Burke, Blue, Hutchison, Walters & Smith P.A.

A Full-Service Florida Law Firm Committed to the Highest Standards of Excellence

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Firm Overview

Focused on real estate, business law, estate planning and more

At Burke Blue Hutchison Walters & Smith, P.A., we've spent the last four decades providing comprehensive legal services such as real estate law, business law, estate planning, wealth management, civil law, mediation, alternative dispute resolution, government law, environmental law, and land use to individuals and businesses throughout northwest Florida. With attorneys in Panama City, Panama City Beach and Destin, we understand that the decision to hire legal counsel is one of great importance. Finding the right counselor to guide you in your crucial business and personal issues is essential.

Burke Blue attorneys have always been committed to providing the highest quality legal services with a foremost level of integrity to all of our clients. This commitment combined with Burke Blue results is the reason we continue to be the firm of choice in this expanding and developing Northwest Florida region.

Our experienced, reputable and highly qualified Panama City, Panama City Beach or Destin lawyers offer a cutting edge blend of experience and capabilities that are available on each case, regardless of size or complexity. We are able to anticipate obstacles and consistently bring issues or cases to resolution. The distinguished attorneys of Burke Blue guide clients throughout all phases of their lives and the lives of their businesses. Whatever your legal issues - today or tomorrow - our attorneys can help.

Offering the legal services you need most

The lawyers of Burke Blue offer legal services in a wide range of practice areas for Florida Panhandle business owners and individuals, including:

-Real estate
-Business law
-Estate planning, probate and wealth management
-Civil litigation and appeals
-Mediation and alternative dispute resolution
-Government, environment and land use

Having an established relationship with an attorney in Panama City, Panama City Beach and Destin, FL can provide great peace of mind. At Burke Blue, we do the utmost to foster long-term relationships and provide that peace of mind to each of our clients. We draw on a wealth of collective experience and knowledge to provide reliable legal counsel and representation on a wide array of legal issues. That is why both our longtime and new clients know they can count on the lawyers at Burke Blue for legal guidance in both business and personal issues.

40 years of providing comprehensive legal services to businesses and individuals throughout northwest Florida


The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements.
Main Office

Main Office
221 McKenzie Avenue
Panama City  FL  32401

Phone
  • 850-769-1414
Fax
Real Estate
Panama City, Panama City Beach and Sandestin Real Estate Attorneys
Legal services for developers, associations, buyers and sellers

For both individuals and businesses, real estate is often the most valuable asset they have and the largest investment they ever make. The Panama City, Panama City Beach and Destin real estate attorneys of Burke Blue offer complex real estate solutions to clients throughout Northwest Florida. We provide legal counsel and representation during all phases of the real estate transaction process from acquisition to closing. At Burke Blue, our real estate attorneys in Panama City, Panama City Beach and Destin protect your rights and help ensure the process goes smoothly by handling:

-Commercial and residential contracts
-Title research
-Closing services
-Property disputes

Real estate transactions are complex, involve large sums of capital and are of great importance to the parties involved. A seemingly small mistake or oversight could have costly and far-reaching implications. Therefore, whether developing, buying or selling, it is important to be well informed and well advised throughout all stages of the process.

Advising and representing owners and renters

In addition to the complexities of real estate transactions, a number of issues can arise during the normal course of property ownership. If not properly resolved, these issues could negatively impact the value, marketability or profitability of property. At Burke Blue, our skilled attorneys have experience handling all aspects of property ownership and rental.

-Condominium and homeowners associations
-Landlord/tenant relations and disputes
-Development and construction
-Foreclosure
-Eminent domain and condemnation

Real estate attorneys in our Panama City, Panama City Beach and Destin offices provide legal guidance to a wide variety of clients including individuals, families, businesses, developers, contractors, landlords and tenants. Our distinguished attorneys approach each case with the highest professional standards of excellence. Burke Blue lawyers consistently anticipate obstacles, solve problems and bring issues to resolution.

Les W. Burke

Les W. Burke is one of the firm's founding members and is Of Counsel to the Firm. Martindale-Hubbell has designated him as an AV-rated attorney for more than 25 years, which is the highest rating possible. With over 40 years of practicing law, Mr. Burke has extensive experience in the areas of Condominium Law, Local Government Law, and Real Estate Transactions & Litigation. He was a pioneer in the Northwest Florida region with respect to Condominium Law and has represented a multitude of condominium developers, condominium associations, unit sellers, purchasers, and lenders. The numerous developers he has represented are responsible for many thousands of units from Panama City to Pensacola.

In addition to being in private practice, Mr. Burke also served as Bay County Attorney from 1971 to 2007. During that time he witnessed the doubling in size of Bay County and saw the first privatization of jail facilities by a Florida county, the development of a Resource Recovery Facility handling disposal of municipal waste, and the initiation of comprehensive planning and land use regulations.

Mr. Burke is very active in both the legal and civic community of Northwest Florida. He has served on the Florida Bar Board of Governors, Young Lawyers Section from 1973-1974, the Florida Bar Board of Governors from 1984-1988, and is the former Chairman of the First District Court of Appeals Judicial Nominating Commission.

