Client-Recommended Attorneys, Adjusters, Experts and TPAs
Client-Recommended Attorneys, Adjusters, Experts and TPAs



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


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 2022 edition of U.S. News Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms" for Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants.


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

Client Information

Insurance Clients

Non-Insurance Clients

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

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

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 2021 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
After graduating Cum Laude from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Lee went on to attend Loyola University New Orleans School of Law. Lee received awards for creating and maintaining an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) educational resource website. He also clerked for local law firm of Tusa & Richards obtaining great results for their personal and business clients. The following summer Lee gave back to the community and worked pro bono as a legal assistant for a non-profit group in rural Western Mass that helped to create safe passage and access to the legal system for women in physically abusive relationships. Lee graduated from Loyola in May of 2005 and was admitted to the Florida Bar later that summer.

Since joining the firm, Lee has become an experienced trial attorney. Lee 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 Florida Super Lawyers©, Litigation Council of America Fellow for defense of his corporate clients in auto negligence, bodily injury, commercial property, construction defect, hospitality liability, public entities, state governments, trucking and transportation, windstorm, and workers compensation. Lee was named a 2020 & 2021 Top Lawyer by Palm Beach Illustrated. Lee is the Managing Partner of the West Palm Beach office and is the chairman of the firm's Business Development committee.
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 attended the University Of Miami School Of Law. While in law school, he worked as a legal intern for the Honorable Patricia Marino-Pedraza, the State Attorney's Office of Miami-Dade County, and the Office of the General Counsel for Vital Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Before coming to work for the firm, Scott gained valuable experience working for the Seventh District Coast Guard Office of the Judge Advocate General.

Scott is the Managing Partner for the firm's Tampa Bay office. He concentrates his practice exclusively in Florida in the areas of civil litigation including automobile negligence, construction defect, insurance defense, first-party property & windstorm, hotel & restaurant liability, negligent security, premises liability, and wrongful death.

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.

Scott is a member in good standing with the Florida Bar. He is also admitted to practice in the United States District Court for the Middle and Southern Districts of Florida. Additionally, Scott has been named a Super Lawyers© Rising Star for his exceptional work in civil litigation and has been named in the 2022 edition of Best Lawyers in America© for Insurance Law.
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
Before coming to work at Hightower, Stratton, Novigrod & Kantor, Michael gained valuable experience as an Associate Attorney specifically in the areas of Foreclosure, Landlord-Tenant, and Probate matters. Michael joined the firm and his work ethic and relationships with clients eventually led him to the position of Division Leader and now current partner of the Orlando office. He has continued to obtain great results for clients through research, preparation, and attention to detail. He practices in various areas including automobile negligence, insurance coverage issues, premises liability, property damage, and subrogation. Michael was recently selected for 2022 Best Lawyers: One’s To Watch.
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 attended the Shepard Broad Law Center at Nova Southeastern University, 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. Herb was named Top Lawyers by Palm Beach Illustrated for 2020 and 2021. His practice areas include defending nationwide corporations in automobile negligence, breach of contract, insurance coverage, negligent entrustment, negligent hiring, negligent security, negligent training, PIP defense, premises liability, subrogation, traffic defense, trucking and transportation industries. Herb's litigation prowess and outstanding communication with clients earned him a promotion to a firm Partner in the West Palm Beach office, where he continues to produce exemplary results.
Education:
  • University of South Carolina, B.A. Communications, 2006
  • Nova Southeastern University, Shepard Broad Law Center, J.D., 2014

Michael J. Greene

Orlando, FL
Admitted
  • Florida, 2013
As a partner in the Orlando office, Michael has continued to obtain great results for clients through research, preparation, and attention to detail. He practices in various areas including automobile negligence, insurance coverage issues, premises liability, property damage, and subrogation. Michael was recently selected for 2022 Best Lawyers: One's To Watch.
Education:
  • State University of New York at Buffalo, B.A., 2009
  • Barry University, Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law, J.D., 2013

Chris M. Calihan

West Palm Beach, FL
Admitted
  • Florida, 2013
Chris is a Partner in the firms West Palm Beach office and continues to fight hard to provide exemplary service and deliver excellent results to his clients through research, preparation, and attention to detail. He was named a 2021 Top Lawyer by Palm Beach Illustrated.
Education:
  • Indiana University, B.A., 1998
  • University of Miami School of Law, J.D., 2013

Joseph A. Cafaro

West Palm Beach, FL
Admitted
  • Florida, 2011
Joe possesses invaluable civil litigation experience and was selected to the 2021 SuperLawyers© Rising Stars List and recently named Partner in the West Palm Beach office.
Education:
  • New York University, B.A., 2008
  • University of Miami School of Law, J.D., 2011

Charles S. Thompson

Miami, FL

Admitted
  • Florida, 2018
Charles has invaluable experience in many crucial stages of insurance litigation, including, settlement negotiations, mediations, depositions, hearings, discovery, and motion practice.  Charles was selected to the 2021 SuperLawyers© Rising Stars List, 2022 Best Lawyers: One’s To Watch and recently selected to Partner in the Miami office.
Education:
  • Florida International University, B.A. (Dean's List), 2014
  • Florida International University College of Law, J.D., 2018
Language:
  • Spanish

Associate Attorneys


  • Michael A. Biggs
  • Ryan P. Denish
  • Jennifer A. Francisco
  • Madison M. Miller, Division Leader
  • Farhana B. Panjwani
  • Hope G.M. Pawlowski, Division Leader
  • Shawna C. Perau
  • Leslie Vega

Articles

10 Commandments to Avoid Premise Liability Suits by Dale Hightower


News & Awards


High Profile Cases

Click here to read about our high profile cases.

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