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D. Kent Safriet

From small claims to the U.S. Supreme Court, Kent has represented clients in a variety of forums.
Kent’s experience in both trial and appellate courts is diverse and varied: from assisting local Florida clients relating to beach and coastal issues, private property rights, takings, contract disputes, class action defense, toxic tort claims, and business litigation to challenging federal halibut fishing regulations in Alaska. Kent assists clients in a variety of trial or appellate cases. His goal is to use his experience to bring a fresh voice and perspective to every case. Kent grew up in Columbia, South Carolina and moved to Tallahassee immediately after law school. For more than a decade, Kent has enjoyed the outdoor activities in the Florida Panhandle, including hunting, fishing, diving, and farming. During season, Kent coaches his son’s baseball team.
Education
  • University of South Carolina, J.D. (South Carolina Law Review, publications editor)
  • Clemson University, B.S. (Aquaculture, Fisheries and Wildlife Biology)
Bar & Court Admissions
  • Florida
  • South Carolina
  • District of Columbia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals (Eleventh Circuit)
  • U.S. District Court (Northern District of Florida, Middle District of Florida, Southern District of Florida, District of Columbia)
  • U.S. Supreme Court
Professional Affiliations
  • Florida Bar Association (Environmental and Land Use Law Section)
  • William H. Stafford Inn of Courts
  • Leon County Teen Court Volunteer
Awards & Recognition
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America, for Litigation-Land Use & Zoning Law, 2016-2021 editions
  • Listed in the annual publication of The Florida Super Lawyers, 2014, 2016-2020 editions
  • Listed as a “Rising Star” in annual publication of The Florida Super Lawyers, 2009, 2011-2013 editions
Legal Experience
Argued seminal property rights takings case before the United States Supreme Court, “Stop the Beach Renourishment, Inc. v. Fla. Department of Environmental Protection”, No. 08-1151 (argued December 2, 2009).
Represents clients in civil litigation and appeals before State and federal courts.
Obtained a verdict of $741,496 after a seven-day jury trial for a client against the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Forestry for gross negligence in conducting a prescribed burn.
Obtained a verdict of $4.4 million after an eight-day trial on behalf of a client suing a biomass electric plant for breach of contract.
Represents private landowners pursuing claims under the Bert J. Harris, Jr., Private Property Rights Protection Act, §70.001, Fla. Stat.
Represents clients before local governments seeking land use and development approvals.
Represents telecommunication clients seeking land use approvals for towers and facilities.
Represents clients in CERCLA Superfund actions.
Represents clients before the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services regarding pesticide and aquaculture issues.
Represents clients before the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on endangered species / manatee issues.
Represents clients before the Florida Department of Environmental Protection on beach and coastal issues.
Represents clients before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Florida Department of Environmental Protection on solid and hazardous waste issues.
Publications & Presentations
Miguel Collazo, III and D. Kent Safriet, “When Fire Breaks Out” Recognizing the Inherently Dangerous Activity of Prescribed Burning in Florida,” University of Florida Journal of Law and Public Policy, Vol 26, No. 1 (April 2015).
Returning to Pre-Hurricane Status: What Does the United States Supreme Court’s Ruling in Stop the Beach Forecast for Litigants Seeking to Protect Private Property Rights?, 61 Syracuse L. Rev. 261, 2011 (co-author).
Takings and Ecosystem Restoration: How do Judges Judge an Ecosystem Restoration’s Public Uses?, A.B.A Section of Environmental, Energy & Resources Course Materials (38th Annual Conference on Environmental Law), March 2010 (co-author).
Administrative Law and Agency chapters of the South Carolina Environmental Handbook, 2nd Ed., Government Institutes. (Author )
Representative Published Decisions
Unites States Supreme Court: Stop the Beach Renourishment v. Florida Dep’t of Envt’l Protection, 130 S.Ct. 2592, (2010).
Florida Supreme Court: Hardee Cnty. v. Finr II, Inc., 221 So. 3d 1162 (2017)
Bainter v. League of Women Voters of Fla., 150 So. 3d 1115 (2014)
League of Women Voters of Fla. v. Data Targeting, Inc., 140 So.3d 510 (Fla. 2014).
