Constantine “Dean” G. Nickas, a partner in the Miami office, joined Wicker Smith in 1989 and is head of the firm’s retail practice group. In his 25+ year career, Mr. Nickas has tried countless cases involving professional liability, products liability, food safety-related litigation, insurance coverage matters, labor and employment, automobile liability, and general civil litigation cases throughout the state of Florida at both the state and federal level. His passion for the law has earned him an AV® Preeminent rating from his peers, the highest level rating awarded to lawyers by Martindale-Hubbell. He is also privileged to be recognized as a Florida Super Layer since 2009.
As Chair of the firm’s retail practice group, Mr. Nickas has had the opportunity to defend and consult on all aspects of premises liability litigation. These matters include negligent security, premises liability and catastrophic damages claims arising out of suits against retailers.
Mr. Nickas is particularly well-versed in litigation issues unique to the food and beverage industry. His depth of experience in this area of the law includes directing strategy for claims involving alleged food born illnesses, outbreaks and alleged foreign objects. He has represented national restaurant clients, food manufacturers, distributors and retailers in outbreak and contamination claims throughout the United States.
Additionally, Mr. Nickas’ practice focuses on professional liability, representing physicians, attorneys, accountants and various other professionals. He has extensive experience handling cases involving complex medical malpractice issues such as brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, amputations and death cases in the defense of long term care facilities, hospitals and physicians. His knowledge in the medical malpractice field has lead to work dealing with other professional liability issues such as the representation of contractors and engineers in matters concerning catastrophic workplace injuries that fall beyond the scope of typical workers’ compensation. He has also represented insurance agents in numerous cases involving liability exposure issues and drawing on his background in accounting, Mr. Nickas has also represented accountants accused of malpractice in the preparation of financial statements and auditing issues.
Mr. Nickas received his Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Miami and continued his studies to earn a Juris Doctor, both of which were bestowed with cum laude honors, having finished ranked in the top 10% of his class. While in law school, he served as editor of the Entertainment & Sports Law Review. He is a member of the Florida Medical Malpractice Claims Council, the Dade County Defense Bar Association and serves as the Program Chair for the Retail Practice Group of USLAW NETWORK, Inc. In September 2002, he was honored as “Attorney of the Year” by an international quick-service restaurant chain and was selected from counsel who represent the chain nationwide.
He frequently lectures at educational seminars and various other speaking engagements throughout the year, traveling to Fortune 100 corporations around the country to share his best practices in legal services.