News & Events

Gabriel Groisman Recognized for Passing First Municipal Anti-Boycott Law in Role as Bal Harbour Councilman

The Sun Sentinel published an extensive article discussing the fact that Shareholder, and Councilman for Bal Harbour, Gabriel Groisman drafted and passed the first anti-boycott law. 

The article explains that "After two public readings, the Village Council of Bal Harbour unanimously voted 5-0 in support of this ordinance that prohibits the municipality from contracting with any business unless the contract includes a representation that the business is not currently engaged in, and will not engage in, the boycott of a person or an entity based in, or doing business with, a country or jurisdiction in which the United States has free trade or other agreements. It is aimed at ensuring open and non-discriminatory trade with partners, such as the State of Israel."

At the hearing, Mr. Groisman stated:

"Recently, we have seen the increase in efforts to boycott and otherwise discriminate on the basis of nationality and ethnicity. Leading this effort is a bigoted campaign to de-legitimize the democratic State of Israel through a movement called 'BDS,' which leads efforts to boycott, divest and sanction businesses, academics and persons from, or doing business in, the State of Israel.

Make no mistake about it. The BDS movement is a global propaganda campaign against Israel that serves as thin cover for anti-Semitism – the levels of which we have not seen in the Western World in over 60 years.

This ordinance will protect the economic and social interests of the citizens of Bal Harbour, who widely reject discriminatory business practices, especially when they are funded in any way by public taxpayer money. This ordinance will require any entity that enters into a contract with Bal Harbour to certify that they are not boycotting, and will not boycott, or divest from a legitimate, recognized U.S. trade partner.

A copy of the Sun Sentinel article, Municipality passes anti-BDS Ordinance, can be found here.

Paul Schwiep Interviewed by SPBT About His Efforts to Improve Public Transportation in Miami-Dade County

Paul Schwiep, who serves as the Chairman of The Citizens' Independent Transportation Trust of Miami-Dade County, was interviewed by South Florida Public Television, WPBT2, about the Trust's continued efforts to “reaffirm the original intent of the People's Transportation Plan” and to expand public transportation in Miami-Dade County. 

 

Robert Burlington Quoted in Miami Today Article About His Representation of Firm's Client at City of Miami's Off-Street Parking Board Meeting

Founding Partner, Bob Burlington, was featured in a Miami Today article regarding the firm's representation of Grand Station Partners for the redevelopment of a key Miami-Dade County parcel.  It its November 18, 2015 article, titled "Authority Lease to Add Parking After Challenge," Miami Today explained that the redevelopment proposal "includes a new 8-story parking facility for more than 350 vehicles, and a 33-story tower identified as multi-family with about 258 apartments...[and] retail space." After one group opposed the deal, Mr. Burlington appeared before the Off-Street Parking Board on behalf of Grand Station Partners. The article reports,

Robert Burlington, an attorney representing Grand Station Partners, said much work went into crafting the lease and every “i” is dotted, every “t” is crossed.

“There are no improprieties,” he told the board, saying the lease is “properly before you for approval today.”

Mr. Burlington also pointed out that the time for competing parties to appeal was back in early May, when the board authorized Mr. Noriega to begin negotiations with his client.

Mr. Mana’s representatives did not appeal, said Mr. Burlington. Authority staff confirmed this to the board.

To read the Miami Today article in its entirety, click here.

Paul Schwiep Featured in Miami Today for his Role as Chairman of Citizens’ Independent Transportation Trust

Partner Paul Schwiep, who serves as the Chairman of the Miami-Dade County Citizens’ Independent Transportation Trust was featured in a story in Miami Today about the Trust's vote to stop funding Miami-Dade public bus system. The full story can be found at: http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2015/10/28/transportation-trust-votes-to-stop-funding-buses/

Chairman Paul Schwiep spoke in favor of a slow unwinding, saying the trust would be in better shape after five years.

“If we just un-unified the budgeting system, so that all the surtax funds were segregated and were used only for PTP projects, capital and operations and maintenance of PTP projects, the amount that would be attributable to those expenses would exceed the amount that the county administration is proposing in its pro-forma over a five-year period” to take from the trust to operate the transportation department.

