William R. Scherer co-founded the Conrad & Scherer Law Firm in 1974 with his late partner Rex Conrad. Over the past almost four decades, Mr. Scherer has grown Conrad & Scherer into one of Florida’s leading law firms and has expanded the firm’s presence internationally. Conrad Scherer operates offices in New York, New York, Brevard, North Carolina, and Quito, Ecuador.
AV® Preeminent™ Peer Rated by Martindale-Hubbell® since 1987, Mr. Scherer is a seasoned trial attorney. He has litigated over 100 trials in both jury and non-jury cases before state, appellate, and federal courts. Mr. Scherer’s cases and legal accomplishments have received coverage by major television networks such as CNN, CNBC, MSNBC and FNN and national and local newspapers such as The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, South Florida Business Journal, the Daily Business Review, the Sun-Sentinel and the Miami Herald. Conrad & Scherer has been featured in various publications due to Mr. Scherer’s competency and integrity.
Mr. Scherer was lead counsel for victims of the infamous
multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme orchestrated by Scott Rothstein. Notably, Mr.
Scherer led his complex litigation team and achieved an historic settlement
returning to investors what is said to be the highest percentages of recovery
for victims of a Ponzi scheme. News outlets described the settlement as a “huge
victory” and a “landmark” lawsuit.
In 2005, Mr. Scherer served as plaintiff’s counsel in a
high-profile commercial lawsuit involving the sale of a health insurance
company and obtained, by jury verdict, one of the largest damage awards in
Broward County history.
During the historical 2000 Presidential Election Litigation in Florida, Mr. Scherer led a team of Conrad & Scherer attorneys representing President George W. Bush and personally represented the President in the Broward County recount.
In addition to his litigation practice, Mr. Scherer has also
served as counsel to various government entities. From 1988 to 2005, Mr.
Scherer served as General Counsel to the North Broward Hospital District, one
of the largest public health care providers in the nation, with four hospitals
and nine specialized treatment centers. As General Counsel for the Hospital
District, he supervised teams of legal experts in healthcare and malpractice
law, and was responsible for all trials and legal actions taken by or against
the Hospital District.
Mr. Scherer began his legal career as a law clerk to the
Indiana Supreme Court and the Honorable Charles Fulton, Former Chief of the
United States District Court for the South District of Florida.
American Board of Trial Advocates, Member/“Advocate,” 1989
Broward Workshop, Board Member, 2002 to 2012
Broward County Ethics Commission, 2009 to 2010
City of Fort Lauderdale Downtown Development Authority,
Board Member, 1989 to 1996 and 2003 to 2010
Franklin College Board of Trustees, 2000 to 2008
Judicial Nominating Commission for the Seventeenth Circuit,
Gubernatorial Appointee (Governor Martinez, Governor Bush and Governor Scott),
1987 to 1999, 2001 to 2003, 2003 to 2007 (Chair in 2006), 2011 to 2012
Judicial Nominating Commission for the Fourth District Court
of Appeal, Gubernatorial Appointee (Governor Bush), 1999 to 2003
Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation,
Interim General Counsel, Gubernatorial Appointee (Governor Bush), 2000
Florida Lawyers for Bush, Statewide Co-Chair, 1998 to 2000
Florida Lawyers for Bush, Broward and Palm Beach County
Chair, 1998 to 2000
Federal Bar, Grievance Panel for the Southern District of
Florida, 1995 to 1997
Florida Patient Compensation Fund, Board of Directors, 1992
Federal Bar Association, Broward County Chapter, Past
President, 1982 to 1983
Lori Parrish, Broward County Property Appraiser v. Board of
County Commissioners, Broward County, Florida, Case No.: 13-023090.
Successfully obtained a writ of mandamus on behalf of Broward County Property
Appraiser Lori Parrish after the Broward County Board of Commissioners failed
to comply with its statutorily mandated duty to fully fund the first quarter
payment of the Property Appraiser’s Fiscal Year 2014 Budget as approved by the
Department of Revenue.
Mr. Scherer led his team of attorneys and para-professionals
in the representation of a diverse group of plaintiffs seeking recovery of over
$225 million in investor losses resulting from a multi-billion dollar
structured settlement Ponzi scheme. This nationally publicized case focused on
Toronto Dominion Bank’s (TD Bank) role in facilitating this criminal enterprise
asserting novel claims that the Bank willfully aided and abetted the Ponzi
fraud. After months of litigation, the matter was resolved through settlement
resulting in the highest percentage recovery for victims entangled in a Ponzi
In conjunction with the Rothstein Ponzi scheme civil
litigation, Mr. Scherer served as Chairman of the Creditors’ Committee in Rothstein’s
law firm’s bankruptcy proceeding from December 2009 through December 2012.
In 2005, Mr. Scherer co-represented a doctor and health care
entrepreneur who had purchased HIP of Florida—now Vista Health Plans of
Florida—from HIP of New York. Scherer filed a suit on behalf of his client
against HIP of New York alleging that HIP hid financial information from his
client who had purchased the company for $40 million. Following a 14 week
trial, and despite HIP of New York’s countersuit for breach of contract, a jury
awarded one of the largest individual verdicts in Broward Circuit Court
history. That award included an award of compensatory damages for fraud and the
cancellation of a multi-million dollar note to the defendant. Jurors had found
liability for punitive and compensatory damages, but before they could
determine an award on punitive damages, the case was settled out of court.
