Hopping Green & Sams

Post Office Box 6526
Tallahassee, Florida 32314

Our Team

Joseph A. Brown

Joe has a wide-ranging practice encompassing administrative, state, and federal litigation and counseling clients on a variety matters including election law; compliance with state and federal environmental regulations; licensing, development, and operation of public infrastructure and industrial facilities; and coastal construction and property rights.
Joe's clients include individuals, developers, industrial business interests, and state and local government entities.
  • University of Georgia School of Law, J.D., 2006, with honors (Georgia Law Review, Notes Editor)
  • University of Georgia, B.S.E.S., 2002, with honors
Bar & Court Admissions
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • U.S. District Court (Northern District of Florida, Middle District of Florida, Middle District of Georgia)
  • U.S. Court of Appeal (Eleventh Circuit, D.C. Circuit)
  • U.S. Supreme Court
Professional Affiliations
  • Florida Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Air & Waste Management Association
Community Involvement
  • Big Bend Habitat for Humanity, Former President
  • Keep Tallahassee-Leon County Beautiful, Former Chairman
  • The Sharing Tree, Former Chairman
Awards & Recognition
  • Listed in the annual publication of The Florida Super Lawyers, 2020 & 2021 editions
  • Listed as a “Rising Star” in the annual publication of Florida Super Lawyers, 2013-2018 editions
Legal Experience
Represented Florida-based electric utility interests in successful litigation challenging imposition of new regulatory program under the Clean Air Act.
Represented electric utility interests in a number of challenges to federal rulemakings in the 11th and D.C. Circuit Courts of Appeal and in the U.S. Supreme Court.
Advised electric utilities on licensing and development of new generating facilities.
Advised electric utilities on due diligence review for potential purchase of existing generating facilities.
Advised candidates for elective office on campaign related matters.
Represented the Florida Secretary of State in elections-related litigation in federal district court.
Represented property owners in litigation related to beach and coastal management issues, including property rights and permitting of beach restoration and inlet management projects.
Represented special tax district in enforcement and collection of special assessments obtaining summary judgment foreclosing lien.
Advises special tax district with complex financing structure with multiple revenue streams including community redevelopment agency tax increment financing.
Advises special tax districts in general counsel capacity on a variety of issues including, public records, sunshine law, public bidding and construction, assessment levy and collection, financing, etc.
Represented clients before state and federal environmental agencies on a variety of permitting- and rulemaking-related matters.
Represented associations in contract and property disputes.
Represented business interests in litigation concerning environmental permitting.
Publications & Presentations
Florida’s Renewable Energy Projects, Florida Chamber Foundation 31st Annual Environmental Permitting Summer School (July 2017) (co-presenter).
Florida’s Renewable Energy Projects, Florida Chamber Foundation 30th Annual Environmental Permitting Summer School (July 2016) (co-presenter).
Conference Co-Chair, Florida Section Air & Waste Management Association, 51st  & 53rd Annual Conference, Tallahassee, Florida (October 2015; October 2017).
EPA’s Startup, Shutdown, and Malfunction SIP Call, Air & Water Permitting Workshop, Tampa, Florida (September 2015).
Climate Change and the Clean Air Act: Reluctant Dance Partners?, Environmental and Land Use Law Reporter of the Florida Bar, Vol. XXXVI, No. 1 (September 2014).
Air Law Hot Topics: Fine Particulate Emission Limits, NSR Enforcement and More, Florida Bar Environmental and Land Use Section Webcast (June 2014) (Co-presenter).
Permitting Sources of Air Toxics, Florida Treatise on Environmental and Land Use Law (June 2014) (Updating Author).
Clean Air Act Compliance and Enforcement, Florida Treatise on Environmental and Land Use Law (June 2014) (Updating Author).
Florida Treatise on Environmental and Land Use Law, Chapter 23: Air Quality (2014) (Updating Author).
Air Quality Regulation Update, Air & Waste Management Association, Coastal Plains Chapter (2014)
Air Quality Hot Topics, Florida Chamber of Commerce Annual Environmental Conference (2013)
The Cross-State Air Pollution Rule: Will EPA Learn from Experience? ABA Trends, January / February 2013
Commercially Harvesting Endangered Salmon? Rethinking the Interaction of Salmon Hatcheries and the Endangered Species Act After Alsea Valley Alliance v. Evans, 40 Ga. L. Rev. 253 (2005)
Representative Published Decisions
Tzodikov v. Mosaic Fertilizer, L.L.C., No 20-2949 (Fla. DOAH Aug. 5, 2020)
City of Destin v. Wilson, No. 20-2123F (Fla. DOAH Aug. 6, 2020)
Baroody v. City of Quincy, No. 4:20-cv-217-AW-MAF (N.D. Fla. June 7, 2020)
Jacobson v. Fla. Sec'y of State, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 28078 (11th Cir. Sept. 3, 2020)
Jacobson v. Lee, 411 F. Supp. 3d 1249, 1254 (N.D. Fla. 2019)
State of Wisconsin v EPA, No. 16-1406 (D.C. Cir. Sept. 13, 2019)
EME Homer City Generation, L.P. v EPA, 795 F.3d 118 (D.C. Cir. 2015)
EPA v EME Homer City Generation, L.P., 134 S. Ct. 1584 (2014)
EME Homer City Generation, L.P. v. EPA, 696 F.3d 7 (D.C. Cir. 2012)
Donovan v. Okaloosa County, 82 So.3d 801 (Fla. 2012)
Sherry v. Okaloosa County, No. 10-0515/10-516 (Fla. DOAH June 29, 2011)
In the News
Jul 16, 2021
Florida Super Lawyers 2021
Joseph Brown mentioned
Aug 17, 2020
2020 Florida Super Lawyers Recognizes Eleven HGS Attorneys
Joseph Brown mentioned
Jun 14, 2019
2019 Florida Super Lawyers Recognizes Eight HGS Attorneys
Joseph Brown mentioned
Jun 22, 2016
EPA Proposes to Eliminate Affirmative Defense for Exceedances of Emission Limits During Emergencies
by Joseph Brown