Category Archives: Florida Bar

Recognizing Michelle Suskauer as SPBC FAWL Woman Lawyer of the Year

On March 29, 2018, the Past Presidents of the South Palm Beach County chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers (SPBC FAWL) presented their annual “Woman Lawyer of the Year” award to Michelle Suskauer.  Among Michelle’s many achievements, she is most notably the President-Elect of The Florida Bar, a partner with the law firm Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, P.A., a highly-respected criminal defense attorney and an outspoken advocate for women.

Ellen Leibovitch, head of Assouline & Berlowe, PA’s labor and employment department and Board Certified Labor & Employment attorney, is a Past President of SPBC FAWL and chair of this event.  The event was held at the beautiful Woodfield Country Club in Boca Raton, Florida, and was sponsored by over 30 organizations, including Assouline & Berlowe.

Previous winners of the Woman Lawyer of the Year award include Barbara Pariente, Justice of the Florida Supreme Court, and Samantha Schosberg Feuer, Circuit Court Judge for the 15th Judicial Circuit.

For any questions about SPBC or FAWL, please contact Board Certified Labor and Employment Partner Ellen Leibovitch.

ASSOULINE & BERLOWE, P.A.

1801 N. Military Trail, Suite 160

Boca Raton, Florida 33431

Main: (561) 361-6566

Fax: (561) 361-6466

Email: EML@assoulineberlowe.com

http://www.assoulineberlowe.com/

 

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ASU CARES – Reading to the Kids – A Great Way to Give Back and to be Inspired

Jack&JillReadingGroup

Arizona State University alumni volunteers pictured, in back row from Right to Left: Stephanie Silverman House, of Goodman Jewish Family Services; Eric N. Assouline, Esq., of Assouline & Berlowe, P.A.; Gregory Haile, Esq., General Counsel and Vice President of Public Affairs, at Broward College; and, Chae Haile, President and Grant Writer at Funded

On Friday, March 2, 2018, Litigation Partner Eric Assouline, of Assouline & Berlowe, through his alumni’s program ASU Cares, and Arizona State University, had the great pleasure of reading Dr. Seuss books to a kindergarten class at Jack & Jill Children’s Center, in Fort Lauderdale.

I have driven past Jack & Jill for years and never knew about the magic that is going on inside.

To start, every Friday, the first thing that the kids do is of course, say the pledge of allegiance.  Very nice.  Then, God Bless America.  Very nice.  I like that.

Then, the fun starts, time to turn up the music and start DANCING!!!

Dancing at Jack & Jill

What a better way to start off a Friday, than dancing!  It puts everyone in such a great mood!

Then the four volunteers from Arizona State University each started reading Dr. Seuss books to the kids.  The kids seemed to really like having guests in their classrooms reading to them.  It is was so nice to be around all these beautiful children.  Being surrounded by innocence reminds us how precious our children are, especially at this fragile time in our Broward County community still reeling from recent tragic events.

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Eric N. Assouline reading “Oh the Places You’ll Go” and getting a good laugh at the line “Scare you Right out of Your Pants!”

We all took a tour of the facilities and saw their playground, vegetable garden (that they use to make meals at the facility), and parent media center to help parents continue to improve their financial positions.

What an eye opening experience.  It was a truly great way to start the end of the week.

Thank you Arizona State University Alumni Association for making this happen, Jack & Jill Children’s Center for inviting us into your wonderful and impactful facility, and Happy 114th Birthday Dr. Seuss!

Eric N. Assouline, Esq.

Litigation Partner

ASSOULINE & BERLOWE, P.A.

213 East Sheridan Street, Suite 3

Dania Beach, Florida  33004

Main: 954.929.1899

Fax: 954.922.6662

http://www.assoulineberlowe.com/

Intellectual PropertyLabor & EmploymentCreditors’ Rights & BankruptcyBusiness LitigationCorporate & FinanceReal EstateInternational Law

Miami • Ft. Lauderdale • Boca Raton

 

 

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Filed under Bankruptcy, Business Litigation, commercial litigation, Environmental Law, Florida Bar, Intellectual Property, Labor & Employment, Real Estate

Labor and Employment Law Annual Update

Department of Labor

Partner Ellen Leibovitch, Florida Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law, will be speaking at the 17th Labor and Employment Law Annual Update and Certification Review. The annual course, presented by the The Florida Bar Continuing Legal Education Committee and the Labor and Employment Law Section, is an advanced level course covering a wide array of labor an employment topic.  Ellen will be speaking on the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) on January 26, 2017.  Given the recent law changes and case law surrounding the changes, this will be an informative panel about the FLSA.  Details about the event are below.

