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Joseph Z. Fleming

Joseph Z. Fleming is an experienced litigator and labor and employment lawyer who represents a diverse group of clients (including but not limited to governmental entities, national and international airlines, utilities companies, land developers, and mining interests, manufacturers, media, health, hospitality industries, and retail and wholesale entities) in issues of labor and employment matters, workplace safety, hazardous-waste regulatory and insurance matters, environmental and land use and historic preservation, and complex international litigation. In addition, he also works in the entertainment, arts and sports law areas.

His labor and employment practice involves representation of management in matters involving:

  • Representation proceedings pursuant to federal and state labor laws, and related litigation;
  • Collective bargaining negotiations;
  • Arbitration proceedings and enforcement of collective bargaining agreements;
  • Affirmative action and equal opportunity compliance and related administrative and judicial proceedings;
  • Representing and assisting and defending management decisions in labor and employment discrimination cases (pursuant to federal, state, constitutional and statutory and local civil rights, age, disability, wage and hour, occupational safety and hazard, workplace environment, leave and notice of layoffs and closures, defamation laws, and other protected interests);
  • Complex litigation (including litigation pursuant to the Railway Labor Act, National Labor Relations Act, ERISA, RICO whistleblowing and cross border related litigation); and
  • Due diligence evaluation and compliance regarding mergers, acquisitions, sales, and other transactional matters.



  • Represented Christo and Jeanne-Claude in connection with the permitting and litigation involving the "Surrounded Islands Project for Biscayne Bay." Representation in connection with federal, state, regional, county and local government permitting and representation in the U.S. federal district court litigation involving federal statutory permitting, resulting in judicial approval of the ability to proceed with the project.
  • Represented governmental, historic preservation and conservation groups (on a pro bono basis) and, also, developers, utilities and manufacturing entities in federal and state administrative agency tribunals, judicial proceedings and appellate cases involving complex constitutional, statutory, and common-law issues, including ADA compliance issues.
  • Represented management in administrative and judicial trials and appellate cases relating to labor and employment laws, and environmental laws, and advised management on labor, employment and environmental transactional issues involving acquiring and selling companies.
  • Served as an arbitrator in commercial, employment and environmental arbitration cases and arbitrated numerous cases.

Anerkennung durch den Markt


  • Listed, The Best Lawyers in America, Employment Law - Management; Entertainment Law - Motion Pictures and Television; Environmental Law; Labor Law - Management; Land Use and Zoning Law; Litigation - Environmental; Litigation - Labor and Employment; Litigation - Land Use and Zoning; Sports Law; Water Law, 1983-2021
    • Named, "Lawyer of the Year," Environmental Law, Miami, 2015
    • Named, "Lawyer of the Year," Litigation - Land Use & Zoning, Miami, 2017
  • Listed, Chambers USA Guide, National - Employment Law, 2003-2020
    • "Senior Statespeople," 2014-2020
  • Listed, Super Lawyers magazine, Florida Super Lawyers, 2006-2013 and 2015-2020
    • "Top 100 Lawyers in Miami," 2013 and 2015-2016
  • Listed, The Legal 500 United States, Labor and Employment - Labor-Management Relations, 2014-2017
  • Listed, Who’s Who Legal: Labour, Employment & Benefits 2016, "Labour & Employment," 2016
  • Team Member, U.S. News - Best Lawyers®, Best Law Firms Edition, "Law Firm of the Year," Environmental Law, 2016
  • Listed, South Florida Legal Guide, "Top Lawyer," 2004-2005, 2010-2016, 2020
  • Listed, The International Who's Who of Management Labor & Employment Lawyers
  • Team Member, a Law360 "Employment Practice Group of the Year," 2011 & 2013
  • Team Member, a U.S. News - Best Lawyers® "Law Firm of the Year," Entertainment Law - Music, 2011-2012
  • Listed, Florida Trend magazine, "Legal Elite," Employment Law, 2004-2008, 2010, 2016

Awards and Accolades:

  • Honored, The Florida Audubon Society, The Tropical Audubon Society and 1,000 Friends of Florida and other non-profit organizations for efforts on behalf of conservation and protection of coastal lands, and resources in numerous cases, including pro bono publics representation:
    • Representation in environmental litigation enabling the protection of Cross Creek;
    • Representation in numerous matters including obtaining the first 404(c) Clean Water Act Veto by the EPA of a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit; and
    • Represented a non-profit entity suing the United States and its agencies, the State of Florida, Dade County and the City of Miami Beach to obtain the right to proceed with an experiment that would eliminate, or minimize under appropriate conditions, secondary treatment pursuant to the provisions of the Clean Water Act in connection with RITE-Research Improves the Environment v. Costle, 65o F.2d 1312 (5th Cir.1981)
  • Honored, Progressive magazine, for work on the Miami Beach "Art Deco" Historic District Preservation Plan and representation in administrative and governmental and judicial proceedings ultimately to enable the protection of the District
  • Listed, Who's Who in American Law
  • Rated, AV Preeminent® 5.0 out of 5.0

°AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell DistinguishedSM and Martindale-Hubbell NotableSM are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell® certification procedures, standards and policies.

  • Arbitrator and Member of the American Arbitration Association (Employment Law Panel) and the International Disputes Resolution Centre
  • Fellow, College of Labor & Employment Lawyers, Inc.
  • Member, American Law Institute, also, Chair of ALI Courses including:
    • Founding Chair, Course on Airline and Railroad Labor and Employment Law, and current Co-Chair
    • Co-Chair, Founding Chair, Historic Preservation on Historic Preservation Law Program, Co-Sponsored by the National Trust
    • Chair, Course on The Law of the Workplace Environment
    • Co-Chair, Founding Chair, Course on Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law
    • Chair, Restaurant Industry Law
  • Member, American Bar Association and prior service:
  • Past Management Chair of the International Labor and Employment Law Committee of the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law
    • Former Chair of the Urban Environment Committee, and Past Council Member of the ABA National Resources Section, Urban Committee
    • Former Chair of the Emerging Issues Committee, and Past Council Member, of the ABA State and Local Government Law Section
    • The Florida Bar, Certified, Specialist in Labor and Employment Law
  • The Florida Bar:
    • Founding Chair, and subsequent Past Chair, of Entertainment Arts and Sports Law Section of the Florida Bar
  • Past Chair of the Environmental and Land Use Law Section of the Florida Bar
    • Past Chair of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the Florida Bar
  • Big Brother Mentor, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Miami, School to Work Program, 2014-2020
  • Board Member, Miami-Dade and Broward Chapter of the American Jewish Committee
  • Past Board Member, New World Symphony, Board of Directors
  • Past Board Member, Jay Weiss Center for Social Medicine and Health Equity, Miller School of Medicine of the University of Miami, Board of Trustees 
  • Former Member, National Center for Preservation Law, Board of Directors
  • Past Member, America Arbitration Association, Miami Employment Advisory Council, Arbitrators Panel
  • Past Member, American Jewish Committee, National Legal Committee
  • Past Member, Committee on Continuing Professional Education, Advisory Group on Labor Law of the Florida Bar


Akademische Ausbildung
  • LL.M., Labor Law, New York University School of Law, 1966
    • Dean's Letter
  • LL.B., University of Virginia School of Law, 1965
  • B.A., English, University of Florida, 1962
  • Florida
  • District of Columbia
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of International Trade
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida