The Daily Business Review recently released their 2019 “Most Effective Lawyers” list, which is a list of three dozen lawyers in 20 categories who are reshaping Florida law in powerful and meaningful ways. David Bianchi was included in the Public Interest category for his life-changing work in anti-hazing litigation.
The DBR wrote an accompanying article about David Bianchi, who, alongside Attorney Michael Levine, has taken the fight against hazing to new heights. This year was a banner year for Bianchi and Levine, with Florida adopting Andrew’s Law and Bianchi settling a major case involving a student whose skull was fractured during a fraternity tradition. With victories in the legislature and the court, Bianchi has also set his sights on university campuses.
When Andrew’s Law took effect, Bianchi and Levine toured to speak to thousands of students and faculty across the state to discuss how students should report hazing. In the months since, nearly a dozen fraternities at different Florida universities have been suspended or punished for committing alcohol and hazing violations this fall, much of it due to student vigilance. The cultural tide is turning against fraternity “traditions” that endanger lives and abuse the dignity of hopeful young people. Universities throughout Florida are cracking down on hazing in an unprecedented way, in large thanks to Bianchi’s tireless work over the last two decades.
The DBR also highlighted Bianchi’s first victory in the Florida legislature: the creation of the Chad Meredith Act. The Chad Meredith Act was named for one of the earliest hazing victims Bianchi ever represented in court; after winning the largest hazing verdict in history, Bianchi devoted his time to preventing deaths like Chad’s, who drowned after being pressured to participate in a fraternity activity. Since then, Bianchi has fought for numerous victims of hazing, many of whom were killed or suffered lifelong injury.
Bianchi’s return to the legislature this year was no less successful; thanks to Bianchi’s and Levine’s efforts, Andrew’s Law was passed without a single “no” vote.
We’re proud of the work David Bianchi and Michael Levine have done on behalf of college students throughout Florida, and we’re glad to see the legal community paying attention to this vital cause.