Heath Gelman is a Senior Litigation Attorney practicing with Parvey and Cavanego. As far back as sixth grade, Heath wanted to be a trial lawyer and was inspired by the book “To Kill a Mockingbird”. To that end, he took law studies in high school, and interned at a law firm in Boca Raton during his senior year at Spanish River High School, in Boca Raton. During his undergraduate years at the University of Florida and Florida Atlantic University, he was elected and served as a school senator, which helped to develop his service to others. Heath attended law school in Miami at St. Thomas University, where he prevailed in an Association of Trial Lawyers in America opening statement/closing argument competition. In his third year of law school, he interned at the Assistant Public Defender Office in Broward County Public where he was permitted to try misdemeanor and juvenile cases with a Public Defender. It was at this point in which Heath received his first real taste of trial work and prevailing on behalf of his clients.
A career focused in civil litigation commenced immediately after law school. He worked twelve years at a prominent insurance defense firm in both Southeast and Southwest Florida, successfully trying cases on behalf of individuals and insurance companies and securing fair and reasonable settlements. There he was promoted to partner, and learned many of the tools in which he took with him to plaintiff practice. Residing in Fort Myers, Florida, since 2004, Heath joined the largest plaintiff injury firm in the nation, and achieved great success on behalf of his clients in and outside of the courtroom, securing huge results on behalf of his clients. Thereafter, he accepted employment as a partner in the Fort Myers law firm of Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, the oldest named law firm in the State of Florida. At that firm, he handled civil litigation matters for private companies, professional liability matters defending lawyers and professionals, insurance defense and some plaintiff personal injury matters. In one of his memorable trials, he prevailed on behalf of the School Board of Lee County in a highly litigated injury lawsuit of some local acclaim. During this timeframe, the covid pandemic hit, and Heath became published many times over in numerous blog articles on Covid-19 business interruption, insurance bad faith, and other salient topics. Additionally, Heath has lectured various audiences at all his previous law firms on a variety of topics. Thereafter, Heath went back into plaintiff practice with a large personal injury firm, and again, achieved trial success along with procuring large settlements on behalf of his deserving clients. During Heath’s litigation career, he has litigated against Carlos Cavenago and Allan Parvey and a mutual respect was born. For much of his career handling plaintiff matters, Carlos was a sounding board on strategies, concepts, and plaintiff practice. The move to Parvey & Cavenago was a natural progression, about 15 years in the making.
Heath Gelman was voted in 2021 and again in 2022, by his legal peers, and published in Naples Illustrated Magazine as a top personal injury litigation attorney and insurance law attorney in Southwest Forida ; two separate practice areas. In addition, he was nominated by his peers and selected to the prestigious Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel. Heath is also a certified Florida mediator.
Heath has always lived by the saying in his law practice, “You must keep your mind on the objective, not on the obstacle”, said by William Randolph Hearst. There are daily obstacles, and it is the sound lawyer, that prepares for obstacles and formulates strategies to overcome them. When Heath is not practicing law, he tries to avoid discussing law with his lawyer wife, who practices estate planning, elder law, and probate. During their free time Heath and Lisa are consumed with raising four active children. He can be found on the Fort Myers sport fields cheering on his kids, at the beach, or on a great vacation. Giving back to the community is imperative to Heath, and he has been involved with food drives with Harry Chapin Food Bank, Christmas toy drives for families in Pine Manor, and various community events.