Partner, Kansas R. Gooden
Kansas R. Gooden, Partner

Kansas R. Gooden

Shareholder / Practice Group Leader

Areas Of Practice

Kansas R. Gooden, a Board Certified Appellate Specialist and AV Rated attorney, serves as the firm’s General Counsel and Appellate Practice Group Leader.  Ms. Gooden currently works remotely for the firm in Miami. Through her remote work, she efficiently and cost-effectively serves her client’s needs.

Ms. Gooden has extensive experience handling all types of civil appellate proceedings in the Florida Supreme Court, all Florida District Courts of Appeal, and the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.  She is often retained in cases at or headed to the Florida Supreme Court or is retained to develop statewide litigation strategy to effectuate change in the common law.  She is one of the only attorneys—and likely the only woman—who has argued back-to-back cases on the same day before the Florida Supreme Court.

Many of Ms. Gooden cases are those of first impression, and those involving insurance coverage and bad faith issues.  Clients trust Ms. Gooden to handle their high-profile appellate litigation.

In addition to handling appeals, she also provides litigation and trial support to attorneys throughout the state. She is often called upon to attend trials and hearing to assist in preserving the error for later appeal.

Ms. Gooden is highly involved in the state and local bar associations and has served in many leadership roles.   Ms. Gooden served as the President of Florida Defense Lawyers Association, the statewide civil defense bar, in 2021-2022.  She still chairs the organization’s Amicus Committee and has since 2017.  On behalf of the organization, she authors and co-authors amicus briefs in important cases impacting tort, litigation, and insurance issues.

Ms. Gooden is the Chair of the Florida Bar’s Appellate Practice Section.  She has been active in the Appellate Practice Section for over a decade. She has served on the Executive Council and previously chaired the CLE Committee for several years.

Ms. Gooden also currently serves on the Florida Bar’s Board of Legal Specialization and Education. This committee oversees the certification committees and CLE accreditation for the bar.  She previously served on and chaired the Florida Bar’s Appellate Board Certification Committee, which writes and grades the appellate board certification test. The examination tests an applicant’s knowledge of state and federal appeals in the areas of civil, criminal, administrative, worker’s compensation, probate, and family law. The committee also examines the fitness of the candidates for board certification and those applying for recertification.

In 2022, Ms. Gooden was appointed by Governor Ron DeSantis to serve as a commissioner on the Judicial Nominating Commission of the Eleventh Circuit, in and for Miami-Dade County.  Her term is three years. In this role, she vets and interviews applicants for county and circuit court vacancies.  Along with her fellow commissioners, she recommends a list of candidates for the Governor to select from.

While in law school, Ms. Gooden interned for the Third District Court of Appeal Chief Judge David Gersten. It was there that she developed her passion for appellate practice.

Lastly, Ms. Gooden played nationally competitive junior, amateur, and collegiate golf. She was the Virginia State Girls Golf Champion in 1997 and 1999 and was awarded the Marion Miley Bracelet by the Western Women’s Golf Association in 1997.


  • Florida, 2008
    • Board Certified Appellate Practice, 2015-present
  • United States District Court
    • Northern District of Florida, 2009
    • Middle District of Florida, 2009
    • Southern District of Florida, 2009
  • United States Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit, 2012

Awards & Recognition

  • Board Certified in Appellate Practice by The Florida Bar, 2015-present
  • AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell, 2018
  • Featured in Attorney at Law Magazine, Jacksonville, as a Rising Star, 2016
  • Listed in Attorney at Law Magazine, Jacksonville, in Top Ten Under 40, 2016-2017
  • Listed in Attorney at Law Magazine, Jacksonville, Women of the Law Edition, 2017
  • Featured in Attorney at Law Magazine, Miami, 2019 Super Star, 2019
  • Listed in Florida Super Lawyers in Appellate Practice, 2022
  • Listed in Florida Super Lawyers as a “Rising Star” in Appellate Practice, 2011-2021
  • Recognized in Florida Trend Magazine’s Legal Elite, Up-and-Comers List, 2021
  • Recipient of Amicus Award from the Florida Defense Lawyers Association, 2015. This award is bestowed upon an appellate attorney with significant contributions to the defense bar through Amicus, or “Friend of the Court,” briefs.
  • Recipient of the James A. Dixon Young Lawyer of the Year Award from the Florida Defense Lawyers Association, 2017. The award is given annually to a young lawyer who exceeds the standards of excellence, dedication and commitment to the FDLA and its goals.
  • Recipient of the Children’s Champion Award from The Florida Statewide Guardian Ad Litem Office, 2019. The award is for her dedication to pro bono representation.
  • Recipient of the Joseph P. Metzger Outstanding Achievement Award from The Florida Defense Lawyers Association. This award is bestowed on the member who goes above and beyond over the course of his or her tenure as a member of the organization.
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America® for Appellate Practice, 2024


