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Michael S. Taaffe

Partner, Broker Dealer Litigation/Arbitration Practice Administrator and Data Breach Practice Group Team Leader
240 South Pineapple Avenue
10th Floor
Sarasota, FL 34236
Direct941.364.2720; Mobile  941.321.5666


Mary Beth Hayes
Direct941.366.6660, Ext. 2475

Michael S. Taaffe is the Department Administrator of the Broker-Dealer Litigation and Arbitration Practice Group of the firm. Mike is Board Certified in Business Litigation and is also the Data Breach Practice Group Team Leader. Mike's practice focuses on the representation of public and private corporations and their officers, directors and key employees in a variety of matters, including: restraints of trade, garden leave provisions, unfair competition, employment contracts, partnership separation and torts, as well as securities-related litigation involving arbitration, securities customer disputes, broker-dealer recruitment, "raiding" litigation, change in control issues, deferred compensation issues, compensation and separation agreements, wrongful termination and Form U-5 issues. Mike regularly practices before State and Federal courts, as well as State and Federal securities regulators and self-regulatory agencies.

Michael has obtained numerous million dollar recoveries in State and Federal Courts and FINRA arbitrations.  Mike recently tried a landmark case in the securities industry resulting in an award in excess of $10,000,000.  Mike manages the Broker-Dealer Litigation Arbitration Practice in a collaborative fashion bringing in constructive ideas from clients, industry experts and team members to construct a targeted approach to expeditiously achieve the clients’ goals while employing creative fee structures.

Mike is an experienced class action litigator and has been involved in numerous class actions in the securities industry.

Mike has litigated numerous disability cases on behalf of physicians and has obtained million dollar verdicts in Federal Court against some of the largest disability insurance companies.  He has successfully brought claims in the disability cases for breach of contract, fraud and RICO.

Mike is called upon on a regular basis to consult with executives in the securities industry regarding employment issues, recruitment issues, and restructuring documentation including contracts, notes and onboarding documents for financial advisors and executives.  He has been called upon on numerous occasions to assist in both defending employees in transition between firms and enforcing post termination obligations.

Mike has a nationwide practice in the securities industry and has also represented international financial advisors regarding their contractual obligations.

Mike is called upon on a regular basis to comment in many national publications including The Wall Street Journal, Registered Representative, Fundfire, Reuters, Forbes and other industry periodicals.

Mike is AV® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.  He is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States of America and all local state courts in the states of Florida, New Jersey and New York. Michael is also admitted to practice before the United States District Courts for the Northern, Middle and Southern Districts of Florida, as well as the United States District Court, District of New Jersey.

Representative Matters


  • AV® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell

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Alternate biographies




  • J.D., with honors, Seton Hall University, 1983
  • B.A., University of Rhode Island, 1980

Bar and Court Admissions

  • Florida, 1985
  • New York, 1985
  • New Jersey, 1983
  • U.S. District Court New Jersey, 1983
  • United States Supreme Court, 1993
  • United States District Court Middle District of Florida, 1987
  • United States District Court Southern District of Florida, 1995
  • United States District Court Northern District of Florida, 2001
  • U.S. Court of Appeals Third Circuit, 2018