professional qualifications


We at Barfield, McCain, P.A., are pleased to submit our qualifications to serve you as legal counsel and to provide you with information about our Firm’s competence to represent your legal interests.  Barfield, McCain, P.A. is an AV-rated real estate law firm that is known throughout the multi-housing industry for providing exceptional, cost effective legal services. An AV rating by Martindale Hubbell,, indicates that a lawyer has reached the height of professional excellence and is recognized for the highest levels of skill and integrity.  Since 1987, our law Firm has served Florida real estate investors in contract preparation, acquisitions, sales and litigation.  Embracing the multi-disciplinary concept, Barfield, McCain, P.A. affiliates with other real estate professionals in order to support each client and each transaction from contract to closing. Our skilled legal team is exceptionally talented in educating, supporting and representing investors who become landlords.  An overview of our Firm’s, purpose, background, qualifications and credentials follows.  


An observation by the U.S. Supreme Court, made when our country was still defining its core values, is powerful and relevant in the twenty-first century.  Below is the classic declaration by Justice Paterson, which is the foundation of our mission:

“The right of acquiring and possessing property and having it protected,” Justice Paterson wrote in an early Supreme Court opinion, “is one of the natural inherent and unalienable rights of man.  Men have a sense of property:  property is necessary to their subsistence, and correspondent to their natural wants and desires; its security was one of the objects that induced them to unite in society.  No man would become a member of a community in which he could not enjoy the fruits of his honest labor and industry.  The preservation of property, then, is a primary object of the social compact”

(Van Horne’s Lessee v. Dorrance, 2 Dall. 304, 310: 1795).


Donna S. Barfield, Esquire began her legal career with Britton, Cassell, Shantz & Shotzman, a large, Miami-based law firm steeped in civil litigation, bankruptcy law and real estate acquisition.  Unimpressed with the impersonal environment of large firms, Donna founded Barfield, P.A. in 1987, realizing her desire to provide personal service based on the unique needs of each client.  Donna Barfield and her firm have served as legal counsel to the South East Florida Apartment Association for a combined 20 years.  Donna has also served as legal and legislative liaison to the Apartment Industry through her service to the Florida Apartment Association.  Donna has traveled extensively in her volunteer capacity as legal liaison, chairing legislative committees as well as drafting and facilitating the passage of significant legislation which now benefits the apartment industry. 

Ryan R. McCain, Esquire is a partner at Barfield, McCain P.A. and joined the Firm as an Associate Attorney after receiving his Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from Stetson University in 2003 and receiving his J.D. degree, graduating cum laude, from Stetson University College of Law in 2006.  While at Stetson University College of Law, Ryan was honored to be a senior associate for the Stetson Law Review, served as a Federal Judicial Intern to the Honorable Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Jenkins in the Middle District of Florida, and was a member of the Phi Delta Phi Honors Fraternity.  Additionally, Ryan received the William F. Blews Pro Bono Service Award and the Collegiate All-American Scholar Award while at Stetson University College of Law.  Ryan has been proudly representing landlords in the apartment community industry for over 7 years and has proudly served as legal counsel for South East Florida Apartment Association over the past 3 years.

Darren J. Ayoub, Esquire is an associate at Barfield, McCain P.A. who joined the firm in 2013 after merging his own private practice with Barfield, McCain P.A.  Darren received his Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies from Florida State University in 2002.  In 2005 he started his career in the legal profession as an intern for Gunster, Yoakley & Stewart, P.A., in West Palm Beach.  He worked for Gunster, in the firm’s litigation department, for over two years, before beginning law school at Nova Southeastern University. As a law student, Darren earned a place in Nova's prestigious Moot Court Honor Society, where he served as a competitor and brief writer for the Pace University National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition in New York.  During his last year of law school, Darren accepted a clinical position with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in Tallahassee, where he assisted in administrative actions and policy making sessions.  Darren became a member of the Florida Bar in 2010


Representation by a small law firm has distinctive advantages.  Unlike the larger firms, we are ready, willing and able to provide each client with personal and individualized service.  Unlike the larger firms, the small firm ensures that only one lawyer will be in charge of bringing the case or project from start to finish.  We are also aware that legal matters involve people and that, along with the very important legalities, we must also take into account the human factor.  As our client, you can rest assured that Barfield, McCain, P.A. will represent your legal interests to the fullest extent of the law.  In addition to providing our clients with vigorous legal representation in ongoing litigation, our firm handles a variety of real estate and business transactions, such as:

  1. Representing residential and commercial landlords in a variety of matters;
  2. Representing developers and borrowers in real estate and business transactions;
  3. Representing sellers and buyers in real estate and business transactions;
  4. Assisting in the private syndication of properties, including apartments;
  5. Drafting leases, condominium documents and contracts for real estate sales;
  6. Supporting Sage Title & Escrow in its performance of closings in real estate transactions;
  7. Assisting Sage Title & Escrow in the formation of new title companies, for which it provides a portion of the investor’s initial capital, organization and ongoing management.


Though costly, the firm maintains a budget to provide free legal seminars to industry leaders, to publish pertinent articles in industry publications and to ensure day-to-day availability to provide legal advice by phone to clients without additional charge.  The attorneys who work with our firm are available to instruct our clients in various areas of the law and to assist in training their personnel to deal effectively with potential legal issues.  We have taught the following educational seminars:

  1. The Legal Aspects section of the Certified Apartment Manager Course (offered at Florida Atlantic University);
  2. Legal Seminars for the Department of Professional Regulation, Division of Hotels and Restaurants;
  3. Legal Seminars for Property Management Companies throughout Florida; and
  4. Educational Panels on The Fair Housing Act of 1988.


Our firm has published various articles in Headliner Magazine of the Broward Palm Beach Apartment Association; and in Impact Magazine, produced by the Florida Apartment Association.
We have annually produced The Legal Guide to Florida Property Management, which is updated every year and is available to our clients without charge.


  • Altman Companies
  • Waypointe Residential
  • Cambridge Management
  • ZRS Management
  • Olen Residential Realty Corp.
  • Advenir Real Estate Mgmt.
  • Greystar
  • Fairfield Residential
  • Incore Residential
  • JMG Realty
  • Lincoln Property Company
  • Behringer Harvard   
  • RAM Realty Services
  • The Related Group
  • Teachers Insurance and Annuity
  • UBS Realty Investors
  • BH Management
  • Winthrop Management


Our firm has invested significantly in the research and development of its website,  The site is tailored to providing on-line assistance to the apartment industry.  This technology is accessible on our website and includes interactive 3 days notices, 7 days notices, settlement stipulations and other tools designed to avoid errors and to facilitate the expediency and cost control our clients require.  In house, our software creates reports to monitor each phase of an eviction action and includes status reports reflecting money owed, including costs and fees, time of commencement and the position of the case relative to completion.  These invaluable status reports are also privately available to each property on our website.  A property specific password opens access to a personalized area where the list of all open cases and the corresponding status reports can be viewed.  By logging onto our website at, each client can access “real time” information 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.  Generally, clients who use our software to generate the statutory notices avoid costly mistakes. A notice can be completed by simply filling in the necessary variable information.  All statutory language, date requirements, and mathematical calculations are automated.  The development of is indicative of our continuing commitment to the promotion of excellence in the housing industry.


Though we have never had a claim against us for legal malpractice, we maintain malpractice insurance with Florida Lawyers Mutual Insurance.


We at Barfield, McCain, PA welcome this opportunity to introduce you to our firm.  Should you have any questions please feel free to contact us.

Barfield, McCain Legal Team