Eric A. Hernandez

Eric A. Hernandez

Eric A. Hernandez is an experienced trial and appellate lawyer. His practice focuses on complex business and class action litigation, state and municipal government matters, labor and employment matters, federal government regulatory/corporate compliance matters, whistle-blower representation, and white-collar criminal defense.

Mr. Hernandez’s years of legal practice in the private and public sectors have afforded him an extensive understanding of the legal and practical issues faced by individuals, businesses, and governmental entities, and the ability to provide and implement pragmatic solutions for his clients.

  • Federal Prosecutor Experience (Former Assistant U.S. Attorney)

    Prior to founding the firm, Mr. Hernandez served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Department of Justice in the Southern District of Florida—one of the largest United States Attorney’s offices and busiest trial districts in the United States.

    As a federal prosecutor, Mr. Hernandez handled numerous grand jury investigations and trials in the areas of money laundering, export/import fraud, bank fraud, mortgage fraud, tax fraud, healthcare fraud, identity fraud, cybercrime, child pornography, securities fraud, immigration fraud, human trafficking, wire fraud and embezzlement, fraud involving government contracts, international and national narcotics trafficking, firearms and explosives, terrorism, public corruption, and violent crimes, including armed robberies, bank robberies, and home invasions.

    Mr. Hernandez also briefed and argued several appellate matters before the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and received several published opinions in favor of the United States.

    Florida Trend’s Legal Elite has repeatedly recognized Mr. Hernandez as a Top Government Attorney for his work with the government.

  • State & Local Government Experience (Former Assistant Miami-Dade County Attorney)

    Prior to his service with the federal government, Mr. Hernandez served as an Assistant Miami-Dade County Attorney at the Miami-Dade County Attorney’s Office.

    As an Assistant County Attorney, Mr. Hernandez was the trial attorney on numerous litigation matters as well as the in-house counsel on a plethora of regulatory and transactional matters. He represented numerous County departments, including the Board of County Commissioners, the Mayor and Manager, the Property Appraiser and Tax Collector, the Zoning Board, the Finance Department, the Supervisor of Elections, the Police Department, the Fire Department, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Environmental Regulation, the Port of Miami, Miami International Airport, Jackson Memorial Hospital/the Public Health Trust, and the Department of Film and Entertainment. Mr. Hernandez managed a wide variety of civil cases and trials in federal and state court, including tort/wrongful death cases, tax cases, contract and bid protest cases, construction litigation cases, section 1983 civil rights cases, employment cases (Title VII, ADEA, and ADA), municipal bond cases, and high-profile constitutional/county charter litigation.

    Mr. Hernandez drafted appellate briefs and conducted several oral arguments before the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and the Florida Third District Court of Appeal. He also drafted appellate briefs before the United States Supreme Court and the Florida Supreme Court. Mr. Hernandez received several published opinions in the County’s favor on legal issues of first impression.

    While at the Miami-Dade County Attorney’s Office, Mr. Hernandez handled numerous high-profile and complex matters, including the case of Braman v. Miami-Dade County and the Florida Marlins, where a billionaire businessman challenged the County’s ability to implement a multi-billion dollar large-scale redevelopment project that included the construction of a baseball stadium, tunnels to the Port of Miami, the Miami Art Museum, further development of the Performing Arts Center, and the funding of community redevelopment agencies.

    After Mr. Hernandez successfully tried this matter under intense media scrutiny, the Daily Business Review selected Mr. Hernandez as a Finalist for the "Most Effective Lawyer Award" in the field of Commercial Litigation. Florida Trend’s Legal Elite repeatedly recognized Mr. Hernandez as a Top Government Attorney for his work with the government.

  • Private Practice Experience

    Mr. Hernandez represents individuals, businesses, universities, and municipalities on matters involving fraud and other business torts, unlawful employment practices, breach of contract, and products liability, including toxic torts. He has also defended investment securities/commodities firms and banks in complex class action, contract, and business tort matters across the country.

    Examples of Mr. Hernandez’s successful representations include the defense of an investment bank facing a federal class action suit regarding allegedly excessive fees, the defense of a trustee/beneficiary in a lawsuit challenging the ownership of the controlling shares of a bank, and the prosecution of a challenge to a class action settlement regarding excessive local government fees/taxes.

    Mr. Hernandez has also defended corporations and for-profit colleges in complex business, employment, and regulatory matters.

    Since his reentry into private practice the Florida Super Lawyers Publication has repeatedly recognized Mr. Hernandez as a Super Lawyer.

