Michael Cavendish is a Florida lawyer based in downtown Jacksonville.

He practices as a partner with Gunster, Yoakley & Stewart, P.A.


Tel: 1.904.234.6002


Business and Commercial Litigation Construction Defect Litigation Environmental Litigation             Intellectual Property Litigation         Internal Investigation and Audit       Private Corporate Transactions             Real Property Litigation


Michael has a track record of focusing on efficiency, outcomes, and value in designing and managing client legal solutions.

He has designed, implemented, and managed value-focused client projects ranging from single-matter to portfolio, and has collaborated with experienced law clients on value-adjusted lawyer engagement models since the early 2000s. 

Drawing on his general counsel and public agency-head experience, Michael is uniquely situated to counsel clients on outcomes and improvement in legal management, legal risk avoidance, and legal rights enforcement processes.

As lead counsel in a trial or appellate team, Michael has earned distinctions, including multiple multi-million dollar plaintiff awards, and multiple zero-dollar judgments against seven-figure claims. Michael's most visible appellate result, Lee County, FL v. Goebert, 510 F.3d 1212 (11th Cir. 2007), is cited in more than 700 federal and state judicial opinions.

Michael has deep experience in arbitration and private decision-making systems for commercial disputes. He has appeared as lead counsel in over 30 AAA arbitrations under the Association's Complex Rules, and his legal writing is cited in Domke on Arbitration. 


Federal Courts

U.S. Courts of Appeal:                               D.C., 5th, 7th, 9th, and 11th Circuits

U.S. District Courts:                             Florida (Middle, Northern and Southern Districts) Illinois (Northern District), Texas (Northern and Southern Districts)

State Courts



University of Florida College of Law (J.D.)    University of Florida (M.A. Anthropology)  Florida State University (B.S. Anthropology)



Michael Cavendish has practiced law in Jacksonville, Florida since 1998. He is named annually to the U.S. News listing of the "Best Lawyers in America." 

Michael has received two awards from The Florida Bar;  the Crumbley Award for law practice management (2010), and the Sanders Award for legal writing (2000). 

Michael is the former General Counsel of the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce. 

Michael is a former Chairman of the Board of the Jacksonville Transportation Authority.  

His clients include private individuals, state agencies, municipal bodies, and corporations ranging in size from Fortune 100 market leaders to closely-held family businesses. 

Michael is a native Floridian. He received a bachelor of science degree from Florida State University (1993), and an M.A. (1995) and J.D. (1998) from the University of Florida. 

He is a contributing Fellow of the American and Florida Bar Foundations, a former board member of the Florida Humanities Council, a member of Leadership Florida, and a member of PEN American Center. 

Michael instructs other lawyers in courses of continuing legal education (CLE) and continuing professional development (CPD).

His professional writing credits have been cited within authorities such as Florida Statutes Annotated and reports of the Florida Senate, and include appearances in:

The Florida Bar Journal       The National Law Journal   The Banking Law Journal     The Bencher                       The Federal Lawyer

Michael is a former member of the Florida Bar's Rules of Civil Procedure and Rules of Judicial Administration Committees.

His legal work for clients has resulted in case citations in A.L.R., Georgetown law journals, Harvard law journals, Stanford law journals, United States Code Annotated, and various West Reporters.