Robert S. Fine

Robert S. Fine

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Robert Fine chairs the ADA, Accessibility, Building & Life Safety Codes Practice and is a board certified construction law attorney and a Florida-registered, nationally certified architect. Formerly, the City of Miami Beach’s first ADA/Section 504 Coordinator, Robert provides defense counsel and consulting in claims brought under disability rights laws including Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Fair Housing Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. He has consulted on a multitude of projects regarding the ADA, FHA, and similar state and local laws, rules and codes. In addition, Robert provides defense counsel and consulting in matters involving auxiliary aids and services such as website accessibility, audio description, sign language interpreting and captioning. Robert provides disability rights laws representation to business and property owners in numerous industries such as hospitality, professional sports teams, venues and sanctioning bodies, performing arts venues and theaters, retail (both strictly online and bricks & mortar-based), healthcare and commercial real estate and development (including multifamily residential).

Robert’s practice also focuses on land use, zoning, historic preservation, environmental, and building code compliance-related administrative law. This work ranges from representation before local governments for zoning and other development approvals to building code appeals, code enforcement and unsafe structure defense; and at a state level, petitions for declaratory statements, lobbying for and challenging building code provisions and other administrative rulemaking related to his practice areas.

Concentrations

  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Titles II & III litigation and counseling
    • Architectural Accessibility compliance matters
    • Auxiliary Aids and Services compliance matters including website accessibility, captioning and sign language interpreting
  • Fair Housing Act disability rights issues such as accessibility, reasonable accommodations and reasonable modifications - counseling and defense litigation
  • Fair Housing Act familial status issues – counseling and defense litigation
  • Rehabilitation Act of 1973 – counseling and defense litigation
  • Land use and zoning
  • Historic preservation
  • Building department relations, permitting and occupancy approvals
  • Building and life safety codes interpretations, challenges, appeals and lobbying
  • FEMA/NFIP/Coastal construction issues and permitting
  • Local government enforcement proceedings and appeals
  • Administrative law
  • Construction law
  • Green building and sustainable development
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Capabilities

Experience

  • Provided defense counsel, litigation support, expert witness and other related consulting services to clients in more than 500 Title II and III of the ADA lawsuits including hospitals, hotels, restaurants, retail stores, shopping centers, office buildings, pari-mutuels and municipalities.
  • Consulted on ADA, FHA and other accessibility code related matters in more than 1000 facilities and businesses.
  • Consulted in more than 100 multi-family residential projects, time shares and condo-hotels on Fair Housing Act Accessibility.
  • Provided defense counsel or defense expert witness services in ADA lawsuits brought against more than 75 hospitals nationwide.
  • Achieved client-favorable class settlements in two nationwide Title III ADA class action lawsuits brought against retail store chains alleging insufficient aisle width (2200 stores and 296 stores). 
  • Appointed special master by U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida in Title III ADA national class action lawsuit regarding health care facilities. Case Number 8:01-cv-00787-EAJ (M.D.FL.).
  • City of Miami Beach, Florida’s, first Americans with Disabilities Act/Rehabilitation Act Coordinator.
  • Defended arenas and stadiums, theaters, amphitheaters and other performing arts venues from claims they violate Title III of the ADA and similar state and local laws in judicial and administrative forums.
  • Attained a “Letter of Understanding” finding no violation of the ADA for a Broadway theater in U.S. Attorney investigation.
  • Defended clients from ADA compliance reviews and investigations brought by the Department of Justice (D.C.) and by US Attorney’s Offices in S.D.FL., S.D.NY., E.D.LA., N.D.GA., E.D.VA.
  • Defended multifamily housing developers and owners from numerous administrative complaints before HUD (in several regions), Florida Commission on Human Relations, Illinois Human Rights Commission, and New York City Human Rights Commission.
  • Defended large investment banks, major department stores and numerous other retailers, health care providers, fashion designers, watch manufactures, multifamily housing providers, real estate developers and sellers, and others against claims brought against them alleging violations of Title III of the ADA for the alleged inaccessibility of their websites and mobile apps.
  • Petitioned the Florida Building Commission for, and was granted a declaratory statement holding that multi-family residential developments not receiving government funding are not subject to the 2012 Florida Accessibility Code resolving in statewide confusion on this issue.
  • Petitioned the Florida Building Commission for, and was granted a declaratory statement establishing a binding interpretation of the state building code that restored the ability of developers to construct usable space (retail, dining areas, bars, etc.) seaward of the coastal construction control line and below the 100-year storm wavecrest elevation to facilitate beachfront development.
  • Petitioned the Florida Building Commission and was granted a declaratory statement holding “All Aboard Florida,” the nation’s first privately funded railroad in over 50 years, is exempt from the Florida Building Code.
  • Assisted numerous clients in attaining Florida state Accessibility Code waivers.
  • Challenged local technical amendments and statewide technical amendments to the Florida Building Code.
  • Lobbied and challenged code provisions of and amendments to the Florida Building Code and Florida Fire Prevention Code.
  • Board Certified, The Florida Bar, Construction Law, Board of Legal Specialization and Education
  • Accredited Professional (LEED AP), U.S. Green Building Council LEED
  • Certified, National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB 39308)
  • Registered Architect, Florida (AR 13045)
  • Registered Florida Real Estate Broker

Recognition & Leadership

  • Listed, The Best Lawyers in America, Government Relations Practice; Land Use and Zoning Law - Litigation, 2012-2019
  • Listed, Super Lawyers magazine, Florida Super Lawyers, 2013 and 2015-2019
  • Team Member, Chambers USA award for Excellence, Real Estate, 2013 and 2017-2018
  • Team Member, U.S. News - Best Lawyers®, Best Law Firms Edition, "Law Firm of the Year," Environmental Law, 2016
  • Team Member, a U.S. News - Best Lawyers®, "Law Firm of the Year" in Real Estate Law, 2015
  • Team Member, a Law360"Real Estate Practice Group of the Year," 2013 and 2015
  • Team Member, The Legal 500 United States, "Top Tier" Firm in Real Estate, 2014
  • Team Member, a Law360 "Employment Practice Group of the Year," 2011 and 2013
  • Rated, AV Preeminent®

°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.

  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, American Institute of Architects (AIA)
  • Member, Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA)
  • Member, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
  • Member, The Florida Bar
  • Professional Member, International Code Council (ICC)
  • Former ADA/Rehabilitation Act Coordinator, City of Miami Beach, FL

Credentials

Education
  • J.D., cum laude, University of Miami School of Law, 1998
  • B.Arch, Rhode Island School of Design, 1985
  • B.F.A., Rhode Island School of Design, 1984
  • B.S., Architectural Engineering, Civil Engineering, University of Miami, 1982
Admissions
  • Florida
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio