In Government, Litigation, News & Updates, Property

This week, South Florida Legal Guide’s Legal Leaders published its annual list of attorneys who have earned the coveted AV Martindale-Hubbell rating, the highest peer review rating available to an individual lawyer. Legal Leaders recognized several WSH attorneys as members of South Florida’s “Top Rated Lawyers” in different practice areas:

Mitchell John Burnstein (Real Estate) – As chair of WSH’s Eminent Domain Practice Group, Mitch has served as lead counsel in hundreds of condemnation matters throughout Florida on behalf of public sector clients, private property owners, businesses and utilities. He is a senior trial attorney responsible for handling a wide variety of disputes involving real property. Mitch has served on the Florida Bar’s Eminent Domain Committee since 1993. A Member of the Firm, Mitch also serves as the Partner-in-Charge of the Broward Office.

Jamie A. Cole (Commercial Litigation) – Jamie is a skilled litigator and appellate advocate who represents private and public clients with an emphasis on commercial litigation and governmental matters. A member of our Litigation Division, Jamie has served as special litigation counsel for numerous municipalities and served as lead litigation counsel in lawsuits invalidating SB 360 (a bill relating to growth management) on constitutional grounds. He is also a member of our Local Government Law Division, and currently serves as City Attorney for the cities of Miramar and Weston. Jamie also serves as WSH’s Managing Director.

Jeffrey DeCarlo (Banking & Finance) – Jeff chairs WSH’s Public Finance Practice Group. He has practiced for more than 30 years in public finance and served as counsel on more than 800 bond financings totaling more than $10 billion. His practice includes representation of municipal governments in general matters of public finance. A member of the National Association of Bond Lawyers, Jeff is recognized as in the Bond Buyer’s Municipal Marketplace’s Red Book.

Ignacio G. del Valle (Real Estate) – A Partner in the Firm, Ignacio has more than 37 years experiencing practicing real estate law, including complex public/private transactions. He is a member of our Real Estate Practice Group, and has represented real estate investment funds and other investors in the acquisition, leasing, managing and disposition of numerous properties. Ignacio also serves as a title agent for several major title insurance companies.

Douglas R. Gonzales (Commercial Litigation) – A Partner in the Firm, Doug focuses his practice on general municipal representation, including general and municipal litigation. He serves as the Municipal Prosecutor for the City of Weston, and previously served as the Municipal Prosecutor and Assistant City Attorney for the City of Hollywood. As Chair of WSH’s Asset Forfeiture Group, Doug represents law enforcement agencies that have seized various assets being used in violation of the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act.

Stephen J. Helfman (Real Estate) – A Founding Member of the Firm, Steve practices in the areas of real estate, zoning, growth management, subdivision law and land development. Steve serves as special real estate and zoning counsel to public companies and real estate development companies. A member of WSH’s Public Land Use and Zoning Practice Group, he has been extensively involved in the preparation of local government comprehensive plans and the adoption of municipal ordinances implementing those plans. Steve holds a Master of Law in Real Estate Finance and Development, and has served on the City of Miami Mayor’s Economic Advisory Council.

Gilberto Pastoriza (Real Estate) – A longtime Member of the Firm, Gil chairs WSH’s Private Land Use and Zoning Practice Group. His expertise covers the entire development spectrum, from property acquisition to certificate of occupancy for completed buildings. Gil has amassed numerous awards in the South Florida legal community for his work in real estate matters.

Gail Serota (Real Estate) – Gail has extensive experience in numerous aspects of commercial real estate transactions. A member of WSH’s Real Estate Practice Group, she has represented governments, developers, and lenders in a wide variety of real property sales, acquisitions, development, financing and leasing. Gail is Of Counsel to the Firm.

Joseph H. Serota (Commercial Litigation) – One of the Firm’s Founding Members, Joe has extensive experience representing private and public entities throughout South Florida in an array of matters from governmental to complex civil litigation. A skilled trial attorney and appellate advocate, Joe is a member of WSH’s Litigation Division and Appellate Practice Group, and has numerous reported opinions to his credit.

Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

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