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Citrus Canker: Appellate Victory for Homeowners in Appeal Before Third DCA

WSH Founding Member Joseph H. Serota and Grossman Roth P.A. attorney Robert Gilbert recently obtained an appellate victory before the Third District Court of Appeal on behalf of Miami-Dade homeowners whose trees were destroyed by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Citrus Canker Eradication Program (“CCEP”). In Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services v. Lopez-Brignoni, et al., 10-2024, the Department appealed the lower court’s certification of the plaintiff class on the basis that 1) the plaintiffs did not have a private cause of action for additional compensation under Florida law, nor a claim for inverse condemnation, and 2) the trial court applied an improper measure of damages for the destroyed trees. The majority opinion rejected these arguments and affirmed the lower court’s order granting the homeowner’s motion for class certification.  Since 2000, the firm, through Managing Director Jamie A. Cole, has been co-lead counsel with Robert Gilbert in multiple lawsuits against the State to obtain full and just compensation for the hundreds of thousands of healthy citrus trees that were destroyed by the state of Florida as part of the CCEP.

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Categories: LitigationGovernment AffairsAppellate Law & PracticeConstitutional Law
Tags: Governmental LitigationJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesClifford A. SchulmanJoseph 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 LawyersFort 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 Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida 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

Florida Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in Public Employee Pension Case

On September 7, the Florida Supreme Court (the “Court”) heard oral arguments concerning an appeal by state officials seeking to overturn a decision issued by state court Judge Jackie Fulford in Leon County, Florida that voided a law that, among other things, required public employees to contribute 3% of their pay into a state retirement system. The central issue in Scott v. Williams, SC122-520, is whether the state of Florida can revise the terms of the public pension plan for active participants who were hired before the law took effect. The State, along with local governments and other public entities that participate in the state retirement system, argued that the lower court’s decision will produce significant financial hardship for the State, which will have to repay an estimated $1 billion in worker contributions if the decision is upheld. No timetable was given for a decision from the Court.

 

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentLitigationConstitutional LawContracts
Tags: Public EmployeesEmployment AgreementsPublic EmployersSenate Bill 88Governmental LitigationFlorida Supreme CourtFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Constitutional Law AttorneysMiami Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Employment Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Labor Law AttorneysMiami Labor Law AttorneysSouth Florida Labor Law AttorneysFlorida Employment AttorneysFlorida Labor LawyersFlorida 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

The Red Light Camera Diaries: Sarasota County Denies Due Process Challenge Brought by Driver

Last week, we reported that a Polk County judge denied a Motion to Dismiss brought by 40 ticketed drivers challenging red light camera citiations on constitutional grounds.  In that case, the court rejected the drivers' argument that issuance of citations generated by red light camera violations violated the equal protection clausen. On August 29, a County Court judge in Sarasota County denied a Motion to Dismiss brought by a defendant driver who had been issued a red light camera citation. County Court Judge Kimberly Bonnner held that the defendant failed to prove that the issuance of a citation for red light camera violations did not constitute a violation of the due process clause.

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Categories: LitigationGovernment AffairsLocal GovernmentConstitutional Law
Tags: Governmental LitigationMunicipal GovernmentRed Light CamerasRule EnforcementMitchell A. BiermanJamie A. ColeChad S. FriedmanEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaRichard Jay WeissLaura K. WendellDavid M. WolpinFlorida ConstitutionFort 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 AttorneysMatthew 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 LitigatorsFlorida Litigation AttorneysMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

Florida Courts Continue to Side with Municipalities in Red Light Camera Challenges

Throughout the past year, judges in both Broward and Miami-Dade County have heard challenges to the red light camera systems on constitutional and evidentiary grounds, and have ruled in the municipalities’ favor. This summer, Polk County entertained a similar challenge from more than 40 ticketed drivers, with similar results.

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Categories: LitigationGovernment AffairsLocal GovernmentConstitutional Law
Tags: Red Light CamerasRule EnforcementJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaSamuel I. ZeskindFort Lauderdale Local Government LawMiami Local Government LawSouth Florida Local Government LawFort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysMatthew 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): Brooke P. Dolara

Eleventh Circuit Upholds Tribal Immunity for Miccosukee in Dram Shop Case

The Eleventh Circuit recently affirmed a lower court decision to dismiss a father’s claim against the Miccosukee Indian Tribe for violating state dram shop laws by knowingly serving excessive amounts of alcohol to his daughter, who subsequently died in a fatal car accident. In Furry v. Miccosukee Tribes of Indians of Florida, the Court held that tribal sovereign immunity barred Furry from bringing suit against the Miccosukee Indians.

