Article Detail

News & Knowledge

22 Lowndes Attorneys Named 2020 Florida Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

June 04, 2020

ORLANDO, FL – Lowndes is pleased to announce that 15 of the firm's attorneys have been named to the 2020 Florida Super Lawyers list. Additionally, seven of the firm's attorneys have been recognized as the 2020 Florida Rising Stars. These attorneys are recognized for attaining a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement in their field.

According to Super Lawyers, the attorneys were selected based on a multiphase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates and peer reviews by practice area. The Super Lawyers list recognizes no more than 5 percent of attorneys in the state. The Rising Stars list, which includes attorneys under the age of 40 or in practice for less than 10 years, recognizes no more than 2.5 percent of attorneys in each state.

The Lowndes attorneys and their primary practice area on the 2020 Florida Super Lawyers and Florida Rising Stars lists include the following:

2020 “Super Lawyers”
Richard Dellinger, Business Litigation
Alex Dobrev, Real Estate
William T. Dymond, Jr.*, Real Estate 
Miranda F. Fitzgerald*, Land Use/Zoning 
Julia L. Frey*, Estate & Probate 
Michael R. Gibbons*, Construction Litigation 
Jon M. Gibbs, Intellectual Property
Jonathan P. Huels, Environmental Law
Hal H. Kantor*, Land Use/Zoning 
S. Brendan Lynch, Eminent Domain
Shawn G. Rader*, General Litigation 
Morey Raiskin*, Employment & Labor 
Michael Ryan*, Real Estate 
Norma Stanley*, Estate & Probate 
Terry C. Young*, Business Litigation 

2020 “Rising Stars”
Hanna Edeback, Real Estate
Andrew Gluck, Real Estate
Melody B. Lynch*, Employment Litigation: Defense 
Michael Provenzale, Creditor Debtor Rights
Ryan P. Scordato, Construction Litigation
Brian E. Smith, Eminent Domain
Tara L. Tedrow, Land Use/Zoning

* Indicates 10+ years on the list.

About Lowndes
Founded in Orlando, Florida in 1969, Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, P.A., is a multi-discipline business law firm. Our attorneys represent corporate, entrepreneurial and individual clients across a myriad of industries locally, nationally and beyond our borders, from offices in Orlando, Mount Dora and Melbourne, and through Meritas, an established global alliance of independent law firms offering local insight, local rates and world-class client service. LOCAL ROOTS. BROAD REACH.℠ 


Alexander

Alex Dobrev is a shareholder and chair of the firm’s Multifamily & Condominium Group. His practice focuses on working with investors, developers and lenders on the acquisition, disposition, development and financing of multifamily, condominium and other commercial real estate projects, often involving distressed properties. He has significant experience evaluating, structuring and negotiating large-scale mixed-use development projects.

In the context of “broken” or “fractured” condominium projects in particular, he frequently works with lenders, bulk investors, and receivers to evaluate and implement exit strategies, including possible unwinding of the condominium regime, while identifying and minimizing potential successor developer liabilities and related risks.

Alex also counsels clients regarding Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act (ILSA) compliance matters, including full and partial exemptions from the Act and overall offering structure.

An active member of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of The Florida Bar, Alex serves on the Section’s Executive Council and as vice chair of the Condominium & Planned Development, Information Technology, and Professionalism & Ethics Committees. He is also chair of the Commercial Real Estate Committee’s Blockchain & Digital Assets Task Force.

William

Bill Dymond is the CEO and President of Lowndes. A leader in his field, Bill advises clients on all types of real estate and business matters, including significant work in the hotel/resort/leisure industry.


Bill is a member of the firm’s Hospitality & Leisure Group, which has handled more than $25 billion in transactions throughout the United States – including Central Florida – and Canada. He currently serves as general counsel to Visit Orlando, the areas convention and visitor’s bureau. 

Bill is equally passionate about counseling clients in the sport/entertainment arena. As the lead negotiator, his successes in securing multi-year television agreements with ABC and ESPN for the Citrus Bowl, Camping World Bowl, and team selection agreements with the Big 10, SEC, ACC, Big East and Big 12 conferences, were big wins for Central Florida in a very competitive sports marketplace. Bill has long been a strong advocate and played a key role in the renovation and related funding of Camping World Stadium.

