Michael S. Popok

Member

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Michael is the Partner in Charge of our 30- attorney Miami Office, a member of our Strategic Development Committee, and the former Chair of our 20-attorney Litigation Division. He is also one of our lead liaisons to the Law Firm Alliance, a 50 law firm/10000 attorney international referral network that emphasizes the latest in “best practices.” Michael’s complex business dispute and commercial litigation practice includes real estate and brokerage commission disputes, representation of financial services companies, employment and labor law, including non-competes and restrictive covenants, and business “divorce” cases. He has also successfully represented clients in the areas of copyright and trademark law. Michael is an accomplished trial attorney, regularly appearing in State and Federal Courts before juries, and in front of arbitration panels, including FINRA and the AAA. Michael also has experience representing individuals and companies before regulatory and investigatory bodies, including the OCC, the SEC and the FDIC, as well as the US Justice Department. Prior to joining our firm, Michael worked in the White Collar/Regulatory Crimes departments at Skadden and a large Florida firm. His work there included working on internal investigation teams and defending tax fraud and FTC cases. As part of his practice, he also appears in bankruptcy proceedings on behalf of his clients in preference actions, serves on creditor’s committees, and handles matters where trustees have been appointed.

His most recent commercial litigation experience has involved representing a Wall Street firm in a $10mm dispute over its purchase of a life settlements company; a viatical firm in a $50mm dispute over the sale in the secondary market of life insurance policies; a wall street financial services firm in a $60mm dispute before FINRA involving one of its bond brokers; United Central (now Hanmi) Bank in the successful foreclosure of $100mm worth of hotel properties located around the country; CP Ships/Hapag Lloyd in a $5mm arbitration claim against a former shipping agent in Costa Rica; The Seminole Tribe of Florida Inc. in disputes with its vendors and joint venture partners; and a condo association in its $82mm sale of a condominium complex under a plan of termination and the challenges to the plan.

His construction litigation experience is primarily owner-side and he has represented: the City of Boca Raton in a construction dispute over its new library resulting in an almost $5 million dollar settlement in its favor; the Village of Islamorada in its multi-million dollar dispute concerning its amphitheatre; the Town of Golden Beach in its $2 million dollar dispute concerning its storm water system contractor; the City of Homestead in its million dollar dispute over the construction of electric substations; Gables Condominium in its multi-million dollar dispute with its developer; Kiewit Southern Corporation in its multi-million dollar dispute with a subcontractor concerning the jet fuel farm at the Miami International Airport’s Southern Terminal; and the Town of Surfside in its $1.7 Million dollar construction dispute concerning the new Town Hall.

Michael's recent governmental/municipal experience includes representing: the Village of Bal Harbour in an election law dispute involving one of its councilpersons resulting in a judgment in favor of the Village affirmed on appeal; the Village of Key Biscayne in  successfully opposing a competitive bid challenge concerning its stormwater system; seven cities in an appeal challenging each city’s occupancy license fee charged to attorneys; the Town of Surfside concerning constitutional freedom of religion claims; the Housing Authority of the City of Miami Beach in an auditor malpractice case; the Housing Authority of the City of Lauderhill Lakes in its dispute with Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development; and the City of Hallandale Beach in its multi-million dollar dispute against Waste Management arising out of a recycling and composting contract which resulted in a favorable arbitration award.

A skilled appellate advocate, Michael’s successful advocacy on behalf of his clients for over 23 years has also resulted in a number of reported appellate decisions in both Federal and State courts.

Awards and Recognitions

  • AV Rated
  • "Best Lawyers, Municipal Litigation," BestLawyers, 2012- Present
  • "Florida Super Lawyer," Florida SuperLawyers, 2010 - Present
  • "Leading Lawyer, Business Litigation," South Florida Business Journal, 2009-present

Reported Cases

  • Findling v. Bisaria, 2012 WL 3835079 (S.D. Fla. Sep. 4, 2012)
  • City of Aventura v. Masone, 89 So. 3d 233 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2011)
  • City of Hollywood v. Witt, 863 So. 2d 1214 (Fla. 4th DCA 2003)
  • Pernas v. TMM Lines, 980 So. 2d 506 (Fla. 3d DCA 2008)
  • Perez-Gurri v. Village of Key Biscayne, 41 So. 2d 228 (Fla. 3d DCA 2010)
  • Addison v. City of Tampa, 33 So. 2d 742 (Fla. 2d DCA 2010)
  • Bloch-Mullen v. Bal Harbour Village, 23 So. 2d 725 (Fla. 2d DCA 2009)
  • Mancini Enterp. v. American Express, 236 FRD 695 (S.D. Fla. 2006)
  • Redland Estates v. Lynn, 920 So. 2d 1218 (Fla. 3d DCA 2006)
  • City of Hollywood v. Diamond, 955 So. 2d 87 (Fla. 4th DCA 2004)
  • Reuter Recycling v. City of Pompano, 859 So. 2d 1271 (Fla. 4th DCA 2003)
  • Sherman v. Bell Atlantic, 43 U.S. P.Q. 2d 1024 (S.D.N.Y. 1996);
  • Dean Witter v. Selectronics, 594 N.Y.S.2d 174 (NY 1st Dept. 1993).

Publications

  • "Managed Care 101," The Florida Bar Journal, May 1997 (Winner, Barbara Sanders Memorial Writing Award)
  • "Kermit May Be Right: It's Not Easy Being Green, Today's Green Building Might Be Tomorrow's Lawsuit," Florida Real Estate Journal, January 2008

Press Mentions

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Dade County Bar Association, Diversity Advisory Committee, 2009-2011 Chair
  • Dade County Bar Association, Board of Directors, 2008-2011
  • Dade County Bar Association, Executive Committee, 2009-2011
  • Duke University Alumni Association of South Florida, Treasurer, 2006-2010
  • Association of the Bar of New York City
  • American Bar Association, White Collar Defense Section
  • American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section