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Categories: LitigationAppellate Law & PracticeFederal CourtsConstitutional Law
Tags: Governmental LitigationJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaLaura K. WendellFlorida LegislatureFort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysMatthew 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 AppealsUnited States CongressFlorida Litigation AttorneysMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

Fourth DCA Holds State Traffic Statute Does Not Violate Equal Protection Clause, Red Light Camera Violators Not Similary Situated

On July 25, the Fourth District Court of Appeal handed down a decision holding that section 316.075 of the Florida Statutes, which governs traffic control signal devices, is constitutional and does not violate the Equal Protection Clause of either the United States or Florida Constitutions. The Fourth District reversed the trial court’s decision, which had found that the statute violated the Equal Protection Clause on the basis that the law unlawfully differentiated between individuals who were observed running red lights by law enforcement officers, and individuals caught running red lights by red light cameras. Under the Florida Statutes, red light violations that are observed by law enforcement officers are punishable by fines and points assessed against the driver’s license. However, red light violations that are captured via a red-light camera are cited and fined, but no points are assessed.

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Categories: LitigationGovernment AffairsLocal GovernmentFederal LawConstitutional Law
Tags: Governmental LitigationMunicipal GovernmentJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsFlorida Litigation AttorneysMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Edward G. Guedes

Michael Serota's Washington Post Article Addresses Comprehension of Supreme Court's Ruling on Constitutionality of Obamacare

While many people passionately debate the merits and faults of the Court’s recent decision in ideological terms, few understand the issues from a constitutional perspective. Truthfully, not many people are eager to sit down and read a 187-page Supreme Court decision littered with baroque legal terms and impenetrable sentences. Federal law clerk Michael Serota’s editorial “Why We Need Supreme Court Cliff Notes,” which appears in today’s Washington Post, argues that the Supreme Court should make their opinions more accessible to the public by providing abridged versions written in straightforward vernacular. In the article, Michael argues that providing more readable decisions makes the Court more accessible and relevant to the general public, and fosters greater interest among people in the Court.

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Categories: LitigationAppellate Law & PracticeFederal CourtsConstitutional Law
Tags: Governmental LitigationJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaLaura K. WendellPatient Protection and Affordable Care ActMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Commercial Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Commercial Litigation LawyerMatthew H. MandelFort 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 AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

WSH Litigators Obtain Victory in North Bay Village First Amendment Challenge

On June 12, Judge Ungaro of the Federal Southern District of Florida, granted the City of North Bay Village's motion for summary judgment seeking the dismissal on standing grounds of a First Amendment challenge to the City's Land Use Code. Applicant Isle of Dreams, Inc., which has indicated that it would like to operate an adult-use nightclub, filed its suit without first applying for and obtaining a decision on a site plan application. Without that, the Court ruled, Isle of Dreams had no standing to raise any constitutional challenges to the City's Land Use Code. Congratulations to WSH litigators Edward G. Guedes, Matthew H. Mandel and Michael S. Popok, and land use attorneys' Stephen J. Helfman, Susan L. Trevarthen and City Attorney Nina L. Boniske on the victory.

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Categories: Land Use & Zoning (Public)LitigationGovernment AffairsLocal GovernmentLand Use & Zoning (Private)Constitutional Law
Tags: Governmental LitigationSpecial Counsel to Local GovernmentNina L. BoniskeJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesStephen J. HelfmanMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaSusan L. TrevarthenFort Lauderdale Local Government LawMiami Local Government LawSouth Florida Local Government LawFort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Constitutional Law AttorneysMiami Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida LitigatorsFirst AmendmentFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Michael S. Popok

Supreme Court Tackles Health Care: Day 3 of Oral Arguments

On the third and final day of oral arguments before the Supreme Court, the central issue was whether the individual mandate portion of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the “Act”) was severable from the remainder of the Act.

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Categories: LitigationGovernment AffairsAppellate Law & PracticeFederal LawFederal CourtsConstitutional Law
Tags: Governmental LitigationJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaLaura K. WendellPatient Protection and Affordable Care ActFort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysMatthew 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 AttorneysFort Lauderdale Environmental Law AttorneysSouth Florida LitigatorsEleventh Circuit Court of AppealsUnited States CongressUnited States SenateFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

Supreme Court Tackles Health Care: Day 2 of Oral Arguments

The second day of oral arguments before the United States Supreme Court concerning the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the “Act”) addressed the substantive question of whether or not a government mandate requiring Americans to purchase health insurance or face a penalty is constitutional.

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Categories: LitigationGovernment AffairsAppellate Law & PracticeFederal LawFederal CourtsConstitutional Law
Tags: Governmental LitigationJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaLaura K. WendellPatient Protection and Affordable Care ActFort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysMatthew 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 AppealsUnited States CongressUnited States SenateFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara