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Anthony J. Russo

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(813) 281-1900


777 S. Harbour Island Boulevard
Suite 500
Tampa, Florida


Practice Areas

  • Appellate
  • Coverage Defense
  • Extra-Contractual


  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Stetson University College of Law
Anthony J. Russo is a Partner at Butler Pappas.

Anthony heads the firm's Appellate Practice Group.  He is Board Certified in Appellate Practice and maintains an AV rating with Martindale-Hubble.  

Anthony graduated from Stetson University College of Law, with honors, in 1985. While at Stetson, he served on the Editorial Board of the Stetson Law Review. Upon graduation, Anthony served as a judicial clerk at the Florida Second District Court of Appeal for two years. He then practiced law as a civil litigator for several years in St. Petersburg, Florida before joining Butler Pappas in 1992.

Anthony is a member of The Florida Bar and is admitted to practice in all Florida state courts and the Fourth and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeals.  He is also a member of the American Bar Association, the Hillsborough County Bar Association, and the Defense Research Institute.  Anthony is a native of Pennsylvania and graduated from Pennsylvania State University in 1978.


Case Types

  • Appellate
  • Appellate supersedeas bonds, appellate motion practice, and appellate mediation
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Extracontractual Claims
  • First Party Coverage Issues
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Real Estate Litigation
  • Third Party Coverage Issues

Extended Biography

Anthony emphasizes coordination with trial counsel, the carrier, and the policyholder in order to promote the successful and efficient resolution of these appeals.  Active consultation, regular reporting, and open communication are hallmarks of his approach. 

Anthony's practice areas include insurance coverage, insurer bad-faith, the defense of policyholders in commercial and personal vehicle accident lawsuits, and the defense of insurers in uninsured and underinsured motorist claims. 

Notable recent opinions include Safeco Ins. Co. of Illinois v. Fridman, 117 So. 3d 16 (Fla. 5th DCA 2013) (nullifying jury verdict and judgment because the trial court was not justified in denying the insurer's motion for confession of judgment); State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Bowling, 81 So. 3d 538 (Fla. 2d DCA 2012) review denied, 97 So. 3d 822 (Fla. 2012) (reversing judgment because the trial court erroneously excluded the testimony of the insurer's designated expert witness); State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Lawrence, 65 So.3d 52 (Fla.2d DCA 2011) (holding the insurer was entitled to conduct a juror interview of three jurors so the trial court could consider whether a new trial was warranted.);Citizens Prop. Ins. Corp. v. Garfinkel, 25 So. 3d 62 (Fla. 5th DCA 2009) (holding that Citizens is immune from first-party bad faith claims and is not subject to bad faith liability under section 624.155(1)(b)(1)).

Anthony's clients have frequently requested his expertise in the preparation of amicus briefs submitted to the Florida Supreme Court and Florida's District Courts of Appeal, including QBE Insurance Corp. v. Chalfonte Condo. Apt. Ass'n, Inc., SC09-441 (pending Fla. S. Ct.), Genovese v. Provident Life and Accident Ins. Co., 2011 WL 903988 (Fla.) (Fla. 2011) (attorney – client communications are not discoverable in an action by a first-party insured against insurer for bad faith), Progressive Express Ins. Co. v. Schultz, 948 So. 2d 1027 (Fla. 5th DCA 2007) (on behalf of the Florida Defense Lawyers Association, regarding availability of contingency fee multiplier), and Talat Enterprises, Inc. v. Aetna Casualty and Surety Co., 753 So. 2d 1278 (Fla. 2000) (regarding statutory insurer bad-faith safe-harbor provision). 

Anthony has mounted several successful challenges to overly-intrusive bad-faith discovery orders and premature bad-faith actions as typified by the decisions in State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Tranchese, 49 So. 3d 809 (Fla. 4th DCA 2010) (holding insurer was entitled to have bad-faith claim abated pending a final determination of coverage and damages for the underlying UM claim, and insured was not entitled to discovery related to insurer's business practices until the obligation to provide coverage and damages was determined.) State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. O'Hearn, 975 So. 2d 633 (Fla. 2d DCA 2008) (bad-faith action did not accrue before final determination of liability and damages in UM action), Maryland Cas. Co. v. Alicia Diagnostic, Inc., 961 So. 2d 1091 (Fla. 5th DCA 2007) (premature insurer bad-faith action), Hartford Insurance Co. v. Mainstream Construction Group, Inc., 864 So. 2d 1270 (Fla. 5th DCA 2004) (premature insurer bad-faith action).

A substantial part of Anthony's appellate experience has involved insurance coverage issues. Some examples include Acosta, Inc. v. National Union Fire Ins. Co., 39 So. 3d 565 (Fla. 1st DCA 2010) (in issue of first impression, holding that the prior-litigation exclusion in insureds claims-made D&O liability policy barred coverage), Johnson v. Nationwide Mutual Ins. Co., 828 So. 2d 1021 (Fla. 2002) (property insurance appraisal provision); Jacobs v. Nationwide Mutual Fire Ins. Co., 236 F.3d 1282 (11th Cir. 2001) (property insurance and the insured's duty of cooperation); The Hardaway Co. v. United States Fire Insurance Co., 724 So. 2d 588 (Fla. 2d DCA 1999) (liability insurance coverage and the trigger of coverage); Ajax Building Corp. v. Hartford Fire Ins. Co., 358 F.3d 795 (11th Cir. 2004) (builder's risk coverage for contractor's equipment); HCA, Inc. v. American Protection Ins. Co. & Industrial Risk Insurers, 174 S.W.3d 184 (Tenn. App. 2000)(commercial property coverage and the inventory exclusion).