Michael A. Hanzman, Former Florida Circuit Court Judge, Joins Bilzin Sumberg Law Firm

Press Release
April 3, 2023

Miami, FL – After serving on Florida’s Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court bench for twelve years and overseeing some of South Florida’s most high-profile legal matters, Michael A. Hanzman, former judge, is reentering private practice at the Bilzin Sumberg law firm. Hanzman joins the Firm as Senior Counsel in its trial practice, where a team of trial attorneys represents industry-leading clients both in-state and nationally.

As one of Florida’s preeminent trial judges, Hanzman most recently served in the Circuit Court’s complex business litigation (CBL) division, where he presided over the litigation stemming from the tragic 2021 collapse of Champlain Towers South in the Town of Surfside. Over the span of 14 months, Hanzman approved the $120 million sale of the oceanfront property where the collapse occurred, guided the parties to a landmark $1.1 billion settlement, and determined compensation for victims who lost their property and their lives.

In his role as Senior Counsel at Bilzin Sumberg, Hanzman focuses his practice on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), including private judging, arbitration, and mediation. Michael also employs his extensive experience and legal acumen to strategize and consult on trial and appellate matters. Additionally, he will spend time recruiting, training and mentoring attorneys.

Over the past 25 years, Bilzin Sumberg has become the law firm of choice for domestic and foreign companies and investors doing business inside and outside of Florida. Today, Bilzin Sumberg has a hand in every aspect of the state’s economy – from real estate and infrastructure, to finance and technology. The Firm’s litigators are regularly called upon to handle domestic and international disputes, national class actions, and landmark antitrust cases on behalf of public and private corporations.

“Bilzin Sumberg’s trial practice is home to top talent serving preeminent clients, and the addition of Michael Hanzman to our Firm will build upon that strength,” said Bilzin Sumberg Managing Partner Albert E. Dotson, Jr. “Michael left an indelible mark on our South Florida community during his time on the bench. His role as Senior Counsel at Bilzin Sumberg will allow him to deepen his community impact, advise companies and individuals across Florida and beyond, and mentor a new generation of attorneys.”

“While my twelve years in public service was the most meaningful and personally rewarding chapter of my 40-year career, I am honored to begin my next chapter at Bilzin Sumberg,” said Michael Hanzman, former Florida Circuit Court judge. “Bilzin Sumberg has earned an outstanding reputation for its integrity and performance on behalf of clients, both in Florida and nationally. I cannot think of any place I would be more excited to call my next home.”

Appointed to the bench by former Governor Rick Scott in 2011, Hanzman was subsequently reelected without opposition in 2012 and 2018. He served in the Circuit Court’s juvenile dependency, general civil, and criminal divisions before joining the complex business litigation (CBL) division in 2016, and sat as an associate judge on the 4th District Court of Appeal in 2013, 2014, and 2017. All told, he authored more than 200 published legal opinions and orders during his tenure. Prior to his judicial appointment, Hanzman spent 25 years in private practice.

Hanzman has been recognized with multiple awards and honors, including the 2022 William H. Hoeveler Lifetime Achievement Award from the University of Miami School of Law’s Center for Ethics & Public Service, the 2022 Equal Justice Judicial Leadership Award from Legal Services of Greater Miami, and the 2022 William Hoeveler/Jack Welsh Innovation Award from the American Inns of Court.

Bilzin Sumberg’s trial practice handles complex commercial matters, class actions, financial services litigation, partnership and joint venture disputes, data privacy matters, construction defect claims, real estate disputes and workouts, and international disputes. Recent outcomes secured by Bilzin Sumberg trial attorneys include: 

  • Summary judgment secured on behalf of client Hyundai Motor America Corporation in a federal matter involving the alleged wrongful termination of dealership agreements
  • Won a multi-week federal jury trial for global toy manufacturer Just Play LLC, with multi-million dollar verdict upheld on appeal
  • Multi-million verdict secured on behalf of a client in a construction defect case 
  • Prevailed in federal and state cases regarding attempts to block the inaugural Miami Formula One Grand Prix at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami-Dade County 
  • Obtained an emergency temporary injunction on behalf of Royal Caribbean Group and Silversea Cruises enjoining a former executive from using confidential information and breaching restrictive covenants

Bilzin Sumberg is also home to one of the country’s leading antitrust trial practices that is involved in the largest domestic and international cases and has recovered over $750 million for its clients. 

About Bilzin Sumberg 

Bilzin Sumberg counsels clients whose business and legal opportunities and challenges span Florida, the United States, and across borders to Europe, Latin America, Canada, the Middle East, and Asia. The Firm's growth has paralleled that of its South Florida home base, a region known for its rich cultural, social, and professional diversity. Bilzin Sumberg lawyers concentrate on services at the heart of both regional and international commerce, including real estate, land development and government relations, environmental, corporate law, joint ventures, domestic and international tax and estate planning, business litigation, finance, and public-private partnerships. For more information, please visit bilzin.com.  

 
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