Joseph H. Serota

Founding Member

Miami-Dade Office | vCard | Email


Joe has extensive trial and appellate experience representing private and public entities throughout South Florida. He is currently listed in The Best Lawyers in America, Florida Super Lawyers, South Florida Legal Guide “Top Lawyers,” and was inducted into the Florida Trend Legal Elite Hall of Fame.

Joe is active in professional organizations and civic affairs. He has served as chair of the Judicial Nominations Commission, Third District Court of Appeal; president of the Dade County Bar Association; and as member of The Florida Bar Board of Governors. Joe chaired the 11th Judicial Circuit Centennial Celebration and led successful campaigns to restore both the lobby and the ceremonial courtroom of the Miami-Dade County Courthouse. He is past chair of the Metropolitan Dade County Community Relations Board and of the Miami-Dade County Independent Review Panel. He has also served on the executive committee to the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce.

Significant Trials and Appeals

  • Successfully defended an owner of a famous restaurant against $19 million claims of breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty through jury verdict
  • Successfully defended bank president and bank on claims for fiduciary duty through jury verdict and appeal
  • Successfully defended City sued for breach of contract to sell City liens through jury verdict and appeal
  • Successfully defended police officers accused of civil rights violation through jury verdict
  • Successfully defended City in class action based upon alleged unconstitutionality of ordinance through trial court judgment and appeal
  • Successfully defended and prosecuted construction defects claims for developers, Associations, and contractors
  • Argued cases in the Florida Supreme Court defending a City ordinance and State statute
  • Successfully defended a city in a class action claim for violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act through trial court judgment and appeal
  • Successfully defended a city sued by a labor union for due process claims through judgment and appeal
  • Successfully defended a city accused of racial discrimination through jury verdict
  • Successfully defended bank accused by another bank in loan participation for breach of contract through trial judgment
  • Successfully defended lawyers accused of significant disciplinary violations by The Florida Bar
  • Successfully defended developer accused of violating land use regulations through trial
  • Successfully prosecuted claims on behalf of a city against a county based upon violation of the County’s Development Master Plan through trial court judgment and appeal

Select Reported Decisions

  • Preserve Grove Isle, LLC v. Grove Isle Yacht & Tennis Club, LLC, 2015 WL 5769084 (Fla. 11th Cir. Ct. Aug. 13, 2015)
  • Florida Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services v. Lopez-Brignoni, 2012 WL 3964983 (Fla. 3rd DCA Sep. 12, 2012)
  • School Bd. of Miami-Dade County, Florida v. Rise Academy of South Dade Charter School, 90 So. 3d 1001 (Fla. 3rd DCA, 2012)
  • La Gorce Palace Condo Assoc., Inc. v. QBE Ins. Corp., 2011 WL 1522564 (S.D. Fla. Apr. 12, 2011)
  • WTNJ-NBC 6 v. Shehadeh, 56 So. 3d 104 (Fla. 3rd DCA, 2011)
  • In re Ginsberg, 2010 WL 497395 (S.D. Fla., Nov. 30, 2010)
  • Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services v. Patchen, 25 So. 3d 1283 (Fla. 3rd DCA, 2010)
  • Florida Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services v. Citrus Canker Litigation, 20 So. 3d 864 (Fla. 3rd DCA, 2009)
  • City of Marco Island v. Dumas, 13 So. 3d 108 (Fla. 2nd DCA, 2009)
  • United Real Estate Ventures, Inc. v. Village of Key Biscayne, 26 So.3d 48 (Fla. 3rd DCA, 2009)
  • Companion v. City of Hollywood Police Officers' Retirement System, 1 So. 3d 1283 (Fla. 4th DCA, 2009)
  • Simcox v. City of Hollywood Police Officers' Retirement System, 988 So. 2d 731 (Fla. 4th DCA, 2008)
  • Hames v. City of Miami, 281 Fed. Appx. 853 (11th Cir., May 20, 2008)
  • Hames v. City of Miami Firefighters' and Police Officers' Trust, 980 So. 2d 1112 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2008)
  • Goldsmith v. Brockhouse, 979 So. 2d 1135 (Fla. 3rd DCA, 2008)
  • Feldman v. City of North Miami, 696 So. 2d 495 (Fla. 3rd DCA, 2008)
  • Bates v. Islamorada, 939 So. 2d 171 (Fla. 3rd DCA, 2006)
  • Miami-Dade County v. Redland Estates, Inc., 964 So. 2d 701 (Fla. 3rd DCA, 2006)
  • TNT USA, Inc v. TrafiExpress, S.A. de C.V., 434 F.Supp.2d 1322 (S.D. Fla. 2006)
  • Redland Estates, Inc. v. Lynn, 920 So. 2d 1218 (Fla. 3rd DCA, 2006)
  • Homer & Bonner, P.A. v. Miami-Dade County, 884 So. 2d 425 (Fla. 3rd DCA, 2004)
  • Pritchett v. City of Homestead, 855 So. 2d 1164 (Fla. 3rd DCA, 2003)
  • Jasinski v. City of Miami, 269 F. Supp. 1341 (S.D. Fla. 2003)
  • Merkin v. First Equitable Realty III, Ltd., 843 So. 2d 360 (Fla. 3rd DCA, 2003)
  • Thompson v. Lincoln at Doral, L.P., 786 So. 2d 605 (Fla. 3rd DCA, 2001)
  • The Palms  v. Magil Const. Florida, Inc., 785 So. 2d 597 (Fla. 3rd DCA, 2001)
  • Carpenter v. Community Bank of Homestead, 710 So. 2d 65 (Fla. 3rd DCA, 1998)
  • Dade County Police Benev. Ass'n v. Town of Surfside, 721 So. 2d 746 (Fla. 3rd DCA, 1998)
  • Davis v. City of Hollywood, 120 F. 3d 1178 (11th Cir., 1997)
  • Village of Key Biscayne v. Department of Community Affairs, 696 So. 3d 495 (Fla. 3rd DCA, 1997)
  • Key Colony No. 1 Condominium Ass'n, Inc. v. Village of Key Biscayne, 651 So. 3d 779 (Fla. 3rd DCA, 1995)
  • Village of Key Biscayne v. Dade County, 627 So. 2d 1180 (Fla. 3rd DCA, 1993)
  • City of Homestead v. Ramirez, 621 So. 2d 548 (Fla. 3rd DCA, 1993)
  • Chernov v. City of Hollywood, 819 F. Supp. 1070 (S.D. Fla. 1993)
  • Universal Bldg. Management, Inc. v. American Bankers Life Assur. Co., 586 So. 2d 1352 (Fla. 3rd DCA, 1991)
  • Burger King Corp. v. Lee, 766 F. Supp. 1149 (S.D. Fla. 1991)
  • Coral Way Properties, Ltd. v. Roses, 565 So.2d 372 (District Court of Appeal of Florida, Third District. August 7, 1990)
  • B.G.H. Ins. Syndicate, Inc. v. Presidential Fire & Cas. Co., 549 So. 2d 197 (Fla. 3rd DCA 1989)
  • Rodriguez v. City of Hialeah, 716 F. Supp. 1425 (S.D. Fla. 1989)
  • Trend Coin Co. v. Fuller, Feingold & Mallah, P.A., 538 So.2d 919 (Fla. 3rd DCA, 1989)
  • Matalon v. Greifman, 509 So. 2d 985 (Fla. 3rd DCA, 1987)
  • Rusty Food Products, Inc. v. Florida Plantation Storage Center, Ltd., 501 So. 2d 72 (Fla. 4th DCA, 1987)
  • Florida State Lodge, Fraternal Order of Police on Behalf of Hialeah Lodge 12 v. City of Hialeah, Fla., 815 F. 2d 631 (11th Cir., 1987)
  • Simon v. Florida Memorial College, 498 So. 2d 459 (Fla. 3rd DCA, 1986)
  • Williams v. Florida Memorial College, 453 So. 2d 541 (Fla. 3rd DCA, 1984)
  • Adrian Inv. Corp. v. Jacomino, 427 So.2d 335 (Fla. 3rd DCA, 1983)

