Mercer K. “Bud” Clarke attorney photo

Mercer K. “Bud”

Co-Founder, Retired

Professional Experience

Twenty-five years ago Bud left the national New York-based firm of Kelley Drye & Warren and founded his own firm with Spencer H. Silverglate – Clarke Silverglate, P.A.  Most lawyers rely on precedent. Bud has created his own. His summary judgment, trial, and appellate victories have created favorable law for pharmaceutical, medical device, and product manufacturers and distributors, earning him a national reputation as a trial and appellate lawyer who not only wins cases but creates favorable law for his clients. Pharmaceutical manufacturers have him to thank for adoption of the learned intermediary doctrine by the Florida Supreme Court. He has tried over 100 cases to verdict and has handled numerous appeals. His intellect, creativity, proactive approach to litigation, and grit have allowed many companies to keep their lights on.

Bud is a leader among civil defense counsel defending pharmaceutical and product manufacturers. Named by Best Lawyers in America as Lawyer of the Year in personal injury defense in 2016 and as Lawyer of the Year in product liability defense in 2017 and by Chambers USA as one of the leading lawyers for business and product litigation, Bud is often approached by clients with cases that only someone with his experience and track record can handle. His confidence, passion, and skill provide the steady hand that clients need.

Bud has led several defense organizations, serving on the board of the International Association of Defense Counsel, the steering committee of the Defense Research Institute’s Drug and Medical Device Committee, and as President of the Miami-Dade County Defense Bar Association. He has written and lectured on trial skills, and he mentors young lawyers in the decision-making processes leading up to and including trial. He has served on the faculty of the Trial Academy of the International Association of Defense Counsel.

Many lawyers have Bud to thank for launching their careers.



  • J.D., University of Florida College of Law, 1970
  • B.A., Washington and Lee University, 1966
Bar Admissions

Bar Admissions

  • Florida Bar, 1970
Court Admissions

Court Admissions

  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • United States District Court, Southern District of Florida
  • United States District Court, Middle District of Florida
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Florida
  • Florida Supreme Court


  • American Bar Association
  • Dade County Bar Association
  • Dade County Defense Bar Association, President 1984-85
  • Defense Research Institute (Steering Committee, Drug and Medical Device Section)
  • Drug Information Association
  • Federal Bar Association
  • International Association of Defense Counsel,
    • Board of Directors 2007-2011
    • Trial Academy 2000
  • Product Liability Advisory Council


  • AV rated by Martindale-Hubbel
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America in the areas of Commercial and Personal Injury Litigation Listed in Chambers USA as one of the leading lawyers for businesses in the State of Florida Designated a Leading Florida Attorney in the specialties of Personal Injury Defense and Product Liability Law by Leading Attorney Network, Inc.
  • Annually selected by the South Florida Legal Guide as one of the top attorneys in South Florida
  • Selected by Florida Trend as one of Florida’s Legal Elite 2004-2008
  • Listed in Who’s Who in America


  • Motions for Summary Judgment, Defense Counsel Training Manual 322-327 (3d Ed. 2016)
  • Defending the Damages-Only Case, FDCC Quarterly, Spring, 2008
  • FDA Preemption: How Far Has It Come and How Far Can It Go?, International Association of
    Defense Counsel, Drug, Device & Biotech Committee Newsletter, December 2006
  • Jury Selection from the Defense Perspective, Trial Tactics Defense Litigation Manual, DRI,
  • Opening Statement from the Defense Perspective, The Defense Speaks, 2006
  • Advocacy Practice and Procedure Committee Newsletter, International Association of Defense
  • Counsel Newsletter 94/95 – 04 February; Product Liability Committee Newsletter
  • The Privilege of Self-Critical Analysis in the Context of Cases Involving Personal Injury or Injury to Property, International Association of Defense Counsel Newsletter 94/95 – 04, October
Significant Decisions

Significant Decisions

  • Pierre v. Intuitive Surgical, Inc., US DC So District of Florida 2020
  • Fuentes v. Sandel, Inc., 189 So. 3d 928 (Fla. 3d DCA 2016)
  • Kunzie v. Family Medical Care P.A. et al., 12 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 1047 (4th Jud. Cir. Ct. 2005)
    affirmed sub nom, Kunzie v. Glaxo Wellcome, Inc., n/k/a SmithKline Beecham, 942 So. 2d 450
    (Fla. 1st DCA 2006)
  • Nehme v. SmithKline Beecham Clinical Laboratories, Inc., 822 So. 2d 519 (Fla. 5th DCA 2002)
  • Cabrera Espinal v. Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd., 253 F. 3d 629 (11th Cir. 2001)
  • Gheorghita v. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., 93 F. Supp. 2d 1237 (S.D. Fla. 2000)
  • Juarbe v. Gomez, 762 So. 2d 534 (Fla. 4th DCA 2000)
  • Jones v. Winn Dixie Stores, Inc., 75 F. Supp. 2d 1357 (S.D. Fla. 1999)
  • Sanwa Bank, Ltd. v. Kato, 734 So. 2d 557 (Fla. 5th DCA 1999)
  • Scott Technologies, Inc. v. Reliance Ins. Co. of Illinois, 746 So. 2d 1136 (Fla. 3d DCA 1999)
  • Lamothe v. Equifax Credit Information Services, Inc., 718 So. 2d 326 (Fla.1998)
  • Supreme International Corp. v. Anheuser-Busch, Inc., 972 F. Supp. 604 (S.D. Fla. 1997)
  • George v. Cigna Ins. Co., 691 So. 2d 1209 (Fla. 3d DCA 1997)
  • Rafferman v. Carnival Cruise Lines, Inc., 659 So. 2d 1271 (Fla. 3d DCA 1995)
  • Mangio v. Equifax, Inc., 887 F. Supp. 283 (S.D. Fla. 1995)
  • Panchal v. Ethen, 648 So. 2d 245 (Fla. 4th DCA1994)
  • Jaquim v. Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd., 899 F. Supp. 600 (S.D. Fla. 1993)
  • Felix v. Hoffmann-LaRoche, Inc., 540 So. 2d 102 (Fla. 1989)
  • Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. v. Ferris, 408 So. 2d 650 (Fla. 4th DCA 1981)
  • Burke v. Ripp, 619 F. 2d 354 (Fla. 5th DCA 1980)
  • Atlantic Richfield Co. v. Good Hope Refineries, Inc., 604 F. 2d 865 (5th Cir. 1979)
  • Barry College v. Hull, 353 So. 2d 575 (Fla. 3d DCA 1977)

When in doubt, take the high road.

Mercer K. “Bud” Clarke

clarke silverglate, p.a.

5301 Blue Lagoon Drive, 9th Floor
Miami, Florida 33126


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