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Florida's Law Firm for Business
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Florida Supreme Court limits PIP insurers' prelawsuit discovery practices

February 20, 2017

On February 16, 2017, the Florida Supreme Court issued its opinion in State Farm v. Shands [1] which resolved a conflict between the First and Fourth District Courts of Appeal over the scope and extent of pre-suit discovery that a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurer may seek from medical providers such as hospitals and physicians under the PIP statutes. [2] The PIP statutes provide a mechanism which allows PIP insurers to seek documents regarding the reasonableness of the charges and medical necessity.

The First District had taken a more restrictive view of the allowable discovery in Shands Jacksonville Medical Center, Inc. v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co.,[3] limiting discovery to those documents set out in section 627.736(6)(c), Florida Statutes. The First District reversed the trial court which had allowed State Farm to take the deposition of Shands’ corporate representative and obtain copies of Shands’ third-party contracts containing negotiated discount rates with other insurers and payors. The First District took the position that “discovery of facts” was limited to the production of documents specifically delineated in the statute. In rendering its opinion, The First District certified conflict with the prior opinion from the Fourth District in Kaminester v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co.[4]

In Kaminester, the Fourth District opined that PIP insurers could utilize more expansive means to obtain the information identified in the statute. The Fourth District found that the phrase “discovery of facts”[5] was not limited to document production, but included “deposition testimony and other means of obtaining information authorized by the Florida Rues of Civil Procedure.”

The Florida Supreme Court attempted to discern the legislative intent of the PIP statute from the plain meaning of the statute but found that the phrase “discovery of facts” was susceptible to more than one interpretation. Therefore, the Court utilized principles of statutory construction to ascertain legislative intent . The Court confirmed that “the purpose of the no-fault statutory scheme is to ‘provide swift and virtually automatic payment….’” [6] The Court recognized and noted the statutory provisions allowing a PIP insurer to verify the legitimacy of the claim before making payment and the enforcement mechanism for the provider’s failure to comply with its mandatory disclosure requirement.

The Court agreed with the First District that the PIP statutes provide PIP insurers with a pre-litigation procedure “to obtain specified information about the treatment provided to its insured and the charges for that treatment.”[7] The Court went on to find that the disclosures required under subsection (6)(b)[8] are limited to the treatment provided and the charge for that treatment and that “discovery of facts” is limited to the “specific facts of treatment and to the related billing of the injured person.”[9]

Although the Court did not directly address the issue, the opinion implicitly confirmed that the statute does not allow discovery “regarding the amount others paid… for the same services and treatments.”[10] The Court concluded that discovery is limited to the production of “a written report of the history, condition, treatment, dates and costs of such treatment of the injured person and why the items identified by the insurer were reasonable in amount and medically necessary, together with a sworn statement …” as well as the production, inspection and copying of “records regarding such history, condition, treatment, dates, and costs of treatment….”[11] The Court found that the discovery tools in the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure, which would include depositions, are not available until litigation over the reasonableness of the charges is initiated.

The Florida Supreme Court’s opinion in Shands provided clarity to medical providers regarding the form and scope of the materials they must provide PIP insurers seeking information under Section 627.736(6)(b), Florida Statutes. This ruling should streamline the process and reduce the costs associated with complying with the medical provider’s obligation to provide information to the PIP insurers. The ruling will also curtail some of the pre-litigation tactics employed by PIP insurers to force the production of extensive proprietary and sensitive documents.

[1] State Farm Mut.l Auto. Ins. Co. v. Shands Jacksonville Med.Ctr., Inc., No. SC15-1257 (Fla. Feb. 16, 2017) (“FSC Opinion”)
[2] § 627.736(6)(b), Fla. Stat.
[3]Shands Jacksonville Med. Ctr., Inc. v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 40 Fla. L. Weekly D1447 (Fla. 1st DCA June 22, 2015), review granted, 182 So. 3d 635 (Fla. 2015).
[4] 775 So.2d 981 (Fla. 4th DCA 2000).
[5] See §627.736(6)(c), Fla. Stat..
[6] Nunez v. Geico Gen. Ins. Co., 117 So 3d 388, 393 (Fla 2013) (quoting Ivey v. All State Ins. Co. 774 So. 2d 679, 683-84 (Fla. 2000)).
[7] FSC Opinion at 9.
[8] § 627.736(6)(b), Fla. Stat.
[9] FSC Opinion at 10.
[10] State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Delray Med. Ctr., Inc., 178 So. 3d 511, 515-17 (Fla. 4th DCA 2015).
[11] FSC Opinion at 12 (citing § 627.736(6)(b), Fla. Stat.).


