Ralph L. Gonzalez is a graduate of The Harvard Law School with a Master of Business Administration from George Washington University. At law school, he was a winner of the Harvard Williston Contract Competition, selected as a Book Review Editor for the Harvard Environmental Law Review, selected as a teaching assistant in Federal Civil Litigation, and participated in the Ames Moot Court Competition. He also received his Bachelor of Science in Finance and Economics magna cum laude from the University of Tampa where he was the Most Outstanding Graduate and a Distinguished Military Graduate. Mr. Gonzalez also completed the Judge Advocate General’s Corps Officer Course at the University of Virginia Campus with postgraduate legal studies including international law and trial advocacy.
Mr. Gonzalez is admitted to the Bars of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, the United States Court of Appeals of the Armed Forces, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida and the State Bars of Florida and the District of Columbia. He is also a member of the Hillsborough County Bar Association, the American Bar Association, and the Florida Justice Association.
Mr. Gonzalez has been practicing law since 1983, starting with the Appellate Division of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office in Houston, Texas. Mr. Gonzalez has been with the Yerrid Law Firm for nearly 20 years. Mr. Gonzalez has extensive civil, commercial, and appellate litigation and administrative practice experience. He was heavily involved in Florida’s landmark litigation against Big Tobacco and the Firm’s medical malpractice clients. Mr. Gonzalez has successfully tried complex medical malpractice, personal injury, and business cases. Acting as co-counsel with Mr. Yerrid, he has participated in a number of trials where multi-million dollar verdicts were obtained, including a $30 Million Dollar verdict for the personal injuries of a Hillsborough County woman, a $16 Million Dollar verdict for the wrongful death of a Pinellas County man, $6.8 Million Dollar verdict for the wrongful death of a diving contractor working on an unsafe construction site in Rosarito, Mexico, a $4.6 Million Dollar verdict against Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, $3.8 Million Dollar verdict for the injuries sustained by a former electrical linesman living in Wesley Chapel, $2.8 Million Dollar verdict for an optometrist for injuries he sustained after an automobile accident, a $2.8 Million Dollar damage award for the wrongful death of a former president of the Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company, and a $1.0 Million Dollar verdict for a Pinellas County woman who was injured a low impact rear end collision. Mr. Gonzalez has also obtained significant financial recoveries in commercial litigation matters including a six figure award in a securities fraud arbitration and a seven figure settlement on a property claim. Additionally, Mr. Gonzalez has drafted, monitored, and negotiated legislation before the State Legislature and county government and frequently appeared before various county and city commissions in Florida and Texas, including the Texas Public Utility Commission. In 1994, Mr. Gonzalez was selected by the Florida Public Service Commission Nominating Council as one of seven nominees as a Commissioner to the Florida Public Service Commission from a field in excess of three hundred and fifty applicants.
Mr. Gonzalez also served as a Captain in the United States Army assigned to the Defense Appellate Division of the Judge Advocate Generals’ Corps and was recognized for his “extraordinary legal talents” in the representation of his clients. While in the military, he authored and lectured on sentencing issues and command influence within military court martial panels. Mr. Gonzalez has more than twenty reported appellate cases and was selected by the Court of Military Appeals to argue an appellate matter before the Corps of Cadets at the United States Military Academy.
Mr. Gonzalez is active in a number of charitable activities. Additionally, he has also served for several years as a Vice President in the University of Tampa National Alumni Council and was a member of the Board of Counselors at the University of Tampa.
Mr. Gonzalez is married to Donna Gonzalez, and has five children.