As past chair of Florida Citrus Sports, Bill was instrumental in getting the Orlando venue’s plan complete. He has also worked tirelessly alongside other community leaders as a Founding Board Member of LIFT Orlando to further its mission to break the cycle of poverty through holistic neighborhood revitalization in the shadow of Camping World Stadium.

At the state level, Bill currently serves as a member of the Florida Council of 100 and he has served as a Board Member for Enterprise Florida and Space Florida, serving at the pleasure of the Governor as Chair of Space Florida’s Board of Directors for six years. Under Bill’s leadership Space Florida, the state’s aerospace and spaceport development authority, has partnered with NASA to operate Kennedy Space Center and has expanded our state’s ability to dominate the growing commercial space market while creating jobs in this unique sector.

As the renewable energy industry continues to grow in Florida, Bill also brings to this emerging sector his extensive background advising companies on new revenue opportunities as well as real estate and business matters. Additionally, his numerous leadership roles at the local and state level have helped him develop a broad network of relationships throughout Florida that brings added value to his clients in their pursuits. 

Miranda

Randi Fitzgerald focuses her practice on land use, zoning, environmental matters and real estate development, including comprehensive planning, Developments of Regional Impact (DRI’s), DRI rescission, annexation, concurrency, vested rights and property rights issues.


Randi has served as lead counsel for more than 35 DRI’s and has represented both property owners and local governments. She represents clients in all phases of development for commercial, residential and mixed-use projects, including site selection, due diligence, and procurement of land use approvals and entitlements.

Randi’s depth of experience crosses multiple jurisdictions throughout Central Florida. She has worked with clients to establish, develop and manage large scale mixed-use developments in Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Brevard and Lake Counties. She has often served in a strategic management role with consultant teams on large and complex projects, and has negotiated development agreements, road network agreements, development orders, utility agreements, school capacity enhancement agreements and mitigation agreements. 

In addition, Randi is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit Court and Appellate Mediator, concentrating in intergovernmental disputes and private and public disputes affecting real property. She also serves as a Special Magistrate in cases brought under §70.51 F.S., the Florida Land Use and Environmental Dispute Resolution Act.

Chambers USA (2019)* reports that Randi enjoys a strong market reputation with market sources, who describe her as “highly regarded.” She draws on a wide range of experience in the planning and approval of projects, with strength in handling mixed-use developments.

*We make no guarantees or promises that the reader will realize the same or similar results

Julia

Julie Frey is a shareholder and chair of the Private Wealth Services group. She is board certified by The Florida Bar. Her principal areas of practice are estate planning, probate, trust administration, guardianship, elder law and federal tax.

Julie counsels a broad range of clients, including high net worth clients with needs for sophisticated estate planning techniques, physicians and others who have specific needs with respect to asset protection, couples who are in second marriages, domestic partners, “sandwich generation” individuals who have planning concerns for their parents, their children and themselves, and individuals with a net worth that may not be subject to estate tax but who have planning needs and concerns for children, special needs trusts and other important issues.

Julie works with individuals and families to plan family wealth transfers consistent with the family’s goals and with federal estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax planning. Techniques include wills, trusts, family limited partnerships, limited liability companies, grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs), sales to intentionally defective trusts, charitable trusts, charitable foundations, marital deduction planning and generation-skipping transfer tax planning.

Since the nature of the estate and gift transfer tax system encourages gifts, Julie prepares a variety of irrevocable trusts that can serve as vehicles for making lifetime gifts to family members, thereby reducing the effective rate of transfer tax. Julie prepares federal estate and gift tax returns. She represents trustees and personal representatives in their administration of trusts and estates. At other times, she assists beneficiaries with the enforcement of their rights in an estate and/or trust.

Julie also represents parties with respect to trust construction matters and will contests with the firm’s litigation group.

Michael

A LEED-certified attorney, Michael Gibbons represents owners, developers, contractors, design professionals and subcontractors asserting a variety of construction claims (and defenses to such claims), including actions for breach of contract, delay, latent defects, water intrusion and mold, differing site conditions, extra work, indemnity and warranty.


Michael also counsels clients on issues related to construction claims of lien and surety bond claims and regularly represents clients in litigation and arbitration over construction claims of lien and payment and performance bond claims. 

