Best's Insurance Professional Resources

Your Online Portal for Claims Industry Information

Best's Insurance Professional Resources

Your Online Portal for Claims Industry Information




Best's Recommended Insurance Attorneys

General Defense


4770 Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 1200, Miami, Florida 33137

Established: 1992

Practice Areas

  • Amusement Law
  • Asbestos Litigation
  • Automobile Litigation
  • Automotive Products Liability
  • Bodily Injury
  • Casualty Defense
  • Commercial General Liability
  • Commercial Transportation Litigation
  • Comprehensive General Liability
  • Complex Commercial Litigation
  • Complex Litigation
  • Complex Tort Litigation
  • Construction Defect
  • Construction Law
  • Daycare Liability
  • Dram Shop Liability
  • Environmental Litigation
  • First Party Defense
  • Garage Liability
  • Insurance Coverage & Defense
  • Insurance Defense
  • Insurance Litigation
  • Law Enforcement Liability
  • Marine Liability
  • Mass Tort
  • Medical Litigation
  • Medical Products Litigation
  • Mold Litigation
  • Municipal Litigation
  • Negligent Security
  • Nursing Home Defense
  • Personal Injury Defense
  • Police Liability Defense
  • Pesticide Litigation
  • Premises Liability
  • Premises Security
  • Product Liability Defense
  • Property and Casualty
  • Retail and Restaurant Defense
  • Retailers and Chain Restaurant Litigation
  • Self-Insured Defense
  • Sinkhole/Earth Movement
  • Slip and Fall
  • Sports and Entertainment Liability
  • Tort Claims Defense
  • Toxic Torts
  • Transportation
  • Trucking Industry Defense
  • Wrongful Death
  • Automobile Liability
  • Construction Claims
  • Contracts
  • Workers' Compensation

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About Us

Hightower, Stratton, Novigrod, Kantor is a well known corporate defense firm known throughout Florida and Puerto Rico for its aggressive protection of America's most well-known companies. Founded in 1992 by one of the state's most experienced and successful defense attorneys, our firm quickly became known as the "go-to" firm for companies frustrated by conventional approaches used by the huge insurance defense firms in Florida and Puerto Rico. Our system is the most informative and effective way to manage litigation from beginning to end.

Hightower, Stratton, Novigrod & Kantor has been a leader in the defense of Florida and Puerto Rican businesses for over 28 years. Our teams of experienced attorneys and paralegals in Miami, West Palm Beach, Orlando and Tampa Bay have zealously represented corporate America in over 15,000 General & Professional Liability, Commercial Property, Workers' Compensation, Construction Defect, Transportation, Personal Lines, Public Entities, and Energy cases over the years. From conducting thorough investigations to providing aggressive advocacy in the courtroom, our attorneys are recognized as among the most talented legal practitioners in Florida and Puerto Rico.

The skilled attorneys at our firm work diligently to provide business partners with practical and advanced solutions to reach their business and legal goals. Our experience, cost-effective litigation practices, and great reputation among attorneys and judges across the state, consistently produce favorable and prompt results for our business partners. We have been recognized by our peers as a "Preeminent Law Firm" in the prestigious Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register.

Our firm’s AV rating by Martindale-Hubbell for the past two decades indicate we have achieved the highest rank for ethical standards and legal ability; South Florida Legal Guide has named many of the firm's partners and attorneys Florida "Super Lawyers," "Rising Stars" and "Top Lawyers in the State." Hightower, Stratton, Novigrod, & Kantor is pleased to announce its inclusion in the 2020 edition of U.S. News Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms" for Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants.

