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Anne Reilly Appointed to Federal Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel

Per the Administrative Order of Chief Judge K. Michael Moore, Litigation Associate Anne Reilly was appointed to the Federal Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel in the Southern District of Florida for the reappointment of Magistrate Judge Lurana S. Snow. 

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Categories: Federal LawCommunity Outreach
Tags: Governmental Litigation

U.S. Senate Votes to Pass Employment Non-Discrimination Act

On November 7, 2013, the United States Senate approved the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA)—proposed legislation that would extend federal employment discrimination protections currently provided based on race, religion, gender, national origin, age and disability to sexual orientation and gender identity. ENDA, which is closely modeled on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the American with Disabilities Act, prohibits certain private and public employers from using an individual’s actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity as the basis for employment decisions, such as hiring, firing, promotion, or compensation. While some states prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual identity and/or gender identity, this vital piece of federal legislation will provide consistent protection for the LGBT community. All eyes are now on the House of Representatives to see if ENDA will make it to the floor to be put to a vote.

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentFederal Law
Tags: Public EmployeesPublic EmployersFort Lauderdale Employment Law AttorneysMiami Employment Law AttorneysSouth Florida Employment Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Labor Law AttorneysMiami Labor Law AttorneysSouth Florida Labor Law AttorneysFlorida Employment AttorneysFlorida Labor LawyersFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Labor LawyerSouth Florida Employment Lawyers
Author(s): Brett J. Schneider

Supreme Court Tightens Definition of “Supervisor” in Title VII Employment Discrimination Claims

On June 24, the United States Supreme Court issued a ruling that limits the definition of a “supervisor” as it relates to employer liability in harassment claims brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”). Title VII protects individuals against employment discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex, and national origin. Under Title VII, an employer is only liable for the harassment of a co-worker if the employer was negligent in controlling workplace conditions. However, an employer may be liable for workplace harassment for the conduct of a supervisor if the harassment culminates in a tangible employment action, such as a significant change in employment status or a decision causing a significant change in benefits. In Vance v. Ball State University, 2013 WL 3155228 (U.S. Jun. 24, 2013), the Supreme Court held that an employee is a “supervisor” for purposes of vicarious liability under Title VII if he or she is empowered by the employer to take tangible employment action against the victim. The ruling has met with significant support from the business community, while opponents lament that it will make it harder for plaintiffs to advance harassment claims against their employers under Title VII.

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentLitigationFederal Law
Tags: Jamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokBrett J. SchneiderJoseph H. SerotaMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Employment Law AttorneysMiami Employment Law AttorneysSouth Florida Employment Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Labor Law AttorneysMiami Labor Law AttorneysSouth Florida Labor Law AttorneysFlorida Employment AttorneysFlorida Labor LawyersFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Labor LawyerSouth Florida Employment Lawyers
Author(s): Brett J. Schneider

Supreme Court Holds Claim Of Unlawful Retaliation Held to Higher Standard of Causation than Discrimination In Title VII Cases

On June 24, the U.S. Supreme Court (the “Court”) held that retaliation claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act must be proven under the traditional principles of “but-for” causation, requiring proof that the unlawful retaliation would not have occurred in the absence of the alleged wrongful action or actions of the employer. In University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar, 2013 WL 2155234 (U.S. Jun. 24, 2013), the Court rejected the Government and Respondent’s argument that a plaintiff could prevail on a claim of unlawful retaliation if he or she could show that the plaintiff’s protected activity was a “motivating” or “substantial” factor in the employer’s alleged wrongful action, a lessened causation standard. The employer-friendly decision makes it harder for plaintiffs to present a prima facie case of unlawful retaliation under Title VII.

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentLitigationFederal LawFederal Courts
Tags: Jamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokBrett J. SchneiderJoseph H. SerotaMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Employment Law AttorneysMiami Employment Law AttorneysSouth Florida Employment Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Labor Law AttorneysMiami Labor Law AttorneysSouth Florida Labor Law AttorneysProtected ActivityFlorida Labor LawyersFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Labor LawyerMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Brett J. Schneider

U.S. Supreme Court Overturns Arizona Voter Registration Law Requiring Documentary Proof of Citizenship

On June 17, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down an Arizona voter registration law requiring documentary proof of citizenship from people seeking to vote in federal elections. In Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc., --- S.Ct. ----, 2013 WL 2922124 (U.S. Jun. 17, 2013), the Court held that Arizona’s proof of citizenship requirement was preempted by the National Voter Registration Act (“Act”), which requires States to “accept and use” a uniform federal form to register voters for federal elections.

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Categories: LitigationFederal LawFederal CourtsConstitutional Law
Tags: Governmental LitigationPreemptionJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaLaura K. WendellMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale Appellate Law AttorneysMiami Appellate Law AttorneysSouth Florida Appellate Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

U.S. District Court Judge Holds Interns Working At Motion Picture Studio “Employees” Entitled to FLSA Protections

Earlier this month, a federal district court judge for the Southern District of New York ruled that Fox Searchlight Pictures violated federal and State minimum wage laws when it failed to pay two unpaid interns who worked on the film “Black Swan” from 2009 to 2010. In Glatt v. Fox Searchlight Pictures, Inc., ----F. Supp. 2d ----, 2013 WL 2495140 (S.D.N.Y. Jun. 11, 2013), Judge William H. Pauley III held that plaintiffs Eric Glatt and Alexander Footman were improperly classified as “unpaid interns” and were actually “employees” protected by the Fair Labor Standards Act (the “FLSA”).