Mr. Burke has also served on the Board of Directors of the Bay Chamber of Commerce and the former Peoples First Community Bank Holding Company. In addition, he was the president of the Bay County Library and presided as the Commodore for the St. Andrews Bay Yacht Club. He is currently a member of the United Way Association and the American Cancer Society and is the President of the Panama Country Club. Mr. Burke's alumni activities include the University of Florida, the Gator Boosters, and the Florida Law Review Alumni Association.

Contact Les W. Burke at (850)769-1414 or lburke@burkeblue.com

Practice Areas
-Real Estate Law
-Condominium Law
-Commercial & Residential Contracts
-Business Law
-Business Organization
-Corporate Governance

Bar Admissions
-Florida, 1968

Court Admissions
-11th Circuit Court of Appeals

Education
-J.D., with honors, University of Florida, 1968
---Order of Coif
-B.A., with honors, University of Florida, 1966
---Florida Blue Key
---Hall of Fame

Professional Associations
-The Florida Bar
-Bay County Bar Association
-St. Andrews Bay American Inn of Court

Honors
-AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
Education
  • University of Florida
    Juris Doctorate

Rob Blue, Jr.

Rob Blue, Jr., is one of Firm's founding members and is a Shareholder of the Firm. Mr. Blue has substantial experience in the areas of Banking Law, Real Estate Transactions and Litigation, and Condominium Law. Mr. Blue represents various developers, lenders, and landowners in Bay and Walton County, Florida. He has been designated an "AV" rated by Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest possible peer review rating in legal ability and ethical standards.

While attending law school at the University of Florida, Mr. Blue was a member of Florida Blue Key, student leadership honorary, and was named Outstanding Male Graduate during his senior year in 1967. After graduation from law school, he entered the armed forces and served as Captain in the USAF from 1970-1974, as a JAG officer. After serving his country, he moved his family to Panama City, Florida and began practicing law with the firm of Hilton, Bennett, Logue, Burke & Paulk, P.A., which included one of his present partners, Les W. Burke.

From 2000-2004, Mr. Blue served on the Board of Governors for the Florida Bar, representing the 14th Judicial Circuit. He holds section memberships in both the American and Florida Bar Association in the areas of his practice: Corporation, Banking and Business Law and Real Property, Probate and Trust Law. He is also a member of the Bay County Bar Association and the St. Andrew Bay American Inn of Court and is presently serving as the president of the St. Andrew Bay American Inn of Court

Active in the community, Mr. Blue volunteers his legal services to organizations such as the A.D. Harris Improvement Society, Inc., a local non-profit organization whose goals include developing new community uses for A.D. Harris School, now owned by the Panama City Community Redevelopment Agency, Downtown North. In addition he has served as a director for United Way and as President of Bay Arts Alliance and Girls Club, Inc. He is currently a member of the Panama City Rotary Club and St. Andrews Bay Yacht Club and enjoys hiking, sailing and other outdoor activities.

Contact Rob Blue at (850)769-1414 or rblue@burkeblue.com

Practice Areas
-Real Estate Law
-Condominium Law
-Commercial & Residential Contracts
-Business Law
-Business Organization
-Corporate Governance

Bar Admission
-Florida, 1970

Court Admissions
-11th Circuit Court of Appeals
-Court of Military Appeals

Education
-J.D., with honors, University of Florida, 1970
---Florida Blue Key
---Outstanding Male Graduate
-B.A., University of Florida, 1967

Professional Associations
-American Bar Association
-The Florida Bar
-Bay County Bar Association
-St. Andrews Bay American Inn of Court

Honors
-AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
Education
  • University of Florida
    Juris Doctorate

Edward A. Hutchison

Ward Hutchison is a Shareholder in the firm whose practice focuses on the areas of Estate Planning, Probate, Trusts, Corporations, Banking, Real Property and Real Estate Law. Mr. Hutchison is a BV rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell and has practiced in Bay County for over twenty-five years.

Mr. Hutchison has always been extremely involved in his community and charitable activities. He has served as past president of the Florida State University, Panama City Campus Development Board, and as a board member of the Panama City Downtown Improvement Board, Panama City Community Redevelopment Agency, Bay County Public Library Association; Florida State University Panama City Campus Advisory Board; the Crisis Pregnancy Center, Bay County Christian Counseling Center, Florida Panhandle Pediatric Foundation, and the Panama City Country Club. He is a former member of the Board of Country Club Harbor Community Association, and he participates in the alumni activities of Stetson University and Florida State University.

Contact Ward Hutchison at (850)769-1414 or whutchison@burkeblue.com.

Practice Areas
-Estate Planning
-Probate Law
-Wealth Management
-Business Law
-Banking Law
-Real Estate Law

Bar Admission
-Florida, 1986

Court Admissions
-U.S. District Court
-Northern District of Florida
-11th Circuit Court of Appeals
-District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals

Education
-J.D., Stetson University, 1986
-B.S., Florida State University, 1983

Professional Associations
-The Florida Bar
-Bay County Bar Association
-St. Andrews Bay American Inn of Court

Honors
-BV Distinguished Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell
Education
  • Stetson University
    Juris Doctorate

Elizabeth J. Walters

Elizabeth J. Walters, Shareholder, represents clients in all areas of business and commercial, resort and residential real estate law from property acquisition, design, entitlement process, financing, construction and project operations, to redevelopment or sale of real property. She also represents clients in the areas of Land Use Law, Governmental Relations, Banking, Business and Commercial Law.

