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Harry A. Payton

E-mail MeHarry A. Payton

Managing Member
Miami, Florida
305-432-9795 (x15)


Harry A. Payton, managing member of Payton & Associates LLC, is board certified by The Florida Bar as a specialist in civil trial practice and business litigation. He represents domestic and international corporations and high net worth individuals in complex business litigation matters involving commercial real estate; commercial foreclosures and lender liability; litigation involving fine art; corporate, shareholder and partnership disputes; probate, wills, trusts and intra-family disputes; and legal and accounting malpractice. Recognized by his peers as a diligent, persistent, ethical litigator, he has received consistent recognition as Top Lawyer in Complex Commercial Litigation and  Real Estate Litigation in the South Florida Legal Guide and Florida Super Lawyers®. He received and maintained an AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rating by Martindale-Hubell Law Directory for over 30 years. The "AV" rating is the highest rating for legal ability and ethical standards.

Through years of practice, Harry has achieved a level of skill recognized by the State of Florida - through board certification by The Florida Bar. He is one of only 97 attorneys who are board certified by the Florida Bar in both civil trial and business litigation. In 2012, Harry was appointed to the Supreme Court of Florida's Committee on Professionalism for the 11th Judicial Circuit. He currently serves on the Florida Bar Judicial Nominating Procedures Committee, and recently completed a term on the Florida Bar's Judicial Administration and Evaluation Committee. Previously, he chaired the Business Litigation Certification Committee which is responsible for screening applicants, and preparing and grading exams for applicants seeking Florida Bar certification in business litigation. Following his term on this committee, he was appointed to, and later chaired, the Board of Legal Specialization and Education (BLSE), the body that supervises the entire certification program of The Florida Bar.

Harry was a leader in the effort by the American Bar Association Committee on Corporate Counsel in the creation of a uniform system of billing and budgeting that serves as a platform for assessing the productivity and efficiency of outside counsel and law firms. He seeks to improve the way in which in-house counsel and corporate law departments manage their business litigation through his active role in the Law Department Consortium.

Areas of Practice

  • Business and Commercial Litigation
  • Commercial Real Estate Litigation
  • Lender Liability
  • Breach of Fiduciary Duty and Business Torts
  • Construction Litigation
  • Professional Liability
  • Probate and Estate Litigation
  • Bankruptcy Adversary Proceedings
  • Appellate Law
  • Condominium Litigation

Litigation Percentage

  • 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Certified Legal Specialties

  • Board Certified Civil Trial, Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization and Education
  • Board Certified Business Litigation, Florida Bar Board Of Legal Specialization and Education

Bar Admissions

  • Florida
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court Middle District of Florida
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit


  • Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, District of Columbia
    • LL.B.
  • Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida
    • B.S.cum laude
    • Honors: Phi Kappa Phi

Published Works

  • "Task-Based Billing -- Overcoming Fear", Florida Bar Journal, January, 1998
  • "The Corporate Provisional Director: Has Due Process Been Overlooked?" (Co-Authored with Greg Nguyen), Florida Bar Journal, October, 1998
  • "Task-Based Billing -- Management Control Over the Litigation Process In House and Outside", Corporate Counsel Newsletter, Section of Litigation, American Bar Association, Vol. 43, August, 1995
  • A Guide to Partnering with Outside Litigation Counsel , American Bar Association's Section of Litigation , Corporate Counsel Newsletter, 2013


  • Program Leader and Panelist: 2011 Florida Distressed Real Estate "When Workouts Don't Work Out – Litigation, Receivers, Lender Liability and More," and "Workouts & Recapitalization." Sponsored by GreenPearl Events, Miami, Florida, January 27, 2001
  • Speaker: Annual Conference of the Council on Litigation Management, "Managing Litigation Reference Model," Ponte Vedra, Florida, March 24, 2010 - March 26, 2010
  • Faculty Member: Law Department Consortium "Managing Litigation as a Business," Law Department Consortium: Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto, Ontario, June 9, 2009; Washington, D.C., March 31, 2009; Chicago, Illinois, October 29, 2008
  • Moderator: "The Rise and Fall and Future of Special Billing Arrangements Including Task Based Billing," American Bar Association, Section of Litigation, Corporate Counsel Committee, February 19, 2005
  • Speaker: "The Litigation Management Scorecard-What Law Firms Will Buy Into," Litigation Management Scorecard Symposium, Chicago, Illinois, October 24, 2004
  • Panelist: "Advice from the Experts: Successful Strategies for Winning Commercial Cases in Federal Courts," Florida Bar Business Law Section Seminar, Miami, September 27, 2002
  • Author: "Task-Based Billing -- Overcoming Fear," Florida Bar Journal, January 1, 1998
  • Author: "Task-Based Billing -- Management Control Over the Litigation Process In House and Outside," Corporate Counsel Newsletter, Section of Litigation, American Bar Association, Vol. 43, August 1, 1995
  • Co-Author with Greg Nguyen: "The Corporate Provisional Director: Has Due Process Been Overlooked?" Florida Bar Journal, October 1, 1998
  • CLE Lecturer: "Traps for the Unwary, Lost Profits and Valuation of Closely Held Corporations," St. Thomas University School of Law, June 17, 1993
  • Speaker: "Lender Liability-The Small Practitioner's Viewpoint," American Trial Lawyers Association, Orlando, Florida, January 22, 1990

Honors and Awards

  • Martindale Hubbell Peer Review Rated AV Preeminent, 1983 - 2014
  • Selected for inclusion in Florida Super Lawyers®, 2006 - 2013
  • Selected for inclusion in South Florida Legal Guide, Best Litigators: Corporate & Business, 2005-2014
  • National Guard, Honorable Discharge

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • International Network of Boutique Law Firms (INBLF), 2012-present
  • Supreme Court of Florida Committee on Professionalism, 11th Circuit, 2012-present
  • The Florida Bar, Member: Judicial Nominating Procedures Committee, July 2011-; Member, Judicial Administration and Evaluation Committee, 2008-2011; Member, Grievance Committee, 1976-1979
  • The Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization and Education: Member 2002-2008, Vice Chair, 2004-2005, Chair 2005-2006
  • BLSE Standards Committee: Member 2002-2005
  • BLSE Executive Committee: Member 2004-2007, Vice Chair 2004-2005, Chair 2005-2006
  • BLSE Communications Committee: Member 2006-2008, Chair 2007-2008
  • Business Litigation Certification Committee: Member 1997-2002, Vice Chair1999-2000, Chair 2000-2001
  • American Bar Association: Subcommittee on Billing and Budgeting, Corporate Counsel Committee, Section of Litigation: Vice Chair 1994-1997, Co-Chair 1998-2004
  • Advisory Board, Law Department Consortium, 2008-
  • Council on Litigation Management, 2009-2010
  • International Referral, 2013 -present

More than 35 Years of Courtroom Experience

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