Telephone: 407-423-9545







Launa K. Rutherford

Ms. Rutherford received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Central Florida (Magna Cum Laude) in 1979. Thereafter, she attended Florida State University in Tallahassee where she obtained her law degree. After graduation from law school in 1981, Ms. Rutherford began her career as an Assistant Public Defender for the Ninth Judicial Circuit where she remained until January 1987. As an Assistant Public Defender, she practiced all phases of criminal law, including practicing in the juvenile, traffic, misdemeanor and felony divisions.  She was named Felony Division Chief before her departure to join Grower Ketcham. As an Assistant Public Defender, Ms. Rutherford gained invaluable trial experience that remains helpful in her representation of Grower Ketcham clients.

With the depth of litigation experience which Ms. Rutherford received as an Assistant Public Defender, she has practiced in nearly every major litigation area. Her practice is currently largely devoted to medical negligence defense, nursing home defense, premises liability defense, administrative health law issues and representation of individuals before licensing and regulatory boards. Ms. Rutherford enjoys a reputation in the Central Florida litigation community as a seasoned professional in the defense of nursing home claims.

Ms. Rutherford has managed cases in Orange, Seminole, Manatee, Hillsborough, Osceola, Pasco, Lake and Polk counties. She regularly practices before the Florida Department of Health. Ms. Rutherford has superb organizational skills that often result in her being asked to defend complex, paper-intensive cases. Ms. Rutherford has been called upon to write and present seminars and lectures and has written and co-written various articles in health law periodicals. She has even written a chapter on physician discipline in a Legal Guide for Physicians. Ms. Rutherford has established a reputation for fairness, competence, reason, organization and professionalism. She is an AV® Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell and is a certified mediator.

Ms. Rutherford is a committed Florida State University fan. She enjoys being a spectator at all types of sporting events. In what little spare time she has, she devotes herself to her family - especially to her grandchildren.

Seminole Community College with honors, A.A., 1977
University of Central Florida with honors, BA, 1979
Florida State University, J.D., 1981

Core Practice Areas
Anti-trust litigation
Civil rights violations
Correctional facility claims
Elder law
General insurance defense
Health law
Hospital law-including credentialing, risk management and bylaws issues
Medical malpractice defense
Nursing home defense
State medical licensure

Legal Experience
1982-87    Assistant Public Defender Ninth Judicial Circuit, Orange County   Orlando, Florida
1987-present    Partner    Grower, Ketcham, Rutherford, Bronson, Eide & Telan, P.A.   Maitland, Florida

Notable Cases
Eckstein v. Keller-Boles, 988 So. 2d 1098 (Fla. 2d DCA 2008)
Krol v. City of Orlando, 778 So. 2d 490 (Fla. 5th DCA 2001)
Jordan v. Adventist Health System/Sunbelt, 717 So. 2d 1038 (Fla. 5th DCA 1998)
Hedrick v. Florida Hosp. Medical Ctr., 633 So. 2d 1153 (Fla. 5th DCA 1994)
Department of Professional Regulation v. Mills, 606 So. 2d 1168 (Fla. 1st DCA 1992)

Key Presentations and Publications
"Physician Discipline," A Legal Guide for Physicians (Matthew Bender & Associates, New York); 1988.

"Documentation Myths In Litigation," Provider, July 2009.  Co-authored by Dan Small
"Substance Abuse and the Physician," Central Florida Physician, December. 1990.  Co-authored by Joseph M. Taraska.
"Dispensing Drugs," Central Florida Physician, January 1989.  Co-authored by Joseph M. Taraska.
"What the Doctor Should Know About the Watchdog's M.O.," Central Florida Physician, December, 1988.  Co-authored by Joseph M. Taraska.

Admissions, Membership and Affiliations
The Florida Bar
Elder Law Section
Administrative Law Section
Health Law Section
United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
United States District Court, Middle District of Florida
American Bar Association
Health Law Section
Litigation Section
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Florida Bar Central Florida Medical Malpractice Claims Committee
Orange County Bar Association
Defense Research Institute
Florida Hospital Association
Florida Society for Healthcare Risk Management and Patient Safety
Certified in Civil Circuit and County Mediations
The Florida Academy of Professional Mediators, Inc

Honors and Awards
Graduated with Honors, Seminole Community College
Graduated with Honors, University of Central Florida (Magna Cum Laude)