Attorneys

RAYDA ALEMÁN

RAYDA ALEMÁN

raleman@homerbonner.com
(305) 350-5129

Practice Experience

Rayda Alemán represents corporate clients in regulatory enforcement proceedings, education law, and business and commercial litigation. She has defended various clients in enforcement actions brought by governmental agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Ms. Alemán has also represented various proprietary schools in dozens of matters litigated in state and federal courts and in arbitration.

Professional and Civic Activities and Memberships

  • The Florida Bar
  • American Bar Association
  • Florida Association of Women Lawyers

Bar Admissions

  • Florida

Court Admissions

  • Florida State Courts
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida

Education

  • Emory University School of Law (J.D., 2005)
    • Semi-Finalist, Hispanic National Bar Association Moot Court Competition (2004)
  • University of Florida (B.A., with honors, 2002)

Languages

  • English
  • Spanish

Presentations

  • Be Prepared: Tips and Strategies for Handling Government Investigations, FAPSC Annual Conference – Aventura, Florida, July 25, 2013
  • Winning Strategies to Ensure Prospective Students Have Realistic Expectations, FAPSC Annual Conference – Aventura, Florida,  July 26, 2012
  • Student Complaints: How to Handle Them, Keep Them from Escalating, and Prevent Them in the Future, FAPSC Central Conference – Lake Mary, Florida, February 23, 2012
GEORGE BEFELER

GEORGE BEFELER

gbefeler@homerbonner.com
(305) 350-5158

Practice Experience

George Befeler has over 30 years of experience representing private and public clients in transactions involving corporate mergers and acquisitions, tender offers, asset and equity purchases and sales, debt transactions, joint ventures and other finance transactions in the U.S., South America, Europe and Asia. Mr. Befeler also has extensive experience in counseling clients with business start-up matters, formation, maintenance and dissolution of domestic and offshore companies, employment, shareholder, partnership and membership agreements, and drafting complex transactional agreements including partnership, limited liability company and corporate governance agreements.

Mr. Befeler counsels private and institutional lenders, developers, investors, buyers and sellers in commercial real estate transactions including purchases, sales, development, conversions, debt structuring, restructuring and refinancing. He also has extensive experience counseling banks and other financial institutions in structuring, negotiating and closing real estate and other asset-based loans, as well as negotiating and implementing workout and forbearance agreements.

Professional and Civic Activities and Memberships

  • Florida Bar
  • Dade County Bar Association
  • Expert Witness for The Florida Bar
  • Member in Grievance Committee for The Florida Bar
  • Attorneys’ Title Insurance Fund, Inc.
  • Salvadoran-American Health Foundation, Inc.​

Bar Admissions

  • Florida

Education

  • University of Miami School of Law (LL.M., Taxation, 1984)
  • University of Miami School of Law (J.D., cum laude, 1983)​
  • Florida International University (B.S., cum laude, 1980)

Languages

  • English
  • Spanish

Affiliations

  • Director of Executive National Bank, a National Banking Association
  • Chairman of Loan Committee of Executive National Bank
  • Chairman of The Befeler Group, a real estate investment, management and development company
CONNIE F. CHEN

CONNIE F. CHEN

cchen@homerbonner.com
(305) 350-5136

Connie Chen represents clients in complex commercial litigation matters, including securities defense and regulatory enforcement proceedings.

Prior to joining Homer Bonner Jacobs Ortiz, Connie clerked two years for the Honorable Milton Hirsch of the 11th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida, where she gained experience in criminal and post-conviction practice.

Connie received her J.D., cum laude, from the University of Miami School of Law. During law school, she was a published author and senior editor of the Inter-American Law Review, competed on behalf of the Moot Court Board, and handled cases for the Innocence Clinic.

Connie also holds a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Sociology from Emory University in Atlanta.

Professional and Civic Activities and Memberships

  • American Bar Association
  • Florida Bar Association
  • Dade County Bar Association
  • Miami-Dade Chapter of the Florida Association of Women Lawyers

Bar Admission

  • Florida

Court Admissions

  • Florida State Courts
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida

Education

  • University of Miami School of Law, cum laude (J.D., 2017)
    • Articles & Comments Editor, Inter-American Law Review
    • Regional Seminal Finalist, National Appellate Advocacy  Competition (2016); National Moot Court Competition (2017)
    • President, Student Animal Legal Defense Fund
    • Member, Miami Law Innocence Clinic
  • Emory University (B.A., 2013)

Languages 

  • English
  • Mandarin Chinese (conversational)

Publications

  • Connie Felix Chen, Freeze, You’re on Camera: Can Body Cameras Improve American Policing on the Streets and at the Borders?, 48 U. Miami Inter-Am. L. Rev. 141 (2017), available at: https://repository.law.miami.edu/umialr/vol48/iss3/7.
LUIS DELGADO

LUIS DELGADO

ldelgado@homerbonner.com
(305) 350-5130

Practice Experience

Luis Delgado oversees the Firm’s international litigation group and is a leading member of the business law and litigation practice, focusing his practice in Florida and Latin America.

Mr. Delgado represents individuals and corporations in the public and private sectors in various business transactions and complex commercial litigation cases in federal and state court. Clients include public and private corporations, banks and other financial institutions, governments, independent business owners, partnerships and limited liability companies.

Mr. Delgado counsels individuals and companies in the Caribbean, South and Central America. He has handled complex international arbitration and general litigation matters on behalf of clients in countries including Venezuela, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, El Salvador, Mexico and Ecuador.

Mr. Delgado has developed a distinct reputation for effective, high-stakes litigation, representing both plaintiffs and defendants in complex cases involving breach of contract, intellectual property and general business disputes.

Mr. Delgado has significant experience handling claims under federal and state securities laws, Racketeer Influences and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), corporate governance contests, franchise disputes, asset tracing and cross-border interim relief.

Mr. Delgado has prosecuted and defended class action lawsuits involving multi-million dollar fraudulent investment operations on behalf of investors in the U.S. and abroad.

Professional and Civic Activities and Memberships

  • The Florida Bar
  • International Bar Association
  • American Bar Association, Section of International Law and Practice
  • Cuban American Bar Association
  • American Trial Lawyers Association

Professional Recognition

  • Florida “Super Lawyer” by Law & Politics Magazine (2019)

Bar Admissions

  • Florida

Court Admissions

  • Florida State and Appellate Courts
  • Florida Federal Courts
  • Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals

Education

  • Boston College Law School (J.D., 1984)
  • University of Miami School of Business (B.A., 1981)

Languages

  • English
  • Spanish
HOWARD GOLDFARB

HOWARD GOLDFARB

hgoldfarb@homerbonner.com
(305) 350-5115

Practice Experience

Howard Goldfarb represents a diverse clientele in a variety of business and commercial litigation.

