I’ve built my career on the philosophy that everyone deserves a day in court. I treat every case as if it is going to trial. From our very first meeting, my experienced paralegal team and I work to collect evidence and prepare for anything the insurance companies and other large corporations might present. Our goal is to get your life back on track and to make you whole again after suffering through injury, abuse, or the wrongful death of a loved one.
There Should Not Be A Barrier To Access Justice
I work on a contingency fee basis. What this means is that there is not a fee for my services unless I win your case. I defend the rights of Floridians from all walks of life and widen access to the civil justice system. My team is able to make a difference in the lives of victims of Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, and Sexual Abuse.
I believe that clear and prompt communication is essential for positive outcomes. I personally meet with every client from the very beginning of our relationship. My staff and I promptly return all calls and emails. When you work with my firm, you receive the benefit of working directly with a small group of experienced professionals who care about your case and are driven to get you the maximum compensation possible.
I have been a resident of Brevard County since 1987. I graduated from Satellite High School in 2000 and received my undergraduate degree in philosophy from the University of Virginia in 2004. This course of study trained me to develop the critical thinking and logical analysis that I would later utilize when I began working on my law degree at the University of Florida. After law school, I had the opportunity to continue my education and earn a Masters of Law (LL.M.) at the University of Miami. This rigorous program honed my analytical abilities, gave me an appreciation for the importance of attention to detail, and gave me immense experience in analyzing complex statutes and case law. After completing my masters degree at the University of Miami, I was mentored by a federal prosecutor (Assistant United States Attorney) who invited me to watch one of his federal criminal jury trials. The pressure situation, the high stakes, and the competitive environment in the courtroom reminded me of my experience as a varsity swimmer at the University of Virginia. It was at that moment I realized that I was meant to be a trial attorney.
I began my legal career as a prosecutor at the 18th Circuit State Attorney’s Office in Brevard County. I handled thousands of cases, ranging from simple misdemeanors to serious felonies. During my time as a prosecutor, I developed my love for jury trials. I also cultivated a deep appreciation for advocating on behalf of victims who had been wronged. However, even after a successful jury trial as a prosecutor, there was never any meaningful compensation for crime victims. I knew that when I entered private practice and represented victims in the civil justice system, I would have the opportunity to bring true justice to victims and to obtain compensation for them that would allow them to move on with their lives. The adversaries became big insurance companies and businesses whose purpose it is to protect their bottom lines, rather than assist the injured.
I built my firm in Downtown Melbourne because my heart and soul are in Brevard County. The relationships I have in the community and within the legal profession have helped me to establish roots that will sustain me into the future. My firm has the strong support of very talented and experienced paralegals. We do our best to provide positive outcomes for our clients. We leave no stone unturned while investigating cases and are always ready to bring every case to trial if necessary.
What differentiates Andrew Pickett Law from many law firms that practice in the area of personal injury is that I have significant jury trial experience, and I am equipped to battle insurance companies and large corporations in the courtroom. Over the last 10 years, I have tried to verdict over 50 jury trials.
I am committed to continually honing my trial skills, my presentation abilities, and my public speaking. To that end, I have participated in several intensive trial seminars, including Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyers College, which I graduated from in 2018. This intensive 3-week program elevated my trial abilities and armed me with the trial skills that allowed me to obtain a verdict in the amount of $2.5 million against State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company in May of 2019. I strive for continuous improvement of my trial abilities and dedicate significant time and resources to learn new skills and gain insights into the areas of cognitive science and psychology.
