Our Team

David W. Childs

David helps clients solve problems with government. Often the solutions involve successful modifications to Florida regulations and statutes.
Other times clients need regulators to take a different point of view on a novel issue. David's legislative successes include establishing a statewide water quality credit trading program, creating water supply incentives for utilities that reuse reclaimed water, and revamping Florida's vessel titling laws to protect consumers. Over his many years with Hopping Green and Sams, David has worked hard to earn a reputation for forthrightness and an in depth understanding of environmental statutes and regulatory programs.
  • Florida State University, J.D., with honors
  • Mississippi State University, B.S., Biological Engineering
Bar & Court Admissions
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
  • Florida
  • U.S. District Court (Northern District of Florida, Middle District of Florida)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals (11th Circuit, 6th Circuit, D.C. Circuit)
  • Supreme Court of the United States
Community Involvement
  • Leadership Florida, Cornerstone Class XXXV, Pro Bono General Counsel (2018-2020)
  • Grace Mission, Board of Directors (2013-2018)
  • Florida State University College of Law, Guest Lecturer
Awards & Recognition
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America for Environmental Law, 2019-2021 editions
  • Environmental Lobbyist of the Year, 2019,
  • Listed in Florida Trend Magazine’s “Legal Elite,” 2019 edition
  • Golden Rotunda Awards by FloridaPolitics.com
Legal Experience
Drafted and helped pass numerous Florida water policy bills, including HB 7043 (2018), authorizing Florida to assume the federal Section 404 dredge and fill permitting program; SB 550 (2016), revamping Florida’s regional water supply planning process; SB 1808 (2013), establishing Florida’s numeric nutrient criteria program; and HB 639 (2012), granting local government utilities control over reclaimed water use.
Advocated for environmental policies before the Florida Legislature, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida Congressional Delegation, White House Council on Environmental Quality, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Manages legislative and executive lobbying for statewide electric utility and domestic wastewater utility associations.
Previously worked as an engineer in CH2M Hill’s Water Business Group.
Publications & Presentations
The Comprehensive Water Law: Its Provisions and Significance, The Florida Bar Journal, (February 2017) (co-authored with Jorge Caspary).
Numeric Nutrient Criteria in Florida: The Road to Cooperative Federalism, ABA Trends, (November/December 2015) (co-authored with Mohammad Jazil).
Event Moderator, Florida Chamber Environmental Permitting Summer School (2014).
EPA Nutrient Regulations: Science, Cost, & Federal Usurpation of State Primacy, U.S. Senate Staff Briefing (October 2012).
EPA Imposes Strict Numeric Nutrient Criteria on Florida, Background & Implications, ABA Trends (Nov. / Dec. 2011)(Co-author).
Role of the Judiciary in Setting Water Policy, Florida Water Policy Choices Forum, Florida Earth Foundation (October 19, 2010).
Numeric Nutrient Criteria: Challenges and Impacts, WEFTech, New Orleans, LA (October 6, 2010) (Co-Presenter).
Emerging Reclaimed Water Policies in Florida, NACWA 2010 Winter Conference, Austin, TX (February 5, 2010).
Environmental and Land Use Considerations for Real Estate Transactions, The Florida Bar, Tampa, FL (January 29, 2010).
FDEP Biosolids Rulemaking Poised to Drastically Change State Reuse Practices, Florida Water Resources Journal ( June 2008).
The Endangered Species Act Listing Process, Environmental & Land Use Section of the Florida Bar, Environmental Treatise (2008).
Protecting the Florida Manatee, Environmental & Land Use Section of the Florida Bar, Environmental Treatise (2008).
Incidental Take Permitting & Habitat Conservation Planning, Environmental & Land Use Section of the Florida Bar, Environmental Treatise (2006) (Co-Author).
The World Health Organization’s Prequalification Program and its Potential Effect on Data Exclusivity Laws, 60 Food & Drug Law Journal 79 (2005).
The Unresolved Debates that Scorched Kyoto: An Analytical Framework, 13 University of Miami International & Comparative Law Review 233 (2005).
Book Note, 13 Florida State Journal of Transnational Law & Policy 573 (2004), Environmental Negotiator Handbook (2003).
Gubernatorial & Other Appointments
Florida Boating Advisory Council (appointed by Governor Charlie Crist, March 2009 – June 2015 ) (appointed by Governor Rick Scott, April 2016 – present)
Representative Published Decisions
Seminole Elec. Co-op., Inc. v. Department of Environmental Protection, 985 So.2d 615 (Fla. 5th DCA 2008)
Florida Wildlife Federation, Inc. v. South Florida Water Management Dist., 647 F.3d 1296 (11th Cir. 2011)
Florida Wildlife Federation, Inc. v. Jackson, 2012 WL 537529, 853 F. Supp. 2d 1138 (N.D. Fla. 2012)
In the News
Nov 23, 2020
EPA Considers Florida’s Assumption of Federal Wetland Permitting
David Childs mentioned
Oct 28, 2020
David Childs Speaks at Water Policy Town Hall
David Childs mentioned
Aug 20, 2020
Hopping Green & Sams attorneys recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© 2021
David Childs mentioned
Aug 15, 2019
HGS attorneys recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© 2020
David Childs mentioned
Contact David W. Childs