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Joseph W. Fleece, III

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Estate & Trust Litigation Attorney in St. Petersburg, FL

Legacy Protection Lawyers, LLP
100 2nd Avenue South, Suite 900
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Phone: 727-471-5868
Fax: 727-498-5696
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2007 - 2022
Licensed in Florida Since: 1980
Practice Areas: Estate & Trust Litigation
Attorney Profile

When the validity of a will or trust is called into question, it can create turmoil for the grieving family. As a partner at Legacy Protection Lawyers, LLP, Joseph W. "Jay" Fleece, III, assists clients in St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Tampa and statewide with estate, trust and fiduciary litigation matters. Mr. Fleece has experience dealing with a range of estate and trust administration issues, including issues involving lack of capacity, breach of fiduciary duty, the probate process and guardianships.

For more than three decades, Mr. Fleece has committed himself to guiding clients through complex estate, trust and fiduciary issues. He draws on his experience to help his clients achieve resolutions in cases involving breach of fiduciary duties by a trustee, modificatuion and reformation of trusts, ambiguous wills, spousal share elections, recovery of estate assets, and a range of other estate and trust matters. Over the course of his career, he has received a number of awards and recognitions, including receiving the highest possible rating of AV Preeminent* from Martindale-Hubbell.

In 1977, Mr. Fleece earned a Bachelor of Arts in history from Tulane University. He went on to receive a Juris Doctor from the Stetson University College of Law in 1980.

Giving back to the community is a priority for Mr. Fleece who is currently Chairman of the board of trustees for the Pinellas Community Foundation. He has previously served as chairman of the board for Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital, chairman of the board of PARC, president of the St. Petersburg Police Athletic League and the American Red Cross of Tampa Bay. Mr. Fleece is also a former Chancellor of the Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida.

*AV®, BV®, AV Preeminent® and BV Distinguished® are registered 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 anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings fall into two categories – legal ability and general practice standards.

Practice Areas
  • 100%Estate & Trust Litigation


16 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2007 - 2022

About Joseph W. Fleece, III

First Admitted: 1980, Florida

Professional Webpage:

Pro bono/Community Service

  • Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, Current Member of the Board of Trustees
  • Canterbury School of Florida, Past Member, Board of Trustees
  • Pinellas County Community Foundation, Member, Chairman of Board of Directors
  • St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Life Member, Former Vestry Member
  • PARC, Past Chairman of the Board
  • YMCA, Past Member, Board of Directors
  • Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida, Former Chancellor.
  • Sunshine City Jaycees, Past President
  • Police Athletic League, Past President
  • American Red Cross, Tampa Bay Chapter, Past Member, Board of Directors
  • St. Petersburg Yacht Club, Past Commodore
  • Past Member, Board of Trustees of Johns Hopkins Medicine

Scholarly Lectures/Writings

  • St. Petersburg Bar Assoc. Probate Lunch Tortious interference with expectancy claims, 2007
  • Clearwater Bar Association Probate Lunch Tortious interference with Expectancies, 2007
  • T & E Litigation In The real World Estate and Trust Litigation, 2001


  • AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated Martindale-Hubbell, 2004
  • Florida Super Lawyers, 2007-2020
  • Best Lawyers in America®, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
  • Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America, 2012 - Present
  • Florida Trend Legal Elite, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2015, 2016
  • Recipient of the Distinguished Citizens Award by the West Central Florida Council Boy Scouts of America, 2011

Bar/Professional Activity

  • American Bar Association, Member, Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section
  • American Bar Association, Member, 1980 - Present
  • St. Petersburg Bar Association, Member, Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section
  • Florida, 1980
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit
  • The Florida Bar, Member, Real Property, Probate, and Trust Committee
  • Florida Bar Association
  • The Florida Bar, Member, Trial Lawyers Section, 1980 - Present
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit
  • U.S. Tax Court
  • St. Petersburg Bar Association, Member, 1980 - Present
  • The Florida Bar, Member, Estate and Trust Litigation Committee, Executive Council, 1997 -2015
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Educational Background

  • Tulane University, B.A., 1977
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Office Location for Joseph W. Fleece, III

100 2nd Avenue South
Suite 900
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Phone: 727-471-5868

Fax: 727-498-5696

Last Updated: 5/15/2022

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