Attorney Paul Bernard is committed to serving his clients by treating them with dignity and respect, by humanizing them to the court and opposing counsel, and by expeditiously and aggressively assisting them by protecting their legal, civil, and human rights through what is sometimes a daunting and complex legal system.
Paul Bernard was born in New Jersey and raised in Pennsylvania. Eventually, Mr. Bernard and his family moved to Florida, where he attended Fort Pierce Central High School. He attended Methodist University in Fayetteville, North Carolina, where he was a four-year Men’s Basketball team member. Upon graduating from Methodist University, Mr. Bernard received a Bachelor of Science in Justice Studies with a concentration in Forensic Science. Upon graduating from Methodist University, Mr. Bernard matriculated into Florida Coastal School of Law and earned his Juris Doctor. While in law school, Mr. Bernard honed his trial skills in a trial advocacy class taught by a well-known prosecutor in Duval County.
Paul began his career at the Public Defender Office for the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit in Fort Pierce, Florida. During Mr. Bernard’s tenure at the Public Defender’s Office, he worked in the Juvenile division, misdemeanor division, and then the felony division, representing those accused of all degrees of crimes, including drugs, battery, gun crimes, and grand theft. This broad spectrum allowed Mr. Bernard to gain great knowledge of the vast criminal law arena. Mr. Bernard had the opportunity to try dozens of cases as lead counsel and obtain favorable jury verdicts. While with Meltzer & Bell, PA, Mr. Bernard has been the catalyst in retrieving favorable results on a wide array of serious 1st Degree Felony matters, Sex Offenses, Violent Crimes and Drug Trafficking matters. Most recently he was able to convince a jury that a verdict could not be reached on a client of the firms that was accused of possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. On re-trial, the Office of the State Attorneys tested the gun for DNA. It came back to our client. Mr. Bernard still believed in his client’s innocence so he took the matter to trial again. The verdict was not guilty. Our client was facing 15 years in prison. Paul has convinced Detectives not to move forward on serious sex offenses and resolve cases seemingly helpless to rare plea deals. No facts of any case are too complex or serious for Mr. Bernard.
Mr. Bernard continued his career in the area of personal injury law. Initially, he worked as a defense attorney representing insurers, insureds, and corporations. As a result, Mr. Bernard gained valuable insight regarding how personal injury cases were evaluated. He utilized this experience to later represent plaintiffs in maximizing their recovery for injuries sustained, whether in auto and motorcycle accidents, slip and falls, or premises liability matters. Collectively, Mr. Bernard’s practice in criminal law and personal injury has made him a zealous advocate who can offer a wide array of legal solutions for his clients.
He is admitted to practice law in all courts throughout Florida. He is also federally barred by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. He is a St. Lucie County Bar Association member and serves as Chair of the Diversity Committee for the Martin County Bar Association. Mr. Bernard is also fluent in Haitian Creole and frequently speaks on local panels to educate the community about various legal topics. Mr. Bernard handles criminal matters for Meltzer & Bell, P.A. from Broward County, Palm Beach County, and through the Treasure Coast concerning simple misdemeanors to serious life felonies.
Mr. Bernard is also lead counsel for all personal injury matters with Meltzer & Bell, P.A.