Michael J. Labbee is a member of the firm's Litigation & Dispute Resolution Practice Group where he represents clients in the areas of ERISA litigation, maritime and admiralty litigation, as well as general business litigation at both the trial and appellate levels. He has represented clients in state and federal trial courts throughout Florida, and 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.
Michael represents clients in both individual and class action lawsuits involving all aspects of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA") including preemption issues, benefits litigation, fiduciary litigation, COBRA litigation, church plan issues, and "stock drop" suits.
Maritime and Admiralty Litigation
Michael represents clients in all phases of maritime and admiralty litigation including in rem actions, Rule B attachment actions, collisions, allisions, cargo cases, pollution matters, Jones Act and LHWCA actions, limitation of liability petitions, marine insurance, and contract matters.
General Business Litigation
In addition to his ERISA and maritime practice, Michael also has experience representing clients in a variety of general business litigation matters involving complex contract claims, business torts, products liability claims, real estate disputes, and insurance coverage issues.
- Defending a global company against class action claims under ERISA for unpaid benefits and breach of fiduciary duty related to the company's employee health benefit plan.
- Represented a national corporation in a two-week trial and successfully obtained a final judgment in its favor, including both damages and attorneys' fees, 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.
Michael received his J.D. from Stetson University College of Law with certificate of concentration in advocacy. While attending Stetson, Michael received high grade awards in Trial Advocacy and Products Liability, completed Stetson's Honors Programs, worked as a research assistant for professors Tim Kaye and Jason Bent, and served as a Notes and Comments Editor for the Stetson Law Review. While in law school Michael also interned for the Honorable Pamela A.M. Campbell of Florida's Sixth Judicial Circuit.
Education and Honors
- Stetson University College of Law (J.D., cum laude, 2013)
- Stetson Law Review (Notes and Comments Editor)
- International Law Society (Vice President)
- Barney Masterson Inn of Court (Member); Phi Alpha Delta
- High Grade Awards - Trial Advocacy and Products Liability
- University of Central Florida (B.S., 2010)
- U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida
- U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida
Professional and Civic Activities
- Florida Bar Association
- Hillsborough County Bar Association (Member)
- American Bar Association (TIPS - Admiralty Law Committee, Employee Benefits Committee)
- Great Futures Professional Council (GFPC) for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay (President-Elect)
- The Tampa Connection (Class of 2016-2017)
- The University of Tampa Board of Counselors
- The First Tee of Tampa Bay Champions Council
- Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rated
- Selected for inclusion in Florida Super Lawyers® – Rising Stars: Business Litigation (2017–present)