Daniel Cavanaugh Photo

Daniel M. Cavanaugh

  • Profile
  • Credentials
  • Community Involvement

Daniel M. Cavanaugh has been a successful trial attorney for over 20 years, during which time he has received multiple legal awards and secured countless positive results for his clients. He grew up in West Springfield, Massachusetts and moved to Naples in 1997 where he started his growing legal career. To say he has a wealth of information and experience at his disposal would be a gross understatement. As a former prosecutor and an experienced personal injury and wrongful death attorney, Mr. Cavanaugh applies these valuable skills to whichever case he is working on, be it criminal defense or otherwise.

He has been recognized for his trial skills as the recipient of Attorney of the Year at the State Attorneys Office in Fort Myers. Daniel M. Cavanaugh also received the highest possible rating by his peers by being rated AV Preeminent®.

Criminal Defense Experience

With over 20 years of quality experience in criminal law, Mr. Cavanaugh has handled cases involving virtually every crime in Florida. He prides himself on great communication with his clients because he understands the anxiety they often feel when faced with criminal charges. The criminal justice system can be complex, which is why Attorney Cavanaugh takes the time to explain each step of the process to his clients.

Prior to working as a criminal defense attorney, Mr. Cavanaugh prosecuted and supervised prosecutors in various counties. He worked in Lee County (Special Victim’s Unit) and served as Chief Assistant State Attorney in Hendry and Glades counties. He went so far as to serve as the Misdemeanor and Juvenile Chief in the Collier County State Attorney’s Office. As a prosecutor, Mr. Cavanaugh handled serious and high-profile cases, and was even featured on the Dateline NBC “To Catch a Predator” series to provide valuable commentary. He also sat on the hiring and death penalty committee and was awarded “Attorney of the Year” in 2004 out of nearly 100 highly-competitive prosecutors.

Mr. Cavanaugh has trained law enforcement in both Florida and Vermont, so he has experience with how arrests work from the other side. He was a part-time instructor at the Southwest Florida Public Service Academy, and organized quarterly training exercises to a cross-section of law enforcement at inter-agency training in both states.

Personal Injury & Wrongful Death

Mr. Cavanaugh has spent many years successfully pursuing personal injury claims including Wrongful Death, Automobile and Motorcycle Accidents, Slip and Fall, and those victimized by Sexual and Physical Abuse.

He has brought actions against individuals, corporations, and governmental entities, proving time and again that he certainly isn’t one to back down from a challenge. He will work hard to settle cases short of litigation, but welcomes the opportunity to fight in Court if insurance companies refuse to be reasonable.

His passion to help protect those most vulnerable has led Mr. Cavanaugh to pursue claims and litigation on behalf of children, as well as victims of violence and tragic circumstances.

Honors & Activities

  • 2004 – Attorney of the Year, Office of the State Attorney, Twentieth Judicial Circuit
  • 2004 – Trial Team Award, Office of the State Attorney, Twentieth Judicial Circuit
  • 2005 – Recognized by Governor Jeb Bush and Florida Statewide Guardian ad Litem Program for Outstanding Community Advocacy for Abused and Neglected Children and the Guardian ad Litem Program, with five members of the Special Victim’s Unit of the State Attorney’s Office
  • 2011 – Recognized as a “Top Lawyer” by Gulfshore Life Magazine
  • 2011 to current – Received the highest possible rating by his peers by being rated AV Preeminent®
  • 2018 – Received “10 Best” Attorneys by American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys™
  • 2019 - Received an Award from Naples Illustrated Top Lawyers award for criminal defense


  • 2011 – Character Evidence in Civil and Criminal Cases, Collier County Bar Association, Adverse Witness, June 2011
  • 2016 – Criminal Justice Reform, VTDigger, January 2016
  • 2016 – Acknowledging Victims is Just the Beginning, The Times-Argus, April 2016
  • Associates in Science from Springfield Technical Community College High School
  • Bachelor in Science from Springfield College Graduate School
  • Juris Doctor from Oklahoma City University University
Community Involvement
  • Prior Night Court Hearing Officer for civil matters, Lee County, Florida
  • Past member, Judicial Independence Committee
  • Thomas S. Biggs Inns of Court
  • Mock trial coach and judge
  • Youth soccer coach

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