David C. Prather, Esq.
Florida Bar Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer
David C. Prather is a highly accomplished civil trial attorney with over 30 years of experience representing clients in personal injury, medical malpractice, wrongful death, product liability, and auto negligence litigation.
As a partner at Smith, Ball, Báez, and Prather, he has earned a reputation for securing verdicts and settlements exceeding $150 million for his clients throughout Florida and the United States.
Prather’s legal expertise has been recognized by numerous professional organizations. He has earned several of the largest auto negligence and non-surgical verdicts in his firm’s history, including a $35.2 million medical malpractice verdict on behalf of the family of a brain-damaged infant and an $11.6 million verdict in a negligent credentialing surgery case.
In 2021 and 2022, Prather was named “Lawyer of the Year” by the Best Lawyers in America® in Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice Litigation, awards that were published in the Miami Herald and The Wall Street Journal.
Prather’s commitment to excellence extends beyond the courtroom. He has served on over 17 committees and boards, including the Florida Board of Governors and local bar chapters. He was appointed to the Federal Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC) in 2012 and again in 2014 by U.S. Senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio, and is a past president of the Palm Beach County Justice Association. Prather is also a mentor to the next generation of professional and civic leaders, regularly speaking at schools throughout the county to students considering a career in law.
Prather’s contributions to the legal industry and his community have earned him numerous accolades. He is AV® PreeminentTM Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®, denoting the highest level of professional excellence and ethical standards in the legal industry.
In 2016, Prather secured the 38th largest verdict in the State of Florida and earned a place in the “Top 100 Verdicts” in Florida for that year. He was also named among South Florida’s 100 Most Accomplished Black Professionals in Law and Healthcare by the International Career and Business Alliance, Inc.
Overall, Prather’s impressive career and commitment to excellence make him a respected and sought-after civil trial attorney in South Florida and beyond.
- Partner David C. Prather obtained a $32 Million Verdict for the family of a son who suffered severe birth defects due to medical negligence. After eight years of trial delays, including an appeal and two declaratory actions, the claim was settled.
- Partner David C. Prather secured an $11.6 Million Verdict for a man who sustained brain damage after undergoing surgery to insert steel rods into his spine.
- Partner David C. Prather achieved a $4.1 Million Verdict on behalf of a 21-year-old who suffered a “Hangman’s Fracture” in her neck after being rear-ended at high speed on I-95.
- Partner David C. Prather obtained a $3.5 Million Settlement for a client who became paraplegic after the driver’s seat broke during a rear-end collision.
- Partner David C. Prather successfully secured a $3 Million Settlement, 10x the Available Insurance Policy Limits, for the family of a 21-year-old woman who was killed on her motor scooter by a customer test driving a vehicle from a used car dealership.
- Partner David C. Prather successfully obtained a $3 Million Settlement for the family of a 21-year-old woman who was killed on her motor scooter by a dealership
- Partner David C. Prather secured a $1.4 Million Settlement for a 39-year-old woman who required a three-level cervical spine surgery after being hit by a commercial truck that violated the traffic signal.
- Partner David C. Prather secured a $1.4 Million Settlement for a truck driver involved in a tractor-trailer crash.
- Two days before the jury trial, Partner David Prather settled for $1 Million on behalf of his client who sustained severe neck and lower back injuries in a car accident.
- Partner David C. Prather obtained a $1 Million Settlement for a Florida woman who suffered a severely displaced tibia fracture and ruptured knee ligaments after tripping and falling while leaving her workplace.
- Partner David C. Prather secured a $750,000 Settlement for his client who suffered low back and neck injuries, resulting in residual leg and low back pain.
- Shortly before trial, Partner David C. Prather secured a $650,000 Settlement, 6x the Available Insurance Policy Limits, for his 42-year-old client who required lower back surgery after a car crash.
- Partner David C. Prather obtained a $500,000 Settlement on behalf of a Florida man who sustained back and neck injuries after a rear-end collision.
- Partner David C. Prather secured a $465,000 Settlement for a lawyer colleague who sustained a punctured lung and two broken ribs after being struck by a motorist while bicycling.
