Brian P. Henry (Firm President)

Phone: 

(941) 684-0100

Fax: 

(941) 684-0109

Areas of Practice

  • Insurance Law
  • Expert Witness Representation / Expert Preclusion
  • Insurance Bad Faith Litigation
  • Fire Science Litigation
  • Mediation



Education

University of Arkansas,
Juris Doctorate, cum laude, 1999

Mr. Henry completed law school ranked in the top fifteen percent in his class, serving as Research Editor of the Arkansas Law Review and as a member of the school’s traveling Moot Court team. 

Henderson State University,
Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Honors Program Graduate, 1996


 

 



Admitted to Practice

Federal Courts:

  • Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Northern District of Florida
  • Middle District of Florida
  • Southern District of Florida
  • Northern District of New York
  • Southern District of New York
  • Eastern District of New York
  • Western District of New York
  • District of Colorado
  • District of Connecticut
  • District of Massachusetts
  • Western District of Wisconsin
  • Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • Eastern District of Michigan
  • District of Maryland
  • Northern District of Indiana
  • Eastern District of Arkansas
  • Western District of Arkansas
  • District of Colorado
  • Northern District of Oklahoma
  • Eastern District of Oklahoma
  • Western District of Oklahoma
  • Northern District of Illinois
  • Eastern District of Tennessee

State Courts:

  • Florida
  • Tennessee
  • Connecticut
  • Massachusetts

 



Brian joined Smith, Rolfes & Skavdahl in 2011, and serves the firm’s clients, and as the firm’s President, from our Florida offices. Brian has significant litigation and trial experience in the areas of insurance, fire science, and product liability. His practice has spanned the entire country, having served as national trial and coordinating counsel to several product manufacturers and a Fortune 500 insurer.  Brian is also certified by the Florida Supreme Court as a Circuit Court mediator, and his mediation work is a growing aspect of his practice.

Brian is also nationally-recognized for his knowledge and experience on expert preclusion issues, having written and lectured extensively on the subject and having handled more than 100 Daubert-type challenges in cases throughout the United States.  He represents hundreds of expert witnesses from a variety of fields, providing representation in areas such as expert fees, scope of work and retainer agreement disputes, discovery issues, and expert preclusion efforts.   Brian has also served as an expert witness on the standard of care for attorneys handling fire science cases, and he is a frequent lecturer on fire science, expert preclusion, insurance, and product liability issues at conferences throughout the country.

Brian is one of only a handful of attorneys to achieve the Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator designation from the National Association of Fire Investigators. Brian’s extensive knowledge of fire science issues provides the firm’s clients with a strong competitive advantage in litigation involving damage and injury from fires.  He is an Adjunct Instructor at both the National Fire Academy and the National Center for Explosives Training & Research. 

Brian is an AV®–rated lawyer through Martindale-Hubbell, and has been included in SuperLawyers multiple times since 2011.
 

 

 

Sarasota, FL

1605 Main Street
Suite 1106
Sarasota, Florida 34236
(941) 684-0100

Additional Locations

  • Orlando, FL
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL

Notable Experience

PUBLICATIONS

ADDITIONAL EXPERIENCE

  • University of Connecticut School of Law, Adjunct Professor, Moot Court / Legal Writing (2006-2010)
  • National Fire Academy, Adjunct Instructor in Fire Science Litigation Methods, Emmitsburg, Maryland
  • National Center for Explosives Training & Research, Adjunct Instructor in Advanced Origin & Cause/Courtroom Testimony Techniques, Huntsville, Alabama

