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​Four Quarles & Brady Partners Recognized in Florida Trend’s 2015 Florida Legal Elite

TAMPA, Fla. — The national law firm of Quarles & Brady LLP today announced that four partners—Kelli A. Edson, Jennifer L. Griffin, Kimberly Leach Johnson, and Robert J. Kline—have been recognized in Florida Trend magazine's 2015 Florida Legal Elite.

Edson practices in the firm’s Commercial Litigation Practice Group, and serves as the Florida litigation chair and Tampa recruiting partner. She has handled a wide variety of litigation matters throughout her career, including in the areas of trusts, guardianships, real estate, investments, contracts, bankruptcy, insurance, torts, products liability, class actions, premises liability, landlord/tenant disputes, securities, intellectual property, telecommunications, technology, and unfair trade practices. She has obtained multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements for plaintiffs, and has secured summary judgments and complete dismissals for defense clients. She has been listed in 2013–2015 Florida Super Lawyers® lists and in Florida Trend magazine’s “Florida Legal Elite” list since 2013. Edson received her law degree, with honors, from the University of Michigan Law School and her undergraduate degree, with honors, from Harvard University.

Griffin serves as the chair of the firm’s Tampa Estate, Trust & Wealth Preservation Practice Group. Her practice focuses on the administration of estates and trusts, the specific representation of fiduciaries and beneficiaries as to their rights and obligations involved in the administration of estates and trusts, assisting in the resolution of disputes arising from the administration of estates and trusts, and assisting individuals and families with wealth planning and preservation through the creation of customized estate plans. She received her law degree from Stetson University College of Law and her undergraduate degree, with honors, from the University of South Florida. Griffin was previously included in Florida Trend magazine's Florida Legal Elite list.

Johnson practices in the area of Trusts and Estates in the firm's Naples office. She has extensive experience representing families in the planning of their estates and the handling of affairs after individuals pass away. Johnson was named Woman Lawyer of the Year by the Collier County Women’s Bar Association in 2011 and is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. She earned her law degree from the University of Florida Levin College of Law, her Master of Laws degree from the University of Miami, and her bachelor’s degree from Anderson College. Johnson has received several professional honors, including having been recently listed among the Top 50 Woman Florida Super Lawyers® and among The Best Lawyers in America®.

Kline is the senior partner practicing in the firm’s Tampa Estate, Trust & Wealth Preservation Practice Group and focuses on estate planning, probate, taxation, probate litigation, trust litigation, beneficiary litigation, and fiduciary liability, including the representation of trustees, personal representatives, executors, and other fiduciaries. He also represents a broad range of charitable foundations and other 501(c)(3) organizations. Kline has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America® and Florida Super Lawyers®, and he was previously included in Florida Trend magazine’s Florida Legal Elite list. He was recently appointed by the Florida Bar to serve a three-year term on the Legal Needs of Children Committee. Kline earned his Master of Laws degree in Taxation from the Georgetown University Law Center, his law degree from Western Michigan University's Cooley Law School, and his undergraduate degree from Michigan State University. He has also been certified by the Florida Supreme Court as a Circuit Court Mediator.

Florida Legal Elite attorneys are recommended by Florida Bar members. Each year, Florida Trend invites all in-state attorneys to name lawyers in whom they hold the highest regard or would recommend to others. Ballots are processed, checked, and tabulated by Bradenton-based Outsource America and EA Fernbacher LLC in St. Petersburg. Each lawyer is given a score based on the number of votes they received. The list of top vote-getters is further examined using membership status and disciplinary histories provided by the Florida Bar. A panel of previous Legal Elite winners then reviews the selection process and the list of finalists. The resulting list represents fewer than 2 percent of the active Florida Bar members who practice in Florida. Only lawyers who are currently licensed and practicing in Florida are eligible for selection. A full list of honorees is included in Florida Trend magazine’s July 2015 issue.

About Florida Trend
For more than 50 years, Florida Trend magazine has reported on the people and issues that have defined Florida and shaped its future. The magazine and its website offer regionally based stores and reporting with statewide impact. Florida Trend’s mix of local color and thorough, hard-hitting investigative journalism is recognized each year with regional and national awards for editorial excellence.