A large focus of Howard’s practice involves white collar defense, including representing defendants in enforcement actions brought by government agencies, including the Federal Trade Commission, Commodities Futures Trading Commission, and state Attorney Generals.  Howard also has experience conducting and assisting internal corporate investigations.

Howard regularly advises clients on consumer protection issues, including reviewing advertising and promotional materials for compliance with state and federal regulations, and defending and counseling clients concerning allegations of unfair and deceptive trade practices and false advertising claims.

Howard is experienced in securities and commodities disputes, including litigation in state and federal courts and arbitration proceedings before the National Futures Association and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, and has represented futures commission merchants, brokerage firms, and their principals and employees in reparations proceedings before the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Howard’s practice also includes employment litigation and related disputes, including litigation brought under the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and state and federal discrimination acts, as well as the defense of consumer-oriented class actions and arbitrations, including proceedings before the American Arbitration Association.

Professional and Civic Activities and Memberships

  • The Florida Bar

Professional Recognition

  • Super Lawyers, Florida Rising Stars (2011-2019)

Bar Admissions

  • Florida

Court Admissions

  • Florida State Courts
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida

Background

  • Judicial Intern, Florida Supreme Court, Central Staff (2004)
  • Judicial Intern, General Master H. Stephen Pennypacker, Eight Judicial Circuit Court in and for Alachua County (2003)

Education

  • University of Florida College of Law, Gainesville, Florida, (J.D., cum laude, 2005)
    • Law Journal: University of Florida Journal of Law & Public Policy (2004-2005)
    • Law Journal: Journal of Technology Law & Policy (2003–2005)
  •  University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida (B.S., 2002)

Languages

  • English

Publications

  • The Undocumented Worker: Fuller, Holmes, and the Bush Proposal Within Immigration and Labor Law Jurisprudence, 16 U. Fla. J. L. & Pub. Pol’y 179 (2005)
  • Standard-Setting Organizations: Determining a Duty to Disclose Among Industry Competitors, 8 J. Tech. L. & Pol’y 207 (2003)
ANTONIO M. HERNANDEZ, JR.

ANTONIO M. HERNANDEZ, JR.

Practice Experience

Antonio Hernandez’s varied commercial litigation practice includes both state and federal courts, as well as various arbitral forums. Already he has begun to concentrate in False Claims Act litigation, securities defense, and the representation of educational institutions.

A past summer associate at the Firm, Tony returned to the Firm after graduating summa cum laude from the University of Miami School of Law. A lifelong south Floridian born to Cuban parents, Tony also attended the University of Miami for his undergraduate studies.

Following law school, Tony clerked two years at the Florida Supreme Court for the Honorable Justice R. Fred Lewis. During his last year in Justice Lewis’ chambers, he was the most senior staff attorney in chambers. He also interned for Justice Lewis during the summer following his first year of law school. During his second year of law school, Tony externed at the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit for the Honorable Circuit Judge Adalberto Jordan.

During his time as a summer associate at the firm, Tony worked on a variety of complex commercial litigation matters and transactional matters. In addition, Tony has experience with local government, small business, and software development. Outside of the office, Tony enjoys reading, exercising, and dancing Argentine tango.

Professional and Civic Activities and Memberships

  • The Florida Bar
  • Board Member, Miami Beach Convention Center Advisory (2019)

Bar Admissions

  • Florida

Court Admissions 

  • Florida State Courts

Background 

  • Judicial Clerkship, Justice R. Fred Lewis, Supreme Court of Florida (2015-2017)
  • Judicial Externship, Honorable Adalberto Jordan, Circuit Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit (Spring 2014)
  • Judicial Externship, Justice R. Fred Lewis, Supreme Court of Florida (Summer 2013)

Education

  • University of Miami School of Law (J.D., summa cum laude, 2015)
    • University of Miami Law Review, Member
    • Order of the Coif
    • Society of Bar & Gavel, Member
    • United States Constitutional Law I Dean’s Fellow to Professor Caroline Mala Corbin (Spring 2014)
    • Torts Deans Fellow to Vice Dean Osamudia James (Fall 2013)
    • Scholar, HNBA/Microsoft IP Law Institute
  • University of Miami (B.A., cum laude, general honors, 2012)

Languages 

  • English
  • Spanish (Conversational)
  • French (Conversational)
ANDREW R. HERRON

ANDREW R. HERRON

aherron@homerbonner.com
(305) 350-5117

Andy Herron has been representing parties in commercial cases for nearly 30 years.  Mr. Herron regularly represents banks, other businesses and individuals before Florida’s state courts, federal district courts and bankruptcy courts in a wide variety of cases.  His practice includes bank litigation of various types, prosecution and defense of business torts, partnership and shareholder disputes, insurance coverage disputes and disputes involving Ponzi schemes and financial frauds.  Mr. Herron also has extensive experience in the arena of bankruptcy and debtor/creditor rights, regularly representing debtors, creditors, interested parties and litigants involved in bankruptcy cases or judgment collection. Additionally, Mr. Herron is certified by the Florida Supreme Court as Circuit Court mediator.

Lead Counsel Engagements

  • Lead counsel for national bank in defense of $6 million case alleging negligence,fraud and civil RICO; jury returned a verdict for the bank.
  • Lead counsel for national bank in multiple federal cases seeking over $5 million in damages connected to Ponzi schemes run by bank customers; dismissals and summary judgments entered in favor of the bank by the trial courts.
  • Lead counsel in successful collection of substantial investment into Ponzi scheme;
  • Lead counsel in collection of $1.2 million judgment, resulting in substantial recovery.
  • Lead litigation counsel for local community bank, handling commercial foreclosures and collections, bankruptcies by borrowers, and the like.
  • Lead litigation counsel for local aircraft engine repair shop.
  • Lead counsel in successful prosecution of substantial fraudulent transfer lawsuit.
  • Lead counsel in successful representation of magazine publisher in $1 million dispute with insurer over unpaid business interruption claim.
  • Lead counsel for two family members in $90 million+ dispute over family business.
  • Successfully defended against wrongful involuntary bankruptcy petitions filed against prominent individuals in Puerto Rico.
  • Represented successful buyer of Islamorada marina and bar from a bankruptcy estate.

