Category Archives: International

Attorneys: Thanks-for-Giving Back to the Community

Legal Aid Picture of Litigation Attorney Eric N. Assouline

Happy Birthday Eric N. Assouline, and thank you for your Pro Bono work at the Legal Aid Service of Broward County!

At a time when the front page article of the Daily Business Review is reporting on an $18M legal fee being imposed upon a public company for unnecessarily fighting about every legal issue in a drawn out commercial dispute, and lead counsel’s normal hourly rate of $1,200 an hour being cut down to $675 an hour by a Federal Magistrate to be more in line with prevailing community rates, it is very humbling to discuss “real life” legal problems ordinary people deal with every day.   

I spent part of my 49th Birthday at the Legal Aid Service of Broward County’s offices in Fort Lauderdale speaking to individuals who called Legal Aid for assistance with their legal problems.

I learned long ago, from my former boss Hank Adorno, who taught all the associates at Adorno & Zeder, that it was the culture of the firm to give back to the community.  Going back to the Adorno days, we were paid by the firm to help those that were less fortunate, including reading to elementary school children and participating in Hands On Miami. 

Keeping up with that tradition, Litigation Partner Eric Assouline is seen here speaking to a group of young men and women about how hard work pays off.  Attorney Assouline also received a FLITE Program framed certificate as a thank you for his time.

FLITE Photo

Giving back time to the community has been part of the culture at Assouline & Berlowe.  As mentioned on the Community Service page of the Firm’s website:  The Firm has been involved in giving back to the community, in the form of time, money, and energy in order to support those who are less fortunate as well as in support of other important causes.

Examples of how the firm has been involved in philanthropic commitments are many. As early as in 2004, when the Firm was just a year old, the Firm sponsored a mayoral debate for Miami-Dade County.

In 2005, the Firm sponsored the Beauty and the Best Fund Raising Program for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

00227481

In 2006, the Firm sponsored Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Walk-a-Thon in Sunrise, Florida.  In 2014, the firm again returned to support JDRF when the Firm sponsored a charity golf tournament in support of JDRF.

In 2008, during the economic crises, as the headlines were filled with news about Americans losing their jobs, the Firm did not feel it appropriate to have a year end holiday “party” for its staff.  Instead of celebrating another successful year, the Firm made a donation to the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital for the support, care and treatment of children at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Florida.

The donation is commemorated by an inscribed brick to be placed next to the statute of Yankee Clipper, Joe DiMaggio at the hospital.

00227479

Joe DiMaggio Paver

Brick Paver at the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, in Hollywood, Florida

 

In Miami, the Firm donated to the Miami Children’s Hospital, and was recognized with another inscribed brick at the Fountain.

The Firm has also been involved in several directorships for non-profit organizations. For example, Eric Assouline serves as a director for both the B’Nai Brith Justice Unit and Jewish National Fund. Ellen Leibovitch is a director with the South Palm Beach County Bar Association. Mr. Assouline and Ms. Leibovitch have also been involved in supporting the Florida Bar as members of the Florida Bar Grievance Committees in Broward and Palm Beach counties.

On this Thanksgiving Holiday, on behalf of my firm and all those attorneys that Give Back to the community, I want to say Thank you.

Happy Holidays.

Eric N. Assouline, Esq.

Managing Partner, Assouline & Berlowe, P.A.

Leave a comment

Filed under Arbitration, Bankruptcy, Business Litigation, commercial litigation, Corporate Law, International, Labor & Employment, Real Estate, Uncategorized

Florida Judgment Interest Rate Increase to 5.35%, sort of.

Crowdfunding

Hamilton – Assouline & Berlowe – Business Law Firm – joint tax disclosure by US and Swiss governme

Florida has a very interesting way to keep track of the interest rate of a Florida judgment.  Unlike the old system that was in place, Florida requires a judgment holder to compute the interest rate of their judgment by the quarter of the year.  The interest rate is determined by Florida’s Chief Financial Officer.  So, it is possible that a judgment that is one year old may have more than one interest rate for the past one year period.