Formerly an Assistant State Attorney, Michael tried over 65 cases through verdict ranging from battery and DUI to Armed Robbery and Felony Murder. He has tried a variety of civil cases as well, and has substantial experience litigating ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) cases in Federal Court under Title III of the ADA where accessibility to public accommodations is at issue.

In addition to litigating design and construction related claims, Michael often represents owners, developers, design professionals, general contractors, and sub-contractors in the preparation and negotiation of design and construction contracts. His experience litigating construction claims helps Michael identify problematic and unfavorable contract language. Conversely, his experience drafting and negotiating complex construction contracts makes Michael a more informed and knowledgeable litigator when a client needs a forceful advocate on a construction contract issue. A reasonable and clearly expressed allocation of commercial risks, rights and liabilities is essential to a good design or construction contract and critical for reducing the risk of later claims.

Accredited by the Green Building Certification Institute as a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Associate, Michael is a frequent speaker and author on the subject of managing risks in sustainable design and construction contracts. He has significant experience drafting and negotiating design and construction contracts incorporating sustainability principles including LEED standards.

Jon

Jon Gibbs is the co-chair of the firm’s Intellectual Property Services Group and represents clients in a broad spectrum of intellectual property matters, including intellectual property protection, licensing, litigation, auditing and due diligence.


Jon counsels clients on brand management strategies, selection and clearance of trademarks and service marks, policing and enforcement issues and securing rights in proprietary discoveries and works through patent, copyright and trade secret protection.

He conducts due diligence investigations in connection with intellectual property transactions, negotiates and drafts intellectual property transfer and license agreements, and documents co-existence agreements.

Jon has litigated and defended matters involving claims of trademark infringement, trademark dilution, unfair competition, trade dress infringement, false advertising, copyright infringement, cybersquatting, patent infringement and trade secret misappropriation. He has handled numerous matters before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board in addition to litigating domain name disputes under the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP).

He is also a general aviation pilot and a United States Coast Guard licensed Captain.

Jonathan

Jonathan Huels has a broad background in environmental law, land use and zoning. He works with local governments and other federal and state regulatory authorities to address the needs of his clients related to environmental permitting and compliance, brownfields, petroleum and hazardous waste assessment and remediation, zoning, comprehensive plans, concurrency, Developments of Regional Impact (DRI's), golf course and other types of property redevelopment, due diligence, and property rights. 

A member and past chairman of the City of Orlando's Municipal Planning Board, Jonathan is also a past member and chairman of the Orange County Environmental Protection Commission. In addition, Jonathan previously served on the Executive Council of the Environmental and Land Use Section of The Florida Bar from 2014-2020. He is an active member of the Coastal Conservation Association.

Huels holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in environmental science from the University of Florida and the University of Idaho. He received his law degree from the University of Florida Levin College of Law.

Prior to attending law school, Jonathan worked as a research scientist with the South Florida Water Management District.

Hal

Recognized as one of the “Must-Know Contacts” by Florida Trend, Hal Kantor has long been a leader in the firm’s Land Use, Zoning & Environmental and Real Estate Groups. He has been advising local, national and international clients in the areas of land use approvals, real estate transactions and finance since 1972.


Specifically, Hal concentrates on land use, zoning and environmental, developments of regional impact, land use and property rights litigation, administrative law, real estate transactions, development and finance, environmental law, hotel and resort development, golf course redevelopment, and timeshare services. He has represented private and public sector clients for a wide array of land use approvals throughout Central Florida, including serving as lead counsel on more than 50 developments of regional impact.

Hal has also served as special counsel for several municipalities including lead counsel on such projects as the Orlando Downtown DRI and the Orlando Arena DRI.

He devotes much of his personal time to arts and cultural organizations, having served as Chairman of the Board for WMFE/90.7 Public Broadcasting, the Orlando Museum of Art, and United Arts. He has received numerous awards and recognitions including the Tree of Life Award, among others.

Chambers USA (2019)* reports that Hal draws recognition and praise from other practitioners for his Orlando-based land use practice. Focusing his work on the environmental and zoning issues facing developers, his clients include both public and private interests.