As an attorney representing small family businesses to large corporations, Ms. Walters works with her clients to develop the appropriate business organization and structure to facilitate success and to protect the assets of her clients. In addition to business formation, her practice includes many types of business transactions, such as mergers, asset acquisitions, reorganizations, and termination of all types of business entities, as well as general contract matters.

Ms. Walters has extensive experience in real estate law, primarily in the area of resort and master planned community developments and condominiums. Her clients include developers, builders and resort owners and owners' associations throughout Northwest Florida. She assists clients from planning to completion, with the development and ongoing operation of master planned residential communities, condominium and multi condominium developments, commercial and retail developments and mixed-use communities. These developments range from single family homes to high-end resort developments with all inclusive on-site amenities to shopping centers.

Prior to joining Burke Blue in 1996, Ms. Walters gained insight and experience while serving in various senior staff positions with the Florida Cabinet and Legislature. She also held positions with state wide political campaigns and successfully represented interests of clients as a governmental consultant at all levels of government.

Contact Elizabeth Walters at (850)236-4444 or ewalters@burkeblue.com.

Practice Areas
-Real Estate Law
-Condominium Law
-Commercial & Residential Contracts
-Business Law
-Business Organization
-Corporate Governance

Other Experience
-Cabinet Aide to the Comptroller of the State of Florida, Gerald Lewis
-Legislative Analyst and Joint Committee, Senate President, Bob Crawford
-Cabinet, Clemency and Administrative Aide, State Treasurer and Insurance Commissioner, Bill Gunter

Bar Admissions
-Florida, 1995
-Alabama, 1996

Education
-J.D., with honors, The Florida State University College of Law, 1994
-M.A., Political Science, University of West Florida, 1987
-B.A., Political Science, University of West Florida, 1984

Professional Affiliations
-The Florida Bar
-Bay County Bar Association
-Walton County Bar Association
-St. Andrews Bay American Inn of Court

Current Community Affiliations
-University of Florida Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies, Advisory Board
-The Florida State University Foundation, Board of Trustees
-Bay Medical Center/Sacred Heart Health System, Board of Trustees
-SunTrust Bank, Panama City, FL, Advisory Board
-Panama City Port Authority, Board of Directors
-Bay Economic Development Alliance, Board of Directors
-The Florida State University Panama City Development Board, Board of Directors
-Bay Defense Alliance, Board of Directors
-Bay Education Foundation, Board of Directors
-Bay County Chamber of Commerce, Military Affairs Committee

Past Community Affiliations
-Bay Economic Development Alliance, Chair 2008 and 2009
-Bay County Chamber of Commerce, Chair 2005
-Bay County Military Affairs Committee, Chair 2006
-Leadership Bay, Class of 1995-96
-United States Air Force AETC Commander's Civic Group, Member 2008-2012
-52nd National Security Forum, Participant 2005
-USS Mesa Verde, Commissioning Team Member 2006-2007
-USS Momsen, Commissioning Team Member 2003-2004
-The Florida State University Panama City Blue Ribbon Commission, Co-Chair 2009
-The Florida State University Panama City Development Board, President 2006
-Bay, Gulf, Franklin and Calhoun Counties School Readiness Coalition, Chairperson 2003-2004
-Bay Education Foundation, Chair 2002
-Early Education and Care, Inc., Chair 2002
-Gear Up Bay Advisory Board, Member 2000-2002

Professional Honors & Awards
-2010 Richard L. McLaughlin Volunteer of the Year
-2009 Lauren Merriam Memorial Award
-2006 Naval Support Activity Panama City Head of Pig Award
-2002-2006 Bay Education Foundation A+ Benefactor
-2001 Bay Education Foundation President's Award
-2001 Florida Children's Forum Leadership Award, Honorable Mention
-2000-2001 Bay District School's Direct Outstanding Business Recognition Award
-2000-2001 Bay District School's Guiding Light Award Winner
-2000 Bay County Chamber of Commerce Member of the Year Award
Education
  • The Florida State University College of Law
    Juris Doctorate

Douglas L. Smith

Douglas Smith is a Shareholder whose practice focuses on the areas of Civil Litigation, Commercial Law, Real Property, Banking, Eminent Domain, and Creditor Bankruptcy Law. Doug is an AV rated attorney and has significant litigation experience in both the State and Federal Court systems. Additionally, Doug has been a Certified Circuit Civil Mediator since 1998.

In 1983, Doug attended Duke University where he received a BA in Economics, cum laude. He then served in the United States Peace Corps from 1984-1986 specializing in economic development in The Federated States of Micronesia. Upon returning to the United States, he attended law school at The College of William & Mary where he received both the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award and the Phoenix Award for service to the College.

For more than 20 years, Doug has practiced law in the northwest Florida area. His general civil litigation practice has resulted in numerous money judgments obtained for clients, including one for in excess of $3,000,000. His philosophy regarding civil litigation is that it takes a team effort between the client and the client's law firm to achieve the best results, and therefore, clients play an active role in all of the cases he handles.

