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Steven C. Hartsell

Florida Bar Board Certified in Condominium and Planned Development Law

After a long and wonderful career with Pavese Law Firm, Steven C. Hartsell has retired but serves as Of Counsel to the firm. He graduated from Dickinson College (B.A., 1975) and Florida State University College of Law, (J.D., 1980) and was a member of the FSU Law Review. He was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1980.

After serving in the Public Defenders Office and then in the County Attorney’s Office, Mr. Hartsell joined Pavese Law Firm in 1986.

Mr. Hartsell concentrates his practice in zoning, land use and development law as well as local government administrative law matters, representing clients in administrative matters before city and county commissions, councils and boards in hearings throughout Southwest Florida. His practice also includes representation in comprehensive plan amendments, developments of regional impact and code enforcement matters, and he has served in cases as a Florida Land Use and Environmental Dispute Resolution Act Special Magistrate.

Mr. Hartsell is Florida Bar Board Certified in Condominium and Planned Development Law and has achieved the AV® Preeminent™ rating for legal ability and ethics from Martindale-Hubbell. He has been selected to the list of Florida Super Lawyers for 2022-2023. He has also been selected to the Best Lawyers in America for his practice area in Land Use and Zoning and was recognized as the 2022 Fort Myers Land Use and Zoning “Lawyer of the Year.”  Only a single lawyer in each practice area and community is honored with a “Lawyer of the Year” award.

He was the contributing author of Chapter 120: Dedications, in the Matthew Bender treatise Florida Real Estate Transactions (1989, and updated in 1995). Mr. Hartsell is a Past President of the Real Estate Investment Society, a member the Lee County Bar Association, and Past Chair of the Southwest Florida District Council of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) (2015-2017). He has served in the past as the Chairman of the Florida Bar 20th Judicial Circuit Grievance Committee 20D, and taught Real Estate Licensure Law as an adjunct professor at Florida Gulf Coast University from 2011-2014. Mr. Hartsell is also an active member in his church, First Assembly of God of Fort Myers, as a Sunday School teacher, and volunteers as Legal Advisor to the Church Council.

Practice Areas

  • Environmental & Water
  • Land Use, Zoning & Local Government
  • Real Estate

Admitted to Practice

  • The Florida Bar
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida


  • Florida State University College of Law, J.D.
  • Dickinson College, B.A.

Bar and Professional Association Memberships

  • The Florida Bar
  • Lee County Bar Association
  • Real Estate Investment Society, Past President
  • Urban land Institute (ULI), Past Chair of the Southwest Florida District Council

Awards & Recognition

  • Best Lawyers in America®, Land Use & Zoning (Lawyer of the Year 2022)
  • Florida Super Lawyers in the Land Use/Zoning Edition
  • Naples Illustrated Top Lawyer
  • AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating, Martindale-Hubbell