Category Archives: International Arbitration

When You Go to Court, all that Matters is “THE LAW” (and Reality)

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Clients often ask attorneys, “what are my chances of winning?”  It sounds like a reasonable question.  But what clients do not seem to understand is that there is “the law” and there is “reality.”  All a good lawyer can tell you is: here is what I think is good about your case and here is what I see as the weaknesses, and here is the law “as I see it”.   Huh?

I was preparing for a hearing in Broward Circuit Court, on an Order to Show Cause why the other party’s entire case against my client and several others should not be dismissed.  I had case law precedent from both the Supreme Court of Florida and the District Court that binds the Judge hearing the case to support my client’s position.  I provided a copy of these cases to opposing counsel as we waited for our turn.

Before our case was heard, opposing counsel came over to me and advised that he agreed to dismiss my client as defendant from the case (leaving other defendants still in the case).  I thought this was great news, because the client would be very happy.

I still had to wait my turn for the hearing, because I wanted to make sure that the Judge’s order clearly reflected that my client was now out of the case.

I waited and waited and then I heard the calendar begin on the next round of hearings.  I asked the Clerk what happened since my case from the earlier round had still not been called.  The Clerk advised that I should notify the Judge that my case was not yet called.  the Judge asked me for the name of the case and I told him.  The Judge then blurted out “I find that cause was shown why the case should not be dismissed.”  As I said, luckily, opposing counsel and I had already agreed that my client was being dismissed from the case.  Opposing counsel so notified the Judge and he was ok with the dismissal of my client.

But what would have happened if we did not work it out?  What would have happened if I did not give opposing counsel a copy of the cases that supported our position?  Instead of going into the hearing with “the law on my side”, I would be going into this hearing with a Judge who had already made up his mind.  Perhaps I could have changed the Judge’s mind.  But I cannot count on that.

Instead, my client would be stuck in this case for who knows how long.  Could we appeal the Judge’s finding of cause to not dismiss the case, maybe.  Courts of appeal do not let you appeal every ruling as soon as it is made.  We could try, but it is likely it would not be heard until the case is over.

Maybe we would win the case in the end.  But maybe not.  And, if we did not win, could we appeal and argue that that the plaintiff’s case should have been dismissed at the Order to Show stage.  Probably.  Would we get the entire proceeding thrown out for failing to follow the correct procedure, maybe.

So many “maybes”.  Hmmm.  Sounds like there is “the law” and there is “reality”. 

Eric N. Assouline, Esq., Litigation Partner, Assouline & Berlowe, P.A.

 

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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

Miami partner Daniel E. Vielleville to speak at International Law Section’s ILAT Conference

International Law

The Florida Bar’s International Law Section is holding its annual International Litigation, Arbitration and Transaction (ILAT) Conference  on February 27, 2015.  Miami partner Daniel E. Vielleville, head of our Latin American Practice, will be speaking at the panel titled  “Arbitration in Energy and Infrastructure Disputes”. Mr. Vielleville’s presentation will be focused on developments in mining disputes and will review the impact of environmental regulation and natural resources nationalism in the recent Gold Reserve arbitral award against Venezuela as well as in current disputes such as Pacific Rim v. El Salvador, South American Silver v. Bolivia, Renco v. Peru, and Infinito v. Costa Rica.

The ILAT Conference’s program can accessed at this link:

http://internationallawsection.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/ILAT_Conference_Program_01.14.14.pdf

For more information about the conference or international law issues, please contact Mr. Vielleville at:

Daniel E. Vielleville, Esq.

ASSOULINE & BERLOWE, P.A.