In recent years, Doug has also focused attention on the representation of condominium and homeowner associations and has presented seminars on such topics. Doug has specialized in defending associations' rights when they are made junior defendants in mortgage foreclosure lawsuits, as well as representing associations in lien collections actions against nonpaying owner members of the associations. With the ever increasing number of condominiums and homeowner association controlled communities in Florida, association representation is an expanding area of law where the law is continuing to evolve.

Doug is a member of the Duke University Alumni Interview Committee. He has also graded The Florida Bar Exam and has written an examination question used by the Florida Board of Bar Examiners.

A civic leader at heart, Doug is a past-president, current Board member, and founding member of Habitat for Humanity of Bay County, Florida, Inc., and a member and former Board Member of NCSC Federal Credit Union, now known as Innovations Federal Credit Union. In addition to other community organizations, he was a member of the Leadership Bay Class of 1997, Race Director of the Race Judicata 1991-1997, and is currently a member of Panama City Kiwanis Club and Panhandle Runners & Triathletes Club. Doug also enjoys coaching youth soccer and is Chancellor for Holy Nativity Episcopal School.

Contact Doug Smith at (850)769-1414 or dsmith@burkeblue.com.

Practice Areas
-Real Estate Law
-Condominium Law
-Eminent Domain
-Civil Litigation & Appeals
-Business Law
-Banking & Credit Unions
-Bankruptcy-Creditor Representation
-Mediation & Alternative Dispute Resolution

Bar Admission
-Florida, 1989

Court Admissions
-U.S. District Court
--Northern District of Florida
--Middle District of Florida
-11th Circuit Court of Appeals
-Supreme Court of the United States

Education
-J.D., College of William & Mary, 1989
-B.A., Duke University, 1983

Professional Associations
-The Florida Bar
-Bay County Bar Association
-First Saturday Legal Clinic Volunteer
-Board Member of the Northern District of Florida Bankruptcy Bar Association
-Past Member of the 14th Judicial Circuit Grievance Committee

Honors
-AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
-2007-2010 Outstanding Pro Bono Service Awards from Legal Services of North Florida
Education
  • College of William & Mary
    Juris Doctorate

Michael S. Burke

Mike Burke is resident in the firm's Panama City Beach office conveniently located to serve clients in all of the Northwest Florida Panhandle. His practice is primarily focused on representing local governments and businesses and individuals that require representation before local, state and federal governments and agencies. His experience with local government law runs the gamut from land use, zoning, code enforcement, contracting, administrative processes, bond financing and many other areas of local government law. Mr. Burke's experience includes, but is not limited to, representation of the Bay County Board of County Commissioners, Walton County Board of County Commissioners, Walton County Tourist Development Council, the Town of Cedar Grove, Bay County Supervisor of Elections, and the Lake Powell Residential Golf CDD. Additionally, Mr. Burke has represented numerous developers, businesses and individuals before various Northwest Florida local governments in matters related to zoning, land use, code enforcement and contracting.

Mr. Burke's experience in the wide ranging areas of local government law is a benefit to clients that seek his counsel in areas of the law such as real estate transactions, leases, litigation, contract, appeals and immigration.

Mr. Burke used his extensive experience in local government law as part of Burke Blue's team of lawyers that assisted Ken Feinberg in his role as Administrator of the Gulf Coast Claims Facility. In December 2010, Mr. Feinberg hired Burke Blue to act as his Florida Liaison and assist GCCF claimants across the State of Florida. Mr. Burke was an integral part of the firm's involvement with the GCCF and undertook primary responsibility for assisting claimants in the Pensacola and Gulf Breeze areas. The experience was rewarding on personal and business levels. Not only did he get the opportunity to assist his fellow Floridians through some very tough times, he also gained a great deal of experience in claims administration, mass torts and accounting of damages.

Mike is a native of Northwest Florida and lives in Panama City Beach with his wife and three children. He served as an Assistant State Attorney in Gulf County under Jim Appleman from 1997 to 1998. He is a member of The Florida Bar, Bay County Bar Association, St. Andrews Bay American Inn of Court and he currently serves on the Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. He enjoys the Northwest Florida outdoors and coaching youth soccer.

Contact Mike Burke at (850)236-4444 or mburke@burkeblue.com.

Practice Areas
-Real Estate Law
-Condominium Law
-Local Government Law
-Land Use
-Civil Litigation & Appeals

Bar Admissions
-All Florida State Courts
-U.S. Supreme Court
-U.S. Court of Appeal for the 11th Circuit
-U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida

Education
-J.D., with honors, Nova Southeastern University (1997)
-B.A., University of Alabama (1992)
-Diploma, Bay High School, Panama City, Florida (1988)

Professional Affiliations
-The Florida Bar
-Bay County Bar Association Past President 2004 - 2006
-St. Andrews Bay American Inn of Court
-Bay County Chamber of Commerce "Leadership Bay"
-Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors

Honors
-"Outstanding Academic Ability" City, County and Local Government Law Section of The Florida Bar
-14th Judicial Circuit/Bay County Bar Association Pro Bono Committee Award for "Public Service with Distinction"
Education
  • Nova Southeastern University
    Juris Doctorate

M. Todd Burke

Todd Burke is a Shareholder with over 12 years of experience in residential and commercial real estate matters. He provides legal counsel for builders, developers, and businesses. Todd's wealth of experience includes serving as an approved attorney for Whitney Bank/Hancock Bank in the areas of debt enforcement, preparation of loan documents and REO (Real Estate Owned) transactions.

