Barnett, Lerner, Karsen, Frankel & Castro

Address: 2860 Marina Mile Blvd , #105, Fort Lauderdale, FL , US, 33312
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Name:   Barnett & Lerners Bio's

Description:   Bios

Section Name:   Parnters

Name:   David C. Barnett, Esq.

Title:   Founding partner

Description:   David C. Barnett, Esq. is the founding and managing partner of Barnett, Lerner, Karsen, Frankel & Castro, P.A. The firm was established in 1995 and presently has offices in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Washington, D.C. Mr. Barnett secured two Bachelor degrees from the University of Maryland in 1987 and his juris doctorate from Nova Southeastern Law School in 1990. Mr. Barnett is admitted to practice in State and Federal Court as well as before the Second and Eleventh Circuit Courts’ of Appeal. Mr. Barnett’s litigation practice primarily involves representing the injured who reside both in the U. S. and worldwide in Defense Base Act claims, longshore claims, and admiralty claims, including Jones Act claims, passenger claims, vessel arrest and maritime liens. Mr. Barnett has tried hundreds of cases in various jurisdictions including before Judges of Compensation Claims, State Court Judges, Federal Judges and Federal Administrative Law Judges, in both jury and non-jury cases, nationwide. Additionally, Mr. Barnett commits part of his practice to commercial litigation issues. Mr. Barnett has successfully litigated many of the seminal cases relied upon by claimant attorneys under the Defense Base Act. Some examples include Mechler v. Dyncorp, where the Second Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with Mr. Barnett that the time for filing a claim seeking wage and medical benefits is when the injured worker is aware they are unable to earn wages because of an accident. In Rice v. SEII, the Court ruled that, even though the treating doctors released the claimant back to work without any restrictions, since the doctors advised against returning to work in Iraq, the claimant was entitled to get paid 2/3 of the difference between the Iraq wages and what the claimant could earn near her home. In Fraser v. KBR, the Court awarded wage and medical benefits after Mr. Barnett was able to discredit the insurance company’s psychiatrist. In Obadiaru v. ITT, the claimant returned to work on a light duty status, but his continued work caused additional problems. The Court ruled that the light work caused a worsening of the claimant’s condition, resulting in a second claim entitling the claimant to medical and wage benefits. To find more cases litigated by Mr. Barnett, please visit our blog or search the Department of Labor website. Additionally, Mr. Barnett is involved in many professional organizations and has been active in academia regarding injured worker issues, specifically focusing on the Defense Base Act and the Longshore Act. In 2009 Mr. Barnett founded and created a National Joint Bar Association comprised of attorneys throughout the United States working to streamline the litigation process and the ensure the bar, as a whole, was recognized nationally as a stakeholder in any legislation or rules changes. Mr. Barnett served as President of the DOL-Joint Bar Association from 2009 through 2012, and he currently remains on the Board of Directors and serves as Treasurer. The DOL-Joint Bar Association is comprised of hundreds of attorneys nationwide, who handle cases within the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Labor. Mr. Barnett has also been an active member in the Workers Injury Law Group, a national organization of plaintiff attorneys. In 2009-10, Mr. Barnett served as Chairman of the Longshore Section of the Workers Injury Law Group. Mr. Barnett previously served on the Board of Directors for Florida Workers Advocates while also being a member of the Florida Admiralty Lawyer’s Association, Broward County Bar Association and American Bar Association. Mr. Barnett has lectured and taught continuing education classes throughout the United States over the past twenty years and has had many articles published. In the Spring of 2014, Mr. Barnett co-authored a law review article for the Loyola University New Orleans Maritime Law Journal titled Discovery Issues and Ethical Considerations Under the Rules of Practice and Procedure for Administrative Hearings Before the Office of Administrative Law Judges while in the Fall of 2012 he published an article titled Psychiatric Claims Under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act in the Loyola Maritime Law Journal. In 2008 he was a contributing author in the Defense Base Act and War Hazards Compensation Handbook, 2008, Edition, LexisNexis. Mr. Barnett also wrote part of the State of Florida Board Certification Course and Examination for Insurance Adjusters.

Education:   University of Maryland, Nova Southeastern Law School

Services:   Defense Base Act Attorney

Name:   Barry R. Lerner, Esq.

