City Attorney


The Office of the City Attorney protects the legal interests and assets of the City of Gainesville by providing legal advice and serves as counsel to the City Commission, as well as all the other charter offices and departments, including Gainesville Regional Utilities, boards and committees and the Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency.  Lawyers and staff in this office are recognized for their knowledge and expertise in the area of city, county and local government law and skills in many other practice areas.

The office is staffed by 14 full-time employees, including nine attorneys, four legal assistants and one senior executive assistant.

Office Address

200 East University Ave., Room 425
Gainesville, FL 32601

The Office is responsible for providing legal counsel to the City in the conduct of its day-to-day transactional business and both prosecution and defense of lawsuits to protect the interests of the city. The transactional division of the Office interprets and applies state and federal statutory law, case law, the City Charter and Code of Ordinances; researches legal authority, prepares and/or reviews city ordinances, resolutions, contracts and agreements, interlocal agreements, and legal budget preparation and implementation.  The City Attorney and staff attend all Commission meetings and board/committee meetings as required or requested.  The litigation division defends and settles all legal challenges filed on behalf of or against the City.  This includes challenges to the City ordinances, development approvals, employment actions, civil rights actions, torts, tax liability issues, foreclosure of City liens and mortgages, as well as prosecution of cases to enforce the City’s Code of Ordinances.

The City Attorney’s office does not provide legal advice to citizens, as it can only represent its client, City of Gainesville, including the City Commission, and the departments within the City government.  Citizens may contact The Florida Bar to access their Lawyer Referral Service via phone at 850-561-5600 or, as well as Three Rivers Legal Services at 352-372-0519 or

  1. Drafted approximately 68 ordinances and approximately 31 resolutions, including a moratorium on Internet gambling establishments, revisions to fuel adjustment and purchased power, GRU Power District land use and zoning, game day parking, food truck special events, street vacations, land surplus, sign regulations, towing regulations, alcohol special events and annexations.
  2. Worked closely with city staff to provide necessary documents and to acquire the Empowerment Center project.
  3. Represented the city in evaluating more than 160 claims and lawsuits.
  4. Provided legal support to the CRA, including key projects such as Depot Park, GTEC Redevelopment Plans and the Cade Museum.
  5. Provided legal guidance to the City Commission on Strategic Initiative no. 8.2 - GRU Governance.
  6. Provided legal counsel at monthly regular and special meetings of 21 city boards and committees.
  7. Conducted a competitive solicitation process to select bond and disclosure counsel for GRU debt issuances.
  8. Worked closely with GRU staff on the settlement and release of the city's ownership interest in the Crystal River Unit 3 nuclear power plant.

The City of Gainesville works cooperatively with the University of  Florida, College of Law Career Services in providing opportunities for students to develop job skills, clarify career direction or gain skills while completing degree requirements. Externship opportunities are non-paid positions.

The externship program enables students to work with practicing attorneys for academic credit and provides supervision for performing legal research, drafting, and legal tasks which applies academic studies to real projects and matters, in addition to gaining valuable insight into the operations of working in a local government law office.


City Attorney

Department Head:
Daniel Nee (interim)
Phone: 352-334-5011
Fax: 352-334-2229
P.O. Box 490
Station 46

Our Staff

Daniel M. Nee, Interim City Attorney - Board Certified, City, County and Local Government Law
Lisa C. Bennett, Sr. Assistant City Attorney - Board Certified, City, County and Local Government Law
Lee C. Libby, Sr. Assistant City Attorney - Police Legal Advisor
Brian W. Franklin, Assistant City Attorney II
Michele F. Martin, Sr. Assistant City Attorney - Labor and Employment Law
Sean M. McDermott, Sr. Assistant City Attorney - Board Certified, City, County and Local Government Law
Katherine Mockler, Assistant City Attorney I
David C. Schwartz, Assistant City Attorney II - Board Certified, City, County and Local Government Law
Lisa Allen, Legal Assistant II - Certified Paralegal
Yolanda Hocker, Executive Assistant, Sr.
Alice Murnahan, Sr. Legal Assistant
Rebecca Scalese, Legal Assistant II- Advance Certified Paralegal
Crystal White, Legal Assistant II - Certified Paralegal