facebook  linkedin 

Legal Milestones


The journey begins for Haile Shaw & Pfaffenberger as the firm represents the Apollo 15 crew members, Al Worden, Dave Scott and Jim Irwin, in a much-publicized effort to return to them the postal covers and commemorative stamps the crew took to the moon in the summer of 1971.

The firm served demand on the U.S. Government, NASA, the National Archives, the Justice Department and the President of the United States. Within months, the three Apollo 15 astronauts were invited to Washington where, at a formal ceremony in the Treaty Room of the Smithsonian, they received an apology and a return of their property. Upon settlement of the case, the astronauts donate the postal covers as artifacts.


Haile Shaw & Pfaffenberger opens its second office in North Palm Beach in the Golden Bear Plaza, also home to the firm’s high-profile client – Jack Nicklaus. Retaining its Palm Beach location, headed by David Shaw, the Palm Beach office represents the largest retail landlord, largest commercial landlord and largest real estate brokerage on the island. The firm’s reputation for vigilant protection of client confidentiality and keeping clients’ legal matters “under the radar” leads to the firm’s involvement in several of the largest estate deals in Palm Beach.


The firm represents 114 investors who bought hotel rooms marketed and sold as condominiums at The Brazilian Court Hotel in Palm Beach. The investors’ suit against Summit Savings Association and its successor, Sunbelt Savings, demands to rescind their purchases on the grounds that the hotel rooms are overpriced and illegally marketed. Haile Shaw & Pfaffenberger wins a $9 million settlement for the plaintiffs.


Representing South Florida Savings, Haile Shaw & Pfaffenberger wins the first “sick building syndrome” lawsuit in the U.S. When South Florida Savings tries to cancel its lease because some employees find mold growing in open wounds on their bodies, it is discovered that in response to the 1970s oil embargo, measures were taken to conserve energy and lower the amount of outside air coming into the building. The theory was that the more outside air coming into the building, the more energy required to cool. Standards for fresh air were dramatically reduced and without enough fresh air coming into the building, air stagnates, moisture levels grow, toxic mold begins to grow and employees’ respiratory systems are affected, and ultimately, the accumulation of mold in employees’ bodies caused dramatic illnesses.


The year of the “100 Year Storm.” The firm represents Jack Nicklaus in a suit brought by La Gorce Country Club in Miami, claiming its drainage problems are the result of Nicklaus’ course design. Haile Shaw & Pfaffenberger prevail because the course construction company failed to use the recommended pumping system and flooded during the storm.


Haile Shaw & Pfaffenberger wins a $2.4 million claim for a client against Merrill Lynch’s Vero Beach office in an arbitration case. The brokerage firm fails to execute instructions to sell Merck & Co. stock when it rose to $37 per share. The brokerage firm did not sell until a month later when the stock was $33.63 per share. The brokerage firm is found liable for breach of contract.

The firm represents Jack Nicklaus in what would become known as the largest jewelry scandal in the U.S. Jack Hasson, a North Palm Beach “jeweler to the stars,” defrauds his customers by passing off stones that are fake, flawed, filled, painted and even irradiated to bring out their color. Hasson settles out of court with Nicklaus after the firm sends a demand letter giving Hasson 10 days to make Nicklaus whole on the $1.5 million he spent on jewelry for his wife and family, ultimately collecting $1 million for the golfer. In 2000, a nine-count fraud and money-laundering indictment against Hasson results in a 40-year sentence.


Haile Shaw & Pfaffenberger represents the buyers of LTC Ranch in litigation involving a $25 million purchase contract. In spite of a signed contract, the seller tries to cancel the contract when the value of the land increases dramatically. In a very complex development and zoning case, a stalemate is hit when the seller demands $110 million for the property. An agreement is reached in March 2007 to split $90 million.


The firm represents two of the largest golf course development/residential communities in the area – The Bears Club and the Ritz Carlton.


William J. Pfaffenberger celebrates his 50th year as a member of The Florida Bar.


Haile Shaw & Pfaffenberger represents the former owner of radio station WRMF when a prominent radio personality attempts to ignore a non-compete contract covenant. The firm was successful in obtaining two favorable decisions for WRMF in the 4th District Court of Appeal upholding the covenant as well as damages and punitive damages.

The firm represents the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation to create a partnership with the Miami Children’s Hospital to improve pediatric health care in Palm Beach County.


Haile Shaw & Pfaffenberger represents WXEL management in the acquisition of the public TV station to return it to local control.


Haile Shaw & Pfaffenberger celebrates its 30th anniversary.


John F. Flanigan receives his 50 year pin from The Florida Bar for 50 years of dedication to the practice of law.


The firm expands its practice areas to include Nonprofit law.


Brad Jankowski joins the firm.

Haile Shaw & Pfaffenberger – When Legal Matters.

Legal Disclaimer