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Steven Diebenow

Steven Diebenow

Real Estate Law and Local Government Lawyer
Driver, McAfee, Hawthorne & Diebenow, PLLC
Jacksonville, FL
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About Steven Diebenow

Attorney Biography

Mr. Diebenow, a partner with Driver, McAfee, Hawthorne & Diebenow, focuses on general business, real estate, land use, government relations and zoning law. As a registered lobbyist across a wide range of issues, Mr. Diebenow represents individuals, corporations, landowners and developers to secure business and development incentives as well as entitlements including land use, zoning, concurrency and mobility fee approvals. A partner in the firm, he also provides legal counsel in real estate transactions including the acquisition, entitlement, financing, and development of all types of commercial and residential properties.

Mr. Diebenow began his professional career on the legislative staff of U.S. Senator Bob Graham in Washington, D.C., for the 104th Congress. He went on to practice land use, zoning and environmental law at Rogers, Towers, Bailey, Jones & Gay, P.A., where he became a partner in 2003. Mr. Diebenow served as counsel to John Peyton in his successful campaign for mayor of Jacksonville in 2003 and subsequently served on Mayor Peyton's staff, first as Chief of Policy and Planning and then as Chief of Staff in 2005. He directed the day-to-day operations of the Mayor’s Office; helped form and implement the mayor's agenda at the local, state and federal levels; vetted and made recommendations for appointments to all 60 city volunteer boards and commissions; and served as the mayor's primary counselor.

At the Mayor's direction, Mr. Diebenow also led special projects such as: negotiating economic development incentive agreements and workouts; acquisition, disposition and redevelopment of properties involving local, state and federal agencies; and the attempted reconversion of a military airbase during the federal BRAC process. He negotiated operating budgets with elected constitutional officers, including the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office four-year officer expansion funding plan; worked with the JTA to reprioritize the $1.5 billion Better Jacksonville Plan overpass/road program; negotiated collective bargaining agreements with all 11 city bargaining units; negotiated, drafted and implemented the Jacksonville Small and Emerging Business (JSEB) purchasing program; and twice negotiated the extension of the Florida-Georgia college football game lease agreement. In addition, as a volunteer, Mr. Diebenow negotiated city pension reform solutions that would have avoided $1 billion in future costs.

After leaving the Mayor's Office in 2008, Mr. Diebenow was named a principal at Rock Creek Capital, an alternative asset investment and management firm that has invested in land and timber for 20 years. He was primarily responsible for identifying, negotiating and structuring real estate investments, and he served as the primary marketing contact and developed extensive relationships with numerous family offices, foundations, endowments, and pension plans.

Mr. Diebenow received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Florida in 1991 and a Juris Doctorate degree, with honors, from the University of Florida in 1994. He was admitted to the Florida Bar and the Washington, D.C. Bar in 1995.

Practice Areas

Real Estate Law (44%)
Local Government Law (19%)
Commercial Real Estate Law (13%)
Administrative Law (12%)
Environmental Law (12%)

Résumé - Steven Diebenow

Bar Licenses

Florida State Bar
Member in Good Standing

Work Experience

Driver, McAfee, Hawthorne & Diebenow, PLLC
Driver, McAfee, Hawthorne & Diebenow, PLLC
Driver, McAfee, Peek & Hawthorne (Partner)

Rock Creek Capital (Principal)

City of Jacksonville (Chief of Staff, Mayor John Peyton)

City of Jacksonville (Chief of Policy & Planning, Mayor John Peyton)

Rogers Towers, P.A. (Partner)

U.S. Senate (Staff Assistant, Senator Bob Gramham, D-FL)

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University of Florida Levin College of Law
University of Florida Levin College of Law
Juris Doctor

University of Florida
Bachelor of Science

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Jacksonville Bar Association
Jacksonville Bar Association

Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce

National Association of Industrial and Office Properties

Northeast Florida Builders Association

American Bar Association

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Awards & Honors

40 Under 40
Jacksonville Business Journal

Commercial Recognitions

Best Lawyers

Best Lawyers

AV Preeminent Rated
Martindale Hubbell

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Attorney Endorsements

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Contact Steven Diebenow

Steven Diebenow
Driver, McAfee, Hawthorne & Diebenow, PLLC
One Independent Drive Suite 1200
Jacksonville, FL 32202
Office: 904-301-1269
Fax: 904-301-1279
Cell: 904-982-4425

Online Profiles

More Information

Bar Membership Information

Membership with The Florida Bar -

Steven Diebenow - Membership information with The Florida Bar - Find more information about Steven Diebenow on The Florida Bar website including the attorney's current membership classification, eligibility status and ten year discipline history, if any. Check the Florida bar website to make sure the attorney is a member in good standing with the Florida Bar and currently licensed to practice law in Florida.