Firm News and Awards


Partners Welcomed Into the Litigation Counsel of America

Daniel Novigrod, Christopher Stratton, and Lee Kantor of Hightower, Stratton, Novigrod & Kantor have been formally welcomed into Fellowship by the Litigation Counsel of America (LCA).

The Litigation Counsel of America is a trial lawyer honorary society composed of less than one-half of one percent of American lawyers. Fellowship in the LCA is highly selective and by invitation only. Fellows are selected based upon evaluations of excellence, effectiveness and accomplishment in litigation, and superior ethical reputation. The LCA seeks a high level of diversity in its composition and is dedicated to promoting superior advocacy, professionalism and ethical standards among its Fellows. Established as a trial and appellate lawyer honorary society reflecting the American bar in the twenty-first century, the LCA represents the best in law among its membership.

Ranked Among Florida’s Best.

Recognized as a Top Law Firm in the State.


Hightower, Stratton, Novigrod & Kantor is proud to announce our firm’s ranking(s) in the 2019 Edition of “Best Law Firms” by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers for Personal Injury Litigation—Defendants.

The U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys in their field, and review of additional information provided by law firms as part of the formal submission process. To be eligible for a ranking in a particular practice area and metro region, a law firm must have at least one lawyer who is included in Best Lawyers in that particular practice area and metro.

Firm Partner Dan Novigrod Named Legal Elite

Florida Trend magazine has awarded their prestigious Legal Elite® award to one of our very own partners, Daniel Novigrod. Dan was voted by his peers for this honor and the award is given to those who stand-out in the legal field-not only by the weight of their achievements, but also to those who embody good ethics and hard-work. Congratulations, Dan!

 Dale has also been named Senior Fellow by the Litigation Counsel of America! The LCA is a national trial lawyer honorary society composed of less than one-half of one percent of American lawyers. Fellowship in the LCA is highly selective and by invitation only. Fellows are selected based upon excellence and accomplishment in litigation, both at the trial and appellate levels, and superior ethical reputation. Senior Fellow status is reserved for advanced commitment to and support of the LCA, Diversity of Law Institute and the Trial Law Institute. The status as a Senior Fellow is a permanent designation.

Congratulations, Dale for achieving this milestone!


Congratulations on being recognized as one of the


2019 Top Rated AV Preeminent Lawyers!

The Martindale – Hubbell ® Peer Review Ratings ™ are an objective indicator of a lawyer’s high ethical standards and professional ability, generated from evaluations of lawyers by other members of the bat and the judiciary in the United States. AV Preeminent is the highest rating given to attorneys. We are honored to have our founding partner Dale R. Hightower be recognized for his excellent knowledge of the law and experience.

Best Lawyers Logo Dale R. Hightower

Hightower, Stratton, Novigrod & Kantor is proud to announce that Dale Hightower was recently selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America(r) 2020 in the area of Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants. This is Dale’s 8th consecutive year.

Best Lawyers is the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. A listing in Best Lawyers is widely regarded by both clients and legal professionals as a significant honor, conferred on a lawyer by his or her peers. For more than three decades, Best Lawyers lists have earned the respect of the profession, the media, and the public, as the most reliable, unbiased source of legal referrals anywhere.

Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers(r) has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers lists are compiled based on a rigorous peer-review evaluation and highlights the top 5% practicing attorneys in the US. There is no fee for this listing; therefore it is this award demonstrates Dale’s battle-tested courtroom experience and unequaled success rate amongst Florida lawyers. Congratulations, Dale!


Dale Hightower

Daniel M. Novigrod

Lee A. Kantor

We are pleased to announce that Dale Hightower and Daniel Novigrod have been named “Super Lawyers”. Also Lee Kantor has been named “Super Lawyers Rising Stars”. Congratulations gentlemen!

Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. This selection process includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.

Tampa Bay Magazine Screenshot


The July/August 2010 issue of Tampa Bay Magazine has named Dale R. Hightower one of the Top Lawyers serving Tampa Bay. The selection process was based on peer review ratings as compiled by LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell. Our Tampa Bay office is located in St. Petersburg, Florida and is managed by Scott W. Plankey.

JUNE 2010 – Premises liability defense verdict


Palm Beach County Circuit Court Case No. 2009-CA-023590 – The Honorable Edward Garrison presided.

Tried: June 21-23, 2010
Defense Attorneys for Maggiano’s Little Italy:

The 81 year-old Plaintiff was a customer at Defendant restaurant and tripped over an alleged “kink” in the edge on an area rug on the floor. Plaintiff argued that Defendant previously had “gorilla taped” the corners of the area rug and therefore had knowledge that it could “kink” or not lay flat. Plaintiff’s husband testified he saw Plaintiff’s foot under the rug after she fell, therefore proving she tripped on the carpet and did not just lose her balance.

Plaintiff was taken to the hospital and x-rays revealed complex fracture of the proximal humerus. Plaintiff later had an MRI which showed a rotator cuff tear, which resulted in surgery. Plaintiff’s orthopedic surgeon testified that she had serious disability in her dominant arm and had a permanent injury.

