Robert M. Eschenfelder
Call: (727) 733-0494
- Local government law and related litigation
- Labor and employment law
- Public procurement and transactional law
- Appellate practice
- United States Supreme Court
- United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
- United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida
- Florida State Courts
Background & Experience
Robert M. Eschenfelder is a Board Certified lawyer in city, county and local government law. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Eschenfelder served as Assistant City Attorney for the City of St. Petersburg, Assistant, Deputy and Chief Assistant County Attorney for Manatee County, Special Magistrate for the City of Bradenton Beach, and Associate General Counsel for the Florida Gulf Coast University. He has also held a variety of appointive governmental positions including the St. Petersburg Planning Commission, the Pinellas Park Board of Adjustment, and hearing officer for the St. Petersburg Community Affairs Department.
Rob has been extensively involved in the greater Tampa Bay area community over the years, including service as a founder and president of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Florida Suncoast Affiliate, Inc., vice president of Pinellas Cares, Inc. (now 211 Tampa Bay Cares, Inc.), president of the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club, Inc., member of the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Governors, and chairperson of the Leadership St. Pete Alumni Assn, Inc. He is a graduate of the Leadership St. Pete and Leadership Manatee programs, and is a past member of the Leadership St. Pete Planning Committee. Rob has also served as a volunteer Guardian ad Litem for the 6th Judicial Circuit GAL Program.
Rob is a frequent presenter at Florida Bar CLE and other educational programs on labor and employment, Sunshine/ethics/records, and other local government law topics. His Bar service and leadership includes:
Florida Bar Journal Editorial Board (2020-current)
Florida Bar Labor & Employment Section Executive Council (2011 – current) Section Bar Journal Articles Editor (2012 – current)
Florida Bar Governmental & Public Policy Advocacy Committee (2016-2019)
Florida Bar Special Committee on Parental Leave in Court Actions (Chair 2016-2017)
Manatee County Bar Association Board of Directors (2012-2017)(President 2015/2016)
Fla. Bar Rules of Judicial Administration Committee Executive Committee (2012-18)
Florida Board of Bar Examiners (Exam Proctor periodically from 2007 through 2012)
Florida Bar Student Education & Bar Admissions Committee (2003-06) (Chair 2006-2007)
Florida Bar Rules of Judicial Administration Select Committee on E Service Rule (2009/10)
Florida Bar Code & Rules of Evidence Committee (2006 – 2012) (Chair 2011 – 2012)
Rob’s experience in state-level policy development includes being a member of the Florida Communications Service Tax Legislative Workgroup which drafted Florida’s statutes on the Communications Services Tax), the Florida Bar Rules of Judicial Administration Select Committee on E Service Rule (which drafted the state’s first court rule on e-service of court documents), and the Florida Bar Special Committee on Parental Leave in Court Actions (which he chaired and which drafted the state’s first court rule addressing parental leave for attorneys in litigation cases). Rob’s lobbying and policy development work for local government includes working with legislators to create records exemptions for public employees participating in Employee Assistance Programs, clarifying local government’s liability limits for government volunteers, membership in the legislative workgroup which drafted statewide cable television regulations, and, most recently, being a primary initial author of a bill to substantially overhaul Florida law on dangerous dogs which became Chapter Law 2016-16 after unanimous passage in the Florida House and Senate.
- Florida Bar Association
- Local Government Law Section
- Labor and Employment Law Section
- Clearwater Bar Association
- Thomas University School of Law, J.D.
- South Florida of University, B.S.
- Petersburg College, A.A.
- Florida Trial Objections, Chapter 13 of Evidence in Florida, 8th through 11th Lexis Publishing 2011, 2012, 2014, 2018
- Scientia Sit Potential: Is the Education Department’s Newest Financial Responsibility Reporting Rule a Source of Powerful Knowledge or a Bureaucratic Mess?, Vol. 94, No. 1 Florida Bar Journal (January 2020)
- When is a Public Official Entitled to Prevailing Party Attorneys’ Fee Reimbursement in Public Records Act Cases? (Parts I & II), Volume 91, Nos. 5 & 6 Florida Bar Journal 31 & 47 (May & June 2017)
- Padi-Waggin: The Tail of One Dog’s Journey from Death Row to Legislative Inspiration for Dog Bite Due Process, Vol. 91, No. 1 Florida Bar Journal 36 (January 2017)
- Me, Myself, and I: Does Florida’s Sunshine Law Apply to Communications of a Lone Member of a Board or Commission?, Vol. 88, No. 9 Florida Bar Journal 48 (November 2014)
- Modern Sunshine: Attending Public Meetings in the Digital Age, Vol. 84, No. 4 Florida Bar Journal 28 (April 2010)
- Florida’s Single Subject Requirement: The Crumbling Foundations of a Constitutional Protection, 5 Stetson Law Journal 45 (w/ Tom Marks, J.D.) (Spring 1994)