Mr. Scherer led his team of attorneys representing President
George W. Bush during the historical 2000 vote recount and personally
represented the President in the high stakes Broward County recount. Conrad
& Scherer’s responsibilities as counsel to President Bush included advising
the President on his legal strategy in Broward County and also acting as a key
contributor in Bush’s distinguished statewide Florida legal team. In fact,
President Bush has praised Conrad & Scherer’s attorneys for their important
legal contributions to his success in Florida. The firm’s contribution has also
been implicitly recognized in the United States Supreme Court decision of Bush
v. Gore, 531 U.S. 98 (2000), where the high court freed Florida Secretary of
State Katherine Harris’s certification of George W. Bush as the winner of
Florida’s electoral votes in the 2000 presidential election.
Mr. Scherer led his team of attorneys in defending a client
against a third-party government agency’s interference with Broward County’s
public bid process, which put at risk an existing five year janitorial services
contract for the Fort-Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport totaling
approximately $69 million. The firm successfully asserted constitutional due
process violations challenging the third-party agency’s involvement in the
process and deviation from the County Code and Charter. The firm prepared to file
a bid protest and to seek judicial relief for the constitutional violations if
a successful political resolution was not reached.
Mr. Scherer led his team of attorneys defending one of the
largest mega-yacht marina and shipyards in the US from being over-regulated by
a local fire marshal and was able to resolve the matter favorably through the
political process and without litigation. The fire marshal had attempted to
regulate the shipyard’s spray painting of mega-yachts/large vessels within
temporary enclosures – an industry-wide practice already regulated under OSHA.
Resolution required multi-government lobbying of the Florida CFO in his
capacity as the State Fire Marshal, Broward County Commission, the Broward
Board of Rules and Appeals (“BORA”), the City of Fort Lauderdale, and the local
Fire Prevention Bureau. If the fire marshal was successful, the impacts to the
Tri-County’s multi-billion dollar marine industry would have been devastating.
In addition to the government relations aspect of this matter, the firm
prepared to seek judicial relief for the constitutional violations if a
successful political resolution was not reached.
Successfully enforced a $41 million judgment against a
prominent real estate developer by attacking an offshore Nevis trust. Pursued
multiple court actions in domestic and international jurisdictions, including
the Cayman Islands. This was one of the first instances in the U.S. where a
U.S. creditor was able to successfully attack a Nevis trust. The case resulted
in a settlement of over $44 million for the client.
Represented a municipality and prevailed at trial in a $100
million dollar lawsuit brought by a large developer against the municipality
for breach of an alleged contract to develop 11 acres of Florida oceanfront property.
AV® Preeminent™ Peer Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®, since
Listed in South Florida Legal Guide, “Top Lawyers”,
Listed in Super Lawyers® “Top Lawyers”, 2006 to 2013
Recognized as an “Ultimate CEO” by the South Florida
Business Journal, 2013
Listed in Florida Trend’s Legal Elite, “Florida Legal
Elite”, 2004, 2010 and 2014
Listed in VerdictSearch’s, “Top 100 Verdicts of 2005”, 2005
Recognized as “Most Effective Lawyer” by the Daily Business
Review, 2005 and 2012
Profiled as a “Power Broker” by the Sun-Sentinel Newspaper,
Listed as one of “The 50 Most Powerful People in Broward
County” by Gold Coast Magazine, May/June 2002
Profiled as a “Political Power Broker” by Gold Coast
Magazine, April 2002
Publications/Teaching & Speaking Engagements
C5’s 3rd Forum “Fraud, Asset Tracing and Recovery,” Miami
Beach, Florida, Speaker, “Miami Vice—Unraveling the $1.2 Billion Rothstein
Ponzi Scheme,” October 2012
American Board of Trial Advocates and the Fort Lauderdale
Chapter of ABOTA “Masters In Opening Statements and Closing Arguments”, Fort
Lauderdale, Florida, Speaker, May 2011
BankAtlantic Attorney Seminar, Fort Lauderdale, Florida,
Speaker, “Unraveling a Ponzi Scheme,” October 2010
Boys and Girls Club of Broward County Men’s Luncheon, Fort
Lauderdale, Florida, Featured Speaker, “The Ponzi in its Aftermath,” April 2010
William R. Scherer Jr., Directors and Officers Face
Liability – Check Your D&O Insurance Now, Smart Business – Broward/Palm
Beach, April 2005 at 14.
William R. Scherer Jr., Vital Reforms – Why Everyone Needs
to Pay Attention to Proposed Medicaid Reforms, Smart Business – Broward/Palm
Beach, March 2005, at 24.
William R. Scherer, Jr., Medicaid Reform – A Call to Action,
South Florida Hospital News, March 2005.
William R. Scherer Jr., Editorial, Recommended Reforms Must
Pass in Session, South Fla. Sun Sentinel, June 16, 2003, at 21A. William R. Scherer Jr., Sovereign Immunity in
Indiana- Requiem 6 Ind. L. Rev. 92 (1972).