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Richard S. Brightman

Richard has over thirty years experience and a state-wide practice in State and Federal Environmental and Administrative Law in Florida.
In recent years, his practice has focused on the siting and licensing of complex energy facilities, including power plants, distribution and transmission lines, natural gas storage facilities and pipelines, and oil and gas exploration and production activities both on and off shore. He has also represented port facilities and dozens of marinas all over Florida. These and other private endeavors often require acquisition of easements or other property rights in state-owned lands, and Richard has experience in representing clients seeking to obtain property rights, including dozens of appearances before the Florida Governor and Cabinet sitting as the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund. Richard grew up in Vero Beach, Florida, and received a Masters Degree in Environmental Engineering Sciences before attending law school. Richard’s environmental science background informs his practice in this area. Richard is a motorcycle enthusiast and enjoys touring, especially in the mountains. He also enjoys deep-sea fishing, boating, spectator sports, and community theater.
Education
  • University of Florida, J.D., with honors (Research Assistant at the Eastern Water Law Research Center under Professor Frank Maloney)
  • University of Florida, M.S., Environmental Engineering Sciences (Graduate Research and Teaching Assistant for Professors Howard Odom and Jack Fox)
  • Florida State University, B.S.
Bar & Court Admissions
  • California (inactive)
  • Florida
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals (9th Circuit, 11th Circuit)
  • U.S. District Courts (Southern District of Florida, Middle District of Florida, Northern District of Florida, Northern District of California)
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
Professional Affiliations
  • Florida Bar Association (Environmental and Land Use Law, Administrative Law, Local Government Law)
Community Involvement
  • Frequent participant in charitable motorcycle rallies
Awards & Recognition
  • Listed in the annual publication of The Florida Super Lawyers, 2007 Edition
  • Listed in Florida Trend Magazine’s “Legal Elite”, 2006 Edition
  • Has achieved Martindale-Hubbell’s highest rating for legal ability and ethical standards
Legal Experience
Represents clients before local, state and federal government officials, agencies, courts and elected bodies, including county commissions, Governor and Cabinet, and the Florida Legislature, on a variety of environmental, land use, regulatory and proprietary matters.
Co-counsel in property rights takings case before the U.S. Supreme Court, “Stop the Beach Renourishment, Inc. v. Florida Department of Environmental Protection”, No. 08-1151 (argued December 2, 2009).
Advises clients on the siting and licensing of complex energy facilities, including electric power plants, transmission and natural gas storage facilities and pipelines.
Represents clients on issues involving oil and gas, including geophysical permits, well drilling and operating permits, re-certifications, field unitization, correlative rights, and hydrocarbon transportation and storage.
Represents clients relating to submerged land leases for docks and other structures, submerged lands easements for bridges, cable and pipeline crossings, and incidental crossings and temporary uses of submerged lands.
Represents clients on coastal regulation matters, including coastal permitting for single and multi-family structures, seawalls and revetments, beach restoration, and property rights.
Represents clients before State and Federal agencies on issues related to protected species permitting and enforcement.
Represents clients on matters concerning water source construction and operation permits, NPDES permits, federal dredge and fill permits, environmental resource permits, and enforcement and rulemaking related to water resource permitting.
Former in-house counsel for environmental consulting firm.
Publications & Presentations
Incipient Incompatible Use Policy, Florida Bar Journal, (April 1995) (Author).
Contact Richard S. Brightman