In Loving Memory

Edwin “Ted” Mortell, III

Stuart Florida Office

Ted Mortell  was the managing  shareholder of  Peterson  Bernard’s  Stuart office.  Mr. Mortell’s primary practice  areas  included medical  malpractice claims, Wrongful Death claims, multiple claimant short limit cases, architect and engineer liability, real estate broker and agent malpractice, motor vehicle liability, premises liability and  toxic tort claims.  Mr. Mortell also handles directors'/officers' liability and employment law matters.  Mr. Mortell was awarded the prestigious AV® Preeminent™ rating by Martindale-Hubbell.

A leader in the  rapidly growing  community  of  Martin County, Mr. Mortell was the past President of the Martin  County  Bar Association  and was an active participant in many issues of concern to the local civic and  business  areas.  His  involvement  as  a  member  of   the  Board of Directors for the Pine School   provided direction and leadership to  this  institution  enabling  them  to  continue  delivering  quality educational experiences to its students.


State/Court Admissions

  •  Florida Bar, 1989
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida, 1990
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida, 1999


  • B.A. in Economics, Southern Methodist University, 1986
  • J.D., Nova Southeastern University, 1989


  • The Florida Bar
  • American Bar Association
  • Martin County Bar Association
  • President, Martin County Bar Association, 2004-2005
  • Palm Beach County Bar Association
  • Florida Defense Lawyers Association
  • American Board of Trial Advocates

Recent Cases

Ted Mortell obtained a defense verdict in a jury trial involving an automobile accident which occurred in Vero Beach. The judge bifurcated the trial and the issue of liability was presented to the jury, who returned a verdict for the Defendant. 

Ted Mortell obtained a summary judgment in favor of a realtor in an Interstate-Land Sales Act (“ILSA”). The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, in the decision of Santidrian v. Landmark /Bell, ruled that the realtor was not subject to the ILSA claims based on the facts of the case. The 11th circuit affirmed the summary judgment and the realtor, as the prevailing party, was able to recover its costs from the plaintiff.

Heather Bridwell and Ted Mortell obtained summary judgment on behalf a realtor who was sued by the plaintiffs in Federal Court for alleged violations of the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act(ILSA). The motion for summary judgment argued that the realtor could not be liable as an agent under ILSA under traditional agency principles. The court agreed and granted summary judgment in favor of the realtor, thereby finding that the plaintiffs were not entitled to any damages from the realtor. The realtor will be requesting that the court order the plaintiffs to pay the realtor’s attorney’s fees and costs. 

Ted Mortell and his team obtained final summary judgment on behalf of a defendant in a malicious prosecution and negligence action after over seven years of litigation. The case involved an alleged altercation in Palm Beach when the defendant confronted the plaintiff in defendant’s neighbor’s vacant home. The Plaintiff, a real estate attorney, allegedly went onto the property without authority to obtain the name of the owner in order to deny the Defendant, a real estate agent, a commission on the vacant home. The Plaintiff was subsequently charged with trespass, petit theft, and battery. After the Plaintiff was found not guilty on all counts in the criminal trial, he sued the Defendant for malicious prosecution and negligence. 

The Court determined the plaintiff could not maintain an action for malicious prosecution, as the elements of probable cause were present, and the Defendant was not a legal cause of the criminal prosecution. As to the negligence claim, the Court agreed that the Defendant did not owe any legal duty of care to the Plaintiff arising out of the encounter. The Defendant’s motion for attorney’s fees and costs is pending. 

Ted Mortell obtained a summary judgment in favor of a realtor who was sued for malicious prosecution. The summary judgment was affirmed by the 4th DCA in Hickman v. Wyer, Case No. 4D08-115. Additionally, the trial court awarded attorney fees and costs pursuant to a proposal for settlement filed by Mr. Mortell. The 4th DCA recently upheld the recovery of attorney fees and costs for $90,000. Unfortunately for the Plaintiff, he will have to pay out in excess of $100,000 for attorney fees and costs as a result of bringing this action. 

Ted Mortell successfully obtained a defense verdict on behalf of an architect in Martin County. The Plaintiffs alleged negligent design theories relating to the design of a significant residential property. After a 1-week arbitration, the arbitrator entered a defense verdict in favor of the architect.

Ted Mortell obtained summary judgment in an insurance coverage dispute where the Plaintiff claimed she was entitled to coverage from the insurer, despite a prior non-renewal of the policy.    Plaintiff claimed that the insurer failed to notify Plaintiff of the nonrenewal; and that because she executed a modification to the policy in the form of a coverage exclusion, she believed she was covered, and therefore, the insurer could not subsequently deny coverage.   The Court found that the insurer did notify Plaintiff of the non-renewal, and that Plaintiff could not create coverage where coverage did not exist, and therefore granted the motion for summary judgment.  The 4th DCA upheld the order granting summary judgment.