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About me

Mary is an attorney and partner with the law firm of Porges, Hamlin, Knowles & Hawk, P.A. She is also a Supreme Court Certified Circuit Civil Mediator; a Supreme Court Certified Appellate Mediator; and a Certified Arbitrator. She has been in practice since 1998 in the Sarasota/Bradenton area, and is the head of the Firm's Civil Litigation and Dispute Resolution Department. Mary concentrates her mediation and litigation practice in the areas of commercial litigation, condominium and homeowner association law, probate litigation, landlord/tenant law, and mobile home law.  Mary has a Bachelor's degree from Florida State University (Fine Arts, cum laude), and from Georgia State University (Journalism, with honors), and she received her law degree from Georgia State University College of Law (magna cum laude).


Mary was the recipient of several academic awards in law school, and was a member of the Georgia State University Law Review, where two of her articles were published. She has volunteered as a judge for the Stetson College of Law annual International Environmental Moot Court Competition for many years, and this year judged the Arbitration competition. Mary has also served as a Coach for the St. Stephen'sCollegePreparatory School's Mock Trial Team in statewide competition. She has spoken widely on the topics of mediation, community association law and landlord-tenant law to civic and professional organizations in Manatee and Sarasota Counties, including The West Florida Chapter Community Associations Institute, of which the firm has been a member for many years.


Mary is currently the Vice-President of the Board of Directors for the West Florida Chapter Community Associations Institute. She is also President of the Board of Directors for the Friends of De Soto National Memorial, for which she recently secured a National Environmental Education Foundation grant funded by Toyota for board development. Mary is a member and past board member of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers, Manatee Chapter, and is a member of the Manatee and Sarasota Bar Associations. She is licensed to practice in Florida, Georgia, the Middle District of Florida (federal), and the federal 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.


Practice areas


  1. Real Estate: 30%
    17 years
  2. Landlord & Tenant: 20%
    17 years
  3. Foreclosure: 20%
    14 years
  4. Mediation: 20%
    8 years
  5. Business: 10%
    17 years

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Contact info

Porges Hamlin Knowles & Hawk, PA

1205 Manatee Avenue West
Bradenton, FL, 34205


FLMember in Good Standing199906/19/2016
GAInactive Member in Good Standing 199808/05/2016
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Sworn in to practice before the US Supreme CourtUnited States Supreme Court2015
Magna cum laudeGeorgia State University, College of Law1998
Outer Barristers' Guild AwardOuter Barristers1998
Best Legislative History "Peach Sheet" AwardGeorgia State University, College of Law1997
Golden Key National Honor SocietyGeorgia State University1989
Certified Circuit Civil MediatorFlorida Supreme CourtN/A
Certified Appellate MediatorFlorida Supreme CourtN/A
Certified Court Appointed ArbitratorFloridaN/A
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Principal and ShareholderPorges, Hamlin, Knowles & Hawk, P.A.2004 - Present
AssociateLutz, Webb & Bobo1998 - 2004
ExternshipFulton County Superior Court1997 - 1997
ExternshipSupreme Court of Georgia1997 - 1997
Association namePosition nameDuration
Inn of Court, Manatee County, FloridaPresident2015 - Present
Community Associations Institute, West Florida ChapterBoard of Directors2012 - Present
Friends of De Soto National MemorialPresident2011 - Present
Real Property Probate and Trust Law section of the Florida BarMember2004 - Present
Manatee County Bar AssociationMember2004 - Present
Stetson University College of Law Moot CourtJudgeN/A
Florida Academy of Professional MediatorsMemberN/A
Sarasota County Bar AssociationMemberN/A
Appellate Section of the Florida BarMemberN/A
Inn of Court, Manatee County, FloridaVice President2014 - 2015
Community Associations Institute, West Florida ChapterPresident, Board of Directors2014 - 2015
Community Associations Institute West Florida ChapterVice-President, Board of Directors2012 - 2013
Florida Association for Women Lawyers Manatee ChapterBoard Member2008 - 2014
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Magnolia Village Homeowners’ Ass’n. v. Magnolia Village, Inc., 758 So.2d 1201 (Fla. 5th DCA 2000)N/A
Malco Industries, Inc. v. Featherock Homeowners’ Ass’n., Inc., 854 So.2d 755 (Fla. 2d DCA 2003)N/A
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
The West Florida WireHurricane Shutter Policies2014
The West Florida WireMediation and Arbitration - What You Should Know2009
Georgia State University Law Review-lead articleLiability Limbo1999
Georgia State University Law ReviewLegislative History of Interstate Compacts to Allocate Surface Water Resources Between Georgia, Florida and Alabama1997
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
Georgia State University College of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1998
Georgia State UniversityJournalism and Mass CommunicationBA - Bachelor of Arts1989
Florida State UniversityFine ArtsOther - Bachelors1983
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
East Manatee and Anna Maria Island Lunch & LearnDisability Accommodations under Florida and federal fair housing acts2015
West Florida Chapter, Community Associations Institute, Board of Directors’ Certification CourseAlternative Dispute Resolution2014
West Florida Chapter, Community Associations Institute CA DayDealing with the Disabled, Elderly or Hoarding Resident2014
East Manatee and Anna Maria Island Lunch & Learn2014 Legal Update: Changes in Chapters 718, 719 & 720, Florida Statutes2014
East County & Anna Maria Island Lunch & Learns for community association managers and board membersLegal Update and Hot Button Legal Issues2014
West Florida Chapter, Community Associations Institute. Bradenton BreakfastUnderstanding Co-ops2013
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine and Lake Erie College of Dental MedicineKeynote Speaker: Comparing the Constitutions of the World2013
Fall Homeowner Education SeminarCondominium, Cooperative and Homeowner Association Law2013
East Manatee County Lunch and Learn for community association managers and board membersCondominium Association Law.2013
East Manatee County Lunch and Learn for community association managers and board membersMold 101 for Property Managers and Facilities Engineers2012
CA DayCommunity Association legal advice2012
Advanced Management Inc. 2012 Association Director SeminarTax deed sales; foreclosures and collection process for the Community2012
Owners forum and educational seminar speakerThe Conflict Resolution Process2011
Keynote Speaker Consitution DayConsitutional Attacks on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 20102011
Ethical Issues for Mediators conferenceTermination, Adournment and Cancellation of Mediation2011
CA Day - Panel SpeakerAlternative Dispute Resolution2011
Program SpeakerForeclosures2010
Luncheon keynote speakerMediation and Arbitration2010
Lunch and Learn speakerMediation and Arbitration for Community Associations2010
Lunch and Learn speakerMediation and Arbitration: What Community Association Managers Need to Know2010
Lunch and Learn Program SpeakerHot Topics in Community Association Law2010
Constitution Day Keynote SpeakerConsitutional Issues Facing Medical Professionals2010
Conference for Community Association Managers and Board MembersCollections and Foreclosures2010
CA Day -Panel SpeakerCollections and Foreclosures2009
Keynote speaker, breakfast meetingForeclosures and How They Effect Community Associations2008