PRESENTATIONS

  • “Carpe Diem!  Perspectives on Testifying in Fire Science Litigation,” (2017), presented at Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosions Arson-for-Prosecutors Seminar, San Diego, California
  • “Advanced Origin & Cause / Courtroom Testimony,” (2017), presented at National Center for Explosives Training & Research, Huntsville, Alabama
  • “Go Ahead!  Make My Case!  An Attorney’s Guide for the Testifying Expert,” (2017), presented at National Association of Fire Investigators Annual Conference, Tampa, Florida
  • "Vetting & Selecting the Right Experts and Attorneys for Your Fire Science Case," (2017), presented at International Association of Arson Investigators Annual Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada
  • “After the Fire Scene – the Investigation Continues!” (2016), presented at Fire & Explosion Consultants Training Seminar, Dayton, Ohio
  • “Go Ahead – Make My Case!  An Attorney’s Guide for the Testifying Expert,” (2016), presented at Donan Engineering Company Training Seminar, Louisville, Kentucky
  • “Off the Rails: How Experts Can Avoid the Testimonal Train Wreck,” (2016), presented at Fire & Explosion Consultants, LLC, Training Conference, Oregon, Ohio
  • “Facing the Daubert Challenge,” (2016), presented at National Center for Explosives Training Seminar for Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, & Explosives, Huntsville, Alabama
  • “Key Strategies of the Testifying Investigator,” (2016), presented at Arizona Chapter of the International Association of Arson Investigators Annual Conference, Prescott, Arizona
  • “A Confluence of Uncertainties: NFPA 921’s Missteps on Process of Elimination & Negative Corpus,” (2016), presented at Arizona Chapter of the International Association of Arson Investigators Annual Conference, Prescott, Arizona
  • “Off the Rails:  How Experts Can Avoid the Testimonial Train Wreck,” (2016), presented at Arizona Chapter of the International Association of Arson Investigators Annual Conference, Prescott, Arizona
  • “Vetting the Fire Science Expert,” (2016), presented to Nat’l. Assoc. of Subrogation Professionals / International Assoc. of Arson Investigators, Webinar Training
  • “Practical Considerations in Fire Claims and Litigation,” (2016), presented at State Auto Insurance Company Training Seminar, Columbus, Ohio
  • “The 1.21 Jigawatt Equation:  Doc Brown’s Daubert Challenge Survival Guide,” (2016), presented at Utah Defense Lawyers Association Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • “Insurance Claims and the State of Florida: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You,” (2016), presented at Great American Insurance Company Training Seminar, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • “Navigating Insurance Bad Faith Litigation: Ignorance is NOT Bliss!,” (2016), presented at American Integrity Insurance Company Training Seminar, Tampa, Florida
  • “Off the Rails:  How Experts Can Avoid the Testimonial Train Wreck,” (2016), presented at Liberty Mutual Insurance Training Seminar, Lake Mary, Florida
  • “Ensuring NFPA 1033 Compliance and Preparing Comprehensive Expert Reports,” (2015), presented at Fire & Explosion Consultants Training Seminar, Dayton, Ohio
  • "Fire Science Litigation Considerations:  Managing Experts, Reports, and Applicable Standards,” (2015), presented at Allstate Insurance Company Training Seminar, Indianapolis, Indiana
  • “Insurance Claims and the State of Florida:  What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You,” (2015), presented at Celina Insurance Company Training Seminar, Celina, Ohio
  • “The 1.21 Jigawatt Equation:  Doc Brown’s Daubert Challenge Survival Guide,” (2015), presented at National Center for Explosives Training Seminar for Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Huntsville, Alabama
  • “The 1.21 Jigawatt Equation:  Doc Brown’s Daubert Challenge Survival Guide,” (2015), presented at Colorado Defense Lawyers Association Annual Conference, Steamboat Springs, Colorado
  • “Don’t Get Burned! Key Strategies for the Testifying Investigator,” (2015), presented at National Association of Fire Investigators Annual Conference, Sarasota, Florida
  • “Process of Elimination & Negative Corpus / Understanding Cause & Classification, and Avoiding Confusion,” (2015), presented at SRS 2015 Fire Science Seminar, Mason, Ohio
  • “Fire Science Fundamentals: Legal Considerations, the Fourth Amendment, and the Fifth Amendment,” (2015), presented at IAAI Annual Conference, Chicago, Illinois
  • “A Confluence of Uncertainties: NFPA 921’s Missteps on Process of Elimination & Negative Corpus,” (2015), presented at IAAI Annual Conference, Chicago, Illinois
  • “Fire Litigation Panel Discussion on Expert Testimony, Daubert, Negative Corpus, and Spoliation of Evidence,” (2015), presented at IAAI Annual Conference, Chicago, Illinois
  • “A Confluence of Uncertainties: NFPA 921’s Missteps on Process of Elimination & Negative Corpus,” (2015), presented at New York IAAI Annual Conference, Syracuse, New York
  • “Don’t Get Burned! Key Strategies for the Testifying Investigator,” (2015), presented at Virginia IAAI Annual Conference, Staunton, Virginia
  • “A Confluence of Uncertainties:  NFPA 921’s Missteps on Process of Elimination & Negative Corpus,” (2015), presented at Liberty Mutual Fire Investigative Unit Training Seminar, Fairfield, Ohio
  • “A Confluence of Uncertainties:  NFPA 921’s Missteps on Process of Elimination & Negative Corpus,” (2015), presented at Insurance Committee for Arson Control Annual Seminar, Orlando, Florida
  • “Key Strategies for the Testifying Investigator,” (2014), presented at National Society of Professional Insurance Investigators Annual Conference, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • “Don’t Get Burned! Key Strategies for the Testifying Investigator,” (2014), presented at Greater Cincinnati Regional Arson & Fire Investigators Annual Conference, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • “Knowledge vs. Persuasion: Preparing Subject Matter Experts to Become Testifying Experts,” (2014), presented at IMS Expert Services Training Seminar, Pensacola, Florida
  • “Don’t Get Burned! Key Strategies for the Testifying Investigator,” (2014), presented at National Association of Fire Investigators Annual Conference, Sarasota, Florida
  • “Cause vs. Classification, ‘Human Act’ Language, and Negative Corpus vs. Process of Elimination,” (2014), presented to Fire & Explosion Consultants, LLC Training Seminar, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • “Don’t Get Burned! Key Strategies for the Testifying Investigator,” (2014), presented at Vermont International Association of Arson Investigators Annual Conference, Rutland, Vermont
  • "Don’t Get Burned! Key Strategies for the Testifying Investigator,” (2014), presented at Massachusetts International Association of Arson Investigators Annual Conference, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
  • "The Investigation and Trial of Fraudulent Claims,” (2014), presented at Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company Major Case Unit Training Seminar, Columbus, Ohio
