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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

WSH Partner Gary Brown to Speak at NBI Construction Law Seminar in 2013

This coming March, WSH Partner and Construction Group Chair Gary L. Brown will be speaking as a featured panelist at an upcoming Continuing Legal Education course offered by the National Business Institute (“NBI”). Gary will give two one-hour long presentations discussing the fundamentals of construction defect claims (including applicable laws, regulations and standards of care) along with indemnity provisions and insurance relating to construction defects. This will be Gary’s second presentation for the NBI; he previously taught a seminar entitled “Managing Contract Changes/Handling Changes to Jobsite Conditions” at the NBI’s Construction Law Seminar in 2008.

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Categories: LitigationAwards & RecognitionsConstruction Law
Tags: Gary L. BrownCommercial General LiabilityConstruction DefectsFort 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 LitigatorsFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Construction LawyerMiami Construction LawyerMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

Judges to Crack Down on Jurors' Use of Social Media During Trial

The federal judiciary recently issued new jury instructions aimed at restricting jurors’ use of electronic tools and social media in particular to research and/or communicate about a case. The instructions will be read to jurors by the judge at the outset of trial and again before deliberations. The instructions include an all-inclusive list of prohibited methods of communication, including cell phones, Blackberries, iPhones, the Internet, e-mails, blogs and websites. The instructions allow for restrictions on newly developed electronic tools and social media, prohibiting “other tools of technology” and “any similar technology of social media,” even if these tools are not specifically identified by the judge. The instructions also mandate that jurors identify and report any other juror who violates the instructions. The aim of the new instructions is to remind jurors that they must decide the case solely on the evidence presented at trial, and not rely on outside influences. By limiting jurors’ exposure to electronic media, the judiciary hopes to curb the influence of inaccurate, inflammatory, and prejudicial comments that can permeate the Internet.

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Categories: Litigation
Tags: Governmental LitigationJamie 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 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

Plaintiffs Alleging Securities Fraud Face Difficulty Establishing Prima Facie Case

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued an opinion addressing what elements a plaintiff in a private securities fraud case must prove in order to establish a prima facie case. In Hubbard v. BankAtlantic Bancorp, Inc., 2012 WL 2985112 (11th Cir. Jul. 23, 2012), the Court held that the plaintiff had to prove loss causation, or that the plaintiff’s loss can be attributed to the defendants’ fraud and not ancillary factors unrelated to the defendant’s actions. The decision highlights the difficulty for most plaintiffs in establishing a prima facie case of securities fraud in a turbulent economic environment.

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Categories: LitigationFederal LawFederal CourtsTorts
Tags: Market Share LiabilityFort 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 AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysMiami Construction LawyerMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneySecurities and Exchange Commission
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

First DCA Holds Non-Compete Covenants are Transferable Even Under General Assignment of Rights

In today’s business environment, businesses merge and sever with unprecedented frequency. Because change in business ownership is so common, questions may arise as to what rights and obligations a business has into previously agreed-to covenants. A recent case from the First Circuit Court of Appeals gave some good news to such businesses. In DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. v. Waxman, et al. 2012 WL 3138681 (Fla. 1st DCA, Aug. 3, 2012), the District Court held that non-compete agreements entered into between a distributor and its sales representatives were enforceable where the agreements were properly assigned under a sale of the distributor’s intangible assets. The case is significant because it holds that a mere general assignment of rights and obligations is sufficient to effectuate a transfer of enforcement rights; no formal assignment is needed.

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentLitigationContracts
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 LawyerMatthew 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 Commercial Litigation LawyerFort 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): Brooke P. Dolara

WSH Attorneys Recognized as BestLawyers by National Publication

Each summer, BestLawyers compiles a list of the most reputable attorneys throughout the country. This year, WSH is thrilled to announce that several of its Members and Partners have been selected for "BestLawyers 2013."

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Categories: Land Use & Zoning (Public)Environmental/SustainabilityLitigationGovernment AffairsLocal GovernmentAppellate Law & PracticeAwards & RecognitionsLand Use & Zoning (Private)
Tags: Awards & RecognitionsEdward G. GuedesStephen J. HelfmanMichael 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 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 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 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 Adopts Amendments Governing Discovery of Electronically Stored Information

Effective September 1, procedural rule amendments governing discovery of electronically stored information (ESI) will go into effect in Florida courts. These amendments permit discovery of ESI during the pretrial and discovery phases of civil litigation. Rule 1.340, which governs interrogatories, permits production of ESI in response to an interrogatory or specific request. Rule 1.280 sets limitations on discovery and specifies procedures for a recipient of a discovery request to object to the action if producing the ESI is too costly or too burdensome (the Court may still grant the movant’s request, but may be shift some of the cost to the movant). For a complete list of all procedural rule amendments regarding ESI, please click here.

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Categories: Litigation
Tags: Florida Supreme CourtJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaDiscoveryFort 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

WSH Associate Alison F. Smith Elected President of CBA

WSH Associate Alison F. Smith has been elected as the next President of the Caribbean Bar Association, a voluntary bar organization of South and Central Florida lawyers from the Caribbean community. 

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentLitigationAwards & RecognitionsAdministrative Law
Tags: Michael S. PopokAlison F. SmithFort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Commercial Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Commercial Litigation LawyerFort 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 AttorneysFlorida 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): Brooke P. Dolara

WSH Appellate Team Obtains Favorable Decision by Fourth DCA in Premises Liability Case

Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal today granted a petition for writ of certiorari filed by Publix Super Markets, Inc., and quashed a trial court order that had required the supermarket chain to turn over privileged work product documents prepared by its risk management team in connection with a premises liability incident. WSH's Appellate Practice Group  members Edward G. Guedes and Laura K. Wendell, represented Publix and took the unusual approach of asking the appellate court to engage in an in camera inspection of the privileged documents, since the documents represented evidence available to establish the applicability of the privilege. In adopting the appellate team’s argument, the Fourth District adopted a very favorable view of the privilege in premises liability cases, highlighting the practical realities that retailers face when these incidents occur on their premises.

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Categories: LitigationAppellate Law & PracticeTorts
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 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

Fourth DCA Overturns Denial of Summary Judgment Motion After Verdict and Damages Awarded

The Fourth District Court of Appeal (“DCA”) recently reversed a lower court’s denial of the defendant’s motion for summary judgment even though the case subsequently went to trial and the plaintiff obtained a favorable judgment. In overturning the trial court’s decision, the Court held that where the material facts are not disputed and the denial of summary judgment is based on the resolution of a purely legal question, a decision is appealable after final judgment.

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Categories: LitigationAppellate Law & PracticeCivil Procedure
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 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): Brooke P. Dolara