3250 Mary Street, Suite 100

Miami, Florida 33133

Main:  (305) 567-5576

Fax: (305) 567-9343

Email: DEV@AssoulineBerlowe.com

http://www.AssoulineBerlowe.com/

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

Miami • Ft. Lauderdale • Boca Raton

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Litigation and War – Managing Expectations

business litigation war tank lawsuit fight

As a career business litigator, I have handled, literally, hundreds of commercial disputes for my clients.  Whether being involved in bet-the-company type litigation, where the stakes and the legal fees are high, or when appearing at Pretrial Conferences for clients in courts of limited jurisdiction, one thing is constant, the unknown.  You don’t know how long it is going to take to resolve the case, you don’t know how much it is going to cost, you don’t know how badly the other side wants to fight, and you don’t know what the Judge is going to think of the merits of your case or the other side’s position.

Litigation is like war on a smaller, more “civilized” scale.  America right now is passively watching in horror as bloody battles rage across the globe.  Fighting for autonomy from Russia is intensifying in southern Ukraine.  A costly civil war that started in Syria is now spilling into war torn Iraq.  Reports of hundreds of thousands of civilians, dying, being forced from their homes, and caught in the cross fire of these conflicts fill the press.

Thousands of Hamas rockets were launched from the Gaza strip into Israeli cities, which were intercepted by the American financed Iron Dome.   It appeared that Israel had their dispute under control. However, reports reveal that what the Israeli intelligence did not know was that its neighbor had dug several miles of interconnected underground tunnels deep into Israel in order to one day, by surprise, surface and inflict bloodshed and devastation on its civilian population.

Civilian casualties are mounting, in nations worldwide, as a result of these conflicts.  When will it end, how many more days, weeks, months, deaths, before it stops.  All . . . unknown.

In litigation, anyone that thinks they can go into battle with an adversary and know what will happen, should take lessons from these large scale military conflicts. Litigation, like war, is unpredictable. No litigant enters into a legal dispute with a guaranty of victory. Just like the conflicts described above, if you sue or are sued, it is unknown how long the fight will last, how much time it will take for your lawyer to prepare, research, study, and execute any strategy or properly respond to a lawsuit. Nor does any litigant know how long the other side is willing to fight for what they believe in.

Besides the adversary, the courts need to move their dockets forward.  There is no “ceasefire” in litigation.  You cannot put your case on hold.  If the parties can settle their dispute, then the case is over.  Otherwise, the battle goes on, and on, until one side or the other either wins, or runs out of money to finance the fight.  I cannot tell you how many times I have heard my clients say that they would rather pay me as their lawyer to fight with the other side than to give in and resolve this dispute with the adversary.  I always remind my client that a resolution of a dispute assures an end to the legal battle, which is never guarantied when the fight goes on.

A good lawyer tries to keep his client out of trouble.  Sometimes, it does not matter what the lawyer does, the client will find themselves in court and they have to deal with the conflict.

The next time a client tells me what they think is going to happen if they go to court, I will remind them of the tunnels that the Israelis, with all of their American technology, did not even know existed right below their feet.  If a country that spends literally billions of dollars a year on its national security and defense, has some of the most sophisticated counter-terrorism systems in the world, does not even know that its hostile neighbor is and has been lurking deep into its land and preparing for wholesale bloodshed, what can my client really know of the intentions and capabilities of another litigant.

The lifeblood of litigation, like war, is the unknown.

For more information about business litigation and strategies contact:

ERIC N. ASSOULINE, ESQ.
Telephone: 954-929-1899

With offices in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, and Boca Raton

ASSOULINE & BERLOWE, P.A.

http://www.assoulineberlowe.com

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

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Filed under Arbitration, Business Litigation, Corporate Law, Intellectual Property, International, International Arbitration, IP Litigation, Labor & Employment, Real Estate

Litigation and War – Managing Expectations

business litigation war tank lawsuit fight

As a career business litigator, I have handled, literally, hundreds of commercial disputes for my clients.  Whether being involved in bet-the-company type litigation, where the stakes and the legal fees are high, or when appearing at Pretrial Conferences for clients in courts of limited jurisdiction, one thing is constant, the unknown.  You don’t know how long it is going to take to resolve the case, you don’t know how much it is going to cost, you don’t know how badly the other side wants to fight, and you don’t know what the Judge is going to think of the merits of your case or the other side’s position.