January 26 – 27, 2017
Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center
6000 W. Osceola Parkway
Kissimmee, FL 34746
(407) 586-0000

For those interested in attending, you can register for the event at the Florida Bar website.

Ellen is a Florida Board Certified Labor and Employment Attorney with Assouline & Berlowe, P.A.  For any employment and labor questions, please contact Ellen below.

ASSOULINE & BERLOWE, P.A.

1801 N. Military Trail, Suite 160

Boca Raton, Florida 33431

Main: (561) 361-6566

Fax: (561) 361-6466

Email: EML@assoulineberlowe.com

http://www.assoulineberlowe.com/

Intellectual Property, Labor & Employment Law, Bankruptcy, Commercial Litigation, Real Estate, and Corporate Law

Miami • Ft. Lauderdale • Boca Raton

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New Overtime Regulations Impacting You

 

 

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Board Certified Labor and Employment Partner Ellen Leibovitch will be speaking on October 20, 2016 about important changes to the overtime regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that will go into effect on December 1, 2016.  Ellen, who recently appeared in the Boca Raton Observer, will discuss what employers need to know about the changes to the FLSA to protect their companies.

Please join the South Palm Beach County Bar Association’s Labor & Employment Committee on October 20, 2016 for breakfast and a panel discussion on the scope of the new rules and best practices for making sure your business is fully compliant as of day one.  To register online, click here.

Ellen is a Florida Board Certified Labor and Employment Attorney with Assouline & Berlowe, P.A.  For any employment and labor questions, please contact Ellen below.

ASSOULINE & BERLOWE, P.A.

1801 N. Military Trail, Suite 160

Boca Raton, Florida 33431

Main: (561) 361-6566

Fax: (561) 361-6466

Email: EML@assoulineberlowe.com

http://www.assoulineberlowe.com/

Intellectual Property, Labor & Employment Law, Bankruptcy, Commercial Litigation, Real Estate, and Corporate Law

Miami • Ft. Lauderdale • Boca Raton

 

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Filed under Business Litigation, Florida Bar, Labor & Employment, labor and employment law, Uncategorized

Protect Your Tech: Florida Bar CLE Edition

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Earlier this month, I had the distinct pleasure to present at the Florida Bar Basic Technology CLE about how businesses, and their lawyers, can protect technology using Intellectual Property.  This was the first time a Florida Bar Basic CLE was focused on technology.  To keep the CLE interactive, the presentations included live tweeting using the #CLEHistory hashtag, interactive polls with the audience, and post presentation video outtakes.  The interactive nature of the CLE was perfect for a technology focused CLE.

My portion of the CLE focused on how technology is used protect intellectual property, with the focus on patents.  There are several options when determining how to use patent law to protect technology, from design patents to provisional and non-provisional utility patents.  There are key timetables and strategic considerations to assess when protecting your technology, both before and after the technology is finalized.

One of the interactive questions, pictured below,  I posted to the live audience was whether someone could put “patent pending” on a product as soon as a patent application was filed.  The question was posted during my presentation and the audience texted their results to get an immediate response to the question.  36% of the audience correctly chose the right answer of A – Yes.  Meaning you can put patent pending on a product as soon as you file a patent application.  However, the application must remain active, i.e. not abandoned, to continue marking the product as “patent pending.”  Notably, 44% of the audience thought patent pending depended on what type of patent application was filed.  This is not accurate as it does not matter if the patent application is design, provisional, or non-provisional.

assouline & belrlowe, interactive polling

There are many misconceptions about patent law and it is important to consult with a registered patent attorney to review your technology and plan to maximize your protection.  It was an honor to speak at the first Florida Bar Basic Technology CLE and I enjoyed the interactive nature of the CLE.  Check the Florida Bar CLE page as the Technology CLE will be available for download in the near future.

For questions about Intellectual Property matters involving Technology, contact  Greg Popowitz below.

ASSOULINE & BERLOWE, P.A.

