DAVID PAUL HORAN is Senior/Managing Partner in the Key West Law Firm of Horan Law, LLP. David Paul’s innovative use of Constitutional Law and the Civil Rights Act earned him a national and international reputation in admiralty and maritime law, environmental law and fisheries law. His local and state practice is primarily land use and complex civil rights litigation.
Born to a U.S. Air Force family in Rome Georgia, he lost his father, Captain Paul Horan, to a mid-air collision in 1957. After two years of college, David Paul joined the Navy as a Naval Aviation Cadet (NAVCAD). After the Navy, he completed his bachelor’s degree (Marine Biology, Chemistry and Physics) and taught science for a year at a northwest Florida Junior High School. David founded “Gulfstream Diving School” in Destin, Florida, and during the summers, he certified numerous Scuba Diving Instructors who worked at major resort hotels from Pensacola to Panama City, Florida.
After accepting the position of Personnel Manager for Vanity Fair Corp., he became legally involved in opposing the attempts to unionize Vanity Fair. In 1968 he left Vanity Fair to attend the new law school at Florida State University and graduated in 1971. He remains an avid fisherman and enjoys spearfishing in the Keys and Bahamas during his infrequent escapes from the firm. Soon after starting his Key West practice, he purchased his first airplane. His present plane is a twin-engine Piper Seneca. David Paul has over 4,000 hours of flight time.
Mr. Horan’s community involvement includes serving as a Director of the Greater Key West Chamber of Commerce since 1973 (President in 1998), Member of the Key West Military Affairs Committee (Chairman in 1991), Member of the Florida Keys National Marine Advisory Sanctuary Counsel (1997/2000), Member of the Mote Marine Keys Advisory Board (2000 to Present), David Paul has served and is serving on numerous other Boards and Commissions. In 2001 Mr. Horan was inducted into the Key West Chamber of Commerce “Hall of Fame”, Key West’s highest community service award.
Mr. Horan is licensed to practice in all Florida State Courts, Florida Southern and Middle District Federal Courts, four (4) United States Courts of Appeal, and the United States Supreme Court. During the past 35 years, he has represented a majority of the salvors of historical vessels. His most note-worthy case was the seven (7) year litigation against the United States, State of Florida, and other states, for Mel Fisher/Treasure Salvors. That nationally publicized case culminated in his successful oral argument before the United States Supreme Court.
Mr. Horan’ssalvage cases include the numerous Spanish Galleons of the 1622 and 1715 Treasury Fleets, the Spanish Brigantine of War “El Cazador” (lost in the Gulf of Mexico south of New Orleans in 1784), and the S.S. Central America(lost in 1837 in International Waters west of Norfolk, Virginia). His infrequent Admiralty Court losses include the RMS Titanic and the 1804 wreck of the Spanish Frigate “Mercedes”. Mr Horan has also litigated the salvage and recovery of aircraft, including the most historic naval aircraft known to exist, a TBD “Devastator” Torpedo Bomber and a Boeing B-17 G “Flying Fortress” recovered from a Lake in Northern Labrador, Canada.
In 1979, Mr. Horan hired a great legal secretary and by 1981, she had become his best friend and, in 1982 his wife. Karen Horan continues to work at the law firm as its manager and secretary. Mr. Horan is the proud father of five (5) children, the youngest of which has recently become his Partner in Horan Law.