Certified Specialist – City, County and Local Government

Sherry Sutphen was admitted to the Florida Bar in 2000 and is admitted to practice before the United States District Courts for the Middle, Northern and Southern Districts of Florida; and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Mrs. Sutphen received her B.A. from the University of Central Florida and her J.D. from the Shepard Broad Law Center at Nova Southeastern University.

OVERVIEW & EXPERIENCE

She concentrates her practice in the area of local government law, specializing in local government general counsel work, public records, eminent domain, inverse condemnation, land use, public housing, purchasing, code enforcement and contract and ordinance drafting and interpretation. Her years of experience have led her through a variety of civil litigation matters including, serving as lead eminent domain counsel for more than seven major county road projects, successfully protecting multiple Code Enforcement Board and Board of Adjustments actions appealed by Petition for Writ of Certiorari and successfully defending or resolving countless land use related matters. Mrs. Sutphen has testified in front of the Growth Management Senate Committee during active session related to DRI thresholds and has provided routine advice to a myriad of advisory boards and committees, both statutorily required and local government created, regarding quorum requirements, ethics opinions and open government and sunshine laws. She believes in community involvement and has served, or is currently serving, in a volunteer capacity for a variety of non-profit and community organizations.

EDUCATION

  • Shepard Broad Law Center at Nova Southeastern University, J.D., 2000
  • University of Central Florida B.A. in Public Administration,1993

PRACTICE AREAS

  • All aspects of Local Government Law
  • Eminent Domain/Inverse Condemnation
  • Public Records and Government in the Sunshine
  • Land Use Law

ADMITTED TO PRACTICE

  • Florida
  • United States District Court, Middle District of Florida
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Florida
  • United States District Court, Southern District of Florida
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

PROFESSIONAL & COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

  • Florida Bar Eminent Domain Committee
  • Osceola Association of Retarded Citizens Board of Directors
  • First United Methodist Church Finance Committee
    Chairperson 2012 – 2015; Member since 2012
  • First United Methodist Church Scholarship Committee
    Member since 2007

REPRESENTATIVE CASES

  • Secured Court’s ruling on appeal upholding the dismissal of Plaintiff’s Complaint against the City based on Florida’s Public Records Act.  Joel Edward Chandler v. City of Saint Cloud, 137 So.3d 387 (Fla. 5th DCA 2014).
  • Obtained reversal on appeal of Circuit Court’s application of incorrect law when it conducted an independent review of the record before the city commission.  City of Atlantic Beach v. Donald and Karen Wolfson, 118 So.3d 993 (Fla. 1st DCA 2013).
  • Secured firm’s summary judgment ruling in favor of the County on appeal.  Wakulla Bank, et al. v. Dixie County, 118 So.3d 225 (Fla. 1st DCA 2013).

A complete list of Mrs. Sutphen’s reported cases is available upon request.