Blake Gaylord is a partner with Gaylord Merlin Ludovici & Diaz and practices in the field of eminent domain and property rights. Mr. Gaylord has successfully represented property owners in jury trials, bench trials, and administrative and Value Adjustment Board proceedings. His clients have included residential and commercial property owners, ranging from churches, home owners’ associations, ranches and farming operations, marine facilities, and restaurants. Additionally, he has successfully represented commercial property owners in tax challenges before the Value Adjustment Boards statewide and in circuit court.
He has authored numerous articles regarding eminent domain and property rights matters, as well as ad valorem tax valuation issues for peer publications, trade journals and other professional publications. He has also made presentations before a variety of professional organizations including the judiciary, legal conferences and trade groups.
Mr. Gaylord is a member of The Florida Bar, the Hillsborough County Bar Association, and the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). Furthermore, Mr. Gaylord is currently serving as Chair of the Eminent Domain Committee of the Florida Bar for 2020-2021.
- John B. Stetson University College of Law, J.D., 2007
- United States Merchant Marine Academy, B.S., 1999
- The Florida Bar, Eminent Domain Committee (Chair, 2020-2021; Member, 2008-present)
- Hillsborough County Bar Association, Young Lawyer Division (2008-present)
AWARDS & RECOGNITION
- AV-Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
- Florida Trend Legal Elite, “Up and Comer” (2010–17)
- Florida Super Lawyers, “Rising Star” (2011-17)
- “Work Smart, Win Big on Property Taxes,” PetroGram, Winter 2011; and “Necessity for a Taking: Actual or Engineered?” Hillsborough County Bar Association Lawyer, July 2014
- “Bearing the Burden: What You Should Know About Florida Property Taxes,” PetroGram, Summer 2011 (co-author)
- “The Role of Construction Plans in Easement Takings,” Hillsborough County Bar Association Lawyer, October 2011
- “Establishing Damages with Respect to Market Fear,” CLE International Eminent Domain Conference, October 2015 (co-presenter)
- “Eminent Domain,” Judicial Conference of Circuit Judge, July 2014, Kissimmee, FL (co-presenter)
- “Tree Appraisals from an Attorney’s View,” International Society of Arboriculture Seminar, September 2014, Winter Park, FL, and October 2014, Fort Lauderdale, FL
- “Revival and Renewed Significance to an Owner’s Defenses Against the Taking: Reasonable Necessity,” CLE International Eminent Domain Annual Conference, October 2014 (co-presenter)
- International Society of Arboriculture “Trees and the Law” Seminar, August 2013, Winter Park, FL, and September 2013, Wimauma, FL
- “Tort or Taking? Walking the Line Between Taking and Damage in Inverse Condemnation,” CLE International Eminent Domain Super Conference (2009)
Beyond The Bio
I love what I do. I love that my job allows me the opportunity to help people who genuinely benefit from my experience and the experience of our firm. No matter how sophisticated or unsophisticated a person may be in matters of business or real estate, I enjoy knowing that we can add value to their eminent domain case.
I am a people person. I genuinely enjoy getting to know every client as a person during their case. In most cases, their property is also part of their story. Not only is understanding people something I enjoy, but it is also critical to understanding how they can be made whole in an eminent domain process.
I am a father, son and husband. The law is part of our family and I am blessed to work with my own father. My father’s influence in my life is being passed down to my own children. Like him, I love nothing more than spending time with my wife and three kids. I’ve always loved spending time fishing and hunting, but those experiences are magnified when they are shared with my family. We love spending time together in our boat catching fish, spearing fish or just hanging out at the beach. We all love being outside no matter what we are doing. My favorite childhood memories are time spent in the woods with my Dad, and I love being able to pass that on to our kids.
I am a veteran. Like my father and grandfather before me, I am honored to have served my country as an officer in the United States Army. This experience influences every aspect of my professional life to this day. When you have served in the military, words like honor and integrity become part of who you are. I bring these values to work every day and in every eminent domain case.