Yes! Please sign me up to receive email alerts from other Gunster practice areas.

This publication is for general information only. It is not legal advice, and legal counsel should be contacted before any action is taken that might be influenced by this publication.

About Gunster

Gunster, Florida’s law firm for business, provides full-service legal counsel to leading organizations and individuals from its 13 offices statewide. Established in 1925, the firm has expanded, diversified and evolved, but always with a singular focus: Florida and its clients’ stake in it. A magnet for business-savvy attorneys who embrace collaboration for the greatest advantage of clients, Gunster’s growth has not been at the expense of personalized service but because of it. The firm serves clients from its offices in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Stuart, Tallahassee, Tampa, The Florida Keys, Vero Beach, Winter Park, and its headquarters in West Palm Beach. With more than 180 attorneys and 200 committed support staff, Gunster is ranked among the National Law Journal’s list of the 500 largest law firms and has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Diverse Law Firms by Law360. More information about its practice areas, offices and insider’s view newsletters is available at www.gunster.com.

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The Florida’s Women in Energy Leadership Forum proudly presents “Leadership in Energy”. The Forum will be held June 14-16, 2017 at the the PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

About us

In 2016, former Chair of the Florida Public Service Commission Lila Jaber and the law firm of Gunster, launched “Florida’s Women in Energy Leadership Forum” to celebrate the success women leaders in the energy industry have demonstrated in growing Florida’s economy and diversifying an already tremendous workforce. In so doing, this Forum highlights the positive impact of the electric and natural gas industries as large employers and economic developers. The leaders in these industries have important obligations to sustain large scale infrastructure efforts for the benefit of those customers they serve and support Florida’s growth as the 3rd largest state in the country. Exciting and important, this industry attracts world class talent.

The 2017 Forum will be held June 14-16, 2017 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. We are committed to highlighting women leaders in this industry and exploring topics of mutual importance to all stakeholders. Please join us for a three-day event that will include c-level keynote speakers and panelists discussing topics important to all Floridians, especially those interested in seeking opportunities in the energy industry.

Register now

Register for the 2017 Florida’s Women in Energy Leadership Forum using the Eventbrite link below.
REGISTER NOW
Book your room at the PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
HOTEL ROOMS
Contact us to find out how to become a sponsor of the Forum.

2016 forum

Leading the Way in Economic and Workforce Development

The inaugural Florida’s Women in Energy Leadership Forum was held at the Orlando World Center Marriott in Orlando, Florida on April 14 and 15, 2016. This first-of-its-kind event gathered women and men nationwide for a two-day event with keynote addresses and panel discussions regarding opportunities in Florida’s energy industry. The Forum is designed to inform, inspire, and motivate further interest in the energy industry to further attract talent in an already tremendous workforce.

The first day of the forum kicked off with a video presentation highlighting the Florida’s Women in Energy Leadership Forum, its sponsors, and a few of the participating speakers. The first presentation was presented by the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Pamela Rauch and Tony Carvajal, relaying statistical information on Florida’s economy and opportunity. The following panel discussion “Let’s Have a Conversation With…” included Southern Company’s Kimberly Greene, Pivotal Home Solution’s Robin Boren, and Duke Energy’s Gayle Lanier. The panel was facilitated by Gunster’s Chairman and former United States Senator George S. LeMieux. The speakers were insightful using experience and humor to showcase leadership and outstanding careers. Later in the evening, guests had the opportunity to network and mingle during the Florida’s Women in Energy Leadership Forum Reception, followed by a welcome dinner with remarks from Gunster’s Managing Shareholder, Bill Perry, and Gulf Power Company’s CEO, Stan Connally. Seating during the dinner was strategically arranged so that the participating students would have a chance to sit next to industry executives.