LEAD Brevard 4 Under 40 Award Recipient (2020)
Immediate Past President of the Brevard County Bar Association
Vice Chair of the 18th Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission
Board of Directors of Circles of Care
Board of Directors for Melbourne Main Street
Part-Time Instructor at the Law Enforcement Academy at Eastern Florida State College
Melbourne Regional Chamber of East Central Florida
Florida Justice Association
Central Florida Trial Lawyers Association
Brevard County Civilian Military Council
American Association for Justice
The National Trial Lawyers
Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division Board of Governors (2012-2018)
Adjunct Instructor in the Paralegal Program at Eastern Florida State College
President of the Young Lawyers Division of the Brevard County Bar Association
Graduate of Leadership Brevard (Class of 2012)
Board of Directors for the Friends of the Children’s Advocacy
Board of Directors of the Space Coast Tiger Bay Club
Grant Review Committee for the Community Foundation for Brevard
Florida Supreme Court Justice Teaching Program
Vassar B. Carlton American Inn of Court
Volunteer Judge for 18th Circuit Teen Court Program
Graduate of Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyers College (2018)
Graduate of the Christian J. Searcy Voir Dire Institute (2017)
Graduate of the Al J. Cone Trial Advocacy Institute (2014)
Top 12 Finalist for LEAD Brevard 4 Under 40 Award (2015 and 2019)
“AV Preeminent®“ rating from the Martindale-Hubbell® Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020)
Selected as a Rising Star by Florida Super Lawyers Magazine (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)
Avvo.com Rating of 10.0/10.0 (“Superb”)
Named one of Ten to Watch in 2013 by Florida Today newspaper
18th Circuit State Attorney’s Office Pride In Excellence Attorney of the Year Award (2011)
Member of the Year Award by the Vassar B. Carlton American Inn of Court (2011)
All Florida Courts
United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida
United States Supreme Court
University of Virginia, B.A. in Philosophy (2004)
University of Florida, J.D. (2008)
University of Miami, LL.M (2009)
Jessica Hicks, Attorney
Jessica Hicks is a seasoned trial attorney who brings over 13 years of trial experience to our firm. Jessica has tried to verdict over 75 jury trials, ranging from simple misdemeanors to first degree murder cases. Jessica was born and raised in central Florida. She completed her undergraduate degree from the University of Miami where she was a member of the varsity tennis team. After graduating from college, Jessica played tennis professionally before enrolling in law school at Stetson University. Jessica graduated from the Stetson University College of Law in 2008. She began her career as an Assistant Public Defender in the 18th Judicial Circuit in Brevard County, Florida. She is an active member of the legal community and currently serves on the 18th Circuit Grievance Committee and is a member of the Brevard County Bar Association and the Florida Justice Association.
Our Paralegals and Legal Assistants
I have selected my team of talented paralegals to aid my practice and to work together with me on every single case. My paralegals are highly qualified and have extensive experience working in both the insurance industry and in civil litigation. Our philosophies align when it comes to bringing justice to victims of Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, and Sexual Abuse. We all work together to ensure that we understand our clients’ cases and that we can obtain the highest settlement possible, or take the case to trial if it is the right path for the client. When you work with Andrew Pickett Law, you will be working closely with all of us, and I can assure you, you are in good hands.
Vonda Vassar, Paralegal
Vonda Vassar is an excellent paralegal who brings more than 30 years of experience in insurance claims adjusting to our firm. Working in the industry for so long has provided her with valuable insights into how insurance companies work and how they can short-change victims who are unfamiliar with the system. Her expertise guides our discovery and investigation process. Her attention to detail and prompt communication helps assure our clients that their cases are being looked after by a dedicated team of professionals who care about their well-being and the outcome of their case.
Jeremie Ayala, Paralegal/Office Manager
Jeremie is a native of Brevard County and a Florida Registered Paralegal. She holds a degree in Legal Studies from the University of Central Florida and brings over 20 years of legal experience to the firm. She is a member of the Paralegal Association of Florida-Brevard Chapter, and previously served as president of the organization. At Andrew Pickett Law, she serves as the office manager and litigation paralegal.
Tina Johnson, Paralegal
Tina has over 30 years of experience in the area of personal injury law. Tina has worked for law firms representing both insurance companies and plaintiffs. She is very familiar with the court system and will work diligently to ensure that your case receives her complete attention. She complements the team with her extensive litigation experience and is an asset who participates in every aspect of our client’s cases from beginning to end.
Mariana Balmer, Legal Assistant
Mariana holds a Master’s Degree in Publishing and Printing/Process Engineering from the Ukrainian Academy of Printing. She is fluent in Russian, Ukrainian, and English. Prior to joining Andrew Pickett Law, she served as a Commercial Accountant, Financial Analyst, and Processing Manager. She is highly motivated and detail oriented in her work and handles all aspects of medical records and billing at Andrew Pickett Law. She also manages and optimizes our client management system, Filevine.