Title:   Founding Partner

Description:   Barry R. Lerner, Esq. is also a founding partner of Barnett, Lerner, Karsen, Frankel & Castro, P.A. He received his law degree from the University of Pittsburgh and has been licensed to practice law since 1983. In addition, he holds an undergraduate degree in Health Care Management from the Medical College of Virginia and is certified by the Supreme Court of Florida as mediator and has mediated cases in the fields of Workers’ Compensation and Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation claims. Mr. Lerner has frequently lectured to both lawyers and non-lawyer groups in the areas of Defense Base Act claims, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act and State Workers’ Compensation claims as well as the interrelationship and cross jurisdictional questions in litigating these types of claims. During his career, Mr. Lerner has prepared more than one hundred appellate briefs, appeared in excess of three hundred administrative trials as well as numerous jury trials in both State and Federal jurisdictions. Mr. Lerner is licensed to practice in the state of Florida, the District Court for the Southern District of Florida, and the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. Mr. Lerner is also a member of several Bar associations, including the Joint Bar Association for Department of Labor Practitioners

Education:   Medical College of Virginia,University of Pittsburgh

Services:   Defense Base Act Attorney

Name:   Brian C. Karsen, Esq.

Title:   Partner

Description:   Brian C. Karsen, Esq. is a partner in Barnett, Lerner, Karsen, Frankel & Castro, P.A., having joined the firm in 2010. Mr. Karsen attended the University of Florida where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, a Juris Doctorate and a Master’s degree in Business Administration. He began practicing in 1998 and has significant litigation experience in handling both civil and criminal matters, having served as lead counsel in numerous jury and non-jury trials and evidentiary hearings. Mr. Karsen has tried cases in front of County and Circuit Court Judges and Judges of Compensation Claims throughout the state of Florida and in front of Federal Administrative Law Judges across the United States. Mr. Karsen began his career with the Public Defender’s Office for the Ninth Judicial Circuit in Florida. In that capacity he represented hundreds of indigent clients in criminal matters, including first degree felony cases punishable by up to life in prison. While serving in the Public Defender’s Office, Mr. Karsen was twice recognized for outstanding performance at trial. Additionally, during this time Mr. Karsen represented a client featured on the national television program “America’s Most Wanted” and the trial was featured on an episode which aired in 2001. Beginning in 2001, Mr. Karsen began representing employers and insurance carriers in defending workers’ compensation claims throughout the South Florida region. In 2004 his practice shifted to dedicated counsel for large, self-insured companies in defending workers’ compensation claims brought throughout the state of Florida. In this capacity he dealt directly with corporate risk managers, adjusters and case managers in directing and coordinating the defending of claims across all aspects of the litigation process. Mr. Karsen can be reached at

Education:   Bachelor of Arts, University of Florida,Juris Doctor, University of Florida,Master of Business Administration, University of Florida

Services:   Defense Base Act Attorney

Name:   Samuel S. Frankel, Jr., Esq.

Title:   Partner

Description:   Samuel S. Frankel, Jr., Esq. is a partner at Barnett, Lerner, Karsen, Frankel & Castro, P.A. He attended St. Thomas University School of Law in Miami, Florida, where he earned a Juris Doctor, and Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, California, earning a Master of Laws in International Taxation. While obtaining his LL.M., he earned certifications in International Financial Centers Planning and Anti-Money Laundering and Compliance, and is a Certified Master Financial Planner. Mr. Frankel began practicing law in 1998, and has significant litigation experience in handling civil matters, serving as lead counsel in numerous non-jury trials, evidentiary hearings and mediation conferences. Prior to joining Barnett, Lerner, Karsen, Frankel & Castro, P.A., Mr. Frankel’s practice focused on defending self-insured companies and insurance carriers in their liability and workers compensation matters. During this time he had the opportunity to work together with risk managers and adjusters nationwide in all aspects of the claims process, conducted training sessions and seminars, and contributing to industry publications. In 1991 Mr. Frankel enlisted in the United States Marine Corps as a reservist, serving with the 8th Tank Battalion in Eastover, South Carolina and Miami, Florida. In 1998 Mr. Frankel was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps, and began his civilian legal career. In 2005, Mr. Frankel once again re-enlisted in the Marine Corps, serving as a reservist with the 4th Air/Naval Gunfire Liaison Company in West Palm Beach, Florida. In 2008, Mr. Frankel was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps a second time, and enlisted in the United States Naval Reserve that same year. He was deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in support of the Global War on Terrorism, and continues to actively drill with the U.S. Naval Reserve. In addition to his military experience, Mr. Frankel is actively involved with many civic and veterans organizations, including the Wounded Warrior Project, Disabled American Veterans, American Legion, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). Mr. Frankel is admitted to practice in Florida and before the Southern and Middle Districts of Florida, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Tax Court, the U.S. Court of International Trade, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. Mr. Frankel is a member of the Broward County Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association, and the Joint Bar Association. Mr. Frankel brings this extensive legal and military experience to his representation of injured workers covered under Defense Base Act, Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, and the Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Act. Mr. Frankel may be contacted directly at

Education:   BA in History from the University of South Carolina,JD from St. Thomas University,LL.M. in International Taxation from Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Certifications:   International Financial Centers Planning, Diamond Graduate International Tax Program,Anti-Money Laundering & Compliance, Diamond Graduate International Tax Program,Master Financial Planner, American Academy of Financial Management

Services:   Defense Base Act Attorney

Name:   Ana M. Castro, Esq.

