Mediation & Arbitration – Walton County Bar Association
Call us: (850) 266-7044

Mediation & Arbitration

Anchors, Michelle
Keefe, Anchors & Gordon

Michelle Anchors is one of the Gulf Coast’s preeminent attorneys and a founding partner of Keefe, Anchors & Gordon.

A graduate of Vanderbilt University (B.A. 1987) and the University of Florida College of Law (J.D. 1991), Michelle provides counsel to many businesses, condominiums, and homeowners associations along the Emerald Coast. Michelle is also certified by the Supreme Court of Florida as a Circuit Court Mediator. She has received the highest rating offered by her professional peers in the Martindale-Hubbell peer review system and has been honored as one of Florida’s ”Legal Elite” by Florida Trend magazine.

Michelle’s depth of government and administrative knowledge allow her to match the needs of her private sector clients with the most efficient and effective solutions. After graduating from law school, Michelle served as a law clerk to Justice Parker Lee McDonald of the Florida Supreme Court. She subsequently served as Deputy General Counsel to former Governor Lawton Chiles and was a member of his staff when he served in the United States Senate. Since 2013, Michelle has served as a member of the Florida Commission on Ethics, and currently serves as the commission’s chair.

Michelle and her family have been leaders in the Fort Walton Beach and Destin communities for generations. In addition to serving as pro bono counsel to a number of local non-profit organizations, Michelle is personally and actively involved with a number of organizations and issues.  Former Governor Jeb Bush appointed Michelle to chair the Committee for a Sustainable Emerald Coast and in 2007 Michelle was named “Best Corporate Citizen” by Emerald Coast Magazine. In 2012, Michelle was honored to serve as one of the founding members and first President of IMPACT 100 of Northwest Florida, which raises and provides significant grant funding for deserving local non-profit organizations. Michelle also formerly served as chair of the Okaloosa County School Readiness Coalition and on the boards of directors for the University of West Florida Foundation and the Fort Walton Beach Medical Center.

Michelle, her husband Steve and their two children are active members of St. Simon’s Episcopal Church. She enjoys long distance open water swimming, playing the piano, and backpacking with her family.

Keefe, Anchors & Gordon
Hall, Steven K.
Hall & Runnels

Education and Professional Experience
Choctawhatchee H.S.; Florida State University B.S.; Florida State University J.D.
Asst. General Counsel, Florida Dept. of Environmental Regulation
Deputy General Counsel, Florida Dept. of Community Affairs
Assistant General Counsel. Northwest Fla. Water Management District
City Attorney, City of Valparaiso
Attorney, Okaloosa County Tourist Development Council
General Counsel, The Sterling Companies
Community Involvement
Founding Board Member Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance
Board of Trustees, Staff Parish Committee, Lay Worship Leader, Crosspoint United Methodist Church
Board of Directors, GRACE Rides Equine Therapy Program
Blue Lake Emmaus Community
Member, Urban Land Institute
Member, Florida Bar Environmental and Land Use Law Section

Business address:
4399 Commons Drive East, Suite 300
Destin, FL  32541

Hall & Runnels' website
(850) 337-4720
Hawkins, John W.
Matthews & Jones LLP

John Hawkins’ path to the Emerald Coast is familiar to many who now live here full time. John grew up in Dallas, Texas and obtained his education and real world work experience in Texas, but once John experienced the natural beauty of the area and the warmth of its residents, the desire to live here was irresistible.

A graduate of the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin, with a double major in Finance and Petroleum Land Management, John worked in the oil industry as a landman for a Fortune 500 corporation while obtaining a Masters of Business Administration degree specializing in Management from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin. John then became a futures trader for Elf Trading, Inc., the international trading arm of France’s national oil company, Elf Acquitaine, and was involved in risk management and speculative trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX), the International Petroleum Exchange in London (IPE), and the Singapore International Monetary Exchange (SIMEX), with traders in ETI’s offices in London, Paris, Geneva, Tokyo, and Singapore. During his stint in the international commodities markets John attended the South Texas College of Law in Houston, graduating with a Juris Doctorate degree.

In 1993 John relocated to Destin and opened his solo general practice, broadening his commercial litigation experience to include family law, personal injury, misdemeanor criminal defense and business planning. John has been a member of the American Bar Association since he was a law student, and a member of the Okaloosa-Walton Bar Association since 1993. John is a long standing member of the Estate Planning Council of the Emerald Coast, and served as President  of the EPCEC in 2008.