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Metropolitan Dade County Independent Review Panel, 1986 -1989
    Vice-Chairperson
  • Metropolitan Dade County Independent Review Panel, 1986 -1989
    Chairperson
  • Board of Governors, The Florida Bar, 1988 -1993
  • Citizens’ Task Force, appointed by the Dade County Commission to recommend changes to the Independent Review Panel, 1989
  • Princeton Club of South Florida, 1988 – 1990;
    President
  • Coordinated Miami-Dade County’s response and preparation for the verdict in the case of State of Florida v. William Lozano, 1991 -1993
  • Mayor’s Transition Team, City of Miami, 1994 -1995
  • Metropolitan Dade County Community Relations Board, 1995 -1996
    Chairperson
  • Dade County Bar Association, 1996 -1997
    President
  • Dade County Courthouse Lobby Restoration Project, 1996 -1998
    Chairman
  • Special Commission on Judicial Elections, 1997 -1998
    Chairman
  • Task Force to Establish Blue Ribbon Committee on Ethics, 1999 -2001; Miami-Dade County School Board Appointee
  • Judicial Nominations Commission, Third District Court of Appeal, 1999 -2002
    Chairperson
  • Alliance for Ethical Government, 2000-2001
  • City of Miami Civilian Investigative Panel Nominating Committee, 2002-2003
    Chairperson
  • Dade County Bar Association Commission on Public Funding of Judicial Elections, 2002–2003
    Chairperson
  • Dade County Courtroom 6-1 Restoration Project, 2003-2008
    Co-Chairman
  • Dade Community Foundation, 2004-Present; Member
    Board of Directors
  • Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, 2006–2008
    Chair of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
  • Miami-Dade County, Florida, Centennial Celebration of the 11th Judicial Circuit
    Chair, 2010-2011
  • Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, New World Center Committee (Downtown Development Committee)
    Chair, 2009-2011
  • Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, "of counsel" 2012-2014
  • Bet Shira Congregation, President 2012-2013
  • Cleveland Orchestra of Miami, Board of Directors, 2015-present

Recognition/Honors

  • "Legal Elite Hall of Fame", Florida Trend's 2017
  • "Distinguished Leader", Daily Business Review's Professional Excellence Awards, 5/24/2017
  • "Florida Legal Elite", Florida Trend's 2016
  • "Legal Legends 2016", HistoryMiami
  • "Top Lawyers", South Florida Legal Guide 2016 -2017
  • "Best Lawyers, Commercial Litigation", Best Lawyers 2015-2018
  • "Super Lawyers", Super Lawyers 2016
  • "Florida Legal Elite", Florida Trend's 2015
  • "Super Lawyers", Super Lawyers 2015
  • The Best Lawyers in America, Commercial Litigation, 2012-present
  • Super Lawyers magazine, Florida Super Lawyers, 2004-present
  • Florida Trend Legal Elite, "Top 1% Florida Lawyers," 2004 – present
  • Florida Trend Legal Elite, Hall of Fame (inducted 2012)
  • South Florida Legal Guide, "Top Lawyers in South Florida," 2004-present

Languages

  • Spanish

Press Mentions