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EEOC Files Title VII Disparate Impact Discrimination Suits Against Two Large U.S. Corporations

On June 11, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) announced that it had filed two lawsuits against two companies, BMW and Dolgencorp, in which it alleged that the companies violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by adopting criminal background checks that have a disparate impact on African American applicants.

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentLitigationAdministrative Law
Tags: Employee MisconductFort 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 LawyersFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Labor LawyerMiami Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Employment LawyersEqual Employment Opportunity Commission
Author(s): Brett J. Schneider

WSH Forms New Practice Group Focusing on International Litigation, Real Estate and Business

In recognition of South Florida's unique position as the gateway for investment, commerce and real estate in Latin America, WSH has announced the formation of the International Group, a new practice group working with our Business Organization and Transaction Group, Litigation Division, and Real Estate Group to offer services to clients doing business in the Americas. The International Group assists and represents entrepreneurs, private businesses, publicly traded companies, financial institutions, and other ventures conducting business across international borders. Attorneys in the Group have extensive experience in business litigation, including contract disputes, secured transactions, shareholder and partnership disputes, and the prosecution and defense of class actions. The Group also handles real estate matters across international borders, including acquisitions, development, financing, leasing, and joint ventures. Lastly, the Group offers dispute resolution services, representing individuals and sovereign nations alike in matters of private and public importance. Attorneys in the Group serve our clients' comfort by speaking in their native tongue, including Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese.

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Categories: LitigationContractsReal EstateAdministrative LawCorporate LawInternational Law
Tags: Mitchell A. BiermanMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaFort 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 LawyersSouth Florida Private Transactions AttorneysSouth Florida Private Transactions LawyersFort Lauderdale Private Transactions AttorneysMiami Private Transactions AttorneysSouth Florida Public Transactions LawFort Lauderdale Public Transactions LawMiami Public Transactions Law Fort Lauderdale Real Estate AttorneysMiami Real Estate AttorneysSouth Florida Real Estate AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Real Estate AttorneysMiami Commercial Real Estate AttorneysSouth Florida Commercial Real Estate AttorneysFort 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 AttorneyMiami Real Estate LawyerJoseph HernandezCarlos M. RodriguezRoger S. KobertMarc C. Pugliese
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

Broward County Implements Wage Payment Law

In January 2013, Broward County implemented an ordinance that makes it easier for employees to take legal action against their employers for non-payment of earned wages. Under Broward County Ordinance 2012-32, if an employee has performed work in Broward County and his/her employer has failed to pay or has underpaid the wage rate applicable for the work performed within a reasonable amount of time from the date on which the employee performed the work, the employee may file a complaint with the Broward County Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and Professional Standards (“OIAPS”) to recover those lost wages. Section 20½-2(f) defines a “reasonable time” as no later than 14 calendar days from the date that the work is performed, unless the employer has established a pay schedule whereby employees earn and are consistently paid according to regular pay periods, in which case that pay schedule controls. A complaint will be heard by a hearing officer if:

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentAdministrative Law
Tags: Employment AgreementsFort Lauderdale Employment Law AttorneysMiami Employment Law AttorneysSouth Florida Employment Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Labor Law AttorneysMiami Labor Law AttorneysFlorida Employment AttorneysFlorida Labor LawyersFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Labor LawyerSouth Florida Employment Lawyers
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

Condo Levels Sand Dune In Accordance with Modification Granted in ALJ Final Order

This summer, we reported on a favorable decision in an administrative proceeding that WSH Members Mitchell J. Burnstein and Susan L. Trevarthen obtained on behalf of the Mayan Beach Club (“Association”). The case arose when Broward County and the Sea Turtle Oversight Protection (“STOP”) challenged a modification to an Association permit that would level a 176-foot sand dune, arguing that the dune provided significant environmental protection and should not be destroyed for the purpose of providing a more desirable ocean view for the Association’s owners. On October 17, Secretary Herschel T. Vinyard, Jr. issued a Final Order adopting the Recommended Order in its entirety and granting the Association's Modification.  In the Final Order, Secretary Vinyard acknowledged that there was competent substantial evidence of record supporting the decision in the Recommended Order.Last week, the Mayan Beach Club leveled the 176-foot long dune.

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Categories: Land Use & Zoning (Public)Environmental/SustainabilityCondominium AssociationsAdministrative Law
Tags: Condos and HOAsMitchell J. BurnsteinJoshua D. KrutClifford A. SchulmanSusan L. TrevarthenFort Lauderdale Condominium Association AttorneysMiami Condominium Association AttorneysSouth Florida Condominium Association AttorneysFort Lauderdale Environmental Law AttorneysMiami Environmental Law AttorneysSouth Florida Environmental Law Attorneys Florida Condo Association LawFlorida Environmental Law

U.S. Supreme Court Will Hear Widely-Publicized Florida Case Involving Rules on Exactions and Inverse Condemnation

On October 5, the United States Supreme Court granted a petition for certiorari filed on behalf of the plaintiff in Koontz v. St. Johns Water Management District.  Oral arguments will be scheduled in the coming months. The case involves Coy Koontz, a landowner who owned 15 acres of land, the majority of which fell within a riparian habitat-protection zone in the Econlockhatchee River hydrological basin and contained protected wetlands. The development of the land was under the jurisdiction of the St. Johns River Water Management District.

