Charles Burns Upton II

C.B. Upton is the founder and principal attorney of Upton Law Firm. He has extensive experience handling complex litigation, regulatory proceedings, government investigations, white-collar criminal defense, elections issues, and constitutional law matters.

BACKGROUND

C.B. Upton’s  experience includes a mix of government service and private practice with significant exposure to high-profile cases at the intersection of law and policy.

For the past several years, C.B. has maintained an AV-preeminent rating. Judges and peer attorneys have recognized C.B. with this disntinction because he has demonstrated professional excellence through high levels of skill and integrity.

Prior to entering private practice, C.B. held several important government positions. As General Counsel at the Florida Department of State, C.B. oversaw the Department’s litigation, advised the Secretary of State on policy matters, issued written legal opinions, and assisted in developing the Department’s legislative agenda. He is particularly proud of his work restructuring the Department’s legal office to provide higher quality representation at a lower cost. During this time, he managed all of the Department’s legal matters related to the 2010 primary and general elections.

As Deputy Solicitor General in the Florida Attorney General’s Office, C.B.’s practice focused on appellate litigation and policy matters of statewide importance. In this role, he represented a number of state officers, including the Governor, Speaker of the House, Senate President, and several agency heads.

In the private sector, C.B. has focused on civil litigation and appeals, constitutional law, election law, white-collar criminal defense, regulatory proceedings, and government investigations.

C.B. had the honor of begining his legal career as a law clerk to the Honorable Eugene Siler of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit where he worked on cases across the country in the First, Third, Sixth, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh United States Circuit Courts of Appeals.

HONORS

  • AV-Preeminent, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Top Rated Lawyer in Appellate Law, The American Lawyer
  • Top Lawyers in Florida, The Legal Network
  • Superb Attorney 10/10, Avvo
  • Gardner W. Becket Writing Award
  • William F. Blews Pro Bono Service Award
  • Book Award, Appellate Practice
  • Book Award, Law & Economics
  • Book Award, Constitutional Litigation
  • Morgan Stanley National Director’s Award
  • Kentucky Colonel

PUBLICATIONS

  • Solving the Speech Debate, Tampa Bay Times (Sept. 19, 2009)
    The Office of the Florida Solicitor General, The Record (Fall 2009)
  • Court has Your 2nd Amendment Rights in its Cross Hairs, Tallahassee Democrat (Jan. 31, 2008)
  • Will Court Decide 2008 Election, Too?, Tallahassee Democrat (Dec. 23, 2007)
  • Dean v. Utica Community Schools: An Arrow through the Heart of Administrative Control Over Student Expression in School Newspapers, BYU Education & Law Journal (2006)

ORGANIZATIONS

  • American Bar Association
  • Florida Bar Association
  • Tallahassee Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Florida Bar, Trial Lawyers Section
  • Florida Bar, Appellate Practice Section
  • Stetson Lawyers Advisory Council (former)
  • Florida Bar, Constitutional Judiciary Standing Committee (former)
  • Florida Attorney General’s 287(g) Immigration Task Force (former)

ADMISSIONS

  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida
  • United States Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida
  • United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Florida
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida
  • All Florida State Courts and Division of Administrative Hearings

EDUCATION

  • Stetson University College of Law, JD
    • Law Review, Notes & Comments Editor
    • Moot Court Board
  • University of Tennessee, BA, Political Science

REPRESENTATIVES MATTERS

  • Member of national trial team representing multiple states in constitutional challenge to Affordable Care Act [State of Florida v. Sebelius]
  • Represented State of Florida in defense of three class action lawsuits seeking reimbursement for billions of dollars in property taxes [Deluccio v. Havill, Bruner v. Hartsfield, Lanning v. Pilcher]
  • Defended State of Florida in federal lawsuit challenging statute that provides Second Amendment protections to citizens while traveling to and from work [ Retail Fed’n, Inc. v. AG of Fla.]
  • Appeared as amicus curiae in Florida Supreme Court on behalf of State of Florida in case considering scope of bond validation proceedings [Strand v. Escambia Cnty.]
  • Represented Florida House of Representatives in defense of legislative redistricting plan [In re Senate Joint Resolution of Legislative Apportionment]
  • Defended commercial real estate developer against land use challenge to company’s plans to construct a power plant [Seminole Tribe of Florida v. Hendry Cnty.]
  • Defended bank accused of breaching various duties to commercial loan client [Superior Bank, N.A. v. SJ Realty Group, LLC]
  • Represented citizen in challenge to city commissioner’s legal ability to hold office based on residency grounds [Jackson v. Maddox]
  • Represented residential real estate developer through multi-million-dollar foreclosure actions, federal bankruptcy proceedings, and loan workouts
  • Represented Florida Elections Commission in several prosecutions of Florida Elections Code violations
  • Represented Florida Secretary of State in various election and campaign finance cases in state and federal court
  • Represented Florida law firm through investigation by Florida Attorney General
  • Represented for-profit university through investigation by Florida Attorney General
  • Represented real estate school through investigation by Florida Attorney General
  • Defended elected official facing criminal charges for misappropriating public funds
  • Represented various public officials before ethics commission and elections commission
  • Advised several public entities and officers on public records issues
  • Served as general counsel and member of Florida Attorney General’s 287(g) Joint Task Force on Immigration