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J. Michael Hartenstine


J. Michael Hartenstine

Mike is a board certified specialist in real estate and in condominium and planned development law. He also serves as a member of the Condominium and Planned Development Committee of The Florida Bar.

A graduate of Harvard College and Duke Law School, he concentrates his practice in commercial and residential real estate development and related transactions, including condominiums and planned developments. Mike has represented numerous real estate developers and investors since 1977 and has created governing documents for projects ranging from developments of regional impact to boutique condominiums. He offers counsel in the acquisition, financing, development, leasing, and sale of real estate investments and in joint venture structuring.

Representative of Mike’s practice are the following matters:

  • Structured, documented, and provided ongoing counsel for developments of regional impact with sales exceeding $500 million
  • Represented multiple European investors in the acquisition, development, and sale of large residential and commercial projects
  • Negotiated, documented, and closed the purchase of a $50 million land acquisition for development as a residential bayfront project
  • Prepared documentation and provided ongoing counsel for the development of residential condominiums, commercial condominiums, land condominiums, mixed-use condominiums, and leasehold condominiums
  • Created a mechanism and documentation to produce substantial ongoing revenue to developers through the long-term sale to associations of storm water for irrigation purposes
  • Amended homeowner association documents to create mandatory country club membership requirements for future lot owners in multiple developments
  • Devised a structure for a townhouse project functioning as a condominium without subjecting the project to the Florida condominium act
  • Negotiated, documented, and closed the sale of a $39 million citrus grove
  • Restructured a multi-owner limited liability company to capitalize debt, eliminate noncontributing company members, and reorganize land holdings
  • Negotiated, documented, and closed the sale and purchase of multiple self-storage facilities

Mike joined the firm immediately after law school and became a partner in 1982.

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What is Board Certification?

Board certification is The Florida Bar’s highest level of evaluation of competency and experience. Certification recognizes an attorney’s special knowledge, skills, and proficiency in various areas of law and professionalism and ethics in practice. It is designed to help consumers identify specialists in various areas of law. Only 6% of eligible Florida Bar members are board certified. Not all qualified lawyers are certified, but those who are board certified have taken extra steps to have their competence and experience evaluated.


  • J.D., Duke University, With Distinction
  • A.B., Harvard University, Magna Cum Laude



  • Bar

    • Florida, Board Certified in Real Estate by The Florida Bar
  • Courts

    • Supreme Court of the United States


  • Martindale-Hubbell, AV Preeminent
  • Best Lawyers in America, 2005-2019
  • Florida Super Lawyers, 2006, 2009-2013, 2015-2020
  • Florida Trend, Legal Elite, 2007-2008



  • The Florida Bar Condominium and Planned Development Committee
  • Judicial Nominating Commission, Florida Twelfth Judicial Circuit, Past Member
  • The Florida Bar Grievance Committee 12A, Past Chairman
  • Sarasota Realtor/Attorney Joint Committee, Past Chairman
  • Asolo Theater, Inc., Past President and Director
  • Gulf Coast Heritage Association, Past President and Director
  • Harvard Club of Sarasota, Past President and Director
  • Leadership Sarasota
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