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President Nominates Three Candidates to Influential Federal Appeals Court

On June 4, President Obama announced the nominations of three people to the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The nominees are U.S. District Judge Robert Leon Wilkins, Georgetown Law Professor Cornelia T.L. Pillard, and attorney Patricia Ann Millett, a Partner at Akin Gump Hauer & Feld, LLP. The announcement was the first time the President held an event to announce nominees to the federal bench other than the Supreme Court. The announcement also comes one month after the U.S. Senate unanimously approved Deputy Solicitor General Sri Srinivasan’s nomination to the same court.

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Categories: LitigationAppellate Law & PracticeFederal CourtsConstitutional Law
Tags: Jamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaLaura K. WendellFort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami 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 LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Constitutional Law AttorneysMiami Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida LitigatorsFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

WSH Forms New Practice Group Focusing on International Litigation, Real Estate and Business

In recognition of South Florida's unique position as the gateway for investment, commerce and real estate in Latin America, WSH has announced the formation of the International Group, a new practice group working with our Business Organization and Transaction Group, Litigation Division, and Real Estate Group to offer services to clients doing business in the Americas. The International Group assists and represents entrepreneurs, private businesses, publicly traded companies, financial institutions, and other ventures conducting business across international borders. Attorneys in the Group have extensive experience in business litigation, including contract disputes, secured transactions, shareholder and partnership disputes, and the prosecution and defense of class actions. The Group also handles real estate matters across international borders, including acquisitions, development, financing, leasing, and joint ventures. Lastly, the Group offers dispute resolution services, representing individuals and sovereign nations alike in matters of private and public importance. Attorneys in the Group serve our clients' comfort by speaking in their native tongue, including Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese.

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Categories: LitigationContractsReal EstateAdministrative LawCorporate LawInternational Law
Tags: Mitchell A. BiermanMichael 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 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 Fort 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 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 AttorneyMiami Real Estate LawyerJoseph HernandezCarlos M. RodriguezRoger S. KobertMarc C. Pugliese
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

Senate Bill Aims to Attract International Disputes to Florida Courts

Earlier this year, State Senator Miguel Diaz de la Portilla introduced a bill that would allow international disputes to be handled in Florida. CS/SB 186 addresses personal jurisdiction in the Florida courts.

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Categories: LitigationCivil ProcedureAlternative Dispute Resolution
Tags: Jamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaFlorida LegislatureFort 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 LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsAlternative Dispute ResolutionMediationFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Litigation AttorneyRoger S. KobertMarc C. Pugliese
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

Developers Announce Major Projects in South Florida, Including Billion-Dollar Project in West Brickell

Following the economic collapse of 2008, the South Florida condominium market has shown signs of a slow and steady recovery, with developers successfully unloading previously unsold units to wealthy foreign investors. Developers report that the increased demand for condominium units has prompted new construction in South Florida; in the past two years, twenty five new condominium projects have been announced. The New York Times recently ran a story on this mini construction boom, recognizing noteworthy projects like Brickell CityCentre, a $1.05 billion shopping and mixed-use development located south of the Miami River and west of Brickell Avenue. The project’s developers are working with the Whitman family, owners of Bal Harbour Shops, to turn Brickell CityCentre’s 500-square foot retail space into an attractive luxury shopping destination along with a 1,600 space underground parking lot and renovated public transportation facilities. The project’s objective is to diversify the downtown area by offering accessible luxury retail to a location traditionally associated with offices and hotels.

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Categories: Condominium AssociationsLand Use & Zoning (Private)Real Estate
Tags: Stephen J. HelfmanJoshua D. KrutGilberto PastorizaMichael S. PopokFort Lauderdale Condominium Association AttorneysMiami Condominium Association AttorneysSouth Florida Condominium 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 AttorneysJoseph HernandezCarlos M. Rodriguez
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

WSH Litigators Win Red Light Camera Appeal for City of Aventura

On April 24, WSH Partner Edward G. Guedes and Associate Samuel I. Zeskind obtained an appellate victory for the City of Aventura (the “City”) in a dispute over the City’s red light camera program. The appeal challenged a conviction for a red light camera citation. In her appeal, Geovana Achury argued in part that the trial court violated her right to due process by predetermining the evidence and relying on evidentiary and pre-trial rulings made in an unrelated case. The trial court relied on previously-determined evidentiary rulings in State of Florida v. Jason Vanderpool, 2011 WL 2742641 (Fla. Miami-Dade Cty. Ct. 2011) concerning the validity of the procedures used by American Traffic Solutions and other companies that maintain red light cameras. Taking judicial notice of the evidentiary rulings, the trial court held that the photographs and video generated by these cameras were admissible evidence.

