Ward A. Meythaler
Ward A. Meythaler has been a shareholder in Merkle & Magri P.A. since 1989. Mr. Meythaler has extensive litigation experience in federal and state trial courts and agencies. He has also handled appeals to the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, the Florida Second District Court of Appeals, the Florida Fifth District Court of Appeals and the Illinois First District Appellate Court.
He has represented clients in a wide range of areas, including business and mass torts, insurance, the Privacy Act, the Federal Tort Claims Act, the False Claims Act (FCA), employment discrimination, whistleblower, attorney and judicial misconduct, civil rights, personal injury, defamation, drug licensing, healthcare fraud, environmental issues, church law, fiduciary duties, property rights, products liability, contracts, and federal criminal law.
Mr. Meythaler began his legal career as an associate and shortly thereafter became a partner at Keck, Mahin & Cate, a Chicago law firm that provided legal services primarily to businesses and their officers. At the firm, Mr. Meythaler primarily represented clients in civil litigation in federal and state trial and appellate courts.
Mr. Meythaler shifted his practice to the public sector when he was appointed as an Assistant United States Attorney. Mr. Meythaler served in the criminal division of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida, located in Tampa, Florida, in the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force. As an Assistant U.S. Attorney, he investigated or prosecuted federal criminal cases, including matters involving organized crime, racketeering, continuing criminal enterprises, public corruption, child pornography, major drug importations, money laundering, tax violations, bank robbery, arson, perjury, obstruction of justice and environmental violations.
As an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Mr. Meythaler prosecuted several significant criminals, including Salvatore "Silent Sam" Lorenzo and Leon Wood. Each of these individuals was a part of a large indictment described in United States v. Russo, 796 F.2d 1443 (11th Cir. 1986). These two particular cases were also referenced in Cigar City Mafia, Scott M. Deitche (Fort Lee, New Jersey, Barricade 2004). One of the witnesses in the prosecution of Leon Wood was the subject of a book entitled Trafficking: the Boom and Bust of the Air America Cocaine Ring, Berkeley Rice (Scribner, 1990). Mr. Meythaler was also involved in the prosecution of Clifford "Boss Hog" Wise, a major Tampa crack dealer, as discussed in United States v. Wise, 881 F.2d 970 (11th Cir. 1989). Mr. Meythaler was involved in a large drug importation investigation surrounding this prosecution which was featured on the 48 Hours television series.
Mr. Meythaler earned a Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School in 1973. He completed basic and advanced courses from the National Institute of Trial Advocacy in 1978 and 1983. He also completed the Department of Justice's advocacy program for Assistant U.S. Attorneys in 1984. Mr. Meythaler is admitted to practice in the State of Florida, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. He is currently an inactive member of the Illinois bar.
Mr. Meythaler also received a Bachelor of Science degree from Iowa State University in 1969. During his undergraduate studies at Iowa State University, Mr. Meythaler achieved multiple distinctions. He became a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Phi Eta Sigma academic honoraries and earned the High Scholarship Student Award for Highest Record in Curriculum. He was awarded the Big 8 Conference Athlete Scholar Award and an NCAA Post Graduate Scholarship Award in 1969. Mr. Meythaler was also the NCAA National Champion on rings in gymnastics in 1969, the Big 8 Conference Champion on rings in 1968 and 1969, and achieved All-American distinction in 1969.
Mr. Meythaler has participated in multiple cases that have reported decisions, including the following: