Mary Barzee Flores is a Shareholder in the Litigation Department where her practice is focused on white collar criminal defense, internal investigations and complex civil litigation and arbitration. She also serves as a private judge, arbitrator, court appointed receiver and special master.
Having been trained as a trial lawyer, Mary began her career with a nationally recognized criminal defense firm where she represented clients in state and federal trial and appellate courts as well as before federal Grand Juries. In 1990 she joined the Federal Public Defender’s Office where for twelve years she honed her courtroom skills, trying over 40 federal jury trials to verdict throughout the Southern District of Florida, writing and arguing appeals before the United States Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals and filing Petitions for Certiorari to the United States Supreme Court. In her federal criminal trial practice, she gained extensive experience in defending clients in a wide variety of white collar investigations and prosecutions, including tax evasion, embezzlement, bank and wire fraud and health care fraud. As a Supervisory Assistant Federal Public Defender she trained and supervised trial lawyers through all stages of the proceedings.
In 2003, Mary was elected without opposition to the Florida Eleventh Circuit Court where she presided until joining Stearns Weaver Miller. As a Circuit Court Judge, she presided over thousands of cases, tried over a hundred civil and criminal jury trials to verdict and heard appeals from the county court and various administrative bodies. As a trial judge, she presided over the trials of multimillion dollar construction defect cases, a hundred million dollar international bank fraud and embezzlement case and numerous product liability, medical malpractice, breach of contract and commercial disputes. She also sat by designation on Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal where she authored a number of published opinions.
A gifted teacher, Mary has frequently served as an instructor at the Florida College of Advanced Studies and the Florida Judicial College. She has spoken on international litigation and arbitration issues as well as civil/criminal parallel proceedings for various organizations including the American Bar Association and The Florida Bar.
- Successfully challenged lis pendens tying up a multi-million dollar construction project in Coral Gables.
- Negotiated a favorable disposition in dispute over the sale and servicing of computer software.
- Served as a neutral arbitrator in multi-million dollar dispute between developer and condominium association.
- Cross-examined Scott Rothstein on behalf of bank client in connection with multiple suits arising out of billion dollar ponzi scheme.
- Served as mediator in a wide variety of cases involving franchise disputes, personal injury and breach of contract.
- Served as a neutral umpire in disputes between insurers and insureds.
- Represented individuals subpoenaed to testify before the federal grand jury in bribery and fraud investigations.
- Obtained reversal of trial court’s disqualification of law firm in employment discrimination case.
- Negotiated successful outcome on behalf of timeshare company accused of violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
- Defended one of the nation’s leading hospital operators in a whistleblower case.
- Defended Florida-based timeshare company in federal Fair Credit Reporting Act case.
- Represented hospital embezzlement victim in criminal court.
- Represented juvenile robbery victim in discussions with State Attorney’s Office.
- Served as an expert witness on conflicts of interest in connection with a Florida Bar matter.
- Served as an expert witness on the domestication of foreign judgments in Florida courts.
- Negotiated favorable outcome on behalf commercial warehouse landlord in dispute with tenant business.
- Assisted in preparing numerous lawyers for various state and federal court appellate oral arguments by serving as moot appellate court judge.
- Represented various Miami Beach nightclubs in defense of ordinance violations.
Professional & Community Involvement
- American Bar Association, International Law Section
- Florida Innocence Commission, appointed by Chief Justice Charles Canady, Member 2011-2012
- Miami Light Project, Member of the Board of Directors
- Florida Supreme Court Criminal Court Steering Committee, appointed by the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court, Member 2004-2011
- George Mason Law School Judicial Education Advisory Board, Member 2010-2011
- Florida Conference of Circuit Judges, Education Committee, 2005-2011
- Case Analysis Seminar, George Mason School of Law, Participant (Arlington, Virginia 2011)
- Northwestern Law School Judicial Education Program Advisory Board, 2009
- First Annual Judicial Symposium on Civil Justice Issues, American Enterprise Institute – Brookings Institution Joint Center for Regulatory Studies, Participant (Washington, D.C. 2006)
- Judicial Reasoning, American Academy for Judicial Education, Participant (Jackson, Wyoming 2003)
- Chambers USA, Litigation, 2017
- Daily Business Review, "Top 20 Women in Law," 2015
- "Best of the Bar" Criminal Mock Trial, Participant (Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers CLE Program), 2013
- Miami-Dade Justice Association Judge Steven Levine Award, 2008
- Mock Trial National Competition Finalist, 1988
- Book Award in Federal Jurisdiction, 1988
- AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
Publications & Presentations
The Cayman Islands: A Very Convenient Truth in Financial Oversight
Daily Business Review |March 2017
Keys to Perfecting the Winning Argument
Dade County Bar Association 2015 Bench & Bar Conference|February 2015
Super Stars vs. Rising Stars Commercial Litigation Mock Trial
Daily Business Review |July 2014
Social Media and the Courtroom
The Federal Bar Association|November 2013
Women in the Courtroom and Jury Selection in a Diverse Population
Florida Association for Women Lawyers|October 2012
Things Civil Lawyers Should Know About Criminal Law, (Restitution, Forfeiture, Victims’ Rights Act, Fifth Amendment Issues, Upjohn Warnings, Federal Prosecutors vs. Receivers and Trustees)
ABA Section of Litigation and Criminal Justice Joint Annual Conference|April 2011
The Clash Between the State and the Estate: What is Best for Victims?” (Federal Criminal Asset Forfeiture, Bankruptcy Asset Recovery and When the Two Collide)
Florida Bar 9th Annual International Litigation and Arbitration Conference|February 2011
Should We Stay or Should We Go” (Forum Non-Conveniens, Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, Enforcements of Foreign Judgments, Pros and Cons to Bringing Suit in U.S. Courts)
ABA International Law Section Meeting|September 2009
19 Stearns Weaver Miller Lawyers, 8 Practice Areas Ranked In Chambers USA 2017
In the Media:
DBR Recognizes 20 'Women in Law' Legal Powerhouses
Daily Business Review|October 2015
In the Media:
DBR to Honor 20 South Florida Women in Law
Daily Business Review|August 2015
In the Media:
Bond Issue In Play For New Miami-Dade Courthouse
Daily Business Review|July 2014
In the Media:
Florida defense attorneys fear backlash in self-defense cases
The Miami Herald|April 2012
In the Media:
Rothstein's ex-buddies brace for criminal charges
The Miami Herald|January 2012
In the Media:
Rothstein loses it when asked about law partner's slaying
Sun Sentinel|January 2012
Judge Mary Barzee Flores to Join Firm