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2011-101-1494 - Legal Services City of Miami Gardens Agenda Cover Memo Council Meeting Date: June 22, 2011 Item Type: (Enter X in box) Resolution Ordinance Other X Fiscal Impact: (Enter X in box) Yes No Ordinance Reading: (Enter X in box) 1st Reading 2nd Reading X Public Hearing: (Enter X in box) Yes No Yes No X X Funding Source: General Fund Advertising Requirement: (Enter X in box) Yes No X Contract/P.O. Required: (Enter X in box) Yes No RFP/RFQ/Bid #: X N/A Strategic Plan Related (Enter X in box) Yes No Strategic Plan Priority Area: Enhance Organizational Bus. & Economic Dev Public Safety Quality of Education Qual. of Life & City Image Communcation N/A X Sponsor Name Sonja Dickens, City Attorney Department: City Attorney Short Title: A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA, AUTHORIZING THE CITY ATTORNEY TO EXECUTE THAT CERTAIN AGREEMENT WITH OLDS, STEPHENS & HARPER, P.A., A COPY OF WHICH IS ATTACHED HERETO AS EXHIBIT “A” FOR LEGAL SERVICES IN CONNECTION WITH THE LITIGATION MATTER OF WANDA GILBERT VS. CITY OF MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA; PROVIDING FOR INSTRUCTIONS TO CITY CLERK; PROVIDING FOR THE ADOPTION OF REPRESENTATIONS; PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE. Staff Summary: The City was served with a civil whistleblower Complaint by Wanda Gilbert, a former employee of the City of Miami Gardens Police Department. The League of Cities does not cover litigation ITEM K-6) CONSENT AGENDA RESOLUTION Agreement w/Olds, Stephens & Harper, P.A. [Type text] costs for defending whistleblower claims. As such, the City is required to retain and pay for the services of defense counsel. The City Attorney recommends that the City retain Olds Stephens & Harper, P.A., through Bradley Harper, Esq. for this purpose. Old, Stephens & Harper, P.A. currently represents the City in another matter. Please note that if Ms. Gilbert amends her Complaint to include allegations of discrimination, the League of Cities will cover the City’s expenses for defending itself against such allegations. In addition, the City may be entitled to reimbursement from the League for some of its defense costs. Proposed Action: That the City Council approves the attached Resolution. Attachment: 1-Retainer Agreement with Olds, Stephens and Harper, P.A. Retainer Agreement Page 1 RETAINER AGREEMENT The City of Miami Gardens, a Florida municipal corporation (“Client”), hereby retains and employs OLDS, STEPHENS & HARPER, P.A., together with its attorneys, professionals, and staff members (“Firm”) to provide services as litigation counsel on behalf of the Client in the Miami-Dade County Circuit Court litigation styled WANDA GILBERT v. CITY OF MIAMI GARDENS, a municipal corporation, Case No. 11-17908 CA 21, on the following terms: 1. FEES: The Firm is employed in this matter on an hourly basis. No maximum fee has been quoted, and no guarantee of results has been or will be made. All of the Firm’s expressions relative to this matter are only opinions. The Firm’s fee is based on the amount of time the Firm devotes to this matter. It is impossible to determine in advance how much time will be needed. The amount of time spent on this matter reflects all services provided by the Firm’s attorneys and paralegals, including, without limitation, conferences, telephone calls, pretrial discovery, depositions, trial preparation, document drafting, correspondence, pleadings, negotiations, analysis, legal research, court time, and travel to and from locations away from our offices. Any figures the Firm quotes to the Client for the total charge for our services are merely estimates. Your adversaries, the opposing attorneys, or others, may engage in activities beyond our control that require time that was not originally contemplated. 2. RATES: Client will be billed for the actual time expended on this matter at the rate of $195.00 per hour for attorneys and $95.00 per hour for the Firm’s paralegals. This rate schedule may be adjusted from time to time and, if adjusted, will affect the hourly rates of the attorneys and paralegals working on this matter. 3. COSTS: The Firm may advance costs on the Client’s behalf in such amounts as the Firm determines are necessary to represent the Client. Such advance of costs will be for expenses, including, without limitation, long-distance telephone calls, fax transmissions, postage, photocopies, computerized research, out-of-town travel expenses (including all meals, travel and out-of-town lodging), deposition expenses (including costs of transcripts and court reporters’ fees for attendance), court costs (such as filing fees, service of process, subpoena, investigators, economists, other attorneys, and other experts and professionals that we deem necessary to assist in the preparation and handling of this matter. The Client is responsible for paying all costs incurred on its behalf, including, without limitation, the fees of any experts or professionals hired on its behalf. By this Agreement the Client appoints the Firm as its agents to hire such experts and professionals on its behalf. 4. BILLS: The Client will be billed on a monthly basis for the fees and costs incurred in this matter. Full payment of each monthly bill is due within 30 days of the date it is issued. 5. WITHDRAWAL: We may withdraw from this representation if the Client does not make payments required by this Retainer Agreement, if it has misrepresented or failed to disclose material facts to us, or if it fails to follow our advice. In any of these events, the Client will execute such necessary documents to permit us to withdraw. The Firm’s failure to withdraw after the occurrence of any of the foregoing events, will not limit its right to withdraw after the occurrence of any other event that would permit withdrawal. Retainer Agreement Page 2 6. DISPUTES: In the event it is necessary to institute legal proceedings to collect the Firm’s fees and costs or to otherwise litigate issues arising under this Retainer Agreement, the Firm will be entitled to collect its reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs from the Client, even if the Firm chooses to represent itself. The Client and the Firm do hereby agree and consent that the courts situated in Miami-Dade County, Florida, shall have exclusive jurisdiction to adjudicate any claim, dispute, or controversy of any nature and of any kind arising under, pertaining to, or in any way relating to this Retainer Agreement, including without limitation, all issues concerning conditions, formation, prior negotiations, performance, validity, and enforceability. This mandatory exclusive jurisdiction provision also applies to all potential disputes involving or relating to any service provider relied upon or retained under section four (4) of this Retainer Agreement. The Client expressly consents to the jurisdiction of the appropriate state court situated in Miami-Dade County, Florida, forsaking and waiving all other venues and jurisdictions. DATED this _____ day of ____________ 2011. Client The City of Miami Gardens By: ___________________________________ As its City Attorney