E. Clayton Yates

E. Clayton “Clay” Yates is admitted to practice law in the state courts of Florida, the United States District Court, Southern and Middle Districts of Florida and the Supreme Court of the United States.  Having taken over 140 cases to a jury verdict, Mr. Yates has extensive trial experience.

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Clay Yates AttorneyAs a State of Florida prosecutor for approximately eleven years, Mr. Yates successfully investigated and tried numerous and complex drug trafficking, racketeering, white collar crime, fraud and murder cases.  As a criminal defense attorney for the same length of time, he is aware of the need for aggressive and proactive involvement on behalf of his clients and that each client’s case is unique.

When appropriate for the particular case, Mr. Yates calls upon long-standing associations with skilled and experienced private investigators with extensive backgrounds in forensic research and law enforcement.  Mr. Yates makes certain that his clients are well-informed as he guides them through often difficult and intricate criminal justice systems, striving to achieve the best possible outcome for each client in every case.

As a civil litigator, Mr. Yates works zealously to obtain optimum results for his clients.  Mr. Yates gives candid and forthright advice to his clients and explains the costs and benefits of various options that may be available.  Mr. Yates has brought a number of class-action cases against “payday lenders” for usurious and predatory lending practices which have established new law on behalf of consumers.

Areas of Practice:

  • Civil Litigation
  • Business Law
  • Real Estate Litigation
  • Consumer Law
  • Environmental and Wildlife Offenses
  • White Collar Crime
  • Felony and Misdemeanor Offenses

Bar Admissions:

  • Florida, 1984
  • U.S. District Court Middle District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Florida
  • U.S. Supreme Court


  • Stetson University College of Law, J.D., Doctor of Jurisprudence, 1983
  • Stetson University, B.A., Bachelor of Arts, 1979


  1. All Lines Insurance Adjuster, G.A.B. Business Services, Inc., Cocoa, Florida and St. Thomas, U.S.V.I., 1979-1981
  2. Formerly with State Attorney’s Office  – Career Criminal Prosecutor, Deputy Division Chief and Designated Environmental Crimes Prosecutor and Assistant State Attorney, Tampa, Florida, 1984-1992
  3. Former Associate, Moss, Henderson,VanGaassbeck, Blanton & Koval, P.A, Vero Beach, Florida , 1992 – 1995
  4. Assistant State Attorney: 19th Circuit, Saint Lucie, Martin, Okeechobee and Indian River Counties, Economic Crime Division Fort Pierce, Florida 1995 – 1998
  5. Law Office of E. Clayton Yates, P.A., Fort Pierce, Florida, 1998-2004
  6. E. Clayton Yates P.A. — current

Representative Reported Cases:

  • Asplundh Tree Expert Co. v. Diamond Tomato Pshp. 770 So. 2d 691 (Fla. 4th DCA, 2000)
  • Buckeye Check Cashing v. Cardegna, 126 S. Ct.1204 (U.S., 2006)
  • McKenzie Check Advance of Fla. L.L.C. v. Betts, Supreme Court of Florida, 31 Fla. L. Weekly S 255, April 27, 2006.

Professional Associations and Memberships:

  • The Florida Bar (Member, Sections on: Trial Lawyers; Real Estate, Probate and Trust; Criminal Law)
  • Association of Trial Lawyers of America
  • Trial Lawyers For Public Justice
  • Florida Criminal Defense Association
  • St. Lucie County Criminal Defense Association
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Born:            Fort Pierce, Florida, 1957

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