Benjamin Hill III On the Challenges Facing Florida

We interviewed Benjamin Hill III in our 2011 issue of Florida Super Lawyers & Rising Stars. A commercial litigator at Hill Ward Henderson in Tampa, Hill has also built a strong professional-liability defense practice. Here is his previously unpublished comment on what he sees as Florida's major challenge in the coming decade:

"Florida is a rapidly growing state and will continue to grow; its natural resources are limited and its ability to deal with the growth is limited. The biggest challenge is to find a way to accommodate the growth so that we don't compromise probably our greatest natural resource, and that is the land on which we live: the water that surrounds Florida, the beautiful ranches, the beautiful wetlands. We just simply cannot compromise that, and I think that probably is the single biggest challenge ... How do you accommodate growth without compromising the many good qualities that people pursue when they come to Florida? It's going to be that way as long as we have an abundance of sunshine and they get two feet of snow every two weeks in New York and Chicago. They're going to keep coming here, and they're all welcome. It's just we've got to learn how to deal with it. We have a shortage of fresh water; we have tremendous traffic problems, road problems, generation of electricity ... Every problem that a major metropolitan area has, Florida has in truckloads. It's a very serious matter ... It spills over to the legal profession [which] is quite large in Florida: We have almost 80,000 lawyers. When you have that kind of growth, a lot of it is good, but just because of the numbers, you seem to have more problems ... And so, dealing with those problems is going to be a challenge."