Areas of Practice: Administrative Law; Environmental Law; Water Law; Land Use Law; Litigation
Education: B.A., Emory University; J.D., University of Florida, Florida Law Review
Chris H. Bentley is a native of Quincy, Florida. After serving in the United States Army in the Republic of Vietnam, he was Counsel to the State of Florida, Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund. Mr. Bentley represented the West Coast Inland Navigation District as Assistant General Counsel while in private practice in Bradenton, Florida.
He served as the Director and the Chief Judge of the State of Florida, Division of Administrative Hearings, serving with the Division from its inception in November of 1974 until 1984. While with the Division, Mr. Bentley sat as an Administrative Law Judge in hundreds of formal administrative hearings, with an emphasis on environmental matters. As an Administrative Law Judge, Mr. Bentley dealt with essentially every aspect of state government. These included environmental issues, water use permits, power plant and transmission line site certification proceedings, solid waste disposal facilities, professional and business licensing matters, state revenue matters, state construction bid disputes and construction contract disputes, as well as many other regulatory matters. Mr. Bentley is past Chairman of the Administrative Law Section of The Florida Bar and is recognized as one of the leading authorities on Florida's Administrative Procedure Act and administrative litigation in Florida.
Since returning to private practice in 1984, Mr. Bentley has been heavily involved with environmental and land use permitting matters. He has served as lead counsel in numerous lengthy, complex cases in both state and federal courts, as well as before the Division of Administrative Hearings, often involving environmental regulatory issues. Mr. Bentley has been lead attorney in numerous successful and complex rule challenge proceedings before the Division of Administrative Hearings, involving a variety of state agencies in Florida, including such agencies as the Department of Environmental Protection and its predecessor agency, the water management districts in Florida, as well as several other state agencies in Florida. In addition to representing private industry, Mr. Bentley has also been special counsel to numerous counties and cities in Florida, typically in matters involving regulatory issues and litigation.
Mr. Bentley served for eight years as a member of the State of Florida, Pilot Rate Review Board and is a past Chairman of the Tallahassee Airport Advisory Board. He has been a frequent lecturer at CLE programs sponsored by The Florida Bar, primarily on matters of administrative law and environmental law, and in 1987, was the Chairman of the 5th Annual Administrative Law Conference of The Florida Bar.