213 East Sheridan Street, Suite 3

Dania Beach, Florida  33004

Main: 954.929.1899

Fax: 954.922.6662

http://www.assoulineberlowe.com/

Intellectual Property, Labor & Employment, Creditors’ Rights & Bankruptcy, Business Litigation, Corporate & Finance, Real Estate, International Law

Miami • Ft. Lauderdale • Boca Raton

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Filed under Business Litigation, commercial litigation, Copyright, Florida Bar, Intellectual Property, International Arbitration, IP Litigation, Patent Prosecution

New Changes to the FLSA and Compensation toLive-In Domestic Care Workers

Department of Labor

In December 2014, Ellen Leibovitch held a seminar to discuss changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) relevant to third party agencies who employ companions and live-in domestic service employees.  The new regulations – which were set to go into effect on January 1, 2015 – made the long-standing exemptions to the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime requirements for companions and live-in domestic employees inapplicable to third-party employers (like home health care agencies).

Just days after the seminar, a federal court struck down the new regulations.  Since then, the issue has been batted around the courts, but on August 21, 2015, a federal appellate court issued a unanimous opinion affirming the validity of the new regulations.  The appellate court’s opinion became effective on October 13, 2015.  The Department of Labor (DOL) will not begin enforcement of the new rules until November 12, 2015 but, more than likely, the DOL will not begin prosecuting offenders until January 1, 2016.

For more details, go to http://www.dol.gov/whd/homecare/litigation.htm#.VilP87RgRps.email

So what does this mean to you and your businesses?  For those who have been taking a wait-and-see approach or who had hoped that everything would remain unchanged, the time to act is now.  Businesses need to come to grip with the fact that live-in domestic care workers who reside in the private household where they are employed and home-health companions are going to be subject to the FLSA’s overtime and minimum wage requirements as well as the record-keeping requirements.  Among other things, this means these workers need to be paid a minimum wage (currently $8.05 in the State of Florida but likely to increase as of January 1, 2016), that employers need to maintain accurate records of the hours such employees work each day and each week and that overtime must be paid for all hours worked in excess of 40 each week.

Please note that these new rules apply only to employees, not independent contractors.

For additional information about these changes, please contact Ellen M. Leibovitch below:

Ellen M. Leibovitch

Florida Board Certified Labor and Employment Attorney

ASSOULINE & BERLOWE, P.A.

1801 N. Military Trail, Suite 160

Boca Raton, Florida 33431

Main:  (561) 361-6566

Fax: (561) 361-6466

Email: EML@assoulineberlowe.com

http://www.assoulineberlowe.com/

Intellectual Property, Labor & Employment Law, Bankruptcy, Commercial Litigation, Real Estate, and Corporate Law

Miami • Ft. Lauderdale • Boca Raton

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Is Your Data Security Program Lost in the Weeds?

Assouline & Berlowe

“I.R.S. Adds New Safeguards to Thwart Identity Theft and Fraud”

 “Federal Data Compromised at OPM and Interior; Could Affect 4 Million People”

 “North Shore (University Hospital) Warns About 18,000 Patients of Potential Data Breach”

 “Massive Data Breach Affects Hundreds of Miami-Dade County”

As you check your incoming morning email; malware surreptitiously checks your every keystroke and monitors your cyber movements. At your doctor’s office you provided enumerable consent and other extremely personal and confidential information forms; then, within earshot of waiting patients, the receptionist announces your social security number to a colleague. You buy a new condo, providing the Condo Association Board an approval application with your family’s personal and financial history; now your neighbors “know your business!”

The headlines are real; the scenarios occur every day. Scenarios endemic to the hyperbolic expansion of technological innovation, the public’s enchantment and dependence on B2C and social media, and the progressively steep upward trend in information creation and cyber monitoring. Information (“Data”) creates Knowledge; and Knowledge is Power! In the era of “Big Data,” confidential personal and proprietary business Data, mishandled or acquired without authorization by third parties, may have disastrous consequences to the Data Owner.

“In the day,” businesses focused Document (Record) Retention Policies and Programs. Internally-focused initiatives to identify proprietary or sensitive documented information required for possible future use (e.g., government regulations, tax audits); that may be needed to respond to customer, client, or other third-party complaints or litigation (e.g., contracts and collateral documents); and for general historical or other purposes (e.g., corporate or business records). Today, with Information Technology’s potentially illegitimate intrusion in personal privacy, these initiatives must also include externally-focused component to protect those privacy interests.

