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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

The Right of Private Individuals to Video and Photograph Public Employees

In the era of ubiquitous cell phone cameras and social media usage, public employees need to be mindful of the law as it pertains to the rights of citizens to monitor public employees at work. Private individuals have a right to record public employees, including police officers, in the public discharge of their duties. The First Amendment provides private individuals a constitutionally protected right to photograph or video record public employees. This right, however, is not completely unqualified and may be subject to reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions. In Gilk v. Cunniffe, 655 F.3d 78, (1st Cir. 2011), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit addressed the issue of whether there exists a constitutionally protected right to videotape police carrying out their duties in public. The First Circuit answered this question in the affirmative, holding, “Basic First Amendment principles, along with case law from this and other circuits, unambiguously establish that private individuals possess a constitutionally protected right to videotape police carrying out their duties.” Id. at 82. Recording governmental officers engaged in public duties is a form of speech through which private individuals may gather and disseminate information of public concern, including the conduct of law enforcement officers. Id. In Gilk, arrestee Simon Gilk was arrested for using his cell phone’s digital video camera to film several police officers arresting a young man on the Boston Common. The Charges against Gilk, which included violations of Massachusetts’s wiretap statute, were subsequently judged baseless and dismissed. Gilk then brought suit under §1983, claiming that his arrest for filming police officers arresting a young man constituted a violation of his rights under the First and Fourth Amendments. The First Circuit held that the officers were not entitled to qualified immunity on the First and Fourth Amendment claims and Gilk was awarded $170,000.

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Categories: LitigationConstitutional Law
Tags: Public EmployeesGovernmental 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 LitigatorsProtected ActivityFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Sara E. Aulisio

2011 Champions WSH Ready to Defend Title at Dade County Bar Association Softball Tournament

For the ninth consecutive year, WSH attorneys and staff will suit up and play in the Dade County Bar Association Young Lawyers’ Section Softball Tournament. Having won the championship last year, our players are eager to defend their title in this year’s competition. WSH Partner Matthew H. Mandel leads an impressive roster of players in the all-day event, which will be held this Saturday at Miami’s Tropical Park. Proceeds from the tournament benefit the Miami Foundation, a charitable organization that provides millions of dollars in grants and scholarships to members of the Greater Miami community.

For more information on the tournament, click here.

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Categories: Awards & Recognitions
Tags: Awards & RecognitionsSara E. AulisioMichael S. PopokAmy J. SantiagoAnthony C. SorokaJoanna D. ThomsonSamuel I. ZeskindMatthew H. Mandel
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

DBR Recognizes WSH as One of the Ten Most Diverse Law Firms in South Florida

On January 23, the Daily Business Review released the names of the 25 most diverse law firms in South Florida.  This year, WSH was named the 10th most diverse firm, coming ahead of large law firms such as Greenberg Traurig, Akerman Senterfitt, and Becker & Poliakoff. 

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Categories: Awards & Recognitions
Tags: Awards & RecognitionsDaniel L. AbbottLillian M. ArangoSara E. AulisioMitchell A. BiermanNina L. BoniskeGary L. BrownMitchell J. BurnsteinJonathan CohenJamie A. ColeJeffrey DeCarloIgnacio G. Del ValleBrooke P. DolaraRaquel ElejabarrietaChad S. FriedmanAlan L. GabrielDouglas R. GonzalesEdward G. GuedesStephen J. HelfmanEric P. HockmanHarlene Silvern KennedyJoshua D. KrutKathryn M. MehaffeyAleida Martinez MolinaAlexander L. Palenzuela-MauriGilberto PastorizaMatthew J. PearlMichael S. PopokTimothy M. RavichAnthony L. RecioAmy J. SantiagoBrett J. SchneiderClifford A. SchulmanDaniel A. SeigelGail D. SerotaJoseph H. SerotaJonathan C. ShamresEstrellita S. SibilaAlison F. SmithAnthony C. SorokaEduardo M. SotoJoanna D. ThomsonSusan L. TrevarthenPeter D. WaldmanRichard Jay WeissLaura K. WendellJames E. WhiteDavid M. WolpinSamuel I. ZeskindFort 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 Condominium Association AttorneysMiami Condominium Association AttorneysSouth Florida Condominium Association AttorneysFort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysFort Lauderdale Municipal AttorneysMiami Municipal AttorneysSouth Florida Municipal AttorneysSouth Florida Airport LawSouth 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 Matthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale Eminent Domain AttorneysMiami Eminent Domain AttorneysSourth Florida Eminent Domain AttorneysScope of the Project RuleFort Lauderdale Homeowners' Association AttorneysMiami Homeowners' Association AttorneysSouth Florida Homeowners' Association AttorneysFort Lauderdale Bankruptcy AttorneysMiami Bankruptcy AttorneysSouth Florida Bankruptcy AttorneysFort 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 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 LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Employment Law AttorneysMiami Employment Law AttorneysSouth Florida Employment Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Labor Law AttorneysMiami Labor Law AttorneysSouth Florida Labor Law AttorneysRobert MeyersAdrian J. AlvarezAlternative Dispute ResolutionJohanna M. LundgrenFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Community Association LawFlorida Condo Association LawFlorida Employment AttorneysFlorida Environmental LawFlorida Labor LawyersFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Construction LawyerFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerFort Lauderdale Real Estate LawyerFort Lauderdale Tax AttorneyMiami Construction LawyerMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Eminent Domain AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Labor LawyerMiami Litigation AttorneyMiami Real Estate LawyerSouth Florida Employment Lawyers
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

11th Circuit Finds Municipal Ordinance Authorizing Issuance of “Trespass Warnings” is Unconstitutional

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently vacated a decision of U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida which had upheld the City’s of St. Petersburg municipal ordinance authorizing certain City officials to issue trespass warnings. In vacating the lower court, the Eleventh Circuit held that the City’s trespass warning ordinance was unconstitutional.

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Categories: LitigationGovernment AffairsLocal GovernmentAppellate Law & PracticeFederal LawFederal CourtsConstitutional Law
Tags: Governmental LitigationMunicipal GovernmentSpecial Counsel to Local GovernmentSara E. AulisioMitchell A. BiermanJamie A. ColeChad S. FriedmanEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaRichard Jay WeissDavid 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 LitigatorsEleventh Circuit Court of Appeals
Author(s): Sara E. Aulisio