Government Relations Public Policy Land Use Litigation

Land Use and Zoning
Zoning and land use laws regulate the use and development of public and private lands in a particular area.

Municipalities use zoning ordinances to control local property development and also enact codes to provide guidance for other legal issues pertaining to land use including easements, setbacks, and building heights.

However, local and state zoning regulations do not always align with private or institutional plans, and dozens of South Florida real estate professionals rely on professional land use and zoning attorneys to represent their unique interests, while still maintaining a zone’s intended use or purpose.

Fort Lauderdale Land Use Attorneys
Conrad & Scherer’s land use attorneys provide practical and strategic advice that, combined with the firm’s resources, offers various types of institutional and individual clients the legal advice required to navigate complex land use and zoning issues.

Our Fort Lauderdale land use attorneys serve a variety of clients including real estate developers, commercial real estate owners, residential real estate owners, real estate builders, and more. to real estate owners, developers, and builders.

Conrad & Scherer land use attorneys advise clients concerning a wide variety of land use and zoning matters to assist them during the permitting process in South Florida’s complex legal environment.

With a solidified reputation in the South Florida community, Conrad & Scherer understands the importance of connecting with Florida state agencies, county commissions, and local municipalities to establish strong relationships and develop a deep understanding of the local zoning ordinances across the tri-county area.

Conrad & Scherer also maintains contact with local advisory boards and homeowners’ associations across the tri-counties to connect with local communities and their land use and zoning initiatives.

As a result, Conrad & Scherer’s Fort Lauderdale land use attorneys have access to resources that many smaller or boutique firms do not. While these resources do not guarantee case outcomes, they offer additional support and guidance to both our attorneys and our clients.

Common Types of Land Use Issues We Litigate
The land use attorneys at Conrad & Scherer litigate a variety of land use and zoning issues in tri-county South Florida as well as the entire state. We also litigate local cases with national implications. Some common land use and zoning issues our attorneys litigate and help with include the following, and more:

• Code compliance disputes
• Due diligence reviews
• Zoning plan amendments and rezoning
• Building and development agreements
• Site plan evaluations and applications
• Zoning and planning variances
• Allocation or reallocation of residential units
• Platting amendments
• Conditional use and changes in use approvals
• Code compliance issues
• Tax incentive programs
• Environmental land issues

Trust Conrad & Scherer’s Land Use and Zoning Attorneys
For more than 45 years, Conrad & Scherer’s land use and zoning attorneys have represented a wide variety of clients in South Florida including real estate developers, commercial property owners, lending institutions, national corporations, insurance companies, and more.

Our land use attorneys guide clients throughout all aspects of regulatory proceedings. With headquarter offices in downtown Fort Lauderdale, Conrad & Scherer primarily litigates zoning and land use cases in Broward, Palm Beach, and Dade counties, but the firm also serves the entire state of Florida.

We have advocated for our clients in state, and federal courts, and our tenacity and integrity help us achieve the most favorable outcome possible for our clients.

Conrad & Scherer also operates practices in other states including New York and North Carolina, and our firm also operates an office in Quito, Ecuador.

If you, a close friend or relative, or business associate is facing any type of land use or zoning dispute or disagreement, contact the professional legal team at Conrad & Scherer today.

Our team of highly experienced zoning and land use attorneys will work together to guide you through the complex legal environment to help you find the most favorable outcome for your specific set of circumstances.

Government Relations and Public Policy Attorneys

Governmental policies and regulations are constantly in flux, and it is important to stay aware of these changes and the impacts they will have on your business. At Conrad & Scherer, we take a bipartisan approach to public policy concerns. Our wide-ranging legal knowledge and experience allows our team of attorneys to strategize efficiently and effectively to deliver results at all levels of government and to meet your business’s needs. Above all, we embody strong ethical principles with uncompromising integrity. 