Donovan v. Okaloosa County, 82 So.3d 801 (Fla. 2012). Walton County v. Stop the Beach Renourishment, Inc., 998 So.2d 1102 (Fla. 2008).
United States Courts of Appeal: American Whitewater v. Tidwell, 770 F.3d 1108 (4th Cir. 2014)
United States District Courts: Grand Palisades Loan Holdings LLC v. Lake Austin Props. I, Ltd., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 192520 (2014)
Charter Operators of Alaska v. Blank, 844 F.Supp. 2d 122 (D. D.C 2012)
St. Andrews Park, Inc. v. U.S. Dep’t of the Army Corps of Engineers, 299 F.Supp.2d 1264 (S.D. Fla. 2003).
St. Andrews Park, Inc. v. U.S. Dep’t of the Army Corps of Engineers, 314 F.Supp.2d 1238 (S.D. Fla. 2003).
Florida District Courts of Appeal: SKRS Mgmt., LLC v. Dep’t of Bus. & Prof’l Regulation, Div. of Alcoholic Bevs. & Tobacco, 2019 Fla. App. LEXIS 7682 (2019)
Nat’l Ctr. for Constr. Educ. & Research Ltd. v. Crapo, 248 So. 3d 1256 (2018)
Crapo v. Nat’l Ctr. for Constr. Educ. & Research, 169 So. 3d 1293 (2015)
Non-Parties v. League of Women Voters of Fla., 150 So.3d 221 (Fla. 1st DCA 2014).
Department of Agric. & Consumer Servs., Forestry Div. v. Shuler, 139 So.3d 914 (Fla. 1st DCA 2014).
Boardwalk & Baseball, Inc. v. City Center BondsLLC, 161 So.3d 402 (Fla. 2d DCA 2014).
City Center Community Dev. Dist. v. City Center BondsLLC, 127 So.3d 510 (Fla. 2d DCA 2013).
Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund v. Walton County, 121 So.3d 1166 (Fla. 1st DCA 2013).
M&I Reg’l Props., LLC v. East Park Community Dev. Dist., 100 So.3d 712 (Fla. 5th DCA 2012).
Arnold v. Woodlands of Gainesville, LLC, 95 So.3d 216 (Fla. 1st DCA 2012).
Eldon v. Perrin, 78 So.3d 737 (Fla. 4th DCA 2012).
Rehill v. Manatee County, 49 So.3d 759 (Fla. 2d DCA 2010).
Jetty E. Condo. Ass’n v. United States Army Corps of Eng’rs, 45 So.3d 465 (Fla. 1st DCA 2010).
Collier County Board of County Comms. v. Fish and Wildlife Conservation Comm., 993 So.2d 69 (Fla. 2d DCA 2008).
Crapps v. City of Lake City, 987 So.2d 82 (Fla. 1st DCA 2008).
Cherry v. City of Destin, 956 So. 2d 459 (2007)
Save Our Beaches, Inc. v. Florida Dep’t of Envt’l Protection, 27 So.3d 48 (Fla. 1st DCA 2006).
Dep’t of Bus. & Prof’l Regulation v. Henry, 903 So.2d 938 (Fla. 1st DCA 2005).
Palm Beach County Envtl. Coalition v. S. Fla. Water Mgmt. Dist., 902 So.2d 812 (Fla. 4th DCA 2005).
Sansoucy v. Univ. of South Fla. Bd. of Trustee, 898 So.2d 943 (Fla. 1st DCA 2005).
Royal World Metropolitan, Inc. v. City of Miami Beach, 863 So.2d 320 (Fla. 3d DCA 2003).
McGill v. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Comm., 842 So.2d 190 (Fla. 5th DCA 2003).
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Comm. v. McGill, 823 So.2d 236 (Fla. 1st DCA 2002)
In the News
Aug 20, 2020
Hopping Green & Sams attorneys recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© 2021
D. Safriet mentioned
Aug 17, 2020
2020 Florida Super Lawyers Recognizes Eleven HGS Attorneys
D. Safriet mentioned
Aug 15, 2019
HGS attorneys recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© 2020
D. Safriet mentioned
Jul 15, 2019
Twelve HGS Attorneys among Environmental Permitting Summer School Faculty
D. Safriet mentioned
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