Max N. Panoff is a trial attorney whose practice focuses on tort litigation including wrongful death, medical malpractice, birth injuries, negligent security, nursing home and assisted living facility negligence, premises liability and falls, construction site accidents, motor vehicle, motorcycle, bus, commercial carrier and trucking accidents, pedestrian victim accidents, and other negligence cases.
As a partner at Leighton Law, his courtroom successes include traumatic brain injury and motor vehicle crash cases, and Mr. Panoff has recovered several million dollars in recoveries in sexual assault, medical malpractice, premises liability and trucking cases. Recently he was instrumental in recovering over $1.6 million against a bar which over served a patron who went on to cause a serious crash on Florida’s roadways. Under the very difficult dram shop law in Florida, Mr. Panoff successfully proved that the bar was aware of the driver’s past drinking yet continued to serve his on that night before he got behind the wheel. In another case, Mr. Panoff recovered over $750,000 for a woman who slipped and fell at a retail store.
A fierce courtroom advocate, he and Mr. Leighton recently won a $49.3 million verdict in Miami on behalf of a young woman who was sexually assaulted and raped. This case was instrumental in providing a financial recovery and closure for a client who had been the victim of sexual violence.
Prior to joining Leighton Law, Mr. Panoff represented personal injury victims at a leading plaintiff’s firm in Florida. Mr. Panoff successfully litigated numerous cases from inception through trial, resulting in substantial recoveries for his clients.
Mr. Panoff is a graduate of the University of Miami with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism and Criminology and with a minor in Political Science. He received his law degree from the University of Miami School of Law, where he was awarded the John F. Evans Memorial Scholarship for excellence in trial. He was also a finalist in the Charles C. Papy Jr. Moot Court Board’s Mock Trial Competition and received High Honors in the law school’s Litigation Skills/Trial Advocacy Program and Mediation course.
Mr. Panoff has authored numerous publications including: “Black Tie Optional: How the NBA Dress Code Violates Title VII (University of Virginia Sports and Entertainment Law Review); and co-authored “Life Expectancy Evidence: Laying the Strong Foundation for Plaintiff’s Favorable Evidence and Debunking the Defense Position on Life Expectancy” (2011 Florida Justice Association Workhorse Seminar) and Vanity Insanity – Trending Malpractice Issues Involving Cosmetic and Related Procedures (2013 Florida Justice Association Workhorse Seminar). He has also contributed to the textbook Litigating Premises Security Cases (West Publishing, 2015 and 2016 updates), which is the most widely used and comprehensive treatise on litigating and trying negligent security cases on behalf of crime victims.
Max Panoff has been honored by being chosen as a member of the National Trial Lawyers Association: “Top 40 Under 40”. He is one of only 40 trial attorneys in Florida to achieve this distinction. The NTLA “Top 40 Under 40” honors America’s top young trial attorneys. Membership is extended solely to the select few of the most qualified attorneys from each state who demonstrate superior qualifications of leadership, reputation, influence, stature and public profile measured by objective and uniformly applied standards. Selection is based on a thorough multi-phase objective process which includes peer nominations combined with third-party research.
In 2018 Mr. Panoff was selected by Florida SuperLawyers as a Rising Star lawyer, which includes less than 2.5% of the attorneys in the state. He was also honored by the Dade County Bar Association in January 2018 as a “Rising SuperStar.” The Dade County Bar Association is the largest voluntary bar association in Florida, and this honor was limited to just nine lawyers in the entire state.
Mr. Panoff is an active member of the Florida Bar (Trial Lawyers Division, Young Lawyers Division), American Association for Justice, the United States District Court, Southern District of Florida and the Miami-Dade County Bar Association. He lives in Coral Gables with his wife and two children.
J.D., University Of Miami School Of Law
John F. Evans Memorial Scholarship for Superior Performance in the law school’s Litigation Skills/Trial Advocacy
Finalist in the 2009 Charles C. Papy Jr., Moot Court Board’s Mock Trial Competition
High Honors in his law school’s Mediation Course
B.S. in Broadcast Journalism and Criminology, University of Miami
Minor in Political Science