CHARLES R. FORMAN - Partner
Born in Hollywood, Florida, February 12, 1951; admitted to the practice of law, 1977, Florida and U.S. District Courts; U.S. Tax Court, United States Court of Claims, Northern and Southern District, 1979; and the Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit, 1984. EDUCATION: University of Texas (B.A. with Honors, 1973, Phi Beta Kappa); University of Florida ( J.D. with Honors 1976, Phi Kappa Phi.). LECTURER: The Florida Bar Continuing Education Committee and Eminent Domain Committee, 1994. MEMBER: Marion County Bar Association; The Florida Bar, Standing Committee on Eminent Domain, (Vice-Chairman, 1993); Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, (Co-Founder Eminent Domain Sub-committee); The Association of Trial Lawyers of America; Former Chairman, Planning Commission of Marion County.
Since 1980, Mr. Forman has participated in more than 1,000 property rights and condemnation cases throughout the State. He began working in the field of eminent domain with the late C. Ray Greene, Jr., of Jacksonville. Among statewide projects, Mr. Forman has handled condemnation cases for property owners and tenants in Broward County involving the conversion of S.R. 84 to I-595, the relocation of U.S. 1, expansion of the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Mr. Forman also had significant involvement in representing property owners in the conversion of Alligator Alley to I-75 in Broward and Collier Counties, and in the State of Florida's Cross-Florida Barge Canal Project in Central Florida.
JOSEPH M. HANRATTY - Partner
Born Miami, Florida, January 19, 1961; admitted to the practice of law 1992, Florida. EDUCATION: B.S. Florida State University, 1983; J.D. Stetson University College of Law, 1986, Civil Clinic, Society of Trial Advocacy, Phi Delta Phi. MEMBER: The Florida Bar; Florida Bar Association; Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, (Eminent Domain Sub-committee); Marion County Landfill Site Advisory Committee; Marion County Land Development Regulations Board (Chairman 1998). Marion County Hospital Board of Trustees, Munroe Regional Medical Center Board of Directors.
Mr. Hanratty practices in the area of civil litigation with primary emphasis in eminent domain and land use regulations. He has handled hundreds of condemnation cases throughout the State of Florida, including numerous inverse condemnation and land use regulation matters. Mr. Hanratty was the Chairman of the Marion County Land Development Regulation Board for four years and the Vice-Chairman for the previous four years. In addition to civil litigation, Mr. Hanratty has handled cases before various Florida District Courts of Appeal and the Florida Supreme Court.
GORDON B. JOHNSTON - Associate
Born in Sebring, Florida, October 27, 1939; admitted to practice of law in Florida in 1964. EDUCATION: College of William & Mary, Florida State University (B.S. 1962); President of Inter fraternity Council and Kappa Alpha Order, University of Florida, College of Law (J.D., 1964) Vice President of John Marshall Student Bar Association, President of Delta Theta Phi Legal Fraternity. MEMBER: Marion County Bar Association, The Florida Bar, Former Director of Government Bar Association and Florida Association of County Attorneys, Current Director of FSU Varsity Club, Past President of Indian River County Bar Association and Seminole Boosters, Indian River Chapter, Past Exalted Ruler of B.P.O.E. #1774, Vero Beach, FL, Civil Defense Director Indian River County, Florida.
Mr. Johnston served as the County Attorney for Marion County from 1990 to 2006 handling all legal matters regarding Marion County and the Board of County Commissioners including comprehensive plan, zoning, contractual, solid waste, utilities, animal control, code enforcement, budget, airport and MSTU matters. He served as the Chief Assistant County Attorney for Bay County from 2007 to 2010 helping the County Attorney establish a new County Attorney Office, drafted ordinances, contracts, resolutions and other legal documents and assisted various county departments. He worked as an eminent domain trial attorney for the State of Florida Department of Transportation from 1984 to 1985. From 1985 to 1990 he was a Senior Attorney for the State of Florida Department of Community Affairs. He began his legal career in Vero Beach in 1964 and worked in private practice for 20 years with emphasis on real estate and corporate law. In addition to civil litigation, Mr. Johnston has handled cases before various Florida District Courts of Appeal and the Florida Supreme Court.
MICHAEL B. MONTGOMERY - Of Counsel
Born in Santa Barbara, California, September 12, 1936. Admitted to the practice of law in Florida, California and Hawaii. EDUCATION: University of California, Los Angeles, (B.S. 1960); University of Southern California, (J.D. 1963). MEMBER: The Florida Bar, The California Bar; The Hawaii Bar; American Bar Association; Florida Bar Eminent Domain Committee; American Bar Chairman, Sub-committee on Housing and Community Development, 1965-1984; Los Angeles County Committee on Condemnation Procedures, 1965-1968, 1988-present; licensed Real Estate Broker.
Mr. Montgomery has served as Mayor of the City of South Pasadena; U.S. Representative, International Committee for the Conservation of the Atlantic Tunas, Madrid, 1985-1994; Member, Pacific Fishery Management Council, 1991-1994; Commissioner, Fair Political Practices Commission, State of California, 1985-1989. He began his legal career as an attorney in the California Division of Highways Legal Department and has acted as Redevelopment Agency Counsel, City Attorney, and Special Counsel for numerous public agencies for over 25 years. Additionally, has acted as Special Counsel for numerous municipal bond issues in excess of $1,500,000,000 total. He has handled over 1,000 eminent domain parcels, represented over 200 properties in toxic valuation-litigation suits and has tried many zoning and land-use cases.
VANESSA THOMAS - Partner
Born in Ocala, Florida, October 11, 1966; admitted to the practice of law in Florida and Alabama. EDUCATION: Stetson University (B.S., 1987); Cumberland School of Law, Samford University (J.D. 1992). MEMBER: United States Supreme Court Bar; The Florida Bar; Alabama State Bar; Marion County Bar Association; Association of Eminent Domain Professionals; Florida Planning and Zoning Association; International Association of Assessment Officers; Affiliate Member of the Appraisal Institute; Member, Marion County Historical Commission; Former Member, Marion County Emergency Medical Response Task Force.
Ms. Thomas practices in the area of civil litigation with an emphasis in eminent domain and ad valorem taxation. In addition to civil litigation Ms. Thomas has handled cases before various Florida District Courts of Appeal and the U.S. Supreme Court.