  • “Ensuring Your Survival as a Testifying Expert: NFPA 1033, Daubert, and the Curriculum Vitae,” (2014), presented at Oakland County Association of Arson & Fire Investigators, Auburn Hills, Michigan
  • NFPA 921, NFPA 1033, and the 4th Amendment: Basic Standards for Fire Investigation,” (2014), presented at New York Chapter of International Association of Arson Investigators, Albany, New York
  • “The Daubert Disaster: Unintended Consequences Facing Insurers, Experts, and Attorneys,” (2014), presented at Insurance Committee for Arson Control Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina
  • “Fundamentals of Fire Investigation,” (2014), presented at New York Chapter of International Association of Arson Investigators, Rochester, New York
  • "A Burning Ring of Fire – Fire Litigation Pitfall Avoidance," (2013), presented at Fire & Explosion Consultants Training Seminar, Nassau, Bahamas
  • "The Daubert Disaster: Unintended Consequences Facing Insurers and Experts," (2013), presented at The National Society of Professional Insurance Investigators (NSPII) Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri
  • "The Testifying Investigator: Challenges and Pitfalls," (2013), presented at the National Association of Fire Investigators Annual Seminar on Fire Analysis Litigation, Sarasota, Florida
  • “Strategies for Success for the 21st Century Expert,” (2013), presented at Unified Investigations & Sciences, Inc., Training Seminar, Atlanta, Georgia
  • “Legal Considerations Affecting Fire Loss Litigation,” (2013), presented at National Fire Academy, Emmitsburg, Maryland
  • “Practical Considerations Affecting Claim Loss Investigation and Litigation,” (2013), presented at Liberty Mutual Training Seminar, Dallas, Texas
  • “Don’t Get Burned! Key Strategies for the Testifying Expert,” (2013), presented at International Association of Arson Investigators Annual Conference, Orlando, Florida
  • “Practical Considerations Affecting Fire Loss Investigation and Litigation,” (2013), presented at Liberty Mutual Training Seminar, Weston, Massachusetts
  • “Introduction to Event Data Recorders and SIU Case Studies,” (2013), presented at CLM Alliance Mini-Conference on Insurance Fraud, Orlando, Florida
  • “Using Social Media Effectively to Investigate Insurance Claims,” (2012), presented at The CPCU Society Regional Conference, Boston, Massachusetts
  • “The Testifying Investigator,” (2012), presented at Donan Engineering Training Seminar, Louisville, Kentucky
  • “Advanced Origin and Cause: Litigation Partnerships,” (2012), presented at Liberty Mutual Training Seminar, Denver, Colorado
  • "Selecting & Utilizing Fire and Explosion Experts: A Litigation Partnership," (2012) presented at the Liberty Mutual Advanced Origin & Cause Seminar, Denver, Colorado
  • "Selecting & Utilizing Fire and Explosion Experts: A Litigation Partnership"; "The Testifying Investigator: Challenges and Pitfalls," (2012), presented at the National Association of Fire Investigators Annual Seminar on Fire Analysis Litigation, Sarasota, Florida
  • "The Daubert Disaster: Unintended Consequences Facing Insurers and Experts," (2012), presented at the RIMKUS 9th Annual Continuing Education Seminar, Tampa, Florida
  • “Expert Report Writing: Preparation of Comprehensive Expert Reports,” (2012), presented at Insurance Committee for Arson Control Annual Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada
  • “Comprehensive Retention Agreements: Protecting the Professional & Financial Well-Being of the Expert Witness,” (2012), presented at Insurance Committee for Arson Control Annual Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada
  • “The Daubert Disaster: Unintended Consequences Affecting Insurers,” (2011), presented at National Association of Subrogation Professionals Annual Conference, Orlando, Florida
  • NFPA 1033 and Developments in Daubert Litigation,” (2011), presented at National Association of Subrogation Professionals New England Chapter Conference, Hartford, Connecticut
  • “Selecting & Utilizing Fire Experts,” (2011), presented at National Association of Fire Investigators Fire Litigation Skills Conference, Sarasota, Florida
  • “Supervising the Arson Case,” (2011), presented at Travelers Insurance Claim University, Windsor, Connecticut
  • Daubert Standards for Expert Witness Testimony: Effective Strategies for Bringing and Defending Daubert Challenges,” (2011), presented through Strafford Webinar Publications, Hartford, Connecticut
  • “Optimizing Subrogation Recovery: Tips & Tactics,” (2010), presented at Unified Investigations & Sciences’ Fire & Forensics Seminar for the Insurance Industry, Sturbridge, Massachusetts
  • “Expert Report Writing: Best Practices for Producing Quality Reports,” (2010), presented at International Symposium on Fire Investigation Science and Technology, Baltimore, Maryland
  • “Factors Impacting Expert Testimony by Fire Investigators, (2010), presented at National Association of State Fire Marshals Annual Conference, Chicago, Illinois
  • “Fire Science Experts: A Litigation Partnership,” (2010), presented at National Association of Fire Investigators Fire Litigation Skills Conference, Sarasota, Florida
  • “Protecting the Financial and Reputational Interests of the Expert Witness,” (2010), presented at International Association of Arson Investigators (Florida Chapter) Annual Conference, Orlando, Florida
  • “The Daubert Disaster: Unintended Consequences Affecting Expert Witnesses,” (2010), presented at International Symposium on Fire Investigation Science and Technology, Baltimore, Maryland
  • “Comparative Subrogation: An Analysis of the Subrogation Systems of The United States and the United Kingdom,” (2009), presented at Hartford, Connecticut
  • “Defending Your Product in Litigation,” (2008), presented at University of Wisconsin Products Liability Seminar, Madison, Wisconsin
  • “Fire Science Litigation: Experts, Attorneys, & the Clients Who Love Them,” (2008), presented at Fort Lee, New Jersey
  • “Federal Court Reports: Philosophy & Requirements,” (2008), presented at Windsor, Connecticut
  • “Fire Science Litigation: Putting Your Best Case Forward,” (2008), presented at Chilworth Laboratories Seminar, Princeton, New Jersey
  • “Preparation, Proof, and Presentation: Assisting the Testifying Expert,” (2008), presented at International Association of Arson Investigators Annual Conference, Victoria, Canada
  • “Spoliation of Evidence,” (2008), presented at University of Wisconsin Fire Liability Seminar, Madison, Wisconsin
  • “Selecting & Utilizing Fire Science Experts,” (2007 & 2004), presented at National Association of Fire Investigators Fire Litigation Skills Conference, Sarasota, Florida
  • “Fire Science Litigation 101: How to Avoid Getting Burned in Litigation,” (2007), presented at Hartford, Connecticut
  • “Litigating Fire Claims,” (2007), presented at Fire Findings Laboratories Conference, Benton Harbor, Michigan
  • “Avoiding Objections: Utilizing Demonstrative Evidence,” (2006), presented at DRI Fire & Casualty Seminar, Chicago, Illinois
  • “National Multi-District Subrogation Litigation,” (2004), presented at National Association of Subrogation Professionals Annual Conference, Orlando, Florida

