Shareholder Donna E. Blanton practices in the areas of Florida administrative law and appellate advocacy, with an emphasis on cases involving public procurement, insurance regulation, energy, telecommunications and public utility law, professional licensing and discipline, and affordable housing. Ms. Blanton is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in the area of State and Federal Government and Administrative Practice.
Ms. Blanton has represented corporate, non-profit, and government clients in public procurement cases, both at the administrative hearing level and on appeal. Among the entities she has represented in bid protest proceedings since 2002 include Microsoft Corporation; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; CVS Caremark; Health Management Systems, Inc.; Health Information Designs, Inc.; the Florida Housing Finance Corporation; Mae Volen Senior Center, Inc.; LabWare, Inc.; the North American Family Institute, Inc.; Aquatic Plants of Florida, Inc.; the Florida Department of Children and Families; the Florida Department of Health; Harcourt Assessment, Inc.; and General Electric Company.
A former law clerk to the chief justice of the Florida Supreme Court, Ms. Blanton has been involved in appeals on behalf of a number corporate clients, including BellSouth Telecommunications, Inc.; Health Options, Inc. (a subsidiary of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida); General Electric Company; Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.; American Bankers Insurance Co.; Service Insurance Co.; United Wisconsin Insurance Co., and Flo-Sun, Inc. She has prepared amicus briefs on behalf of a number of clients, including Florida Power & Light Company; the Florida Telecommunications Industry Association; the Florida Homebuilders Association, the Florida Association of Realtors; and the Florida Trucking Association.
Much of Ms. Blanton's appellate experience has been in high-profile cases, including the 2000 Florida presidential election controversy. She participated extensively in all of the major state court cases involving the 2000 presidential election, including Palm Beach Canvassing Bd. v. Harris, 772 So. 2d 1220 (Fla. 2000); Fladell v. Palm Beach County Canvassing Bd., 772 So. 2d 1240 (Fla. 2000); Gore v. Harris, 2000 WL 1770257 (Fla. 2d Jud. Cir. Ct., December 4, 2000); Palm Beach Canvassing Bd. v. Harris II, 772 So. 2d 1273 (Fla. 2000); Jacobs v. Seminole County Canvassing Bd., 773 So. 2d 519 (Fla. 2000); and Taylor v. Martin County Canvassing Bd., 773 So. 2d 517 (Fla. 2000).
Ms. Blanton has written a number of scholarly articles about Florida administrative procedure, several of which have been cited by Florida appellate courts. See, e.g., Florida Dep't of Business & Prof. Reg. v. Investment Co. of Palm Beach, 747 So. 2d 374, 383 n.7 (Fla. 1999); State Bd. of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund v. Day Cruise Ass'n, 794 So. 2d 696, 700 n.4 (Fla. 1st DCA 2001); Department of Corrections v. Saulter, 742 So. 2d 368, 370 (Fla. 1st DCA 1999). In 1995-96, Ms. Blanton served as executive director of the Governor's Administrative Procedure Act Review Commission, which recommended a rewrite of the Florida APA that was adopted by the Legislature in 1996. Ms. Blanton's administrative law practice includes rule challenge hearings involving a regulated person's or entity's substantial interests, variance and waiver petitions, as well as bid protests.
Ms. Blanton graduated with high honors from the Florida State University College of Law in 1992, where she was editor-in-chief of the law review. She earned her undergraduate degree in journalism, with honors, from the University of Florida in 1977. Before attending law school, she was bureau chief for The Orlando Sentinel in the paper's Tallahassee office. Ms. Blanton was named to Florida Trend Magazine's annual listing of Florida Legal Elite in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2009. She also was named in Florida Super Lawyers in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011, and recognized in the 2008, 2010, and 2011 editions of The Best Lawyers in America in the area of Administrative Law.
. Florida Bar Board Certified in State and Federal Government and Administrative Practice.