About David Carlton

Mediator & Arbitrator in Florida

David Carlton is a sixth generation Floridian, born in Arcadia on July 24, 1960. He is an AV-rated civil trial lawyer who represented both plaintiffs and defendants in various civil disputes. He started his career in 1988 as a member of the Tampa Bay law firms Johnson, Pope et al. and Hill Ward & Henderson. In 1991, he returned to his roots in Southwest Florida and founded his first of two law firms, Brown, Waldron & Carlton, and later breaking off on his own at the Carlton Law Firm, P.A.

Over his 25 year career, Mr. Carlton has handled all types of civil litigation ranging from personal injury and wrongful death (such as auto crashes, premises liability, products liability and medical malpractice) to real property litigation (such as boundary disputes, title insurance claims, ways of necessity and lien foreclosures) to commercial matters (such as collection cases, property owner association and car dealership disputes) to agricultural litigation (such as cattle disputes, crop liens and crop damage) to probate/guardianship litigation (such as undue influence claims, estate disputes and incompetency claims).

Career Highlights

  • Founded, built, systemized, managed and sold successful regional plaintiff’s personal injury law practice.
  • Earned the highest professional and ethical standards rating (“AV”) by peers based on a survey conducted by Martindale-Hubbell.
  • Managed major crisis effectively following office and home devastation by Hurricane Charley in 2004 and thrived in aftermath while practicing out of mobile office trailers.
  • Acquired and manage a portfolio of commercial real estate investments. Led all negotiations from initial contact through closing and leasing of all properties.
  • Strategic executive leadership in various community, civic, business, political, athletic associations, and organizations.

Professional Expertise

Executive Leadership

  • Leadership Florida member – a statewide community of leaders engaged in understanding and serving Florida.
  • Spearheaded a team of professionals in the investigation and prosecution of a significant, well publicized environmental contamination case resulting in a confidential settlement and the advancement of the clean up of a federal Superfund site.
  • Assimilated and lead a team including contractors, adjusters, engineers and other experts which worked together to negotiate and resolve numerous hurricane claims of all types, including property damage and business losses.
  • Served on leadership committees of local bar associations.

Business Development

  • Purchased, managed, and leased multiple parcels of land, including cattle ranch, professional offices and manufacturing plants.
  • Past member of Economic Development Council of DeSoto County.

Risk Assessment

  • Evaluation and assessment of hundreds of third party injury and death cases involving the critical analysis of issues involving liability, causation, and damages.
  • Scrutiny of volumes of medical records to evaluate causation issues.
  • Evaluation and assessment of hundreds of storm claims for first-party insurance benefits such as property damage to homes and commercial buildings, business losses and loss of earnings.


Employment History

  • 2014 – General Counsel (Part time), Harmony Outdoor Brands, LLC
    Implementing legal systems in turf grass (sod) business; drafting key contracts for personnel, distributors and contract growers; managing contract compliance
  • 2012 – Present – Mediator, Florida Circuit Court
  • 2012 – 2014 – Of Counsel, Carlton & Hancock, P.A., Punta Gorda and Arcadia, Fl
    Sold successful plaintiff’s personal injury law practice to associate, then remained Of Counsel
  • 1999 – 2012 – Managing Partner, Carlton Law Firm, P.A., Punta Gorda and Arcadia, Fl
    Founded plaintiff’s personal injury law firm; created all litigation, business and pre-suit systems; Lifetime Member of Million Dollar Advocates Forum; Earned AV rating from Martindale Hubbell
  • 1991 – 1999 – Partner, Brown, Waldron & Carlton, Arcadia, Fl. Handled all Civil Litigation for the firm
  • 1989 – 1991 – Associate, Hill, Ward & Henderson, P.A., Tampa, Fl
    Trial Lawyer in Insurance Defense department
  • 1988 – 1989 – Associate, Johnson, Pope etal., Clearwater, Fl
    Associate in Real Estate department


  • 1988 – Stetson Law Graduate, Juris Doctor, Magna Cum Laude
    Top 5%, Mock Trial Team, Student Gov’t, Five Book Awards (highest grade in class)
  • 1983 – Stetson University, BBA Business, Cum Laude; Captain, Baseball Team
  • 1981 – Edison Community College, AA, With High Honors

Professional Accomplishments

  • Leadership Florida Class XXIX, 2010-11
  • Adjunct Professor, Stetson Law School, 2009, Trial Practice
  • Edison State College Foundation, Board Member, 2013
  • Stetson University, Athletics Advisory Committee Trustee, 2008-2010
  • Arcadia All-Florida Championship Rodeo, Fundraising Co-Chair, 2014
  • Martindale Hubbell, AV rating, since 2000

David P. Carlton, Esquire

12687 Southwest County Rd. 769, Suite 4A
Lake Suzy, Florida 34269

 6051 SW 85th Street
Miami, Florida 33143

T: 863-990-1571
E: dpc@carltonslaw.com

Make An Appointment

If you need to schedule a mediation or arbitration with David Carlton, please contact us today.