Paul R. Fowkes brings a diverse legal background to his practice representing consumers and injured victims throughout Florida.
A native of Morgantown, W. Va., Fowkes received a B.A. in history and political science at West Virginia University in 1999 and his J.D. from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis in 2003.
He moved to Florida to begin his law career and practiced for several years with a large and prestigious defense firm in Tampa prior to joining forces with colleagues Lawrence Disparti and Ryan Hasanbasic to form Disparti Fowkes & Hasanbasic, a firm focused on representing consumers against debt collectors and injured victims in personal injury matters.
Fowkes says the firm was created in direct response to a vital need felt by many consumers who fall behind on debt payments and then experience harassment from debt collectors.
Oftentimes, he says, debt collectors cross the line and violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act or the Florida Consumer Protection Practices Act in a variety of ways: by sending threatening letters, adding charges that are not warranted, or being disrespectful on the phone.
“There’s a lot of this stuff going on and consumers don’t really know about this area of the law,” Fowkes says. “Consumers are continuously being contacted by debt collectors to whom they owe money, but the average consumer never thinks that he or she can actually sue these debt collectors and turn the tables on them.”
He says the firm takes an aggressive approach when they take these cases. While many lawyers’ first step would be to issue a demand and/or cease and desist letter to the debt collectors, Fowkes said that the attorneys at Disparti Fowkes & Hasanbasic immediately file suit.
“We take these matters seriously, and want to let the collectors know that our clients will not back down,” he says.
Fowkes has found that being aggressive in debt-collection cases for plaintiffs is a successful approach—he’s recorded numerous settlements to clients’ satisfaction.
“The main message we want to send is: Fight back and turn the tables on debt collectors.”
Fowkes’ work as a zealous advocate for clients has attracted the attention of his peers in the legal profession. He has been selected as a Rising Star by Florida Super Lawyers, a distinction held by the top lawyers in the state under age 40.
Away from the law office and the courthouse, Fowkes is a passionate basketball and football fan and enjoys spending time with his family.