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S. Cary Gaylord


Cary Gaylord has represented clients in over 30 counties in Florida as well as (test link) 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.


Mr. Gaylord was born in Tampa, Florida on February 4, 1947, where he remained until his appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. After graduating from West Point in 1969, he completed both airborne and ranger schools before beginning his service in the infantry branch of the US Army. Selected by the Army to attend law school in 1971, he obtained his law degree from the University of Florida in 1974 then served in the Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps for the remainder of his military service.

He began practicing in the field of eminent domain in 1978, working first in Miami, then in Sarasota and moving back to Tampa in 1983. In July 2000 he helped form the law firm of Gaylord Merlin Ludovici & Diaz.

Mr. Gaylord is a member of Idlewild Baptist Church and serves as Chairman of the Board of Family First, a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening families. Fishing and spear fishing, hunting and riding his motorcycle are recreational activities enjoyed by him and his family

He is married to Ann Kirkconnell Gaylord and they have two married children.