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Eugene K. Pettis is the Co-founder and Senior Partner of Haliczer Pettis & Schwamm, residing in the Fort Lauderdale office. For more than 30 years, Gene has represented an impressive list of corporate, public sector and individual clients in civil trial matters. He handles a range of complex cases, for both defendants and plaintiffs, in the areas of medical malpractice, personal injury, commercial litigation and professional liability. 

Gene has the historic and laudable designation as the first African-American President of The Florida Bar. In his role at the helm of The Florida Bar, which governs nearly 100,000 attorneys, he provided visionary leadership and brought a passion for giving back to his profession and his community. Gene spearheaded an assortment of initiatives while President, including the conceptualization of the still active William Reece Smith Leadership Academy, a multi-session training program designed to help a diverse and inclusive group of lawyers become better leaders.

Gene is a highly sought-after speaker who has used his engaging and enthusiastic style to motivate thousands. He is also the host of the Can We Talk? 360° podcast. Gene’s “Can We Talk 360°” interview sessions and “Motivational Moments” solo sessions are podcasts created to “provide a safe space where we can openly, honestly, candidly and authentically discuss different perspectives and viewpoints on an array of topics that impact humanity.”

He has two daughters, the oldest a litigation attorney in Orlando and the youngest pursuing her doctoral degree in child psychology.

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  • Florida
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida


Professional Associations

Community and Civic Organizations


  • University of Florida Levin College of Law, JD (1985)
  • University of Florida, BS (1982)




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