Robert J. Powell

Partner

(850) 202-8522

Robert Powell is a Partner of Moorhead Real Estate Law Group. He handles all manner of commercial disputes from straightforward contract breaches to complex, bet-the-company litigation. Robert has represented financial institutions and private equity lenders in various insolvency, loan enforcement, and bankruptcy matters. He is well-versed in matters involving corporate fraud and mismanagement, including the avoidance of fraudulent asset transfers. In the bankruptcy arena, Robert routinely serves as special counsel to bankruptcy trustees, including a role as lead counsel for a Chapter 7 Trustee unwinding a multi-million-dollar Ponzi scheme involving fabricated real estate investments. His diverse business litigation background now entails a client list that includes publicly traded companies, small business owners, insurers, hoteliers, developers, brokers, commercial landlords, and individuals. Robert also maintains an active appellate practice and frequently assists trial counsel with appellate litigation matters. He successfully briefed and argued a high-stakes fidelity bond case before the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in just the second year of his practice.

Robert received his Juris Doctorate degree with honors from the Florida State University College of Law.  He earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree with honors from the University of Florida.

Robert practices law with an unwavering commitment to providing each client the same service he would expect – good judgment, hard work, stellar work-product, consistent communication, and efficient use of resources.

Robert is a Florida Panhandle native and is proud to serve the legal needs of the community where he was born and raised.  He and his wife, Alex, have three young children – and very little spare time.  Away from the office, Robert enjoys traveling with his family, running, Florida Gators football, and coaching his son’s soccer team.

Professional Experience

  • Clark Partington, Shareholder, May 2009-February 2021 (attained shareholder status in Feb. 2015)
  • Florida Real Estate Broker, April 2006-present

Honors

  • AV Rating in the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory
  • US News – Best Law Firms 2020 – Member of Team Recognized as Metropolitan Tier 1 firm in Bankruptcy & Creditor-Debtor Rights/Insolvency & Reorganization
  • Florida Super Lawyers Rising Star
  • Florida Trend’s Legal Elite Up and Coming
  • Order of Barristers
  • Independent News Rising Star 2011

Community Involvement

  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida, Board of Directors & Former “Big”
  • Emerald Coast Legal Aid, President of Board of Trustees
  • General Counsel to Canopy of Hope and Pensacola Dream Center, rehabilitation agency for human-trafficking victims
  • Northern District of Florida Bankruptcy Bar Association, Past-President and Former Board Member
  • Escambia Santa Rosa Bar Association, Former Executive Council Member
  • Escambia Santa Rosa Bar Association
  • Young Lawyers Division, Past-President
  • American Bar Association, Member
  • American Bankruptcy Institute, Member
  • Florida Bar Business Law Section, Member
  • Florida Bar Appellate Law Section, Member
  • Pensacola Young Professionals, Former Member
  • OnBikes Pensacola

Representative Matters

  • Successful defense of hotelier in action for breach of sale and purchase agreement filed by competitor.
  • Successful representation of bankruptcy trustee as special counsel engaged to unwind multi-million-dollar Ponzi scheme.
  • Successful representation of stalking-horse bidder in Chapter 11 bankruptcy filed by publicly-traded bank holding company involving 363 sale of debtor-company’s stock in subsidiary bank.
  • Successful representation of national banking association in commercial loan enforcement involving foreclosure of amusement park.
  • Successful representation of national bank in defense of federal court class-action involving force-placed insurance charges.
  • Successful representation of regional insurance broker in enforcement of non-solicitation agreement.
  • Successful representation of secured lender in Chapter 11 bankruptcy filed by owner/operator of golf course.
  • Successful defense of Chapter 7 bankruptcy Trustee’s lawsuit to avoid transfer of preferential payment to former executive employee of bankrupt debtor.
  • Successful defense of resort hotelier in defense of putative class-action alleging non-disclosure of damage waiver fee charged to hotel guest.