Title:   Partner

Description:   Ana M. Castro has been an associate at Barnett, Lerner, Karsen, Frankel & Castro, P.A. since 2013. She attended the University of Miami, School of Law in Coral Gables, FL., where she earned a Juris Doctor in 1995. Since 1995, Ms. Castro’s experience has focused primarily on the representation of claimants, large self- insured employers, Fortune 1000 companies, and insurance companies in the worker’s compensation arena. She has handled all aspects of claims from their inception, up to and including trial. Specifically, she has participated in depositions, mediations, settlement conferences, witness and expert interviews, and direct and cross examination of witnesses at trial. She has further pioneered interactive seminars and workshops for clients on a number of topics. As Ms. Castro has served as first chair on numerous trials, she has had the opportunity to be exposed to and tackle complex technical cases in the worker’s compensation field. Prior to joining Barnett, Lerner, Karsen, Frankel & Castro, P.A., Ms. Castro was a partner at a national insurance defense firm, where she managed the Florida worker’s compensation division. Under her supervision, the firm transitioned to new technologies increasing the efficiency of the practice. Currently, Ms. Castro’s practice focuses on Longshore Harbor and Workers’ Compensation Act and Defense Base Act claims. Ms. Castro is also fluent in Spanish. She is a member of the Dade County Bar Association and the District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Ms. Castro may be contacted directly at

Education:   University of Florida, BA,University of Miami, School of Law

Section Name:   Paralegals

Name:   Lynda Fowler

Title:   Paralegal

Description:   Lynda Fowler is a paralegal here at Barnett, Lerner, Karsen & Frankel, P.A. Lynda began with the Firm 15 years ago as our receptionist and has not stopped climbing our corporate ladder ever since. In addition to the many responsibilities Lynda has within the Firm, she also monitors the attorneys’ schedules and different itineraries, scheduling depositions, appointments, etc. While efficiently executing her role in the Firm, she has managed to obtain two Associate of Science degrees: one was obtained at Broward Community College in Criminal Justice; the other was obtained from Keiser University with Honors in the study of Surgical Technology.

Education:   A.S. Broward Community College,A.S. Keiser University

Name:   Michelle Rodriguez

Title:   Paralegal

Description:   Michelle Rodriguez joined the firm in 2007 and she primarily works as a trial litigation paralegal. Mrs. Rodriguez assists by ensuring the firm has all necessary documentary evidence for trial including securing, medical records, depositions, employment records… Mrs. Rodriguez also assists the firm’s attorneys with Pre-Hearing & Pre-Trial deadlines for cases dealing with the Defense Base Act (DBA), and Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (USL&H). In addition, Michelle is responsible for processing all documents received which are electronically filed into the client database. As a bi-lingual paralegal, Michelle is the point of contact for all Spanish speaking clientele.

Name:   Sherri Shirey

Title:   Paralegal

Description:   Sherri Shirey is a paralegal at Barnett, Lerner, Karsen & Frankel, P.A. Ms. Shirey brings to the firm 14 years of litigation experience. Sherri began her career in the legal field in her home town of Andalusia, Alabama in 1994. In addition to working on a daily basis with clients, the staff attorneys and judges on a daily basis, she researched each potential juror on the monthly list of potential jurors for the firm’s use during jury selection. Ms. Shirey moved to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida in 2003 and worked for an insurance defense firm, processing mail and assisting in the accounting department. She eventually became a paralegal in the Workers’ Compensation Division where she scheduled depositions, IMEs, hearings and mediations, and also assisted the attorneys with preparation for hearings, depositions, mediations, and trials. She also prepared subpoenas, and assisted in propounding discovery documents and the processing of settlement documents. She then became a senior paralegal in the PIP litigation department where her duties included the calendaring of all scheduled events and deadlines and opening all cases, as well as preparing correspondence, pleadings, discovery, motions, exhibits, and settlement documents. Ms. Shirey also assisted with pretrial and trial preparations, facilitated communication with adjusters, opposing counsel, judges’ offices, and doctors, and processed all documents to be electronically filed with the court database. Her duties also included assisting the firm administrator with monthly firm and client reports, and training new attorneys and paralegals on office procedures, proprietary software, etc.

Name:   Barnett & Lerner

Description:   Products and Services

Section Name:   Practice Areas

Name:   Defense Base Act


Name:   Maritime / Admiralty Law


Name:   Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act


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