  • Judicial Clerkships

    Mr. Hernandez began his career by clerking for Chief Justice Charles T. Wells of the Florida Supreme Court and United States Magistrate Judge Patrick A. White.

    While clerking, Mr. Hernandez worked on important contract, tort, and other statutory civil matters, including the Bush v. Gore presidential election cases, state political redistricting/reapportionment cases, death penalty litigation, and United States and Florida constitutional law cases.

  • Community Involvement, Seminars & Other Experience

    Mr. Hernandez taught Legal Research and Writing to first-year law students at the University of Miami for several years. Mr. Hernandez also taught Legal Research and Writing to undergraduate students at Florida A & M University.

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  • Representations in private practice

    Secured summary judgment in federal court in favor of a university accused of employment discrimination and retaliation based on gender.

    Represented a bank customer in a lawsuit stemming from a former bank employee’s theft of the customer’s confidential information to commit fraud and money laundering. Reached a confidential settlement before trial.

    Defend university against allegations of negligence and toxic torts.

    Retained to defend universities against allegations of unlawful employment practices.

    Represent municipalities in various lawsuits involving employment, eminent domain, land use and zoning, and tort claims, including alleged wrongful death matters.

    Retained to investigate allegations of financial fraud and corruption in various businesses.

    Represented national internet design and website hosting company and secured dismissal of business tort and fraud claims.

    Secured dismissal of lawsuit alleging defamation and slander against individuals.

    Successfully represented accounting firm at trial accused of professional malpractice claims.

    Represented investment bank facing federal class action suit regarding allegedly excessive trading fees.

    Defended trustee/beneficiary from challenge to his ownership of the controlling shares of a bank.

    Prosecuted challenge to a class action settlement regarding excessive local government fees/taxes.

  • Representations at the Department of Justice

    Investigated and prosecuted individuals and bank employees laundering illicit cash internationally across numerous accounts and banking institutions.

    Investigated and prosecuted accountants and tax preparer businesses committing identity theft and tax fraud.

    Investigated and prosecuted healthcare facilities engaged in healthcare fraud and the illegal trafficking of pain medication.

    Investigated health care professionals and providers that submitted false claims to Medicare for services that were not necessary or performed.

    Investigated and prosecuted individuals engaged in accounting fraud of businesses and non-profit organizations.

    Investigated the physician financial relationships of a health care provider to determine whether relationships violated the Anti-Kickback statute or Stark law.

    Investigated Medicare Advantage Plan contractors in connection with alleged violations of the Anti-Kickback statute and the Medicare marketing guidelines.

    Investigated and prosecuted crew engaged in international human-trafficking and money laundering.

    Investigated and prosecuted individuals pretending to operate an international passenger flight charter business in order to hide their international drug trafficking and money laundering activity.

    Investigated and prosecuted individuals engaged in the fraudulent sales of viatical insurance and securities, bank and government check fraud.

    Investigated and prosecuted businesses using the internet to export stolen goods and products, including vessels, vehicles, weapons, and electronics, to consumers across the world.

    Investigated and prosecuted public corruption involving federal government employees’ identity theft and financial fraud of Veterans’ Affairs hospital patients.

    Investigated and prosecuted crew using cargo vessels and submarines to traffic ton quantities of narcotics and arms and launder the illicit proceeds.

    Investigated and prosecuted businesses engaged in the fraudulent sales of immigration documents to consumers.

    Investigated and prosecuted crew involved in bank robberies and home invasions.

  • Representations at the Miami-Dade County Attorney’s Office

    Defended the County from a billionaire businessman’s challenge to the County’s ability to implement a multi-billion dollar large-scale redevelopment project that included the construction of a baseball stadium, tunnels to the Port of Miami, the Miami Art Museum, further development of the Performing Arts Center, and the funding of community redevelopment agencies.

    Defended the County from claim of American Disabilities Act violation for government’s alleged failure to provide reasonable accommodations during the DUI investigation, arrest, and detention of hearing-impaired plaintiff.

    Defended multiple challenges and eminent domain claims from developers to County platting, zoning, and ad-valorem tax assessments of land tracts in midtown Miami.

    Prosecuted the collection and levy of tourist tax and fees from online hotel and flight accommodation businesses that charged, but did not remit taxes, to the County tax collector.

    Defended County Property Appraiser’s income based ad-valorem tax assessment of big box department stores at several shopping malls.

    Defended the County and police officers from allegations of civil rights excessive force violations where officers discharged firearm and used taser.

