Michael Whitt concentrates his litigation practice in the areas of Eminent Domain, Business, and Real Estate disputes. He has undertaken complex litigation on behalf of developers, lenders, governmental entities, individuals, manufacturers, contractors, subcontractors, materials suppliers, and community associations. He has extensive trial experience in the areas of business litigation, commercial mortgage foreclosures, zoning and land use, boundary and title disputes, eminent domain, housing discrimination, defense of ADA claims, community association litigation and all types of contract disputes. For more information on Mr. Whitt's experience in eminent domain matters, please visit our firm's Eminent Domain Website.
Recent noteworthy successes include:
- Defended a $2 million+ counterclaim asserted by a golf course owner/operator against a utility provider in an eminent domain case. Obtained an order on the eve of trial in the client's favor resulting in payment of prevailing party attorney's fees and costs to the client.
- Represented numerous property owners in eminent domain with combined benefits obtained for clients well into the seven figures in excess over the amounts offered by condemning authorities.
- Obtained permit approvals for two separate rock mines in Charlotte County, Florida despite intense opposition from neighboring owners, environmental groups and County staff. Both cases followed multi-day contested evidentiary hearings.
- Defeated a $2 million+ claim by a participating bank against the lead bank based on alleged breaches of the Participation Agreement and claims of fraud, resulting in a voluntary dismissal of the claim.
- Foreclosed on a failed condominium project with an eight-figure value, despite a vigorous defense and counterclaims, securing the collateral for the lender.
- Represented a School Board in two separate actions against developers claiming an exemption from the school impact fee ordinance. Both cases settled favorably with the School Board's collection of seven-figure impact fees on both projects.
- Obtained injunction against fabricator of specialized manufacturing equipment who was holding the equipment "hostage" in an overseas port threatening ruination of the client's business. Obtained an injunction ordering the release of the equipment, thus allowing the client to begin its Malaysia-based manufacturing operations.
- Defended two condominium associations charged by the U.S. Government with housing discrimination under the Fair Housing Amendments Act. One case resulted in a defense verdict in favor of the Association and the individual Board members named as defendants following a lengthy federal court trial. The other case resulted in a voluntary dismissal of the discrimination case by the U.S. Attorney's Office only days before the federal court trial was set to commence.
Activities & Memberships
Mr. Whitt serves on the Eminent Domain Committee for The Florida Bar and is a member of the Trial Lawyers Section of The Florida Bar. He is a member of the Real Estate Investment Society, a public policy organization for members of the real estate industry in Southwest Florida, and served as a Barrister member of the Calusa Chapter American Inns of Court.
Mr. Whitt is also actively involved in his community in myriad ways, including serving as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Southwest Florida Symphony.