  • The Florida Bar, 2008-present
    • Appellate Practice Board Certification Committee, 2017-2020
      • Chair, 2019-2020
    • Appellate Practice Section
      • Chair, 2023-2024
      • Chair-Elect, 2022-2023
      • Treasurer, 2021-2022
      • Secretary, 2020-2021
      • Executive Council, 2015-2018, 2019-2020
      • Appellate Practice Section, CLE Committee, 2013-2020
        • Chair, 2018-2020
        • Co-Chair of Monthly Telephonic/Webinar CLE series, 2015-2018
        • Chair, Hidden Essentials of Appellate Practice Seminar, 2017
        • Chair, Hot Topics in Appellate Law Seminar, 2013
      • Appellate Practice Section, Finance Committee, 2019-2022
        • Chair, 2021-2022
      • Appellate Practice Section, Outreach Committee, 2014-2017
        • APS Liaison to the Jacksonville Bar Association, 2014-2017
      • Appellate Practice Section, Publications Committee Member, 2014-2016
        • Florida Bar Journal, APS Assistant Editor, 2014-2016
      • Appellate Practice Section, Legislative Committee, 2013-2015
    • Board of Legal Specialization & Education, 2020-present
      • Vice-Chair, 2023-2024
      • National Accreditation Subcommittee, 2020-2022
      • Chair, Communications & Promotions Subcommittee, 2021-2022
  • Eleventh Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission
    • Commissioner, 2022-2025
  • Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel, 2021-present
    • Member, Appellate Section
    • Member, Trial Tactics, Practices, and Procedures Section
  • Florida Defense Lawyers Association, 2010-present
    • Immediate Past-President, 2022-2023
    • President, 2021-2022
    • President-Elect, 2020-2021
    • Secretary/Treasurer, 2019-2020
    • Board Member, Third District Representative, 2018-2019
    • Board Member, First District Representative, 2016-2018
    • Amicus Committee, 2010-present
      • Chair, 2017-present
  • Third District Court of Appeal Historical Society, 2017-present
    • Board of Directors, 2020-present
      • Co-Chair of the Biennial Luncheon, 2022
  • Florida Supreme Court Historical Society, 2018-present
  • Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies, 2015-present
    • Miami Lawyers Chapter, 2017-present
    • Jacksonville Lawyers Chapter, 2015-2017
  • Dade County Bar Association, 2018-present
    • Appellate Court Committee, 2018-present
  • Florida Association of Women Lawyers, 2018-2021
    • Miami-Dade Chapter, 2018-2021
  • DRI, Inc. (formerly Defense Research Institute), 2010-2011, 2019-2022
    • Amicus Committee, 2020-2021
  • First District Appellate American Inn of Court, 2011-2022
    • Emeritus Member, 2017-2022
    • Barrister Member, 2011-2017
  • Jacksonville Association of Defense Counsel, 2009-2017
    • President, 2015
    • Vice President, 2014
    • Secretary, 2013
  • Jacksonville Bar Association, 2008-2017
    • Appellate Section, Chair, 2013-2014
    • Appellate Section, Vice Chair, 2012-2013
  • Fourth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Large Firm Subcommittee, 2011-2012
    • Chair, Specialization and Skill Set Committee, 2011-2012
  • Jacksonville Claims Association, 2009-2010
  • Claims and Litigation Management Alliance, 2011-present