Professional Activities and Memberships

  • Past member of the Ad Hoc Committee on Rules and Procedures of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida
  • Member, Bankruptcy Bar Association for the Southern District of Florida

Professional Recognition

  • AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbbell
  • Florida “Super Lawyer” as published by Thomson Reuters (2009-present)
  • South Florida Legal Guide “Top Lawyer” (2012-present)
  • Florida Trend “Legal Elite” (selected years)

Bar Admissions

  • Florida

Court Admissions

  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 1st Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
  • Florida State Courts

 Education

  • University of Miami School of Law (J.D., with honors, 1990)
    • Articles and Comments Editor, University of Miami Law Review
  • Swarthmore College (B.A., Biology 1987)

Prior Affiliations

  • Herron Ortiz 2013-2018
  • Herron Jacobs Ortiz 2005-2013
  • Homer & Bonner 1997-2005
  • Kelley Drye & Warren 1995-1997
  • Jenner & Block 1994-1995
  • Stroock & Stroock & Lavan 1990-1994

 Languages

  • English
GREGORY W. HOMER

GREGORY W. HOMER

Practice Experience

Gregory W. Homer litigates labor and employment, commercial and class action matters. He has worked extensively with experts in statistics and labor economics in the preparation and execution of defense strategies and case analyses in complex class action and multi-plaintiff employment litigation, including several nationwide class actions.

In addition to defending numerous individual discrimination and employment tort actions in state and federal courts at both the trial and appellate levels, Greg has both defended and prosecuted breach of contract claims, particularly in the context of injunction proceedings and enforcement of covenants not to compete. He also has defended actions brought under ERISA involving denials of welfare benefits and allegations of breach of fiduciary duty.

Greg regularly counsels clients on compliance issues involving the full range of federal and state laws concerning discrimination, wage and hour, and leave issues, with a focus on the additional obligations placed on federal and state contractors in the areas of affirmative action, prevailing wages, and reporting obligations.

Greg co-authored Defending and Preventing Employment Litigation, an authoritative guide to help minimize employment lawsuits, published by Aspen Publishers, and The Model Employer, a comprehensive text on employment law, published by George Washington Law School. He frequently speaker on employment law topics for CLE providers, including National Employment Law Institute, Wake Forest University School of Law, and Northwestern School of Law.

Professional and Civic Activities and Memberships

  • American Bar Association, Labor & Employment Law Section

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia

Court Admissions 

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

Education

  • University of Virginia School of Law (J.D., 1979)
  • Yale University (B.A., cum laude, 1976)

Languages 

  • English
PETER W. HOMER

PETER W. HOMER

phomer@homerbonner.com
(305) 350-5139

Practice Experience

Peter W. Homer is one of the firm’s founders. He has a diverse and extensive business law and litigation practice at both the trial and appellate levels, and in various arbitral forums.

Mr. Homer represents private and public companies, including financial institutions, in all manner of litigation, arbitration, regulatory enforcement proceedings, and investigations by governmental agencies or self-regulatory organizations. He also counsels clients on compliance issues and laws, rules and regulations at the federal and state levels of various regulatory organizations.

Mr. Homer has significant experience representing organizations and individuals who have become subjects of investigations or enforcement proceedings by federal and state governmental agencies, including the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Securities and Exchange Commission, Federal Trade Commission, Federal Communications Commission, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Department of Education, Florida Attorney General, as well as other state regulators or industry self-regulatory organizations such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Clients include securities broker-dealers, investment advisors, investment companies, hedge funds, publicly-held companies, banks, insurance companies, for-profit schools, accounting firms, commodities firms, futures commission merchants, precious metals dealers, as well as the officers, directors, partners and employees of these companies. Mr. Homer has aggressively litigated against most governmental agencies on various issues, including temporary restraining orders, preliminary injunctions, and limiting the scope of or overturning orders involving asset freezes.

Mr. Homer’s education law practice is one of the most extensive in the nation. He represents universities, colleges and career schools in a variety of litigated and regulatory matters. He counsels these clients on compliance with accrediting standards of public and private primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, as well as on state and federal regulations.

Mr. Homer provides counseling and litigation services to banks and other financial institutions in all phases of consumer and commercial litigation, which includes drafting and interpreting contracts, leases, promissory notes, and security agreements. Clients include large national banks, local commercial and private banks, national commercial credit companies, and national commercial leasing companies, as well as foreign banking institutions. He is knowledgeable about the intricacies of federal and state banking regulations. He also provides representation in pre-litigation loan workouts and reorganizations through bankruptcy.

Mr. Homer provides businesses with a full-range of employment-related legal services and has handled lawsuits involving discrimination, retaliation, harassment, wrongful termination, wage and hour, breach of contracts, severance, employee benefits, non-competition, confidentiality, trade secrets, whistle-blower, invasion of privacy, and defamation claims. Clients include a broad range of domestic and foreign corporations.

Professional and Civic Activities and Memberships

  • The Florida Bar
  • Maryland State Bar Association
  • Washington State Bar Association
  • Securities Dealers Association

Professional Recognition

  • Best Lawyers in America – Lawyer of the Year for Securities Regulation in Miami, FL (2020)
  • Best Lawyers in America – Lawyer of the Year for Litigation – Securities in Miami, FL (2013, 2019)
  • Best Lawyers in America – Lawyer of the Year for Litigation – Mergers & Acquisitions in Miami, FL (2014-2017)
  • Lawyer Legal Awards -Educational Law – Lawyer of the Year – USA (2018)
  • The Best Lawyers in America (2005-2020)
  • Super Lawyers (2006-2019)
  • Florida Trend’s Legal Elite (2004-2006, 2008, 2013-2015)
  • Client Choice Award Winner for Litigation in Florida (2013)
  • AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell

Bar Admissions

  • Florida
  • Maryland
  • Washington
  • Supreme Court of the United States

Court Admissions

  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 3rd Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • Florida State Courts
  • Maryland State Courts
  • Washington State Courts

Background

  • Founding Member of Homer Bonner Jacobs Ortiz
  • Local Rules Committee, The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
  • Judicial Clerkship, Honorable Sidney M. Aronovitz, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida (1979-1980)
  • Judicial Clerkship, Chief Judge Robert Murphy, Maryland Court of Appeals, (1978–1979)

Education

  • University of Virginia School of Law (J.D./M.B.A., 1978)
  • University of Notre Dame (B.A., magna cum laude, 1974)

Languages

  • English
KEVIN P. JACOBS

KEVIN P. JACOBS

kjacobs@homerbonner.com
(305) 350-5143

Kevin P. Jacobs has broad experience litigating in both federal and state court and various arbitral forums, including FINRA, JAMS, and the American Arbitration Association. His diverse practice includes class action defense, banking litigation, securities arbitrations, intellectual property litigation, employment litigation, consumer fraud defense, insurance coverage litigation, and other corporate defense work and counseling.

