Jill F. Bechtold is a Partner in the Litigation Practice of Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP.
Jill F. Bechtold practices in the area of civil litigation focusing on medical and professional liability defense, employment disputes, product liability defense, business litigation, trucking litigation and insurance defense. Her clients include drug and medical device companies, business owners, physicians, hospitals, trucking carriers and insurers. She represents clients in state and federal court actions as well as arbitrates matters under the Florida Arbitration Code and the American Arbitration Association (AAA). She is experienced in defending professional licensure actions, including defending medical physicians in Department of Health investigations, and licensed companies in Department of Business and Professional Regulation actions.
In 2016, Ms. Bechtold accepted her invitation to become a member of the International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC). She is a Barrister of the Chester Bedell Inn of Court (2014-2017), a member of the Defense Research Institute (DRI), and also serves as the co-chair of the Women & the Law Committee for the Florida Defense Lawyer’s Association. Ms. Bechtold is a preeminent AV-rated lawyer by LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell, a designated Rising Star by Florida Super Lawyers® Magazine in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 and a Super Lawyer by Florida Super Lawyers® Magazine in 2016 and 2017. She was also named an ‘Up & Comer’ by Florida Trend magazine in 2013, 2014, and 2015. She was selected as one of 2015’s Women Leaders in Law by ALM Media, in partnership with Fortune Magazine.
Ms. Bechtold’s publications include “The Florida Supreme Court Rejects Caps on Noneconomic Damages in Wrongful Death Medical Malpractice Cases” featured in Trial Advocate Quarterly, Spring 2013; Medical Liability Monitor, April 2014; IADC Medical Defense and Health Law Committee, June 2014 and “McCall v. United States Decision and Consequences for Medical Malpractice Caps”, featured by MedMal Direct, April 25, 2014. Her article, “Case Resolution Strategies” was featured by MedMarc, March 31, 2016. Ms. Bechtold has presented “Reptile Tactics: A Defense Counsel’s Guide to the Reptile Strategy” nationally and statewide, presenting to over 40 state defense and professional organizations.
In 2015, Ms. Bechtold was named a “Women of Influence” by the Jacksonville Business Journal for her leadership in Northeast Florida’s professional and civic community. She was appointed by the Office of the Mayor to the Jacksonville Children’s Commission (JCC) Board of Directors and is a graduate of Leadership Jacksonville, Class of 2015. Ms. Bechtold is also past-president of the Board of Directors for Girl’s Inc. of Jacksonville, the local chapter of the national Girl’s Inc. organization. She helped create and launch the young professional’s division of the Board, G.I.R.L.S. (Girl’s Inc. Rising Leaders Society).
“Ensure Your Trucking Company’s Safety Representative Holds Up to Direct and Cross-Examination at Trial“, DRI For The Defense, December 2019
DRI Faculty Speaker, Trucking Primer Seminar – 2019
Speaking Engagement, Arkansas Trucking Seminar – 2018
Speaking Engagement, Walmart Counsel Seminar – 2018
“The Florida Supreme Court Rejects Caps on Noneconomic Damages” in Wrongful Death Medical
Malpractice Cases,” Trial Advocate Quarterly, Spring 2013; Medical Liability Monitor, April 2014; IADC
Medical Defense and Health Law Committee, June 2014
“McCall v. United States Decision and Consequences for Medical Malpractice Caps”, MedMal Direct, April 2014
“Prescription For Oversight: Growing Liability for Pharmacists,” The National Trial Lawyers, April 2015
“Case Resolution Strategies,” MedMarc, March 2016
“Reptile Tactics: A Defense Counsel’s Guide to the Reptile Strategy”
“State of Emergency? A Flurry of New Case Law Creates Uphill Battles for Defending Medical Malpractice Claims in Florida,” Trial Advocate Quarterly, Summer 2017
“A Comprehensive Guide for Defending Opioid Claims,” Jill Bechtold, Jacquelyn S. Clarke, John E. Hall, Jr., Stephanie R. McDonald, Jacob Raehn, Annalese Reese. Hall Booth Smith, PC, March 2018