Mr. William Gardiner is a Partner in the Firm’s Fort Lauderdale office. With over 30 years of experience, Mr. Gardiner focuses his practice exclusively in Marital and Family Law including dissolution of marriages, modification and enforcement actions, child support and custody cases, and paternity cases. His practice also encompasses the preparation and enforcement of intricate prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. He has been rated AV Preeminent® by Martindale-Hubbell® since 1996.
Mr. Gardiner primarily represents clients involved in complex marital litigation and has extensive experience with cases involving complex business valuations, complicated tax issues and high net-worth individuals.
An accomplished litigator and negotiator, Mr. Gardiner has helped hundreds of clients resolve complex and sensitive matters. He strives to negotiate settlements in an effort to avoid expensive litigation for the client, yet works diligently to protect the client’s rights. Mr. Gardiner also has extensive appellate experience and is a Certified Family Law Mediator.
Before joining Conrad & Scherer, Mr. Gardiner was a Partner at two leading Florida law firms. And, as a former Assistant State Attorney, Mr. Gardiner entered private practice with extensive trial experience.
- Broward County Matrimonial Lawyers Association, Member, 2012 to present
- Florida Bar, Family Law Section, Member, 1981 to present
- American Bar Association, Family Law Section, 1981 to present
- Broward County Bar Association, Bench and Bar Committee, Member, 1995 to 1996
- Florida Bar, General Masters Committee, Member, 1990 to 1992
- Moskowitz v. Moskowitz, 998 So.2d 660 (Fla. 4th DCA 2009). Represented husband in a dissolution of marriage action. During the trial, the trial judge caused the husband to have a reasonable fear that he would not receive a fair trial due to the judge’s prejudice and bias against him and, thus, was entitled to disqualification of trial judge. Husband overheard judge advising husband’s counsel to “sit on” his client, judge asked one of husband’s experts how he expected to get paid by husband, and judge, who was unreceptive to husband’s evidence of wife’s use of drugs, was cited by the Hollywood Police Department before the trial concluded for smoking marijuana in a public park. After the trial, court denied the husband’s motion to disqualify the trial judge, the husband appealed. District Court held that husband had a reasonable fear that he would not receive a fair trial on account of the prejudice of the trial judge.
- Stern v. Chovnick, 914 So.2d 524 (Fla. 4th DCA 2005). Represented husband in an appeal of an action for dissolution of marriage. Wife appealed Circuit Court’s final judgement awarding rehabilitative alimony and child support to wife. The District Court of Appeal, held that the trial court acted reasonably in imputing annual income of $40,000 to wife in calculating child support during rehabilitation period during which the wife was expected to secure permanent employment, wife testified that she had a current job opportunity at that income level and the husband’s expert testified to immediate availability of jobs at comparable salary. District Court also held that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in failing to award attorney fees to the wife because the parties would be in substantially equal financial positions after the husband was ordered to pay rehabilitative alimony and child support and the wife was immediately employable.
- In Re: Adoption of a Minor, 539 So.2d 185 (Fla. Supreme Court 1991). Represented maternal grandparents who sought to intervene in an adoption proceeding brought by the aunt and uncle. The trial court entered final order of adoption, but later granted grandparents’ motion to intervene, and aunt appealed. The District Court of Appeal, 570 So.2d 340, affirmed, and certified questions. The Supreme Court held that grandparents’ motion to intervene was filed within the one year period in which to collaterally attack the final judgement and was therefore timely. The Supreme Court also reviewed the statute involved and determined that “intermediary” does not mean any attorney handling any adoption proceeding, but someone who plays a special role in an adoption. Therefore, grandparents were not entitled to notice from the attorney of the aunt and uncle in the adoption proceeding for the child they had been awarded custody to by a previous court order. The Supreme Court held that although grandparents were not entitled under statute to notice of adoption proceedings that the grandparents were entitled to notice under due process clause of State Constitution where a previous court order had given the grandparents visitation rights and thus legal interest in maintaining a relationship with the child. Finally, the Supreme Court held that the grandparents were entitled to vacating the final judgement of adoption due to the failure of the adverse party to notify the grandparents of the adoption proceedings.
- Schlien v. Schlien,763 So.2d 350 (Fla. 4th DCA 1998). Represented husband in an action for dissolution of marriage. During the trial the husband refused to answer any questions regarding his income or the nature of his businesses exercising his privilege against self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution. The husband presented testimony of one of his accountants regarding his income and finances, who relied exclusively on husband’s oral representations for a portion of the financial information presented at trial. The trial court entered final judgement of dissolution. The wife appealed, and husband cross-appealed the trial court’s decision. The District Court of Appeal held that because the husband chose to present evidence on his own behalf through his accountant, in an effort to avoid cross-examination, the trial court erred when it declined to find a waiver of the husband’s privilege against self-incrimination.
- Race v. Sullivan, 612 So.2d 660 (Fla. 4th DCA 1993). Represented father in a paternity action in which the father admitted paternity and agreed that mother should be primary residential parent. The trial court ordered shared parental responsibility, and awarded mother only a portion of her attorney’s fees and the mother appealed. The mother argued that shared responsibility cannot be applied where the parents are not married and that the court was required to award her custody unless she was found to be unfit. The District Court of Appeal held that shared parental responsibility law is applicable to parents who never married each other, notwithstanding that it does not specifically so provide.
- Represented the wife and children of a well-known missing entrepreneur and philanthropist in a dispute with other family members. This Broward County Probate Court case involved legal issues of the highest complexity involving the absentee’s estate, including property rights related to the absentee’s extensive personal property and real estate holdings across the globe.
Publications/Teaching & Speaking Engagements
- Mr. Gardiner has been a speaker at numerous family law seminars, including Broward Lawyers Care and Broward County Bar Family Law Section seminars on various topics, including equitable distribution, alimony, practice and procedure.