211 South Gadsden Street | Tallahassee, Florida 32301
(850) 681-1800 info@fixelwillis.com

William A. Fixel

Listed as a Super Lawyer Rising Star in Florida Eminent Domain Law in 2013-2017
This honor is given to Florida attorneys under the age of 40 who have excelled in the practice of eminent domain law.  The award is given to no more than 2.5% of qualified lawyers in the State of Florida.

PERSONAL:

  • Fifth generation Floridian, born in Tallahassee in 1980
  • Married to Sarah Irvin Fixel in 2008
  • One daughter (Raleigh Gail Fixel) born in 2011 and one son (Arthur Fixel) born in 2015

EDUCATION:

Legal

  • University of Virginia, J.D., 2005
  • While studying law at the University of Virginia School of Law, Mr. Fixel was a member of the University of Virginia Environmental Law Journal

Undergraduate

  • Duke University, B.A., Political Science and Religion, 2002

HONORS:

  • Listed as a 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013 Super Lawyer Rising Star in Florida eminent domain law.  This honor is given to attorneys under the age of 40 who have excelled in the practice of eminent domain law in the State of Florida.  The award is given to no more than 2.5% of qualified lawyers in the State of Florida, and Mr. Fixel has won the award for five consecutive years.

EMINENT DOMAIN EXPERIENCE:

Mr. Fixel’s practice concentrates on the representation of private party owners in eminent domain cases throughout the state of Florida.  Mr. Fixel’s eminent domain legal experience includes both preventing improper takings from occurring and achieving significant compensation for property owners who are subjected to eminent domain acquisitions.  Examples of Mr. Fixel’s eminent domain experience include:

  • Litigating and settling landmark cases against the Florida Gas Transmission Company (“FGT”) resulting in global recoveries in excess of $3 million.  These precedent setting cases involved the valuation of thousands of removed trees that FGT refused to replace even though FGT obligated itself to do so.  Mr. Fixel’s role in this litigation included acting as the primary drafter of a brief that defeated FGT’s argument to preclude full replacement cost damages for its failure to replace the removed trees and acting as a co-lead negotiator at multiple mediations.
  • Acting as lead counsel in defeating 10 of the Florida Department of Transportation’s (“FDOT”) proposed eminent domain acquisitions in a single calendar year (2016). In successfully arguing that the FDOT’s proposed takings should be denied by Court order, Mr. Fixel proved that:  (1) the FDOT sought to acquire more land than necessary to complete its proposed public project; (2) the FDOT sought to acquire broader easement rights than necessary for its proposed public project; (3) the FDOT committed surveying errors, leading to the FDOT seeking to acquire an area of land that was not needed for its proposed public project; (4) the FDOT submitted invalid parcel resolutions for its proposed takings; and (5) the FDOT sought to acquire perpetual easements, when only temporary easement rights were necessary to complete its proposed public project.
  • Assisting with the $2.6 million settlement of an eminent domain case involving the condemnation of approximately 36 acres of vacant property near the intersection of U.S. 331 and I-10 in Walton County.  In this case, the FDOT initially offered the affected property owner $428,300.  At the conclusion of the case, Fixel & Willis secured an additional $2.171 million dollars in compensation and significant non-monetary benefits for the affected property owner, including the FDOT deeding valuable commercial property back to the property owner and the FDOT agreeing to construct and maintain full median cuts to service the future development of the property.
  • Assisting with the $2.4 million settlement of the taking of a 7,050 foot strip of property from a kitchen equipment and supply company in Pensacola. In this case, FDOT initially offered $1,141,800.00. Through the efforts of the attorneys at Fixel & Willis, this Pensacola business received an additional $1.3 million in compensation, which allowed this business to build and relocate to a new facility.
  • Acting as lead counsel in obtaining a $750,000 settlement for an international pest control company for the FDOT’s acquisition of its branch office for the widening of State Road 390 in Panama City.  This settlement included a $449,500 resolution of real estate claims, which represented a significant increase over the FDOT’s original offer of $280,250, and a $275,500 resolution for business damages, which was an increase of over 62% above the FDOT’s first business damage offer.  These funds enabled Mr. Fixel’s client to relocate to a new location of its choosing.
  • Acting as lead counsel and achieving a $550,000 settlement on behalf of residential property owners in St. John’s County whose property was acquired for the construction of the State Road 312/313 extension.  This settlement represented a $165,200 increase over the FDOT’s initial offer.
  • Litigating and settling an inverse condemnation case on behalf of a property owner whose property adjacent to US 331 in Walton County was flooded by the FDOT.  Despite the FDOT denying that it flooded the property at issue, the FDOT eventually paid over $540,000 (including 4 years of accrued interest) for the flooded property.
  • Achieving a $371,300 settlement on behalf of a fiber-optic cable company located on Highway 79 in Washington County whose leasehold interest was condemned by the FDOT.  In this case, Mr. Fixel acted as the sole negotiator at mediation and was able to achieve this significant settlement despite the FDOT initially offering the affected business $0 for its claim.
  • Acting as lead counsel and obtaining a $330,000 settlement on behalf of a child care center in Pensacola for FDOT’s taking of a temporary construction easement to harmonize and regrade a driveway entrance. In this matter, FDOT initially offered $104,600. Because of Mr. Fixel’s efforts, the business received an additional $225,400 in compensation.
  • Acting as lead counsel and obtaining a $206,500 business damage settlement for a family owned martial arts studio in Santa Rosa County.  As part of this litigation, Mr. Fixel successfully argued that the FDOT missed its initial deadline to submit its business damage counter offer and defeated the FDOT’s argument that Mr. Fixel’s client was required to submit with its initial business damage claim business records that did not substantiate or support the business damage claim.
  • Acting as lead counsel in obtaining a $180,000 settlement for residential homeowners for the acquisition of a portion of the homeowners’ front yard adjacent to State Road 77 in Washington County.  This settlement represented an over 90% increase in monetary compensation above the FDOT’s initial offer, and the settlement terms also included the FDOT deeding 4.927 acres of additional property to Mr. Fixel’s clients, even though the FDOT only acquired 1.124 acres from them.
  • Acting as lead counsel in obtaining a $145,000 settlement on behalf of an international tire company for business damages related to the FDOT’s acquisition of a temporary construction easement to harmonize and regrade a driveway for a franchised site on US 29 in Pensacola.  In this matter, the FDOT initially offered $24,000 to resolve business damages, and Mr. Fixel was able to negotiate a settlement of over six times the initial offer.  In addition, Mr. Fixel was able to obtain valuable non-monetary concessions on behalf of this business, including obligating the FDOT to build drainage inlets within its right-of-way which will cure potential, significant flooding issues that otherwise would have been caused by the FDOT’s road widening project.
  • Achieving a $106,250 settlement on behalf of a property owner in Tallahassee who owned commercial property subject to a temporary construction easement for the widening and raising of North Monroe Street by Leon County. This settlement figure represented an increase of over 900% from Leon County’s initial offer to Mr. Fixel’s client.
  • Obtaining 15 favorable, six-figure settlements for property owners whose property adjacent to U.S. 331 in Walton County was taken by the FDOT.
  • Obtaining a favorable settlement for the owner of a vacant piece of commercial property in Lake County who was subject to an eminent domain taking because of Lake County’s widening of County Road 441.
  • Obtaining numerous, favorable settlements for property owners subjected to potential eminent domain takings for the widening of US 319 in Wakulla County.
  • Achieving favorable settlements for Tallahassee property owners who were subject to Blueprint 2000’s taking of their property for the FAMU Way Project.
  • Defeating a motion to dismiss and obtaining a favorable settlement in an inverse condemnation case related to the City of Gretna’s construction and use of a public road on private property in Gadsden County.

