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Taras Rudnitsky Attorney and Counselor at Law

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Taras Rudnitsky’s unique background as a consumer justice attorney, automotive engineer and expert witness provides invaluable insight for consumers in Florida cases. He has been a featured speaker before consumer justice attorneys, governmental investigators, and community groups.  He has also been interviewed by several television station and newspaper reporters regarding consumer justice issues.

This commitment to consumer justice is not new – in fact, it started before Taras even graduated from the University of Michigan Law School.  As part of the Law School’s Clinical Law program, Taras represented consumers in cases ranging from landlord/tenant to employment discrimination.  At the time, he was the only student to then earn a position in the Advanced Clinical Law program and focus on seeking justice for consumers.

Taras firmly believes all attorneys should contribute to their community.  In 2009, the Seminole County Bar Association Legal Aid Society awarded him the Pro Bono Award for the voluntary free legal assistance he provided to Seminole County (Florida) consumers.  In 2010, he was again recognized for his contributions to Florida consumers by the Legal Advocacy Center of Central Florida.  His volunteer work as a pro bono attorney for consumers in the greater Orlando and Daytona Beach areas earned him the Advocate of Justice award from Community Legal Services of Mid Florida in October of 2011.  For 2012 and 2013, that organization awarded Taras with the Seminole County Pro Bono Attorney of the Year award.  As a result of his commitment to his community, the Florida Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized Taras’s contributions to the public by awarding him Outstanding Pro Bono Service awards.

Taras also believes in actively contributing to the legal profession.  He currently serves as Chair of the Florida Bar’s Small Claims Rules Committee, and is the President of the Board of Directors for Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida and the Legal Advocacy Center of Central Florida.  He is also an active member of the Ukrainian American Bar Association, where he serves as vice-president.

 

LICENSES

  • Attorney – The Florida Bar
  • Attorney – State Bar of Michigan
  • Professional Engineer – State of Michigan

EDUCATION

  • Juris Doctor, 1998 (Order of the Coif – top 10%): University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering, 1993: Wayne State University College of Engineering, Detroit, Michigan
  • Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, 1988: Wayne State University College of Engineering, Detroit, Michigan (summa cum laude)

EXPERIENCE

  • Attorney and Counselor at Law, 1998-present, Owner of law firm representing consumers
  • Consultant and Expert Witness, 1998-2004: Court-recognized expert witness in cases throughout United States
  • Automotive Design / Performance Engineer, 1988-1995: Designed, developed and/or tested air bags, seat belts, seats, steering systems, vehicle interiors, vehicle structure, and other components for General Motors, including actual vehicle crash tests and laboratory tests

“HANDS-ON” AUTOMOTIVE ENGINEERING EXPERIENCE

  • Served as expert witness with responsibility for investigating hundreds of vehicles and vehicle components during accident investigations to determine whether a defect caused or contributed to any injuries
  • Conducted crash tests and hundreds of other tests to develop air bags, seat belts, vehicle interiors, vehicle structure, and overall vehicle safety.
  • Defined airbag sensor deployment specifications for high speed and threshold test configurations to determine when airbags should deploy and when air bags should not deploy
  • Served as airbag project leader for team that was congratulated by General Motors President for achieving highest possible rating in U.S. Government New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) crash test
  • Served as design / release and performance engineer for airbags, instrument panels (I/P or dash panels), trim plates, knee bolsters and instrument panel structure
  • Certified compliance to U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) related to occupant crash protection for several car lines
  • Performed troubleshooting for airbag systems in several General Motors models; led resolution of airbag related production stoppages at three assembly plants
  • Spearheaded vehicle recall for airbag safety defects caused by a supplier’s manufacturing and design defects

AFFILIATIONS

  • American Association for Justice (AAJ)
  • Attorneys Information Exchange Group (AIEG)
  • Center for Auto Safety (CAS)
  • Central Florida Trial Lawyers Association (CFTLA)
  • Florida Justice Association (FJA)
  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • National Association of Consumer Advocates (NACA)
  • Orange County (Florida) Bar Association (OCBA)
  • Order of the Coif (top 10% of law school graduating class)
  • Public Justice organization
  • Seminole County (Florida) Bar Association (SCBA)
  • Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE)
  • Tau Beta Pi (national engineering honor society)
  • Ukrainian American Bar Association (UABA)

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT HAS INCLUDED:

  • President of Church Council
  • Board of Directors and President: Community Legal Services of Mid Florida
  • Board of Directors and President: Legal Advocacy Center of Central Florida
  • Board of Directors and Treasurer: Meals on Wheels, Etc.
  • Diamond Sponsor of Seminole County Legal Aid Society
  • Sponsor of March for Meals
  • Sponsor of Lake Mary High School 5K Run/Walk
  • Sponsor of Greenwood Lakes Middle School
  • Judge for High School debate tournaments
  • Volunteer for Justice Teaching initiative at Lake Mary school
  • Member of the Parent Teacher Student Association
  • President of the Dibrova Homeowners Association
  • Member of the Green Oak Township Road Committee
  • Coach – indoor and outdoor soccer
  • Proud contributor to numerous charitable organizations

OTHER LANGUAGES

  • Oral and written fluency in Ukrainian