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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

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

U.S. Supreme Court Overturns Arizona Voter Registration Law Requiring Documentary Proof of Citizenship

On June 17, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down an Arizona voter registration law requiring documentary proof of citizenship from people seeking to vote in federal elections. In Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc., --- S.Ct. ----, 2013 WL 2922124 (U.S. Jun. 17, 2013), the Court held that Arizona’s proof of citizenship requirement was preempted by the National Voter Registration Act (“Act”), which requires States to “accept and use” a uniform federal form to register voters for federal elections.

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Categories: LitigationFederal LawFederal CourtsConstitutional Law
Tags: Governmental LitigationPreemptionJamie 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 LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

U.S. District Court Judge Holds Interns Working At Motion Picture Studio “Employees” Entitled to FLSA Protections

Earlier this month, a federal district court judge for the Southern District of New York ruled that Fox Searchlight Pictures violated federal and State minimum wage laws when it failed to pay two unpaid interns who worked on the film “Black Swan” from 2009 to 2010. In Glatt v. Fox Searchlight Pictures, Inc., ----F. Supp. 2d ----, 2013 WL 2495140 (S.D.N.Y. Jun. 11, 2013), Judge William H. Pauley III held that plaintiffs Eric Glatt and Alexander Footman were improperly classified as “unpaid interns” and were actually “employees” protected by the Fair Labor Standards Act (the “FLSA”).

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentLitigationFederal Law
Tags: Employment AgreementsJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokBrett J. SchneiderJoseph H. SerotaFort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business 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 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 LawyersFair Labor Standards Act
Author(s): Brett J. Schneider & Brooke P. Dolara

WSH Attorneys Recognized as Florida SuperLawyers

Florida SuperLawyers recently revealed its list of "SuperLawyers" and "Rising Stars" for 2013; each year, the magazine rates outstanding attorneys from more than seventy practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process for SuperLawyers includes independent research, peer nominations, and peer evaluations. This year, SuperLawyers recognized twenty WSH attorneys. 

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Categories: Land Use & Zoning (Public)Environmental/SustainabilityLitigationCondominium AssociationsLocal GovernmentHomeowners' AssociationsAppellate Law & PracticeAwards & RecognitionsLand Use & Zoning (Private)Construction LawReal Estate
Tags: Governmental LitigationMunicipal GovernmentSpecial Counsel to Local GovernmentGary L. BrownJonathan CohenJamie A. ColeChad S. FriedmanEdward G. GuedesStephen J. HelfmanEric P. HockmanJoshua D. KrutGilberto PastorizaMatthew J. PearlMichael S. PopokAnthony L. RecioBrett J. SchneiderClifford A. SchulmanJoseph H. SerotaAlison F. SmithSusan L. TrevarthenRichard Jay WeissSamuel 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 Condominium Association AttorneysMiami Condominium Association AttorneysSouth Florida Condominium Association AttorneysFort Lauderdale Municipal AttorneysMiami Municipal AttorneysSouth Florida Municipal AttorneysMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale Homeowners' Association AttorneysMiami Homeowners' Association AttorneysSouth Florida Homeowners' Association 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 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 AttorneysFlorida 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 LawyerMiami Construction LawyerMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Labor LawyerMiami Litigation AttorneyMiami Real Estate LawyerSouth Florida Employment Lawyers
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

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