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Categories: Land Use & Zoning (Public)Environmental/SustainabilityLitigationAppellate Law & PracticeLand Use & Zoning (Private)Federal CourtsConstitutional LawEminent DomainAdministrative Law
Tags: Governmental LitigationFlorida Supreme CourtMitchell J. BurnsteinJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesGilberto PastorizaMichael S. PopokClifford A. SchulmanJoseph H. SerotaSusan L. TrevarthenMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale Eminent Domain AttorneysMiami Eminent Domain AttorneysSourth Florida Eminent Domain AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Constitutional Law AttorneysMiami Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida Constitutional Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Environmental Law AttorneysMiami Environmental Law AttorneysSouth Florida Environmental Law Attorneys South Florida LitigatorsFlorida Environmental LawFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Susan L. Trevarthen & Brooke P. Dolara

ALJ Recommended Order OKs Condominium Association Plan to Level Sand Dune

WSH Members Mitchell J. Burnstein and Susan L. Trevarthen recently obtained a favorable decision in an administrative proceeding on behalf of the Mayan Beach Club (“Association”). The case arose when Broward County and the Sea Turtle Oversight Protection (“STOP”) challenged a modification to an Association permit that would level a 176-foot sand dune, arguing that the dune provided significant environmental protection and should not be destroyed for the purpose of providing a more desirable ocean view for the Association’s owners. Specifically, the challengers alleged that the dune contained an endangered species of plant known as the beach star, helped prevent coastal erosion of the shoreline, and provided a nesting habitat for species of marine turtles that are protected under state law. The Association and the Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”) countered that the Association had agreed to partner with the City of Fort Lauderdale as part of a dune restoration project at the Palms Condominium, under which a stretch of beach would harbor several endangered species of vegetation. The Association and DEP also argued that neighboring beach areas provided nesting habitats for the turtles. On August 25, Florida Administrative Judge David Maloney recommended that the DEP enter a final order issuing the Modification. In his opinion, Judge Maloney stated that there was no evidence that the adjacent beaches provided inferior protection for the sea turtles or endangered vegetation. He also held that the facts did not support a finding that the dune prevented coastal erosion, since it lacked the height or continuity along the shore needed to be considered a “significant dune.”

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Categories: Environmental/SustainabilityLand Use & Zoning (Private)Eminent DomainAdministrative Law
Tags: Mitchell J. BurnsteinClifford A. SchulmanSusan L. TrevarthenMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysFort Lauderdale Municipal AttorneysFort Lauderdale Eminent Domain AttorneysMiami Eminent Domain AttorneysSourth Florida Eminent Domain AttorneysFort Lauderdale Environmental Law AttorneysMiami Environmental Law AttorneysSouth Florida Environmental Law Attorneys Florida Environmental LawMiami Eminent Domain Attorney
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

WSH Associate Alison F. Smith Elected President of CBA

WSH Associate Alison F. Smith has been elected as the next President of the Caribbean Bar Association, a voluntary bar organization of South and Central Florida lawyers from the Caribbean community. 

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentLitigationAwards & RecognitionsAdministrative Law
Tags: Michael S. PopokAlison F. SmithFort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Commercial Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Commercial Litigation LawyerFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Constitutional Law AttorneysMiami Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Employment Law AttorneysMiami Employment Law AttorneysSouth Florida Employment Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Labor Law AttorneysMiami Labor Law AttorneysSouth Florida Labor Law AttorneysFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Employment AttorneysFlorida Labor LawyersFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Labor LawyerMiami Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Employment Lawyers
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

EEOC Placing Greater Focus on Remedying "Systemic" Discrimination

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") recently announced its strategic plan for fiscal years 2012-2016 where it indicated that it will focus more on remedying systemic discrimination.    The EEOC describes systemic cases as those “that address pattern or practice, policy or class cases where the alleged discrimination has a broad impact on an industry, occupation, business or geographic area.” The crux of a systemic case is that the alleged discrimination affects a group of individuals rather than one individual.  According to the strategic plan, by the end of fiscal year 2016 a percent (yet to be determined) of cases in the EEOC’s docket will be systemic cases.  This, according to the strategic plan, will provide the EEOC with an incentive to conduct systemic investigations. 

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentLitigationFederal LawFederal CourtsAdministrative Law
Tags: Public EmployeesEmployment AgreementsPublic EmployersCollective BargainingJamie A. ColeRaquel ElejabarrietaEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokBrett J. SchneiderJoseph H. SerotaEmployee MisconductMatthew 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 AttorneysMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Labor LawyerMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Brett J. Schneider & Raquel Elejabarrieta

U.S. Supreme Court Slaps Down EPA for "Strong Arming" and Denial of Due Process to Citizens It Regulates in a Decision Under the Clean Water Act

Michael and Chantell Sackett were the victims of EPA’s “strong arming” according to Justice Scalia’s scathing opinion in the case of Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency, 566 U.S._______ (2012)(Supreme Court Case No. 10-162). All the Sacketts wanted to do was build a home near, but not adjacent, to a lake. Their 2/3 acre lot is located in Bonner County, Idaho, and others had already built structures closer to the lake. Having received their local building approval, they began to fill part of their lot with dirt and rock. Then the EPA hammer descended.

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Categories: Land Use & Zoning (Public)Environmental/SustainabilityLitigationGovernment AffairsAppellate Law & PracticeFederal LawLand Use & Zoning (Private)Federal CourtsConstitutional LawAdministrative Law
Tags: Governmental LitigationSpecial Counsel to Local GovernmentMitchell A. BiermanJamie A. ColeChad S. FriedmanEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokClifford A. SchulmanJoseph H. SerotaSusan L. TrevarthenRichard Jay WeissDavid M. WolpinFort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysFort Lauderdale Appellate Law AttorneysMiami Appellate Law AttorneysSouth Florida Appellate Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Constitutional Law AttorneysMiami Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida Constitutional Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Environmental Law AttorneysMiami Environmental Law AttorneysSouth Florida Environmental Law Attorneys South Florida LitigatorsUnited States CongressUnited States SenateFlorida Environmental LawFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation Attorneys
Author(s): Clifford A. Schulman