An Innovative Approach To 

The Practice Of Law

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Michael J. Labbee

  • Partner

Biography

Although bilingual (English and French), Michael typically speaks only one language: advocacy. Through meticulously crafted arguments, Michael has waged battle on behalf of his clients in state and federal courts throughout Florida. If your cause or claim needs a champion, look no further.

Michael’s experience includes litigating a variety of personal injury claims, contract breaches, and real estate disputes. In addition to his significant trial practice, Michael has also served as appellate counsel for clients in each of Florida’s five district courts of appeal, the Florida Supreme Court, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

After receiving his undergraduate degree from the University of Central Florida, Michael went on to earn his J.D. with honors from Stetson University College of Law. Upon graduation, Michael began practicing complex commercial litigation with a large national firm representing major corporations and high-net-worth individuals. Having a strong preference for representing the underdog, Michael departed the silk-stocking world of “Big Law” and founded Phillips, Hayden & Labbee, LLP—an innovative law firm that leverages the latest technology to bring forward more effective legal solutions.

When he’s not fighting for his clients, Michael can be found playing golf, tennis, or enjoying the waters of Florida’s gulf coast with his family.

 

Education

  • Stetson University College of Law, Gulfport, Florida
    • J.D. - 2013
    • Honors: cum laude
    • Honors: Full-Merit Scholar
    • Honors: Member of Stetson’s Honors Program
    • Honors: Recipient of High-Grade Awards in Trial Advocacy and Products Liability
  • University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida
    • B.S. - 2010
    • Major: Legal Studies

Bar Admission

  • Florida, 2013

Practice Areas

  • Civil Litigation
  • Personal Injury

Languages

  • English
  • French

Community Involvement

  • Leadership St. Pete (Class of 2020, Planning Committee 2021)
  • The Tampa Connection, Class of 2016-2017, Alumni Board 2017-2019
  • Great Futures Professional Council for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay, Founding Member

Personal Injury Experience

  • $606,000.00 pre-suit settlement in premises liability case resulting in significant injuries to a minor child including third-degree burns.
  • $100,000.00 pre-suit settlement on behalf of a pedestrian injured in a crosswalk by a negligent driver.
  • $100,000.00 pre-suit settlement for driver injured in rear impact collision while stopped at a red light.

Trial Experience 

  • Obtained a complete defense verdict in a one-week jury trial related to various claims of fraud and negligence against a client’s former employee.
  • Secured favorable final award in binding arbitration related to an employment and shareholders’ dispute.
  • Obtained a $4.4 Million jury verdict on a claim for tortious interference with a contractual relationship.
  • Defended a global company against class action claims under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) for unpaid benefits and breach of fiduciary duty related to the company’s employee health benefit plan.
  • Secured a favorable final judgment for a national corporation after a two-week trial on a claim for breach of contract related to the failed development of 50+ acres of waterfront property. The final judgment was affirmed in full on appeal.

Appellate Experience 

  • Reversed a final summary judgment determining that an insurance carrier was not required to provide coverage with published opinion. Hurchalla v. Homeowners Choice Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co., Inc., 281 So. 3d 510 (Fla. 4th DCA 2019).
  • Quashed a local ordinance infringing on private property rights. Elizabeth Schuh, et al. v. City of St. Petersburg, 2019-AP-000046.
  • Reversed a final order awarding attorneys’ fees in eminent domain action with published opinion. Florida Gas Transmission Co., LLC v. Johnson, 264 So. 3d 336 (Fla. 1st DCA 2019).
  • Defeated emergency petition for writs of prohibition and certiorari. Maggy Hurchalla v. Lake Point Phase I, LLC and Lake Point Phase II, LLC, Case No. 4D18-0764.
  • Secured full affirmance of $4.4 Million jury verdict on a claim for tortious interference with a contractual relationship. Hurchalla v. Lake Point Phase I, LLC, 278 So. 3d 58 (Fla. 4th DCA 2019).
  • Reversed a final summary judgment in favor of the defendant with published opinion. The Bank of New York Mellon v. Daniel Stallbaum, 230 So. 3d 1271 (Fla. 5th DCA 2017).

Honors

  • Florida Super Lawyers® – Rising Stars, 2017- Present
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rated, 2017 - Present
  • Named to Florida Trend’s Legal Elite Up and Comers List, 2018