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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

U.S. Supreme Court Revisits Affirmative Action in Higher Education

A new case tackling affirmative action in higher education is set to be argued before the Supreme Court this fall. The case, Fisher v. University of Texas, was brought by a white student alleging that the University of Texas denied her admission because of her race. The case, which was appealed from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, has the potential to eliminate diversity as a permissible factor used in admissions decisions, changing the precedent established by the Court in the 2003 case Grutter v. Bollinger. In Grutter, the Court upheld an affirmative action admissions policy of the University of Michigan Law School. The Court held that the law school had a compelling interest in promoting class diversity, and that admissions officers could consider race and ethnicity as part of a “holistic” review of an applicant’s file. The Court held that a separate affirmative action program, which incorporated a quota system, was too mechanistic and unconstitutional. The dissent argued that the “holistic” approach was itself a thinly-veiled and unconstitutional quota system. As a result of the decision, public colleges and universities could take race into account in admissions, but were not required to do so. Supporters and opponents of affirmative action have noted that the Fisher case will be decided by a much different Court than the one which decided the Grutter case. Because of the Court’s different makeup and the temporal proximity of oral arguments to the national election, supporters and opponents of affirmative action will be watching the developments of the Fisher case intently.

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Categories: LitigationFederal LawFederal CourtsConstitutional Law
Tags: Jamie 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 AttorneysMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

Ruling: APA Administrative Procedures Act Confers Jurisdiction Over State Officials

In a matter of first impression, a federal court of appeals recently decided that courts in the Eleventh Circuit—which hears matters arising in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia—have jurisdiction under the Administrative Procedures Act ("APA") over state officials.

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Categories: LitigationGovernment AffairsFederal LawFederal CourtsAdministrative Law
Tags: Governmental LitigationMitchell J. BurnsteinJamie A. ColeChad S. FriedmanEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokTimothy M. RavichJoseph H. SerotaRichard Jay WeissDavid M. WolpinFort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsEleventh Circuit Court of Appeals
Author(s): Timothy M. Ravich

Florida Employers Take Note....Eleventh Circuit Holds Pre-Eligibility Notice of Post-Eligibility Leave Is Protected Activity Under FMLA

In a case of first impression, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals (the “Court”) has held that the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) protects employees’ pre-eligibility requests for post-eligibility leave. The case, Pereda v. Brookdale Senior Living Communities, Inc., ---- F. 3d -----, 2012 WL 43271 (11th Cir. Jan. 10, 2012), should provide guidance to Florida employers dealing with the question of whether an employee is engaging in “protected activity” under the FMLA.

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentLitigationFederal LawFederal Courts
Tags: Public EmployeesEmployment AgreementsPublic EmployersCollective BargainingJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokBrett J. SchneiderJoseph H. SerotaFort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute 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 AttorneysSouth Florida Labor Law AttorneysEleventh Circuit Court of AppealsFamily Medical Leave ActProtected ActivityFlorida 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): Brett J. Schneider & Brooke P. Dolara

Bloomberg BusinessWeek Interviews Michael Popok For Feature on Ponzi Schemer Scott Rothstein

Self-confessed thief and admitted liar Scott Rothstein continues to make national news for the fallout of his $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme. Bloomberg BusinessWeek, a national publication, recently ran an article detailing Rothstein’s allegations in his explosive December 2011 deposition testimony.

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Categories: LitigationFederal LawEthics & Professional ResponsibilityCriminal Law
Tags: EthicsJamie 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 LawyerSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation LawyersMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsWhite Collar CrimeDepositionsFlorida 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

U.S. Supreme Court Allows Telemarketing Lawsuits in Federal Court

In a ruling that is certain to impact where consumers can bring private lawsuits against telemarketing companies, the Supreme Court of the United States recently decided that claims under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act ("TCPA") may be brought in federal district courts.

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Categories: LitigationGovernment AffairsFederal LawFederal CourtsTorts
Tags: Jamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokTimothy M. RavichJoseph 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 LawyersMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsUnited States CongressFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Timothy M. Ravich

Freshman Senator Marco Rubio Renounces Support for Senate Version of SOPA

Backers of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) were dealt a major blow when freshman Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) released a statement withdrawing his support for Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA),  SOPA's companion bill in the Senate. Rubio joined several prominent senators in coming out against PIPA after an estimated 7,000 websites blacked themselves out in protest over the proposed bill.

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Categories: LitigationGovernment AffairsFederal LawConstitutional Law
Tags: Governmental LitigationJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaFort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation LawyersMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Constitutional Law AttorneysMiami Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida LitigatorsFirst AmendmentCopyrightUnited States CongressUnited States Senate
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

Supreme Court Gives Death Row Inmate Relief Due to Big Law Firm Mailroom Screwup

On Wednesday, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Maples v. Thomas that a death row inmate in Alabama must be given another chance to file an appeal after his attorneys abandoned their representation of the defendant, failing to notify the court of their departure and consequently missing the filing deadline for an important appeal.

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Categories: LitigationAppellate Law & PracticeFederal LawFederal CourtsConstitutional LawCivil ProcedureCriminal Law
Tags: Jamie 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 LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Constitutional Law AttorneysMiami Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida LitigatorsEleventh Circuit Court of AppealsFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

Citing Religious Freedom, Supreme Court Backs Church In Discriminatory Discharge Case

On January 11, the United States Supreme Court held for the first time that federal discrimination laws do not protect church employees who perform religious duties. In Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 2012 WL 75047 (Jan. 11, 2007), the Court recognized that the “ministerial exception” under the First Amendment protects religious institutions from discriminatory discharge where the former employee qualifies as a “minister.” Although the term “minister” is not strictly defined, the term may apply to those who conduct worship or serve as a messenger or teacher of faith.

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentLitigationFederal LawFederal CourtsConstitutional Law
Tags: Jamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokBrett J. SchneiderJoseph 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 LawyersMatthew H. MandelFort 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 AttorneysFirst AmendmentFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Employment AttorneysFlorida Labor LawyersFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Labor LawyerSouth Florida Employment Lawyers
Author(s): Brett J. Schneider & Brooke P. Dolara

South Florida Local Governments: Take Heed From Largest US Municipal Bankruptcy

The recent spate of ruptured water lines and sewer breaks in Broward County underscores the challenge of replacing, upgrading and ultimately financing our aging sewer infrastructure in the midst of a recession. Jefferson County, Alabama filed for protection under chapter 9 of the United States Bankruptcy Code in November. Listing $4.15 billion in debt, it is the largest municipal bankruptcy filing in U.S. History. The catalyst was its inability to address a staggering $3 billion in sewer financing obligations.

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Categories: LitigationBankruptcy & Creditors’ RightsGovernment AffairsLocal GovernmentFederal LawFederal Courts
Tags: Governmental LitigationMunicipal GovernmentMitchell A. BiermanJamie A. ColeChad S. FriedmanEdward G. GuedesAleida Martinez MolinaMichael 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 LawyerFort Lauderdale Local Government LawMiami Local Government LawSouth Florida Local Government LawFort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysFort Lauderdale Municipal AttorneysMiami Municipal AttorneysSouth Florida Municipal AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation LawyersMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale Bankruptcy AttorneysMiami Bankruptcy AttorneysSouth Florida Bankruptcy AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsChapter 9 BankruptcyFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Aleida Martínez Molina