Robert A. Hoonhout, Esq.

Attorney Robert HoonhoutPARTNER

Bob Hoonhout was born in Montclair, New Jersey. He attended Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Government and Law in 1975. Bob next attended the Seton Hall University School of Law in Newark, New Jersey, where he received the American Jurisprudence award in Real Property Law before being awarded his Juris Doctorate degree with Honors in 1978. Bob was admitted to the New Jersey Bar in December 1978.

In New Jersey, Bob served as Assistant Prosecutor in the busy Essex County Prosecutor’s Office in Newark, where he became a senior trial attorney before entering private practice. Bob returned to his hometown of Montclair where he successfully opened his own office and practiced extensively in the areas of real property law, land use and development, and local government law. Bob simultaneously began work for the Township of Montclair in 1983 as Assistant Township Attorney and was thereafter appointed Township Attorney in 1992. In this capacity, he managed all of the legal affairs for a municipality comprised of 36,000 residents and having a staff of over 440 full-time employees.

As the Montclair Township Attorney, Bob represented and advised all department heads on day-to-day matters as well as in any litigation instituted against the Township. His job included rendering advice as both attorney and parliamentarian to his Township Council of six Council members and the Mayor, attending a public meeting and rendering these services every Tuesday night for approximately 20 years. Bob also presided over all local alcoholic beverages control hearings in a quasi-judicial capacity as well as presiding over all personnel disciplinary and grievance hearings held between the Township and its four unions. He also represented the Township in statutory, binding collective bargaining and arbitrations, and he negotiated contracts between the Township and the unions. Much of his time was thus spent in the human resources area, successfully maintaining a pleasant working environment for all Township employees. In addition, Bob represented both the tax collector and tax assessor (property appraiser) in thousands of tax appeals over the years before the Essex County Tax Board, an entity similar to our Value Adjustment Boards in Florida. Bob also appeared on behalf of clients before various local, state, and federal administrative and judicial bodies before moving to Florida.

Bob and his wife Kathy chose to move with children Eric, Blake, and Julie to sunny Lakewood Ranch, Florida, in 2002, the same year Bob was admitted to The Florida Bar. He is currently a member of the American Bar Association, The Florida Bar and its Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section, the New Jersey Bar, and the Manatee County Bar Association.

Bob practices in the areas of real property law, foreclosure and short sales, land development and planning (including creation of condominium and homeowners’ associations), local government law, and business law. Due to all of his experience in New Jersey, Bob was selected in 2009 and continues to serve as Counsel to the Manatee County Value Adjustment Board.

Bob can be reached at telephone extension #1343 or by email at bhoonhout@barneswalker.com.