The last day of the forum was a full day of panels and discussions, starting with a keynote address from the current Chair of the Public Service Commission (PSC), Julie I. Brown. Commissioner Brown focused on the specific challenges and opportunities in Florida’s energy industry. The following panel was moderated by PSC Commissioner Lisa P. Edgar, and included representatives from Gulf Power, AGL Resources, Seminole Electric Cooperative, Emera, and Florida Public Utilities Company. Ann Randazzo, Executive Director of the Center for Energy Workforce Development, joined us to provide data points of the energy industry, and where women and the next generation fit in to that equation. This was followed by a panel discussion on “Communicating Effectively in This New Age of Technology,” which included several marketing and communications executives from Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas, Gulf Power, and Orlando Utilities.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner Colette Honorable, as the lunch keynote speaker, provided a national perspective on issues that impact the Florida energy industry’s capacity and infrastructure needs. A natural leader, she provided her own perspective on the needs and issues facing the energy industry today. A panel discussion on “Utility Transformation: The Impact on the Community, Environment, Jobs and Alternative Energy” included moderator, Kelley Smith Burk, Director of the Office of Energy, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Panel participants included representatives from EarthSTEPS, Duke Energy, and TFC Utilities. The final panels of the day covered facilitating jobs in energy, as well as economic development, trade and job creation. The two final panels included representatives from Gulf Power, Florida City Gas, City of Tallahassee, Florida Power and Light, TECO Energy, Florida Public Utilities Company and Advanced Disposal.

92% of attendees said that Florida’s Women in Energy Leadership Forum (FWELF) exceeded their expectations with the overall program and theme.
Around 53% said the location exceeded their expectations.
90% said that the speakers included exceeded their expectations.
83% said that the value of FWELF exceeded their expectations.


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FEBRUARY 15, 2017 –

Gunster expands its labor & employment practice in Miami with the addition of a new shareholder

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 14, 2017) – Gunster, one of Florida’s oldest and largest full-service business law firms, has added Arturo Ross as a shareholder in the firm’s Miami office, where he will bring greater depth and experience to its labor and employment practice.

Ross joins the firm with substantial experience counseling businesses throughout the country in all aspects of labor and employment law. In his legal career, he has defended hundreds of clients in administrative litigation before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Department of Labor (DOL), and multiple state and federal courts.

Ross concentrates much of his practice on issues involving employers and their relations with labor unions. His collective bargaining experience has included successful negotiations for hundreds of employers in more than 25 states and just about every industry, from healthcare to automotive, and mass media to fast food. He has been the lead in numerous large scale and multi-employer negotiations. He regularly represents management in labor arbitrations and grievance administration, and counsels executives in connection with strategic labor relations and planning.

“Arturo’s wealth of experience in labor relations and prominence in the legal community provides us a broader bench of resources to better serve our clients,” said Bill Perry, managing shareholder of Gunster. “His expertise is vital to our continued growth as a full service Florida law firm. With employment lawyers all across Florida, we have one of the best statewide labor practices in Florida.”

A significant part of Ross’s practice involves conducting litigation avoidance and union prevention training for employers. As a former field attorney and trial specialist at the NLRB, Ross investigated more than 500 cases, mostly against companies but also against unions, and prosecuted dozens before administrative law judges of the NLRB. This unique experience as a prosecutor, and the perspective it gave Ross, has allowed him to be successful in helping employers avoid litigation and unionization.

Active in the legal community, Ross is a member of the Cuban American Bar Association, the American Bar Association and the labor and employment section of the Florida Bar, as well as the Dade County Bar Association. Furthermore, Ross has been an adjunct professor at the University of Miami’s School of International Studies and Continuing Education, where he provided instruction to HR professionals in all aspects of labor and employment law.

Ross holds a J.D., cum laude, from University of Miami School of Law and a B.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University.

About Gunster

Gunster, Florida’s law firm for business, provides full-service legal counsel to leading organizations and individuals from its 13 offices statewide. Established in 1925, the firm has expanded, diversified and evolved, but always with a singular focus: Florida and its clients’ stake in it. A magnet for business-savvy attorneys who embrace collaboration for the greatest advantage of clients, Gunster’s growth has not been at the expense of personalized service but because of it. The firm serves clients from its offices in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Stuart, Tallahassee, Tampa, The Florida Keys, Vero Beach, Winter Park, and its headquarters in West Palm Beach. With more than 180 attorneys and 200 committed support staff, Gunster is ranked among the National Law Journal’s list of the 500 largest law firms and has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Diverse Law Firms by Law360. More information about its practice areas, offices and insider’s view newsletters is available at www.gunster.com.