Litigation is like war on a smaller, more “civilized” scale.  America right now is passively watching in horror as bloody battles rage across the globe.  Fighting for autonomy from Russia is intensifying in southern Ukraine.  A costly civil war that started in Syria is now spilling into war torn Iraq.  Reports of hundreds of thousands of civilians, dying, being forced from their homes, and caught in the cross fire of these conflicts fill the press.

Thousands of Hamas rockets were launched from the Gaza strip into Israeli cities, which were intercepted by the American financed Iron Dome.   It appeared that Israel had their dispute under control. However, reports reveal that what the Israeli intelligence did not know was that its neighbor had dug several miles of interconnected underground tunnels deep into Israel in order to one day, by surprise, surface and inflict bloodshed and devastation on its civilian population.

Civilian casualties are mounting, in nations worldwide, as a result of these conflicts.  When will it end, how many more days, weeks, months, deaths, before it stops.  All . . . unknown.

In litigation, anyone that thinks they can go into battle with an adversary and know what will happen, should take lessons from these large scale military conflicts. Litigation, like war, is unpredictable. No litigant enters into a legal dispute with a guaranty of victory. Just like the conflicts described above, if you sue or are sued, it is unknown how long the fight will last, how much time it will take for your lawyer to prepare, research, study, and execute any strategy or properly respond to a lawsuit. Nor does any litigant know how long the other side is willing to fight for what they believe in.

Besides the adversary, the courts need to move their dockets forward.  There is no “ceasefire” in litigation.  You cannot put your case on hold.  If the parties can settle their dispute, then the case is over.  Otherwise, the battle goes on, and on, until one side or the other either wins, or runs out of money to finance the fight.  I cannot tell you how many times I have heard my clients say that they would rather pay me as their lawyer to fight with the other side than to give in and resolve this dispute with the adversary.  I always remind my client that a resolution of a dispute assures an end to the legal battle, which is never guarantied when the fight goes on.

A good lawyer tries to keep his client out of trouble.  Sometimes, it does not matter what the lawyer does, the client will find themselves in court and they have to deal with the conflict.

The next time a client tells me what they think is going to happen if they go to court, I will remind them of the tunnels that the Israelis, with all of their American technology, did not even know existed right below their feet.  If a country that spends literally billions of dollars a year on its national security and defense, has some of the most sophisticated counter-terrorism systems in the world, does not even know that its hostile neighbor is and has been lurking deep into its land and preparing for wholesale bloodshed, what can my client really know of the intentions and capabilities of another litigant.

The lifeblood of litigation, like war, is the unknown.

For more information about business litigation and strategies contact:

ERIC N. ASSOULINE, ESQ.
Telephone: 954-929-1899

With offices in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, and Boca Raton

ASSOULINE & BERLOWE, P.A.

http://www.assoulineberlowe.com

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

Super Lawyers

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Student Becomes the Master: UM Law Wins International Moot Arbitration Competition in Frankfurt

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left to right: Joseph Matthews, L Andrew Riccio, Benjamin Keime, Abirami Ananthasingam

The University of Miami School of Law is already one of the top law schools in the State of Florida.  On March 14 ,2014, Coral Gables, Florida, and the entire UM community, began celebrating it’s first place finish at the 7th Frankfurt Investment Arbitration moot competition.

The three UM law school students representing UM’s team, Joseph Matthews (3L), Benjamin Keime (2L),  and Abirami Ananthasingam (3L), began preparing for the international competition in August 2013.  The competition was held during March 10th through the 15th 2014 at the University of Frankfurt in Germany.

The competition was against 59 other international law school teams.  The UM team was lead by Assouline & Berlowe attorney, and UM alumni, L Andrew Riccio (JD 2011).