    Defended the County from allegations of Age Discrimination Employment Act violations for the termination of forensic chemist and ballistic examiner.

    Defended the County from challenge to the taxi/limousine service fees imposed at Miami-International Airport.

    Prosecuted the County Tax Collector’s levy and seizure on a telecommunication company’s equipment that failed to pay fees and taxes.

    Defended the County from allegations that the Miami-International Airport internal telecommunication system constituted unfair competition to telecommunication providers and violations of provisions of the Florida Constitution.

    Defended the County Property Appraiser’s ad-valorem tax assessment of tracts of land protected by environmental conservation easements and set for residential and commercial development.

    Defended the County Property Appraiser’s denial of resident’s fraudulent homestead tax exemption claims.

    Defended the County Property Appraiser’s denial of agricultural use tax exemptions.

    Defended the County Property Appraiser’s denial of charter school tax exemptions.

    Represented the County in numerous lawsuits regarding allegations of Sunshine and public records law violations.

    Defended Jackson Memorial Hospital and doctors from allegations of medical malpractice in patient diagnosis and surgery.

  • Representative Appeals

    United States v. Louijuste, Case No. 12-10781 (11th Cir. 2013)

    United States v. Hall, Case No. 12-16404 (11th Cir. 2013)

    Brown v. United States, 488 Fed. Appx. 411 (11th Cir. 2012)

    United States v. Kalu, 485 Fed. Appx. 366 (11th Cir. 2012)

    Garcia v. United States, 456 Fed. Appx. 804 (11th Cir. 2012)

    United States v. Merchan, 466 Fed. Appx. 160 (11th Cir. 2011)

    United States v. Boffil-Rivera, 607 F.3d 736 (11th Cir. 2010)

    United States v. Gonzalez-Rodriguez, 360 Fed. Appx. 14 (11th Cir. 2010)

    United States v. Morely, 353 Fed. Appx. 256 (11th Cir. 2009)

    United States v. Smith, 568 F.3d 923 (11th Cir. 2009)

    United States v. Louisgeste, 392 Fed. Appx. 833 (11th Cir. 2010)

    Bircoll v. Miami-Dade County, 480 F.3d 1072 (11th Cir. 2007)

    United States v. Levy, 849 F. Supp. 2d 1353 (S.D. Fla. 2012)

    Braman v. Miami-Dade County, 18 So. 2d 1259 (Fla. 3d DCA 2009)

    Yorty v. Abreau, 988 So. 2d 1155 (Fla. 3d DCA 2008)

    Black v. Jacobs, 974 So. 2d 1172 (Fla. 3d DCA 2008)

    Miller v. Miami-Dade County, 959 So. 2d 379 (Fla. 3d DCA 2007)

    Hidden Bay v. Miami-Dade County, 938 So. 2d 599 (Fla. 3d DCA 2006)

    Yorty v. Realty Investment & Mortgage Corp., 938 So. 2d 1 (Fla. 3d DCA 2006)

    Humer v. Miami-Dade County, 914 So. 2d 970 (Fla. 3d DCA 2005)

    Safie v. Safie, 875 So. 2d 658 (Fla. 3d DCA 2004)

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Education

Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University, New York, New York (J.D. 2000)

Articles Editor, Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution

St. John Fisher College, Rochester, New York (B.A., Double Major, cum laude, 1997)

Judicial Clerkship

Law Clerk, Chief Justice Chalres T. Wells, Florida Supreme Court

Law Clerk, U.S. Magistrate Judge Patrick A. White, Southern District of Florida

Professional Recognition

Super Lawyer, Super Lawyers Publication

Florida Trend’s Legal Elite

Finalist, Most Effective Lawyer, Commercial Litigation, Florida Daily Business Review, 2009

Publications

Mandatory Arbitration and Employment Discrimination: The Unfair Law, Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution (2001).

Bar Admissions

Florida
United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida
United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida
United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida
United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
United States Tax Court
United States Supreme Court

Professional/ Community Involvement

Former Director, Switchboard Miami
Former Director, Dade County Bar Association
Former Director, Wilkie D. Ferguson Bar Association
Member, Dominican-American National Foundation
Member, Hispanic National Bar Association
Member, Federal Bar Association
Member, American Bar Association
Member, Caribbean Bar Association

Seminars

Former Legal Research and Writing Lecturer, University of Miami School of Law

Former Legal Research and Writing Lecturer, Florida A & M University

Languages

Spanish

© 2016 Wallen Hernandez Lee Martinez, LLP