Ralph A. Peterson

Ralph A. Peterson has been a partner in the firm since 1986, providing legal services and counselling to clients in civil litigation and appeal matters, with a focus and specialty the field of labor and employment law.  He is AV peer-review rated for high ethical standards and preeminent legal ability in the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory. He is a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. Election as a Fellow is the highest recognition by one’s colleagues of sustained outstanding performance in the profession, exemplifying integrity, dedication, and excellence.

Mr. Peterson has practiced primarily in the area of labor and employment law, civil rights law, government and administrative law, commercial and business law, and civil trial and appellate practice for more than 39 years. He represents private and public sector management clients in all facets of labor and employment law. Mr. Peterson excels in the counseling of business and management for successful strategies and effective solutions to deal with the legal challenges and problems encountered in the workplace. He also has extensive experience as a negotiator and advocate in labor law proceedings and as a trial attorney in employment litigation. Additionally, he represents property owners in defense of claims for disability discrimination in violation of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for failure to make reasonable modifications to public accommodations and facilities or failure to remove architectural barriers to allow access for disabled persons.

Mr. Peterson is honored to be a charter member and past president of the Academy of Florida Management Attorneys and also serves as a charter member of the Management Labor & Employment Roundtable (MLER), a national association of labor and employment lawyers recognized for their experience, expertise, and professionalism. He is an Emeritus Master in the Pensacola American Inn of Court, which is dedicated to the education of young attorneys and promotes the practice of law with ethics, integrity, and professionalism.


Florida State University College of Law, Tallahassee, Florida

  • J.D. (With Honors, Cum Laude) – 1980

Cornell University, Ithaca, New York

  • B.S. – 1973
  • Major: Computer Science/Electrical Engineering
Bar Membership
  • Florida, 1980
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1988
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit, 1981
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 1st Circuit, 2008
  • U.S. Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit, 2011
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Florida, 1980
  • U.S. District Court Central District of Illinois, 2005
  • U.S. District Court Middle District of Florida, 2010
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Florida, 2013
Representative Cases
  • Long v. Ellis Environmental Group, LC, 2007 WL 1020005 (N.D. Fla 2007)
  • Kennedy v. Trustmark National Bank, 2006 WL 2434920 (N.D. Fla 2006)
  • Jakubiec v. Sacred Heart Health System, Inc., 2005 WL 1261443 (N.D. Fla. 2005)
  • Saltmarsh, Cleveland & Gund, P.A. v. Pappas, 799 So.2d 348 (Fla. 1st DCA 2001)
  • Olmsted v. Taco Bell Corporation, 141 F.3d 1457 (11th Cir. 1998)
  • Thompson v. Sand Cliffs Owners Association, Inc., 1998 WL 35177067 (N.D. Fla. 1998)
  • Zaben v. Air Products & Chemicals, Inc., 129 F.3d 1453 (11th Cir. 1997)
  • General Longshore Workers v. Pate Stevedore Co., 1993 WL 603297, 145 L.R.R.M. 2275 (N.D. Fla. 1993)
  • Howell v. Chick-Fil-A, Inc., 1993 WL 603296, 127 Lab.Cas. P 33,051, 1 Wage & Ho (N.D. Fla. 1993)
Honors and Awards
  • Florida Super Lawyers, 2006 — 2021
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Labor and Employment, 1999-2021
  • Recognized as One of America’s Leading Lawyers for Business Employment Law by Chambers USA Client Guide, 2004 — 2021
  • Recognized in An International Who’s Who of Management, Labor and Employment Lawyers, 2010 — 2018
  • Florida Legal Elite, 2005 — 2006, Labor and Employment Law
Community/Civic Involvement
  • Board of Trustees, Northwest Florida Legal Services, Inc., President & Member, 1984 — 1996
  • Northwest Florida Water Management District, Governing Board, Chairman and Member, 1989 — 1993
  • Mentor, Court Reentry Program, U.S. Dist. Ct., N.D. Fla., 2011 – Present
  • President and Vice President, Re-Entry Alliance Pensacola, Inc., 2013 – Present
  • Pensacola Opera, Inc., Board of Trustees, Member, 2012 — Present; Chair, 2019 — 2021; and Vice Chair and Chair, Governance Committee, 2014 — 2019
  • Gulf Breeze United Methodist Church, Legal Counsel, 2017 — Present; Board of Trustees, 2017 — Present; Finance Committee, 2020 — Present; Legal Counsel, Staff Parish Relations Committee, 2015­ — 2017; Choir, Member and Section Leader, 1995 — Present; Disciple Bible Study Leader, 1999 — 2006




Professional Associations
  • The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, Fellow, 2014 — Present
  • Academy of Florida Management Attorneys, President, 2010; Vice President, 2009; Secretary-Treasurer, 2008; and Charter Member, 2001 – Present
  • The Management Labor & Employment Roundtable, USA, Charter Member, 2000 – Present
  • American Inns of Court, Pensacola Chapter, Master and Emeritus Master, 2001 – Present
  • Florida First Judicial Circuit Grievance Committee, Chairman, 2000 – 2003
  • Escambia-Santa Rosa Bar Association, 1981-present
  • American Bar Association, 1980-Present

Email: rap@beggslane.com
Direct: 850-469-3308

Legal Secretary
Jackie DeVille: jd@beggslane.com


Jill L. Callihan: jlc@beggslane.com

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