Patricia DodsonChief of Staff & General Counsel
As Chief of Staff and General Counsel of K9s For Warriors, Patty serves as the chief personnel manager and legal advisor to the organization. She feels blessed that her diverse legal and management experience has given her the opportunity to help this amazing organization carry out its mission. Helping Warriors navigate federal and state laws pertaining to service dogs, stop disability discrimination, and ease public access, is her favorite role. Otherwise, her responsibilities cover a broad range of personnel, finance, business, contract, and risk management, and general legal compliance and services. Patty draws on her wealth of litigation and client counseling experience when providing support to every department and team of K9s For Warriors. As an AV-Preeminent-rated attorney, she has earned the respect of her peers, clients, and the judiciary, in the courtroom and in the boardroom, where she has represented corporations, individuals, employers, employees, the State of Florida, plaintiffs and defendants. Throughout her 25-year legal career, she has tried more than 70 civil and criminal jury trials to verdict, including labor and employment law cases, federal diversity actions, commercial and contract law cases, actions on insurance contracts, will and probate contests, and civil rights, personal injury, medical malpractice and wrongful death cases. Patty has been a partner in two highly regarded local law firms and most recently served as the Managing Director of the State Attorney’s Office where she tried first degree murder cases while providing counsel directly to the elected State Attorney and managing all aspects of the largest law firm in northeast Florida (350 government employees).
As a native of Jacksonville, Patty is committed to giving back to her local and legal community and is especially excited about being selected to the 2020 Leadership Jacksonville Class. She is honored to currently serve as Chair of The Florida Bar Code and Rules of Evidence Committee on appointment by The Florida Bar President, after chairing and serving on many committees for The Florida Bar and the Jacksonville Bar Association. Patty is a Master of the Bench in the Chester Bedell American Inn of Court, has served as the Past President of the Jacksonville Women Lawyers Association (JWLA), received the JWLA Women of the Year Award and continues to provide pro bono counsel to other nonprofits and indigent clients.
As an avid outdoorswoman, Patty is also passionate about protecting our natural resources for generations to enjoy, which lead her to serve on the Board of the Public Trust Environmental Legal Institute of Florida, where she is currently the Secretary. She spends her “spare time” on her horse property surrounded by three protected Preserves she calls the Crown Jewels of Jacksonville where she plays with all of her 4-legged children, including a German Shepherd from K9s (Chase), an Australian Cattle Dog (Blue), 4 horses (Blaze, Apache, PC and Cadi), and 3 cats (Lakota, Apache and Winchester). Growing up as a competitive athlete and an experienced skydiver, she now limits herself to the non-impact sports of playing golf and shooting sporting clays.