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Michael L. Watkins has broad experience as bond, disclosure, underwriter's, bank and trustee's counsel in a wide variety of taxable and tax-exempt financings, including housing, general obligation, transportation, airport, industrial development, public utilities, sales tax and tourist development tax financings.


  • Municipal securities
  • Housing



  • Drafted and negotiated the interlocal agreement between Orange County and the City of Orlando, providing for the financing of a new community events center and home of the Orlando Magic NBA basketball team, a new performing arts center and renovation of the Citrus Bowl.  
  • Represented Orange County as disclosure counsel on the combined issuance of over $2 billion of tourist development tax, sales tax and public service tax bonds.
  • Served as disclosure counsel to the City of Winter Park for the issuance of $49.8 million of securities to finance the acquisition of the city's electric distribution system from an investor-owned utility. The transaction represented the State's first electric "municipalization" since 1943.
  • Served as credit-enhancer's counsel to the Florida Affordable Housing Guarantee Program, an affordable housing credit-enhancement program created by the Florida Legislature and administered by the Florida Housing Finance Corporation.
  • Served as counsel to Fannie Mae with respect to the U.S. Treasury’s New Issue Bond Program.
  • Served as bond counsel, special counsel or disclosure counsel on bond issues for various Florida issuers, including: Orange County, Broward County, St. Johns County, Florida Housing Finance Corporation, Housing Finance Authority of Lee County, Charlotte County Housing Finance Authority, Housing Finance Authority of Collier County, City of Casselberry, City of Deltona, City of DeBary, City of Jacksonville, City of St. Pete Beach and City of Sebastian.

Recognition & Leadership

  • Member, Florida Association Local Housing Finance Authority
  • Member, National Association of Bond Lawyers


  • J.D., University of Florida Levin College of Law, 1993
  • B.A., magna cum laude, University of Central Florida, 1990
  • Florida