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Gerald F. O'Brien

Guardianship Attorney at Sarasota, FL

5.0   3 reviews

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About Gerald

Learn Gerald’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Guardianship

    33 years, 1,500 cases

  2. Probate

    33 years, 200 cases

  3. Estate planning

    28 years, 300 cases

  4. Arbitration

    38 years, 100 cases

I received my undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, my Master of Arts from the University of Cincinnati, and my law degree from the University of Detroit.  While in Detroit, I practiced primarily in the area of Employment Law.  I was on staff with Wayne State University where I was involved in labor negotiations, arbitration, and contract administration.  I was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1988 and began practicing in Sarasota in 1989.  In 1990 I began to shift the focus of my practice to issues involving Estate Planning, Guardianship & Guardianship Avoidance, and Probate & Trust Administration.  
I am experienced in all issues involving the avoidance, establishment, and maintenance of a guardianship for incapacitated persons, and seeking termination of guardianship if circumstances warrant.  Guardianships often involve contested issues, which I am experienced in handling in a manner consistent with the best interests of the Ward. 
I am also a certified Arbitrator and have served as a Hearing Officer for Sarasota County Government since 2001.
Immediately prior to law school, I served as a business manager for a corporation headquartered in Oklahoma City.  

Photos and videos

Licensed for 37 years
State FL
Status Member in Good Standing
Acquired 1988
Updated 02/23/2023
State MI
Status Emeritus
Acquired 1985
Updated 02/23/2023

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

Contact Gerald

O'Brien & Bennett, P.A.
1800 2nd St Ste 735
Sarasota, FL, 34236


5.0 / 5.0
  3 customer reviews
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Posted by anonymous | July 12, 2015
Professional service
Mr O'Brien helped with my paperwork for living will and will. He listened to my concerns and was understanding of my wishes. Several years ago he also helped me with an employment issue. His office staff is cordial and responsible. I have referred several clients to him over the years,
Posted by deciccocpa | July 2, 2015
Honest and caring with a high level of integrity
His help in my case shows the high level of concern he has for his clients and his desire to make sure people, including opposing attorneys, do the right thing regardless of the compensation involved.
Posted by anonymous | June 4, 2015
Amazing attorney with great knowledge of practice
I needed an attorney for situations I was dealing with and Gerry was able to help!! I would highly recommend him for anyone looking for an attorney! He was very professional!


  • Hourly Rates $ 300-375 per hour
Payment methods
Cash, Check


AVVO RATING 8.8 (Excellent)

Work Experience

  • Partner
  • O'Brien & Bennett, P.A.
  • 2015 - Present
  • Owner
  • Gerald F. O'Brien, P.A.
  • 1989 - 2015
  • Labor Relations Specialist
  • Wayne State University
  • 1986 - 1989


  • University of Detroit Mercy School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1985
  • University of Cincinnati
  • MA - Masters
  • 1980
  • University of Michigan
  • BS - Bachelor of Science
  • 1978

Legal Cases

  • Sinclair v. Mallette,, 804 So.2d.589 (2nd DCA 2002)
  • Trial Court affirmed
  • Surdo v. Surdo, 805 So.2d. 906 (2ndDCA 2001)
  • Trial Court reversed
  • Gilbert v. Gilbert, 639 So.2d 645 (2nd DCA 1994)
  • Trial Court reversed


  • American Inns of Court - Pennick Chapter
  • Master of the Bench
  • 2015 - Present
  • Stakeholders in Aging
  • Member
  • 2014 - Present
  • Sarasota County Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1989 - Present
  • Florida Bar
  • Member
  • 1988 - Present
  • State Bar of Michigan
  • Member
  • 1988 - Present
  • American Inns of Court - Scheb Chapter
  • Master of the Bench
  • 2010 - 2014
  • Gulf Coast Legal Services
  • Board of Directors
  • 2004 - 2010
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English
  • French

Honors and Awards

  • Pro Bono Service Award
  • Legal Aid of Manasota
  • 2015
  • Appreciation for service
  • Sarasota County Bar Association
  • 2004
  • Award in Appreciation
  • Sarasota Music Teachers Association
  • 2001
  • BV Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 1990
View all awards