Todd has presided over countless residential and commercial real estate closings throughout Northwest Florida. He assists individuals and businesses with the legal aspects of contract provisions, title examinations, and financing in order to ensure a smooth closing process.

Todd has served his community as a past Chairman of the Steering Committee for Leadership Okaloosa, hosted by the Destin Chamber of Commerce. He is also a past member of the Building Committee for Destin United Methodist Church and is currently the Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Good News United Methodist Church.

Todd also assists nonprofit corporations, including Food For Thought, a Walton County charity that provides meals for children who might otherwise go hungry. He is a member of the Santa Rosa Golf and Beach Club and enjoys sailing with his wife and two children.

Contact Todd Burke at (850)267-9498 or tburke@burkeblue.com.

Practice Areas
-Real Estate Law
-Condominium Law
-Landlord/Tenant
-Property & Title Disputes
-Business Law
-Business Organization
-Banking & Credit Unions

Bar Admission
-Florida, 1998

Court Admissions
-United States District Court
-Northern District of Florida
-11th Circuit Court of Appeals

Education
-J.D., Nova Southeastern University, 1998
-B.A., University of Alabama, 1995

Professional Associations
-The Florida Bar
-Walton County Bar Association
-Leadership Okaloosa
---Class 0f 2002
---Committee Chair 2003
Education
  • Nova Southeastern University
    Juris Doctorate

William S. Henry

William "Bill" S. Henry is a Shareholder in the firm who is "BV" rated by Martindale-Hubbell. He focuses his practice on Litigation and has experience with Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Claims, Real Property & Construction Disputes, Insurance Claims, as well as General Civil, Commercial, and Probate Litigation.

Bill served as the Representative for the 14th Judicial Circuit on Florida Bar's Young Lawyers Division Board of Governors. He also served on Unlicensed Practice of Law Committee for the 20th Judicial Circuit and the Florida Bar's Law Related Education Committee.

Active in the Northwest Florida community, Bill is a former director and president of Girls, Inc. of Bay County and is a graduate and past steering committee member of Leadership Bay. He was also the coordinator for the Bay County Bar Association's Annual Race Judicata for three years, which helped raise money for local non-profits. Bill currently serves as a committee member and president of Bay Haven Charter Academy's School Advisory Council and is current President past Board Member for the Krewe of Dominique Youx and a member of the Panhandle Gator Club and University of Florida Alumni Association. He is active in helping organize Mardi Gras at the Beach and in his spare time, Bill enjoys family activities, traveling, golfing and watching any Gator sport.

Contact Bill Henry at (850) 769-1414 or bhenry@burkeblue.com.

Practice Areas
-Civil Litigation & Appeals
-Personal Injury & Wrongful Death
-Commercial Litigation
-Real Property & Construction Disputes
-Probate Litigation
-Insurance Claims

Bar Admission
-Florida, 1995
-Georgia, 2000

Court Admissions
-U.S. District Court
-Northern District of Florida
-Middle District of Florida
-Southern District of Florida
-11th Circuit Court of Appeals
-Supreme Court of the United States

Education
-J.D., University of Florida, 1995
--Managing Editor & Student Works Editor, Journal of Law & Public Policy
-B.S.B.A., Finance, University of Florida, 1991

Professional Associations
-The Florida Bar
-Bay County Bar Association
-St. Andrews Bay American Inn of Court
---Small Group Leader 2010-2011
-Florida Defense Lawyers' Association
-Bay Haven Charter Academy School Advisory Council
---President (2010-2011)
---President (2011-2012)
---President (2012-2013)
---President (2013-2014)

Speaking Engagements
-Reaching a Settlement- A Practical Exercise in Negotiating During Mediation
---June 17, 1997
-Caveat to Caveat Emptor- The Duty to Disclose Material Defects in the Sale of Residential Property
---June 17, 1999
-Practicing with Professionalism
---Moderator, May 11, 2006
---Moderator, May 30, 2008
-Basic Administration Law CLE
---Introduction, December 7, 2006

Reported Decisions
-Majestic Sun Owners' Association v. Florida Condos I, LP, et al, 895 So.2d 534 (Fla. 1st DCA 2005)
-Kalil v. Blue Heron Beach Resort Developer, 720 F.Supp.2d 1335 (M.D. Fla. 2010)
-Kalil v. Blue Heron Beach Resort Developer, LLC, 2010 WL 472105 (M.D. Fla. 2010)
-Kalil v. Blue Heron Beach Resort Developer, LLC, 2009 WL 2868433 (M.D. Fla. 2009)
-Equal Access For All, Inc. v. Hughes Resort, Inc., 2006 WL 1313189 (N.D. Fla. 2006)
-Equal Access For All, Inc. v. Hughes Resort, Inc., 2005 WL 2001740 (N.D. Fla. 2005)
-Kaminski v. Sunset Pier Resort, LLC, 2005 WL 927411 (N.D. Fla. 2005)
-Gilbert v. Kmart Corporation, 60 So.3d 390 (Table) (Fla. 1st DCA 2011)
-Eaton vs Marina Landing Developers, LLC, 106 So.3d 931 (Table) (Fla. 1st DCA 2012)
-Eaton vs Marina Landing Developers, LLC, 115 So.3d 999 (Table) (Fla. 1st DCA 2013)
-K + H Development Group, Inc. V. Howard, 110 So.3d 444 (Table) (Fla. 1st DCA 2013)
-Dastgerdi v. Johnston 4 Panama, LLC, 113 So.3d 2 (Table) (Fla. 1st DCA 2013)

