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Fowler White Burnett 'Parts Ways' With Fort Lauderdale Shareholder

Rory Eric Jurman, former shareholder with Fowler White Burnett's Fort Lauderdale office. Courtesy photo

Rory Eric Jurman, former shareholder with Fowler White Burnett's Fort Lauderdale office. Courtesy photo

Fowler White Burnett shareholder and litigator Rory Jurman is out, departing the law firm where he was a key player in its insurance practice group.

An internal email from Fowler White Burnett Friday attributed Jurman's departure to a divergence in values between the firm and its former equity partner, which it bought out after a strategic meeting.

Jurman's biographical page has been scrubbed from Fowler White Burnett's website.

"After thoughtful consideration and introspection, the firm’s shareholders have concluded that the head of the Fort Lauderdale insurance coverage practice group, Rory Jurman, is no longer compatible with the culture and vision of Fowler White Burnett, and that it is in both parties’ best interests to part ways," according to the internal email message sent to the Daily Business Review. "We wish him success in his future endeavors."

Jurman hung up the phone when reached for comment and did not respond to subsequent attempts.

Christopher Knight, a managing shareholder with Fowler White Burnett's Miami office, confirmed Jurman had left the firm last week but declined to say why.

"The decision that Rory would leave the firm was discussed and implemented Friday," Knight said, confirming that Jurman had been an equity partner. "I think it was in the best interest of both parties for Rory to no longer be with Fowler White. We wish him well in his future."

Jurman's absence will leave no void in the firm's ability to handle insurance litigation in its Fort Lauderdale office, Knight said.

"We still have seven, eight lawyers that are doing that type of work," he said. "The rest of the lawyers continue to do their work ... same as six months ago, a year ago."

Jurman was listed alongside Fowler White Burnett associate Steven S. Cula as one of the Daily Business Review's Most Effective Lawyers in 2018 for his insurance-related work. He also represented real estate companies Global Ministries Foundation and Millennia Cos. in a lawsuit over allegedly "inhumane living conditions” at Stonybrook Apartments in Riviera Beach.

In a January interview with the Daily Business Review, Jurman attributed his trial success to effective storytelling and being able to endear clients to a jury.

“It’s not running away from the facts, the good and the bad, but putting them all together as one consistent trial theme and story,” he said. “A lot of trial attorneys don’t focus on maintaining their own credibility throughout the trial. They’ll make an argument because they can, not realizing it could backfire and hurt their credibility if a juror rejects those arguments.”

He added, “Juries really latch onto common themes that they already believe, and you have to be able to deal with them. Those themes are sometimes more important than the actual evidence.”

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