Donna E. Blanton
AV Rated – Martindale-Hubbell
Of Counsel Donna E. Blanton practices in the areas of Florida administrative law and appellate advocacy, with an emphasis on cases involving public procurement, rule challenges, professional licensing and discipline, and affordable housing.
Ms. Blanton has represented corporate, non-profit, and government clients in public procurement cases, both at the administrative hearing level and on appeal. Among the entities she has represented in bid protest proceedings are Cheney Brothers, Inc.; Trinity Services Group; Microsoft Corporation; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; CVS Caremark; Express Scripts; Health Management Systems, Inc.; Atlantic Pacific Communities; Housing Trust Group; Health Information Designs, Inc.; the Florida Housing Finance Corporation; Mae Volen Senior Center, Inc.; LabWare, Inc.; the North American Family Institute, Inc.; Aquatic Plants of Florida, Inc.; General Electric Company; the Florida Department of Corrections; the Florida Department of Children and Families; the Florida Department of Health; and the Florida Lottery.
A former law clerk to the chief justice of the Florida Supreme Court, Ms. Blanton has been involved in appeals on behalf of a number corporate and government clients, including BellSouth Telecommunications, Inc.; Health Options, Inc. (a subsidiary of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida); the Biscayne Bay Pilots Association; the Florida Beer Wholesalers Association; the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association; General Electric Company; Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.; American Bankers Insurance Co.; the Seminole County School Board; the Broward County School Board; Service Insurance Co.; United Wisconsin Insurance Co., and Flo-Sun, Inc. She has prepared amicus briefs on behalf of a number of clients, including Florida Power & Light Company; the Florida Telecommunications Industry Association; the Florida Homebuilders Association, the Florida Association of Realtors; and the Florida Trucking Association. Much of Ms. Blanton’s appellate experience has been in high-profile cases, including the 2000 Florida presidential election controversy. She participated extensively in all of the major state court cases involving the 2000 presidential election as a part of the legal team representing Florida’s Secretary of State.
Ms. Blanton has written a number of scholarly articles about Florida administrative procedure, several of which have been cited by Florida appellate courts. See, e.g., Florida Dep’t of Business & Prof. Reg. v. Investment Co. of Palm Beach, 747 So. 2d 374, 383 n.7 (Fla. 1999); State Bd. of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund v. Day Cruise Ass’n, 794 So. 2d 696, 700 n.4 (Fla. 1st DCA 2001); Department of Corrections v. Saulter, 742 So. 2d 368, 370 (Fla. 1st DCA 1999). In 1995-96, Ms. Blanton served as executive director of the Governor’s Administrative Procedure Act Review Commission, which recommended a rewrite of the Florida APA that was adopted by the Legislature in 1996. Ms. Blanton’s administrative law practice includes rule challenge proceedings at the Division of Administrative Hearings, proceedings involving a regulated person’s or entity’s substantial interests, declaratory statement petitions, variance and waiver petitions, as well as bid disputes.
In February of 2015, Ms. Blanton was selected by the Department of Health’s Office of Compassionate Use to serve as the Florida administrative law expert on the negotiation team that developed a draft rule for the cultivation, processing, and dispensing of low-THC cannabis.
Ms. Blanton graduated with high honors from the Florida State University College of Law in 1992, where she was editor-in-chief of the law review. She earned her undergraduate degree in journalism, with honors, from the University of Florida in 1977. Before attending law school, she was bureau chief for The Orlando Sentinel in the paper’s Tallahassee office. Ms. Blanton was named to Florida Trend Magazine’s annual listing of Florida Legal Elite in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2016, 2017, and 2019. She also was named in Florida Super Lawyers in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019, and recognized in the 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 editions of The Best Lawyers in America in the area of Administrative Law.
- Radey Law Firm, Of Counsel, 2020 – Present
- Radey Law Firm, Shareholder, 2003 – 2020
- Katz, Kutter, Alderman, Bryant & Yon, P.A., Shareholder, 2001- 2003
- Steel Hector & Davis LLP, Partner, 1999 – 2001
- Steel Hector & Davis LLP, Associate, 1996 – 1998
- Governor’s Administrative Procedure Act Review Commission, Executive Director, 1995 – 1996
- Katz, Kutter, Haigler, Alderman, Bryant & Yon, Associate, 1994 – 1996
- Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Rosemary Barkett, Law Clerk, 1992 – 1993
- The Orlando Sentinel, Chief, Tallahassee Bureau, 1984 – 1989
- The Orlando Sentinel, Reporter, Politics and Government, 1978 – 1984
- Daytona Beach News-Journal, Reporter, 1977 – 1978
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Florida Board of Bar Examiners, 2010-2015
- Florida First District Court of Appeal, American Inns of Court, 2008-2010 (Master Member)
- Florida Bar, Administrative Law Section Executive Council – Member, 1998-2009 and Chair 2003-2004
- Florida Bar, Second Judicial Circuit Grievance Committee “B”, 2007-2010
- Florida Bar, Florida Bar Journal/News, 1998 – 2001 Editorial Board Member
- Florida Bar, 1997 – 2001 Member, CLE Committee
- Florida Bar, 1996 – 1997 Member, Appellate Rules Committee, Administrative Practice Subcommittee
- Florida Bar, FasTrain: Guide to Legal Writing for Florida Lawyers, 1st Ed. Member, Steering Committee
- Administrative Dispute Resolution Demonstration Advisory Group, 1998 – 2000 Member
- Florida Supreme Court, 1996 – 1997 Co-Chair, Sesquicentennial Committee
- Florida Supreme Court, 1994 – 1997 Member, Select Committee to Study the Florida Board of Bar Examiners
- Florida Bar, 1992
- U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit, 2001
- U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, 2007
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, 2010
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, 2012
Recent Community Involvement
- Leadership Florida, Class XXI, 2002 – 2003; Northwest Region Council of Advisors, 2009-2011; Lifetime Member
- United Way of the Big Bend, “Power of the Purse” Steering Committee, 2009-2010
- Ronald McDonald House Charities of Tallahassee, Member, Board of Directors, 2003-2009
- Florida State University College of Law, Moot Court Board of Advisors, 2005-2006