Mary Fortson, Esq.


Mary Fortson attended law school when her four children were in elementary, middle, and high school. After graduating as valedictorian of her class at Stetson University College of Law in 1997, she began her legal career in insurance defense. She began working with Chip Merlin in his plaintiff-focused property insurance practice in January of 2000.

Mary spent the remainder of her legal career at Merlin Law Group. During many of those years she was directly involved in Merlin’s more complex cases, projects, and appeals. She also became the firm’s first Managing Attorney, providing guidance, supervision, and mentorship to all attorneys at the firm.

Mary stepped down as Managing Attorney in 2017, but she continued to work with the firm in an advisory capacity for the next five year. During that time, she provided administrative, technical, and ethical oversight for all aspects of the firm’s practice. Mary is currently retired from the day-to-day activities of the firm, but she remains a part of Merlin Law Group in an Of Counsel capacity.


St. Petersburg, Florida
Juris Doctor
Honors: Magna Cum Laude
Honors: Class Valedictorian
Honors: Dean’s List Each Semester
Honors: West Publishing Awards for Outstanding Scholastic Achievement
Honors: Corpus Juris Secundrum Award for Scholastic
Excellence, Civil Procedure
Honors: Lazan & Trute, P.A. Trusts Award

Allentown, Pennsylvania
Bachelor of Science
Honors: Magna Cum Laude