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Eleventh Circuit Court Establishes International Commercial Arbitration Subsection, The Second of Its Kind in the Nation

On December 3, the Eleventh Judicial Circuit issued Administrative Order 13-08, which creates an International Commercial Arbitration (“ICA”) Subsection within Section 40, the Complex Business Litigation Section. The ICA Subsection will hear all cases arising under the Florida International Commercial Arbitration Act and the Federal Arbitration Act, as well as related cases arising out of the same transaction or occurrence. All ICA Subsection cases will be heard by judges who have experience handling complex commercial matters and who receive specific judicial education in the handling of international commercial arbitration. Miami is the second city in the country to create a complex commercial arbitration subsection (the first of its kind was established in New York City). The creation of this subsection demonstrates Miami’s significance in the international business community; in recent years, Miami has become the gateway for businesses doing business in Latin America, particularly Venezuela, Brazil, and Argentina.

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Categories: LitigationCivil Procedure
Tags: Jamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael 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 LawyerFort Lauderdale Local Government LawMatthew 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

WSH Attorneys Obtain Significant Appellate Victory For Client At State's Highest Court

On November 7, 2013, the Florida Supreme Court issued a unanimous, 25-page opinion in favor of Firm client, CMI, Inc., the Kentucky-based manufacturer of the Intoxilyzer brand breath-alcohol testing instrument used in Florida. The case is Ulloa v. CMI, Inc., __ So. 3d __, 2013 WL 5942299 (Fla. Nov 07, 2013). Criminal defendants throughout the state had served hundreds of subpoenas duces tecum on CMI's registered agent in Florida, demanding that CMI surrender the source code for the Intoxilyzer simply by "sending it to defense counsel." CMI repeatedly objected and moved to quash the subpoenas arguing, in relevant part, that it could not be subpoenaed through its registered agent and that defendants had to comply with Florida's Uniform Law to Secure the Attendance of Witnesses from Within or Without a State in Criminal Proceedings. This concerted effort by the criminal defense bar forced CMI to litigate in county and circuit courts throughout the entire state instead of defending against the subpoenas in Kentucky, as the act contemplated.

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Categories: LitigationAppellate Law & Practice
Tags: Florida Supreme CourtJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaLaura K. WendellMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Commercial Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Commercial Litigation LawyerMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale Appellate Law AttorneysMiami Appellate Law AttorneysSouth Florida Appellate Law AttorneysFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Litigation AttorneyJohn J. Quick
Author(s): Edward G. Guedes

WSH Labor & Employment Attorneys Win Appeal For City of Lauderhill

On October 23, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit affirmed an award of summary judgment in favor of the City of Lauderhill in a seven count complaint filed against the City by Piertus Aristyld, a former City maintenance worker. In his complaint, the Plaintiff had alleged that the City: (1) discriminated against him on the basis of his age and national origin by failing to promote him; (2) retaliated against him for complaining that the failure to promote him was based on discriminatory animus by issuing unwarranted discipline; and (3) terminated his employment in retaliation for his complaint and because of his age and national origin.

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentLitigationAppellate Law & Practice
Tags: Public EmployeesPublic EmployersJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokBrett J. SchneiderJoseph H. SerotaMatthew H. MandelMiami Appellate Law AttorneysSouth Florida Appellate Law AttorneysFort 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 AttorneysEleventh Circuit Court of AppealsFamily Medical Leave ActProtected ActivityFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Labor LawyerSouth Florida Employment Lawyers
Author(s): Brett J. Schneider

Appeals Court Holds Condo Cannot Foreclose On Property If Bank Files Foreclosure Suit First

