Rory is a nationally recognized litigator specializing in complex litigation, white collar defense, political law, labor and employment, and strategic consulting. Prior to joining the Douglas Firm, Rory was a litigator at two international law firms representing Fortune 50 clients in dozens of jurisdictions. In addition to civil litigation, Rory served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice and currently serves as a Judge Advocate General (JAG) Officer for the Florida National Guard and the U.S. Army.
Over his fifteen-year legal career, Rory represented a broad array of clients in federal and state court, including:
- Bank of America, N.A. in bank fraud, Bank Secrecy Act, money laundering, and emergency litigation.
- Toyota Motor Co., In re Toyota Motor Corp. Unintended Acceleration Prods. Liab. Litig. (M.D.L. No. 2151/J.C.C.P. No. 1421). Member of international team defending against class actions arising from vehicle recalls.
- Healthcare providers in False Claims Act qui tam
- Large government contractors in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigations and defense.
- Alston & Bird Pro-Bono Attorney of the Year nominee 2009 and 2010. Successfully recovered elderly woman’s home from dishonest trustee. Won breach of contract action on behalf of terminally ill student. Secured full payment of life insurance proceeds on behalf of widow.
- Conducted federal grand jury investigations in dozens of matters leading to indictments.
- Tried over 30 matters before federal district and magistrate courts, including a jury trial of a multi-part narcotics distribution and money laundering conspiracy (guilty on all counts).
- Lead attorney at a variety of hearings and grand jury proceedings, including detention hearings, first appearances/arraignments, sentencing hearings, and probation/supervised release violation hearings.
Rory graduate cum laude from the University of San Diego School of Law where he served on the San Diego Law Review, was a San Diego Merit Scholar, and was inducted into the Order of the Barristers. Rory is admitted to practice in Florida, Georgia, and California. Rory completed his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (Go Blue!) twice earning University Honors.
In addition to his legal work, Rory serves and served in government positions at all levels. Elected in 2019, Rory proudly represents Jacksonville City Council District 13, including the Beaches communities of Atlantic Beach, Intercoastal West, Jacksonville Beach, Mayport and Neptune Beach. Prior to his service in uniform, Rory was the Chief Executive Officer of K9s For Warriors. Under his leadership, K9s For Warriors grew into the nation’s largest provider of Service Dogs for disabled American veterans and the largest Service Dog agency in the world using primarily rescue dogs. Before earning his law degree, Rory served as a Special Assistant for California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and as a Deputy Associate Director at the White House for President George W. Bush. He was working in the White House on 9/11 and, ultimately, served as part of the startup staff for the U.S. Office of Homeland Security.
Rory is a national advocate for American veterans focusing primarily on combat-related PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injuries, veteran suicide, and veteran homelessness. In 2015, he partnered with then-Florida Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL-6) to author and introduce the Puppies Assisting Wounded Service Members (PAWS) Act (signed into law in 2021). Rory also founded The FireWatch, the nation’s first regional effort to combat veteran suicide; the Association of Service Dog Providers for Military Veterans; and Service Dog Pass, the nation’s first nationally recognized credential for legitimate Service Dogs. In 2014, Rory scored a tie in his first ever run for political office and a seat on the Neptune Beach City Council was decided by the drawing of numbered ping-pong balls.
- Leadership Jacksonville (2014 (the best class))
- Leadership Florida (2015)
- Presidential Leadership Scholars (2017)
- Jacksonville Business Journal “40 Under 40” (2017)
- Pet Age “40 Under 40” (2017)
- Jacksonville Business Journal “Ultimate CEO” (2018)
- National Association of Veterans and Families, “Champion for Veterans” Award (2018)
- Maverick Pack “Future40” (2019).