Donna S. Barfield, Esq.
Attorney at Law/Senior Partner
Donna S. Barfield credits the 3 C's; constant innovation, client participation and productive communication, summarized as "constant client communication," for the success of the firm since 1987. Providing free seminars to the firm's myriad corporate landlord's, volunteering for the industry's trade associations, investing in proprietary software and providing her cell phone number to every team member and to every client, are examples of a culture that embraces the 3 C's. Property Owners are the foundation of her career, and she continues to dedicate her talents and resources to "pay it forward." Her commitment to hire extraordinary lawyers and a highly qualified staff has continuously set the firm apart for more than 3 decades.
A staunch advocate of private property rights, Ms. Barfield began her career in Miami at Britton, Cassell, Shantz & Shotzman, where she represented property owners and creditors in civil and bankruptcy courts. She continued as a commercial litigator where she represented property owners in eminent domain proceedings and in land acquisition transactions at Robert Reynolds, P.A. until 1987.
Immediately upon opening Barfield, P.A., she served as legal counsel for the Southeast Florida Apartment Association and continued for the next sixteen years. As legal counsel and chair of the legislative committee for Florida Apartment Association (FAA), she drafted proposed legislation and worked with FAA's lobbyist to add a provision in Florida Statutes Chapter 83 Part II requiring residential tenants to deposit rent due and owing into the court registry, as a condition precedent to defend to against a residential eviction action, which was codified in Fla. Stat. sections 83.60 and 83.56.
Ms. Barfield subsequently proposed liquidated damages in residential leases as a remedy for landlords upon breach of contract or early termination. As amicus curiae counsel for FAA, Ms. Barfield argued that section 83.595 should be construed in a way that its remedies are available in addition to the common law remedies, which include an award of liquidated damages pursuant to a signed lease agreement, Olen Properties Corp. v. Moss, 984 So. 2d 558 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2008). After challenges in trial and appellate courts, liquidated damages were added as a fourth possible statutory remedy, upon a tenant’s breach of contract or early termination of a rental agreement, in Fla. Stat. section 83.595 (4).
Ms. Barfield is an AV Preeminent Peer Rated Attorney by Martindale-Hubbell®. AV Preeminent® is the highest peer rating standard. This is given to attorneys who are ranked at the highest level of professional excellence for their legal expertise, communication skills, and ethical standards by their peers. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor in five years and graduated from Mercer University cum laude and from Mercer’s Walter F. George School of Law. She was a member of the Phi Delta Phi Fraternity, winner of the Moot Court Competition and an officer in the International Law Society. While attending law school, Ms. Barfield worked part time in a litigation firm, in the trust department of a national bank and in an appellate law firm as a law clerk.
As a lifetime Francophile, she purchased her historical dream home located in a quaint wine growing village in the South of France in 2005. Many of her guests insist that attending cooking classes, corporate retreats and family reunions inside her home’s ancient stone walls have been some of the happiest moments of their lives.
Her hobbies are cooking, traveling, playing piano and bicycling. Her favorite recent theater production is “Hamilton” and her favorite genres in music are classical and show tunes. Her best Sundays include a walk or a bike ride, Sunday brunch and an afternoon with friends, family and a Golden Retriever named Louis.