*We make no guarantees or promises that the reader will realize the same or similar results 


S. Brendan

A Virginia native originally with aspirations to become a journalist, Brendan Lynch fell in love with Florida and has made it his home since 2005. He represents both commercial and residential property land owners, as well as tenant business owners, in issues of property tax valuation and eminent domain/condemnation.


Brendan assists property owners throughout Florida with their property tax appeals, including assessment reviews, direct negotiations with county property appraisers, appeals to the Value Adjustment Board, and trial and appellate court proceedings. His clients include apartment projects, big box stores, condominiums, commercial strip centers, hotels, residences, student housing, vacant land, and other retail buildings.

With broad experience handling many different types of exemption applications, Brendan often assists clients from the application stage through challenges, to denial of any exemption, through trial and appellate court proceedings. These exemption applications include agricultural, conservation easements, healthcare, homestead, military housing, non-profit, religious, and senior living.

Typically, the eminent domain cases involve a governmental entity (Florida Department of Transportation, county, city, expressway authority, or other state agency) or private utility with condemnation powers seeking to take land from the property owners. Interestingly, Brendan has also represented condemning authorities on special projects – bringing a perspective from both sides of the table.

Brendan’s love for his adopted hometown of Orlando is reflected in his commitment to the community and its cultural diversity. A long-time advocate for the arts and current Chair of the United Arts of Central Florida’s Board of Directors, Brendan recently helped steer the largest Collaborative Campaign in the organization’s history (over $3M). He has also served in leadership roles for the Adult Literacy League, the Orange County Teen Court, and the Heart of Florida United Way.

ICONIC CASES

  • Achieved property tax assessment reduction for internationally-known hotel from $421 million to $259 million, resulting in millions of dollars of savings.
  • Represented a national building contractor in its application for military housing exemptions, resulting in a change in Florida law and a savings of $17 million dollars for the client.

RECENT NEWS & INSIGHTS

Shawn

Shawn Rader focuses his practice on real estate litigation, commercial litigation, commercial leases and senior housing, and is a member of the firm’s practice groups that deal with these topics.


A frequent author and speaker, Shawn is a charter member of the American Bar Association Title Insurance Litigation Committee, serving as its first Vice-chairman in 1993, and as its second Chairman the following year. He is a member of the Florida Land Title Association, where he is a charter member of the Title Claims Roundtable.

He has had four articles published in the Florida Bar Journal, and was the co-author of the Title Insurance Law Article in the ABA Tort & Insurance Law Journal, Vol 31, No. 2 (Winter 1996).  Shawn served as Chairman of the Florida Bar Grievance Committee for Orange County and also served as President of the Orange County Bar Association Legal Aid Society.  He was Chairman of the City of Orlando Civil Service Board, served as Chairman of the City of Orlando Chapter 57 Board, and Vice Chairman of the 2012 Orange County Charter Review Commission.  Shawn is also a member of the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels.


Morey

A Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit Civil Mediator, Morey Raiskin works in the firm’s Labor & Employment Group.


Over the past 38 years, Morey has represented management of both large and small employers. He has successfully litigated cases in state and federal courts and represented clients in administrative proceedings involving the EEOC, DOL and FCHR. Morey also serves as an advisor to his clients, counseling them on virtually any workplace issue they may confront.

Morey develops non-compete and employment agreements, personnel policies, employment application forms, employee handbooks, and counsels clients on wage and hour, discrimination, WARN Act planning and union avoidance strategies. He litigates these same issues in state and federal courts or in administrative proceedings before the EEOC, U.S. Department of Labor or the Florida Commission on Human Relations.

Morey began practicing law in Las Vegas, Nevada, before moving to Orlando in 1984. In 1986, he accepted an in-house opportunity with a diversified publisher, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, eventually becoming Lead Labor and Employment Counsel and Administrative Vice President of its wholly-owned subsidiary, Sea World. In 1990, Morey returned to private practice and has served in a myriad of roles, including as a shareholder and chair of the Labor and Employment Law Group at Lowndes from 1990—2012.


Michael

Michael Ryan’s clients are optimistic visionaries who have helped to build Central Florida into the thriving community it is today.