Published Decisions

  • Union State Bank v. Barnes, 299 So. 3d 1034 (Fla. 1st DCA 2020) (affirming per curiam summary judgment in title curative matter finding bank did not attach judgment lien to property sold by judgment debtor where bank elected foreclosure remedy but failed to obtain/record deficiency judgment)
  • SE Property Holdings v. Blue Mountain Beach Master Owners Association, Inc., 221 So. 3d 615 (Fla. 1st DCA 2016) (affirming per curiam summary judgment granted to association defeating interior landowner’s attempt to establish rights to association’s beachfront property)
  • Cleveland v. Crown Financial, LLC, 183 So. 3d 1206 (Fla. 1st DCA 2016) (reviewing foreclosure judgment entered in trade creditor’s favor and enforcing future-advances clause in guarantor’s profit sharing agreement)
  • Cleveland v. Crown Financial, LLC, 212 So. 3d 1065 (Fla. 1st DCA 2017) (reviewing amended foreclosure judgment and trial court’s grant of relief from judgment upon trade creditor’s newly discovered evidence regarding increase in secure debt limit)
  • Mielke v. Deutsche National Bank, 264 So. 3d 249 (Fla. 1st DCA 2019) (affirming foreclosure judgment over statute-of-limitations defense and finding that action to re-establish lost instrument was not standalone cause of action distinct from loan enforcement action)
  • Tarantola v. Henghold, 233 So. 3d 508 (Fla. 1st DCA 2017) (reviewing alleged violation of temporary injunction issued in favor of medical practice enforcing non-compete against departed physician)
  • Hawkins v. Advanced Enterprises of Northwest Florida, Inc., 199 So. 3d 2016 (Fla. 1st DCA 2016) (affirming order enforcing arbitration clause in subcontract agreement)
  • Ray v. Huckaby, 200 So.3d 65 (1st DCA 2016) (affirming per curiam judgment in favor of decedent’s spouse in dispute regarding entitlement to life insurance proceeds)
  • Beach Community Bank v. St. Paul Mercury Insurance, Co., 635 F.3d 1190 (11th Cir. 2011) (reversing summary judgment entered in favor of fidelity bond issuer where bank demonstrated that fidelity bond covered loss resulting directly from good-faith reliance upon forged personal guaranty of commercial loan regardless of collectability of the guarantor)
  • Greiff v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., 145 So. 3d 834 (Fla. 1st DCA 2014) (denying certiorari review of trial court order in fraudulent transfer action that refused to dissolve lis pendens where judgment creditor successfully argued that transferee’s claim of homestead exemption did not preclude attachment of lis pendens to property that judgment debtor fraudulently transferred)
  • Hardman v. Beach Community Bank, 147 So. 3d 984 (Fla. 1st DCA 2014) (affirming trial court’s finding of personal jurisdiction over non-resident principal of corporate judgment debtor in fraudulent transfer action)
  • Hancock Bank v. Boyd Brothers, Inc., 2011 WL 2224831 (N.D. Fla. 2011) (dismissing lender-liability counterclaim for fraudulent inducement and negligent misrepresentation with prejudice where borrower could not demonstrate that verbal representations to renew commercial loan facilities were enforceable in light of Florida credit agreement statute of frauds)
  • HMA Santa Rosa Medical Center, LLC v. Baillie, 119 So. 3d 1250 (Fla. 1st DCA 2013) (affirming per curiam trial court’s denial of motions for directed verdict, new trial, and remittitur following jury verdict for personal representative of decedent’s estate in wrongful death and premises liability action)
  • Hull v. Byrom, 75 So. 3d 427 (Fla. 1st DCA 2011) (affirming dismissal of law firm in surcharge action against individual lawyer filed by successor guardian)
  • Robinson v. Fisher-Brown Bottrell Insurance Co., 102 So. 3d 774 (Fla. 1st DCA 2012) (affirming per curiam trial court’s denial of former insurance agent’s motion to dissolve temporary injunction entered in favor of insurer for breach of non-solicitation agreement)
  • Weimorts v. Shockley, 4 So. 3d 386 (Fla. 1st DCA 2010) (reversing trial court’s denial of transfer of venue in domestic matter)

Presentations And Publications

  • March 2020 – “But we have a contract! COVID-19 & the Force Majeure Clause”, co-author of article summarizing force majeure provisions and the pandemic
  • September 2019 – Presentation of Case Law Update, Northern District of Florida Bankruptcy Bar Association Annual Seminar
  • May 2018 – Social Media and Bankruptcy Litigation, Eleventh Circuit Judicial Conference
  • June 2014 – Nuts and Bolts of Bankruptcy Law, Presentation to Regions Bank Special Assets and Retail Operations Personnel
  • December 2013 – Asset Protection Essentials related to Florida Homestead Exemption, Estate Planning Council of the Emerald Coast

Staff Assistants

  • Heidi Yefremov – NALA Certified Paralegal, Florida Registered Paralegal
  • Allison Lapporte – Legal Assistant
  • Allison Gentry – Legal Assistant
  • Nikki Clardy – Firm Administrator