Michael Gallen appointed General Counsel

The Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller recently appointed Michael Gallen to the role of general counsel.


Gallen brings more than 17 years of experience in the legal field. In his new function, he will lead the Manatee County Clerk of Court’s strategic and tactical legal initiatives and provide senior management with effective advice on strategies and their implementation. He will also manage the legal function, provide input on contract negotiations, serve as the director of human resources and oversee the legal issues that accompany the nearly 1,000 statutory responsibilities of the Clerk.


Before accepting this position, he acted as the vice president of public policy and small business for the Manatee Chamber of Commerce. Prior to his 4-year tenure there, he served as a Manatee County Commissioner and Manatee Port Authority Member from 2010 –14. 


His other various positions include practicing immigration law as a solo practitioner, teaching American Government at IMG Academy and Lakewood Ranch High School, serving as a staff attorney for the Florida House of Representatives, acting as a legal assistant with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, working as a legal intern with the Center for Environmental Rights and Natural Resources in San Jose, Costa Rica and volunteering with Gulf Coast Legal Services. 


“I am looking forward to working with Michael,” said Angel Colonneso, the Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller. “His depth of knowledge in local government and legal experience with the Florida House of Representatives will bring an excellent skill set to our team.”


Gallen is a native and lifelong resident of Manatee County and a graduate of Manatee High School. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Georgia and was awarded a juris doctorate from Nova Southeastern University College of Law in 2002. Gallen has been a member of the Florida Bar Association since 2002 and is an alumnus of Leadership Manatee’s class of 2010.  


Previously, Matthew Whyte served as general counsel for Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller since 2017. He was recently appointed by Governor Ron DeSantis to the Twelfth Circuit Court, which encompasses DeSoto, Manatee and Sarasota counties. 

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