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentLitigationFederal Law
Tags: Employment AgreementsJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokBrett J. SchneiderJoseph H. SerotaFort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Employment Law AttorneysMiami Employment Law AttorneysSouth Florida Employment Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Labor Law AttorneysMiami Labor Law AttorneysFlorida Employment AttorneysFlorida Labor LawyersFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Labor LawyerMiami Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Employment LawyersFair Labor Standards Act
Author(s): Brett J. Schneider & Brooke P. Dolara

Divided Supreme Court Upholds Maryland DNA Collection Act

On Monday, a divided Supreme Court upheld the Maryland DNA Collection Act and ruled that police officers may take DNA samples from arrestees as part of a routine arrest booking procedure for serious crimes. In a 5-4 split, the Court likened swabbing of an arrestee’s inner cheek with a “Q-Tip-like” swab to that of taking fingerprints from an arrestee and held: “When officers make an arrest supported by probable cause to hold for a serious offense and they bring the suspect to the station to be detained in custody, taking and analyzing a cheek swab of the arrestee's DNA is, like fingerprinting and photographing, a legitimate police booking procedure that is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment.”

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Categories: LitigationFederal LawFederal CourtsConstitutional Law
Tags: Public EmployeesPublic EmployersGovernmental LitigationSara E. AulisioJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Constitutional Law AttorneysMiami Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida LitigatorsFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Sara E. Aulisio

Supreme Court Justices Hold Plaintiff’s Claim Moot in Collective Action Under FLSA, Dismissing Case

On April 16, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion that may limit the availability of collective action suits under the Fair Labor Standards Act. By way of background, the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) establishes federal minimum wage and overtime pay requirements that cannot be modified by contract. Section 16(b) of FLSA permits employees to bring a private cause of action on their own behalf and on behalf of “other employees similarly situated” for specific violations of the FLSA. A suit brought on behalf of other employees is known as a “collective action.” The issue before the Court was whether a collective action is justiciable when the lone plaintiff’s individual claim becomes moot.

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentLitigationFederal LawFederal CourtsClass ActionsCivil Procedure
Tags: Jamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokBrett J. SchneiderJoseph H. SerotaMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Employment Law AttorneysMiami Employment Law AttorneysSouth Florida Employment Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Labor Law AttorneysMiami Labor Law AttorneysSouth Florida Labor Law AttorneysFlorida Labor LawyersFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Labor LawyerMiami Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Employment Lawyers
Author(s): Brett J. Schneider & Brooke P. Dolara

Major Banks Obtain Dismissal of Multiple Counts in Libor Case

On March 29, sixteen national financial institutions scored a major victory in federal court when U.S. District Court Judge Naomi Rice Buchwald dismissed several claims in private lawsuits alleging antitrust violations that resulted in injured investment returns for a number of plaintiffs. In 2011, the City of Baltimore and the New Britain Firefighters’ Benefit Fun filed a complaint against a dozen major U.S. banks, including Bank of America, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, HSBC and JPMorgan Chase. Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that the banks manipulated the Libor, a key metric that sets interest rates using data computed daily from domestic and international banks. The plaintiffs claimed that by "suppressing" the Libor, the banks concealed their level of risk during the financial crisis. In 2012, the banks filed a Motion to Dismiss, arguing that the evidence does not support the existence of a conspiracy to manipulate rates. In addition to the dismissal of the antitrust claims, Judge Buchwald also partly dismissed the plaintiffs’ claims of commodities manipulation, a claim of racketeering, and state-law claims. Although the plaintiffs’ claim that the banks’ suppression of the Libor resulted in harm to traders who bet on interest rates was not dismissed, Judge Buchwald’s decision may give the banks’ leverage in future settlement talks.

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Categories: LitigationLocal GovernmentFederal LawFederal CourtsClass Actions
Tags: Governmental LitigationMitchell A. BiermanJamie A. ColeChad S. FriedmanEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaRichard Jay WeissDavid M. WolpinFort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Commercial Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation LawyersMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

Supreme Court Rejects Class Certification In Comcast Lawsuit

On March 27, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Comcast Corporation (“Comcast”) in an antitrust case brought by a group of its subscribers in the Philadelphia area on the basis of the group’s improper class certification. In Comcast Corporation v. Behrend, --- S. Ct. ----, 2013 WL 1222646 (U.S. Mar. 27, 2013). the Court held that issues of damages can preclude class certification, and that district courts must conduct a “rigorous analysis” of whether a group of plaintiffs satisfies the certification criteria under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, even if certain issues in the analysis are also addressed in the merits of the case. The decision provides companies with a substantial defense to class certification in antitrust cases.

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Categories: LitigationFederal LawFederal CourtsClass ActionsCivil ProcedureTortsAdministrative Law
Tags: Fort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Commercial Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation LawyersFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara