WIDEIKIS, BENEDICT & BERNTSSON, LLC
THE BIG W LAW FIRM
ATTORNEYS AT LAW
Mr. Berntsson received his Juris Doctor degree from Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, Georgia in 1986. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Management with a concentration in Accounting, with Honors, from Boston College of Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts in 1983.
As a member of the firm, Mr. Berntsson's practice encompasses all areas of local governmental law including appearances before State, regional and local governmental agencies on land use, planning, zoning, administrative appeals, affordable housing and utility matters. Mr. Berntsson works closely with clients and their development teams on various development projects, often serving as project coordinator. He is an AV rated attorney and from 2000 - 2020 Board Certified by the Florida Bar in City, County and Local Government Law.
A native of Long Island, New York, Mr. Berntsson began his career as an Assistant District Attorney for Suffolk County, New York. He then served as the first Assistant Town Attorney for the Town of Southold, New York. Relocating to Florida in 1989, Mr. Berntsson served as Chief Assistant County Attorney and later Acting County Attorney for Charlotte County, Florida. He had also served as City Attorney for the City of Punta Gorda from 1998 - 2005. He currently represents the Gasparilla Island Bridge Authority and Englewood Water District, and served as the attorney to the 2009 - 2010 and 2015-2016 Charlotte County Charter Review Commissions. He has served as a Special Master in land use matters and served as a Special Magistrate hearing Baker Act cases from 2007-2016. He is currently a Code Enforcement Magistrate for DeSoto County.
Mr. Berntsson joined the firm in 1991, becoming a shareholder in 1994. He was admitted to the State Bars of Georgia and New York. He has been extensively involved in community organizations having served on the Board of Directors of the Charlotte County Economic Development Council, Charlotte County Family YMCA, Charlotte Skate Park, Inc., Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce, and the Charlotte Local Education Foundation. He is a past President of the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce and Vice President of the Charlotte Division, American Heart Association Board. He is a graduate of Leadership Charlotte and Leadership Southwest Florida.
Education: Boston College (B.S., cum laude, 1983); Emory University (J.D., 1986). Phi Alpha Delta. Admitted to bar, 1986 - 2020, Georgia; 1987 - 2020, New York, and 1989 - present Florida.
Former Positions: Assistant District Attorney, Suffolk County, 1986-1988. Assistant Town Attorney, Southold Town, 1988-1989. Chief Assistant County Attorney, Charlotte County, 1989-1991. Acting County Attorney, Charlotte County, 1991. Leadership Charlotte, 1991-1992. Director, 1993-1998 and President, 1995-1996, Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce. City Attorney, Punta Gorda, Florida, 1998-2005. Director, Charlotte Local Education Foundation, 1998-2000. Director, Skate Park, 1999-2005. Director, Charlotte County Family YMCA, 2001-2002. Special Magistrate 2007-2016.
Member: American Bar Associations; The Florida Bar (Member), (Board Certified City, County and Local Government Lawyer, Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization and Education 2000 - 2020).
Practice Areas: Local Government Law; Zoning, Planning and Land Use; Environmental Law; Administrative Law