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Former Broward Teachers’ Union President Arrested for Numerous Offenses Against Union

On Tuesday, former Broward Teachers’ Union (“BTU”) President Pat Santeramo surrendered to authorities after he was charged with racketeering, grand theft, campaign contribution violations and money laundering. The arrest warrant alleges that Mr. Santeramo charged union credit cards for personal expenses, fraudulently obtained compensation for sick and vacation leave that he was not entitled to, and orchestrated an illegal campaign contribution scheme under which BTU members would be reimbursed with union funds after writing checks to political candidates. Mr. Santeramo is also charged with receiving numerous kickbacks from South Florida vendors while billing the union for the incurred expenses.

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentGovernment AffairsLocal GovernmentCriminal Law
Tags: Public EmployeesPublic EmployersMunicipal GovernmentEthicsSpecial Counsel to Local GovernmentMitchell A. BiermanJamie A. ColeChad S. FriedmanAlan L. GabrielBrett J. SchneiderRichard Jay WeissDavid M. WolpinFort Lauderdale 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 AttorneysFort 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 Employment LawyerFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneySouth Florida Employment Lawyers
Author(s): Michael S. Popok & Brooke P. Dolara

WSH Partner Ed Guedes Wins Appeal Before Third District Court of Appeal for Miami-Dade School Board

WSH was recently retained by the Miami-Dade School Board to take the lead in a difficult, ongoing appeal before the Third District Court of Appeal of a decision by the State Board of Education. The ruling had overturned the School Board’s politically sensitive decision to terminate the charter of an existing charter school, which the School Board had determined was performing poorly and jeopardizing the students’ education. After the School Board’s decision to revoke the charter, the school appealed the decision to the State Board of Education in Tallahassee. Despite a recommendation from the Charter School Appeal Commission favorable to the School Board, the State Board of Education rejected the recommendation and upheld the school’s appeal, directing the School Board to reinstate the school’s charter.

The School Board appealed the decision to the Third District Court of Appeal, and WSH, led by Appellate Practice Group Chair Edward G. Guedes, stepped in to complete the briefing for the School Board and handle the oral argument. In The School Board of Miami-Dade County, Florida v. Rise Academy of South Dade Charter School, The Third District reversed the State Board’s decision, finding that the decision was erroneous under “any standard of review,” and remanded the matter to the State Board with directions to deny the charter school’s appeal, thus upholding the School Board’s original decision.

To read a copy of the Opinion, please click here.

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Categories: LitigationGovernment AffairsLocal GovernmentAppellate Law & PracticeFederal Law
Tags: Governmental LitigationSpecial Counsel to Local GovernmentMitchell A. BiermanJamie A. ColeChad S. FriedmanEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaRichard Jay WeissLaura K. WendellDavid M. WolpinFort 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 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): Edward G. Guedes

City of Baltimore Sues Major Banks, Alleging Antitrust Violations

In 2011, the city of Baltimore and the New Britain Firefighters' Benefit Fund sued more than a dozen major U.S. banks, alleging that the banks engaged in antitrust violations that resulted in injured investment returns for the plaintiffs.  Specifically, the plaintiffs allege that the banks manipulated the Libor, a key metric that sets interest rates using data computed daily from domestic and international banks.  The plaintiffs claim that by "suppressing" the Libor, the banks concealed their level of risk during the financial crisis.  The allegations of wrongdoing carry serious weight: last week, the British banking behemoth Barclays Plc agreed to pay U.S. and British regulators $455 million in fines for manipulating the Libor.

The case is being litigated in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.  Most recently, the banks filed a Motion to Dismiss , arguing that the evidence does not support the existence of a conspiracy to manipulate rates.  

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Categories: LitigationGovernment AffairsLocal GovernmentFederal Courts
Tags: Governmental LitigationMunicipal GovernmentSpecial Counsel to Local GovernmentMitchell A. BiermanJamie A. ColeChad S. FriedmanEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaRichard Jay WeissDavid 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 Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysFort Lauderdale Municipal AttorneysMiami Municipal AttorneysSouth Florida Municipal AttorneysMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Michael S. Popok

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

Three WSH Members Recognized as "Leading Lawyers"

Each year, the South Florida Business Journal lists the area’s most reputable firms and noteworthy attorneys in its Book of Law. We are thrilled to announce that the South Florida Business Journal selected three WSH attorneys as "Leading Lawyers" in its 2012 Book of Law. Members Mitchell J. Burnstein, Michael S. Popok and Jamie Alan Cole all have extensive litigation experience and hold top management positions at our firm.

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Categories: LitigationGovernment AffairsAwards & RecognitionsEminent Domain
Tags: Governmental LitigationSpecial Counsel to Local GovernmentAwards & RecognitionsMitchell J. BurnsteinJamie A. ColeMichael S. PopokFort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Commercial Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Commercial Litigation LawyerFort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth 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 Eminent Domain AttorneysMiami Eminent Domain AttorneysSourth Florida Eminent Domain 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 Eminent Domain Attorney
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

WSH Attorneys Recognized as Super Lawyers and Rising Stars by National Legal Publication

We are thrilled to report that several WSH attorneys were recently selected as Super Lawyers and Rising Stars by Super Lawyers magazine.

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Categories: LitigationCondominium AssociationsGovernment AffairsLocal GovernmentHomeowners' AssociationsAppellate Law & PracticeFederal LawAwards & RecognitionsLand Use & Zoning (Private)Federal CourtsConstruction Law
Tags: Governmental LitigationMunicipal GovernmentSpecial Counsel to Local GovernmentAwards & RecognitionsGary L. BrownJamie A. ColeJoshua D. KrutMatthew J. PearlMichael S. PopokAnthony L. RecioRichard 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 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 AttorneysAdrian J. AlvarezFlorida 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

Trainspotting - Success of California High Speed Rail Plan Could Have Consequences for Florida Train Travel

With more drivers on the roads every day in South Florida, state transportation planners face a daunting challenge to alleviate road congestion while efficiently moving thousands of drivers.

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Categories: Government Affairs
Tags: Fort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth 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
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

Federal Judge Holds Florida Executive Order Requiring Drug Testing for State Workers Unconstitutional

Today U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro ruled that Governor Rick Scott’s Executive Order 11-58 providing for pre-employment drug testing and random drug testing of state employees violates the Fourth Amendment ban on unreasonable searches and seizures. See American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 79 v. Rick Scott, Case No. 11-civ-21976-UU. “To be reasonable under the Fourth Amendment, a search ordinarily must be based on individualized suspicion of wrongdoing,” Judge Ungaro wrote in her order, citing previous U.S. Supreme Court orders that ruled that urine tests are considered government searches.

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentLitigationGovernment AffairsFederal LawFederal Courts
Tags: Public EmployeesEmployment AgreementsPublic EmployersGovernmental LitigationMunicipal GovernmentJamie A. ColeRaquel ElejabarrietaEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokBrett J. SchneiderJoseph H. SerotaFort 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 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 LawyersMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Labor LawyerMiami Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Employment Lawyers
Author(s): Brett J. Schneider & Raquel Elejabarrieta

Miami Dade County Commissioners Vote to End Moratorium on New Cities

On Tuesday, Miami-Dade commissioners unanimously voted to lift the County moratorium on city incorporations.

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Categories: Local Government
Tags: Municipal GovernmentSpecial Counsel to Local GovernmentFlorida League of CitiesFlorida City Government WeekMitchell A. BiermanJamie A. ColeChad S. FriedmanRichard Jay WeissDavid M. WolpinFort 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 Attorneys
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

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