Speaking Engagements

  • FSGA Spring Conference
  • Guardianship Road Map from Inception to Final Hearing
  • 2017
  • Alzheimer's Disease Initiative Training
  • The Determination of Incapacity and Alternatives to Guardianship
  • 2017
  • Family Guardian Training
  • The Initial Inventory
  • 2017
  • Family Guardianship Training Class
  • Guardianship Training
  • 2016
  • Family Guardian Training
  • Guardianship Training - Initial Inventory
  • 2015
  • Florida State Guardianship Association Gulf Coast
  • Update on Statutory Changes to Guardianship Law
  • 2015
  • Adult Protection Team - Monthly Meeting
  • Update on Statutory Changes to Guardianship Law
  • 2015
  • Guardianship Training
  • Guardianship
  • 2014
  • Caregivers conference
  • Life Planning Documents
  • 2014
  • Family Guardian Training Class
  • Guardianship - the Initial Inventory
  • 2013
  • Southwest Florida Legal Assistants Association
  • Guardianship, Baker Act & Marchman Act
  • 2010
  • Family Guardianship Training Class
  • Guardianship - Marshaling Assets
  • 2002
  • Family Guardianship Training Class
  • Guardianship - Initial Inventory
  • 2000
  • Family Guardian Training Class
  • Guardianship - Initial Inventory
  • 1999
View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (12)
Given (31)
Endorse Gerald
Guardianship Attorney | Apr 25
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Gerald is a highly effective attorney for whom I have known for over 19 years and have the greatest respect. He is intelligent, personable, and cares very deeply about his clients and his work ethics. I have consulted on cases, and worked on cases, and would not hesitate to refer clients to him in the future. In giving Gerald an excellent rating, it's not high enough for his professionalism. He is up front with his opinion and being realistic in what you might expect. I cannot recommend Gerald highly enough, I have given his office permission to release my contact information if you'd like to verify this review, please refer to Allan F. Baily, Esquire"
Guardianship Attorney | Jan 06
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I endorse this lawyer."
Arbitration Attorney | Nov 01
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I endorse this lawyer. I have known Mr. O'Brien for many years. He was a founder of the current local network of legal aid for those in need. He has worked for decades to support justice for all. Mr. O'Brien has always embodied the highest values of civility. Mr. O'Brien has contributed greatly to the community. He is a person in whom you, and those you care about, can place trust. He is a problem solver, and is unfailingly diplomatic. I am very happy to endorse Mr. O'Brien."
Guardianship Attorney | Jul 23
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Gerry O'Brien is a highly skilled, compassionate, and ethical attorney whose regard for his clients is second to none. I have known Gerry for almost 20 years and I trust him implicitly."
Guardianship Attorney | Jul 21
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I endorse this lawyer.Gerald O’Brien is an extremely knowledgeable attorney who offers experience, insight, and counsel based on what is best for the client and the situation, and provides honest and straightforward solutions. I am always confident that when I refer a client to Gerry that he will listen with an appreciation for the problem and an understanding for the underlying family dynamics that impact the outcome. He practices in a difficult area of the law that requires a calm voice and professional manner and Gerry sets the standard for both. I consider Gerry my go-to counsel regarding matters of guardianship and related matters and I am proud to be associated with O’Brien Bennett P.A."
Guardianship Attorney | Jul 20
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I have worked with Gerry numerous times over the last 20 years in multiple matters, sometimes on the same side and sometimes as opposing counsel. I highly endorse him without hesitation, as Gerry possesses the highest ethical standards and really cares about his clients. He strives to reach a resolution of matters outside of court, but doesn't hesitate to go the distance with full-blown proceedings if necessary to protect his clients' interests."
Guardianship Attorney | Jul 15
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Gerald is a top-tier guardianship attorney who zealously pursues his clients' interests. He is smart, responsive, attentive, and well-respected in the community. You can't go wrong with Gerry."
Probate Attorney | Jul 15
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"Jerry is a well respected member of the Sarasota County Bar, an outstanding attorney and adheres to the highest ethical standards."
Estate planning Attorney | Jul 15
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Jerry is a wonderful, caring attorney. He is always working in the best interests of his client. I strongly endorse this lawyer."
Guardianship Attorney | Jul 14
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I think quite highly of Mr. O'Brien. He has compassionately assisted my clients through the guardianship process, when needed, and always done a super job. His attention to detail and good communication skills make him an outstanding attorney to work with, and I highly endorse him."
Guardianship Attorney | Apr 21
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. I have known Gerry since I started practicing as both a colleague and mentor. I value his opinion on matters and often will call with questions and advice. He is client centered and very knowledgeable in his field."
Guardianship Attorney | Apr 08
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Gerry is a wonderful lawyer to work with, always striving to do what is best for his clients."
View more endorsements
Criminal defense
Divorce and separation
Divorce and separation
Consumer protection
Divorce and separation
Estate planning
Estate planning
Personal injury
Sarasota Guardianship Lawyer Gerald F. O'Brien
Gerald F. O'Brien
Guardianship Attorney
Sarasota, FL
Licensed for 37 years