Lead counsel litigation

  • Lead counsel for publicly-traded company regarding breaches of reps and warranties in purchase and sale agreement, resulting in sellers relinquishing their remaining interest in newco.
  • Lead counsel for publicly-traded shipping conglomerate to enforce twenty-year old indemnity provisions in purchase and sale agreement, resulting in complete indemnity relating to asbestos claims.
  • Lead counsel defending publicly-traded company and its subsidiary in claim of trade secret theft relating to alleged misappropriation of software, resulting in dismissal of plaintiff’s claims for fraud on the court.
  • Lead counsel prosecuting counterclaim on behalf of a publicly-traded education company in trademark action, resulting in settlement requiring plaintiff to cease use of its infringing mark.
  • Lead counsel in suit on behalf of publicly-traded pet supply company to enforce its trademark rights, resulting in permanent injunction against defendant.
  • Lead counsel prosecuting defamation suit on behalf of publicly-traded education company against attorney, resulting in a settlement payment from attorney’s insurance carrier.
  • Lead counsel defending duty free and travel retailer against copyright suit, resulting in early dismissal of all claims.
  • Lead counsel for publicly-trade medical supplier in various non-competition cases.

Other litigation highlights

  • Defended publicly-traded telecommunications company in technology trade secrets case brought against recently-acquired subsidiary, resulting in favorable settlement.
  • Defended numerous publicly-traded companies in consumer class actions in state and federal court and before the American Arbitration Association under its class action rules.
  • Represented relators and defendants in False Claims Act cases.
  • Defended medical products manufacturer in defamation suit, resulting in summary judgment against plaintiff.
  • Defended airline against a defamation and tortious interference suit brought by travel agent.
  • Defended companies in various employment-related disputes, including ones involving claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Civil Rights Act, and for forms of discrimination or retaliation.

Investigation and government actions

  • Represented publicly-traded and privately held companies responding to US Department of Justice, state attorney general, and state insurance commission investigations and enforcement actions.
  • Conducted numerous Sarbanes-Oxley, False Claims Act, and other whistleblower-related investigations.
  • Defended various companies against regulatory and enforcement actions by the Federal Trade Commission, the Securities Exchange Commission, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Commodities Futures Trading Commission, and federal and state departments of education.

Transactional work and advisement

  • Drafted and negotiated various license agreements, employment contracts, arbitration agreements, and other business agreements.
  • Regularly advise businesses on employment, insurance, compliance, and contractual matters.

Professional and Civil Activities and Memberships

  • Board President, Legal Services of Greater Miami Foundation (2015-present)
  • Board, Executive Committee, Audit and Finance Committee, Strategic Planning, and Investment Committee Member, Legal Services of Greater Miami, Inc. (2011-present)
  • Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Rules and Procedures for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida (2010-2014)
  • Member of the Ad Hoc Committee on Rules and Procedures for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida (2001-present)
  • Director, Federal Bar Association, South Florida Chapter (2010-2014)
  • Tocqueville Society Member, United Way of Miami-Dade (2015-2016)

Professional Recognition

  • AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Florida “Super Lawyer” (2012-present)
  • South Florida Legal Guide “Top Lawyer” (2008-present)
  • Numerous commendations earned while serving in the U.S. Army Military Intelligence Corps (1988-1992)

Bar Admissions

  • Florida

Court Admissions

  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
  • Florida State Courts
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit

Education

  • University of Florida College of Law (J.D., with honors, 1998)
  • University of South Florida (B.A., Philosophy 1995)

Languages

  • English
YOLONDA P. JACOBS

YOLONDA P. JACOBS

Practice Experience

Yolonda P. Jacobs’s practice focuses on complex civil and commercial litigation. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Jacobs practiced with the law firms of Herron Jacobs Ortiz and Holland + Knight. Ms. Jacobs also served as a law clerk to the Honorable Ursula Ungaro, District Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Ms. Jacobs graduated from the University of Florida College of Law where she was a member of the Florida Law Review. Before attending law school, Ms. Jacobs was the director of a domestic violence and special assault diversion program with the State Attorney’s Office in Jacksonville, Florida.

Professional and Civic Activities and Memberships

  • Past Director and Chair, Nominating Committee, Board of Friends of WLRN
  • Past Chair, Federal Magistrate Judge Reappointment Committee, United States District Court, Southern District of Florida
  • Member, Educational Excellence School Advisory Council, Miami-Dade County Public Schools (2013)
  • Advisory member and volunteer instructor, LegalUp! Program (2014-201
  • Tocqueville Society Member, United Way of Miami-Dade (2015-2016)

Bar Admissions

  • Florida

Court Admissions

  • S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
  • Florida State Courts

Background

  • Judicial Clerkship, Honorable Ursula Ungaro, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida

Education

  • University of Florida College of Law (J.D., with honors, 1998)
  • University of North Florida (B.A., Psychology, magna cum laude, 1988)

Languages

  • English
PRISCILLA JIMENEZ

PRISCILLA JIMENEZ

pjimenez@homerbonner.com
(305) 350-5154

Practice Experience

Priscilla Jimenez’s practice focuses on representing corporate clients in litigation, regulatory, investigatory, employment, and transactional matters.

Ms. Jimenez has experience handling significant litigation matters involving financial regulation, banking, commercial torts, intellectual property, employment, and consumer claims in federal and state court and in arbitration.

Ms. Jimenez also represents corporate clients in governance issues and transactional matters, including drafting and negotiating licensing agreements, employment agreements, joint ventures, master services agreements, and financial transactions.

Ms. Jimenez has devoted substantial time to advising proprietary postsecondary schools in regulatory matters, representing them in student and employment litigation, and conducting investigations in response to internal complaints and inquiries by accreditors, the United States Department of Education, various state education agencies, and numerous state attorneys general.

Professional and Civic Activities and Memberships

  • The Florida Bar
  • American Bar Association

Bar Admission

  • Florida

Court Admissions

  • Florida State Courts
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida

Education

  • University of Miami School of Law (J.D., cum laude, 2007)
  • Florida State University (B.S., summa cum laude, 2003)

Languages

  • English
  • Spanish

Presentations

  • Be Prepared: Tips and Strategies for Handling Government Investigations, FAPSC Annual Conference – Aventura, Florida, July 25, 2013
  • Employee Wage and Hour Claims – An Introduction to the Fair Labor Standards Act: How to Investigate, File, and Prove FLSA Claims, Legal Services of Greater Miami – Miami, Florida, September 26, 2012
  • Winning Strategies to Ensure Prospective Students Have Realistic Expectations, FAPSC Annual Conference – Aventura, Florida, July 26, 2012
  • Student Complaints: How to Handle Them, Keep Them from Escalating, and Prevent Them in the Future, FAPSC Central Conference – Lake Mary, Florida, February 23, 2012
CHRISTOPHER KING

CHRISTOPHER KING

cking@homerbonner.com
(305) 350-5192

Practice Experience

Christopher King is a leading member of the firm’s Arbitration, Securities and Commodities Litigation, and Regulatory Enforcement practice groups. He has represented numerous clients both in arbitration and in court proceedings to confirm or vacate arbitration awards, and was on the front lines of many of the early disputes over class-based arbitration, including the successful vacatur of a clause construction award in the Fifth Circuit decision, Reed v. Florida Metropolitan University, Inc., 681 F.3d 630 (5th Cir.2012).

