BRADENTON - Admitted to the Florida Bar in 1966, attorney Michael J. Furen was recently recognized as a 50-year member. Furen is an attorney and shareholder at Icard, Merill, Cullis, Timm, Furen and Ginsberg, PA, which has offices in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and Lee Counties.
He began his career in 1966 with Icard Merrill and has served as the firm’s chairman of the board since 1993.
Furen said he knew he wanted to be a lawyer during his senior year of high school.
“My father was a very successful developer in St. Petersburg where I was born and grew up,” Furen told the Florida Record.
He spent a lot of time with his father and his attorneys during his formative years.
“This exposure to laws and attorneys piqued my interest,” Furen said.
He focuses on land use, development, governmental and administrative law and real estate transaction law in his practice.
“I joined Icard Merrill in 1966 immediately after my graduation from the University of Florida Law School and the rest is history,” Furen said.
Furen also has experience representing private development interests in Florida and elsewhere and has experience with development of regional impacts and planned unit developments and drafting development agreements with private interests and local governments.
He also has participated in legal and administrative challenges with developments of regional impact, planned developments, comprehensive planning, zoning, special exception, variance and other land use issues.
Furen graduated from the University of Florida College of Law in 1966 with honors. Prior to that he earned his bachelor’s of science degree in business administration from the University of Florida in 1962 where he graduated with honors. He was also a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Phi Eta Sigma and Beta Gamma Sigma.
Before college he graduated from Bishop Barry High School in St. Petersburg as valedictorian.
He has court admissions in the state of Florida, the U.S. District Court of the Middle District of Florida and the U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit.
Furen’s professional accolades include being named to the Best Lawyers in America from 2003 to present and a Bronze Award from Legal Aid of Manasota where he was recognized for 20 to 49 hours of pro bono legal services in 2012.
In addition to his membership in the Florida Bar, he is also a member of the American Bar Association and the Sarasota County Bar Association.
As an experienced attorney, Furen advises up and coming lawyers to “understand and always abide by our Rules of Professional Conduct.”
“Be professional and be in constant communication with your clients. Don’t ever compromise our ethical or professional standards,” Furen said.