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Additional Locations

  • West Palm Beach, Florida
  • 330 Clematis Street, Suite 201
  • West Palm Beach, Florida 33401
    • Telephone: 561-833-2022
    • Fax: 561-833-2140
  • Orlando, Florida
  • 151 Southhall Lane, Suite 140
  • Orlando, Florida 32751
    • Telephone: 407-352-4240
    • Fax: 407-352-4201
  • Tampa, Florida
  • 4427 West Kennedy Boulevard, Suite 225
  • Tampa, Florida 33609
    • Telephone: 727-209-1373
    • Fax: 727-209-1383

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Client Information

Insurance Clients

Non-Insurance Clients

  • Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc.
  • Marriott International, Inc.
  • 7-Eleven, Inc.
  • Waste Management, Inc.

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Personnel Information

Founding Partner


Dale R. Hightower

Miami, FL

Admitted
  • Florida, 1983
  • U.S. District Court, District of Florida, 1984
  • U.S. District Court, Middle and Southern Districts of Florida
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1989
Dale has been recognized as an expert litigator and has been invited to teach at various legal seminars on various topics ranging from discovery techniques to “door shutting” closing arguments. He has been named The Best Lawyers in America, “Top Lawyer” by the Florida Legal Guide, a Super Lawyers®, Litigation Council of America Senior Fellow, and has maintained an AV Preeminent™ rating from Martindale-Hubbell® since 1993. His courtroom experience of over 200 jury trials all over Florida with an 80% success rate is unequaled among Florida lawyers.
Memberships:
  • The Florida Bar
  • Dade County Bar Association (Board of Directors, 1985-1988)
  • South Florida Claim Association
  • New York Claim Association
  • American Trucking Association
  • Defense Research Institute (Trucking Law Committee)
  • Florida Trucking Association
  • Florida Defense Lawyers Association
  • Transportation Lawyers Association
Education:
  • Florida Southern College, B.S., 1980
  • Cumberland School of Law at Samford University, J.D., 1983

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Partners


Christopher S. Stratton

West Palm Beach, FL
  • Telephone: 561-833-2022
Admitted
  • Florida, 2002
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida, 2003
  • U.S. District Court, Middle and Northern Districts of Florida
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
Chris has been aggressively litigating cases throughout Florida for over 15 years and has been with the firm for over 13 of those years. From Jacksonville to Key West…from the Panhandle to Palm Beach, Chris was named to Florida Super Lawyer’s “Rising Stars” list six years in a row, named a Litigation Counsel of America fellow and 2020 Top Lawyers by Palm Beach Illustrated magazine.
Memberships:
  • American Bar Association (Committee Member: Torts & Insurance Practice Section)
  • The Florida Bar
Education:
  • Florida State University, B.S., 1998
  • University of Miami, J.D. (cum laude), 2002

Daniel M. Novigrod

Miami, FL

  • Telephone: 305-539-0909
Admitted
  • Florida, 2004
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida
In 2007, Dan joined Hightower & Partners because of its well-established reputation for representation of industry leading companies through strong trial advocacy. Since joining the firm, Dan’s drive and determination distinguished him amongst his peers, earning him partnership in the firm.

As a Partner, and throughout his career with the firm, Dan has had the privilege of representing industry leaders and has established excellent relationships with their risk managers. In 2016, Florida Trend magazine awarded the prestigious Legal Elite® honor to Dan. He was voted by his peers for this honor and the accolade is given to those who stand-out in the legal field. This prestigious list represents less than 2% of active Florida Bar members. Also, Dan has been named a “Super Lawyer” in Super Lawyers© Magazine and a Litigation Counsel of America fellow.
Memberships:
  • The Florida Bar
  • Miami-Dade County Bar Association (Young Lawyers Division)
Education:
  • California State University, Fullerton, B.A. (cum laude), 2001
  • University of Miami School of Law, J.D., 2004
Language:
  • Spanish

Lee A. Kantor

West Palm Beach, FL
  • Telephone: 561-833-2022
Admitted
  • Florida, 2005
  • U.S. District Court, Middle and Southern Districts of Florida
Since joining Hightower, Stratton, Novigrod & Kantor, Lee has become an experienced trial attorney. He has garnered a reputation as an aggressive litigator not afraid to take a case to trial before a jury. He has obtained numerous defense verdicts as well as countless favorable settlements for his clients. Lee has been named a Super Lawyers© Rising Star, Litigation Council of America Fellow for defense of all his corporate clients. Lee was named a 2020 Top Lawyer by Palm Beach Illustrated, is the Managing Partner of the West Palm Beach office and is the chairman of the firm’s Business Development committee.

