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Learn more about Dana Matthews below.

Dana C. Matthews

Partner & Real Estate Law Attorney

As the son of an Air Force pilot Dana lived throughout the U.S. and abroad until settling in the Florida Panhandle in 1968. Dana C. Matthews left for Florida State University and earned a degree in Government in 1978. After graduating with a Juris Doctorate from Florida State University College of Law in 1981, Dana practiced law at William M. Corry, P.A. in Tallahassee until returning to his Panhandle roots in 1983 to open his law firm in Destin.

Dana has been a long term member of the American Bar Association, American Trial Lawyers Association and Florida Trial Lawyers Association. He is past President of the Okaloosa-Walton Bar Association and is a former member of the FSU Law School Board of Visitors. Dana also served as member of the Okaloosa-Walton County Florida Bar Grievance Committee for three years and is active in local politics.

Out of all of his life’s passions, Dana’s true love is working with children. He has held numerous positions in Destin Little League where Dana has coached boy’s baseball and girl’s softball for 20 years.

In 1998, Dana formed Matthews & Hawkins, P.A. with John W. Hawkins. Michael A. Jones joined the forces in 2011.  John W. Hawkins retired in February 2017.  Today the firm is known as Matthews & Jones, LLP.

Dana C. Matthews’ law practice includes commercial litigation, residential and commercial real estate development, land use permitting, finance structuring, condominium projects, bank representation, business organization, and business consulting. He has successfully tried significant cases throughout the Panhandle, securing favorable judgments for his clients.

No case is beyond Dana’s expertise and experience. When a client claimed he had been unfairly prosecuted by the government, Dana looked to the Hyde Amendment. The arcane statute allows federal courts to award former criminal defendants attorneys’ fees and other court costs if the defendant can prove the government’s prosecution of the defendant was “vexatious, frivolous, or in bad faith.” Dana successfully argued on behalf of his client and became one of just a handful of attorneys to win a ruling under the Hyde Amendment. (United States V. Adkinson, 360 F.3d 1257).

To meet the expanding real estate industry, Dana has focused on private property rights, land use permitting/litigation, real estate development, and business consulting. This focus has led to a unique “turnkey” real estate development practice, where Dana represents clients from land acquisition to closing and beyond.

Just within the past decade, Dana has served as helpful guide to the developers of multiple real estate development projects across the Florida panhandle. Some of the most recent projects Dana has shepherded through the development process are the 450 unit Ariel Dunes I & II condominium towers; the 43 unit Inn at Seacrest Beach; the Courtyard at Gulf Place in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida; the Emerald Grand twin 281 unit condominiums in Destin; Harbor Walk Village in Destin; a 14.7 acre retail and restaurant property on the Destin Harbor; Sides Moreno Point West; a 44 unit East Pass Condominium in Destin; Palazzo, a 129 unit Condominium high-rise in Panama City Beach; multiple residential subdivisions; several commercial projects; and entitlement benefits for the SanDestin Resort, Seascape Resort, Emerald Bay, and Bluewater Bay development of Regional Impact.

Dana was recently appointed by Governor Rick Scott to the Judicial nominating Commission for the First Judicial District and will be serving a 4 year term ending on July 1, 2022.

Dana has been married to Patricia Marie Matthews since 1982, with whom he has five children.

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  • Florida State University (Government, 1978)
  • Florida State University College of Law (J.D., 1981)

Bar Admissions:

  • Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida
  • U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Notable Cases:

  • Okaloosa County v. Clarke, 993 So. 2d 521 (Fla. 1st DCA 2008)
  • United States v. Adkinson, 360 F.3d 1257 (11th Cir. 2004) United States v. Adkinson, 247 F.3d 1289 (11th Cir. 2001) United States v. Adkinson, 256 F. Supp. 2d 1297 (N.D. Fla. 2003)
  • Silver Shells Corp. v. Dale, 783 So.2d 1224 (Fla. 1st DCA 2001)
  • Turner v. Fitzsimmons, 673 So.2d 532 (Fla. 1st DCA 1996)
  • Robins v. Walter, 670 So.2d 971 (Fla. 1st DCA 1995)
  • Hamilton’s Bar & Grill, Inc. v. Bay Bank & Trust Co., 646 So.2d 847 (Fla. 1st DCA 1994)
  • Cadle Co. II, Inc. v. Stamm, 633 So.2d 45 (Fla. 1st DCA 1994)
  • Heg, Inc. v. Bay Bank & Trust Co., 591 So.2d 1011 (Fla. 1st DCA 1991)
  • State v. Chamblin, 418 So.2d 1152 (Fla. 1st DCA 1982)
  • Silver Shells Corporation v. St. Maarten at Silver Shells Condominium Association, Inc. 169 So. 3d 197 (Fla. 1st DCA 2015)

Member of:

  • Okaloosa County Bar Association; Walton County Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • The Florida Bar
  • Florida Justice Association
  • Okaloosa County Economic Development Council
  • Walton County Economic Development Council
  • Member of Chambers of Commerce for Destin, Walton County, Niceville, and Crestview

Per Curiam Opinions:

  • Fletcher v. Dial, 676 So. 2d 415 (Fla. 1st DCA 1996)
  • Corbin v. Britt, 659 So. 2d 1091 (Fla. 1st DCA 1995)
  • Erno, Inc. v. Christo, 1994 Fla. App. LEXIS 12124 (Fla. 1st DCA 1994)
  • Coleman, P.A. v. Bay Bank & Trust Co, 635 So. 2d 24 (Fla. 1st DCA 1994)
  • Davis v. Shockley, 638 So. 2d 60 (Fla. 1st DCA 1994)
  • Blimling v. Grimaldi Enter., Inc, 570 So. 2d 1307 (Fla. 1st DCA 1990)
  • Jones v. Jones, 538 So. 2d 1257 (Fla. 1st DCA 1989)
  • Skip Deupree & Co. v. Moore, 507 So. 2d 1105 (Fla. 1st DCA 1987)
  • Parker v. State, 496 So. 2d 827 (Fla. 1st DCA 1986)

Specialities & Qualifications

Dana C. Matthews specializes in real estate law in the Destin area. Matthew and Jones LLP has always been dedicated to creative conservation efforts and exploring the extent of how the law can protect our local resources as well as encourage economic growth and prosperity. Through his various specialties, Dana pursues that end with finesse.

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Our litigation group consists of six litigators (including Dana C. Matthews) who have built a diverse set designed to give you the backing you need in all of your legal pursuits.

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