Management of Interactions with Government Officials

In Conrad & Scherer’s 47 years of practice, we have developed countless relationships with local governments and public officials that have a hand in decision-making processes and policy changes at the local, state, and federal levels. By combining industry knowledge with first-hand experience in the political and regulatory landscape, we have created an artful balance that advocates for your business and maintains diplomatic relations with policymakers.

The attorneys we have recruited and cultivated are equipped with business acumen and an intuitive sense of politics that allows them to navigate the governmental process and find a common ground. 

Impacts of Governmental Policies

Every new municipal ordinance, state law, or federal statute has the potential to make or break your business. It is important to keep in mind the common policy areas that can affect your goals, such as:

    • Economic policy: This category encompasses, but is not limited to, public utilities, taxes, tariffs, wages, bonds, environmental taxes and penalties, interest rates, legislative finance initiatives and more.

    • Legal changes: When the government is considering changing or implementing a law that will impact your everyday operations or long-term strategic initiatives.

    Founder & Managing Partner
    • School of Law at Indiana University, Juris Doctor, 1973, magna cum laude
    • Franklin College of Indiana, Bachelor of Science, 1969
    • Florida Bar, 1973
    • Indiana Bar, 1973
    • District of Columbia Bar, 2010
    • United States District Court for the District of Colorado, 2014
    • United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, 1974

    William R. Scherer co-founded the 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 with 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.

    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 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.

    Community Involvement/Affiliations
    • American Board of Trial Advocates, Member/“Advocate,” 1989 to present
    • 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
    Significant Matters/Cases
    • 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 scheme.
    • 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 1987
    • Listed in Super Lawyers®, “Super Lawyer”, 2006 – 2018, 2020 – 2022
    • Recognized as a Best Lawyer in Commercial Litigation for The Best Lawyers in America©, 2018 – 2022
    • Recognized as a Best Lawyer in Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Plaintiffs for The Best Lawyers in America©, 2022
    • Selected as a “Top Lawyer” by Fort Lauderdale Illustrated Magazine for Business Litigation & Commercial Litigation, 2021
    • Selected as a “Top Lawyer” by Fort Lauderdale Illustrated Magazine for Mass Tort Litigation & Class Action, 2020 – 2021
    • Listed in South Florida Legal Guide, “Top Lawyer” for Commercial Litigation, 2006 – 2021
    • Listed as one of the “FACES of Fort Lauderdale” in High-Stakes Litigation by Fort Lauderdale Illustrated Magazine, 2021
    • Listed in Florida Trend’s Legal Elite, “Florida Legal Elite”, 2004, 2010, 2014 and 2020
    • Recognized as an “Apogee Award Honoree” by South Florida Business & Wealth, 2020
    • Listed as one of the “FACES of Fort Lauderdale” in Complex Commercial Litigation by Fort Lauderdale Illustrated Magazine, 2019 – 2020
    • Recognized as an “Ultimate CEO” by the South Florida Business Journal, 2013
    • 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, 2002
    • Listed as one of “The 50 Most Powerful People in Broward County” by Gold Coast Magazine, 2002
    • Profiled as a “Political Power Broker” by Gold Coast Magazine, 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).
    Executive Partner
    • Nova Southeastern University, Shepard Broad law Center, Juris Doctor, 2004
    • University of Florida, M.E. Rinker School of Building Construction, Bachelor of Science, 2000
    • Florida Bar, 2004

    John Scherer is an Executive Partner in the firm’s Fort Lauderdale office. Mr. Scherer’s government relations practice focuses on providing clients throughout South Florida with strategic counsel on procurement and government contract issues. Mr. Scherer focuses his litigation practice on construction and land use litigation.

    As a Certified General Contractor with significant experience in construction, Mr. Scherer is able to serve the firm’s clients either as special counsel or as an expert witness on large complex commercial and residential construction cases.

    In addition to his role at Conrad & Scherer, Mr. Scherer is the President and Owner of Gulf Building and Gulf Design Group. Mr. Scherer’s experience at Gulf affords his clients the benefit of his business acumen and his hands-on knowledge of construction, development and government contracts.

