Attorney Ely R. Levy started his career working for an international law firm in New York City before moving to Miami. After five years of working as an associate at King & Spalding, LLP – where he represented Fortune 500 companies such as Coca-Cola, UPS, Morgan Stanley and others – he felt like it was time for a change.
After relocating to Miami, Levy started on a new path. “I considered working for a large Miami law firm,” he said, “but decided I wanted to start a firm of my own. So, I started the practice with my partner and two assistants. Today, we have grown our practice steadily over the past seven years to nine lawyers and two dozen assistants, paralegals and administrators.”
Levy, a shareholder at the firm of Militzok & Levy, P.A., has dedicated part of his practice to overseeing all of the firm’s lawsuits against property insurers, with his remaining time dedicated to complex commercial litigation. Levy is a tireless advocate of insurance policyholders and has litigated hundreds of cases arising out of property damage to Florida businesses and residences. “Policyholders need aggressive representation, especially when confronted with insurance carriers that delay, deny and/or underpay insurance claims without a legitimate basis to do so,” Levy said. “Even insurance defense lawyers across the table have called me occasionally for advice on how to deal with their own personal insurance issues.”
What does he find particularly rewarding about being a lawyer? “Clients rely on us and our thinking to assist them with complex issues that impact their lives and businesses,” he said. “Crafting legal solutions that resolve those problems and helping people put their lives back together in the process is very gratifying.”
Levy has been recognized by the legal community for his abilities. He has been named to Florida Super Lawyers for three years in a row which is an honor bestowed upon only 2.5 percent of the attorneys statewide. He was also selected to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum in connection with a multimillion dollar settlement he procured for his clients in a federal case. His cases have been featured by several newspapers and he is frequently called on by news media to comment about insurance issues facing South Florida policyholders.
Levy embraces the challenge of presenting complex issues to a judge or jury in a simple and thoughtful way. “Triers of fact need to analyze the issues before them and the onus is on the attorney to present the facts to them in a readily understandable manner.” Beyond oral advocacy, Levy enjoys the challenge of tactical litigation. “Inherent in complex litigation is the need to strategically think several steps ahead and focus on the big picture.”
But it was his mentor professor Norman Silber, a highly regarded consumer law professor, who had the most influence on his career. “Professor Silber helped shape many of my views,” he said. “We co-authored an article together that was published in the Stanford Law and Policy Review my first year out of law school. He has dedicated his career to consumerism and he has really had an impact on me.”
As for the future, Levy says, “our firm’s practice is unique in that we are able to represent any plaintiff in any type of case such as class action lawsuits, insurance disputes, employment litigation, wrongful death and many other areas. Our litigation successes are becoming more and more significant, which is a great trend for us. Our transactional practice is busy servicing real estate and business transactions at a pace that mirrors the thriving market of 2006. In the future, our firm plans to expand its practice through lateral hiring and by increasing expenditures for smart client development.
When Levy is not practicing law, he enjoys playing basketball, an occasional cigar and quiet time with his family.