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Phone  (850) 999-4100
Fax (850) 577-0095
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Peter M. Dunbar

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Mr. Dunbar’s practice focuses on governmental, administrative, and real property law. He began his long career in Florida government in 1967 as staff director in the Florida House of Representatives. Mr. Dunbar later served for five terms as a distinguished member of the Florida House representing Pinellas and Pasco counties in the Florida Legislature. Upon leaving the Legislature, he held the posts of General Counsel and Director of Legislative Affairs under Governor Bob Martinez and as General Counsel at the Department of Financial Services. Mr. Dunbar served as Chief of Staff during the transition from the Martinez administration to the administration of Governor Lawton Chiles, and he is former Chairman and two-term member of the Florida Ethics Commission. Currently, Mr. Dunbar serves on the inaugural committee for the Condominium and Planned Development Law Certification for The Florida Bar.

Mr. Dunbar was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1972. He is a member of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, an adjunct professor at Florida State University College of Law, and has recently been selected by his peers as a member of Florida Trend’s Florida Legal Elite Hall of Fame.


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Representative Clients

Mr. Dunbar's significant representation has included more than two decades of representation before the Legislature, the Governor, the Cabinet and state agencies for a variety of interests, including businesses, professional organizations, the Florida judiciary, local governments and trade associations.

  • His projects have included passage of new laws that provide the following:
    • New protection of private property rights for owners of commercial and agricultural properties, condominium owners, and leasehold property interests;
    • New options for creation of special purpose agencies for regional water supply and wastewater treatment;
    • Statutory rewrites to modernize the chapters of Florida law regulating condominium and community housing, outdoor advertising, land trusts, lien rights and foreclosure.
    • New innovative funding options for local governments to provide improved transportation infrastructure, new sports and recreational venues, stormwater treatment facilities, economic development incentives, brownfield remediation and preservation of conservation lands.
  • Mr. Dunbar has provided testimony as an expert witness in cases involving condominium and real property disputes.
  • For more than four decades, he has represented condominium associations and homeowners' associations in community operations and governance, covenant enforcement and interpretation, and other legal issues involved with community living.
  • He has also provided appellate advocacy for clients in the Florida Supreme Court and district courts of appeal.

Professional and Civic Activities

  • American College of Real Estate Lawyers – Member
  • The Florida Bar
    • Real Property Probate and Trust Law Section – Legislative Counsel, Member
    • Administrative Law Section – Member
  • Conference of Circuit Court Judges – General Counsel
  • Tampa Bay Water Regional Supply Authority - Past Intermim General Counsel
  • Institute of World War II and the Human Experience - Advisory Board Member
  • FSU College of Law Board of Visitors - Member
  • Community Associations Institute - Member
  • NOAA Sea Grant Review Panel of the U.S. Department of Commerce – Past Chairman and Member
  • Florida Judicial Council – Past Member
  • Collins Center for Public Policy – Past Board Member
  • Coastal Conservation Association – Member

Charitable and Pro Bono Service

Special Olympics - Volunteer and Coach

Education

  • J.D.: Florida State University College of Law, Tallahassee, Florida, with honors, 1972
  • Undergraduate Degree: B.A., Political Science: Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, 1969

Bar Admissions

Florida

Recognition & Awards

  • Recognized among Florida Trend’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame
  • Named Outstanding Government & Administrative Attorney in Florida Trend Magazine’s Legal Elite, 2014-2016
  • Named an Outstanding Government Relations, Real Estate, Lobbying Attorney, 2008-2016 in Florida Super Lawyers Magazine
  • Martindale Hubbell: AV® Rating
  • 2012 Recipient of FSU College of Law Distinguished Alumni Award
  • 2011 Recipient of Robert C. Scott Memorial Service Award from Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section
  • 199 Recipient of Conservation Colleague Award for the Florida Chapter of the Nature Conservancy
  • Florida State University Gold Key

Speaking Engagements

  • Mr. Dunbar is a frequent lecturer at Continuing Legal Education programs, including:
    • Annual Legislative Update sponsored by the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of the Florida Bar
    • Institute Condominium and Cluster Development sponsored by the University of Miami College of Law
    • Demystifying the Legislative Process sponsored by the Government Lawyers Section of the Florida Bar
    • Florida Women Lawyers Association
    • Common Ownership Realty Association of the Florida Insitute of Certified Public Accountants
  • Frequent lecturer on Florida state government structure and operations, including before:
    • Florida Budget and Tax Reform Commission
    • Undergraduate political science classes at the University of Florida and Florida State University
    • Florida Association of Counties
    • Leadership Pinellas
    • Government Lawyers Section
  • Keynote address on World War II and the Battle of the Solomon Islands at Florida State University, Fordham University, Jacksonville Historical Society and Ringling Institute, Tallahassee Exchange Club, and Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of the Florida Bar

Publications

  • Mr. Dunbar is the author of numerous books and publications including:
    • The Condominium Concept, 14th edition, Pineapple Press
    • The Law of Florida Homeowners Association, 10th edition, Pineapple Press
    • Resident Owned Community Guide for Florida Cooperatives, 3rd edition, co-authored with Ashley Gault, Pineapple Press
    • Homeowners Association Manual, co- authored with Charles F. Dudley, Pineapple Press
    • Before They Were the Black Sheep, Carl O. Dunbar edited by Peter M. Dunbar, University Press of Florida
    • "Partial Termination: Good Things Can Happen to Bad Projects", Florida Bar Journal, co-authored with Eleanor Taft, Wilhelmina Kightlinger and Kevin Wells
    • "Condominium", Sage Encyclopedia of Housing, 2nd Edition
    • "Four Tenants of the Respected and Successful", Points of Personal Privilege, The James Madison Institute