Lee is the vice chair of the Construction Board of Appeals in his hometown and enjoys giving back to the community whenever possible. The unique spirit and culture of his community instilled a lifelong fascination with analytic thought and the psychology he employs today in litigation.
Memberships:
  • The Florida Bar
Education:
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst, B.A. Political Science (cum laude), 2001
  • Loyola University New Orleans, J.D., 2005

Scott W. Plankey

Tampa, FL
  • Telephone: 727-209-1373
Admitted
  • Florida, 2011
  • U.S. District Court, Middle and Southern Districts of Florida
Scott is the Managing Partner for the firm’s Tampa Bay office. Through the use of aggressive litigation and timely mediation, Scott has secured numerous favorable settlements for his clients in both simple and complex litigation matters. Scott has also successfully argued dispositive motions in a number of cases throughout the state of Florida that have allowed for their economical and expeditious conclusion. Additionally, Scott has been named a Super Lawyers© Rising Star for his exceptional work in civil litigation.

He has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and is a strong advocate for animal welfare.
Memberships:
  • The Florida Bar
Education:
  • The University of Georgia, B.A. International Relations, 1999
  • University of Miami School of Law, J.D., 2011

Michael Costello

Orlando, FL
  • Telephone: 407-352-4240
Admitted
  • Florida, 2011
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida
Michael’s years of hard work and relentless dedication to his clients earned him the position of Managing Attorney of the Orlando office. He has continued to obtain great results for clients through research, preparation, and attention to detail. Michael continues to successfully manage the Orlando Hightower office with great pride.

Michael is an active member of the Orlando Sport and Social Club. He has volunteered with the American Cancer Society and Habitat for Humanity.
Memberships:
  • Orange County Bar Association
Education:
  • St. Leo College, B.A., History (with honors), 2008
  • Barry University, Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law, J.D., 2011

Herb L. Uzzi

West Palm Beach, FL
  • Telephone: 561-833-2022
Admitted
  • Florida, 2014
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida
Herb began his career as a sports journalist, working as a sports reporter for the Palm Beach Post; a producer, as a host, producer, writer and reporter for ESPN Radio West Palm; and as a producer, reporter, and sports news anchor for WPTV Newschannel 5.

Seeking to fulfil a life-long passion, Herb left the sports media industry and enrolled in law school where he graduated summa cum laude and third in his class.

Herb has been a valued partner at Hightower, Stratton, Novigrod & Kantor for several years and was recently named to 2020 Top Lawyers by Palm Beach Illustrated. Herb’s litigation prowess and ability to communicate with clients earned him a promotion to a firm Partner in the West Palm Beach office, where he continues to produce exemplary results for his clients.
Education:
  • University of South Carolina, B.A. Communications, 2006
  • Nova Southeastern University, Shepard Broad Law Center, J.D., 2014

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Senior Associates


  • Alberto R. Zorrilla, Division Leader
  • Michael J. Greene, Division Leader
  • Chris M. Calihan, Division Leader
  • Tyler Hill, Division Leader
  • Joseph A. Cafaro

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Associate Attorneys


  • Nate Irvine
  • Ardalan Montazer
  • James M. DaFonte
  • C. J. Stratton
  • Haydee M. Nakash
  • Leslie Vega
  • Richard Leonardis
  • Anthony D. Elliott
  • Charles S. Thompson

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Articles

10 Commandments to Avoid Premise Liability Suits by Dale Hightower

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News & Awards

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High Profile Cases

Click here to read about our high profile cases.

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