Attorneys at Law Since 1943

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U.S. District Court
Middle District of Florida
Southern District of Florida
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Boston University School of Law, J.D.

Dartmouth College, B.A.,
summa cum laude

AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell

Put Something Back Pro Bono Award, Child Advocacy, 2000, 2007

John Edward Smith Child Advocacy Award, 2003


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Fowler White Burnett, P.A. > Attorneys > Helaine S. Goodner

Helaine S. Goodner


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With over 30 years of experience, Helaine Goodner practices in the areas of aviation, products liability & toxic torts, environmental and appellate law.

Helaine's primary focus is civil appeals, litigation and trial support. She works with litigators to help develop effective legal strategies and identify and resolve possible appellate issues that may arise during trial. Helaine's involvement during each phase of litigation helps move the dispute towards a favorable resolution at the trial court level or on appeal. 

Attorneys and clients benefit from Helaine's extensive appellate experience and in-depth knowledge of aviation and products liability law. 

Practice Focus

As a member of the Aviation Practice Group, Helaine represents domestic and international airline carriers, aircraft and component manufacturers and aviation maintenance providers. She has extensive experience handling the high-stakes and technical litigation surrounding aviation claims that result from mass disasters and aircraft accidents. Helaine is well-versed in the complex procedural issues that arise in aviation litigation, and she has participated in the defense of catastrophic claims involving personal injury, wrongful death, property damage, cargo and insurance coverage. She has been successful in securing the dismissal of aviation and other cases on the ground that Florida is an inconvenient forum for the litigation or that Florida courts lack personal jurisdiction over her clients. 

Helaine’s experience in products liability includes the defense of products from diverse industries, including: agriculture, construction, medical, and sports and recreation. She represents major manufacturers, distributors and retailers in actions by individual plaintiffs, class actions and multiple plaintiffs in mass tort litigation. Helaine also handles the defense of toxic tort claims including asbestos, benzene and talc. 

Representative Legal Matters

11th Circuit

  • Obtained dismissal of action against resort owners in the Dominican Republic on basis of forum non conveniens doctrine, with ruling affirmed on appeal.
  • Appellate court affirmed defense verdict in sexual harassment and retaliation case. 
  • Successfully removed action against equipment supplier from state court to federal court under federal officer removal statute. 
  • Obtained dismissal of lawsuit against ship classification society on basis of forum selection clause, using theory of direct benefit estoppel. 


  • Represented SPCP Group in successfully overturning 1.25 million verdict.
  • Obtained directed verdict in favor of a University in whistleblower action by former employee, which verdict was affirmed on appeal. 
  • Successfully defeated class action certification in action against major manufacturer. 
  • In multi-million dollar wrongful death case, obtained directed verdict in favor of contractor on agency issue. 
  • Obtained dismissal of action against Honduran bank for lack of personal jurisdiction. 
  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of university in action by faculty member whose tenure was revoked, which ruling was affirmed on appeal. 
  • Appellate court affirmed dismissal of boating accident lawsuit obtained on basis of forum non conveniens

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American Bar Association
  • The Florida Bar, Appellate Practice Section
  • Animal Law Section
  • Dade County Bar Association
  • Dade County Defense Bar Association
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Lawyers for Children America
    • Attorney Ad Litem
  • Foster Care Review of Miami
    • Board of Directors

In the News


  • Co-Author with J. Michael Pennekamp, Wading Through The Choice Of Law Quagmire: A Guide For The Uninitiated, in LITIGATING THE AVIATION CASE 699 (Andrew J. Harakas, ed., 4th ed., 2017)