JACKSONVILLE – Wayne E. Flowers, a shareholder in Lewis, Longman & Walker Jacksonville, has been named to the 2016 Super Lawyers list in the area of Environmental Law.
“The first time, it came out of the blue,” Flowers told the Florida Record about the selection. He’s actually been on the list since 2006.
“The distinction has value, but I can’t remember a client ever telling me they chose me because I was on the Super Lawyers list," he said.
The Super Lawyers list is a peer-nominated selection.
“I don’t know exactly how they solicit," Flowers said. "After I was on the list, I did begin to receive emails asking for nominations.”
The Super Lawyers website explains that the selection process combines peer nominations and evaluations by independent research. Only 5 percent of attorneys are selected to be Super Lawyers. Advertising has no effect on any part of the selection process. Super Lawyers maintains “strict separation between research and advertising” to preserve its reputation, the website states.
As an undergraduate, Flowers graduated with high honors from the University of Florida, then went on to graduate with honors from the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
Flowers didn’t start out with his eye on environmental law. He had an interest in litigation, and his first job was as an assistant state attorney under Ed Austin. This gave him litigation experience, but he knew he wanted to develop an expertise in one area. He spent 10 years as general counsel with The Water District Program.
This year, Flowers celebrates 20 years with LLW. He discussed one of his most memorable cases that was fought in federal court. The St. Joe Company had been issued a Regional General Permit (RGP) by the Corps of Engineers, which was unusual because the RGP was issued to a landowner instead of the regional or state government. The case revolved around almost 40,000 square acres in the panhandle, according to Flowers. Environmental groups challenged the issuance of the RGP under the Clean Water Act,
“The ruling could have gone either way,” Flowers said. “There were unique legal questions. The court ruled in favor of St. Joe, and then the 11th Circuit (Court of Appeals) affirmed the ruling.”
Flowers’ practice is not only about litigation in the courts. He’s represented private land owners, developers and government entities on matters related to the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, and environmental permits.
“We support the environment by working with our clients to meet the criteria to protect the environment," he said.
Flowers has also been selected as Best Lawyers in America, Environmental Law, Environmental Litigation and Water Law since 2006, and in 2013 and 2016, he was named Jacksonville Environmental Lawyer of the Year. What he enjoys the most about his practice is meeting with the experts and learning more about the science and technology.
LLW has a number of shareholders within its practice who have also been named as 2016 Super Lawyers. Anne Longman, from Tallahassee; and Terry E. Lewis, Stephen A. Walker, Michelle Diffenderfer and Alfred J. Malefatto from the West Palm Beach office were also named to the list.