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Richard M. Dunn, prominent aviation lawyer and a founding partner of Miami’s Bilzin Sumberg Dunn Baena Price & Axelrod, has left with two colleagues to join the Miami office of Shook, Hardy & Bacon. Dunn, a 57-year-old Miami native, said he left because of the opportunity to work for a firm with a national reputation and one that focuses strictly on trial law. Shook, Hardy & Bacon, based in Kansas City, Mo., has about 600 lawyers nationwide, including 60 in its Miami office. Dunn began work there as a partner Tuesday, along with Sherril M. Colombo, who joined as “of counsel,” and Christopher Brown, who is an associate. Dunn, Colombo and Brown worked as a team at Bilzin Sumberg. Managing partner John Sumberg could not be reached Wednesday by press time. His firm, which concentrates on commercial real estate, aviation litigation, restructuring and bankruptcy, land use/zoning and governmental law, corporate and securities work, among other specialties, has removed Dunn from its name and is now called Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod. After an American Airlines jetliner crashed in 1995 near Cali, Colombia, Dunn defended the makers of the plane’s flight management computer and its navigation database. He also represented the manufacturer of the oxygen canisters blamed in the 1996 ValuJet crash in the Everglades. He continues to represent Fine Air in cases related to that cargo carrier’s DC-8 crash on takeoff from Miami International Airport in 1997. Dunn in 1998 was a founder of Bilzin Sumberg Dunn & Axelrod, then a 40-lawyer firm formed through the buyout of the Miami office of New York-based Ruben Baum Levin Constant Friedman & Bilzin. The firm now has 75 lawyers. Dunn says he left the firm on good terms, holds his former colleagues in high regard and expects to refer cases to them. But he said that his client base is increasingly national in nature. “The ability to attract additional clients with a firm of a national reputation, that opportunity is really better, in my view, here with Shook, Hardy & Bacon.”

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