Dan R. Stengle
Dan Stengle received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from the University of South Dakota, where he also taught Freshman English Literature and Composition as a graduate teaching assistant.
From there, Dan attended his first year of law school at the University of Tennessee, where he was on the Dean’s List and received the American Jurisprudence Book Awards for the highest class grades in Torts Law, Contracts Law, and Criminal Law.
Dan transferred to the Florida State University to continue his legal studies, having been selected as a Legislative Analyst Intern under a joint program with FSU and The Florida Senate. He then served as a Certified Legal Intern in the Criminal Appeals Division of the Office of the Florida Attorney General, where he briefed and successfully argued cases for the State of Florida in the First District Court of Appeal and the Florida Supreme Court. In his senior year, Dan was selected by the College of Law to teach Legal Writing and Oral Argumentation to freshman law students. At FSU, Dan was on the Dean’s List, and received the American Jurisprudence Book Award for the highest grade in his Conflict of Laws class. He graduated from law school with High Honors.
Prior to entering law school, Dan served as an energy analyst with the Florida Governor’s Energy Office, and later as a legislative analyst with the Commerce Committee of The Florida Senate.
Following law school, Dan served as an Associate Attorney for the law firm of Akerman, Senterfitt, and Eidson, focusing on litigation in administrative law, civil trials, and appeals. Following his first stint in private practice, Dan was selected as Senior Attorney – and later General Counsel – to the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission, where he specialized in rulemaking and enforcement of laws regulating fish and wildlife, including winning landmark cases involving endangered species and Native American Tribes, and regulation of state lands.
From there, Dan returned to The Florida Senate, serving as Staff Director to the Senate Governmental Operations Committee, where he directed legislative oversight of the organization, structure, and activities of executive branch agencies, and the Office of the Governor. He directed legislative oversight of the Administrative Procedure Act, and Florida’s Sunshine Laws, and conducted investigations and proposed legislation for action by the committee and the Senate.
Dan then was named as General Counsel to the Florida Department of Community Affairs, the state’s land planning agency. There, he directed the legal aspects of the state’s comprehensive land development plans, coastal management, emergency management, and housing finance. He also served as Special Counsel to the Florida Governor and Cabinet on matters relating to Areas of Critical State Concern, including the Florida Keys.
Florida Governor Lawton Chiles then tapped Dan to be Deputy Chief of Staff and General Counsel, where Dan directed all legal and administrative aspects of the Governor’s Office. Dan advised the Governor on his constitutional and legal duties and authorities, including his emergency powers, executive suspensions, special elections, capital punishments, and reassignments of state attorney duties in the event of conflicts. He represented the Governor in state and federal courts, helped craft the Governor’s state water policies, and advised Governor Chiles on his appointments of judges to the county and circuit courts and the district courts of appeal, as well as his appointments of Justices to the Florida Supreme Court. Dan served as General Counsel to the Governor’s Transition Team between the Chiles/MacKay Administration and incoming Governor Jeb Bush.
Following his public service, Dan entered private legal practice, representing clients on land use, regulatory permitting, utility regulation, and in all aspects of litigation and appeals. His clients included the City of Tallahassee, the Florida Realtors Association, Florida Governor, Florida League of Cities, and Florida Association of Counties. On three occasions, Dan successfully challenged proposed constitutional amendments that would have established a sales tax on services, including legal and medical services. He specialized in challenging misleading ballot measures that would confuse voters if allowed to appear on the ballot.
Dan was raised in South Dakota, and moved to Florida following college. He and his wife, South Dakota native Jennifer Miles, own a farm near Raymond, SD, where they enjoy viewing and photographing abundant wildlife on the farm’s restored historic tall grass prairie, and tramping the fields and woods with their black Labrador Retrievers. Dan also enjoys hunting and fishing both in Florida and in South Dakota.
Due to extenuating circumstances, it was necessary for Dan to pay his own way through college and law school. As a result, Dan had wonderful employment opportunities during college weekends, spring breaks and holiday breaks, and summers. He variously held positions as a South Dakota state park ranger at Newton Hills State Park, and Lewis and Clark Chain of Parks along the Missouri River, and as a custom farm worker and alfalfa cutter in rural areas near the University of South Dakota, electrical lineman constructing line towers from North Dakota through northeastern South Dakota, and an inside electrical wireman who help construct the Big Stone City Power Plant along the South Dakota/Minnesota border.
During college, Dan was elected to the University of South Dakota Student Senate, where he successfully sponsored and established the "Vietnam Veterans Welcome Home Program," partnering returning veterans with non-veteran college students in an effort to smooth the transition of GI Bill war veterans into college life. He also served on the University's Program Council, where he directed the "Adopt-a-Grandparent Program," which fostered relationships between college volunteers and elderly shut-ins; coordinated evening practical "mini courses" taught by knowledgeable community members in such subjects such as auto repair, wildlife photography, and cooking; and organized an annual "Holiday Festival" for the children of University faculty and staff.
OTHER ACTIVITIES AND HONORS
Chair, Administrative Law Section, The Florida Bar; Co-editor, Administrative Law Section Newsletter.
Executive Council, Government Lawyer Section, The Florida Bar; Chair, Claude Pepper Award for Outstanding Government Service.
Vice-Chair, Tallahassee-Leon County Planning Commission.
Chair, Voices for Florida’s Children and Chair, Voices for Florida, a not-for-profit policy research organization.
Board Attorney and Member, Capital Area Community Action Agency, a not-for-profit organization providing non-governmental services to those in poverty.
Leadership Florida, Class XX
Instructor and Coach, Moot Court Competition Teams, Florida State University College of Law.
Principal draftsman of Florida’s landmark “Bert J. Harris, Jr., Private Property Rights Protection Act.”
Member, Trial Lawyers Section, Appellate Practice Section, The Florida Bar.
On four occasions, Dan successfully represented Florida Supreme Court Justices in their Merit Retention ballot campaigns.
Frequent lecturer on appellate practice, legislative drafting and research, public meetings and records, and ethics for public officials and employees.
Rated “AV Preeminent” in Martindale-Hubbell® attorney registry, indicating his adherence to the highest ethical and competency standards in the legal profession. He has also been listed for years in Best Lawyers in America, Best Lawyers in Florida, and Florida Super Lawyers, in the areas of appellate law, environmental law, and land use and zoning law.
"Putting the Genie Back in the Bottle: The Legislative Struggle to Contain Rulemaking by Executive Agencies," Florida State University Law Review, Vol. 21, No. 2, Fall 1993.
"Florida's New Law to Protect Private Property Rights," Florida Bar Journal, October 1995 (co-author).
"A Measured Step to Protect Private Property Rights," Florida State University Law Review, Vol. 23, No. 2, Fall 1995 (co-author).
"Private Property Rights Protection," Eminent Domain Practice and Procedure, Fifth Edition, The Florida Bar, 1996 and Update 2000; Eminent Domain Practice and Procedure, Sixth Edition, The Florida Bar, 2003.
"Adjudicatory Proceedings and Pending Proceedings," Florida's 1996 Administrative Procedure Act, Florida Bar Journal, March 1997 (co-author with S. Curtis Kiser).
"Limiting Agency Discretion in Rulemaking Under the Federal and Florida Administrative Procedure Acts," Florida Bar Journal, January 2001.
"Rule Adoption and Review," Florida Administrative Practice, Sixth Edition, The Florida Bar, 2001; Florida Administrative Practice, Seventh Edition, The Florida Bar, 2004.