Because so many of the county’s transportation projects are interwoven – fee-free Metromover service, the Golden Passport discount program for seniors, the Metrorail Orange Line to Miami International Airport, and news cars for both Metrorail and Metromover were all PTP projects – separating the funding would result in a net loss for the trust, so it makes more sense to do it gradually, Mr. Schweip explained after the meeting.

“It’s not just that we’re returning funds to the trust; we’ll end up with more funds in the trust,” he told trust members. “My view was, and remains, that we got into this unification situation over a long period of time, because transit needed to access surtax funds, and we’re not going be able to unwind it overnight – that kind of a meat-cleaver approach will end up doing more harm than good,” said Mr. Schwiep, who is an attorney with the Coffey Burlington firm.

...

“It’s been a long time coming and it’s not perfect, but it sets us on a path to unwinding unification,” Mr. Schwiep said. “I think there’s a lot of good faith on the part of administration to try and accomplish this and have the surtax funds be dedicated to new projects.”

 

Jeff Crockett Installed as President of Legal Services of Greater Miami, Inc.

Congratulations to partner Jeff Crockett who was installed as the President of Legal Services of Greater Miami, Inc.  Legal Services of Greater Miami, Inc. is the largest provider of broad-based civil legal services for the poor in Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties, and is recognized in the state and in the nation as a model legal services program.

Jeff is a long standing member of the Legal Services Board, and has served as Treasurer and First Vice President. He is also an active pro bono volunteer, most recently handling an appeal to the Third District Court of Appeal in a mobile home park case.

 

 

 

Kendall Coffey Presents at Florida Association for Women Lawyers (FAWL) on "Demystifying the Federal Judicial Nominating Process"

Partner Kendall Coffey, who also serves as the Chair of the Southern District Conference, Florida Federal Judicial Nominating Commission, presented today at Florida Association for Women Lawyers (FAWL) event on "Demystifying the Federal Judicial Nominating Process."  The event, which was held at Hogan Lovells, was well attended by members of FAWL and members of the judiciary.

Coffey Burlington Hosts CLE for Transactional Attorneys

Coffey Burlington hosted a group of transactional attorneys and real estate professionals for a CLE program titled "Working Together to Weather the Storm: What Transactional Lawyers Need to Hear From Trial Lawyers When It Matters Most." The event was put together by the Greater Miami Jewish Federation Attorneys' Division. 

The program was moderated by Partner Benjamin Brodksy, and featured the following panelists: Olga de los Santos, General Counsel for Fortune International Group, Ben Gerber, VP of Finance for The Related Group, Nancy Lash, Greenberg Traurig, and Susan Raffanello, Partner at Coffey Burlington.

12 Firm Attorneys Recognized by SuperLawyers

Congratulations to the following Coffey Burlington attorneys who were recognized by SuperLawyers magazine for their accomplishments in 2015.

 

Daniel Blonsky

Benjamin Brodsky

Robert Burlington

Albert Caruana

Kendall Coffey

Jeffrey Crockett

David Freedman

Kimberly Freedman

Gabriel Groisman

Kevin Kaplan

Andrew Marks

Paul Schwiep

 

 

Albert Caruana Named as one of the Nation's Top One Percent Attorneys

Partner Albert Caruana was named as part of the Nation's Top One Percent of attorneys by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel National Association (NADC). The NADC is an organization dedicated to promoting the highest standards of legal excellence. The mission of the NADC is to objectively recognize the attorneys who elevate the standards of the Bar and provide a benchmark for other lawyers to emulate. By virtue of the incredible selectivity of our research process, only the elite few are invited to join the ranks of the NADC. Specifically, less than 1% of practicing attorneys in the United States are members of the “Nation’s Top Attorneys”. The recipients of this prestigious award have demonstrated the highest ideals of the legal profession.

Coffey Burlington congratulates Mr. Caruana on this huge honor.

Paul Schwiep Presents at The Beacon Council Forum

Coffey Burlington Partner, Paul Schwiep, presented at The Beacon Council's Access Breakfast regarding Miami's Next Big Idea, The Underline. Mr. Schwiep serves as the Chair of the Miami-Dade Citizens' Independent Transportation Trust. The Transportation Trust is the 15-member independent organization comprised of citizens who serve as volunteers with the mission to oversee expenditure of Charter County Transportation Surtax Funds and implementation of the People's Transportation Plan.