PRIOR PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE:

Prior to joining Fixel & Willis in the spring of 2010, Mr. Fixel spent five years as an associate with King & Spalding, LLP in Atlanta, Georgia.  While at King & Spalding, Mr. Fixel’s practice focused on mass tort litigation throughout the country.

Mr. Fixel’s prior legal experience includes:

  • Representing an international oil and gas company’s interests in petroleum marketing sites in litigation throughout the country.
  • Serving as part of a trial counsel team in representing a leading pharmaceutical manufacturer in product liability litigation involving its antidepressant.
  • Serving as a member of an appellate team that overturned a $27 million verdict and obtained judgment for an international oil and gas company in a dram shop action.
  • Representing an automobile manufacturer in a discovery abuse action stemming from product liability litigation.
  • Serving as part of a trial team in representing a leading pharmaceutical manufacturer in a Medicaid fraud action.

AUTHORSHIP/SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS:

  • Featured Speaker on Attorneys’ Fees and Costs in Florida Eminent Domain Law at the 20th Annual Eminent Domain Institute’s CLE International Conference in Tampa, Florida (2016).
  • Featured Speaker on Tree Valuation in Florida Eminent Domain Law at a 2016 International Society of Aboriculture Conference in Tallahassee, Florida (2016)
  • Contributed to “Eminent Domain Mediation,” Ninth Edition (2014) and Eighth Edition (2012), Eminent Domain Practice and Procedure, The Florida Bar Manual.
  • Featured Speaker on Ethics Issues in Florida Eminent Domain Law at the 17th Annual Eminent Domain Institute’s CLE International Conference in Tampa, Florida (2013).
  • Co-Author of Striking Back Against Peremptory Strikes, American Bar Association, Products, General Liability and Consumer Law Committee Newsletter (2010).
  • Co-Author of How Mohawk Will Affect Litigation, Law360.com, Appellate and Employment Sections (2010).
  • Co-Author of Trends in U.S. Product Liability Litigation, PLC Cross-border Handbook, Life Sciences (2007, 2008).
  • Contributed to the article, “Proposed Changes to the Georgia Rules of Evidence Synthesizing 140 Years of Trial and Error, December 7, 2007 edition of the Institute of Continuing Legal Eduction in Georgia’s Product Liability Seminar Program Materials.
  • Contributed to the article, “A Bedeviling Little Subject Called Metadata,” April 17, 2006 edition of the New York Law Journal.

MEMBERSHIPS:

  • Member of The Florida Bar, 2010
  • Member of The Georgia Bar, 2005
  • Member of United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida (2011)
  • Member of United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia (2007)
  • Member of the United States Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit (2007)
  • Member of Georgia Court of Appeals (2007)
  • Member of Georgia Supreme Court (2007)

COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES:

  • Elder and Member of First Presbyterian Church of Tallahassee
  • Chairman of the Stewardship Committee for the First Presbyterian Church of Tallahassee
  • Member of the Nominating Committee for First Presbyterian Church of Tallahassee
  • Interviewer for prospective students seeking admission to Duke University
  • Lifelong supporter of Florida State athletics and part of family membership to the Seminole Boosters
  • Former Vice President and Member of the Alumni Association Board for Alfred B. Maclay School in Tallahassee
  • Live Oak Society Member for the Maclay School Fund (Andalusian)
  • Tallahassee Neighborhood Leadership Academy Graduate (Class of 2012)