- Partner David C. Prather obtained a Confidential 7-Figure Settlement for a severely injured client involved in a truck crash case, filed in a federal court in Illinois.
- Florida Supreme Court
- United States Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida
- U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida
- J.D., Rutgers University Law School, 1990
- B.A., Hunter College of the City University of New York, with Honors, 1987
Certifications / Specialties
- Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer, Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization and Education
Awards & Honors
- “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers in America® – Personal Injury Litigation, 2022
- “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers in America® – Medical Malpractice, 2021
- The Best Lawyers in America ® – Personal Injury, Medical Malpractice, and Product Liability
- Palm Beach Illustrated’s Top Lawyers, 2020
- AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®
- “Legal Elite,” Florida Trend – Civil Trial Law – Top 2% of Lawyers
- Florida Super Lawyer® – Top 5% of Lawyers
- “Top Lawyers for Personal Injury,” South Florida Legal Guide
- “Top 100 Verdicts” in Florida, 2016
- President’s Award of Merit, The Florida Bar President, Gregory Coleman, 2015
- Friend of the Year Award, Palm Beach County Bar Association Young Lawyers Section, 2014
- American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)
- Vice President-Elect, 2021-2022
- The Florida Bar
- The Florida Bar Board of Governors (BOG), 2007-2016
- The Florida Bar Foundation, Fellow
- Federal Judicial Nominating Committee
- Professional Screening Committee, Chair, 2015
- Executive Committee, 2008 – 2014
- Budget Committee, Chair, 2013-2014
- Program Evaluation Committee, Chair, 2014-2015
- PEC Lomas Sub Committee, Chair, 2014
- Board Review on Professional Ethics, Chair, 2008-2009
- Investment Committee, Past Member
- Communications Committee, Past Member
- Disciplinary Review Committee, Past Member
- “Vision 2016” Committee, Past Member
- Strategic Planning Committee, Past Member
- Florida Bar Annual Convention, Chair, 2010-2011
- Palm Beach County Bar Association
- Board of Directors
- Ex-Officio Member, 2007-2016
- Professionalism Panel, 2013 – 2015
- Palm Beach County Justice Association, Past President
- Florida Supreme Court Historical Society, Fellow Trustee
- Federal Magistrate Selection Committee, Southern District of Florida
- Florida Justice Association (FJA), Eagle Member
- National Bar Association (NBA), Virgil Hawkins Chapter
- Malcolm Cunningham Bar Association, Board Advisor/Memb
- South Palm Beach County Bar Association
- North Palm Beach County Bar Association
- American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)
- Cuban American Bar Association (CABA)
- Hispanic Bar Association (HBA)
- Florida Association for Women Lawyers (FAWL)
- International Society of Barristers
David C. Prather lives in Jupiter, Florida, and has three children: Christopher, Taylor, and Ashley.
- Speaker, Titans of Trial: Cross Examination Webinar, Florida Justice Association, March 2021
- Speaker, Criminal Defense Experts: Cross Examination Webinar, Palm Beach County Justice Association, July 2021
- Judicial Panel Moderator, National Bar Association Region XI Conference, Jacksonville, FL – March 2019
- “Know Your Worth: How to Ask for a Raise, Negotiate a Salary, and Compete for Work.” Florida Association of Women Lawyers Palm Beach County Chapter, Palm Beach, FL- February 2019
- Mentor Speaker, “Latinos in Action”, Mentor Series, Lake Worth, FL – January 2019
- Speaker, “Wrongful Death Committee Seminar: Unique Issues in Transportation Cases, West Palm Beach, FL – July 2020
- ChildNet, Inc.
- Board of Directors
- WPTV Public Television, PBS of South Florida
- Chair-Elect, 2023-2024
- Vice Chair, 2022-2023
- Treasurer, Board of Directors
- Chairman of the Budget and Finance Committee
- Chairman of the Audit Committee
- Annual Sponsor, F. Malcolm Cunningham Sr. Bar Association William M. Holland Scholarship Luncheon
- 2022 Lawyer of the Year
- 2021 Lawyer of the Year