Doug Smith

Doug Smith

Doug Smith

Phone: (850) 222-0720

Email Address: [email protected]

  • Doug devotes his practice to litigation in state and federal courts and in administrative litigation before the Florida Division of Administrative Hearings.

    For over 21 years, Doug has handled an array of complex litigation matters, including land use litigation, real estate disputes, covenant enforcement, boundary disputes, riparian rights case, eminent domain, construction disputes, construction defect litigation, insurance litigation, complex commercial foreclosures, bid protests, and appeals. Doug understands that litigation a powerful tool to achieve a desired outcome. Doug prefers a pragmatic approach to litigation, one that balances a client’s desire to aggressively vindicate its rights with the need to remain focused on the finish line. If litigation becomes necessary, Doug has the experience to guide clients through the minefield of litigating in Florida.


    • University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, Sacramento, California; J.D., With Great Distinction (Valedictorian (Day Division); Order of the Coif; Articles and Comment Editor, McGeorge Law Review; American Jurisprudence Awards in: Contracts, Evidence, Constitutional Law, Sales & Leases, Criminal Procedure, Professional Responsibility, Community Property and Remedies; Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges (1998-1999 edition))

    • California State University, Chico, California; B.A., cum laude (Economics and Music; Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society)

    • Over 21 years of experience devoted to real property, land use, construction, and commercial litigation.
    • Represented various interests challenging the validity of development orders issued or being considered by local governments.
    • Represented contractors in bid protests involving multi-million dollar procurements.
    • Represented developers in construction lien and contract deposit disputes involving residential condominium developments.
    • Handled a variety of real property disputes, including boundary disputes, title litigation, riparian rights disputes, real property contamination, property owner association disputes, easement litigation, restrictive covenant enforcement, and real estate commission disputes.
    • Prosecuted and defended complex landlord/tenant disputes.
    • Represented numerous community development districts in complex non-residential foreclosures, construction disputes, and commercial litigation.
    • Represented developers and various third party interests challenging and defending land use entitlements issued by local governments, including consistency challenges brought pursuant to Chapter 163, Florida Statutes, and petitions for writs of certiorari.
    • Defended public agency in $50 million breach of contract litigation.

    Representative Cases

    Florida Circuit Court Litigation

    • Represented large Florida developer in challenge to a development order denial regarding a large subdivision in Palm Beach County.
    • Successfully defeated a development order for a luxury condominium in the Panhandle.
    • Represented local developers regarding a condominium approvals in the Panhandle, including a petitions for writ of certiorari and chapter 163 consistency challenges in connection with same.
    • Prosecuting petition for writ of certiorari in connection with a local government’s issuance of a variance.
    • Represented numerous community development districts in complex foreclosures of special assessment liens, foreclosing in excess of $100 million in debt assessments.
    • Successfully defended assessment liens of community development districts in quiet title actions and in bankruptcy.
    • Represented commercial client in covenant dispute.
    • Numerous leasing engagements, including landlord/tenant litigation on behalf of developer in central Florida.
    • Represented local government in multi-million dollar commercial litigation, resulting in a settlement of no payment to the plaintiff.
    • Represented national advertising company in eminent domain and inverse condemnation proceedings.
    • Represented national manufacturer in multiple construction defect cases.
    • Represented private clients in property classification and valuation for ad valorem tax purposes.
    • Represented community development district in lawsuit over maintenance obligations, lawsuit for validation of special assessments, and lawsuit challenging legislative decisions of local government.
    • Successfully overcame challenges to community development district’s issuance of debt to perform infrastructure repairs.
    • Handled insurance issues for numerous community development districts and private entities.

    Administrative Litigation

    • Multiple bid protests, including multi-million dollar protests before the Department of Lottery and Department of Health
    • Small scale plan amendment
    • Ongoing litigation before DBPR

    Federal Litigation

    • Insurance coverage litigation in various matters
    • Represented developer in central Florida in large commercial foreclosure and in defense of equitable lien claims in what at the time was the largest foreclosure in Central Florida history.


    • Participated in complex multi-day commercial leasing arbitration on behalf of national cinema.

    Doug’s practice is not limited by venue; he enjoys litigation thoroughly and will appear in any venue for the benefit of a client.

    Bar and Court Admissons

    • Florida
    • California  (inactive)
    • U.S. District Courts (Northern District of Florida, Middle District of Florida, Northern District of California (inactive), Central District of California (inactive))
    • U.S. Bankruptcy Court (Middle District of Florida)
    • U.S. Court of Appeals (D.C. Circuit, Ninth Circuit (inactive))

  • Professional Associations

    • Tallahassee Bar Association
    • Florida Bar Association (Real Property, ELULS)

    Community Activities

    • Florida State University School of Law, Negotiation and Client Counseling Competitions, Frequent Judge

    Publications and Lectures

    • ABCs of Local Land Use and Zoning Decisions, The Florida Bar Journal, Vol. LXXXIV, No. 1 (January, 2010) (co-author)
    • Florida Administrative Practice, Ch. 8, Environmental Agencies, 8th and 9th Editions. (co-author)
    • The Outer Limit: The California Supreme Court Reigns in the 10-Year Statute of Repose for Construction Defects, Miller & Starr, Real Estate Newsalert (November 2003)
    • SLAPP Happy: An Analysis of California’s Anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) Statute, Miller & Starr, Real Estate Newsalert (November 2004) (co-author)
    • Of Hidden Treasures and Fools Gold: The California Supreme Court Holds Ancient “Subdivision” Maps Do Not Create Legal Lots, Miller & Starr, Real Estate Newsalert (May 2003) (co-author)
    • Comment, Ohio v. Robinette: Per se Unreasonable, 29 McGeorge L. Rev. 897 (1998) (author)