From his representation of the Orange County Research and Development Authority which acquired, financed, developed, managed and marketed the highly successful 1,000-plus-acre Central Florida Research Park, to the University of Central Florida’s planned teaching hospital at Lake Nona and their downtown campus in Orlando Creative Village, Mike and his clients have had a hand in many of the significant projects that have shaped this Central Florida community.

With years of experience representing developers and lenders in complex real estate transactions, Mike’s problem-solving and organizational skills, his industry knowledge, and his dedication to client service have proved invaluable to his clients.

Mike had not always planned for a career as a real estate lawyer. In college, he studied mathematics and enjoyed subjects such as linear algebra, differential equations and complex analysis. He also had a passion for government studies. With summer jobs at a landscaping firm while in college and a full-time job managing an apartment building while in law school, it was only natural that his academic and work experiences would lead Mike toward a real estate practice.

Throughout the many Florida real estate booms…and busts…Mike’s background as a problem solver has been particularly helpful in his representation of developers, investors and lenders in complex real estate development and finance transactions – both public and private.

Earning a reputation for keeping a deal moving through to completion, regardless of the economic climate, Mike’s skills naturally led to representation of lenders and investors in acquiring and disposing of distressed assets during economic downturns. His experience was particularly helpful in analyzing and resolving title problems, confirming land use entitlements, understanding community development district assessments, and recapturing control of homeowner/property owner/condominium associations.

“My success is tied directly to helping my clients succeed,” Mike asserts.

Mike is equally committed to the Central Florida community through his involvement in many civic and charitable organizations. He helped the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida to structure a unique arrangement with the Orange County Public School System: a new Boys and Girls Club is located at the OCPS Academic Center For Excellence in the downtown Orlando Parramore neighborhood.  He has served as Chair of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida, and as Board Chair of the American Red Cross of Central Florida.

When he is not spending family time in Winter Park with his wife, Theresa, their daughter and granddaughter, Mike can be found on the golf course, or working with Theresa on the landscaping in their yard. He and Theresa also spend time at their home in Ireland where they are very much in touch with their Irish roots.

Norma

Norma Stanley is a shareholder, is board certified in Wills, Trusts & Estates by The Florida Bar and holds a Master of Laws in Taxation. She advises clients on estate planning, federal tax, probate, trust administration, guardianships and elder law.


With more than 25 years of legal experience in wealth transfer, business succession, sophisticated tax, trust and estate planning, estate and trust administration and family office creation, Norma represents a myriad of clients, including high net worth individuals and their families, beneficiaries of trusts and estates, trustees and small business owners.

In addition to providing estate planning, including complex estate planning for high net worth individuals, planning for moderately wealthy individuals, and basic planning for modest, non-taxable estates, Norma also provides estate planning services such as estate, gift and generation skipping transfer tax planning, including family office planning, irrevocable trust planning, grantor retained annuity trusts planning, sales to defective grantor trust planning, qualified personal residence trust planning and charitable planning, including charitable trusts and private foundations, family limited partnerships, business succession planning and asset protection planning.

Norma offers probate and estate administration services which include formal administration and summary (small estate) administration and the preparation and filing of federal estate tax returns (Form 706). Trust administration services include wealth transfer management, trust modifications and providing advice to trustees and other fiduciaries as well as representation of trust beneficiaries.

Additional related services include federal estate and gift tax audit representation and preparation and filing of applications for recognition of exemption related to private foundations (Form 1023).

Terry

Terry Young has tried over 50 jury trials to verdict and more than 200 non-jury trials. He has more than 30 years of experience – in local, state and Federal courts – ranging from disputes over United States presidential elections to multi-national “bet-the-company” litigation, from high profile divorces to multi-million-dollar personal injury cases, from complex contract disputes to first amendment defenses.

Whether a public persona or a private family, a major corporation or a fledgling new venture, Terry represents both plaintiffs and defendants, from counseling through trial and appeal. While Terry advocates on behalf of his clients in court, he is a firm believer in dispute resolution whenever appropriate. Most importantly, whether in arbitration, mediation, divorce, or trial, or negotiating a private settlement, he has the utmost regard for clients’ confidentiality, privacy and ultimate objectives.

Sometimes those objectives are to minimize costs – even in the case of a high-profile divorce. Terry has represented a number of public figures in family law matters.