As John and Dana Matthews grew to know and respect each other as colleagues and friends, they shared a vision to create a full service locally based law firm to meet the increasing demand of a rapidly growing Northwest Florida client base, and formed Matthews & Hawkins, P.A. in July, 1998.  Drawing on his practical experience in the business world, John’s practice transformed to concentrate in business planning, estate planning, and litigation of probate and trust matters.  After serving as Managing Partner of the firm for 14 years, in 2012 John decided to become Of Counsel, and now provides private client services in addition to serving as a Florida Supreme Court certified circuit civil mediator and qualified arbitrator.

4475 Legendary Drive
Destin, FL 32541

University of Texas
(B.B.A., 1981);
University of Texas of the Permian Basin
(M.B.A., 1985);
South Texas College of Law
(J.D., 1990)

Practical Experience
Crown Central Petroleum Corporation, 1982-1985
District Land Man;
Crown Central Petroleum Corporation, 1985-1989
Product Trader;
Elf Trading, Inc., 1987-1990
Futures Trader

Bar Admissions
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida;
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas;
U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals

Okaloosa-Walton County Bar Association;
American Bar Association;
State Bar of Texas;
The Florida Bar;
Estate Planning Council of the Emerald Coast
(President, 2008)

Areas of Practice
Asset Protection and Wealth Preservation;
Estate and Trust Planning;
Guardianship and Conservatorships;
Gift and Generation Skipping Tax Planning;
Probate and Post Mortem Estate Tax Planning;
Wills, Trusts, Power of Attorneys and Living Wills;
Complex Commercial Litigation
O’Rourke, Daniel C.
Matthews & Jones, LLP

Dan O’Rourke has been practicing law in Florida for nearly 20 years and focuses on general civil and commercial litigation in the state and federal trial and appellate courts of northwest Florida. Dan has represented clients in matters ranging from Covenants Not to Compete in the trial court of Walton County to construction liens and contract disputes throughout northwest Florida. He has also represented clients in real estate fraud disputes in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida and claims pursuant to the federal Hyde Amendment (awarding attorney fees to victims of malicious, vexatious, frivolous and bad faith federal criminal prosecutions) before the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. A Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit & Family Mediator, Dan helps clients create practical and livable solutions of their disputes. As a Mediator, Dan works with clients and counsel to resolve a vast array of disputes in circuit-civil and family matters.

The youngest of five children, Dan is a native of Florida and longtime resident of northwest Florida. He is the son of Lt. Col (USAF Ret) Michael J. and Julie M. O’Rourke. After growing up in Fort Walton Beach, he went on to the Universities of Florida and West Florida for his undergraduate education. Dan graduated from Saint Louis University School of Law in 1994 and came home from St. Louis and was admitted to The Florida Bar in 1995.

Dan’s current practice includes circuit-civil and family mediation, civil and commercial litigation, probate, real estate law, creditor’s rights law and construction litigation. His certification includes Florida Supreme Court, Circuit and Family Mediator number 21031FR. Dan, a Knight of Columbus, previously served the community as president of the Okaloosa-Walton Bar Association, an Okaloosa County Planning Commissioner, and Board Member of OASIS (Okaloosa AIDS Support and Informational Services)

12889 US Highway 98 W Unit 110A
Miramar Beach, FL 32550-3241
Pleat, David B.
Pleat & Perry, P. A.
(850) 650-0599

Mr. Pleat, founding partner of Pleat & Perry, P. A., graduated from Duquesne University in 1981 (B.A.).  He attended law school at the University Of Baltimore (J.D. 1985) and was admitted to the Maryland Bar in 1985.

Pleat & Perry, P.A. was founded in 1995 with the goal of providing top-quality legal services in many  different areas. Our lawyers’ success has brought us to cases throughout the United States, but we remain primarily in service with offices in Destin and servicing the surrounding communities of Destin including Fort Walton Beach, Panama City, Pensacola, Santa Rosa Beach, Rosemary Beach Florida, Niceville, Crestview, Freeport, Walton County, South Walton, 30A, and others throughout the Florida panhandle.
4477 Legendary Drive, Suite 202
Destin, FL  32541

Pleat, Perry & Ritchie, P. A.
(850) 650-4402
Reeder, H. Wesley
Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon

As a Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit Civil Mediator, Wes primarily mediates cases involving construction, business and commercial disputes, real estate, land use, property rights issues, and eminent domain. In addition, Wes is available to provide third party neutral evaluations and to serve as an arbitrator. Wes is dedicated to helping you and your clients efficiently and effectively resolve your case or dispute.

Florida Bar Board Certified in Construction Law
AV-Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
Available to serve you State wide
Competitive Rates
No multi-party fee enhancement
No cancelation fee

To schedule a Mediation, simply contact Wes by phone at 850.433.6581 or email

Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon
30 South Spring Street
Pensacola, FL  32502

Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon
Sachs, Colleen
Dunlap & Shipman, P. A.
Dunlap & Shipman, P. A.
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