Contact:
Jenni Garrison
Director of Marketing & Corporate Communications
561-804-4350, jgarrison@gunster.com

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Gunster sponsors 2nd Broward County Public Schools’ debate initiative fundraising luncheon

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 28, 2016) – Gunster, one of Florida’s oldest and largest full service business law firms, sponsored the second Broward County Public Schools debate initiative fundraising luncheon held on October 19, 2016.

As a long-standing supporter of the initiative, the firm contributed seed money as well as participated as a sponsor in 2015 and 2016. The debate initiative is a partnership between local businesses and school debate programs within Broward County.

Now in its fifth year of implementation, the initiative includes more than 90 schools and almost 10,000 students. It’s grounded in research that demonstrates the positive impact participation in debate has on student achievement. The initiative has helped increase the literacy scores of student participants by 25 percent and helped raise their GPAs by 10 percent. Furthermore, it’s been found that 98 percent of debaters graduate from high school and 95 percent of them go on to a four-year college.

Gunster attorney George LeMieux“The impact the debate initiative has had on students across Broward County is immeasurable,” said George S. Lemieux, a former U.S. Senator and current chairman of Gunster’s board of directors. “The program has helped these young people develop certain skills they may not otherwise have developed. Gunster is proud to lead the charge toward making this initiative a long-term success in Broward County.”

LeMieux, who was a debater in high school, has been championing the debate initiative since its early stages and he, along with the firm, has been recognized for his support and leadership of the initiative. Most recently, he was honored with the 2016 Hall of Fame – Community Achievement Award by the Broward Education Foundation. In October, and the firm was honored with The Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance‘s Education Partnership Award.

Because of the initiative, the National Speech & Debate Association is set to bring its annual tournament to Fort Lauderdale in 2018 for the first time, according to the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Debate initiative luncheon 10/19/16 - crowd sitting

At the Broward County Public Schools debate initiative fundraising luncheon on Oct. 19, 2016, at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts.

# # #

About Gunster

Gunster, Florida’s law firm for business, provides full-service legal counsel to leading organizations and individuals from its 13 offices statewide. Established in 1925, the firm has expanded, diversified and evolved, but always with a singular focus: Florida and its clients’ stake in it. A magnet for business-savvy attorneys who embrace collaboration for the greatest advantage of clients, Gunster’s growth has not been at the expense of personalized service but because of it. The firm serves clients from its offices in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Stuart, Tallahassee, Tampa, The Florida Keys, Vero Beach, Winter Park, and its headquarters in West Palm Beach. With more than 180 attorneys and 200 committed support staff, Gunster is ranked among the National Law Journal’s list of the 500 largest law firms and has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Diverse Law Firms by Law360. More information about its practice areas, offices and insider’s view newsletters is available at www.gunster.com.

Contact:
Jenni Garrison
Director of Marketing & Corporate Communications
561-804-4350, jgarrison@gunster.com

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‘Leadership in energy’ focus of 2017 Florida Women in Energy forum in PB Gardens

When: June 14, 2017 – June 16, 2017 @ All Day
Where: PGA National Resort & Spa, 561-627-2000, 400 Ave of the Champions, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida 33418

The second Florida’s Women in Energy Leadership Forum will be held June 14-16, 2017, in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

Gunster and title sponsor Gulf Power are excited to present this opportunity to celebrate the success women leaders in the energy industry have demonstrated in helping to grow Florida’s economy and diversify its labor market.

Panels at the two-day event will convene to discuss the impact and opportunities electric and natural gas offer the state. Industry leaders will also speak to the large-scale infrastructure needed to support energy consumers in Florida, the third most populous state in the nation.

For more information, to register, and/or book your room at the PGA National Resort, visit the event website at www.flwomeninenergy.com.

Social media: Please use #WomenInEnergy2017 in your Facebook and Twitter posts, so everyone can join in the conversation about this galvanizing event.

Florida's Women In Energy Leadership Forum 2017

More about the 2016 (inaugural) Florida’s Women in Energy Leadership Forum:

* Gunster hosts 1st-of-its-kind Florida Women in Energy Leadership Forum (Gunster.com press releases, 4/28/16)

* Gunster presents the 2016 inaugural Florida’s Women in Energy Leadership Forum (Gunster.com events, 4/14/16)

* Video: Florida’s Women in Energy Leadership Forum 2016 (Gunster.com videos, 4/18/16)

Watch the 2016 Florida’s Women in Energy Leadership Forum promotional video:


Video produced by InVision Multimedia.