Mr. King has also defended enforcement actions around the country at both the trial and appellate levels. As lead counsel, he argued Commodity Futures Trading Comm’n v. Wilshire Inv. Mgmt. Corp., 531 F.3d 1339, 1345 (11th Cir.2008), which limited the regulator’s ability to recover restitution for customer losses in the Eleventh Circuit, and has defended several actions seeking to regulate the foreign currency spot and precious metal markets.

Mr. King also leads the firm’s appellate practice, having represented clients before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 5th, 6th, 7th, 9th, 10th, and 11th Circuits, as well as at the State level in Florida, California, and Illinois.

Mr. King has represented international clients from Switzerland, Panama, and Venezuela, and has extensive experience in securities litigation and in commercial and civil disputes both large and small.

Professional and Civic Activities and Memberships

  • The Florida Bar
  • Dade County Bar Association

Bar Admissions

  • Florida

Court Admissions

  • Florida State Courts
  • United States Supreme Court
  • The Supreme Court of Florida
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 10th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

Background

  • Judicial Clerkship, Honorable Norman C. Roettger, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida (1997-2000)

Education

  • University of Florida College of Law, Gainesville, Florida (J.D., honors, 1997)
    • Journal of Law and Public Policy, Editor
    • Intern for Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Stephen H. Grimes
  • Florida State University (B.A., cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa,1994)

Languages

  • English
RUSSELL KOONIN

RUSSELL KOONIN

Rkoonin@homerbonner.com
(305) 350-5157

Russell-Koonin

Russell Koonin represents corporate and individual clients in securities litigation matters; a wide-array of complex commercial litigation disputes; white-collar criminal defense including internal investigations; and government regulatory enforcement matters.  Mr. Koonin has tried more than 20 federal jury trials and has argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and the Florida Third District Court of Appeal.

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Koonin served as Senior Trial Counsel for the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement and also previously served as a federal prosecutor at the Department of Justice.  Mr. Koonin also was previously in private practice, where he practiced complex commercial litigation, defending both public and privately-held corporations and their officers, and also individuals in white-collar criminal defense matters.

During his tenure at the Miami Regional Office of the SEC, Mr. Koonin investigated and litigated cases involving violations of the anti-fraud, registration, books and records and investment adviser provisions of the securities laws, amongst others.  These matters ranged from large-scale Ponzi schemes, violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, stock price manipulation schemes, accounting violations under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, hedge-fund fee misappropriation, registration disclosure violations, violations under the Bank Secrecy Act, including Anti-Money Laundering provisions, Regulation FD violations, and failures to supervise, amongst others.

As an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of Florida, Mr. Koonin prosecuted matters related to violent crimes, firearms offenses, narcotics, sex-trafficking, matters of national security, identity theft, and credit card fraud.  Mr. Koonin also defended the United States and its employees, including federal law enforcement officers from the FBI, DEA, ATF, DHS and BOP in employment discrimination matters, torts, and allegations of excessive force.

 


 

REPRESENTATIVE MATTERS

  • SEC v. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Ltd., 16-cv-25298-MOORE (S.D. Fla.)

 
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act matter pertaining to allegations of bribes paid to foreign government officials in Russia, Ukraine, and Mexico to win business in those regions.  Under the settlement, Teva paid more than $236 million in disgorgement and interest to the SEC plus a $283 million penalty, and entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the DOJ. Teva was required to maintain independent corporate monitoring for at least three years.  SEC’s second-largest paid disgorgement ever at its time.

  • SEC v. JCS Enterprises, et al., 14-cv-80468-MIDDLEBROOKS (S.D. Fla.)

 
Asset freeze obtained and a Receiver appointed in emergency anti-fraud action against the operators of a South Florida-based Ponzi scheme that targeted investors through YouTube videos and sold them investments in a product called virtual concierge machines that would supposedly generate guaranteed returns of 300 to 500 percent in four years.  Defendants, who, resolved their SEC charges resulting in more than $30 million in disgorgement, were charged by the DOJ and convicted at trial.

  • SEC v. BankAtlantic Bancorp, Inc., et al., 12-cv-60082-GAYLES (S.D. Fla)

 
Allegations of improper disclosure and GAAP violations against the holding company of one of Florida’s largest banks at the time and its top executive, for misleading investors about growing problems in one of its significant loan portfolios early in the financial crisis.  The litigation consisted of two separate seven-week jury trials.

  • SEC v. UBS Financial Services et al., Exchange Act Rel. No. 85891 (May 20, 2019)
  • SEC v. Jose G. Ramirez, 15-cv-2365-DELGADO-HERNANDEZ (D.P.R.)

 
Allegations based on conduct of UBS Puerto Rico registered representative’s improper use of customers’ line of credit to purchase close-end funds.  Liability established against the former UBSPR registered representative, who was also subsequently criminally charged by DOJ and pled guilty.  UBSPR agreed to settle the SEC’s claim by paying $15 million, which was placed into a fund for harmed investors.

  • SEC E.S. Financial Services, Inc. n/k/a Brickell Global Markets, Inc. Exchange Act Rel. 77056 (Feb. 4, 2016) (and individual in related matter)

 
Action brought pertaining to reporting, recordkeeping and record retention requirements in regulations implemented under the Bank Secrecy Act, including the customer identification program rule (“CIP Rule”), implementing Section 326 of the USA PATRIOT Act.  Matter resolved via consent, where Respondent was censured, required to pay a $1 million civil penalty, and agreed to be subject to a corporate monitor.  Respondent’s President and CEO consented to a $50,000 civil penalty and to be suspended from association industry for a period of twelve months.

  • SEC v. Kingdom Legacy General Partner, LLC et al., 16-cv-00441-POLSTER CHAPPELL (M.D. Fla.)

 
Allegations of investment adviser and its founder and controlling principal charging undisclosed fees of 40% of the trading profits in one share class and 50% of the trading profits in the other two share classes, in addition to other material misrepresentations as to trustworthiness and skill. Matter resolved via consent for a combined $4.15 million in disgorgement and civil penalties.

  • United States v. {Jane Doe}, 10-cr-xxxxx-MARTINEZ (S.D. Fla.)

 
Criminal defense co-counsel for Ms. “Doe,” who was charged with mortgage fraud for actions as an attorney closing real estate transactions in a fictional and fraudulent proposed equestrian community.  Prior to going to trial, the lead developer down the chain to the straw buyers all pled guilty.  After a two-week trial, the jury acquitted Ms. Doe in under an hour.

  • Wyndham Lending Group LLC & Robert Walsh. v. Banco Popular North America, Inc., MRS-L-002862-08 (Morristown, NJ)

 
Defense of Banco Popular in a breach of contract action. Plaintiff alleged over $40 million in damages for an alleged failure of the president of Banco Popular to fund a separate mortgage origination and resale joint venture.  In the midst of plaintiff’s case-in-chief, a very favorable settlement was reached.

  • Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., v. Universal American Mortgage Company, LLC,et al., 11-cv-20859-KING (S.D. Fla.)

 
Defended UAMC, a mortgage loan correspondent, in breach of contract action where LBHI claimed that UAMC was required to repurchase residential loans UAMC sold to LBHI based on certain representations and warranties. After significant briefing, the Court ordered severance of all eight counts, dismissing all but one, holding that each individual claim of breach could not be tried together.
 

  • Farm Stores v. H.T. Hackney, Co., 02-00311 CA 09 (Miami-Dade)

 
Trial on damages related to overcharging for wholesale goods supplied by Hackney to Farm Stores, where the dispute centered on calculating permissible discounts, rebates and credits from available invoices and other documents.
 

  • United States v. Talavera, et al., 09-cr-20852-GOLD (S.D. Fla.)

 
Criminal charges against multiple individual defendants and their companies for violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, Presidential Executive Orders and the Code of Federal Regulations for the shipment of electronic goods to a business located within the Tri-Border Area, in South America which was banned by the Office of Foreign Assets Control because of its ties to Hamas as designated by the United States as Specially Designated Global Terrorists.
 

  • United States v. Sylvin, et al., 09-cr-20264-KING (S.D. Fla.)

 
Multi-defendant prosecution involving a notorious gang in the Little Haiti area of Miami. Successfully defended against a motion to suppress a wiretap, as well as a separate motion to suppress the recovery of the narcotics and multiple firearms. Five of the defendants proceeded to trial in one case; another defendant was tried separately because he was severed. All but one of these defendants were convicted. The remaining charged defendants pled guilty.
 

  • United States v. Fowler et al., 08-cr-202160-MORENO (S.D. Fla.)

 
National security case concerning the theft and sale of U.S. passports.  Proof of this conspiracy was solidified through the use of search warrants, pen registers and a wiretap in coordination with the FBI and the Diplomatic Security Service. This multi-state investigation, which went from California, through Mississippi, to Georgia and Florida, resulted in the guilty plea of the two defendants.
 

  • United States v. Darrell Knight, 07-cr-20923-GOLD (S.D. Fla.)

 
Bank robbery prosecution where the defendant forcefully held a victim at gunpoint when entering the bank and threatened all bank tellers at gunpoint as well.  Evidence presented at trial included cell-site location information from the defendant’s phone as well as circumstantial evidence from the recovered get-away vehicle given that defendant’s face was covered during the robbery. Victims at trial provided emotional testimony, and the defendant was convicted.
 

  • United States v. Marcillo-Aviles et al., 07-cr-20040-JORDAN (S.D. Fla.)

 
International scheme to import rare pre-Columbian artifacts into the United States from Ecuador. Pre-Columbian art consists of art and artifacts from the Americas, including pottery, baskets, jewelry and statues, that pre-date the arrival of Christopher Columbus. Under Ecuadorian law, it is illegal to transport such historical artifacts out of Ecuador as they are considered national treasures, and the U.S. National Stolen Property Act recognizes foreign criminal law regarding cultural property. The lead defendant pled guilty to a Superseding Information.
 

  • United States v. Dwight Moss, 06-cr-20442-UNGARO (S.D. Fla.)

 
This hybrid case primarily involved large-scale credit card fraud where the defendant, a previously convicted felon, was compromising victims’ accounts at department stores and home improvement stores.  Additionally, when a search warrant was executed on the defendant’s home, a firearm was located. The case proceeded to trial and the defendant was convicted of fraud and possession of a firearm.
 

  • United States v. St. Clair & Pluviose, 06-cr-20271-GOLDBERG (S.D. Fla.)

 
Drug trafficking case where the defendants claimed they were unaware of transporting cocaine over the border hidden in the back of paintings.  Both defendants were convicted.
 

  • United States v. Miguel Bernazal, 06-cr-20367-HUCK (S.D. Fla.)

 
Reverse home-invasion sting that proceeded to trial after the defendant, having skipped bond, was apprehended in Mexico. The defendant believed that he and his co-defendants were going to forcefully steal over 50 kilograms of cocaine.  The defendant was convicted at trial.

  • United States v. Dr. Chad Livdahl, N.D., et al., 04-cv-61617-COHN (S.D. Fla.)

 
Secured emergency temporary, preliminary and permanent injunctive relief against two doctors and their affiliated companies for committing violations under the Federal Food and Drug Cosmetic Act and for committing fraud against the United States.
 

  • Ulysses J. Hudson v. Thomas J. Ridge, Secretary, Dep’t of Homeland Security,

01-cv-2425-MARRA (S.D. Fla.)
 
Employment discrimination matter, where plaintiff alleged he was denied a promotion because of his race.  The jury declined to award any damages.
 
FEDERAL CLERKSHIP

Law clerk to the Honorable Peter T. Fay, Senior Judge, United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit, 2000-2001

COMMUNITY MEMBERSHIP

  • Federal Bar Association, South Florida Chapter
  • President, 2017-2018
  • Executive Board Member, 2011 – present

– Chair: Director of IT & Social Media
– Previous Chair: Hyatt Luncheon Committee
– Member: 2021 Annual Convention Committee
– Member:  CLE Committee

  • Greater Miami Jewish Federation
  • Co-Chair of The Network Attorneys’ Division, 2013-2015
  • Board Member, Attorneys’ Division, 2013 – 2017
  • Organization for Leadership and Advancement in Miami (“OLAM”)
  • Selected as a participant in Leadership Development Program, 2015
  • Leadership Development Institute (“LDI”), Graduate, 2011

 
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

  • Florida Trend’s Legal Elite, Government/Non-Profit, 2013-2019
  • SEC Director’s Award, November 2018: SEC v. Woodbridge Group of Companies, et al., Case No. 17-cv-24624-Cooke (S.D. Fla. 2017)
  • SEC Exceptional Service Award, June 2018, Mortgage Investment Funds Team
  • SEC Director’s Award, April 2018: SEC v. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Ltd., 16-cv-25298-Moore (S.D. Fla. 2016)
  • SEC Director’s Award, July 2016: In re UBS Financial Services Inc. of Puerto Rico, Exchange Act Rel. No. 76013, (September 29, 2015)
  • SEC Director’s Award, August 2015: SEC v. JCS Enterprises, et al., 14-cv-80468-Middlebrooks, (S.D. Fla. 2014)
  • National SEC Staff Excellence Award, June 2015: SEC v. BankAtlantic Bancorp. Inc., et al., 12-cv-60082-Gayles (S.D. Fla. 2012)
  • Florida Trend’s Legal Elite, Litigation, “Up and Coming”, 2012
  • Cystic Fibrosis Foundation “40 Under 40” Outstanding Young Lawyers of Miami-Dade, 2011

 
SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

  • FIU College of Law, Securities Enforcement Class:

– Guest Lecturer, 2014-2019

  • School District of West Palm Beach, Financial Literacy Boot Camp for Teachers,

– Guest Lecturer, June 12, 2019

  • National Active and Retired Federal Employees, Tips to Detect and Avoid Fraud

– Guest Speaker, October 19, 2018

  • Law Day, 2018, “Separation of Powers”

– Panel Moderator, “Paths and Challenges to Success,” May 11, 2018

  • Teen Discourse and Discussion with the Honorable Beth Bloom

– Speaker and student mock trial coach, December 1, 2017.