MEMBERSHIPS

  • Florida Bar Association 
  • National Association of Fire Investigators
  • National Society of Professional Insurance Investigators
  • International Association of Arson Investigators (Chair, Insurance Advisory Committee)
  • Rotary International / Rotary Club of Hartford, Connecticut (President 2010-11)
  • American Mensa Society

RECOGNITIONS

  • Named as Florida “Rising Star” by SuperLawyers (2013-2014)
  • Named as Tampa Bay Area “Rising Star,” SuperLawyers (2013-2014)
  • Named General Counsel to the National Association of Fire Investigators (2012 to present)
  • Named to Hartford’s “Top 40 Professionals Under 40,” (2010)
  • Named as Connecticut “Rising Star” by SuperLawyers (2011, 2012)
  • Named as New England “Rising Star” by SuperLawyers (2011, 2012)
  • Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator (2006 to present)

 REPRESENTATIVE MATTERS

  •   a $150 Million Dollar Chemical Plant Explosion in Arkansas
  •   a $100 Million Dollar Nightclub Fire in Rhode Island
  •   a $40 Million Dollar Hotel Fire in Rome, Italy
  •   a $25 Million Dollar Chemical Plant Explosion in Connecticut
  •   a Multi-Million Dollar Chemical Plant Explosion in Florida
  •   a Multi-Million Dollar Restaurant Fire in Texas
  •   a Multi-Million Dollar Suppression System Failure in Florida
  •   a Multi-Fatality House Fire in Pennsylvania
  •   a Multi-Million Dollar Catastrophic Burn Case in New England
  •   a Multi-Million Dollar Gas Explosion in Ohio

* AV®, BV®, AV Preeminent® and BV Distinguished® are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used under in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies.