We are a law firm of specialists certified as experts in business litigation and labor and employment law by The Florida Bar and have worked in Tampa Bay for over 35 years.
Lee joined the firm of Goza, Hall & Peters right after law school graduation, handling most of the firm’s litigation practice upon being admitted to The Florida Bar. A substantial portion of the practice included condominium association representation. When that firm dissolved, he joined the firm of Baxter & Rinard, where he eventually became a shareholder in the firm. Lee subsequently opened his own practice in 1990, continuing to focus on business litigation.
Marcus spent the first six years of his career in a small firm environment (working with then-Clearwater attorney Jim Helinger) learning how to try personal injury and commercial cases to juries and judges. He then worked for 3 ½ years with Haas, Boehm, Brown P.A., a large state-wide firm, handling and then co-leading the defense of a large multi-state construction products liability case. These experiences laid the foundation for Marcus’ legal skill set which combines the ability to handle the full range of civil cases from simple to complex, both in state and federal court, and, unlike so many civil litigators, to successfully try those cases to verdict. When Marcus and Lee later joined forces Marcus began focusing on employment and employee benefits issues.
Although Lee and Marcus had briefly crossed paths as opposing counsel in 1984, they didn’t connect again until a client came to Lee for representation in a landlord/tenant dispute. Recognizing that the case involved disability discrimination issues he had not litigated before, Lee and the client sought out counsel who had a background in handling these types of cases. That counsel was Marcus, who co-counseled the case with Lee. As a result of their work together in that case, they decided to join forces and created the firm of Haas & Castillo in 1993.
Although they have different practice specialties, portions of their practice overlap, and they often work on large cases together. Both of them started practicing law in Clearwater in 1983, both of them served as officers of the Clearwater Bar Association, both of them became board certified in their specialties in 2001, and both have been appointed to serve on the Sixth Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission, albeit by different governors.