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News of Bisaria Indictment Reaches South Florida Papers

As we reported in our blog last week, the Chicago Tribune reached out to WSH Member and Miami-Dade Partner-in-Charge Michael S. Popok for his reaction to the recent indictments of Boca Raton developer Atul Bisaria and contractor Steve Lewis, who are charged with defrauding Chicago’s Mutual Bank and Broadway Bank out of more than $19 million in loans. WSH represents United Central Bank, the successor to Mutual Bank, in a related foreclosure.

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Categories: LitigationFederal LawFederal CourtsCriminal Law
Tags: Jamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesEric P. HockmanMichael 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 AttorneyJohn J. Quick
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

WSH’s Michael Popok, Counsel for Lending Institution, Responds to Indictment of South Florida Hotelier Atul Bisaria

On October 9, federal prosecutors in Illinois filed an indictment against Atul Bisaria and his contractor, Steve Lewis, alleging that both men engaged in a scheme to defraud two Chicago area banks and obtain money and property by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, promises and material omissions. Mr. Bisaria allegedly persuaded Mutual Bank and Broadway Bank to loan him in excess of $9 million and $10 million each to renovate and hotels he owned in Boca Raton and Cincinnati. Mr. Lewis allegedly sent invoices to the bank falsely representing that payment was due for materials and work performed at the hotels to justify the large sums being loaned by the banks. In reality, no work had been completed at either job site. The indictment further alleges that Bisaria used the proceeds of the loan for personal expenses and failed real estate ventures. United Central Bank, a Texas based community bank which has acquired Mutual Bank’s assets, has retained WSH Member and Miami-Dade Partner-in-Charge Michael S. Popok to represent it in a related foreclosure. Commenting on Bisaria’s phantom renovations, Michael stated that the “only thing [Bisaria] built was a pile of invoices.”

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Categories: LitigationBankruptcy & Creditors’ Rights
Tags: Jamie 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 LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

U.S. Supreme Court Will Hear Widely-Publicized Florida Case Involving Rules on Exactions and Inverse Condemnation

On October 5, the United States Supreme Court granted a petition for certiorari filed on behalf of the plaintiff in Koontz v. St. Johns Water Management District.  Oral arguments will be scheduled in the coming months. The case involves Coy Koontz, a landowner who owned 15 acres of land, the majority of which fell within a riparian habitat-protection zone in the Econlockhatchee River hydrological basin and contained protected wetlands. The development of the land was under the jurisdiction of the St. Johns River Water Management District.

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Categories: Land Use & Zoning (Public)Environmental/SustainabilityLitigationAppellate Law & PracticeLand Use & Zoning (Private)Federal CourtsConstitutional LawEminent DomainAdministrative Law
Tags: Governmental LitigationFlorida Supreme CourtMitchell J. BurnsteinJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesGilberto PastorizaMichael S. PopokClifford A. SchulmanJoseph H. SerotaSusan L. TrevarthenMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale Eminent Domain AttorneysMiami Eminent Domain AttorneysSourth Florida Eminent Domain 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 LitigatorsFlorida Environmental LawFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Susan L. Trevarthen & Brooke P. Dolara

WSH Achieves Major Defense Victory for Settlement Provider

On October 8, Michael S. Popok, John J. Quick, and Eric P. Hockman achieved a major victory in defending against a motion for partial summary judgment in a breach of contract case involving a damages claim for $10.1 million. Judge Meenu T. Sasser, in the Palm Beach County Circuit Court, adopted the proposed order written and submitted by Michael, John and Eric almost verbatim.

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Categories: LitigationContracts
Tags: Jamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesEric P. HockmanMichael 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 LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Litigation AttorneyJohn J. Quick
Author(s): Matthew H. Mandel & Brooke P. Dolara

Nine Years After Grutter v. Bollinger, Supreme Court Revisits Affirmative Action in College Admissions

Next week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Fisher v. University of Texas to consider whether use of race in undergraduate admissions decisions violates equal protection under the U.S. Constitution. The Court’s decision will have significant consequences for affirmative action policies at public universities.

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Categories: LitigationFederal LawFederal CourtsConstitutional Law
Tags: Governmental LitigationJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaMatthew H. MandelMiami Appellate Law AttorneysSouth Florida Appellate Law AttorneysFort 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): 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

The Red Light Camera Diaries: Sarasota County Denies Due Process Challenge Brought by Driver

Last week, we reported that a Polk County judge denied a Motion to Dismiss brought by 40 ticketed drivers challenging red light camera citiations on constitutional grounds.  In that case, the court rejected the drivers' argument that issuance of citations generated by red light camera violations violated the equal protection clausen. On August 29, a County Court judge in Sarasota County denied a Motion to Dismiss brought by a defendant driver who had been issued a red light camera citation. County Court Judge Kimberly Bonnner held that the defendant failed to prove that the issuance of a citation for red light camera violations did not constitute a violation of the due process clause.

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Categories: LitigationGovernment AffairsLocal GovernmentConstitutional Law
Tags: Governmental LitigationMunicipal GovernmentRed Light CamerasRule EnforcementMitchell A. BiermanJamie A. ColeChad S. FriedmanEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaRichard Jay WeissLaura K. WendellDavid 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 LitigatorsFlorida Litigation AttorneysMiami Litigation Attorney
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

Florida Courts Continue to Side with Municipalities in Red Light Camera Challenges

Throughout the past year, judges in both Broward and Miami-Dade County have heard challenges to the red light camera systems on constitutional and evidentiary grounds, and have ruled in the municipalities’ favor. This summer, Polk County entertained a similar challenge from more than 40 ticketed drivers, with similar results.

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Categories: LitigationGovernment AffairsLocal GovernmentConstitutional Law
Tags: Red Light CamerasRule EnforcementJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaSamuel I. ZeskindFort 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 LitigatorsFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysMiami 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