Coffey Burlington Hosts Event Honoring Sculptor Jerzy Kerdiora With Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado

Coffey Burlington had the pleasure of hosting over 100 guests in its offices on Friday night February 27th to honor the work of sculptor Jerzy Kedziora.  Kedziora's balancing scultures were hanging throughout the offices for this spectacular event.  The group heard from Partner David Freedman, City of Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado, and the Archbishop of Miami Thomas Wenski.  Below are some pictures of this wonderful event.

Coffey Burlington Voted One of South Florida's Top Law Firms

Coffey Burlington was named as one of South Florida's Top Law Firms by the South Florida Legal Guide in its 2015 edition.  The South Florida Legal Guide publishes an annual listing of top lawyers and law firms selected by the local bar.

Additionally, the following Coffey Burlington attorneys were individually honored in the 2015 edition of the South Florida Legal Guide. 

  • Robert K. Burlington (corporate and business litigation and labor and employment litigation);
  • Albert G. Caruana (corporate and business litigation, and family and marital);
  • Kendall Coffey (corporate and business litigation);
  • Melissa J. Jacobs (family and marital); and
  • Paul J. Schwiep (trial practice). 

Congrats to those honored and to the entire Coffey Burlington team.

Below is a link to magazine:

http://issuu.com/sflg/docs/south_florida_legal_guide_2015_edit/1

Paul Schwiep Featured in The Miami Herald for his Presentation at 2015 Transportation Summit

As reported by The Miami Herald, Miami Dade College hosted the "Transportation Summit 2015 Advancing the community’s vision for Public Transportation," yesterday.  One of the speakers at the event was Coffey Burlington partner Paul Schwiep who also serves as the chairman of the Citizens' Independent Transportation Trust. The article states:

Paul Schwiep, chairman of the Citizens’ Independent Transportation Trust, the 15-member body created to oversee the People’s Transportation Plan funded with a half-penny sales tax, is hosting the event.

He told the Editorial Board that he hopes to “bring to reality a transit plan that works for Miami-Dade, giving voice to what taxpayers had in mind when they approved the sales tax 12 years ago.’’

It’s refreshing to hear that what was promised to voters with much fanfare is back on the front burner.

Mr. Schwiep believes a generational change will add tremendous momentum to redoing the way we get around, largely because younger people are more apt to use public transit, ride a bike or walk as part of their commute. They are not fixated on cars. Their needs should be better accommodated, and fewer cars on the road should be a priority.


Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/editorials/article7905141.html#storylink=cpy

Ben Brodsky's Article on Comparative Fault Published as the Cover Story in Florida Bar Journal

Congratulations to Partner Ben Brodsky whose article "Refining Comparative Fault in Florida: A Causation Theory for Apportioning Fault" was published as the cover story in the January 2015 edition of The Florida Bar Jounal. The article argues that 

The comparative fault statute, F.S. §768.81, already foreshadows a "causation” analysis in apportioning fault. Subsection (3)(a)(2) provides that, “[i]n order to allocate any or all fault to a nonparty and include the named or unnamed nonparty on the verdict form for purposes of apportioning damages, a defendant must prove at trial, by a preponderance of the evidence, the fault of the nonparty in causing the plaintiff’s injuries.” What is needed further is a clarification of the statute by the legislature or courts that will ensure that defendants are held liable only for those damages that they caused. 

Mr. Brodsky's article can be read in its entirety here.

Coffey Burlington Launches Trademark Prosecution Practice Group

Coffey Burlington is excited to announce that it is now offering full trademark services to its clients – counseling, registration and protection. 

We help our clients select the right trademark, register the trademark, monitor the trademark, and ultimately protect the trademark.  In addition to registering our clients' trademarks in the US, we work with a network of attorneys in countries around the world to coordinate the registration of our clients' marks in foreign markets. 

After years of representing clients in trademark disputes in federal courts and the Trademark Trials and Appeal Board, and at the request of several clients, we have put together a team of trademark professionals to provide this service to our clients. 

Coffey Burlington is also available to counsel clients to use the marks properly, oppose and petition to cancel third-party applications and registrations which may be too similar to our clients’ trademarks.

Please contact the head of our Trademark team, Gabriel Groisman, to learn more.