Jesse BernheimFounder & CEO of
Bernheim Kelley Battista, LLC

Who dedicates their life to finding justice for those harmed by corporate negligence?

Jesse Bernheim, that’s who.

Justice, Legacy, and Corporate Accountability: Shaping A Fairer Future

“A jury can give us $100 million or they can give us zero,” explained Jesse Bernheim, founder and CEO of his contingency fee law firm Bernheim Kelley Battista, LLC.

For plaintiffs who have been injured or taken advantage of by global corporate giants, this is the type of chance they take when pursuing civil legal action; they fight not just for the compensation they’re owed, but also to attain the justice they deserve.

Fortunately, when they leverage a seasoned trial attorney – someone like Jesse Bernheim – they’ll have a chance to win both.

Still, while it’s not a chance many would happily take, many of Jesse’s clients don’t have a choice. Because, in some cases, what they lost was a loved one.

“I’ve always been a big believer in justice,” Jesse said. “I know that large corporations have a lot of leverage in society, and when they wrong people, those people need a voice.”

Based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Bernheim Kelley is a full-service personal injury, product liability, and consumer advocate law firm. With sights ever set on holding large corporations accountable for their transgressions, Jesse fights tenaciously for every client with unapologetic edge, impressive accuracy, and calculated finesse.

And he loves it.

“I think the more you believe in what you do, the better you’ll be at it,” said Jesse. “If you don’t believe in it, [the law] isn’t the right place for you.”

Never looking back

Jesse hadn’t always wanted to be a lawyer, though. He first pursued medical school to follow in his father’s footsteps. Yet, something about the law spoke to him in a way nothing else had.

“In the law, you can become an expert in many different things. One day, you’re working with an accident reconstructionist. The next day, you’re learning how they make cigarettes because you’re trying a Big Tobacco litigation case. Every day is a new challenge,” Jesse explained.

With each challenge, Jesse seizes the opportunity to step into the world of the sufferer – the plaintiff. To truly understand their story and, subsequently, their pain. In this way, his case methodology – how he structures a case, finds the right experts, and ultimately positions his client to the court – would be more than meaningful. It’d be invaluable.

That was a driving factor for Jesse, leading him to earn his Juris Doctor from the University of Miami School of Law. From there, and in Jesse’s own words, he “never looked back.”

Fighting until the very end

In 2004, Bernheim Kelley opened its doors in Fort Lauderdale. The firm has since expanded across Florida in Starke, Miami, Jacksonville, and Fort Myers, and into Nashville, Tennessee, and Plymouth, Massachusetts.

With a broad reach into various communities nationwide, Jesse empowers his clients with his unwavering commitment to delivering justice.

“[It takes commitment] to give your life to being a trial lawyer, not just taking cases to settle them, but taking them all the way through litigation [and/or] trial,” Jesse said. “For those of us who have been successful, it’s because we really do what’s best for our clients.”

Most notably, the law firm tried a landmark case against one of the largest tobacco companies in the world. In October 2023, Walter Kelley of Bernheim Kelley won a $200 million verdict, holding the corporation accountable for the wrongful death of Rita Jones, the matriarch of a Massachusetts family. The case was brought on behalf of Rita’s personal representative, Treniece Jones, claiming “negligence, civil conspiracy, and defective product liability.”

According to Bernheim Kelley’s press release, Rita began smoking when she was 16 after receiving free samples of cigarettes from the prodigious tobacco company in 1964. Rita continued smoking heavily for 50 years until she was diagnosed with metastatic stage 4 lung cancer in 2015. After a three-year fight, Rita succumbed to her cancer.

“It’s important to hold Big Tobacco accountable because their conduct was egregious and it continued for decades,” said Jesse. “Without law firms like Bernheim Kelley holding their feet to the fire, things won’t change.”

The jury’s favorable decision held the tobacco company liable for “its strategy throughout the trial of attempting to shift the entire responsibility for Jones’ death onto her, attributing zero blame to the company, despite her initial receipt of free cigarette samples.” The trial lasted three weeks, included more than 300 exhibits, and culminated in an almost 13-hour deliberation by its eight jurors.

