Phone: 239.362.3670


Member, Florida Bar; Member, Vermont Bar; Licensed Federally, U.S. Middle District of Florida; Member, American Immigration Lawyers Association “AILA”; Member, Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers “FACDL,” renewed. Juris Doctor from Oklahoma City University; Board memberships: Southwest Florida Children’s Advocacy Center, resigned (April 2009).


Daniel M. Cavanaugh has been a successful trial attorney for over 20 years. He grew up in West Springfield, Massachusetts and moved to Naples Florida in 1997 where he started his legal career as an Assistant State Attorney.  As an Assistant State Attorney in Florida and then Vermont for a total of ten years, he was recognized for his trial skills as the recipient of multiple awards, including Attorney of the Year.  Mr. Cavanaugh has lectured throughout the State of Florida and Vermont to law enforcement officers and prosecutors; he has authored numerous articles; and created a mental health diversion program while a prosecutor in Vermont. Mr. Cavanaugh moved on to private practice to dedicate his skills to representing personal injury victims and those facing criminal charges and other difficult circumstances. Mr. Cavanaugh  received Martindale-Hubbell’s revered “AV” rating, which recognizes lawyers with the highest ethical standards and professional ability. Based on the recommendations of his peers, Mr. Cavanaugh’s “AV” rating shows he is respected with having the highest level of professional distinction.  Mr. Cavanaugh believes in working tirelessly to see that his clients receive justice through the legal system, regardless of their circumstances. Let Mr. Cavanaugh help you with his experience and knowledge when you need it most.


Mr. Cavanaugh has spent many years successfully pursuing claims for victims of personal injury cases including Wrongful Death, Slip and Fall, Sexual Abuse Victims, Automobile and Motorcycle Accidents and more. He has pursued actions against numerous private parties and insurance companies.

His passion to help and protect children has led him to bringing actions against government entities including local school boards.

Mr. Cavanaugh will be available to review your case, and if accepted he will personally guide you through the process.


Mr. Cavanaugh has experience in Immigration Court where he handles Cancellations, Asylum Petitions, Prosecutorial Discretion, Withholding of Removal and Special Immigrant Juvenile Visas. Through hard work and persuasion, he is committed to providing the high quality and unparalleled representation his clients deserve.

Mr. Cavanaugh handles cases in Miami and Orlando Immigration Court and the Krome Immigration detention facility.

Mr. Cavanaugh has been closely reviewing all changes with immigration law following the presidential election including the revocation of the “wet foot, dry foot” policy. Understanding the changes will help determine the best strategies for his clients.


Mr. Cavanaugh is an experienced, hardworking criminal defense attorney who is committed to providing exceptional service to those charged with crimes. He is very familiar with the criminal justice system as he has excelled as a criminal trial attorney, practicing approximately 10 years as a prosecutor and 10 years as criminal defense attorney.

He recently returned from Washington County, Vermont where he served as Chief Deputy State Attorney handling all types of criminal cases while providing leadership and training for prosecutors in the office and law enforcement in the community. Mr. Cavanaugh has recognized the need for alternatives to traditional punishment. In Vermont, he established a mental health diversion program and represented the state in Drug Treatment Court. He also authored an article on Criminal Justice Reform.

Mr. Cavanaugh has also prosecuted in Lee County (Special Victim’s Unit) and served as Chief Assistant State Attorney in Hendry and Glades counties. He was the Misdemeanor and Juvenile Chief in the Collier County State Attorney’s Office. As a prosecutor, Mr. Cavanaugh handled serious and high profile cases including being featured on the Dateline NBC “To Catch a Predator” series. He also sat on the hiring and death penalty committee.

He has trained prosecutors and law enforcement in both Florida and Vermont. Specifically, he was a part-time instructor at the Southwest Florida Public Service Academy and organized and presented quarterly trainings to a cross section of law enforcement at inter-agency trainings in both states.

Mr. Cavanaugh uses the knowledge he has gained as a prosecutor to be an informed and effective criminal defense attorney. He takes his role as an advocate of those accused very seriously. He will not allow the government to take advantage of anyone.

Mr. Cavanaugh has provided leadership as a criminal defense attorney. He is past president of the Collier County Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys.


  • 2011 to current – Received the highest possible rating by his peers by being rated AV Preeminent®
  • 2011 – Recognized as a “Top Lawyer” by Gulfshore Life Magazine
  • 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
  • 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


  • 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


  • 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