PENNY W. SCHMIDT is a proud Gator, having obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Florida while working full-time as a paralegal. She obtained her law degree, with honors, from St. Thomas College of Law in 1992. While in law school, she served as the Chairman of the Moot Court Board and was the recipient of American Jurisprudence Awards in the areas of Civil Trial Advocacy, Appellate Advocacy, Evidence, Wills and Trusts, and Taxation. Subsequently, she was named Graduate of the Year for the State of Florida by the legal fraternity of Phi Delta Phi.
After graduation from law school, Penny worked as an Associate Attorney with the law firm of Fuller & Minor, P.A., located in Ft. Myers, Florida, becoming a partner in the law firm of Minor & Schmidt, P.A., in Ft. Myers. During her tenure in Ft. Myers, she was an active member of the Lee County Bar Association, Lee County Personal Injury Association and the Calusa Inns of Court. In 1997, she and her husband relocated to the Jacksonville area where she continued her legal career with one of her current partners, Dennis R. Schutt.
Penny has been a Martindale-Hubbell AV Rated partner at the law firm of Schutt, Schmidt, & Noey since 1997. She is a member of the Florida Bar and the U.S. District Court, Middle and Northern Districts of Florida. Additionally, Penny’s memberships in the Jacksonville Bar Association, the Florida Bar Trial Lawyers Section, the Florida Defense Lawyers Association and the Defense Research Institute expand her professional credentials. Continuing her involvement as a legal advocate, she served as former president of the Jacksonville Association of Defense Counsel, where she remains an active member.
Civil trial litigation is a continues to be part of her practice, including areas of concentration such as: personal injury/wrongful death, insurance coverage issues, complex commercial and construction defect litigation, contract litigation, and appellate law. In addition to being an active civil trial attorney, Penny devotes part of her practice to mediations.
Penny has been a Certified Circuit Civil Mediator since 2003 and a Trained Arbitrator since 2009. She serves as a Certified Mediator for all of the State Courts in Florida as well as the United States District Court – Middle District of Florida. She is also a Certified Appellate Mediator for the Fifth District Court of Appeal. In conjunction with having Certified Mediator Training in Bankruptcy and Foreclosure Mediations, Penny performs as a certified mediator for residential foreclosure cases in both state and federal court.
Penny is a member of the Florida Academy of Professional Mediators and the Florida Circuit-Civil Mediators Society. She is also a member and past Chairperson of the Alternative Dispute Resolution section of the Jacksonville Bar Association as well as a member of the Alternative Dispute Resolution section of the Florida Bar. She is a Volunteer Mediator and Arbitrator for the Florida Bar Grievance Mediation and Fee Arbitration Program, and was the former co-chairman of the Marketing and Webinar sub-committee for the ADR Section of the Florida Defense Lawyers Association. In addition, she is an adjunct professor at Florida Coastal School of Law, where she teaches Alternative Dispute Resolution to future lawyers. She has lectured to various professional organizations on a variety of mediation-related topics, such as “Getting More out of Mediation than Just a Settlement” and “A Paralegals Guide to Help Prepare Your Attorney for Mediation/Arbitration.” Commitment to positive mediation and arbitration outcomes forms the cornerstone of her professional practice. Personal attention to detail ensures the participants’ respect and successful problem resolution. As a mediator, she describes her style as “firm and direct, but engaged and creative.”
Penny and her husband, John, have one daughter.