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Daniel M. Cavanaugh Partner


Daniel M. Cavanaugh, Partner

Daniel M. Cavanaugh has been a successful trial attorney for nearly 25 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 growing his 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.

He has been recognized for his trial skills as the recipient of Attorney of the Year at the State Attorney’s Office in Fort Myers. In 2022, Dan Cavanaugh is only the fourth attorney practicing in Florida to have achieved the "ACS Forensic Lawyer-Scientist Designation as recognized by the Chemistry and the Law Division of the ACS”.  Daniel M. Cavanaugh also received the highest possible rating by his peers by being rated AV Preeminent®.

Criminal Defense Experience

With nearly 25 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 Mr. 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 Victims’ 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’s “To Catch a Predator” series to make legal charging decisions in real-time. He also sat on the State Attorney’s hiring and death penalty committees.

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 is not 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.

ACS Forensic Lawyer-Scientist

Supervised Prosecutors in Five Counties


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 Victims' Unit of the State Attorney’s Office
  • 2011 -  President of the Collier County Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • 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
  • 2021 - DUI Defense Lawyers Association
  • 2022 - ACS Forensic Lawyer-Scientist Designation as recognized by the Chemistry and the Law Division of the ACS-CHAL
  • 2022 - Certificate, Forensic Chromatography: Theory and Practice
  • 2022 - Certificate, Forensic Analysis of Solid Drugs
  • 2022 - Certificate, Forensic Principles of DUID
  • 2022 - Best of Florida - Best of Legal Services, Regional, 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

Community Involvement

  • Prior Night Court Hearing Officer for Civil Matters
  • Judicial Independence Committee, Past Member
  • Thomas S. Biggs Inns of Court, Past Member
  • Mock trial coach and judge
  • Youth soccer coach

Contact Us Today

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