Gary M. Schaaf

Office Managing Shareholder, Tampa Bay
Professional Experience

Gary Schaaf is the Managing Shareholder of the firm's Tampa Bay Regional Office, and supervises the litigation practice in that office. He has been a business litigator in the Tampa Bay Area since moving from Philadelphia in 1987.

Gary has received Board Certification in Business Litigation by the Florida Bar, which is the highest level of recognition of an attorney’s competency and expertise in one or more of the areas of law approved for certification by the Supreme Court of Florida. Mr. Schaaf has been included in The Best Lawyers in America© from 2013-2016.

He is also AV® Preeminent™ 5.0 out of 5 rated (the highest level attainable) by Martindale Hubbell, based upon the endorsement of his colleagues in the areas of professional conduct, ethics and ability, has been selected by Florida Trend magazine as a member of the Legal Elite, which recognizes the top tier of attorneys practicing in Florida as chosen by their colleagues, and has been included in the Best Lawyers in America publication.

Since 1987, Gary has litigated business disputes, including real estate, contract, probate and trust, condominium and homeowners’ association disputes, as well as mortgage foreclosures, injunction actions, representation of creditors in bankruptcy, and banking litigation. His clients have included individuals, business owners, national and local financial institutions, multi- national, national and local businesses, governmental and quasi-governmental agencies.

Gary has:

  •  Represented the FDIC, RTC and FSLIC in numerous complex litigation matters, including several federal court jury trials.
  • Obtained a jury defense verdict for a national financial institution accused of fraud, malicious prosecution, and negligence.
  • Obtained a jury verdict in favor of a Brazilian manufacturing company, in a suit concerning defective packaging machinery.
  • Obtained a favorable opinion from the federal Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in favor of a distributorship client, reversing a lower court ruling, and leading to a multi-million dollar settlement.
  • Represented a national financial institution in its statewide trust business litigation, including favorable resolution of numerous contested causes of action.
  • Provided ongoing representation to a quasi-public utility company as a creditor in multiple bankruptcies, including various adversary proceedings in bankruptcy court.

He has significant trial experience in the state and federal courts as well as appellate practice experience before Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and is admitted to the United States Supreme Court.

Gary has presented on various subjects, including collections and foreclosures in the community association context, annual developments in community association law, mediation considerations in business litigation, discovery issues in business litigation, and parties’ rights to seek attorneys’ fees in business litigation.

Gary has over 20 years’ experience as a Certified Circuit and Federal Court Mediator and training in arbitration by the Florida Bar.

Activities & Memberships

Gary has been a member of the Hillsborough County and Clearwater Bar Associations; is a past director of the Largo Mid-Pinellas Chamber of Commerce; now serves on the Public Policy and Transportation Committees of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce as well as the Master Planning Committee of the Westshore Alliance; and has served as General Counsel to the Philippine Cultural Foundation, Inc. and Bacchus Events Solutions, Inc.

He is also a licensed real estate sales associate in the State of Florida.

Bar Admissions
  • Florida, 1987
  • New Jersey, 1986
  • Pennsylvania, 1986
Court Admissions
  • United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • Temple University, J.D. cum laude 1986, B.B.A. 1983