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Bonding


Partners Douglas Starcher (left) and Joseph B. Stanton will run Broad & cassel's municipal finance group.

Eyeing the booming municipal bond business in Florida, Orlando-based Broad & Cassel has launched a mu-nicipal finance and capital proects group. The firm wooed a new part-ner, Joseph B. Stanton, from the Ak-erman Senterfitt offices in Orlando to run the group, along with partner Douglas Starcher.

New York lawyers once handled the bulk of Florida's municipal bond work. But the state's enormous growth and development have led to more Florida cities structuring debt and more Florida lawyers handling the deals. The state saw $20 billion in government bond activity in 2005 -- that's both new bonding and refi-nancing up from $12.9 billion in 2004, a 55% increase, according to Thompson Financial. Still, in the legal profession, bond expertise is rela-tively rare not to mention wonky. "It's not something they teach you in law school," says Stanton, who is a CPA as well as a lawyer. Stanton was bond counsel on the largest public fi-nance transaction in state history -- a $1-billion-plus deal by the Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority. He also has served as bond counsel to the Florida Development Finance Corp. and the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority.

"Florida is currently ranked fourth in the U.S. in terms of the volume of municipal finance transactions," says Broad & Cassel Chairman C. David Brown II. The firm "will continue to grow as the changes in our economy and Florida's landscape dictate.