William H. Davis
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Bill Davis is a trial and appellate lawyer practicing criminal defense (adult and juvenile) and civil litigation (professional, business, and personal damages and liability); and the defense of administrative, professional licensure prosecutions and disputes. In addition to trial work, he has handled a wide variety of appeals and has litigated in every level of appellate court, both State and Federal.
For over 20 years, Bill has enjoyed the highest possible peer-review rating, in both legal ability and ethical standards, as confidentially determined and published by Martindale-Hubbell and LexisNexis.
He is presently an elected Member of The Florida Bar's Board of Governors (2010- ) and also serves on the Board’s Review Committee on Professional Ethics and its Disciplinary Review Committee. Prior to joining the Board of Governors, Bill was a member of The Florida Bar's Civil Rules Committee (2008-10); and he remains a member of the Bar's Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services. Bill has served as President of the Florida Bar Foundation (2005-06) and as Chair of the Foundation's Endowment Trust (2009-11). He has also served on The Florida Supreme Court's Commission on Professionalism and as a Trustee of the Florida Supreme Court Historical Society (Executive Committee) (2006-10).
Locally, Bill has served as President of Tallahassee Bar Association (1986-87) and he currently serves on the Board and chairs its Circuit-wide Judicial Poll Committee (2008- ). He previously served as a Member of the Circuit’s Judicial Nominating Commission and as Chair of the Florida Bar's Second Judicial Circuit Grievance Committee.
Based in Tallahassee, Florida, Bill graduated with high academic honors from the Florida State University College of Law; where he was legal writing instructor, Notes & Comments Editor of the Law Review, and Chief Justice of the University-wide Student Supreme Court. While in undergraduate school (University of South Florida, 1974), Bill served as President of Student Government and as Chair of the University System's State Council of Student Body Presidents, graduating with academic honors.
Bill is a member of a variety of professional organizations, including the American Bar Association. In support of his civil practice, he is a member of the ABA's Section on Litigation (serving on its Committee on Ethics and Professionalism); and, on the criminal side, he is a member of the ABA White Collar Crime Committee and of its Juvenile Justice Committee. He is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Apart from his professional activities, Bill is certified in SCUBA Lifesaving and Accident Management; he is an active participant in the Gulf Winds Track Club; and he is an avid cook, hiker, fisherman and music buff. He has three young-adult children.
Year Joined Firm
Areas of Practice
- 100% Criminal, Civil, and Administrative Litigation and Appeals
- 80% of Practice Devoted to Litigation
- Florida, 1977
- Supreme Court of the United States of America, 1993
- U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit, 1988
- U.S. District Court Northern District of Florida, 1977
- U.S. District Court Middle District of Florida, 1986
- Florida State University College of Law, Tallahassee, Florida
- J.D. - 1977
- Honors: High Honors
- Vagner v. Wainwright, 398 So.2d 448 (Fla. 1981) (Florida Supreme Court 1981)
- Bialek v. Lensen, 421 So.2d 654 (Fla. 1st DCA 1982) (Florida First District Court of Appeal 1982)
- State v. Jenkins, 469 So.2d 733 (Fla.1985) (Florida Supreme Court 1985)
- Gorday v. Faris, 523 So.2d 1215 (Fla. 1st DCA 1988) (Florida First District Court of Appeal 1988)
- W.E.B. v. State, 553 So.2d 323 (Fla. 1st DCA 1989) (Florida First District Court of Appeal 1989)
- In re Grand Jury Investigation of Fla Dept. of HRS, 659 So.2d 347 (Fla. 1st DCA 1995) (Florida First District Court of Appeal 1995)
Honors and Awards
- Avvo Professional Rating 10.0 ("Superb"), 2010 - Present
- Thirty Years of Outstanding Leadership, Tallahassee Bar Association, 2007
- Av Preeminent (Highest Rating) Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review, 1991 - Present
Professional Associations and Memberships
- The Board of Governors of The Florida Bar, 2010 - Present
- American Bar Association, Criminal Justice Section Juvenile Justice Committee, 2010 - Present
- The Florida Bar Civil Rules Committee, 2008 - 2010
- American Bar Association, Criminal Justice Section White Collar Crime Committee, 2007 - Present
- Florida Bar Foundation Endowment, Board of Trustees, Chair, 2007 - Present
- Florida Bar Standing Committee on Pro Bono, 2007 - Present
- Judicial Poll Committee, Chair, 2007 - Present
- The Florida Bar Foundation, Board of Directors, President, 2005--06, 1997 - 2006
- The Florida Supreme Court Historical Society, Board of Trustees, Exec. Committee 2010--, 2006 - Present
- The Florida Supreme Court Commission On Professionalism, 2004 - Present
- Florida Statewide Planning Committee on Legal Service to the Poor, Chair, 2004
- Judicial Nominating Commission, Second Judicial Circuit, 1986 - 1990
- Florida Bar, Grievance Committee, Chair, 1988 - 1989
- Tallahassee Bar Association, President, 1986--87, 1977 - Present
- William Stafford American Inn of Court, Member Emeritus, Master of The Bench
- Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Past Employment Positions
- Messer, Caparello & Self, Lawyer (0f Counsel), 2003 - 2005
- Wadsworth & Davis, PA, Lawyer (Partner), 1980 - 2003
- Thompson, Wadsworth, Messer, Turner & Rhodes, Lawyer (Associate), 1977 - 1980
- Florida State University College of Law, Legal Writing Instructor, 1976 - 1977