Born in Highland Park, Michigan, Robert G. Kerrigan graduated with a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Florida State University. As a Certified Public Accountant, he worked for Price-Waterhouse as a staff accountant. In 1971, Mr. Kerrigan graduated with honors from Florida State University College of Law. Following graduation, he assumed a position with the Public Defender’s Office 1st Judicial Circuit of Florida, where he was later named Chief Assistant. In 1973, Mr. Kerrigan went into private practice with an emphasis on criminal defense trial work. In 1975, he formed a partnership with George Estess and began to focus on civil litigation. Mr. Rankin, Mr. McLeod and Mr. Thompson later became partners in the firm as it is presently constituted.
Mr. Kerrigan was one of nine trial lawyers selected by the Governor of the State of Florida to prosecute the State’s claim for Medicaid recovery against the tobacco industry, the case settled during jury selection for, at the time, the largest civil judgment in the history of the United States.
Mr. Kerrigan has tried to verdict many felony and several capital murder cases from 1973 to 1983. In civil practice he has obtained numerous multi-million dollar jury verdicts including a national top 100 jury verdict in 2005 ($25 million for the death of a 17 year old young woman.) A member of the Florida Justice Association, Mr. Kerrigan is also a Florida Bar Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer. In the 2000 Presidential election involving Bush-Gore, Mr. Kerrigan was legal advisor to the minority caucus of the Florida Senate. Mr. Kerrigan is a member of the Florida Association of Attorney-CPAs and a member of the International Bar Association.
Selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America for 15 years, Mr. Kerrigan was named Lawyer of the Year in 2014 by Best Lawyers in America for Pensacola. In 2017 Best Lawyers named him the top plaintiff’s personal injury lawyer for Northwest Florida-Tallahassee region. Florida Trend has designated him an Elite Florida Lawyer in civil litigation. In 2012 Mr. Kerrigan was named as one of the top 500 Lawyers in America by Law Dragon, an independent listing of the nation’s best lawyers. Martindale-Hubbell AV rated. Awarded the 2011 State of Florida Bar Association Tobias Simon Pro Bono Service Award providing legal services for the poor.
Mr. Kerrigan served as co-counsel in two recent ATVA and ATS trials, Ford v. Garcia representing families of the nuns who were killed in El Salvador and the Estate of Winston Cabello, et al. v. Armando Fernandez-Larios for the death of Mr. Cabello caused by military officers working for Augusto Pinochet, the former President of Chile.
Mr. Kerrigan endowed the Florida State University Center for the Advancement of Human Rights.