J. Michael Coleman and William J. Hazzard are AV-rated Preeminent Lawyers. Michael arrived in Naples in 1986 and was followed by Bill in 1994. They began practicing law together in 1998. They focused their practices on business litigation as well as probate and trust litigation. In 2001, another AV-rated Preeminent Lawyer, Damian C. Taylor joined them. Damian came to Naples from Pensacola, Florida where he practiced labor and employment law. The three of them formed Coleman, Hazzard & Taylor, P.A. in January, 2005. Sonia M. Diaz, also an AV-rated Preeminent Lawyer, returned home to Naples to join the firm as an associate after graduating from law school in 2002. Sonia became a partner in 2013, and focuses her practice on general civil and business litigation.
Our Practice Areas
The firm represents: businesses and individuals in all manner of disputes involving business activities including the drafting and reviewing of contracts; trustees, beneficiaries and others in probate & trust litigation; buyers and sellers in real estate related litigation; lenders in litigation involving operational aspects of banking; lenders and property owners in commercial foreclosures; condominium and homeowner’s associations in disputes with vendors, suppliers, or owners; owners (both residential and commercial), general contractors and design professionals in construction litigation, and the drafting of construction contracts; landlords in commercial landlord tenant disputes; and defendants in housing discrimination and ADA public accommodation claims.
The firm also maintains an employment practice in which it represents parties in the litigation, resolution, and avoidance of disputes under the various state and federal employment laws, as well as disputes over competition by former employees. Much of this practice is devoted to helping employers avoid litigation through proactive measures like: implementation of employee handbooks, employment contracts, and independent contractor agreements; audits of exempt and non-exempt employee classifications and payroll practices under federal wage and hour law; Form I-9 audits; investigations of alleged misconduct in the workplace; management training; and consultation with managers regarding hiring, discipline, and termination practices, and compliance with the myriad of laws and regulations affecting the workplace.
Members of the firm are active in numerous professional, business and civic organizations. Michael is a Past Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Greater Naples Area Chamber of Commerce and a Past President of the Collier County Bar Association. Bill is a past Chairman of the United Way of Collier County and a Past President of the Collier County Bar Association. Damian is a Past State Government Affairs Director of HR Florida, a Director of the Collier County Bar Association and Past President of its Trial Lawyers Section, and a Past President and Past Legislative Director of HR Collier. Sonia is a Past President of the Collier County Bar Association and a Past President of its Young Lawyers Section.