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NAIOP South Florida names Gunster land use attorney president-elect in 2017

February 8, 2017

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 8, 2017) – Gunster, one of Florida’s oldest and largest full-service business law firms, is pleased to announce that land use attorney Heidi Davis Knapik has been named president-elect of NAIOP Commercial Real Estate Development Association of South Florida’s board of directors for 2017.

She has served on the board since 2014, and is co-chair of the programs committee. She will serve as president in 2018.

Gunster attorney Heidi Davis KnapikDavis Knapik is a shareholder in Gunster’s Fort Lauderdale office. She focuses her law practice on land use, zoning and development issues – representing landowners and developers with entitlements and development of land, including residential, commercial, office and industrial projects.

NAIOP South Florida supports commercial real estate professionals with advocacy, education and business opportunity and serves Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.

Officers of the 2017 NAIOP South Florida board include:

President – Greg Martin of Avison Young
President-Elect – Heidi Davis Knapik of Gunster
Treasurer – Marc Kopelman of Raymond James Financial
Secretary – Patty Bedley of Legacy Bank of Florida
Vice President, Programs – Darcie Lunsford of Butters Construction & Development

Recently, NAIOP South Florida hosted an economic outlook panel during its Jan. 25 chapter meeting, addressing how the region may be affected by the Trump administration’s regulatory, trade, immigration and tax policies. Panelists included George S. LeMieux of Gunster; J. Antonio Villamil of the Washington Economics Group; Mark Vitner of Wells Fargo Securities; and Ronald J. Klein of Holland & Knight.

# # #

About Gunster

Gunster, Florida’s law firm for business, provides full-service legal counsel to leading organizations and individuals from its 13 offices statewide. Established in 1925, the firm has expanded, diversified and evolved, but always with a singular focus: Florida and its clients’ stake in it. A magnet for business-savvy attorneys who embrace collaboration for the greatest advantage of clients, Gunster’s growth has not been at the expense of personalized service but because of it. The firm serves clients from its offices in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Stuart, Tallahassee, Tampa, The Florida Keys, Vero Beach, Winter Park, and its headquarters in West Palm Beach. With more than 180 attorneys and 200 committed support staff, Gunster is ranked among the National Law Journal’s list of the 500 largest law firms and has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Diverse Law Firms by Law360. More information about its practice areas, offices and insider’s view newsletters is available at www.gunster.com.

Contact:
Jenni Garrison
Director of Marketing & Corporate Communications
561-804-4350, jgarrison@gunster.com

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Why Dick’s may succeed where Sports Authority failed, Gunster attorney tells CRE publication

October 5, 2016

Eric Coffman, a real estate attorney in Gunster’s Fort Lauderdale office, spoke recently with GlobeSt.com writer Jennifer LeClaire, about whether it is possible for retailers to succeed after numerous store closings by industry stalwarts like Macy’s and Sports Authority.

Many in the industry believe Dick’s Sporting Goods is poised for success following Sports Authority’s bankruptcy earlier this year, according to the GlobeSt.com article.

Gunster attorney Eric CoffmanCoffman points out the ways in which Sports Authority failed (among them debt and poor customer service) and why a retailer like Dick’s will grow its customer base even when competing against online shopping trends and the high cost of maintaining a brick-and-mortar presence. The examples he notes in the article focus on providing unique shopping experiences building on the customer-brand relationship.

Read the article: Why Dick’s is the big winner after Sports Authority bankruptcy (GlobeSt.com, 10/3/16)

In his law practice, Coffman represents landlords in retail leases with many of the nation’s leading banking, fitness, pharmacy, grocery, fast food, clothing, automotive, beauty supply and pet supply chains.

Read related:

* Sports Authority closing an opportunity for South Florida business (Gunster.com, 6/23/16)

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Federal court strikes down wetlands jurisdictional determination

by Gunster's environmental law & land use practice
February 6, 2017

Earlier this month, the U.S. District Court of Minnesota invalidated a wetlands jurisdictional determination by the Army Corps of Engineers that purported to subject land owned by a peat farming business to federal regulation.

This ruling follows two major Supreme Court breakthroughs declaring that compliance orders and wetlands jurisdictional determinations under the Clean Water Act constitute final agency action that a landowner may immediately challenge in federal court.

