Mr. Malefatto has been practicing environmental, land use and administrative law in Florida since 1980. He has represented Fortune 500 companies, developers, home builders, small businesses, and local governments in a variety of environmental permitting, enforcement and transactional matters, and in all manner of Florida land use proceedings.

Areas of Practice

  • Represents private and public sector clients in a variety of environmental permitting, enforcement and transactional matters, and in all manner of Florida land use proceedings.

  • Manages a broad range of projects and activities including land use and environmental approvals for all types of development projects, brownfields redevelopment, contaminated property remediation and the defense of environmental enforcement actions by local, state and federal governmental agencies.

  • Guides clients involved in corporate and real estate transactions through necessary due diligence evaluations.

  • Extensive experience in advising clients in property/site contamination clean up.

  • Works closely with land use planners, landscape architects, and engineering firms to obtain land use approvals and development entitlements for developers, home builders, retailers and others.

Publications and Presentations

Professional, Civic and Community Involvement

  • Urban League of Palm Beach County, Board Member, 2010-present.

  • Central Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce, Board Member, 2015-present.

  • Friends of the Gale Academy of Environmental Science and Technology, Inc. at Forest Hill High School in West Palm Beach, Board Member, 1996-present, President, 2009-2011, 2019.

  • The Forum Club of the Palm Beaches, Board Member, 2000-2010; President, 2007-2008.

  • Environmental and Land Use Law Section of The Florida Bar,Executive Council, Member, 1985-1993; Chairman, 1991-1992.

  • Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council, Gubernatorial Appointee, 1984-1986.

  • Martindale Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated.

  • Florida Super Lawyer, 2007-2009, 2013-present.

  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America, Environmental Law, 2006 to present, Lawyer of the Year in Environmental Law, 2014.

  • Listed, Chambers & Partners USA Guide, an annual listing of the leading business lawyers and law firms in the world, 2003 to present.

  • The International Who’s Who of Environment Lawyers, 2012-present.

Previous Professional Experience

  • Greenberg Traurig, Shareholder, 1991-2012.

  • Shapiro & Bregman, Shareholder, 1988-1991.

  • Wolf, Block, Schorr & Solis-Cohen, Associate, 1983-1988.

  • Assistant General Counsel at the Florida Department of Environmental Regulation (now Florida Department of Environmental Protection), 1980-1983.

  • Regional Planner, Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council, 1980.

Representative Court Decisions

  • Successfully advised local government in redevelopment of abandoned golf course with environmental contamination issues into a very popular regional park.

  • Oversaw environmental remediation and redevelopment of a hi-tech manufacturing facility to a mixed-use office and commercial park.

  • Successfully negotiated favorable settlement of federal and state natural resource damage claims resulting from phosphogypsum release into Tampa Bay.




  • J.D., University of Florida, College of Law, 1979.

  • B.A., cum laude, New York University, 1975.