Derek Howard

County Attorney
Title: Assistant County Attorney
Phone: 305-292-3470

Derek Howard is an Assistant County Attorney with the Monroe County Attorney’s Office in the Florida Keys. For more than a decade, Howard has been primarily responsible for Monroe County’s environmental and land use litigation at the trial and appellate levels, and advising the Growth Management Division on the adoption and implementation of land use regulations. As Monroe County continues to operate as an Area of Critical State Concern (ACSC), Mr. Howard regularly interfaces with the Department of Economic Opportunity and handles administrative appeals under Chapter 380. His cases involve resource management issues under the Clean Water Act, Coastal Barrier Resources System Act, and the Endangered Species Act.

Howard is certified as an expert in City, County & Local Government Law through the Florida Bar. He has previously served as an appointee to the Eminent Domain Committee of the Florida Bar, as well as the Growth Management Committee of the Florida Association of County Attorneys. He presents at several conferences throughout Florida on a wide range of land use and environmental issues. He is a published writer, and his articles include “Local Regulatory Taking Claims: Accounting for State and Federal Regulations to Minimize Liability and Damages Exposure.”

Howard has successfully litigated numerous inverse condemnation cases. He was the first attorney who successfully brought the State of Florida in as a third-party in a regulatory takings case filed against a local government. His cases regularly involve complex issues of liability determinations and apportionment due to his client’s ACSC designation, and the interplay of local, state, and federal land use regulations in the Florida Keys. Howard’s cases with published decisions include Galleon Bay Corp. v. Board of County Commissioners Monroe County., et al., 105 So. 3d 555 (Fla. 3d DCA 2012); Collins, et. al. v. Monroe County., et. al., 118 So. 3d 872 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2013); Neumont v. Florida, 610 F.3d 1249 (11th Cir. Fla. 2010); Sutton v. Monroe County., 34 So.3d 22 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2009); and Collins, et. al. v. Monroe County., et. al., 999 So.2d 709 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2008).

In 2012, Howard earned a Master in Community Planning from the University of Maryland where he focused on environmental planning. He earned his J.D. from American University’s Washington College of Law with honors in 2003. Mr. Howard’s prior professional experience in Washington, DC includes working as a paralegal in the White House Counsel’s Office during the final term of the Clinton Administration; participating on behalf of the Center for Food Safety in the Environmental Protection Agency’s rule-making regarding the regulation of the aquaculture industry under the Clean Water Act; and working as an associate attorney with the international firm of Paul Hastings LLP.


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