The January 2017 trial court ruling out of Minnesota reflects the new era of due process ushered in by unanimous Supreme Court decisions in Sackett vs. EPA (holding that a citizen may challenge a compliance order in a court of law before being exposed to ruinous fines) and more recently in U.S. Army Corps v. Hawkes, the peat farming case (holding that jurisdictional determinations may also be immediately challenged in court).

On remand in Hawkes, the Minnesota federal trial court found the Army Corps failed to demonstrate that a “significant nexus” existed between the wetlands on private property and navigable waters of the United States. The landowner is still subject to state regulation of the contemplated peat farming activities in wetlands, but the federal permitting is not required.

Absent this meaningful judicial review when federal jurisdiction is asserted, landowners like the Hawkes family had been confronted with a difficult choice among evils: abandon the project for which land was acquired, proceed with exposure to potentially ruinous fines and prosecution; or undergo a costly process to obtain a permit that may not have been legally required.

Now, landowners who question whether their property has the required connection to navigable waters can require a federal agency to prove the basis of its jurisdictional assertion before facing that untenable exposure.

This is really good news we wanted to share with Gunster clients and friends of the firm. Anyone interested in learning more, please contact Gunster environmental law practice leader Luna Phillips by calling 954-712-1478.

Yes! Please sign me up to receive email alerts from other Gunster practice areas.

This publication is for general information only. It is not legal advice, and legal counsel should be contacted before any action is taken that might be influenced by this publication.

About Gunster

Gunster, Florida’s law firm for business, provides full-service legal counsel to leading organizations and individuals from its 13 offices statewide. Established in 1925, the firm has expanded, diversified and evolved, but always with a singular focus: Florida and its clients’ stake in it. A magnet for business-savvy attorneys who embrace collaboration for the greatest advantage of clients, Gunster’s growth has not been at the expense of personalized service but because of it. The firm serves clients from its offices in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Stuart, Tallahassee, Tampa, The Florida Keys, Vero Beach, Winter Park, and its headquarters in West Palm Beach. With more than 180 attorneys and 200 committed support staff, Gunster is ranked among the National Law Journal’s list of the 500 largest law firms and has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Diverse Law Firms by Law360. More information about its practice areas, offices and insider’s view newsletters is available at www.gunster.com.

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Florida TaxWatch picks Gunster’s chairman of the board for trustees role

January 31, 2017

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 31, 2017) – Gunster, one of Florida’s oldest and largest full-service business law firms, is pleased to announce that George S. LeMieux has joined Florida TaxWatch’s board of trustees as corporate treasurer.

Florida TaxWatch is a nonprofit taxpayer research institute that works with the state’s business and political leaders to improve Florida.

Gunster attorney George S. LeMieuxLeMieux chairs Gunster’s board of directors and focuses his law practice on resolving business and governmental disputes. He advises CEOs and C-suite executives on business, law and government from a local, state and national perspective.

LeMieux served as Florida’s 34th U.S. Senator in the 111th Congress, where he successfully passed legislation on health care fraud, export promotion, rating agency reform, small business promotion, as well as a treaty resolution on tactical nuclear weapons.

Recently, LeMieux was inducted into the Broward Education Foundation’s 2016 Hall of Fame for his efforts and leadership on a debate initiative that partnered local businesses and Broward County Public Schools.

LeMieux is the founder of the LeMieux Center for Public Policy at Palm Beach Atlantic University. The center hosts a lecture series featuring notable speakers on issues of public policy and leadership. For example, on Jan. 11, 2017, Steve Forbes, the chair and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media, was the featured speaker. A fellows program and congressional internship are also offered through the center.

# # #

About Gunster

Gunster, Florida’s law firm for business, provides full-service legal counsel to leading organizations and individuals from its 13 offices statewide. Established in 1925, the firm has expanded, diversified and evolved, but always with a singular focus: Florida and its clients’ stake in it. A magnet for business-savvy attorneys who embrace collaboration for the greatest advantage of clients, Gunster’s growth has not been at the expense of personalized service but because of it. The firm serves clients from its offices in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Stuart, Tallahassee, Tampa, The Florida Keys, Vero Beach, Winter Park, and its headquarters in West Palm Beach. With more than 180 attorneys and 200 committed support staff, Gunster is ranked among the National Law Journal’s list of the 500 largest law firms and has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Diverse Law Firms by Law360. More information about its practice areas, offices and insider’s view newsletters is available at www.gunster.com.

Contact:
Jenni Garrison
Director of Marketing & Corporate Communications
561-804-4350, jgarrison@gunster.com
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