Florida attorney Judith Anne Garabo Hayes is a commercial, business, probate, and trust litigation attorney for Bloodworth Law, PLLC.
Judi has a background exclusively handling litigation since she began practicing law in Florida in 1999. She started in insurance defense for three local Florida law firms: Heinrich Gordon Hargrove Weihe and James; Conroy Simberg; and then Alvarez, Sambol, Winthrop & Madson.
When Judi went to Alvarez, Sambol, Winthrop & Madison, she started a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) defense practice in 2001, handling a high volume of PIP work and general litigation at the firm. From there, she went to work for Transcontinental Entertainment as in-house Intellectual Property counsel.
Next, Judi went to Roth Powell where she handled general litigation. In 2004, Judi went to Greenberg Traurig, and spent the bulk of her career there handling commercial litigation, employment litigation, intellectual property litigation, and general business litigation.
“There was a core nucleus of issues that came up over and over again,” Judi said. “It’s been interesting and I’ve enjoyed it all. I never considered being another kind of lawyer, litigation is squarely within my skill set. It was kind of in my blood. I’ve always enjoyed speech and debate, and that kind of activity, so that was the kind of lawyer that I wanted to be.”
After several years with Greenberg Traurig, Judi took a break from the law to have children and care for them full time. She and her husband have two sons, one of whom has Down Syndrome. After he was born, she immersed herself in disability and educational advocacy, taking the Wrightslaw course in educational advocacy as a CLE (continuing legal education) and attending the Partners in Policymaking course through the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council.
Judi fights for Bloodworth Law’s clients with the same tenacity with which she fights for people with disabilities, including her son.
“Sometimes, I have to shake some things up for my son to get him everything that he needs,” Judi said. “And I approach cases the same way. When I’m handling my clients’ disputes, I always have that fight in me. I can’t turn it off.”
In her free time, she’s into “whatever the kids are doing – with two boys, it’s all Star Wars, Marvel, Disney, Lego. We are fortunate to have both sets of grandparents within a few miles, all our family is nearby.”
- Florida State University College of Law, Tallahassee, Florida, Doctor of Law, 1998
- Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, B.A. in Creative Writing, 1994
- Bloodworth Law, PLLC, November 2019 to Present
- Greenberg Traurig, 2004-07
- Roth Powell, 2003-04
- Transcontinental Entertainment, 2003
- Alvarez, Sambol, Winthrop & Madison, 2001-03
- Conroy Simberg, 2001
- Heinrich Gordon Hargrove Weihe and James, 1999 to 2000
- The Florida Bar Association, admitted 1999
I think it’s important to listen to clients in order to accurately assess what they need, because what they think they need isn’t always what they need. So, being able to identify the crux of their issues and make sure that I can address them and help identify what they need is critical.
I’ve always fought for my clients, I work on a lot of trust issues, business disputes, trust disputes, contractor and subcontractor disputes.
For example, trust litigation, cases where a sibling absconds with the corpus of the trust and the other sibling wants it. Siblings dispute who’s going to be the executor and it can become ugly. You have to fight for your client and stand by them when they’re frustrated. It’s part of what we do for our clients.
Everything here at Bloodworth Law runs like a well-oiled machine. I feel like we get things done the way that our clients want and that they’re happy with how we help them. That’s what makes what we do so important.
I like when my clients are honest with me. Be completely honest so that I can be honest with you and give you the best advice.
Yes, sometimes clients want to leave things out for whatever reason. Sometimes cases are really complicated, and yes, it can take a little while longer. But working with my clients, I want them to have the documents and answers so that things can happen. I like to keep things moving. I do not let things come to a pause on cases.
For example, when a client comes to me on a probate issue and their parents did the estate planning, it’s a relief because people think that probate is going to take forever—and sometimes it feels like it can.
But when there’s proper planning, or you can get the documents in quickly, it doesn’t have to take that long. That makes people so happy… and things can go really smoothly.