Defense argued that there was no direct evidence that the alleged “kink” is what Plaintiff tripped on and that “kink” was not a dangerous, but rather ordinary condition of a rug.

Plaintiff asked the Jury to award $450,000. Plaintiff’s lowest demand before trial was $125,000.

DEFENSE VERDICT in 35 minutes



Lee A. Kantor, Esq. obtained a great result in a huge negligent security case where the Plaintiff asked the Jury to award $2 million, but the Jury returned a net verdict of only $34,700 (case was settled for confidential amount by insurance carrier right before the verdict was announced). See below for details.


Firm founder, Dale R. Hightower, Esq. has been invited to be a speaker by the National Business Institute at an upcoming legal seminar in Miami. Mr. Hightower will be sharing his expertise and teaching other attorneys how to improve their witness deposition strategies. Mr. Hightower is a well known lecturer at continuing legal education presentations in Florida and this is the eighth time he has been invited to speak in the last 10 years by various prestigious organizations.

Contact Dale at to schedule a free accredited seminar with your organization.

April 2010 – West Palm Beach Jury Trials

Anthony Deluca v. Driftwood Ventures /Bahamas Casino and Resort

Palm Beach Circuit Court Case No. 03-01843 CA – The honorable Joseph Marx presided.

Tried: April 5-6, 2010
Defense Attorneys for Bahamas Casino:

Negligent Security/Hotel Room Invasion:

Four fractured ribs, collapsed lung, fractured wrist, TMJ injury, and alleged brain damage.
The Plaintiff was a guest at the Defendant’s hotel and casino. Plaintiff returned to his room with his friend after big wins in the casino. A few hours later there was a knock at the door, the Plaintiff’s friend opened the door and three men burst into the room and robbed and assaulted them. Plaintiff was severely beaten and had to be transported by helicopter from the Bahamas to Miami for emergency treatment as he was in critical condition Plaintiff suffered broken ribs, collapsed lung, fractured wrist, TMJ injury and alleged brain injury Plaintiff also claimed a loss of $100,000 in jewelry and $25,000 in cash.
The Plaintiff’s medical bills totaled almost $70,000. Case was divided into two trials – one for liability and another one for damages. Previous liability trial resulted in Plaintiff being 30% liable, Plaintiff’s friend 50% liable, and hotel 20% liable. In this damage trial Plaintiff asked jury to award $2 million dollars.

VERDICT: Jury returned “advisory verdict” after case had settled. Gross award was $173,640 resulting in a net award of $34,728. (20% of $173,640)


The 2010 South Florida Legal Guide has again named Dale R. Hightower as one of Florida’s top attorneys according to his fellow attorneys and editors of the magazine. We are pleased to announce that he has received this award for four years straight.

South Florida Legal Guide, 10th AnniversaryDale R. Hightower


We are always looking at different methods to help improve the flow of business between our attorneys and its business partners. Since we value modern technology such as e-mail, we are pleased to announce that all of our four locations have been equipped with Video-Conferencing capabilities.


Dale Hightower successfully defended one of South Beach’s largest and most popular nightclubs from a lawsuit brought by a patron who fell off a dance platform and severely injured his knee. The Plaintiff was employed at Joe’s Stone Crab, another South Beach institution, and claimed over $100,000 in past and future medical expenses for knee surgery and physical therapy. The Plaintiff asked the jury to award over a half million dollars!


Our firm has been asked to represent many of South Beach’s world-famous hotels, restaurants, and nightclubs over the years due to our expertise in Premises Liability litigation.

Crobar - New York | Chicago | Miami


In recognition and celebration of 10 years of its representation of Burger King Corporation, we were invited to present an accredited presentation at its worldwide headquarters.

The firm sent a specialized restaurant attorney from each office location (Tampa Bay, Orlando, Palm Beach and Miami) to attend this event. The three-hour PowerPoint seminar covered all topics of Risk Management in the restaurant industry. The presentation included Pre-Suit strategies for Successful Defense and Corporate Trial Strategies for Defense Verdicts.



Six of the firm’s attorneys traveled to Jacksonville to educate an audience of approximately 40 claims professionals at FIGA. The show went on for half the day covering a wide range of topics such as Slip and Fall, Trip and Fall, Property Claims, Toxic Mold Exposures, and Pre-Suit and In-Suit Considerations. After the presentation, the audience gave speakers Christopher S. Stratton and Dale R. Hightower a “two-thumbs up” for educational content and showmanship. The adjusters received three hours of credits from the state of Florida for attending the firm’s presentation.



South Florida Legal Guide - 2009 Dale R. Hightower

Dale has been trying cases from Tallahassee to Key West for 27 years and has a 80 percent success rate in over 200 jury trials statewide. He still tries 80 percent of the firm’s cases and is corporate America’s “go-to” trial lawyer when big cases need aggressive defense.