R. John Cole, II

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Practice areas
  • Bankruptcy
  • Family law
  • Divorce
  • 1975 Florida and U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida
  • 1978, U.S. Tax Court
  • 1981, U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit
  • 1989, U.S. Supreme Court
  • J.D., University of Florida, 1974
  • B.A., Auburn University, 1968
Professional association
  • Family Court Professional Collaborative
  • Sarasota County Bar Association
  • National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys
  • American Bankruptcy Institute
  • Tampa Bay Bankruptcy Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association
  • The Florida Bar

John has been in the private practice of law since 1979. Before opening his office, he was an Assistant Public Defender for the 12th Judicial Circuit of Florida from 1975 through 1977, and First Assistant State Attorney for the 12th Judicial Circuit of Florida from 1977 through 1979. While a prosecutor, he was primarily responsible for homicide prosecutions and the handling of official corruption cases involving law enforcement.

Since entering private practice in 1979, his practice has focused on litigation and bankruptcy. He has handled numerous civil litigation matters and thousands of bankruptcies. His practice has involved representing individuals and corporations in litigation and bankruptcy issues, and he has also handled numerous family law matters representing both husbands and wives as they sort through the problems inherent in the divorce process.

He was an undergraduate major in speech, obtaining his Bachelor of Arts degree from Auburn University and received his J.D. degree with honors from the University of Florida College of law in 1974. While in law school, John was a member of the Florida Law Review, and was awarded the American Jurisprudence Book Award in Creditors™ Rights.

John has been admitted to the Florida Bar and bars of the U.S. Supreme Court, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida. He was a member of the Federal Court Practice Committee of the Florida Bar from his appointment to the committee in 2005 until 2011. He is also AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rated, the top rating given by Martindale-Hubbell®. John frequently lectures in the areas of bankruptcy, collections, advanced debtor-creditor laws, short sale issues and related topics.

While in law school, John was a member of the University of Florida Law Review and was selected for membership in the Order of the Coif at graduation. The Order of the Coif is a national honorary society for the top ten percent of law school graduates nationally in law classes in the United States in the year of a member’s graduation. He was also a member of the Fletcher Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa legal fraternity, serving as its president. Additionally, he was selected for membership in Phi Kappa Phi, the national legal honorary society. He received the American Jurisprudence 2nd Book Award in Creditors™ Rights and Estate Taxation while in law school, and was an honors graduate from the University of Florida law school in 1974.

Prior to becoming a lawyer, Mr. Cole served in the U.S. Navy for four years, achieving the rank of lieutenant. Those tours of duty saw him at sea in various forms on naval combatant ships, including aircraft carriers, destroyers and a cruiser.

John is presently a member of the Tampa Bay Bar Association, the Sarasota County Bar Association, the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys and the American Bankruptcy Institute, participating in numerous activities with those groups.

As an AV-rated lawyer, John attempts to provide the highest quality services for his clients. He became Board Certified in the area of Consumer Bankruptcy Law by the American Board of Certification in 2004. Mr. Cole is a third-generation Floridian, whose relatives reside throughout the State of Florida.

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