Skip to Content
Robert P. Diffenderfer attorney photo

Robert P. Diffenderfer

Shareholder | West Palm Beach

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.  Mr. Diffenderfer is Chair of the firm’s Business Development Committee.

Areas of Practice

  • Immediate Past 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, and the Panama City Airport.

Publications and Presentations

  • Drones: A Florida Perspective, Florida Engineering Society Journal, 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, February 2003

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

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

  • Admitted to the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Middle Districts, Florida

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

  • Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches, Trustee and Immediate Past Chair

  • The Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea, Chancellor

  • Florida Democratic Party Legislative Liaison Committee, Member

  • The Forum Club of the Palm Beaches, Board Member

  • Association of Florida Community Developers, Growth, Transportation and Infrastructure Task Force, 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 State and Local Government Law 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

Awards and Recognitions

  • Martindale Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating

  • Best Lawyers in America, Environmental Law, 2023-present

  • Power Leader, South Florida Business Journal, 2023

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

  • Listed in Chambers and Partners USA Guide, an annual listing of the leading lawyers and law firms in the world, 2008-2009; 2012-2015

  • Florida Super Lawyers, 2008

  • Palm Beach Illustrated Magazine Top Lawyer in Environmental Law, 2018, 2020-present; Top Lawyer in Land Use and Zoning Law, 2020-2021; Top Lawyer in Transportation Law, 2021




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

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