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David L. Powell

For more than 30 years, David has represented clients in the planning and entitlement of complex real estate developments throughout Florida.
David emphasizes strategies that position a client to negotiate favorable outcomes during regulatory review because he believes the most important decisions are the ones that a client makes before an application is filed. His involvement in statewide official policy reviews gives him a deep understanding of Florida’s land use and growth management programs and how they affect clients. Since taking part-time “Of Counsel” status with the firm in 2018, he consults with selected clients and the firm’s lawyers on these and related matters.
Education
  • Florida State University, J.D., with high honors, (Order of the Coif; Editor-in-Chief, Florida State University Law Review)
  • Columbia University, M.S.
  • University of Texas at Austin, B.J.
Bar & Court Admissions
  • Florida
  • U.S. Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
  • U.S. District Court (Northern District of Florida, Middle District of Florida)
Professional Affiliations
  • Urban Land Institute
  • Congress for the New Urbanism
Community Involvement
  • Leadership Florida, Chairman, 2001-2002
  • Leadership Florida, Board of Regents, 1992-2003
  • Florida Chamber of Commerce, Board of Governors, 1996-2003
  • Florida Conflict Resolution Consortium, Advisory Council, 1994-2014
  • Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors, 2000-2005
Awards & Recognition
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America, for Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning Law, 2001-2021 editions
  • Listed in Chambers USA, 2007-2020 editions
  • Listed in the annual publication of The Florida Super Lawyers, 2006-2020 editions
  • Listed in Florida Trend Magazine’s “Legal Elite” Hall of Fame for Land Use & Zoning Law
  • Named the Best Lawyers 2019 “Lawyer of the Year” in Tallahassee for Litigation-Land Use & Zoning
  • Listed in the Best Lawyers “Lawyers of the Year” for Florida (Tallahassee region) in 2011 & 2017 for Land Use & Zoning Law and in 2012 for Real Estate Law
  • Urban Land Institute, North Florida District Council, 2016 Member of the Year
  • Has achieved Martindale-Hubbell’s highest rating for legal ability and ethical standards
Legal Experience
Experience throughout Florida in all facets of land development regulation of master-planned communities, major infrastructure projects, and commercial, industrial, and resort developments.
Advises clients on large-area plans for major landholdings throughout Florida, including sector plans on agricultural lands and rural landscapes.
Counsels clients on long-term strategies to “position” property for changing real estate markets and to take advantage of government-funded infrastructure projects.
Member, Transportation and Land Use Study Committee (1999); Chairman Public Schools Construction Study Commission (1998); and Executive Director, Environmental Land Management Study (ELMS III) Committee (1993).
Reporter (New York, Miami, Tallahassee bureaus) and Bureau Chief (Tallahassee bureau), The Associated Press, 1975-1981. Reporter, St. Petersburg Times, 1981-1983, and Florida Times-Union (Tallahassee bureau), 1984.
Adjunct Professor of Law, Florida State University, 2003-2017.
Publications & Presentations
Sector Plans, Florida Environmental and Land Use Law Treatise (2014) (co-author).
The Environmental Land and Water Management Act of 1972 – Developments of Regional Impact and Areas of Critical State Concern, Florida Environmental and Land Use Law Treatise, (2012) (co-author).
Administrative and Judicial Review of Land Use Decisions, Florida Environmental and Land Use Law Treatise (2012) (co-author).
Green Light for Sector Plans, Florida Bar Journal (September/October 2011).
The Way We Live, Journal of Land Use and Environmental Law (Fall 2007).
And Now … School Concurrency, Florida Bar Journal (November 2005) (co-author).
Growth Management: Florida’s Past As Prologue For The Future, Florida State University Law Review (Winter 2001).
Back to Basics on School Concurrency, Florida State University Law Review (Winter 1999).
A Measured Step to Protect Private Property Rights, Florida State University Law Review (Fall 1995) (co-author).
Florida’s New Law to Protect Private Property Rights, Florida Bar Journal (October 1995) (co-author).
Recent Changes in Concurrency, Florida Bar Journal (November 1994).
Managing Florida’s Growth: The Next GenerationFlorida State University Law Review (Fall 1993).
The Flexible New Approach to DRI Aggregation, Florida Bar Journal (August 1989) (co-author).
Significant Transactions
David’s principal work since becoming “Of Counsel” is writing an oral history of Cubans who came to this country in the 15 years after Fidel Castro assumed power in 1959. The book will be published by the University of Florida Press in 2021.
In the News
Aug 20, 2020
Hopping Green & Sams attorneys recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© 2021
David Powell mentioned
Aug 17, 2020
HGS recognized in Chambers USA 2020
David Powell mentioned
Aug 17, 2020
Florida Trend’s 2020 FL Legal Elite Recognizes HGS Attorneys
David Powell mentioned
Aug 14, 2020
David Powell will be a speaker at 2020 FSU Law Real Estate Conference
David Powell mentioned