Robert P. Diffenderfer

Mr. Diffenderfer maintains a diverse governmental practice involving complex environmental and land use matters, including representation before local, state and federal legislative and regulatory bodies.

Areas of Practice

  • Chair of the firm's transportation and infrastructure industry group for major public infrastructure projects, including highway, port and airport planning and permitting and Development of Regional Impact (DRI) review.

  • Represents private and public clients, counseling on growth management issues and obtaining comprehensive plan and zoning approvals; defends those approvals from third party challenge.

  • Represents special districts on a variety of organizational and operational issues and special projects.

  • Successfully represented state university interests in obtaining legislation to authorize the transfer of land from the Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund to the university's foundation.

  • Has handled a variety of growth management, land use and regulatory issues for large public infrastructure projects various Florida Department of Transportation highway projects including: Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, Palm Beach International Airport, North Palm Beach County General Aviation Airport, Port of Fort Pierce, Port of Panama City, Panama City Airport.

Publications and Presentations

  • Drones: A Florida Perspective, Florida Engineering Society, March 2017

  • Numeric Nutrient Criteria in Region 4: Current Progress and Remaining Challenges, presented at the American Bar Association Key Environmental Issues in U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 4, March 2015

  • Cleared for Takeoff: Insights on Economic Development and Land Use Compatibility at Airports, presented at the Florida Planning and Zoning Association Conference, June 2014

  • Accelerated Wetland Losses in Coastal Watersheds, Journal AWWA, April 2014

  • The FAA Begins a New Chapter in Hazardous Wildlife Management, Florida Aviation Business Magazine, July 2013

  • Elimination, Reduction, and Minimization of Impacts, Florida Environmental and Land Use Law Treatise, June 2013

  • Where Water and Energy Meet, Journal AWWA, May 2013

  • Secondary and Cumulative Impacts Analysis and the Clean Water Act, Journal American Water Works Association, July 2012

  • Numeric Nutrient Criteria for Florida, presented at the Local Government Law in Florida Conference, May 2012

  • Environmental Issues Facing Florida’s Local Government, webinar presented to the Florida City and County Management Association, November 2011

  • Airport-Community-Environment-Noise Mitigation and More, presented at the Florida Airports Council Conference, July 2011

  • Top Ten Tips for Quasi-Judicial Hearings, presented at What You Need to Know about Public Records and Open Meetings in Florida, August 2003

  • Latest Developments and Issues Relating to Florida’s Public Records Law, 2003

  • The Freedom of Information Act 5.U.S.C. 552, as Amended by Public Law No, 104-231, 110 Stat. 3028, 2003

  • Top Ten Tips for a Quasi-Judicial Hearing, the Florida Bar Environmental and Land Use Law Section Reporter, Vol. XIX, No. 5, July 1998

Professional, Civic and Community Involvement

  • Holds a Martindale Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating

  • Admitted to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

  • Pine Jog Environmental Education Center, Board Member and Past Chair

  • Florida Democratic Party Central/State Executive Committee, Member

  • The Florida Bar: Environmental and Land Use Law Section, Administrative Law Section and City, County and Local Government Law Section, Member

  • Palm Beach and Collier County Bar Associations, Member

  • American Bar Association: Section of Environment, Energy and Resources and Urban, State and Local Government Section, Member

  • 2000 Presidential Rank Review Board, Appointee

  • Naples Regional Urban Design Assistance Team (R/UDAT) Citizen's Task Force, Committee on Environmental Issues, Member, 1987-1988

  • Listed in Who’s Who Legal, Environmental Law, 2010, 2013, 2015

  • Listed in Chambers & Partners USA Guide, an annual listing of the leading lawyers and law firms in the world, 2008-2015

  • Florida Super Lawyer, 2008




  • J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, 1984.

  • B.A., cum laude, Florida State University, 1980.