    Community Involvement/Affiliations
    • Broward County Enterprise Zone Board, Board Member, 2013 to present
    • City of Fort Lauderdale, Economic Advisory, Board Member, 2013 to present
    • Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Council, Board Member, 2013 to present
    • Florida Building Commission, Board Member, Governor Crist Appointee, 2009 to present
    • Construction Association of South Florida, 2006 to present
    • Board of Directors for Associated Builders and Contractors, Southeast FL Division, Director, 2006 to 2012
    • Associated Builders and Contractors, Florida Chapter, Member, 2006 to 2012
    • Unsafe Structures Board for the City of Fort Lauderdale, Board Member, 2006 to 2012
    • Listed as one of the “FACES of Fort Lauderdale” in High-Stakes Litigation by Fort Lauderdale Illustrated Magazine, 2021
    • Listed as one of the “FACES of Fort Lauderdale” in Complex Commercial Litigation by Fort Lauderdale Illustrated Magazine, 2020
    • Named “Top 40 Under 40” by South Florida Business Journal, 2014
    • Named “Top 40 Professionals Under 40 – Broward County Rising Stars” by Gold Coast Magazine, 2009
    • Florida State University, College of Law, Juris Doctor, 2009
    • Georgetown University, Walsh School of Foreign Service, Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service, 2006
    • Florida, 2009


    Michael E. Dutko, Jr. is a partner in the firm’s Fort Lauderdale office. Mr. Dutko’s practice focuses on government relations and public policy, procurement and government contracts, zoning, land use and development, land use and real property litigation and general commercial and civil litigation.

    Mr. Dutko has extensive experience in the field of local government law, representing developers and builders in private practice as well as having served as Assistant City Attorney for the City of Delray Beach. In addition to providing legal services on a wide range of local government matters, he also served as the City’s board counsel for the Site Plan Review and Appearance Board, Historic Preservation Board, Code Enforcement Board, Board of Adjustment, Planning and Zoning Board and City Commission, guiding each body through the consideration of complex legal and controversial matters.

    In particular, Mr. Dutko worked closely with the City’s Planning and Zoning Department regarding the review and processing of applications for development in the City, which is widely regarded as one of South Florida’s premier locations. In addition to land development and zoning work, Mr. Dutko was a primary attorney responsible for the preparation of government contracts, review and drafting of solicitations for competitive procurements, ethics and Sunshine Law consultation, and labor and collective bargaining negotiations. Mr. Dutko was the City’s chief litigator in lawsuits arising during his tenure, including but not limited to writs of certiorari, negligence actions and ballot challenges.

    Prior to the City of Delray Beach, Mr. Dutko served as an Assistant State Attorney with the Palm Beach State Attorney’s Office. There, he gained significant and valuable jury trial experience in cases ranging from driving under the influence to first degree murder. While at the State Attorney’s Office, Mr. Dutko was selected to join the office’s Public Corruption Unit, leading a team of investigators and prosecuting complex crimes committed by public employees, police officers, and elected officials. In addition to numerous other high profile and highly publicized cases, Mr. Dutko led Palm Beach County’s first successful prosecution to trial verdict of violations of Florida’s Sunshine Law, involving a city commission’s attempt to secretly authorize unlawful payments to a city manager.

    • Business Development Board of Palm Beach, Member, 2021
    • Recognized as a Best Lawyer: Ones To Watch in Commercial Litigation and Government Relations by The Best Lawyers in America©, 2021 – 2022
    • Recognized as a “Florida Legal Elite: Up & Comer” by Florida Trend’s Florida Legal Elite™, 2021
    • Selected as a “Top Lawyer” by Fort Lauderdale Illustrated Magazine for Government Relations Practice & Land Use and Zoning Law, 2021
    • Listed in South Florida Legal Guide as a “Top Up & Comer” for Commercial Litigation,  2020 – 2021
    • Listed as one of the “FACES of Fort Lauderdale” in High-Stakes Litigation by Fort Lauderdale Illustrated Magazine, 2021
    • Listed as one of the “FACES of Fort Lauderdale” in Complex Commercial Litigation by Fort Lauderdale Illustrated Magazine, 2020
    • Recognized by The Daily Business Review’s Florida Legal Awards: Professional Excellence for the “On The Rise” Category, 2019
    • Listed in Attorney At Law Magazine as a “Superstar”, 2018