Honors
-BV Distinguished Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell
Education
  • University of Florida
    Juris Doctorate

William C. Henry

W.C. Henry' s practice is concentrated in the areas of Local Government Law, Civil Litigation, Employment Law, and Real Property Law. Mr. Henry has extensive experience in Local Government Law working 10 years for the Manatee County Attorney's Office in Bradenton, becoming Chief Assistant County Attorney in 1999. Since joining Burke Blue, Mr. Henry has served as County Attorney for Bay County Board of County Commissioners and County Attorney for Walton County Board of County Commissioners.

Mr. Henry is a Vietnam veteran. He retired from the U. S. Air Force as a Colonel in 1993 after a 24 year career, serving in various operational intelligence, judge advocate and management positions around the world, including two tours of duty (1977 - 1980 and 1986 - 1989) at Tyndall Air Force Base in Bay County. His decorations include the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star.

Mr. Henry received the Florida Bar President's Pro Bono Service Award for the 12th Circuit in 1995. For four years, he served on the Board of Directors of Legal Aid of Manasota. He also served on the Manatee County Bar Association's Law Library and Pro Bono Legal Advice Committees. In the past, he was active in coaching youth baseball and soccer, including here in Bay County. He is a member of The Florida Bar, Bay County Bar Association, the Military Officers Association of America, the Disabled American Veterans, and the St. Andrews Bay American Inn of Court.

Contact W.C. Henry at (850)236-4444 or whenry@burkeblue.com.

Practice Areas
-Civil Litigation & Appeals
-Local Government Law
-Personal Injury/Property Damage
-Business Law
-Employment Law
-Homeowner & Condominium Association Law

Bar Admissions
-Florida, 1993
-New York, 1978

Court Admissions
-U.S. District Court
---Middle District of Florida
-11th Circuit Court of Appeals
-Supreme Court of the United States
-Court of Military Appeals

Education
-J.D., Fordham University, 1977
-M.A., Indiana University, 1970
-B.S., U.S. Air Force Academy, 1969

Professional Associations
-The Florida Bar
-Bay County Bar Association
-Military Officers Association of America
-Disable American Veterans
-St. Andrews Bay American Inn of Court

Honors
-Florida Bar Association President's Pro Bono Service Award for the 12th Circuit- 1995

Publications
-"Cooperative Development of Pro Bono Legal Advice Clinic Program." Florida Bar Journal, Vol. LXX, No. 4, p.66, April 1996
Education
  • Fordham University
    Juris Doctorate

Joy Marler Masters

Joy Marler Masters is a Shareholder in the firm who focuses her practice on Estate Planning, Probate, Business Law (including Business Entity Formation), Tax Law, Guardianship, and Real Estate Transactions. Joy assists clients in all levels of estate planning, including drafting simple wills and ancillary documents such as Powers of Attorney, Health Care Surrogates and Living Wills as well as more complex tax planning with wills and trusts. She also assists clients by representing them in Florida domiciliary and ancillary probate administrations and Florida trust administrations.

Joy is a native of Northwest Florida. Prior to beginning law school at Florida State University, she worked as an accountant in the areas of pension plan administration and tax return preparation. While at Florida State, Joy served on the Business Law Review, held membership in Phi Delta Phi and graduated in the top one-third of her class. After receiving her J.D. from Florida State University, she has focused her law practice primarily in the areas of Estate Planning, Probate and Tax, including returning to school to earn her LL.M. in Taxation.

Joy is actively involved in the Northwest Florida community, currently serving as the Vice President of the Board of Directors for Chautauqua Learn & Serve Charter School in Bay County and serving on the Board of Directors for the Panama City Beach Library Foundation. She has also previously served on the Board of Directors for the Science & Discovery Center of Northwest Florida. Joy is a member of both the Bay County Bar Association and St. Andrews Bay American Inn of Court.

Contact Joy Marler Masters at (850)769-1414 or jmasters@burkeblue.com.

Practice Areas
-Wills, Trusts & Estates
-Guardianship
-Probate Law
-Business Law
-Taxation
-Real Estate Law

Bar Admission
-Florida, 2004
-U.S. Supreme Court

Education
-LL.M. Taxation, University of Alabama, 2010
-J.D., Florida State University, 2003
---Business Law Review
-B.A., Accounting, University of West Florida, 1998

Professional Associations
-American Bar Association
-The Florida Bar
-Bay County Bar Association
-St. Andrews Bay American Inn of Court
Education
  • Florida State University
    Juris Doctorate

J. Christopher Barr

J. Christopher "Chris" Barr is a Shareholder of the firm. Chris' practice is focused in the areas of real estate law, condominium law, contract law and general civil litigation. Chris has presided over countless residential and commercial real estate transactions throughout Northwest Florida. Chris has also successfully negotiated many short sale transactions on behalf of both borrowers and lenders and possesses substantial experience using the "Equator" electronic short sale system implemented by numerous national lenders including Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and NationStar Mortgage.

