The Florida Defense Lawyers Association (FDLA) featured a member profile of Boyd & Jenerette's Partner and Appellate Practice Group Leader, Kansas R. Gooden in their Fall/Winter "Defense Post." The following is the article.
Meet Kansas Gooden
Life has a funny way of working out. For Kansas Gooden, law school and becoming an attorney was a complete afterthought. Kansas spent the majority of her life training and practicing to become a professional golfer. She was born into a family of golfers - her father, uncle and cousin are all professionals. She began traveling around the world at a young age to pursue this goal. She achieved success quickly. She was the 1997 and 1999 Virginia State Girls Champion and was highly ranked nationally.
She then went on to play collegiate golf - first at the University of Louisville and then James Madison University. While at James Madison, she was a member of the two-time CAA Conference Champion Team and was named to the all-conference team. Her senior year she had seven top ten finishes.
Even while competing, she focused on academics and earning her degree in Finance. She made the Dean's list and Athletic Director's Honor Roll each semester and was chosen to be a member of the National Collegiate Scholars Association. She also found time to tutor foreign students in difficult subjects, such as philosophy, and maintained a jobs at the local Bath and Body Works and golf course.
After graduation, Ms. Gooden continued working towards LPGA Qualifying School. She spent the summer competing in numerous events across the country. However, right before Qualifying School, Kansas woke up one morning and decided she no longer wanted to play golf. On a whim, she determined to go to law school. It had never crossed her mind before, but was a natural fit. She never looked back.
Law school brought her to Florida. She attended St. Thomas University School of Law. While there, she served as the Articles Editor of the law review and was a competing member of the mock trial team. She also served as a teaching assistant in Civil Procedure, a research assistant in Property, and tutored in various subjects. She also interned for Chief Judge David Gersten of the Third District Court of Appeal. She graduated magna cum laude.
Upon graduation, she began her career at Walton Lantaff Schroeder & Carson practicing in the area of insurance coverage and bad faith litigation. One of her first cases was an appeal that was passed on to her. Kansas jumped at the chance. The First District ruled in favor of her client, reversed the order granting a new trial and reinstated the defense verdict. She obtained a sizable attorney fee award. She was hooked!
Shortly thereafter, she and her boss moved to the law firm of Boyd & Jenerette, PA. The firm did not have an appellate department. The firm allowed Kansas to create and grow the department. She re-focused her practice to appeals and trial support.
In 2015, Kansas earned Board Certification in Appellate Practice. She has received other recognition within the industry as she has been selected as a Rising Star by Super Lawyers Magazine every year since 2011, won the FDLA Amicus Award in 2015, and was featured as a Rising Star in Attorney At Law Magazine, First Coast Edition, in 2016.
Kansas is heavily involved in bar activities. She is on the executive council of the Florida Bar's Appellate Section and chairs many of the CLE efforts for the section. She is past president of the Jacksonville Association of Defense Counsel and past-chair of the Jacksonville Bar Association's Appellate Section. This summer, she was elected to the board of directors of the FDLA. She also is involved with the amicus committee.
Kansas resides with her long-time boyfriend, Andrew Abramovich, and their hyper, but lovable Golden-Doodle puppy, Lily. Andrew is also an attorney (UF undergrad and Stetson law). He and Kansas met while young associates at Boyd & Jenerette and have been together ever since. Outside of work, Kansas loves to cook and often studies her cookbook collection for ideas and techniques that she puts into practice on the weekends.