After being stuck at 4.75% from October 2011 to March 2016, Florida’s interest rate has been steadily creeping upward.  During the second quarter of 2017, Florida’s judgment interest rate was 5.17%.  Florida’s CFO has just announced that the new applicable interest rate for the third quarter of 2017 is now 5.35%.  Florida’s interest rate is now at its highest in 6 years.

Leave a comment

Filed under Arbitration, Bankruptcy, Business Litigation, commercial litigation, International, Uncategorized

Former U.S. Ambassador Discusses Technology & Miami as Global City

17342496_1208689185895819_5590382985365719749_n.jpg

Assouline & Berlowe Partner Peter E. Berlowe had the privilege of listening to firm friend Former U.S. Ambassador to Singapore Hon. Kirk Wagar speak last week at Pipeline Workspaces. Ambassador Wagar spoke about opportunities in South and Southeast Asia and how Miami can grow in to a truly global city.  In part, Ambassador Wagar discussed how driverless vehicles and related technology will begin to have far reaching implications for worldwide employment and economics over the next five to ten years.  Ambassador Wagar reflected upon the United States as the true world power, in part because of U.S. private business’ continued respect for business formalities and intellectual properties of the other countries in which they invest.  Pictured are Peter E. Berlowe, Hon. Kirk Wagar, and WLRN V.P. of News Tom Hudson.

For more information about the speech or related issues, please contact Mr. Berlowe at:

Peter E. Berlowe, Esq.

ASSOULINE & BERLOWE, P.A.

3250 Mary Street, Suite 100

Miami, Florida 33133

Main:  (305) 567-5576

Fax: (305) 567-9343

Email: PEB@AssoulineBerlowe.com

http://www.AssoulineBerlowe.com/

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

Miami • Ft. Lauderdale • Boca Raton

Leave a comment

Filed under Arbitration, Business Litigation, commercial litigation, Intellectual Property, International, Uncategorized

Wouldn’t You Want Benefits Paid in U.S. dollars?

Assouline & Berlowe

Attorneys Peter Berlowe, Daniel Vielleville, and Cristina Vicens successfully defended a motion dismiss brought by Cargill, Inc. regarding Cargill’s payment of Adela Ortega’s employment benefits .  Ortega, a 19 year employee of Cargill, was primed to be a top executive after her assignment in the United States.  After her position was terminated, Ortega sought benefits due to her as severance.  Cargill wanted to pay Ortega based in Venezuelan bolivars while Ortega wanted be paid in U.S. dollars, a major difference in value.

In a recent article in the Daily Business Review (click here for the article), Peter Berlowe stated:  “We’re very happy we survived the motion to dismiss, because it shows that this case is not about politics or international law.  It’s really an issue of contract. The company claims their guiding principles are keeping and honoring contracts they enter into and doing right by their employees. They ignored both these principles in dealing with our client.”

At one point “Cargill and its Venezuelan affiliate started pointing fingers at each other” when trying to deal with Ortega’s benefits’ claims, stated Daniel Vielleville.

For a detailed review of the case, read the article featured in the Daily Business Review.

Please contact Peter Berlowe or Daniel Vielleville for any questions about the article and for any business litigation and international law concerns.

Peter E. Berlowe, Esq.

ASSOULINE & BERLOWE, P.A.

3250 Mary Street, Suite 100

Miami, Florida 33133

Main:  (305) 567-5576

Fax: (305) 567-9343

Email: PEB@AssoulineBerlowe.com

http://www.AssoulineBerlowe.com/

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

Miami • Ft. Lauderdale • Boca Raton

Leave a comment

Filed under Business Litigation, Corporate Law, International, Labor & Employment, labor and employment law

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Arbitration, Business Litigation, International, International Arbitration

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

Leave a comment

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Arbitration, Business Litigation, International, International Arbitration