Geller Brothers Firm Seeks Sunrise Attorney Job


A law firm seeking to be the next city attorney of Sunrise is the home of two of the best-known Democratic pols South Florida the Geller brothers.

The two partners at the firm Greenspoon Marder are:

*Joe Geller, the former long-time chair of the Miami-Dade County Democratic Party.  He was part of the Democratic legal team during the Florida presidential recount in 2000. He was also mayor of North Bay Village, a small Miami-Dade community wedged between the mainland and Miami Beach.

*Steve Geller, who represented Broward in the House and state Senate for 20 years. He lost a hotly fought campaign last year for county commissioner to incumbent Sue Gunzburger.

The Gellers’ firm is one of 13 finalists for the lucrative job.

Current City Attorney Stuart Michelson billed $432,000 annually under his contract.

The job could be worth thousands more if Sunrise commissioners decide to throw in all the work now farmed to outside counsel for specialties like bond work and labor law.

The point person on this deal is Joe Geller, who has experience as a municipal attorney in a handful of smaller Miami-Dade communities.


Joe Geller

Most of the other firms and individuals who applied have experience, too.

What makes Greenspoon Marder different is the Geller brothers’ political clout.  They can raise campaign cash and have a large network of friends.

For commissioners facing rough re-elections like Don Rosen, help from the Gellers might be hard to turn down.

Will Sunrise commissioners hire the Gellers’ firm?

A discussion on the new city attorney is scheduled for April 26.  It will be interesting to see what happens.

Here is a list of the finalists:

Rafael Saurez Rivas, James Saunders, Derek Rooney, Kimberly Kisslan, Nancy Cousins, Melissa Anderson, Stearns Weaver firm, Greenspoon Marder firm, Goren Cherof firm, John Rayson, Burnadette Norris Weeks, Sachs Sax firm and Barry S. Balmuth firm.

19 Responses to “Geller Brothers Firm Seeks Sunrise Attorney Job”

  1. Sunrise Resident says:

    Have they figured in the food costs at the meeting? If they do, the Gellers lose.

  2. Resident says:

    City Attorneys that become involved in their city elections supporting a particular candidate should be fired and a bar complaint filed against them. It creates a conflict of interest.

    City Managers have such a prohibition. It is part of the ICMA Code of Ethics.

    I am surprised that Sunrise does not have a law that prohibits such conduct by their city attorney. But yet again, it’s Sunrise.

    Now would be a good time to pass such a law. Before someone new comes in.

    I’m not saying either Geller would do anything unethical.
    I’m saying it is naive to believe that a city attorney would not be asked by his clients, friends, law partners or political contacts who to back in a Sunrise election. It is also naive to believe that one of these folks would contribute or raise money for the favored candidate.

  3. swampting says:

    Choosing the geller firm would be a disaster. That’s all a politically charged city needs, a politically charged city attorney. Sunrise needs a good, non-political in house city attorney. Period. Stop the shennigans commissioners and do what’s right for the city, not your political careers. How hard is that to figure out?

  4. Las Olas Lawyer says:

    “Swampting” has a very good point. Sunrise is infamous for making every decision for political reasons. It is a political swamp. Commissioners need a non-politcal lawyer to led them out to respectability.

  5. GoesW/Osaying says:

    City attorneys should never have political aspirations or work as lobbyists. This is not a good combination and the leadership in Sunrise should know better. The Gellers need to learn how to make a living outside the government.

  6. sunriseoversite says:

    I do believe the resident is right on money a non political lawyer. Rosen should plenty of supprt get from Michelson should be enough for him. Oh wait can’t say that lol because it may look like everyone is picking on poor stuart .Well here is what I say Stu good for you keep up the good work and LAUGH YOUR ASS ALL THE WAY TO THE BANK! . The only people that screwed here is the taxpayers in sunrise AGAIN from the same old people AGAIN. No wait except for two newly elected commissioners. Sunrise wake up doesn’t this say anything to you.We the But that’s what happens when you talk on political deaf ears.

  7. Reader says:

    I urge commissioners to exam Norris-Weeks billing in Opa-Locka. It was a scandal.

  8. Bottom Line says:

    Smart move there is Sam Goren.

  9. hbyaah says:

    To: Reader says:
    I can’t find anything online about it. How about some help?

  10. Reader says:

    Miami Herald, March 18, 2010

    “Burnadette Norris-Weeks and her firm resigned on Dec. 9.

    Under a June 30, 2008, resolution, she was paid $16,666.70 monthly — which adds up to $200,000 annually.

    However, the dispute arose at the Jan. 27 meeting when Tydus presented a resolution to pay nearly $38,000 — in addition to Norris-Weeks’ monthly compensation — for litigation services.

    Listed in an undated, 19-page invoice, the services included work performed as far back as September 2008.

    The bills caught some commissioners by surprise, but the amount was ultimately paid to Norris-Week after a commission vote. Commissioners Timothy Holmes and Johnson voted against paying the amount.”

  11. Ozaymandius says:

    Goren represents every other city in Browar so why not throw sunrise on the pile….conflict anyone?

  12. resdent says:

    Don Rosen must GO ! MUST READ ON ROSEN all buddys old stories which I find informative. READ YOU will have such a laugh somethings never change. I think the only thing that hass changed is a new found friendship that was so disliked before. You will see shelia and. Don now that good old wishy washy wishiner is gone. She doesn’t like anyone one of you she just wants the control of the dias again.

  13. City Activist Robert walsh says:

    I would tell the Gellers to first check w/ Comm Alu. Basiclly to see whats in it for her, which is her pattern time and time again.As long as she comes out smelling like a rose , than they are all set.

  14. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    I think this dude wants to prance around in Alu’s high heels!

  15. Got to see these pics of Geller says:

  16. resdent says:

    @ walsh if its a new lap dog she wants she will get it.

  17. John Fusaro says:

    The commission would love an in-house attorney. They love to have people under their thumb. Alu said it best at the meeting a month or so ago. I would like to see an attorny that is more “loyal” to the city and I have already made my decision. We can’t have a firm connected to politics or politicians. I am confident the Mayor will make the best recommendation. Mayor Ryan does his research and is very thorough.

  18. pineystride says:

    Stearns Weaver, greenspoon marder…what’s the difference …HOw much will that cost the city? Only the BEST for sunrise. (rolls eyes)

  19. LovingLife says:

    Norris-Weeks would have been the best candidate. They are an awesome firm with great attorneys.