Chris also has significant experience representing clients in civil litigation matters. His litigation practice focuses on actions involving contract disputes, property disputes, foreclosure, the collection of secured and unsecured debt, defense of wrongful collection, evictions, and actions to quiet title. Chris has represented multiple banks in foreclosures throughout Florida. He has been successful in efficiently and effectively obtaining Judgments of Foreclosure as well as Deficiency Judgments, when appropriate, against borrowers. He has also represented numerous borrowers in defense of foreclosure and successfully negotiated numerous "workouts" on behalf of his clients, including deed in lieu of foreclosure, short sale, and loan modification.

Chris' practice also includes the representation of Condominium and Homeowners Associations in Northwest Florida. Chris advises clients regarding the rights, duties, and obligations of owners and Associations imposed under the Florida Statutes and the applicable governing documents. Chris also assists in the enforcement of those rights, duties and obligations including the collection of past due assessments and enforcement of the rules and regulations of the association. Chris is available to assist both Associations and members in this area of the law.

Chris was born and raised in Panama City, Florida. Prior to working for Burke Blue, Chris held internship positions at the Bay County Courthouse and former U.S. Senator Bob Graham's office in Washington D.C. Chris is a graduate of the Leadership Bay Class of 2006 and is currently a member of the Bay County Bar Association, The Florida Bar's Young Lawyer Division, St. Andrews Bay American Inn of Court, the Panhandle Gator Club and the Krewe of Dominique Youx. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family and friends, boating to Shell Island, golfing, watching college football, and traveling.
Contact Chris Barr at (850)769-1414 or cbarr@burkeblue.com.

Practice areas
-Real Estate Law
-Homeowner & Condominium Association Law
-Contract Law
-Foreclosure
-Landlord/Tenant Law

Bar Admission
-Florida, 2005

Court Admissions
-U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida

Education
-J.D., University of Florida, 2005
-B.S., University of Florida, 2002

Professional Associations
-The Florida Bar
-Bay County Bar Association
-St. Andrews Bay American Inn of Court
-Leadership Bay, Class of 2006
Education
  • University of Florida
    Juris Doctorate

Michael J. Henry

Michael J. Henry focuses his practice in the areas of General Civil Litigation, Banking Law, and Real Estate Litigation. He has experience with collection and foreclosure cases for various regional banks. Mr. Henry also handles real property disputes dealing with easements, landlord/tenants, and purchaser disputes.

Mr. Henry is originally from Panama City, being born at Tyndall Air Force Base. Prior to attending law school he obtained membership in the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) of America and served as a golf professional in South Carolina, Illinois, and Florida.

Mr. Henry is active in the community serving as the Vice President of the Habitat for Humanity of Walton County. He is also involved in the area legal community serving as the President of the Bay County Bar Association and the Treasurer of the Walton County Bar Association in 2013. He is a member of the St. Andrews Bay American Inn of Court.

Contact Mike Henry at (850)267-9498 or mhenry@burkeblue.com.

Practice Areas
-Civil Litigation & Appeals
-Banking Law
-Real Estate Law
-Foreclosure
-Landlord/Tenant Law

Bar Admission
-Florida, 2009

Court Admissions
-U.S. District Court
-Northern District of Florida

Education
-J.D., University of Florida, 2009
-B.S., Coastal Carolina University, 2000

Professional Associations
-Florida Bar Association
-Bay County Bar Association
---President 2013
---Vice President/President Elect, 2012
---Treasurer, 2011
---Secretary, 2010
-Walton County Bar Association
---Treasurer, 2012, 2013
-St. Andrews Bay American Inn of Court
-Habitat for Humanity of Walton County
---Vice President, 2012, 2013
-Leadership Walton
---Class of 20122013

Speaking Engagements
-Practicing with Professionalism Seminar
---Young Lawyer Professionalism Panel- May 2012
Education
  • University of Florida
    Juris Doctorate

Clark T. Rogers, Jr.

Clark T. Rogers, Jr. is a native of the Panama City area and joined Burke Blue in 2011. He graduated Cum Laude from the University of Florida in 2008 with a Bachelors of Science in Business Finance, and went on to attend The Wake Forest University School of Law. While attending Wake Forest, he served as a teaching assistant in Appellate Advocacy and volunteered at an Immigration Clinic aiding Haitian immigrants in applying for Temporary Protection Status after the 2010 earthquake. Clark was also the recipient of the school's Wade Brown Scholarship and the Griggs Scholarship for academic excellence.

Since joining Burke Blue, Clark has practiced in the areas of General Civil Litigation, Real Property Law, Foreclosure Litigation, Condominium & Homeowner Association Law, Landlord/Tenant Law, and Environmental/Administrative Law.

He is involved in his community through the Bay County Bar Association and Bay County Citizens for Liberty. Clark enjoys playing and watching soccer, kayaking, paddleboarding, and spending time with his friends and family.

Contact Clark Rogers at 850-769-1414 or crogers@burkeblue.com.

