Born in Boston, Massachusetts on August 27, 1953, Michael J. Keane has a wide-ranging civil trial practice that serves the State of Florida. Admitted to the Florida Bar in 1978, Mr. Keane is board certified by the Florida Bar in Civil Trial and Business Litigation. Over the past 32 years, Mr. Keane has tried numerous cases to juries in environmental, construction, legal malpractice, contract, personal injury, defamation, real property, and other intentional tort matters. He has also tried many cases to the bench, arbitration panels, and administrative law judges.
Mr. Keane also has an active appellate practice, having successfully argued cases before the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, the Florida Supreme Court, and all District Courts of Appeal in Florida, except the Third District Court of Appeal.
Mr. Keane is also an accomplished alternative dispute resolution representative and advocate. He is certified by the Florida Supreme Court as a mediator and serves as a mediator in cases involving complex disputes. He has also served as an arbitrator and a voluntary trial resolution judge.
Mr. Keane has a longstanding interest in legal education. He has served as an adjunct professor at Stetson University College of Law and has taught professional ethics, state constitutional law and alternate dispute resolution. He has lectured at various continuing legal education seminars and has been published on several topics. His publications include: "Practice Before The Supreme Court of Florida: A Practical Analysis," Stetson Law Review, Vol. 8; "Filing Briefs on Jurisdiction in the Supreme Court of Florida: The Crucial First Step," The Florida Bar Journal, Vol. 54, No. 7, July and August, 1980; and "Securities Implications of Time Share Condominium Offerings: A Fresh Look," The Florida Bar Journal, Vol. 55, No. 6.
His educational background includes attendance at the United States Naval Academy; a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Maryland in 1974; and a Juris Doctorate in 1978 from Stetson University College of Law, magna cum laude. While at Stetson, Mr. Keane was the editor-in-chief of the Stetson Law Review from 1977 to 1978. He also competed nationally in moot court competitions.
His first job after law school was in service to the Honorable Ben F. Overton, Florida Supreme Court, as a judicial law clerk. On completing his work for Justice Overton, Mr. Keane began the practice of civil trial and appellate law. In 1994, he founded the law firm now known as Keane, Reese, Vesely & Gerdes, P.A. with the late Michael K. Reese.
Highlights of his professional service include a term of service on the Florida Board of Bar Examiners, the body that tests applicants for legal knowledge and passes on their character and fitness to practice law. During that five-year appointment, Mr. Keane served one year as chairman and one year as vice-chairman. He continued to serve as an emeritus member of the Board until his resignation in 2010 in order to return to teaching as an adjunct professor at Stetson. He has also served as a member and as chair of the Florida Bar Grievance Committee.
Mr. Keane has been recognized often by his peers. He received the “Barney” award given annually by the Barney Masterson Inn of Court for the highest levels of professionalism, civility, ethics, and legal excellence. Mr. Keane is AV® rated by Martindale-HubbellSM. He was also honored in Best Lawyers in America, as being a go-to person when you are in “Bet the Company Litigation.” Mr. Keane was also named in Florida Trend’s Legal Elite and as a “Super Lawyer.”
When he is not lawyering, Mr. Keane’s passion lies in baseball, and, of course, his love for the “Olde Towne” Team—the Boston Red Sox. He has devoted well over a decade to coaching youth baseball and has served for many years as a director for Northwest Youth Baseball, a St. Petersburg youth league that involves as many as 750 boys and girls each season. Mr. Keane also founded Snook Baseball, Inc., a non-profit organization that sponsors a baseball team for young, elite players.