The skillfulness of Weiss Serota Helfman Cole & Bierman P.L., specifically that of Joseph Serota, Chad Friedman, and Charles Garabedian, was on display in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County in its representation of the Village of Key Biscayne. The court granted summary judgment in favor of the Village upholding the challenge bond referendum.
On November 3, 2020, voters approved a bond referendum authorizing the Village to issue $100 million in bonds for the purpose of financing “improvements relating to mitigating the effects of sea level rise and flooding, protecting the Village’s beaches and shoreline, and hardening infrastructure to the effects of hurricanes.”
The plaintiff challenged the bond referendum on three grounds:
(1) the resolution authorizing the bond referendum violated the Village Charter, because it authorized the borrowing of money without an ordinance;
(2) the bond referendum language violated the Village Charter’s ballot language requirements; and
(3) the bond referendum failed to provide voters with fair notice of its purpose.
The plaintiff propounded discovery days prior to the hearing on the motion for summary judgment and argued that summary judgment was improper because of the pending discovery.
Firm Founding Partner Joseph Serota argued that the Court could grant summary judgment because, in fact, the Village had not borrowed any money as a result of the bond referendum. Serota pointed out that the bond referendum’s language unambiguously described its chief purpose, and publicly available materials also informed the electorate of the bond referendum’s purpose. Any purported de minimis deviation from the Village Charter, Serota contended, was insufficient to invalidate the bond referendum.
The Court agreed with all of the Village’s arguments and granted summary judgment on all claims.