Nicole Blais joined Barron & Redding as an Associate in September 2019. Nicole grew up in Bay County and graduated from the International Baccalaureate Program at Rutherford High School. After high school, Nicole pursued her undergraduate studies at the University of West Florida, where she majored in Psychology and earned both the Junior and Senior Psychology Excellence Awards. She graduated in May 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.
Nicole attended law school at Florida State University and received her Juris Doctor in May 2014. While at FSU, Nicole served as a Certified Legal Intern for the Public Interest Law Center, where she gained invaluable litigation experience by representing indigent members of the community.
Prior to joining Barron & Redding, Nicole served as a Senior Attorney for the Department of Children and Families. Nicole’s primary focus was representing the State in child welfare cases and advocating for the child’s best interest during contested trials and hearings. Nicole also has experience as an attorney in personal injury litigation.
Nicole’s practice is focused on bankruptcy and creditors’ rights, contract disputers, and civil litigation. She is a member of the St. Andrew Bay Inn of Court and the Florida Bar. Nicole is also active in the Community as a Member of the Kiwanis Club and the Junior League of Panama City. Nicole is licensed to practice law in the state courts of Florida and the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida.
Michael J. Hauversburk graduated from Florida State University, Tallahassee, with a B.A. in History in 1983. He attended the Florida State University College of Law and graduated with his Juris Doctor Degree with High Honors in 1990. While in law school he received the Banking Law Book Award for the Spring Semester 1990.
Mike owned and operated a solo practice from 1994-2005 and 2014-2018, catering to small businesses and individuals who appreciated his individualized attention and client centered approach to the practice of law. He was appointed to the bench in 2005 by then Governor Jeb Bush, serving as Bay County Judge from 2005-2009.
Mike serves as an Adjunct Professor at Gulf Coast State College having taught classes in Contract Law; Corporations, Partnership, and Agency Law; and General Law. He is a past board member of the Visual Arts Center of Northwest Florida and the Exchange Club of Panama City.
Mike has been a guest lecturer for the Bay County Multi-Unit Housing Association, Bay County Plumbers Association, Gulf Coast Community College Small Business Incubator, Gulf Coast Community College Guardianship Education Course, and serves as a Justice Teaching Volunteer. Also, he is presently a member of the Audubon Nature Institute, The National WWII Museum, the Bay County Bar Association, the St. Andrews Bay Inn of Court, the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies, and is a regular volunteer at the Military Welcome Center at the Northwest Florida Beaches Airport.
John M. (“Mac”) Fite is a former senior litigation shareholder in the firm’s litigation section and is now “of counsel”. He graduated as a member of Order of Coif from Vanderbilt University School of Law in 1974. While at Vanderbilt, Mac was a member of the Editorial Board of the Vanderbilt Law Review, with two student articles published. Mac is a 1968 graduate of Florida Presbyterian College (renamed Eckerd College) with a degree in history. He served in the United States Army and is a Vietnam Veteran. He was awarded the Bronze Star and Army Commendation Medal for Vietnam service. Mac has 40 years experience in civil litigation and has tried over 80 cases to a jury verdict in Federal District and State Circuit Courts, in over 13 different Florida counties. He has trial experience in virtually all areas of personal injury and wrongful death law. He is rated “av” by Martindale Hubbell.
Although Mac has extensive trial experience, most cases do not go to trial. Over the last 20 years, mediation has become the norm, both court-ordered and voluntary. This practice has led to fewer civil trials. Mac mediated hundreds of cases as an advocate after mediation was instituted in Florida in the mid-1980’s. Some of these mediations involved multiple defendants and plaintiffs, catastrophic injuries and/or multiple deaths, and settlements into millions of dollars. Mac was certified by the Florida Supreme Court as a Circuit Court Mediator in 2005, and, in his “of counsel” status now, limits his practice to mediation.
Bob Hughes is a Shareholder in the firm’s Real Estate and Commercial Transaction section. He graduated from the Virginia Military Institute in 1965, and received his law degree from the University of Florida in 1968. Subsequent to his graduation at Florida, Bob served a tour in Vietnam from 1969-1970 as a U.S. Army Intelligence Officer. He left the Army as Captain in December 1970 and has practiced with the firm continuously since 1971. He has been a Shareholder in the firm since 1975.
Although Bob’s practice has encompassed a variety of areas during his time with Barron and Redding, for the last twenty-five years, he has focused on the representation of commercial clients, including lending institutions, real estate developers, and resort operators. A significant portion of Bob’s practice entails assisting clients with all facets of real estate development ventures, including issues relating to land acquisition, financing, and regularly appearing before state and local elected and appointed boards or commissions.
Roland W. Kiehn is a Shareholder in the firm. Mr. Kiehn joined the firm in 1990 after graduating with honors from the Florida State University College of Law. He completed his undergraduate work at the University of Miami, receiving an A.B. degree in economics in 1987.
Since joining the firm, Mr. Kiehn has represented individuals and institutions in a wide variety of commercial transactions including commercial acquisitions of real property and business assets, representing lenders and borrowers in connection with real estate based and other commercial loans, and representing professional practice groups and individuals in relation to employment, ownership and other contract issues. He has also represented litigants in commercial and other disputes including matters relating to real property titles and interests, foreclosure and creditors’ rights, construction defects and liens, and professional employment arrangements. Mr. Kiehn has particular expertise in representing creditors in bankruptcy matters.
Benjamin W. (Ben) Redding joined the firm in 1966 and was a shareholder from 1968 to 2011. He has had extensive experience in tort and commercial litigation, including successful defense of complex product and lender liability cases. He has also represented injured plaintiffs, including recovery of the one of the largest verdicts for motor vehicle injuries in the Fourteenth Circuit and he has successfully prosecuted class action litigation in state and federal courts, resulting in recovery of millions of dollars on behalf of Florida consumers. He also served as City Attorney for the City of Parker for over twenty years. His practice is presently concentrated on estate and real estate matters. He served on the Board of Governors of the Florida Bar, the Florida Board of Bar Examiners, and was chairman of the Committee to Study Supreme Court Jurisdiction, which was responsible for drafting and implementing the current constitutional provisions governing the jurisdiction of the Florida Supreme Court. He is a charter member of the St. Andrews Bay Inn of Court and served as Chancellor.
Prior to entering the practice of law, Ben served in the U. S. Navy, as an officer aboard the USS Avenge (MSO 423)and was employed as an industrial forester by the St. Regis Paper Co. He maintains an active interest in forestry and environmental matters.
Ben is active in civic and community affairs and has served extensively on volunteer boards and committees.