, No. 1, January 1990
  • Bad Faith in the 90's – Trial Advocate Quarterly, Vol. 9, No. 4 Symposium Editor, October 1990
  • Bad Faith Actions in Florida, Defendant's Perspective – Florida Insurance and Tort Law Update, Professional Education Systems, Inc., 1991
  • Multiple Liability Insurance Policies, Chapter 6 – Florida Automobile Insurance Law (Fla. Bar Publisher), 1991
  • The New Uninsured Motorist Statute: Implications and Possible Constitutional Challenges – Trial Advocate Quarterly Vol. 11, No. 4, October 1992
  • Multiple Liability Insurance Policies, Chapter 6 – Florida Automobile Insurance Law, 2nd Ed. (Fla. Bar Publisher), July 1993
  • Multiple Liability Insurance Policies, Chapter 6 – Florida Automobile Insurance Law, 3rd Ed. (Fla. Bar Publisher), June 1995
  • The First Party Insurance Bad Faith Claim: Basics and New Developments, Part II – Florida Bar Journal, Vol. LXIX, No. 7, July 1995
  • Non-Disclosure of the Underinsured Motorist Carrier at Trial: Jury Deception or Protection of the Jury Process? – Trial Advocate Quarterly, Vol. 15, No. 1, Winter 1996
  • CGL Policy is Not a Panacea for Employee Claims – The National Law Journal, August 26, 1996
  • Multiple Liability Insurance Policies – Florida Automobile Insurance Law, 4th Ed. (Fla. Bar Publisher), Summer 1998
  • Preserving the Denial of a Challenge for Cause for Appellate Review – Journal, Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, February 2003
  • The Times are Changing and We Need to Change with Them – Journal, Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, January 2004
  • Some Tips on Avoiding Pitfalls and Potholes to the Infrequent Traveler of the Appellate Highway – Journal, Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, November 2003
  • North Florida Women's Health & Counseling Services, Inc. v. State: A Blueprint to Help Challenge the Constitutionality of the 2003 Medical Malpractice Reforms? – Journal, Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, August 2003
  • Sometimes Being An Appellate "Nerd" Pays Off – Journal, Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, February 2003

Educational Background:

  • University of Florida College of Law, J.D., Law Review: Board Member University of Florida Law Review, 1983
  • Cook College Rutgers University New Brunswick, New Jersey, B.A., 1979
Find Me Online
WebsiteWebsite - www.vakalaw.com
Office Location for George A. Vaka

777 South Harbour Island Boulevard
Suite 300
Tampa, FL 33602

Phone: 813-549-1799

 

George A. Vaka:

Last Updated: 3/15/2017

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