A company (or other Data Custodian with legitimately acquired Data Owner information) should establish a Data Breach Security Plan with policies and practices for the handling of sensitive Data Owner information. The Plan identifies and “ring-fences” sensitive Data Owner information; sets parameters for limited or “need-to-know access;” identifies potential live and IT systems Data Breach threats; and establishes a Data Breach Response Procedure to adequately notify a Data Owner where his or her information has been compromised.

Florida, along with a number of states, however, have recently begun to actively legislate and establish statutory schemes. Florida’s Information Protection Act of 2014 (“Security of Confidential Information) requires businesses, and government, to take “reasonable measures to protect and secure personal information.” If a Florida business collects personal information, it is now required to establish and maintain a Data Security Program. Once the business, or government entity, acquires personally identifiable information, it is obliged to safeguard the information; and, where appropriate, have a prescribed plan for the information’s destruction or return.  Specified Data includes:

  • social security number;
  • driver’s license or identification card number, passport number, military identification number, or other similar personal identifier issued on a government document used to verify identity;
  • financial account number or credit or debit card number, in combination with any required security code, access code, or password that is necessary to permit access to an individual’s financial account;
  • financial account number or credit or debit card number, in combination with any required security code, access code, or password that is necessary  to permit access to an individual’s financial account;
  • information regarding an individual’s medical history, mental or physical condition, or medical treatment or diagnosis by a health care professional; or
  • health insurance policy number or subscriber identification number as well as any unique identifier used by a health insurer to identify that person.

Under the Statute, a Florida business or other “covered entity” ” must notify the Attorney General, in writing, no later than 30 days after a Data Breach or possible Data Breach. That is “any breach of security affecting 500 or more individuals in this state.” The notice must include:

When a Data Breach occurs; that is where there is “unauthorized access of data in electronic form containing personal information.” More broadly, when specific third-party “sensitive, protected, or confidential information has potentially, been viewed, stolen, or used by an individual not so authorized.” For example, where a physician’s laptop is lost or stolen; or where a company IT system has been “hacked.” Parenthetically, insurance companies are now offering Data Breach Insurance.

  1. A synopsis of the events surrounding the breach
  2. The number of individuals in this state who were or potentially have been affected by the breach
  3. Any services related to the breach being offered or scheduled to be offered, without charge, by the covered entity to individuals, and instructions as to how to use such services
  4. A copy of the notice to the individuals affected by the breach or an explanation of the other actions taken to notify the individuals affected by the breach
  5. The name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address of the employee or agent of the covered entity from whom additional information may be obtained about the breach

The Attorney General may also request additional information including: (a) a police report, incident report, or computer forensics report; (b) a copy of the policies in place regarding breaches; and (c) steps that have been taken to rectify the breach.

Although the Statute does not allow a private right of legal action, a Data breach is considered “deceptive trade practice.” Within the jurisdiction of the Department of Legal Affairs, violations are subject to injunctive relief and the following civil penalties: for failure to notify Data Owners:

  1. In the amount of $1,000 for each day up to the first 30 days following any violation and, thereafter, $50,000 for each subsequent 30-day period or portion thereof for up to 180 days; and
  2. If the violation continues for more than 180 days, in an amount not to exceed $500,000.

The civil penalty assessed is for each breach, not for each individual affected by the breach.

Data Security and Data Privacy should be a major concern to individuals and business alike. The law in this area is evolving. It has become an important focus of business law practice.

For more information on Data Security Programs matters, please contact:

Carl H. Perdue, JD, LLM
Senior Counsel and Partner
Business and Finance

The above material is for information purposes only; and is not to be considered legal or financial advice.

ASSOULINE & BERLOWE, P.A.

1801 N. Military Trail, Suite 160

Boca Raton, Florida 33431

Main:  (561) 361-6566

Fax: (561) 361-6466

Email: CHP@assoulineberlowe.com

http://www.assoulineberlowe.com/

 

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Filed under Business Litigation, commercial litigation, Corporate Law, Florida Bar, Intellectual Property, Labor & Employment, labor and employment law