“Taking on Big Tobacco is a fight few trial lawyers want because [they] fight you until the very end,” said Jesse. “It’s a tremendous investment of time and money. But we believe that this story is so important and that our clients who have suffered deserve our voice and commitment.”

While this victory is a recent one, Bernheim Kelley’s fight against Big Tobacco began a decade ago. “Our first inquiries were experiences people had as young kids in the poorest parts of Boston where they were sampled cigarettes. And because of that sampling, these young kids became tobacco addicts for life. We believe that this powerful drug addiction forever altered their lives, putting them on a trajectory where they could not find success. When we heard their stories and especially when we began to look at the evidence against Big Tobacco, it made our decision for us. How could we not help these people?”

“When we heard [plaintiffs’] stories and especially when we began to look at the evidence against Big Tobacco, it made our decision for us. How could we not help these people?”

Jesse Bernheim

Founder & CEO of Bernheim Kelley Battista, LLC

Delivering justice through accountability

Another significant part of Bernheim Kelley’s practice involves trying cases against the world’s largest medical device and pharmaceutical drug companies. In these cases, Jesse fights for his clients to get the compensation they deserve for their suffering at the hands of these multibillion-dollar institutions.

“Pharmaceutical and medical device companies put out products that they had not properly tested. They fail to warn consumers about the dangers of those products. We fight day in and day out to hold them accountable for it,” Jesse said.

Both Jesse and Walter Kelley served as lead counsel and court-appointed leadership counsel in hundreds of defective hip implant cases, totaling more than $74 million in settlements.

An artificial hip, regardless of the manufacturer, should function correctly and improve a patient’s quality of life after surgery. Yet, that’s not always the case. Defective medical devices can cause excessive pain, infection, dislocation, and/or implant failure. More extreme cases require additional surgeries to remove, replace, or correct the faulty implant.

The firms’ cases have generally alleged the manufacturers of faulty implants were “negligent in designing, manufacturing, or testing the product and failed to adequately warn patients and healthcare providers about the risks,” according to Bernheim Kelley’s site.

These cases are very difficult to try. But Jesse hopes his diligent fighting will only inspire more plaintiffs to come forward to find their justice.

“I hope that people who don’t have the resources of large insurance companies will continue to have the law support them if they’ve been treated unfairly,” Jesse said. “It’s a constant struggle to maintain those rights for plaintiffs. But without those rights, our country would be a very different place – a place I wouldn’t want to raise my kids in.”

Behind the scenes at

Bernheim Kelley Battista, LLC

Trial lawyer and award-winner

In 2018, the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys™ recognized Jesse Bernheim on the prestigious “10 Best Attorneys” list in the state of Florida. This honor goes to attorneys who “achieve unparalleled success and, most importantly, for doing so for the benefit of their client.”

Justice always on the mind

With three kids all under 13 years old, Jesse sees his work as paving the way for their futures. Though they’re still young, Jesse hopes they’ll recognize his devotion to helping those in need. But no matter what, he wants a career for them that’s as rewarding as his.

The business behind the law firm

It’s true that, regardless of the case details, there is always a chance the jury remains unconvinced. It is simply part of being a trial attorney. So that makes Jesse’s onus two-fold: fight as hard as possible for justice and have systems in place if all else fails.

“You must forecast your revenue based on what your cases may settle for or what a jury may give you. Without being able to forecast your revenue, it’s very difficult to decide what your expense budget should be.”

One of those systems Jesse has implemented at Bernheim Kelley is a strategic partnership with Esquire Bank. Because contingency fee law firms only get paid if/when they win a settlement, finding a financial partner that understood the business’ complexities, risks, and rewards was paramount.

“Esquire Bank provides us with a lot of tools and services that other banks don’t. [They] know our needs as a plaintiff’s law firm and really understand how we operate. That sort of insight into our business plays a tremendous role in making our relationship better than with another bank,” said Jesse.

Thanks to Esquire Bank’s support, Jesse and his law firm are even better equipped to continue handling prolific cases that will set the precedent of conduct among large institutions for years to come.

“I would like to see [my kids] grow up in a safer world – a world where companies are not as concerned about profits as much as they’re concerned about doing the right thing.”