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Thomas W. Carey

Senior & Founding Partner

Thomas W. Carey is the founding partner of the Clearwater firm of Carey Leisure Carney.

Mr. Carey has been board certified in Civil Trial Law by the Florida Bar since 1988, and by the National Board of Trial Advocacy since 1992. Throughout his career, he has handled
approximately 40,000 personal injury cases, either directly or as chair of his law firm. He is a member of four State Bar Associations: Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Florida, and Washington State.

Mr. Carey is a longstanding member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, having received numerous multi-million dollar verdicts in the areas of medical malpractice, auto and motorcycle crashes, sexual assault, and drunk driving. He has tried complex cases in at least six counties in Florida, including Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee, and Polk.

Following the tragic loss of his wife, Joni, to a drunk driver after only six months of marriage, Mr. Carey has devoted much of his career to seeking justice for those whose lives have been forever changed by a drunk driving accident. With passion and conviction, he served as the Pinellas County President of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) from 1984 to 1985, and served as Florida State Chairman in 1986. He remains actively involved in the organization and was the co-founder of the Tampa Bay Area chapter of Remove Intoxicated Drivers (RID). Pursuing claims for victims of DUI accidents remains a cause close to Mr. Carey’s heart. Mr. Carey has served as an adjunct professor of Trial Practice at Stetson University College of Law and has been invited to guest lecture on topics such as funeral home and cemetery malpractice, the Dram Shop Act, and other topics.

In 2020, Mr. Carey was awarded the BJ and Tom Masterson Award for Professionalism by the Florida Justice Association (FJA). This lifetime achievement award was created in honor of former FJA President BJ Masterson and his son Tom Masterson and is presented annually to an attorney who demonstrates the highest standard of ethical professionalism in their practice of law. The FJA states that the candidate who is awarded this honor is a model to which all attorneys should aspire. Tom was nominated for the award by Edward Zebersky, Esq. for his unwavering dedication toward the practice of law and the FJA organization.

Areas of Practice
Litigation Percentage
  • 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation
Certified Legal Specialties
  • Civil Trial Law, National Board of Trial Advocacy
  • Civil Trial Law, The Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization and Education
Bar Admissions
  • Florida, 1978
  • Massachusetts, 1977
  • Rhode Island, 1977
  • U.S. District Court Middle District of Florida, 1981
  • U.S. Tax Court
  • New York University School of Law, New York, New York
    • LL.M. – 1979
    • Honors: Graduate Law Fellowship
    • Honors: Awarded Distinguished Service Award, June 2010
    • Major: Taxation
  • Suffolk University Law School, Boston, Massachusetts
    • J.D. (Cum Laude) – 1978
  • Georgetown University, Washington, District of Columbia
    • A.B. – 1972
Published Works
  • Florida Personal Injury Practice Forms, West Publishing Company, 1994
  • Adjunct Professor, Trial Practice, Stetson University College of Law
  • Lecturer, Funeral Home and Cemetery Malpractice, The Dram Shop Act
Honors and Awards
  • AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review RatedSM by Martindale-Hubbell®
  • Miami Herald’s Super Lawyers, 2006 – 2010
  • Best Lawyers in America, 2007 – 2010
  • Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers™, 2006 – 2010
  • Tampa Bay’s Best Lawyer Personal Injury, Tampa Bay Magazine, July/August 2008 Edition, 2008
  • Super Lawyers, 2009 – 2010
  • Member, Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • Florida Justice Association BJ and Tom Masterson Award for Professionalism —
Professional Associations and Memberships
  • Clearwater Bar Association
  • Rhode Island Bar Association
  • Massachusetts Bar Association
  • The Florida Bar
  • American Association for Justice, Florida State Delegate, Elected
  • American Association for Justice, Funeral Services and Cemetery Malpractice, Litigation Chair
  • Florida Justice Association, Member, Board of Directors, 1987 – 1997
  • Pinellas County Trial Lawyers Association
  • Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), State Chairman, 1985 – 1986
  • Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), Pinellas County Chapter, President, 1984 – 1985
  • Pinellas/Pasco Boy Scouts of America, Member, Board of Directors, 1992 – 1994
  • Remove Intoxicated Drivers (RID), Tampa Bay area, Founding Member
Past Employment Positions
  • Carey & Hilbert, 1996 – 2000
  • Carey & Florin, P.A., Founding Partner, 1985 – 1996