Meet the General Counsel

Carl J. Coleman

General Counsel

Joe serves as the General Counsel for Florida SouthWestern State College, district wide, as well as a member of the President's Executive Council. Joe has practiced in the area of higher education law for more than a decade. His experience includes representing colleges and universities throughout the State of Florida.

Joe led Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC's Florida Litigation practice for six years and he was Chair of Buchanan's Florida office from 2018 - 2020. He has been practicing law for nearly 35 years. Prior to the merger with Fowler White Boggs P.A. in 2014, Joe was the president of Fowler White Boggs for six years and a member of its board of directors for eight years. Prior to his tenure on the board of directors, Joe served as the practice group leader for Fowler’s Commercial Litigation group. Joe was co-chair of the firm's higher education team and he has represented multiple colleges, universities and elementary schools. Joe practices in both state and federal trial courts. He focuses his practice on business litigation, including contract disputes, wrongful discharge, wage and hour disputes and business dissolution, restrictive covenants, commercial torts, in addition to real estate and probate litigation.

Since 1995, Joe has been a Florida Supreme Court Certified Mediator and Circuit Court Mediator and has mediated and arbitrated hundreds of commercial litigation, real estate, probate, employment and wage and hour disputes. Joe has always been an active member of the community and has been a member of various legal committees, including the Florida Bar Grievance Committee, Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee and Middle District Rules Committee. He was recently on the board of directors for Tiger Bay Club of Lee County, Habitat for Humanity of Lee County and the United Way of Lee, Hendry, Okeechobee Counties. In 2018-2020 Joe was a member of The Tampa Bay Partnership and The Florida Counsel of 100. Joe is a member of the American Bar Association, The Florida Bar, the Lee County Bar and the National Association of College and University Attorneys.

Joe graduated from Georgetown University with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He attended Florida State University's College of Law and attained his Juris Doctorate.