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Richard E. Zelonka, Jr.

Practice Groups


  • University of Mississippi School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 2003
  • University of Florida, M.E.S.S., 1999
  • University of Florida, B.S., 1997

Richard’s practice primarily focuses on litigation and insurance coverage, representing both insurers and insureds, in state and federal courts throughout the Southeastern United States.

Richard’s insurance coverage practice involves advising and representing domestic and international insurers regarding commercial property, commercial general liability, business liability, professional malpractice, construction defect, liquor liability, and professional errors and omissions claims.

Richard has successfully defended insurers, managing general agents, brokers, and adjusters in first-party commercial property claims, including litigation arising out of the interpretation of policy provisions and exclusions, business interruption claims, co-insurance clauses, valuation of replacement cost and actual cash value, and bad faith and extra-contractual claims. Richard also has extensive experience defending insureds in personal injury, wrongful death, construction defect, property damage, premises liability, and professional liability and malpractice claims.

In addition to his litigation practice, Richard spent four months on secondment with a leading Lloyd’s of London syndicate, advising its claims and legal teams on a wide variety of North American claims, underwriting and regulatory issues.

Richard’s recent representative matters include:

Obtaining defense verdict in $1.5 million errors and omissions claim against insurance broker for alleged failure to attach policy form exclusion.

In connection with prosecuting a multi-million dollar subrogation lawsuit, winning a jury trial in a separate coverage lawsuit filed by a domestic insurer seeking to avoid coverage under a commercial general liability policy it issued to tortfeaser based on alleged late notice.

Winning summary judgment in a first-property coverage lawsuit filed by a historic music venue seeking millions of dollars in replacement costs, in excess of the policy limits based on alleged ambiguity in the policy.

Bar Admissions

  • Florida
  • Georgia

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • State Bar of Georgia
  • The Florida Bar
  • Atlanta Bar Association
  • St. Thomas More Society


  • Paul L. Fields, Jr., Joseph C. Gebara & Richard E. Zelonka, Jr., Essex Insurance Company v. Zota: Do Surplus Lines Insurers Face Broad Regulations in Florida?, Declarations, Winter 2009.