R. Duke Woodson

Retired Partner


Duke Woodson, retired partner with Foley & Lardner LLP, represented business and governmental clients throughout the state in real estate development matters. He handled all aspects of real estate development, including purchase and sale, land use and zoning, permitting, and environmental issues.

His governmental clients have included the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, the Lee County Port Authority, the City of Ocoee, the City of Casselberry and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Conservation Service. Non-governmental clients have included major agricultural interests such as Heller Bros., A. Duda & Sons, Pacific Tomato Growers, and Pacific Land Co.; residential developers such as The Viera Company, M.L. Carter & Associates, and Alliance Residential; and commercial developers such as CSX. Non-profit clients have included Audubon, the Nature Conservancy, and The Friends of the Wekiva River. He regularly appeared before the St. Johns, South Florida, and Southwest Districts on permitting matters for governmental as well as non-governmental clients.

His airport experience has included permitting new runways and terminals in Orlando and Fort Myers, and all aspects of Federal Aviation Administration regulation including noise and height restrictions. His work for CSX has included land use approves for an intermodal terminal and associated development in Winter Haven.

A significant portion of Mr. Woodson's practice involved the sale of environmentally sensitive lands to government. These sales were on behalf of private clients and involve traditional real estate transactional work, as well as a governmental component in working with Water Management District, FDEP staff and local government on acquisition issues. He has represented clients in the sale and purchase of over 85,000 acres of land with a value exceeding two hundred million dollars.

While on the faculty at the University of Florida College of Law's Center for Governmental Responsibility, Mr. Woodson served as legal counsel to the Florida Constitution Revision Commission. He also served as head of the Regulatory Program at the St. Johns River Water Management District for five years.

Mr. Woodson has practiced law in Florida since receiving his J.D. degree from the University of Florida in 1975. He holds undergraduate and master's degrees in civil engineering from Auburn University, with a particular focus on water chemistry and microbiology.

Mr. Woodson has been Peer Review Rated as AV® Preeminent™, the highest performance rating in Martindale-Hubbell's peer review rating system and has been listed in Best Lawyers in America® (since 2005) and Chambers USA: America’s Leading Business Lawyers (2005-13). His most recent Best Lawyers designations were in administrative law, environmental law, government relations law, land use & zoning law, and real estate law, and in 2013 he was named Best Lawyers in America® Orlando Government Relations Practice Lawyer of the Year. In 2011, the Legal 500 recognized Mr. Woodson for his work in real estate and from 2005 - 2009, he was recognized as one of Florida’s Legal Elite™ by Florida Trend magazine. In addition, he was selected for inclusion in the Florida Super Lawyers® lists in 2006 - 2014.