Michael Robert Cavendish

Michael Robert Cavendish
Michael Robert Cavendish

Legal Ethics Writer/Theorist
Michael Cavendish
Born 1972
Residence Jacksonville, Florida, United States
Citizenship American
Nationality American
Fields Legal Ethics
Legal Writer
Institutions University of Florida
Florida State University
American Inns of Court

Michael Robert Cavendish (b. 1972-) (canonical name Michael Cavendish) is a lawyer and legal writer living in the State of Florida.

Cavendish has published works on substantive law, legal history, legal ethics theory, and microjurisprudence, a concept related to the microlaw concept developed by W. Michael Reisman.


Anthropological Influences

Cavendish took two degrees in Anthropology prior to studying law, studying at the University of Florida from 1993 to 1995 under theorists Marvin Harris and Paul Magnarella. Cavendish's influence and contributions to the emerging fields of microlaw and microjurisprudence owe a great deal to interests developed during this experience.[1]

Human Rights Law

Cavendish served as lead appellate counsel for the imprisoned petitioner in the widely-reported prisoner rights case of Goebert v. Lee County, Florida, 510 F.3d 1312 (11th Cir. 2007), a case assigned to Cavendish by the Hon. Gerald Bard Tjoflat of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Cavendish thereafter served as the inaugural Chair of the Section of Human Rights Law of the Jacksonville (FL) Bar Association. Cavendish has served as a pro bono assistant public defender to the Jacksonville, Florida public defender’s office. As a practicing legal advocate, he has been reported on by Business Week and Florida Trend.

In 2010, Cavendish joined with former President Jimmy Carter to lead the grassroots campaign to free American teacher Aijalon Gomes from North Korea.[2]


Key Concepts

Cavendish is recognized[3] for advocating the examination of the un-labeled components or sub-parts of existing legal concepts. Examples of this are found in Coeur du Feu / Fireheart in the essay The Astronomers, which advocates a shift in focus in general jurisprudential analysis toward smaller portions of concepts like reasonableness, in Orange Blossom Jurisprudence, a book concerned with Florida law, in the essay Renovating Azam, which advocates the wholesale replacement of the Florida common law test for the concept of real estate fraud with a new set of criteria focused on smaller, more refined the sub-parts of concepts such as knowledge, intent, and leverage, and in the legal historical essay The Ius and the Lex, which argues there were components of Abraham Lincoln’s lawyering that foreshadowed the conclusions on formal and customary law that would later be postulated by jurisprudentialist Roscoe Pound and anthropologist Leopold Pospisil.

American Inns of Court

Cavendish is also known for his affiliation with the American Inns of Court Foundation. Cavendish's essays on Ethics and Legal Professionalism, published in The Bencher (the magazine published for the membership of American Inns of Court), remain strong topical interest points, adding to his popularity as an Ethics writer and theorist, as well as being influential attractors for a growing readership. Cavendish remains an active member and contributor in the American Inns of Court Foundation.

Articles, Essays, Journal Chapters


  • (Book Chapter)“Parol Evidence,” in Evidence in Florida, 7th ed. (LEXIS Publishing/The Florida Bar)(2008)
  • (Journal Essay) “Foundations of the Procuring Cause Doctrine”, The Florida Bar Journal, May 2007
  • (Law Review Essay) “The College Point Principle,” Florida Coastal Law Review, October 2006
  • (Journal Essay) “Avoiding Illegal Trademark Transfers: Introducing the Assignment-in-Gross,” The Florida Bar Journal, vol. 74, no. 3, March 2000
  • (Journal Article) “Policing Terminal Illness Investing: How Florida Regulates Viatical Settlement Contracts,” The Florida Bar Journal, vol. 74, no. 2, February 2000
  • (Book Review) “International Payments,” The Florida Bar Journal, vol. 73, no. 10, October 1999
  • (Book Review) “Drafting the International Sales Contract,” The Florida Bar Journal, vol. 73, no. 7, July/August 1992


  • (Book Chapter)“Orders and Judgments,” Florida Civil Trial Practice , __ ed. (LEXIS Publishing/The Florida Bar)(2010)(with Michael W. Marcil)
  • (Book Chapter)“Statutes of Limitations,” Florida Civil Practice Before Trial, 7th ed.(ISBN 9780820586564) (LEXIS Publishing/The Florida Bar)(2009)(with Kacie L. Kelly)
  • (Journal Article) “The Concept of Arbitrability Under the Florida Arbitration Code, The Florida Bar Journal, vol. 82, no. 10, November 20083
  • (Journal Article) “Fortress Arbitration: An Exposition of Functus Officio,” The Florida Bar Journal, Vol. 80, no. 2, February 20064
  • (Journal Article)“Understanding the First-To-File Rule and Its Anticipatory Suit Exception,” The Florida Bar Journal, vol. 75, no. 7, July/August 20015

Florida Jurisprudence

Ethics and Professionalism

  • (Journal Essay) “Against All Flags,” The Bencher, September/October 2009
  • (Journal Essay) “The Ius and the Lex,” The Bencher, January/February 2009
  • (Journal Essay) “Chaining Bellerophon,” The Federal Lawyer, June 2007
  • (Op-Ed) “Ducks and Drakes,” National Law Journal, Opinion, March 23, 2007
  • (Journal Essay) “Ethics in Briefs,” The Nebraska Lawyer, October 2006
  • (Journal Essay) “Ad Fontes, Ad Astra, Ad Clementia,” The Bencher, July/August 2006
  • (Journal Essay) “Civility in Written Advocacy,” The Bencher, July/August 20057


  • (Book Chapter)“Punitive and Lost Profits Damages in Commercial Tort Cases,” Business Litigation in Florida, 6th ed. (LEXIS Publishing/The Florida Bar)(2010)(with Michael W. Marcil)
  • (Journal Article)“Renovating Azam: A Proposal for Rebuilding the Reliance Test in Real Estate Torts,” The Florida Bar Journal, Vol. 79, no. 11, December 2005
  • (Journal Article)“Case of the Year: Strasser v. Yalamanchi,” The Florida Bar Journal, Vol. 76, no. 1, January 2002

Legal Journalism

  • (News Feature) “Corporate warfare has to make business sense these days,”National Law Journal, July 7, 2009
  • (News Feature) “Toward a ‘zero litigation’ theory,” National Law Journal, July 7, 2008

Monographs and Symposia Papers

  • (Symposia Paper) “Conflict-Centered Evolution of Urban Play Groups,” presented to the Southern Anthropological Society, 1994



  1. ^ Lisa Call, Coeur du Feu, THE CHAMPION, Vol. 32 No. 5 (July 2008); Ross Feldman, The Demands of Civility, Exploring the Requirements of Good Lawyering, VERMONT B. J., vol. 34 (Summer 2008)
  2. ^ CNN World News 08-27-2010
  3. ^ “Conflict-Centered Evolution of Urban Play Groups,” presented to the Southern Anthropological Society, 1994, cited in Wolfe, Yang, eds., ANTHROPOLOGICAL CONTRIBUTIONS TO CONFLICT RESOLUTION (1996 Univ. of Georgia Press)

The concept of arbitrability under the Florida Arbitration Code

Orange Blossom Jurisprudence Reviewed by J. Carter Andersen and Shane G. Ramsey

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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