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation, Parallel Investigation Training

– Guest Lecturer, October 4, 2017

  • North Beach Elementary, Bill of Rights Birthday

– Guest Speaker, December 2017 & 2018

  • SEC Chief Executives Conference: BankAtlantic–Issues Confronted & Lessons learned

– Panelist, September 18, 2015

  • SEC Southeastern Securities Conference:

– Panelist, Litigation Issues and Strategies, August 20, 2015

  • Financial Crimes Training, US Attorney’s Office, District of Puerto Rico:

– Guest Lecturer, May 21, 2015

  • Law Day, 2015 –“Dialogues on Freedom” regarding the Fourth Amendment:

– Presenter to local area high school students, May 1, 2015

  • Securities Law CLE, Federal Bar Association, South Florida Chapter:

– Panelist, March 27, 2015

  • FIU, ALPFA (Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting) Student Chapter and Beta Alpha Psi, (Accounting & Business Honor Society):

– Panelist, Life at the SEC, February 6, 2015

  • University of Miami School of Law, Public Interest Luncheon:

– Panelist, September 29, 2014

  • Bilzin Sumberg, LLP, Internal Trial Advocacy Training:

– Co-Teacher with the Hon. Ret. David M. Gersten, 2012-2014

BAR ADMISSIONS

  • Florida
  •  

COURT ADMISSIONS 

  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit
  •  

EDUCATION  

University of Florida Levin College of Law, Gainesville, FL
J.D., with High Honors, December 2000

  • Magna Cum Laude
  • Order of the Coif
  • Florida Law Review, Editor-in-Chief, Fall 2000

 
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, MI
B.A., English, May 1997
 

BRIAN LECHICH

BRIAN LECHICH

blechich@homerbonner.com
(305) 350-5142

Mr. Lechich has litigated extensively in state and federal courts and arbitration.  His experience includes the successful litigation of hundreds of cases, including many through jury or bench trial and appeal. Aggressively, efficiently, and creatively, Mr. Lechich represents business interests in the areas of healthcare, medical device manufacturing, commercial landlords, and for-profit education. Mr. Lechich’s primary area of expertise involves the representation of banking and financial institutions in a wide variety of commercial disputes, from alleged fraudulent schemes to post-judgment collection and garnishment proceedings.

Litigation Highlight

  • Represented national bank and individual bankers in multiple federal cases seeking multi-million-dollar damages connected to Ponzi and other fraudulent schemes run by bank customers leading to dismissals and summary judgments entered in favor of the bank by the trial courts.
  • Represented foreign medical device manufacturer in two federal court litigations by international distributors seeking more than $27 million in damages for alleged fraud and breach of agreements, leading to dismissals of both cases.
  • Represented a national bank against $6+ million fraud, negligence, and Civil Rico claims by an international oil company, resulting in a jury verdict for the bank.
  • Represented creditor who obtained a $4.1 million summary judgment, affirmed on appeal, of non-dischargeable pre-bankruptcy debt.
  • Many years of experience representing a national bank in litigation involving retail and business banking issues, including claims for breach of contract and under various state and federal statutes such as the Uniform Commercial Code and the Electronic Fund Transfer Act.

Court Admissions

  • Florida State Courts
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

Education

  • University of Miami School of Law (J.D., magna cum laude, 2010)
    • University of Miami Inter-American Law Review, Executive Board Member
    • Order of the Coif
    • Dean’s Certificate for Achievement for Outstanding Academic Performance in International Finance Law and in Family Law
  • University of California, Santa Barbara (B.A., high honors, 2005)

Languages

  • English
  • Italian
  • Spanish (intermediate)
JOSE A. ORTIZ

JOSE A. ORTIZ

jortiz@homerbonner.com
(305) 350-5113

José A. Ortiz focuses his practice on complex commercial litigation.  His practice includes various areas of litigation, including banking, investment/financial fraud, business torts, shareholder and partnership disputes, healthcare and fraudulent transfers. Mr. Ortiz has particular experience in banking litigation, including disputes involving the Uniform Commercial Code, the Electronic Funds Transfer Act, wire fraud and check fraud. He represents individuals and businesses in state and federal courts, administrative agencies and arbitration forums.

Mr. Ortiz also counsels individuals and businesses on general legal matters.

Professional and Civic Activities and Memberships

  • The Florida Bar
  • The Cuban American Bar Association (including as director from 2001 to 2002)

Bar Admissions

  • Florida

Court Admissions

  • Florida State Courts
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida

Background

  • Judicial Clerkship, Honorable James Lawrence King, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida (1999-2000)

Education

  • The Catholic University of America (J.D., 1999)
  • Florida State University (B.S., Finance, 1994)

Publication

  • The Illegal Expropriation of Property in Cuba: A Historical and Legal Analysis of the Takings and a Survey of Restitution Schemes for a Post-Socialist Cuba; 22 Loy. L.A. Int’l& Comp. L. Rev. 321 (2000)

Languages

  • English and Spanish
ADAM SCHWARTZ

ADAM SCHWARTZ

aschwartz@homerbonner.com
(305) 350-5116

Practice Experience

Adam Schwartz represents clients in white collar criminal litigation; securities, health care, banking, education, class actions, and other complex civil litigation; government regulatory enforcement matters; and internal investigations.

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Schwartz served as Senior Trial Counsel for the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement. In this role, Mr. Schwartz served as lead counsel for the Commission in cases alleging violations of the federal securities laws against, among others, bank holding companies, private equity funds, hedge funds, investment advisers, public companies, and their respective executives.

Mr. Schwartz also has extensive criminal litigation experience having served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida. During his time as a federal prosecutor, Mr. Schwartz represented the United States in numerous criminal jury trials and investigations involving allegations of health care fraud, mail and wire fraud, major fraud against the United States, bribery, extortion, money laundering, identity theft, and alien smuggling. Mr. Schwartz also served as a member of the Department of Justice’s Medicare Fraud Strike Force, a unit that has prosecuted hundreds of health care fraud cases. Mr. Schwartz also represented the United States in appellate matters before the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

In addition, Mr. Schwartz has significant experience representing private clients in state and federal law enforcement investigations.