Hanna

Hanna Edeback represents a wide array of clients in the acquisition, sale and leasing of commercial real estate, including industrial, multi-family, senior housing, office and retail projects. She also assists with complex commercial lending transactions, including real estate, asset-based and other types of loans.

A substantial portion of Hanna’s legal practice is focused on industrial leasing, and she has significant experience advising both landlords and tenants on the unique issues arising through complex leasing transactions involving industrial, warehouse and manufacturing spaces. With clients ranging from private investment firms and regional property management companies to national retailers and local nonprofits, she has handled the negotiation and closing of numerous multi-million dollar transactions throughout Florida.

Active in the community, Hanna currently serves on the board of directors for CREW Orlando, and she is a member of the Orange County Bar Association and the Florida Waterski Federation. She also volunteers with USA Waterski and Junior Achievement of Central Florida and supports Heart of Florida United Way through her firm.

Hanna has been recognized as a "Florida Rising Star" by Florida Super Lawyers and listed in "Ones to Watch" by Best Lawyers. She received her juris doctor degree magna cum laude from the University of FloridaLevin College of Law and her bachelor’s degree with distinction from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

In her free time, she is an avid international competitor in the sport of waterskiing and has been a record holder, a European champion and a member of the Swedish national team.

Andrew

Andrew Gluck focuses on real estate transactions, development, finance and commercial leasing work in the retail industry, among others.


Andrew provides technical and practical advice to clients in connection with the acquisition, sale and leasing of commercial real estate of all types, including vacant land, shopping centers, entertainment complexes, office buildings, restaurants, hotels, and other retail projects. He assists clients in negotiating contracts for purchase and sale, performing due diligence, negotiating transfer documents and finalizing the closing of transactions.

Andrew has worked on several notable projects, including the acquisition and leasing of a 178-site restaurant portfolio with a purchase price in excess of $245,000,000.00, the acquisition of a four hotel portfolio with a purchase price in excess of $80,000,000.00 and the acquisition and leasing of a 143-site retail portfolio with a purchase price of $240,000,000.00, just to name a few.

As an Ohio native, Andrew has made his home in Orlando since 2007. He is married and resides with his wife and two children in Longwood.

Melody

Melody Lynch focuses her practice on probate, trust & fiduciary litigation, contested guardianships, and complex business disputes. Her MBA complements her law degree when she analyzes financial statements and handles other complicated issues involving assets. 

A significant portion of Melody’s practice is devoted to resolving conflicts among family members and other estate beneficiaries, fights over missing assets and property ownership, claims by or against fiduciaries, guardianship challenges, and other proceedings requiring the interpretation of wills and trusts. She frequently helps charitable organizations, foundations, trustees and other institutional beneficiaries of large estates navigate the probate process. Whether in or out of the courtroom, Melody handles these delicate – and often emotional – issues not just with legal proficiency but with compassion as well.  

Melody’s experience extends to other business disputes too, particularly in the employment law arena with matters involving restrictive covenants as well as non-compete and non-disclosure agreements. She has protected employers in a wide range of industries, including medical devices, pest control, physicians and physician practices. 

In addition, she is a Guardian ad Litem for the Legal Aid Society where she represents the interests of abused and neglected children. She also is a pro bono attorney for Seniors First where she represents the interests of indigent elderly wards. 

The court room isn’t the only stage on which Melody has appeared. Before pursuing her career in law, Melody attended college on a ballet scholarship and was an apprentice dancer with a professional ballet company. A native of Orlando, her passion for both the arts and the area informs her leadership roles in the Central Florida community. She serves as president-elect of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, was named to the prestigious Orlando Business Journal’s "40 under 40" list, and was awarded the Presidential Leadership Award by the Orange County Bar Association. 

RECENT NEWS & INSIGHTS

Michael

Mike Provenzale is a shareholder in the Creditors’ Rights Group, representing institutional and private lenders in commercial loan foreclosure and other collection lawsuits, receiverships, workouts, bankruptcies, and REO dispositions throughout the state. His litigation practice also includes business, real estate, and condominium litigation.

Additionally, Mike has experience in the area of Real Estate Transactions, Development and Finance, where he has represented a myriad of private and public clients in connection with the leasing, financing, acquisition, and disposition of commercial real estate, and has published several articles on current creditors’ rights and real estate issues.