Practice Areas
-Real Estate Law
-Foreclosure Litigation
-Landlord/Tenant Law
-Banking & Credit Unions
-Civil Litigation & Appeals

Bar Admission
-Florida, 2011

Education
-J.D., Wake Forest University, 2011
-B.S., with honors, University of Florida, 2008

Professional Associations
-The Florida Bar
-Bay County Bar Association
-Bay County Citizens for Liberty
Education
  • Wake Forest University
    Juris Doctorate

Nevin Zimmerman

Nevin Zimmerman is a resident in the firm's downtown Panama City office, and he has experience practicing in the areas of governmental law, administrative law, land use law, contract law, real estate financing and municipal bond finance law. In his representation of Bay County for over 20 years, Mr. Zimmerman gained considerable expertise in the areas of land use, growth management, environmental permitting and infrastructure financing. Nevin presently serves as the City Attorney for Panama City.

Nevin has also assisted numerous clients with a variety of land use and permitting issues; he has provided valuable guidance to developers and landowners in interpreting the State land use laws, in navigating through the local land use codes and comprehensive plans, and in assisting in the financing of their projects, including FHA and HUD insured loans. Recently, Mr. Zimmerman represented numerous borrowers of FHA/HUD insured loans to construct and refinance apartments, workforce housing facilities and nursing home facilities. He has also represented clients obtaining bonds and tax credits through the Florida Housing Finance Corporation and USDA Rural Development loan guarantees for senior living housing projects.

Mr. Zimmerman has served as local counsel and consultant for court appointed receivers, developers, lawyers, architects and engineers, and he can be a valuable member of any development and problem solving team. Teamwork and consensus building are important aspects of Mr. Zimmerman's practice, and he is available to assist you in arriving at solutions for your project challenges.

Nevin has lived in Bay County since 1979, and he and his wife have four daughters. He was admitted to practice law in the state of Florida in 1979. Nevin and his wife (Gigi) have organized and sponsored travelling youth choirs for over 20 years, and he serves as President of the Bay County Christian Youth Choir, Inc.

Contact Nevin Zimmerman at (850) 215-6604 or nzimmerman@burkeblue.com.

Practice Areas
-Real Estate Law
-Condominium Law
-Landlord/Tenant
-Property & Title Disputes
-Business Law
-Business Organization
-Banking & Credit Unions

Bar Admission
-Florida, 1998

Court Admissions
-United States District Court
---Northern District of Florida
-11th Circuit Court of Appeals

Education
-J.D., Nova Southeastern University, 1998
-B.A., University of Alabama, 1995

Professional Associations
-The Florida Bar
-Walton County Bar Association
-Leadership Okaloosa
---Class 0f 2002
---Committee Chair 2003
Education
  • Nova Southeastern University
    Juris Doctorate

Dustin N. Dailey

Dustin N. Dailey is an associate in the firm's Panama City Beach office, and focuses his practice in the areas of real estate development, land use and local government, and business organization.

Dustin provides services in Government Relations by representing clients before local governmental entities and outside the courtroom. After law school, Dustin worked for a small, private real estate development company. He assisted the development company with re-zoning applications, land use change requests, lot split applications, annexation applications and variances. He now provides these same services to his clients. Dustin will communicate with local government bodies regarding his client's grievances, including any action by the local government that has inordinately burdened his client's property.

Also, Dustin was previously employed by the nation's largest homebuilder to assist with its land acquisition throughout Northwest Florida. As part of his duties, he negotiated the acquisition of numerous properties, as well as the related contracts, and he also organized and conducted portions of the company's due diligence.

Dustin provides guidance with developing and organizing business entities for his clients. He has drafted operating agreements, articles of incorporation, shareholder agreements, and bylaws for many different types of businesses, including retail stores, car washes, and self-storage facilities. He provides a wide range of advice to these business entities, including advice regarding shareholder or member buyouts, stock or membership offerings, and other capitalization issues.

Dustin has represented a number of condominium and homeowner associations in Walton, Okaloosa, and Bay counties. As part of this representation, Dustin advises the clients on the association's rights, duties and liabilities under the Florida Statutes and the association's governing documents. He also assists the associations with collecting past due assessments and other communications with owners in the community. Dustin's goal is to protect the association's rights, but in a manner that is courteous and respectful to all members of the association's community.

A native of Northwest Florida, Dustin was born and raised in Freeport, Florida in Walton County. He has great pride and holds a very dear a sense of place for the natural beauty found in Walton County. While attending the University of Florida - Levin College of Law, Dustin served as a student panel coordinator for the 12th Annual Public Interest Environmental Conference. He developed a panel discussion entitled "The Choctawhatchee Miracle: An Uncommon Approach to Protecting a River Basin." The panel focused on the public-private partnership between Walton County and private interest to monitor and protect the Choctawhatchee River Basin watershed.

Dustin currently volunteers with the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance and the University of Florida Lakewatch Program. As part of his volunteer work, Dustin monitors the water quality for Alligator Lake, one of Walton County's treasured fresh water, dune lakes.

* Nolo has confirmed that every member attorney has a valid license and is in good standing with the state agency that licenses lawyers. Any past disbarments and suspensions (with possible exceptions for minor violations or nonpayment of dues, in our discretion) will be indicated accordingly in the badge. Member attorneys are required to notify Nolo immediately if they become the subject of any disciplinary action by any state licensing agency.

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