The substance of this year’s moot court competition was entitled “The Perfumes of Arabia”, based in 12th century Yemen, relating to a new customs regime on merchants in Aden, the Yemeni port.  Fictional claims were brought under a multilateral investment treaty comprised of countries of the medieval Ayyubid Empire.

In describing the substance of the moot court problem, “Coach” Riccio stated that “this year’s was the most complex and interesting of them all.” He was especially impressed by the caliber of students at the competition.  Given the complexity of the problem, students invested considerable time preparing their arguments.

The moot court team competed against law schools from Europe, the Caribbean, and Asia, and ultimately tied for first place with the team from Sciences Po (Paris).  The winners, both the UM and Sciences Po teams, will receive a three week placement at the Hague Academy of International Law.

The distinguished tribunal in the final round consisted of Charles Brower, Abby Cohen-Smutney, and Judge Awn Al-Khasaweh.  The University of Miami is the only to twice make it to the final round of the competition, and twice win the competition.

This victory was extra special for Attorney Riccio, who participated on the team as a law student participant in 2011 , when UM won the competition for the first time.  After this win, UM is the first repeat winner of the competition.  When Riccio competed in 2011, it was under the guidance of his mentor, Assouline & Berlowe International Arbitration Partner Daniel Vielleville.  Now, Riccio has taken the reins of UM’s team and as the coach, the student has proved himself as the master of UM’s second winning team.

Assouline & Berlowe was founded by University of Miami School of Law graduates Eric N. Assouline (JD 1996) and Peter E. Berlowe (JD 1998).  Since that time, several other UM law graduates have joined the firm, including Sheri Alter (JD 1996), Meredith Gussin (JD 2001), as well as current partners Loren D. Pearson (JD 1996) and Daniel E. Vielleville (JD 2003).

For more information about the competition, or to discuss any business issues, please contact Mr. Riccio.

L. Andrew Riccio, Esq.

ASSOULINE & BERLOWE, P.A.

3250 Mary Street, Suite 100

Miami, Florida 33133

Main:  (305) 567-5576

Fax: (305) 567-9343

Email: ASR@AssoulineBerlowe.com

http://www.AssoulineBerlowe.com/

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

Miami • Ft. Lauderdale • Boca Raton

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B’nai B’rith Justice Unit – Installation Brunch

Bnai Brith Justice Unit Installation BrunchCommercial Litigation Partner Eric Assouline, on behalf of Assouline & Berlowe, is proud to sponsor the 34th Annual Installation Brunch of the Officers and Directors B’nai Brith Justice Unit #5207, taking place in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Outgoing President, Broward County Court Judge Lisa Porter, has done an amazing job leading the Justice Unit during the 2013-2014 term.  We all thank her for the extraordinary time and effort spent to further the goals of B’nai B’rith and make this the best year in the history of the Unit.

B’nai B’rith, founded in 1843, is one of the world’s oldest and most respected service organizations.  B’nai B’rith focuses on helping people in the community that cannot help themselves.  Whether responding to national disasters, working with America’s elderly, or promoting the development of the youth, B’nai B’rith works to improve people’s lives in our community.  Older than the American Red Cross, B’nai B’rith is a vital part of the community and their leaders deserve much recognition for their efforts.

The Justice Unit is composed of judges and lawyers in Broward County that aim to spread the quality and professionalism expected from its distinguished members of the bar and the bench.

The installation brunch is scheduled for Sunday, March 9, 2014 from 10am – 12pm at the Renaissance Fort Lauderdale – Plantation Hotel, 1230 South Pine Island Road, Plantation, Florida.

To register for the event, click here.

ASSOULINE & BERLOWE – The BUSINESS LAW Firm

Telephone: 954-929-1899

With offices in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, and Boca Raton

ERIC N. ASSOULINE, ESQ.

ASSOULINE & BERLOWE, P.A.

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

Miami · Ft. Lauderdale · Boca Raton

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Eric N. Assouline
Business Litigation

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