William B. Barnett is a highly experienced and respected criminal defense and family law attorney, who has practiced in Central Florida for almost 50 years. Mr. Barnett has spent the past 47 years practicing in criminal law, and 45 years practicing in family law.
Although Mr. Barnett was born and raised in Hallendale Beach—a city in South Florida, he has spent his entire professional career practicing in Central Florida. Mr. Barnett, an avid Gator fan, went on to earn his undergraduate degree in 1964 and Juris Doctor Degree in 1966 from the University of Florida. While at UF, Mr. Barnett was selected to be a Member of the prestigious Florida Blue Key and Associate Justice of the University of Florida Student Honor Court. He also participated in the Student Public Defender program, where he developed a passion for trial advocacy and litigation, and received the Foundation Press Award in Jurisprudence.
After graduating with Honors from law school, Mr. Barnett began his legal career in 1966 at the Office of the Public Defender for Orange & Osceola Counties. Mr. Barnett enjoyed the thrill of litigation and being the last line of defense in preserving the accuseds’ civil liberties. Throughout Mr. Barnett’s service at the Public Defender’s Office, he developed highly effective litigation skills that enabled him to have a prolific career in criminal law and family law.
After leaving the Public Defender’s Office, Mr. Barnett went into private practice where he extended his legal talents to the area of family law, while also continuing his representation of clients charged with criminal offenses. Mr. Barnett extended his legal practice to the area of family law because he enjoys assisting people when they are going through difficult times.
As a supervising attorney at Weiss, Grunor, Barclay & Barnett, Mr. Barnett primarily dedicates his practice to criminal law and family law. In his family law practice, Mr. Barnett is sympathetic and understanding of the hardships people face when going through a divorce, family crisis, or child custody battle. Mr. Barnett promises to provide a comprehensive and considerate approach to achieving a resolution for the best interests of his clients and any minor children involved in the case. Mr. Barnett is also fully prepared to advocate for what is in the best interests of his clients before any Florida court.
Mr. Barnett’s areas of practice in family law include:
- Equitable Distribution of Property Agreements
- Child Support
- Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
- Parenting Plans/Timesharing Schedules
- Modification of child support orders and/or alimony
- Enforcement actions
- Collaborative law
- Relocation actions
- Paternity actions
As with his family cases, Mr. Barnett’s representation of those charged with criminal offenses involves a customized approach to obtain the best results for his clients so that the offense does not taint their reputation or criminal record.
Mr. Barnett defends his clients in a wide range of criminal matters, including:
- All felony, misdemeanor, and traffic violations
- Drug Crimes—possession, sale/delivery, and trafficking in a controlled substance
- Driving Under the Influence and DUI Manslaughter
- Serious traffic offenses, leaving the scene of an accident involving property damage, death, or serious bodily injury, fleeing and eluding a law enforcement officer, and vehicular homicide
- Driving with a suspended license
- Domestic violence and aggravated domestic violence
- Sex crimes
- Theft crimes
- Juvenile charges
- Fraud and white collar crimes
- Homicide, battery, and other violent criminal offenses
- Expungements and sealing
During Mr. Barnett’s extensive career in the legal field lasting just shy of 50 years, he has earned the highly coveted and respected *AV peer rating by Martindale-Hubbell. Such an award represents the top rating a lawyer can achieve for “high ethical standards and professional ability.”
Mr. Barnett is also a member of the following Professional Associations and has received the following professional awards dedicated to ethics and service in the practice of law:
- The Florida Bar, 1966
- Recipient of the Florida Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Award, 1983
- Recipient of the Legal Aid Society of Orange County Pro Bono Service Award, 1983
- Member of the Executive Council of the Orange County Bar Association for 10 years (1981–1991)
- Chairman for the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, Criminal Law Section
In addition to Mr. Barnett’s professional endeavors, he is also heavily involved in giving back to his community in Central Florida. Mr. Barnett has been actively involved in the following organizations:
- President of the Maitland Kiwanis Club, 1971
- Vestry Member of the Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, 1983–1985
- Chairman of the Board for the Fairview School for Learning Disabled Children, 1986
- Chairman of the Florida Citrus Bowl Balloon Race, 1986–1989
- President of the Orlando Touchdown Club, 1989–1990
- Founder and Co-Chairman of the Give Kids the World Balloon Race, 1990
- Committee Chairman of the Year for the Citrus Sports Association, 1992
In Mr. Barnett’s spare time, he enjoys spending his time with his grandchildren and taking them to Gator Football and Gator Basketball games. Mr. Barnett also enjoys fishing, reading, and playing an active role in his church.