    • Columbia University School of Law, Juris Doctor, 2006
    • American University, Bachelor of Science, 2000
    • Massachusetts Bar, 2006
    • District of Columbia Bar, 2007
    • United States District Court for the District of Columbia, 2007
    • Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, 2009
    • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, 2010
    • District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals, 2013

    Eric Hager is a partner in the Firm’s Quito, Ecuador office. His practice includes transnational litigation, appeals, commercial litigation, securities & financial regulatory litigation, consumer finance litigation, general civil litigation, land use litigation, and trust litigation.

    Mr. Hager’s experience in complex litigation is varied. He has played key roles in diverse matters in a number of state and federal courts throughout the country and has managed multinational teams on difficult e-discovery and other discovery projects. Mr. Hager has represented a range of clients from the U.S. and abroad, including the former CEO of a publicly-traded company, small and mid-sized businesses, local governments, and non-profit organizations. He has also led or participated in appeals in multiple state and federal courts.

    Mr. Hager has years of experience working with liability and damages experts in high-stakes commercial litigation. He has also worked closely with experts on foreign law from Ecuador, Colombia and Peru in order to file declarations from foreign law experts in U.S. courts. Mr. Hager has represented clients seeking and opposing discovery in relation to foreign legal proceedings under 28 U.S.C. § 1782, which is a statute allowing litigants to obtain discovery related to foreign legal proceedings using the assistance of U.S. courts. An example of a successful request for discovery under Section 1782, done in conjunction with local counsel, is reflected in the magistrate’s report from In re Solines, No. MC 18-3680, 2018 WL 2225134 (E.D. La. Apr. 30, 2018). Also, Mr. Hager has assisted clients with requests for international judicial assistance, commonly referred to as letters of request or letters rogatory. In addition, Mr. Hager provides the firm’s Latin American clients with assistance in cross-border litigation and transactions.

    Mr. Hager has experience briefing a wide range of complicated legal issues. Representative issues include defenses to claims common to commercial litigation, such as claims for breach of contract, fraud, and tortious interference; choice of law, including between foreign and U.S. law; international comity, forum non conveniens, and other defenses typical in transnational litigation; statutory construction of state, federal, and foreign statutes; removal from federal court and remand to state court; the intersection of state property law and federal tax law; standing and capacity to sue; issue and claim preclusion; tolling of the statute of limitations and other timeliness issues; and procedural issues associated with a variety of pre-trial motions, including motions to dismiss, motions for summary judgment, discovery motions, and motions in limine. Mr. Hager also has experience arguing motions on complex issues before state and federal courts.

    Prior to focusing on commercial litigation and appeals, Mr. Hager spent over six years primarily representing the firm’s clients seeking to hold multinational corporations accountable for human rights abuses. In that role, he took and defended depositions abroad and in the U.S., obtained a reversal on a key issue from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, briefed numerous other appeals, and led discovery-related and other field work in remote regions of Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

    Before joining the Firm in 2009, he practiced as a commercial litigator, primarily working on consumer financial services matters in the Washington, D.C. office of a large national firm.

    Mr. Hager is fluent in Spanish, resides in Quito, Ecuador, and has traveled extensively throughout South America’s Andean region on business.

    • Listed as one of the “FACES of Fort Lauderdale” in Complex Commercial Litigation by Fort Lauderdale Illustrated Magazine, 2020
    • Columbia University School of Law, Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar
    • Columbia University Journal of Environmental Law, Articles Editor
    • Fulbright Scholar, Canada-U.S. Fulbright Program, September 2002 to May 2003