Dan is a veteran trial lawyer who has been board certified as a specialist in civil trial law by the Florida Bar for over 20 years. During that time, he has enjoyed an AV Preeminent™ rating from Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings and has successfully defended clients in both State and Federal courts throughout the state of Florida. Over the last 25 years, Dan has tried cases in Tampa, Orlando, Lakeland, West Palm Beach, and several other rural jurisdictions throughout Florida. He has obtained defense verdicts on behalf of his clients in a variety of cases including those involving train and motor vehicle accidents, repetitive trauma, real estate transactions, breach of contract, and allegedly defective workplace conditions. His practice concentrates on civil defense with particular emphasis on railroad, real estate, construction, contract, amusement park, pharmacy and trucking accident cases.
In addition to trying cases, Mr. Fleming has extensive appellate experience and has argued appeals on behalf of his clients before four of the five District Courts of Appeal for the State of Florida, the Florida Supreme Court, and the United States Court of Appeal for the 11th Circuit.
Dan is originally from Chicago, Illinois and was raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of Washington & Jefferson College where he was Dean’s List student and a member of the varsity basketball and track teams. He graduated from the University of Florida College of Law and since then has practiced continuously in Florida. Prior to joining Johnson Pope in December of 2019, Dan was a shareholder in the Tampa office of Gray Robinson, was the managing partner of Melkus, Fleming & Gutierrez for 15 years, and before that was with the statewide defense firm of Kubicki, Draper, Gallagher & McGrane in both their Miami and Ft. Lauderdale offices.
Dan is a Shareholder in Johnson Pope’s Tampa office.
Professional Associations & Memberships
- Hillsborough County Bar Association
- Jesuit Alumni Bar Association
- National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel
Awards & Recognitions
- AV Preeminent™, Martindale Hubbell
- Board Certified in Civil Trial Law since 2000, The Florida Bar
- Dan has spoken on substantive legal issues and trial techniques before both local and national organizations
- YMCA Youth Sports Coach
- American Coaches Association
- AAU Basketball Coach
- Christ the King Catholic Church
- Palma Ceia Golf and Country Club
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida
- U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida
- U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit
- Washington & Jefferson College, B.A. (1987)
- Dean’s List
- Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science Honor Society)
- University of Florida College of Law, J.D. (1990)
Dan has been married for over 28 years and has four children. In addition to spending time with his family, he enjoys coaching his children’s athletic teams, fishing, basketball, and golf. He is a member of Christ the King Catholic Church in Tampa, FL and was previously a member of Nativity Catholic Church in Brandon, FL where he served several terms as President of the Parrish Council.
March 2020- On March 5, 2020, Daniel J. Fleming of the Transportation Group at Johnson Pope successfully obtained a defense verdict for a major Class I railroad client after a four day jury trial held in West Palm Beach, Florida. The Plaintiff was represented by an experienced personal injury firm from south Florida. The claim was brought on behalf of multiple passengers from the train following a motor vehicle versus train collision at a crossing near a wildlife preserve in Palm Beach County, Florida. The grade-crossing in question is owned by the State of Florida and was protected by crossbucks only with no active warning devices. The crossing had also been the site of several prior accidents. Prior allegations regarding the railroad’s failure to install active warning devices at the crossing were precluded by pretrial motions based on State Preemption. At trial, Plaintiffs’ counsel contended the motor vehicle was unable to observe the oncoming train due to overgrown vegetation near the grade crossing. Mr. Fleming argued the accident was caused by the sole negligence of the motor vehicle driver in failing to stop at the crossbucks for a plainly visible train in hazardous proximity to the crossing. After four days of testimony, the jury found no negligence on the part of CSXT which was a legal cause of the accident and the Plaintiffs’ alleged damages.
August 2021- On August 12, 2021, Daniel J. Fleming of the Transportation Group at Johnson Pope successfully obtained a defense verdict for a major Class I railroad client after a four day jury trial held in Lakeland, Florida. The Plaintiff was represented by a an experienced and highly regarded railroad plaintiffs lawyer. Plaintiff alleged Amtrak was negligent in failing to maintain its locomotive when a fiberglass roof panel measuring roughly 9 ft by 6 ft flew off the train as it passed the Plaintiff’s vehicle stopped appropriately behind the railroad crossing gates near Auburndale, Florida. Amtrak was unaware the panel was missing until the train was at its next stop in Winter Park, Florida. The panel caused thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to Plaintiff’s motor vehicle and allegedly struck his arm which he had resting on the driver’s side door with the window open. Surveillance video from a nearby industry captured the accident and generally corroborated Plaintiff’s version of the accident. In closing argument, Plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury for an amount in excess of $1,600,000 to compensate his client for physical and emotional injuries, multiple surgeries, and lost wages based on an alleged inability to continue his career as a fishing boat captain in Alaska and Florida. Defendant contended there were no prior signs of any defect when the locomotive was inspected and that Plaintiff’s alleged injuries were pre-existing. Plaintiff’s argued for and obtained over Defendant’s objection, a Res Ipsa instruction which told the jury they could infer Amtrak was negligent if they found the accident would not have happened without negligence and the panel was in Amtrak’s exclusive control at the time of the accident. Nevertheless, the jury deliberated for only an hour before returning a verdict for the defense. Specifically, the jury found no negligence on the part of Amtrak which was a legal cause of the accident or Plaintiff’s alleged damages.
October 2021- On October 26, 2021, Daniel J. Fleming and of Johnson Pope’s Litigation Division successfully obtained a directed verdict at the close of Plaintiff’s case following years of litigation and three days of trial. Kevin D. Tragesser, also of Johnson Pope’s Litigation Division assisted throughout the litigation and helped draft multiple post-trial motions in support of the directed verdict. At trial, Mr. Fleming represented a local limousine company and its owner who were sued by Advantage Limousine, LLC, alleging they tortiously interfered with a contract and aided and abetted a breach of fiduciary duty. Plaintiff’s counsel claimed Defendants had diverted approximately $8,000,000 and were seeking more than $1,500,000 in alleged lost profits. Defendants successfully contended that neither Olympus nor Mr. Koutsos tortiously interfered with the contract because it was breached by a party unknown to Defendants at the time of the breach. Furthermore, Defendants contended that neither Defendant owed any duty to Advantage, let alone a fiduciary duty. At the close of Plaintiff’s case-in-chief, Defendants moved for and the Court granted a motion for directed verdict on all remaining counts against Olympus Limo, Inc. and Theodore Koutsos. Plaintiff’s objections to Defendant’s post-trial motion for attorney fees pursuant to non-acceptance of proposals for settlement were overruled and Final Judgment for Defendants against the Plaintiff for costs and attorney fees totaling more than $134,000 was entered January 6, 2022. On January, 19, 2022, Plaintiff’s Renewed Motion for New trial was denied.