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About Steve Watrel

Sometimes the best way to describe a lawyer is to tell you what he isn’t. Steve Watrel is not about over-promising and under-delivering. He’s not about handing cases off to paralegals, case managers or junior attorneys fresh out of law school. He’s not about trying to build a legal empire at the expense of doing the job right.

When you work with Steve, you can expect 100% dedication to you and your case. Unlike other firms, we have no quotas or volume requirements, which we believe leads to poor outcomes. All cases are handled personally by Steve Watrel with the aim of getting you everything that you deserve.

We don’t treat clients like numbers. Calls are returned quickly with a knowledgeable response. Clients are always informed about their case. We truly listen to you. We treat you with respect.

After we listen to what you have to say, Steve Watrel will fight for you. We’re aggressive and unrelenting when representing clients.

Does that approach work? We know it does. But you be the jury.

As an attorney, Steve has worked on many cases including:

If you’ve been injured or lost a loved one in an accident or through someone else’s carelessness, we can help. Contact us to set up a free consultation about your case. There is no obligation.


Our Philosophy

With Steve Watrel, you can expect 100% dedication to you and your case. Unlike others, we have no quotas or volume requirements.

Continued Growth

Attorney Steve Watrel refuses to rest on his laurels. Steve constantly makes sure that he is one step ahead of defense attorneys.

In The Community

Steve has a strong commitment to his community. He takes pride in working alongside local charities with the goal of helping those in need.


Check out a couple of our past print newsletters loaded with news, featured verdicts and settlements,* general information for consumers and much more.

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*Every case is different. Past litigation success does not guarantee future results.

Our Team

April Tapp

Originally from Arkansas, marketing coordinator April Tapp  joined Steve Watrel in May of 2015, as his marketing coordinator. She attended college at Lyon College and graduated in 1998 with a B.A. in English and a minor in psychology.

April has taught upper level writing courses for many years and is now putting her expertise in communications to work for us. Energetic and vivacious, she focuses on building relationships with colleagues, current and past clients, and the community to ensure that we provide excellent service and exceed expectations for those we work with. A member of the Florida Justice Association, April is always searching for opportunities for Steve to advocate for seniors in our community. Never without a smile, she is honored to assist with client needs and work diligently with those who contact us.

April is married to her high-school sweetheart Jeff and they have two boys. She is a loyal Arkansas Razorback fan and an avid foodie, who enjoys the beach, fashion, and interior design. She is actively involved in both women’s ministry and student ministry at Chets Creek Church.

Pat Hill

Pat Hill joined Steve Watrel in January of 2017 and is a tremendous asset to our team. She was born in Santa Monica, California, but moved to Jacksonville as a child and continues to call the River City home.

Pat boasts over 40 years of experience in personal injury and automobile accidents, medical malpractice, nursing home abuse and neglect, insurance defense, commercial litigation, estate and trust planning, and family law. She has worked in law firms in Florida and both North Carolina and South Carolina. She brings a wealth of knowledge from her experience with several of the premier firms in Jacksonville, including Fernandez Trial Lawyers, P.A,; Harrell & Harrell; Barnes & Cohen; and David, Morrow, & Edwards. She also held the position of Legal Accounts Coordinator as a liaison to attorneys for Emas Spine and Brain Specialists. Her strengths lie in personal injury litigation litigation preparation and trial work.

She enjoys swimming, gardening, and traveling and adores her two Pomeranians.

Our Proven Approach

What We Do:

Steve Watrel and his associates are in the business of fighting nursing home chains and on a personal mission to eradicate elder neglect and abuse. As attorneys, we can’t undo what was done to your loved one, but we are here to help you get the justice your family deserves. What this means for you is the respect and recognition of your family member as an individual and restitution of the wrong that was done.

How We Do It:

Based on his 30+ years of fighting for elder rights in Jacksonville, Steve Watrel, has developed a proven approach to combatting nursing home abuse seen in the big chains and perpetuated by insurance companies. Steve’s legal process and expertise is widely heralded in law trade publications across the nation and other attorney’s regularly seek his special counsel on these types of cases.

Steve Watrel, P.A Proven Approach to Fighting Elder Abuse:

  • Personal Discovery
  • Team Approach
  • Case Proven Before Served
  • Preparation & Trial

Personal Discovery

The first action taken is to understand your loved one and acknowledge them as an individual and a person that matters. Through an interview and discovery process, Steve and his team will come to know your loved one’s story and understand how your family is being impacted. The common vision the team has is to uncover the truth and identify those responsible. The team comprises of medical experts, forensic accountants and legal professionals.

Team Approach

Next, a team led by Steve will be assembled to document all of the needed evidence to prove your case. This is important because evidence in these types of cases often gets destroyed. We will fight to obtain records and ensure all evidence (physical, electronic, and testimonial) is preserved to obtain the best possible outcome. Rest assured, that Steve retains the team of experts as early as possible choosing only the best in the country that work in the field. Most have over 30 years of legal experience and are seasoned experts authored on the area of their expertise.

Case Proven Before Served

Attorney Steve Watrel prepares every nursing home abuse case as if it’s going to trial. In fact, he will not take a case unless he’s prepared to take it to trial confirming each theory and ensuring ultimate success. Along the way, you as the client are intimately involved in the entire process and active in each decision.

“Steve Watrel and his team are like our family. After our mother was injured in a nursing home, we were left reeling with emotions and just wanted justice for our mom. He really cares her and us and treated everyone with respect and care.” –Susan M., Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

After all of the evidence is assembled, the decision is made with the client to go to trial. We strive for full value and are passionate about achieving justice.

Preparation & Trial

We know that the thought of facing your loved one’s abuser in court is daunting. So, we do extensive preparation for trial to ensure a smooth trial with clear outcomes. Our clients are thoroughly prepared by Steve and his legal team including our team of jury advisors. Steve’s proprietary trial preparation system has been refined over 30 years with the input of multiple experts. You will feel empowered and prepared.

Our goal is to bring life to the testimony and tell an emotional story that reflects your loved one in a way that is honoring to them and the situation. Appellate counsel is involved in your case early on to make sure it’s clean and clear in the unlikely case of appeal.