A Florida appeals court recently held that a condominium association that filed a foreclosure complaint to recover unpaid assessments could not foreclose its lien because of an existing lis pendens placed on the property by the first mortgagee. The court held that, if a bank files a lis pendens on a property, this lis pendens bars others that have an interest in the property from enforcing liens and levies against the unit unless that party intervenes in the first mortgagee’s case. While the decision is only binding in Broward and Palm Beach Counties for now, courts in other Florida counties could rely on it as persuasive authority. This decision has important implications for community associations; if an association does not record a lien against a property before the bank records a lis pendens, a court can bar the association from foreclosing on that property. Therefore, it is important for associations to record liens early so that they can “get in front of” the bank’s lis pendens. Of course, community associations must still comply with the statutory waiting periods in pre-suit collections. Condominium associations must wait thirty days after sending a demand letter to record a lien against the property, and another thirty days after recording the lien to file a complaint. Homeowners associations must wait forty-five days between each step in order to file a foreclosure complaint against a delinquent owner.

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Categories: LitigationCondominium AssociationsHomeowners' Associations
Tags: CollectionsCondos and HOAsCovenants and RestrictionsJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesJoshua D. KrutMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerFort Lauderdale Condominium Association AttorneysMiami Condominium Association AttorneysSouth Florida Condominium Association AttorneysMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale Homeowners' Association AttorneysMiami Homeowners' Association AttorneysSouth Florida Homeowners' Association AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsFlorida Community Association LawFlorida Condo Association LawFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Joshua D. Krut & Brooke P. Dolara

WSH Attorneys Recognized as “BestLawyers 2014” by National Publication

Each summer, BestLawyers compiles a list of the most esteemed attorneys throughout the country. This year, WSH is thrilled to announce that several of its Members and Partners have been selected for "BestLawyers 2014."

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Categories: Environmental/SustainabilityLitigationLocal GovernmentAppellate Law & PracticeAwards & RecognitionsLand Use & Zoning (Private)
Tags: Awards & RecognitionsMitchell A. BiermanEdward G. GuedesStephen J. HelfmanGilberto PastorizaMichael S. PopokClifford A. SchulmanJoseph H. SerotaRichard Jay WeissFort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Commercial Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Commercial Litigation LawyerFort Lauderdale Local Government LawMiami Local Government LawSouth Florida Local Government LawMiami Aviation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Municipal AttorneysMiami Municipal AttorneysSouth Florida Municipal AttorneysSouth Florida Airport LawSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation LawyersFort Lauderdale Appellate Law AttorneysMiami Appellate Law AttorneysSouth Florida Appellate Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Environmental Law AttorneysMiami Environmental Law AttorneysSouth Florida Environmental Law Attorneys South Florida LitigatorsFlorida Environmental LawFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

WSH Represents Seventeen Municipalities in High Profile Dispute with Broward County

On June 28, WSH Managing Director Jamie A. Cole, Partner Daniel L. Abbott, and Associate Justin D. Luger filed a complaint on behalf of several Broward municipalities (the “Cities) in a high profile case against Broward County.

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Categories: LitigationLocal Government
Tags: Governmental LitigationMunicipal GovernmentDaniel L. AbbottJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysMiami Litigation AttorneyJustin D. Luger
Author(s): Jamie A. Cole

WSH Appellate Chair Obtains Significant Win Before Third DCA on Premises Liability Discovery Dispute

On July 31, Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal granted Publix Super Market Inc.’s petition for writ of certiorari to quash a trial court’s discovery order that instructed Publix to supply information relating to slip and fall incidents occurring at all of Publix’s stores throughout Florida. Holding that the trial court’s order gave the plaintiff “carte blanche” discovery of irrelevant information, the Court held that the order departed from the essential requirements of the law and caused irreparable injury to Publix. The decision has significant legal and practical implications for large retailers defending slip and fall lawsuits. WSH Partner Edward G. Guedes served as appellate counsel for Publix in the matter.

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Categories: LitigationAppellate Law & PracticeCivil Procedure
Tags: Jamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaLaura K. WendellDiscoveryFort 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 Appellate Law AttorneysMiami Appellate Law AttorneysSouth Florida Appellate Law 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 Attorney
Author(s): Edward G. Guedes

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

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