S. Cary Gaylord - Gaylord Merlin Ludovici & Diaz

S. Cary Gaylord

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2007
Phone: 813-221-9000


S. Cary Gaylord

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Susan R. Morris, Paralegal



Cary Gaylord has represented clients in over 30 counties in Florida as well as in the federal courts and courts of Illinois and Georgia. He has handled cases involving large vacant parcels, churches, national big box retailers, shopping centers, gas station/convenience stores, fast food restaurants, supermarket chains, professional offices, farmers, retailers, grove operators, golf course owners, homeowners, as well as other properties both in eminent domain and inverse condemnation proceedings.


He has authored and co-authored numerous articles including chapters in Nichols on Eminent Domain covering maps of reservation as well as power lines and electromagnetic fields. Mr. Gaylord also co-authored "The Public Purpose Doctrine" chapter of the Florida Eminent Domain Practice and Procedure Manual - the authoritative publication on eminent domain issues for the Florida Bar.

He has also lectured on these and other condemnation topics for the American Bar Association, Southwestern Legal Foundation, ALI-ABA, the Florida Bar and the Hillsborough County Bar Associations as well as numerous other groups.

Mr. Gaylord was selected to Florida Trend Magazine's "Legal Elite" in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. He was also recognized in 2006, 2007 and 2008 in the "Best Lawyers in America" publication and as a "Super Lawyer" by Florida Super Lawyers Magazine. In 2006 he was invited to participate as a senior panelist in The National Conference on Ethics in America at United States Military Academy.

Martindale Hubbell has awarded Mr. Gaylord an AV rating the highest rating given to attorneys. He is also recognized in the Martindale Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers in the field of eminent domain.


Mr. Gaylord is a member of the Hillsborough County, Florida and American Bar Associations and is active in the Eminent Domain Committees of the Florida Bar and the Hillsborough County Bar Associations. He served as Chairman of the Florida Bar Eminent Domain Committee from 1982 to 1984. He is a member of the Florida Justice Association and the American Association for Justice. He was invited to join the American Board of Trial Advocates whose membership is limited to attorneys who have extensive jury trial experience and who exhibit "high personal character and honorable reputation." In addition Mr. Gaylord is a Master of the Tampa Bay Chapter of the American Inns of Court (2005 to present.)

Mr. Gaylord served as a member of the Judicial Nominating Commission for the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit from 1999 to 2007 and was reappointed to the Commission by the Governor in 2008. During his tenure with the JNC, he was elected twice to serve as its chairman. Previous to this he served a four year term as a member of the Grievance Committee for the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit.

United States Military AcademyBS 1969Levin College of Law - University of FloridaJ.D. 1974
Family FirstIdlewild Baptist ChurchAmerican Board of Trial AdvocatesJudicial Nominating Commission 13th CircuitIdlewild FoundationLifework LeadershipWest Point Association of GraduatesFlorida Bar Eminent Domain Committee

Case History

Joint Ventures Inc. v. Department of Transportation — 563 So 2d 622 (Fla. 1990)
One of the leading inverse condemnation decisions in Florida
Texaco Inc. v. Florida Department of Transportation — 537 So. 2d 92 (Fla. 1989)
business loss recovery decision in conflict with Department of
Transportation v. Morris 194 Ga. App 813, 392 S.E. 2d 291 (1990)
Georgia Department of Transportation v. Morris — 194 Ga. App 813, 392 S.E. 2d 291 (1990)
directly conficts with Texaco decision in Florida
HART v. Ligori — $9,530,325 jury verdict in Hillsborough County
Illinois State Toll Highway Authority v. Amoco — Jury verdict in Chicago $2,025,000
USA v. 16.19 acres — $3,039,567Jury verdict in federal court middle district of Florida for expansion
of the VA hospital
FDOT v. South Branch Ranch — $6,500,000 settlement for construction of the Suncoast Expressway
TCHEA v. Chang — $9,300,000 settlement for construction of the Veteran's Expressway

Office Location

5001 West Cypress Street
Tampa, FL 33607-3803
United States

Lawyer of the Year Awards

2011 Lawyer of the Year in Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law of the Tampa Metro Area
S. Cary Gaylord has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2011!

Practice Areas

Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law

Other Information

Gender: Male