Ryan

A seasoned, business-focused attorney, Ryan Scordato is intimately familiar with the local marketplace and the construction industry.

Ryan assists owners, developers, contractors, design professionals and subcontractors with a variety of construction issues including breach of contract, delay, latent defects, water intrusion and mold, differing site conditions, indemnity and warranty. He also counsels clients on issues related to construction claims of lien and surety bond claims.

Additionally, Ryan regularly counsels clients in the areas of commercial litigation and business law.

Brian

Brian Smith counsels property and business owners statewide through every stage of the often complex and confusing eminent domain and condemnation process, from preliminary negotiations to valuation determination to trial.

Brian regularly represents a wide variety of entities and property types, including:

  • Banks
  • Cellular Towers
  • Commercial Strip Centers
  • Developers
  • Industrial Parcels
  • Mining Operations
  • Multi-Family Housing
  • Multinational Corporations
  • Multi-tenant Office Buildings
  • Outparcels
  • REITs
  • Residential Homeowners
  • Restaurants
  • Small Business Owners
  • Undeveloped Property

Brian’s litigation experience extends beyond eminent domain and condemnation. He has represented clients in complex commercial litigation, government contracts, professional liability, constructions defects, and other general business issues.

Tara
Tara Tedrow is a shareholder in the firm’s Land Use, Zoning & Environmental Group and serves as chair of the Cannabis & Controlled Substances Group. She brings years of experience handling an array of complex legal matters for multi-billion dollar valued companies and entrepreneurs alike.
With a significant portion of her practice devoted to land use and development, Tara regularly advises clients on entitling projects for commercial, residential, industrial, office and mixed uses. She works with local governments and regulatory agencies to address the needs of her clients related to environmental permitting and compliance, zoning, comprehensive plans, concurrency, site plan approval, variance and waiver requests, due diligence and property rights.

Often sought out for high-profile and high-stakes land development projects, Tara has delivered positive outcomes for clients ranging from large multi-national and U.S.-based companies to high-net worth individuals seeking land use entitlements. With over 15 years of competitive debate experience, she is uniquely suited to handle complex and controversial projects and public hearings that present a myriad of political and legal challenges.

Tara has provided developers and clients with legal counsel and representation in Section 70.51 mediations. Her experience in land use and environmental dispute resolutions offers a unique benefit to clients navigating the alternative dispute resolution process following denial of a development order, zoning approval and other land use matters around the state.

Well-known for providing legal and lobbying representation for a wide range of cannabis clients, Tara and her team work with physicians, lenders, real estate developers, landlords, ancillary service providers, banks, licensed adult use and medical marijuana companies, cultivators, processors, retailers and license applicants, helping them to navigate the ever-changing regulatory landscape of marijuana and hemp regulations. She also assists clients in the national hemp industry in obtaining licensing and approvals for processing, retailing, cultivation and other forms of secondary byproduct monetization. Her deep knowledge of regulatory laws and understanding of operations and logistics for cannabis companies, along with her ability to make connections and build partnerships, bring strategic value to her clients. 

Tara is the only person in the state of Florida to be appointed by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to both the inaugural Industrial Hemp Advisory Council created under Senate Bill 1020 and to the state’s Hemp Advisory Committee, which she currently chairs. A prolific presenter and speaker at industry seminars and conferences, she has served as the keynote speaker on industry regulations at over 60 events in the past two years. In the fall of 2018, Tara became the first professor in the state of Florida to teach a law school course on marijuana law and policy at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where she continues to teach today.

Prior to joining the firm, Tara worked as a legal extern for the University of Florida General Counsel and Office of the Vice President as well as for the Orlando Juvenile Public Defenders Office. For over a decade, she has also worked professionally as a private speech and debate coach and taught at multiple national debate institutes, including the National Debate Forum at Emerson University, the National Symposium for Debate at Grinnell College and Victory Briefs Institute at UCLA.

Tara is a contributing writer at the Orlando Sentinel and has spoken about various real estate topics on Fox News.

To view Tara's information specific to Land Use or Cannabis, click the corresponding links below. 



Land Use
Cannabis
Meritas Law Firms Worldwide logo