Charitable Affiliations

  • Ronald McDonald House’s Inaugural Golf Tournament Committee, Member, 2014

Jaelyn Jordon

Marcia White

Diana Peralta

Patricia Dougherty

Representative Cases

  • Suarez Trucking FL Corp. v. Souders, — So. 3d – (Fla. 2022).
  • Allstate Ins. Co. v. Ray, — So. 3d – (Fla. 2d DCA 2022)
  • Martinez v. Reynolds, 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 10035, 2022 WL 1113001 (11th 2022).
  • Aguila v. Frederic, 306 So. 3d 1166 (Fla. 3d DCA 2020).
  • Merlien v. JM Family Enters., 301 So. 3d 1 (Fla. 4th DCA 2020).
  • Walker v. Geico & Gill Ramirez, 45 Fla. L. Weekly D. 696 (Fla. 4th DCA 2020)
  • R & W Rental Props., LLC v. Warnick, 277 So. 3d 1099 (Fla. 5th DCA 2019).
  • DNJS Holdings, LLC v. Pet Doctors Operating LCC, 224 So. 3d 888 (Fla. 1st DCA 2017).
  • Rivera v. Bosque, 188 So. 3d 889 (Fla. 5th DCA 2016).
  • Messinese v. USAA Cas. Ins. Co., 14-14876, 2015 WL 4619808 (11th Cir. 2015).
  • Hankerson v. Wiley, 154 So. 3d 511 (Fla. 4th DCA 2015).
  • Boozer v. Stalley, 146 So. 3d 139 (Fla. 5th DCA 2014).
  • Miller Elec. Co. v. Oursler,113 So. 3d 1004 (Fla. 1st DCA 2013)
  • Diversified Dev. Of Kansas City, Inc./Bridgefield Ins. Co. v. Sanchez,90 So. 3d 337 (Fla. 1st DCA 2012)
  • Town of Davie v. Santana, et. Al., 98 So. 3d 262 (Fla. 1st DCA 2012)
  • Rife v. A.W.A. Contracting Co., Inc.,87 So. 3d 69 (Fla. 1st DCA 2012)
  • Smith v. New Hampshire Indem. Co.,60 So. 3d 429 (Fla. 1st DCA 2011)
  • Hinely v. Fla. Motorcycle Training, Inc,70 So. 3d 620 (Fla. 1st DCA 2011)
  • Allstate Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co. v. Lewis 14 So. 3d 1230 (Fla. 1st DCA 2009)


  • What to do with Discovery Until Florida Adopts Rule, Miami Daily Bus. Rev., March 13, 2008, at A-13.  Co-authored with the Honorable Amy Karan.
  • King Solomon’s Solution To The Disposition of Embryos: Recognizing A Property Interest And Using Equitable Division, 20 U. La Verne L. Rev. 66 (Nov. 2008).
  • What’cha Gonna Do Brother When Hulkamania Runs Wild On You?: A Practitioner’s Guide To Section 322.09 Of The Florida Statutes, 21 St. Thomas L. Rev. 390 (2009).
  • Judicial Profile: Judge Ross. L Bilbrey, The Record, Journal of the Florida Bar Appellate Practice Section, Vol. XX, No. 6, Fall/Winter Edition 2016, at 2-3,
  • Monthly CLEs Move to Webinar Format, The Record, Journal of the Florida Bar Appellate Practice Section,, June 30, 2017.
  • Join the Section for the 2018-2019 Monthly Audio Webcast Season, The Record, Journal of the Florida Bar Appellate Practice Section,, June 13, 2018.
  • What is Preservation of Error?, Boyd & Jenerette, PA’s newsletter, Jan. 10, 2019.
  • Daubert Got Frye’d, Trial Advocate, Vol. 39, No. 1, p. 26, Mar. 2019.  Co-authored with Jillian Pratt.
  • Amigos Para Siempre, Trial Advocate, Vol 40, No. 2 (Summer 2021).
  • President’s Column: Leading Towards the Future, Trial Advocate, Vol. 40, No. 3 (Winter 2021).
  • President’s Column: May 2022 Bring you Hope and Peace, Trial Advocate, Vol. 41, No. 1 (Spring 2022).
  • Florida Changes Rule to Allow for Appeals on Punitive Damage Amendment, Georgia Defense Lawyer, Vol. XIX, Issue 1 (Summer 2022)
  • President’s Column: What FDLA Means to Me, Trial Advocate, Vol. 41, No. 2 (Summer 2022).


  • B.B.A., Finance, James Madison University, 2004
    • Member, two-time CAA Conference Champion Varsity Girls Golf Team
    • Named to the CAA All Conference Golf Team
    • Member, National Collegiate Scholars Association
  • J.D., St. Thomas School of Law, 2008, magna cum laude
    • Articles Editor, St. Thomas Law Review
    • Competing Member, St. Thomas Mock Trial Competition Team
    • Best Student/Book Awards-Property I, Trial Advocacy Practice, Florida Practice, Wills & Trusts and Criminal Procedure


Comprehensive Services

Many cases overlap several areas of law. As a full service law firm, we are able to recognize how one legal discipline impacts another. We work as a team on complex issues that require knowledge of a variety of state and federal laws. This multi-disciplinary approach allows clients to receive the large-firm advantage of access to multiple attorneys in a wide scope of practice areas as well as the hands-on customer service offered by a boutique law firm. In addition to civil litigation, employment law, workers’ compensation defense, commercial law, construction law and appeals, our firm also handles professional liability claims.

Our bilingual staff is available to assist with immigration matters, including consular and removal defenses.