Dawn McMahon

Dawn McMahon

Practice Areas

  • Civil Rights Defense
  • Employment Discrimination Defense
  • Insurance Coverage and Defense
  • First and Third Party Injury Defense
  • Wrongful Death
  • Professional Malpractice
  • Real Estate Litigation
  • First and Third Party Property Defense
  • General Tort Defense
  • Correctional Officer Liability Litigation


  • Richard T. Farmer School of Business, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio: B.S. in Human Resources Management 1998
  • Nova Southeastern University Shepherd Broad Law Center: J.D. 2001


  • Recently asked to speak on “How to Successfully Defend Discrimination Lawsuits” at the Meeting of the Firm seminar put on by the Florida Department of Health in May, 2017
  • Has successfully defended civil rights and employment discrimination and retaliation cases brought against numerous state agencies
  • Has successfully argued appellate cases before the Florida District Courts of Appeal
  • Represented several insurance carriers in wrongful death claims, insurance coverage disputes, professional malpractice claims, first and third party personal injury litigation ad first and third party property damage litigation
  • Member of the Labor and Employment Law and Trial Lawyers sections of the Florida Bar
  • Admitted to practice in all Florida state courts, the United States District Courts for the Southern, Middle, and Northern Districts of Florida and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals

Dawn McMahon joined the firm in August, 2012. She graduated from the Richard T. Farmer School of Business at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio in 1998 and Nova Southeastern University Shepherd Broad Law Center in 2001.

Ms. McMahon began her legal career in a general practice civil litigation firm where she gained valuable experience in wrongful death, insurance coverage and defense, professional malpractice and real estate litigation. Most recently, from 2009-2012, she practiced with the North Palm Beach defense firm of  Williams, Leininger & Cosby, P.A., and was engaged in defense litigation for insurance and governmental sector clients, including employment and civil rights claims, first and third party personal injury litigation and first and third party property damage litigation. 

Ms. McMahon is a member of the Florida Bar, and is admitted to practice before the United States District Court for the Southern, Middle, and Northern Districts of Florida, and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. She is a member of the Appellate Practice and Health Law Sections of the Florida Bar, as well as its Young Lawyers Division.


Laura Beth Faragasso and Dawn McMahon recently obtained summary judgment for defendant, the Florida  Department of Children and Families, in a federal Equal Pay Act case.  Two current, female ARNP employees of Florida State Hospital challenged a disparity between their rate of compensation and that of a male ARNP co-worker who had left the employment of the hospital to work with another agency and then returned to FSH at a time of critical need for prescribing medical providers.  The male co-worker had demanded and received a 10% salary increase with each move, resulting in a significant pay disparity between the nurse practioners, despite all ARNPs performing the same essential job functions.  When the female ARNPs demanded that their salary be increased to the same level as their male counter-part and the hospital declined, they sued.  The district court agreed with the defense argument that factors such as salary compression for long-term state employees; insufficient personnel budget appropriations by the legislature; critical need at the time of the male co-worker’s return to the hospital; and the co-worker’s willingness to seek alternative employment were all gender neutral justifications for the salary differential and thus there was no Equal Pay Act violation.  Patricia N. Kalu and Susan Linder-Wyatt v. State of Florida, Department of Children & Families, Case No.  4:15cv388-RH/CAS, U. S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida.

Dawn McMahon  and Laura Beth Faragasso recently defended a four-count employment discrimination/ promotional and retaliation case against the Florida Department of Children and Families in federal court, after winning two of the original six counts on summary judgment.  At the conclusion of the three day trial, the jury returned a defense verdict on three of the four remaining claims and awarded the plaintiff significantly less than had been offered in pre-trial negotiations.  Phyllis Garrett v. State of Florida, Department of Children and Families, Northern District of Florida Case No. 4:13-cv-00568-RH-CAS.

Dawn McMahon and Laura Beth Faragasso recently defended an FMLA/nursing mother accommodation and retaliation case against the Florida Department of Corrections after winning the plaintiff’s related termination claim on summary judgment.  The three day trial resulted in a hung jury.  The case ultimately resolved for nuisance value shortly before the scheduled re-trial in May 2015.  Sheila Kerce v. Florida Department of Corrections, Case No. 4:13-cv-00557-MW-CAS, Northern District of Florida, Tallahassee Division.