PRACTICE AREAS:

   COMPLEX BUSINESS LITIGATION

   ARBITRATION

   ELECTIONS/ETHICS LAW

    STATE AND LOCAL BID-PROTESTS/PUBLIC PROCUREMENT

     REAL ESTATE

Robert H. Fernandez, ESQ.

Partner

Robert.Fernandez@ZumpanoCastro.com 
305.503.2990

Robert Fernandez’s practice focuses on handling all types of commercial and business litigation such as breach of contracts, business torts, shareholder/member disputes, non-compete covenants and misappropriation of trade secrets in both federal and state courts.  He has also represented businesses in bid-protest award disputes before the Miami-Dade County Commission and the City of Miami Commission.  He is considered one of the leading lawyers in South Florida on representation of elected officials and candidates on election and ethics law issues.  He has also handled multi-district federal litigation, product liability, wrongful death, and internal corporate investigations.

In 2003, Robert moved to Tallahassee and became Deputy General Counsel to former Governor Jeb Bush.  As Deputy General Counsel he was responsible for assisting the Governor’s General Counsel with overseeing all legal aspects affecting the Executive Office of the Governor as well as the seventeen Governor’s executive agencies.  This included advising the General Counsel and Governor Bush on: agency actions; pending litigation; executive orders; legislative bills; constitutional issues; judicial and executive appointments; Cabinet issues; suspension of elected officials; public records law and constituent legal issues.

In 2005, Robert returned to his South Florida practice handling all types of complex business litigation as well as representing candidates and elected officials before the

Florida Elections Commission, Florida Ethics Commission and the Miami-Dade County Commission on Ethics and Public Trust.  He currently acts as outside general counsel to various entrepreneurial and start-up ventures advising on a variety of legal issues.

Robert is fluent in Spanish and has handled multiple and diverse litigation matters with clients, witnesses, documents and proceedings in Spanish.


Education

  • J.D., New York University School of Law, 1996

  • B.A., Columbia College, Columbia University, 1992


Admitted to Practice

  • Florida: all State trial and appellate courts

  • United States District Court for the Southern, Middle and Northern Districts of

  • Florida


Significant Representations

  • Represented Canadian technology company as co-counsel in federal trial in a successful $20 million dollar breach of contract and misappropriation of trade secret claims against MCI Telecom.

  • Represented numerous real estate developers and business owners in commercial loan foreclosure litigation matters resulting in working out successful forbearance agreements with banks on numerous multi-million dollar loans.

  • Represented successfully a provider of commissary services and goods to Miami-Dade County in its legal bid-protest challenge of an award of contract to a competing vendor valued at $11million dollars.

  • Represented dozens of Venezuelan accident victims in a federal multi-district product liability litigation against Ford and Fire- stone for tread separation and rollover accidents in Venezuela resulting in multi-million dollar confidential settlements.

  • Represented successfully the Executive of the Governor in trial proceedings to support Governorʼs decision to remove from office the Supervisor of Elections for Broward County which was then approved by the Florida Senate.

  • Represented successfully various elected officials in ethics violation complaints that were filed against them before Florida Ethics Com-mission.

  • Represented successfully various clients in election law violation complaints that were filed against them before the Florida Elections Commission.

  • Represented successfully local board appointee in ethics violation complaint that was filed against him before the Miami-Dade County Commission on Ethics and Public Trust.


Professional and Community Involvement

  • Member of the Eleventh Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission appointed by Governor Rick Scott

  • Former Board Chair, Family Resource Center, a non-profit agency that provides support services to neglected and abused children in Miami-Dade County

  • Former Board Trustee, Miami Dade College appointed by Governor Charlie Crist

  • Member, Cuban American Bar Association

  • Past Board Member, Miami-Dade County Housing Finance Authority

  • Past Member, Key Biscayne Charter Review Commission


Noteworthy Experience

  • Litigation Counsel, Akerman Senterfitt, 2005-2008

  • Deputy General Counsel, Executive Office of Governor Jeb Bush, 2003-2005

  • Litigation Counsel, Colson Hicks Eidson, 1998-2003

  • Litigation Counsel, Greenberg Traurig, 1996-1998

Articles, Publications, & Lectures

  • Numerous lectures and speaking engagements sponsored by various Bar associations and other organizations regarding various topics, including: ethics law issues for candidates and elected officials under Florida law, election law violations and dues process before Florida Elections Commission, and insight into Floridaʼs judicial nominating commission process and selection of judicial nominees by the Executive Office of the Governor.