Derek Rooney practices in the areas of land use law and local government law and is a Board Certified Attorney in City, County and Local Government law. Derek represents private and government clients on questions of general municipal law, land use, and public-private partnerships.
Derek currently serves as counsel to the City of Bonita Springs, the City of LaBelle, the Charlotte County Industrial Development Authority, the Lee County Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida, and as special counsel to a number of other local government entities. He previously served as counsel to the Charlotte County–Punta Gorda Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Village of Estero, the Town of Fort Myers Beach, the City of Marco Island, and Charlotte County.
Derek has a multi-disciplinary practice involving land use law, real estate and land development, environmental law, municipal finance, and economic development.
While he has represented clients throughout the state, Derek focuses on the needs of Southwest Florida and primarily practices in Charlotte, Collier, Desoto, Glades, Hendry, Lee, Manatee, and Sarasota counties. As a litigator, Derek concentrates on prosecuting and defending land use decisions before Florida courts, the Division of Administrative Hearings, and a variety of state and local bodies. He also has extensive experience with claims under the Bert J. Harris, Jr., Private Property Rights Protection Act.
- Best Lawyers in America, 2018-2023
- Lawyer of the Year, Land Use and Zoning Law, 2023
- Environmental Law
- Land Use and Zoning Law
- Naples Illustrated, Top Lawyers, 2019, 2020
- “Florida Case Law for Planners: Six Court Opinions that won’t Appear on the AICP Exam” and “Avoiding Legal Crises: City/County Attorneys’ Tips on How to Keep Your Bosses (and You) out of Legal Trouble,” American Planning Association, Florida Chapter – Promised Lands Section, Planners in Peril! Symposium, Bonita Springs, Florida, December 6, 2019
- “First Amendment Auditors: Citizen Oversight or Harassment?” Florida Association of County Attorneys Conference, Orlando, Florida, June 12, 2019
- “Discover Your Enterprise: Getting Started as a Solo Practitioner,” Ave Maria School of Law, Naples, Florida, August 17, 2018
- "Land Use Issues in Golf Course Redevelopment," The Florida Bar’s Environmental and Land Use Law Sections "New, Different, Unusual, and Uncertain – Environmental and Land Use Law Issues Facing All Floridians" Conference, Orlando, Florida, January 29, 2016
- "Understanding Riparian and Water Rights," Determining Land Ownership and Access Rights Seminar, HalfMoon Education, Inc., Fort Myers, Florida, June 12, 2015
- "Who Participates in a Land Use Hearing," The Promise Lands of the American Planning Association (APA)'s Land Use Symposium, Port Charlotte, Florida, May 8, 2015
- "The Cast of Thousands," Relevance of Testimony and the Standard of Review in Quasi-Judicial Hearings, The Promise Lands of the American Planning Association Land Use Symposium, Cape Coral, Florida, May 16, 2014
- "Nollan and Dolan II, Burden of Proof," The American Planning Association’s National Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, April 28, 2014
- The Florida Bar
- Board Certified in City, County and Local Government Law since 2012
- City, County and Local Government Law Section
- Environmental and Land Use Law Section
- City, County and Local Government Law Certification Standing Committee, 2017-2023
- Military Affairs Standing Committee, 2016-2019
- Florida Municipal Attorneys Association, Member
- Punta Gorda Charter Review Committee, 2021-2022
- Punta Gorda Utility Advisory Board, 2021-current
- Charlotte County Economic Development Partnership, Secretary
- Charlotte County Manatee Advisory Committee
- Tiger Bay Club of Southwest Florida, Treasurer
- Charlotte County Law Library, Board of Trustees
- J.D., American University Washington College of Law, 2006
- B.A., Florida International University, 2002
- District of Columbia