Chairman: Eugene E Stearns
Managing Partner: Rick Schatz
Number of partners/shareholders: 94
Number of other lawyers: 26
Stearns Weaver Miller is a full-service law firm with offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Tallahassee, and Coral Gables, Florida. The firm offers multidisciplinary solutions in business restructuring, corporate and securities, labor and employment, land development, zoning and environmental, litigation, real estate, and tax matters.
The firm’s trial lawyers and support staff enjoy resources not often found in private law firms. Facilities include a state-ofthe- art courtroom, a proprietary system for the efficient, electronic presentation of evidence, and an in-house multimedia department dedicated to producing high-level presentation materials and audiovisual aids. Trial lawyers regularly use the courtroom to mock-try cases and make moot appellate arguments, to prepare witnesses to testify in court, and to plan the effective, forceful, and seamless presentation of trial evidence and other electronic materials using the proprietary system. The goal is to attain the highest level of preparedness for every court appearance, and to acclimate the firm’s lawyers and clients to a courtroom setting before the trial, hearing, or appellate argument.
The firm believes in giving back and strives every day to make the communities in which they practice better places for all to live, work and play. The firm provides financial and leadership support to a myriad of not-for-profit organizations impacting the arts, children and families, community service, education, the environment, health and wellness, and legal services.
Main Areas of Practice:
The firm’s lawyers represent a diverse set of parties in the extension, restructuring and working out of secured and unsecured credit facilities. They routinely handle financings secured by a variety of assets, including commercial real estate of all types (office buildings, regional and local shopping centers, mixed-use projects, hotels, condominium projects, and single-family and multifamily residential projects). The department’s experience also includes the representation of debtors, creditors, trustees, receivers, landlords, asset purchasers, and other parties-in-interest in bankruptcy cases, federal and state court receiverships, assignment for the benefit of creditors proceedings, and out-of-court work-outs. The department’s lawyers have represented plaintiffs and defendants in complex insolvency-related litigation in federal and state courts. In addition, the team handles the defense and prosecution of director and officer liability cases.
Corporate & Securities:
This group provides legal counsel to clients on business activities ranging from formation and day-to-day commercial operations, to corporate governance, public and private securities offerings, to acquisitions, mergers, sales and liquidations. With experience in virtually all areas of business transactions, the firm’s attorneys identify business and legal issues quickly and offer clear, practical advice to achieve optimal solutions for clients.
Labor & Employment:
The labor and employment team provides employers with practical, business-oriented counseling and candid advice on labor and employment issues. The firm works closely with clients to train their employees on workplace issues, audit employment practices, comply with wage-and-hour laws, draft employment agreements, protect trade secrets, realign workforces, and comply with EEO and affirmative action requirements and plans. Services also include representation in administrative and litigation matters at mediation and at trial. In addition, the team also counsels employers on employee benefits and executive compensation and provides representation in ERISA litigation and before the IRS and DOL on plan audits. Visit the award-winning blog at BeLaborThePoint.com or in Spanish at CafeConLabor.com.
Land Development, Zoning & Environmental:
This statewide team provides clients an array of legal and planning services related to transactions, land use entitlements, land development, and environmental matters, as well as governmental affairs representation and litigation related to those practice areas. The team represents clients at federal, state, regional, and local levels on a broad range of environmental and land use issues involving wetlands, coastal development, greenfields, comprehensive plan amendments, protected species and habitat, property rights, water quality, brownfields, rezoning, contaminated sites, sovereign submerged lands, marinas/docking facilities, due diligence reviews, water use, developments of regional impact, toxic torts, utilities, stormwater management, beach nourishment, variances, platting, transfer of development rights, and climate change/coastal resilience.
The firm’s experienced trial lawyers represent Fortune 500 companies, multi-national financial institutions, pharmaceutical companies, professional firms, media and entertainment companies, insurance companies, many other kinds of business enterprise, municipalities, and individuals in a wide variety of litigation matters in state and federal courts, before administrative agencies, and in alternative dispute resolution proceedings throughout Florida and nationwide.
The team has tried (not just ‘litigated’) every kind of case, including class actions for plaintiffs and for defendants and cases involving, e.g., antitrust, patent issues, securities fraud, product liability, professional liability, construction defects, lender liability, commercial foreclosure, breach of contract, business torts, and insurance, and has handled the appeals from the final (and sometimes interlocutory) orders entered in those cases, including presenting oral argument to the United States Supreme Court.
The firm has extensive experience representing buyers, sellers, lenders, investors and developers across the entire spectrum of commercial and residential real estate transactions, including contract preparation and negotiation, acquisition, financing, project planning and development, construction, leasing and disposition of commercial real estate and corporate assets. In addition, the team frequently assists clients in connection with sale-leaseback transactions, 1031 exchanges, loan defeasances, loan restructurings, loan foreclosures, and dispositions of non-performing and distressed loans.
The firm’s tax lawyers represent clients seeking to form, reorganize, and liquidate both public and private business entities. The tax team also handles tax litigation, representing clients in tax controversies with the Internal Revenue Service and the Florida Department of Revenue. The firm’s tax lawyers are experienced in guiding clients through the wide array of tax issues that confront corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, individuals, trusts, and estates.