Professional and Civil Activities and Memberships

  • The Florida Bar
  • Committee Member, Federal Bench & Bar Conference Planning Committee, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida (present)

Professional Recognition

  • Named Florida “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers (2019)
  • Named one of the 40 Under 40 Outstanding Lawyers of Miami-Dade County by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (2013)
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Service Inspector General’s Integrity Award (2012)
  • U.S. Department of Defense Inspector General’s Exceptional Public Service Award (2011)
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Recognition Award for Contributions to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (2008)

Bar Admissions

  • Florida
  • New York

Court Admissions

  • Florida State Courts
  • New York State Courts
  • Southern District of Florida
  • Southern District of New York

Background

  • Judicial Clerkship, Honorable Cecilia M. Altonaga, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida (2006-2007)

Education

  • Stanford Law School, (J.D., 2004)
  • Cornell University, (B.S., summa cum laude, distinction in research, 2001)

Languages

  • English

Publications

  • James C. Goodale, John S. Kiernan, Jeremy Feigelson, Nicole Soffin, James Pastore, Jr., & Adam Schwartz, REPORTER’S PRIVILEGE (PLI Nov. 2003) Practicing Law Institute. PLI Order No G0 00UI, Dept. BAV5, Vol. III, Nov. 2003 Communications Law.
  • Jury Convicts Miami Man in $300M Ammo Fraud Case, CBS4, Dec, 18, 2010, http://miami.cbslocal.com/2010/12/18/jury-convicts-miami-man-in-300m-ammo-fraud-case.
  • Jay Weaver, Feds Convict Former Medicare Contract Employee In First-Ever Case In Country, MIAMI HERALD, Sept. 25, 2011, at B1.
  • Brian Bandell, BankAtlantic Bancorp, Levan Fail to Dismiss SEC Complaint, SOUTH FLORIDA BUSINESS JOURNAL, May 29, 2012.
GREGORY TRASK

GREGORY TRASK

gtrask@homerbonner.com
(305) 350-5155

Practice Experience

Gregory Trask focuses his practice on complex commercial and general business disputes and litigation, including banking litigation and disputes involving Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) matters. Mr. Trask has represented plaintiffs and defendants and has appeared in state and federal courts at the trial and appellate levels and in various arbitral forums.

Mr. Trask has represented various institutional and corporate clients, as well as individuals, in a wide variety of complex commercial and general business disputes and transactions, including those involving commercial litigation, banking and finance, securities, employment, education, insurance coverage, corporate transactions, landlord and tenant, real estate, class actions, regulatory matters, international disputes, and bankruptcy and creditors’ rights.

Professional and Civic Activities and Memberships

  • Florida Bar
  • District of Columbia Bar
  • American Bar Association
  • Dade County Bar Association

Professional Recognition

  • AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • South Florida Legal Guide “Top Lawyer” (2016)

Bar Admissions

  • Florida
  • District of Columbia

Court Admissions

  • Florida State and Appellate Courts
  • Florida Federal Courts
  • Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals

Education

  • Georgetown University Law Center (J.D., 1995)
  • University of Miami (B.A., cum laude, 1992)

Languages

  • English

Representative Matters

Representative matters handled by Mr. Trask resulting in published decisions include:

  • Successful representation of a real estate brokerage firm sued for alleged breach of contract involving splitting of fees from large commercial real estate development.
  • Successful representation of a parent entity in obtaining a stay of litigation in favor of international arbitration pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act based upon an arbitration clause in a subsidiary’s consortium agreement.
  • Successful representation of a leading national bank sued for alleged liability in connection with its issuance of a letter of credit for an international transaction.
  • Successful representation of a leading national provider of athletic and personal development programs sued in a mass action for alleged purported partner liability after the developer failed to complete real estate conversion project, leading to settlement.
  • Successful representation of a leading national bank and securities firm in compelling arbitration pursuant to arbitration clause incorporated by reference into account application.
  • Successful representation of a leading legal publisher sued in a putative class action for alleged liability under the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act.
  • Successful representation of a former officer and director of a large Venezuelan bank sued for alleged fraud, RICO, breach of fiduciary duty, and other business torts.
  • Successful representation of a prominent officer and director of a public company sued for alleged short-swing profits.
  • Successful representation of a public company sued for alleged violations of SEC Act regulations.
  • Successful representation of a South American telephone company to recover damages for unpaid international long distance services.
  • Successful representation of an enterprise hosting corporation sued by entertainment company for alleged unpaid commissions.
  • Successful representation of a leading European bank sued for alleged False Claim Act violations.
  • Successful representation of a leading national bank sued for alleged garnishment liability involving official checks.
  • Successful representation of a party to a commercial settlement in obtaining judicial enforcement of the settlement and imposition of default remedies.
ANDREW VITALI, III

ANDREW VITALI, III

avitali@homerbonner.com
(305) 350-5146

Practice Experience

Mr. Vitali represents clients in business and commercial litigation, regulatory investigations and enforcement proceedings, employment law, securities and commodities arbitrations, intellectual property law, shareholder and partner disputes, sports law and education law, in state and federal court as well as in various arbitral forums.

Mr. Vitali counsels clients on compliance with laws, rules and regulations in their particular industry, and has experience representing organizations and individuals who have become subjects of investigations or enforcement proceedings by federal and state governmental agencies, including the Commodity Futures Trading Commission as well as other state regulators or industry self-regulatory organizations like the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

Mr. Vitali advises businesses on labor and employment issues, and has handled litigation involving claims of discrimination, retaliation, harassment, wrongful termination, violations of the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993, violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, breach of contract, severance, employee benefits, non-competition, and whistle-blower claims.

Mr. Vitali counsels clients on intellectual property issues, including registering trademarks with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.  Mr. Vitali also represents these clients in enforcing their trademark rights against infringers.

Mr. Vitali’s sports law practice focuses on the representation of professional athletes and sports agents.

Professional and Civic Activities and Memberships 

  • The Florida Bar
  • The District of Columbia Bar

Professional Recognition

  • Named one of the 40 Under 40 Outstanding Lawyers of Miami-Dade County by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (2016)

Bar Admissions

  • The Florida Bar
  • The District of Columbia Bar​

Court Admissions

  • Florida State Courts
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida

Education

  • The University of Miami School of Law (J.D., cum laude, 2008)
    • Charles C. Papy, Jr. Moot Court Board Member
    • Dean’s Certificate of Excellence in Civil Procedure II
    • Dean’s Certificate of Excellence in Legal Writing and Research
    • Intern with The Center for Ethics and Public Service-Children Youth Law Clinic
  • The College of William & Mary (B.A., 2004)
    • Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society

Languages

  • English