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Categories: LitigationLocal Government
Tags: Governmental LitigationMunicipal GovernmentRed Light CamerasMitchell A. BiermanJamie A. ColeChad S. FriedmanEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaRichard Jay WeissDavid M. WolpinSamuel I. ZeskindEvidenceMatthew 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

WSH Labor and Employment Lawyers Obtain Summary Judgment for City in Discriminatory Discharge Case

On April 23, WSH attorneys Brett J. Schneider and Alison F. Smith obtained summary judgment in favor of the City of Lauderhill in a federal lawsuit brought by a former City maintenance worker. The Plaintiff alleged, among other things, that the City discriminated against him on the basis of his age and national origin, retaliated against him for making a discrimination complaint, and ultimately terminated his employment because of his age and national origin. Judge Robin Rosenbaum, in a 30 page written order, adopted many of the arguments made by Brett and Alison and granted summary judgment as to all seven counts in the Complaint.

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentLitigation
Tags: Public EmployeesEmployment AgreementsPublic EmployersCollective BargainingGovernmental LitigationJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokBrett J. SchneiderJoseph H. SerotaAlison F. SmithFort 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 Lawyers

Supreme Court Justices Hold Plaintiff’s Claim Moot in Collective Action Under FLSA, Dismissing Case

On April 16, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion that may limit the availability of collective action suits under the Fair Labor Standards Act. By way of background, the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) establishes federal minimum wage and overtime pay requirements that cannot be modified by contract. Section 16(b) of FLSA permits employees to bring a private cause of action on their own behalf and on behalf of “other employees similarly situated” for specific violations of the FLSA. A suit brought on behalf of other employees is known as a “collective action.” The issue before the Court was whether a collective action is justiciable when the lone plaintiff’s individual claim becomes moot.

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentLitigationFederal LawFederal CourtsClass ActionsCivil Procedure
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 Labor LawyersFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil 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

WSH Wins Appeal for Miami Art Museum

On April 17, 2013, the Third District Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of Judge Barbara Areces, Circuit Court Judge of the 11th Judicial Circuit Court in and for Miami Dade County, finding that the lease of a portion of Bicentennial Park by the City of Miami (“City”) to the Miami Art Museum of Dade County Association, Inc. (“Miami Art Museum”) complies with the City’s Charter. WSH attorneys Joseph H. Serota and Eric P. Hockman represented Miami Art Museum in the trial court. Laura K. Wendell, who is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in the field of Appellate Practice, joined Joe and Eric on the appeal to write the brief in support of the trial court’s decision.

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Categories: LitigationLocal GovernmentAppellate Law & Practice
Tags: Governmental LitigationMitchell A. BiermanJamie A. ColeChad S. FriedmanEdward G. GuedesEric P. HockmanMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaRichard Jay WeissLaura K. WendellDavid M. WolpinMiami 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 Municipal AttorneysMiami Municipal AttorneysSouth Florida Municipal AttorneysMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale Appellate Law AttorneysMiami Appellate Law AttorneysSouth Florida Appellate Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami 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): Eric P. Hockman

WSH Successfully Defends City of Lauderhill in Bid Protest Litigation

Earlier this year, WSH Partner and Construction Group Chair Gary L. Brown obtained a favorable decision on behalf of the City of Lauderhill (the “City”) in a lawsuit over a rejected bid protest for the construction of the City’s Performing Arts Center and Library.

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Categories: LitigationLocal GovernmentConstruction Law
Tags: Governmental LitigationMunicipal GovernmentMitchell A. BiermanGary L. BrownJamie A. ColeChad S. FriedmanMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaRichard Jay WeissDavid M. WolpinFort Lauderdale Local Government LawMiami Local Government LawSouth Florida Local Government LawFort Lauderdale Municipal AttorneysMiami Municipal AttorneysSouth Florida Municipal AttorneysMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Construction LawyerMiami Construction LawyerMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

Major Banks Obtain Dismissal of Multiple Counts in Libor Case

On March 29, sixteen national financial institutions scored a major victory in federal court when U.S. District Court Judge Naomi Rice Buchwald dismissed several claims in private lawsuits alleging antitrust violations that resulted in injured investment returns for a number of plaintiffs. In 2011, the City of Baltimore and the New Britain Firefighters’ Benefit Fun filed a complaint against a dozen major U.S. banks, including Bank of America, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, HSBC and JPMorgan Chase. Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that the banks manipulated the Libor, a key metric that sets interest rates using data computed daily from domestic and international banks. The plaintiffs claimed that by "suppressing" the Libor, the banks concealed their level of risk during the financial crisis. In 2012, the banks filed a Motion to Dismiss, arguing that the evidence does not support the existence of a conspiracy to manipulate rates. In addition to the dismissal of the antitrust claims, Judge Buchwald also partly dismissed the plaintiffs’ claims of commodities manipulation, a claim of racketeering, and state-law claims. Although the plaintiffs’ claim that the banks’ suppression of the Libor resulted in harm to traders who bet on interest rates was not dismissed, Judge Buchwald’s decision may give the banks’ leverage in future settlement talks.

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Categories: LitigationLocal GovernmentFederal LawFederal CourtsClass Actions
Tags: Governmental LitigationMitchell A. BiermanJamie A. ColeChad S. FriedmanEdward G. GuedesMichael 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 LawyerSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation LawyersMatthew 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