Donna C. Valin is a partner in the Orlando office of Shutts & Bowen LLP, where she is a member of the Business Litigation Practice Group. She also is a member of the firm’s Hospitality Practice Team. Prior to joining Shutts, Donna served as Bureau Chief for the State of Florida Office of the Attorney General, Consumer Protection Division.
Donna focuses her practice on complex commercial disputes, consumer protection and related investigations, regulatory compliance and governmental affairs. Her robust practice spans across all aspects of the hospitality industry, as well as matters related to telemarketing, debt collection, automotive, privacy and telecommunications. Donna leverages her substantial experience with regulators and enforcement agencies across the country to represent companies and individuals in regulatory, civil and policy-related disputes, with an emphasis on large-scale investigations and litigation. She combines her skills in advocacy with years of complex litigation and governmental enforcement experience, to best represent her clients’ strategic business needs in state and federal courts, as well as before government agencies.
Over the course of her career, Donna has served as a trusted advisor to both governmental agencies and private industry. She has worked in cooperation with state and federal regulators, enforcement agencies and law enforcement, advocating for the enforcement of timeshare-resale violations. Donna also led a statewide travel initiative resulting in coordinated travel club promotion and fulfillment litigation across Florida, as well as enforcement efforts for legislative changes to the Florida Sellers of Travel Act.
With a keen understanding of state and federal policies, Donna proactively guides clients facing enforcement and litigation issues, including those concerning the Federal Trade Commission’s Telemarketing Sales Rule, Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act, the Florida Vacation Plan and Timesharing Act, the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, as well as the Timeshare Resale Accountability Act. In addition to extensively litigating unfair and deceptive trade practice matters, Donna also has significant experience in filing complex ex-parte multi-party actions involving the litigation of equitable and emergent relief, such as motions for temporary injunction, asset freeze and for the appointment of a receiver.
Donna is substantially experienced in the areas of:
- Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices
- Timeshare Regulations and Legislation
- Seller of Travel Regulations
- Automotive Advertising Regulations
- Debt Collection Regulations
- Advertising and Marketing Compliance
- Government Investigations
- Multistate Investigations
- Consumer Protection Law
- Data Privacy and Security
- Price Gouging
Twice appointed by Florida Governor Rick Scott, Donna has served as a member of the Eighteenth Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission since 2015. She is also a regular speaker before private and public sector entities, conducting presentations on consumer protection and related issues.
During Donna’s tenure as Bureau Chief for the Attorney General, Donna oversaw all department litigation, handling hundreds of investigations and complex disputes, often involving multistate and multiagency matters and an appeal to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. Instrumental in spearheading and leading the Florida Attorney General’s Military and Veterans Assistance Program, she also led statewide initiatives focused on travel, timeshare, debt collection, automotive, charities and the military. Among Donna’s public accomplishments, she was presented with the Director’s Award for her efforts in timeshare resale enforcement in 2013. She was also selected by Attorney General Ashley Moody for the White Hat Award in 2020, in recognition of her extraordinary service for the investigation and enforcement of charitable scams affecting veterans’ charities.
In her private practice, Donna was part of an automotive defense group that took “bet the company” trials to verdict nationally. For example, and among other litigation matters, she was part of a team representing a Fortune 500 auto manufacturer on a rear seat shoulder belt case that was tried to verdict. Donna was also lead counsel on a high-profile multistate investigation against an S&P 500 travel company and has been involved in investigations related to online travel agencies. She has worked on numerous high-profile cases, including as part of a team of attorneys litigating a Government-in-the-Sunshine issue where the amount in controversy was worth millions of dollars. Donna and her team additionally litigated a noteworthy defamation case that was appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
In her public sector service, she oversaw multistate investigations and Florida enforcement efforts for prominent cases, including the group’s effort in the lead case in the “FTC Donate with Honor” charities sweep. In 2020, Donna was recognized by the Attorney General for her team’s successful investigation and enforcement of sham veterans’ charities, resulting in the shuttering of the unlawful entities and, in turn, the redirection of millions in recovered monies to legitimate charities.
- Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, J.D., May 1996
- Associate Editor, Indiana International and Comparative Law Review
- Moot Court Order of the Barristers
- Semi-Finalist, National Appellate Advocacy Competition Team
- University of Central Florida, B.A., Journalism, May 1992
- U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
Professional and Civic
- The Florida Bar
- Appointed to the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission by Governor Rick Scott, 2015-2022
- Greater Orlando Asian American Bar Association
- The Orlando/Orange County COMPACT Program, Mentor, 1997-1999
- COMPACT Mentor of the Year, 1998
News & Insights
- Hoch v. Rissman Weisberg, Barrett, et al., 742 So.2d 451 (Fla. 5th DCA 1999)
- Florida Office of the Attorney General Annual Consumer Protection Conference (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019)
- Yearly presenter on topics related to litigation and initiatives
- Seniors vs. Crime Annual Meetings, Trainings and Special Events (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019)
- Presenter on scams that target seniors, including telemarketing/robodial scams related to timeshare resale, interest-rate reduction and travel scams
- Speaker, “Investigations & Enforcement Actions Involving the Military,” The Florida Bar Consumer Protection Law Committee’s Annual Convention (2019)
- Presenter, “Advanced Charities Regulation: Sharing Lessons in Fines, Judgments, Penalties, and Collection,” National Association of State Charity Officials Annual Conference (2019)
- Presenter, “Financial Issues, and Helping Military Communities,” American Bar Association Standing Committee on Legal Assistance for Military Personnel Seminar Consumer Law (2018)
- Panelist, “Charities in a World of Change” and “Working Together – The Power of Collaboration,” National Association of State Charity Officials Annual Conference (2018)
- Speaker, “Briefing on the Florida Attorney General’s Military and Veterans Assistance Program,” Florida Defense Alliance Meeting, Enterprise Florida (2018)
- Speaker, “Enforcement of timeshare resale scams,” Timeshare Resale Brokers Association Conference (2015)
- Joint presentation with the Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, “Scams that Target Floridians,” Florida Department of Veterans Affairs and County Veterans Service Officer Association of Florida Annual Conference (2014)
In The News
- “Attorney General Moody Recovers Funds Following Multistate Investigation into Sham Veterans Charity,” Myfloridalegal.com (January 12, 2021)
News & Speaking Engagements
- Firm News, Orlando, 10.25.21