J. Stephen Menton


J. Stephen Menton joined the law firm of Rutledge Ecenia, P.A. in April 1997 after serving as an Administrative Law Judge with the Florida Division of Administrative Hearings (DOAH) from 1988 through 1997. While at DOAH, he presided over cases involving all aspects of Florida administrative law including rule challenges, bid disputes and environmental permitting. His case assignments included administrative challenges to the Everglades SWIM Plan and challenges to the consumptive use permitting rules of the Southwest Florida Water Management District which resulted in the longest hearing in the history of DOAH. That proceeding included issues related to the authority of water management districts to establish water use restrictions and the requirements for establishment of minimum flows and levels for groundwater and surface water. He was also assigned cases involving the siting of natural gas pipelines.

Prior to his service at DOAH, Steve had extensive litigation, business and administrative law experience. He began his legal career in 1981 with a large firm in Miami where his practice focused primarily on commercial transactions, banking and real estate law. In 1984, he joined the Tallahassee office of a statewide law firm where his practice focused on administrative law, construction litigation and federal securities law litigation.

Since joining the firm, Steve has handled a variety of administrative law issues, including environmental and water use permitting. His practice has included trials and hearings in state and federal courts as well as numerous administrative hearings before DOAH, the Florida Public Service Commission, environmental permitting agencies, water management districts and several local government utility regulatory boards.

Steve received his undergraduate degree magna cum laude from Florida State University where he was selected for membership in Phi Beta Kappa. He received his law degree from Duke University and also received a Master’s Degree from the Sanford Institute of Public Policy at Duke. He has completed the training required for circuit civil mediators, has been appointed as an arbitrator to arbitration panels on insurance rate matters, and has mediated civil and administrative law cases. Steve maintains an AV rating with Martindale-Hubbell.