Leonard J. Dietzen, IIILeonard Dietzen concentrates his practice on the representation of private and public sector employers in all aspects of Labor and Employment Law. From consulting with clients to representing them in administrative proceedings and litigation, Leonard’s practice encompasses the full spectrum of activities attendant to the employment relationship.

Fluent in the state and federal statutory scheme pertaining to labor and employment matters, Leonard is a frequent and sought after speaker on employment issues. He is often asked to speak at trade association meetings and invited to make presentations to public and private employers alike.

With a traditional labor background, Leonard represents employers who face claims brought under the Florida Public Employee Relations Act. His practice includes assisting employers with union grievances and collective bargaining. He has experience negotiating union contracts for law enforcement agencies, school boards and counties.

Leonard has litigated claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act including those alleging discrimination based on race, religion, gender, national origin and pregnancy. He has represented employers in cases brought under the Age Discrimination and Employment Act (ADEA), the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the Florida Civil Rights Act, Chapter 760. He has represented clients in public sector whistle blower claims, workers’ compensation retaliation claims as well as state and federal constitutional claims and claims brought under 42 U.S.C. Section 1981, 1983 and 1985. Leonard’s clients have included healthcare providers, sheriffs, cities, school boards, police departments, counties and the State of Florida.

A significant portion of Leonard's practice is in education law.  He is the school board attorney for the Suwannee County School Board and provides legal counsel to numerous other school boards and charter schools in Florida. He is well versed in the state and federal statutes governing the employment relationship.

Leonard has represented law enforcement agencies throughout the state of Florida for more than twenty-five years.  He has defended police chiefs and sheriffs in employment and civil rights claims in both federal and state courts.   Leonard has also defended complex use-of-force, wrongful death and false arrest claims.  Mr. Dietzen is General Counsel to the Florida Police Chiefs Association and is a frequent lecturer at their conferences on a wide variety of topics.

  • Education

    Florida State University, College of Law - J.D., with honors , 1989
    University of Central Florida - B.A., Economics, cum laude , 1986
  • Honors

    • Listed in Florida Super Lawyers, Employment & Labor, 2012- 2017
    • Listed in Florida Trend Legal Elite 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015
  • Bar Admissions

    • Florida (1990)
  • Court Admissions

    • U.S. District Court of Florida (Southern, Middle, Northern)
  • Professional & Civic Activities

    • Florida Educational Negotiators
    • Florida School Board Attorney Association
    • Tallahassee Area Chamber of Commerce
    • Education Law Association
    • Florida Association of Police Attorneys
  • Articles & Presentations

    • Presenter, "Florida Public Records: What Now?" Florida Police Chiefs' Association Tallahassee, June 2016
    • Presenter, "Florida Public Records: What Now?" Florida Police Chiefs' Association Winter Park, June 2016
    • Presenter, "Impasse Dos and Don'ts," Florida Educational Negotiators 36th Annual Conference, May 2016
    • Presenter, "Grievance and Arbitration," Florida Educational Negotiators 36th Annual Conference, May 2016
    • Presenter, "Public Records and Sunshine Law Update," Florida School Board Association Ethics Training 2016, May 2016
    • Presenter, "How Understanding What a Public Record Is Can Prevent Expensive Lawsuits," Preferred Governmental Claim Services Training, March 2016
    • Presenter, "Labor Laws Facing Chief of Police and Florida's Public Records Law," Florida Police Chiefs Association STARS New Chiefs Training Seminar, March 2016
    • Speaker, "Thoughts on Business Development," Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell Associates, February 2016
    • Presenter, "Responding to Your Union's Endless Requests for Documents During Collective Bargaining," Florida Educational Negotiators General Membership Meeting, February 2016
    • Presenter, "Impasse: The Do's and Don'ts" and "Grievances and Arbitration," Florida Educational Negotiators 36th Annual Conference, May 2016
    • Presenter, "Public Records and Sunshine Law Update", Florida School Boards Association, December 2015
    • Presenter, "Training for Educational Leaders", Baker County School Board Administration, November 2015
    • Presenter, "Public Records and STARS Training for Administrative Assistant Professionals", Florida Police Chiefs Association, October 2015
    • Presenter, "Why Bargaining Backwards Is a No-Win Situation", Florida Educational Negotiators General Membership Meeting, September 2015
    • Presenter, "Public Records and STARS Training for Administrative Assistant Professionals", Florida Police Chiefs Association, August 2015
    • Presenter, "Public Records and Sunshine Law Update", Florida School Boards Association Ethics Training, August 2015
    • Presenter, "Body-Worn Cameras: Proceed with Caution", Florida Municipal Attorneys Association, July 2015
    • Presenter, "Body-Worn Cameras: Proceed with Caution", Florida Police Chiefs Association, June 2015
    • Presenter, "Tips to Avoid Employment Lawsuits and FMLA Update", Madison County and Public Risk Insurance Agency (PRIA), June 2015
    • Author, "Body-Worn Cameras for Law Enforcement Officers – Caution While Blazing a Trail", Law and Order The Magazine for Police Management , June 2015
    • Presenter, "Grievance and Arbitration", 35th Annual Spring Training Program The Florida Educational Negotiators, May 2015
    • Presenter, "Impasse Dos and Don’ts", 35th Annual Spring Training Program The Florida Educational Negotiators, May 2015
    • Presenter, "Body-worn Cameras Proceed with Caution", Public Risk Underwriters, March 2015
    • Speaker, "Hot Issues in Public School Collective Bargaining", Florida Educational Negotiators, February 2015
    • Presenter, "Labor Laws Facing the Chief of Police", Florida Police Chiefs’ Association, February 2015
    • Author, "Body-Worn Cameras for Law Enforcement Officers: Many Questions, Few Answers", Florida Sheriffs Risk Management Fund E-newsletter, Winter 2015
    • Author, "Body-Worn Cameras for Law Enforcement Officers: Many Questions, Few Answers", Florida Police Chiefs’ Association Red Alert to all members, January 2015
    • Presenter, "Public Records and Sunshine Law Update", Ethics Training Florida School Boards Association, December 2014
    • Co-Author, "New Red Light Camera Case Stops More Than Just Traffic ", October 2014
    • Presenter, "How to Save Agency Money: Don’t Get Sued!", Florida Police Chiefs’ Association, September 2014
    • Presenter, "Recent Public Records Legislation and Related Judicial Review: The Impact upon Florida School Districts", 34th Annual Spring Training Program The Florida Educational Negotiators, May 2014
    • Presenter, "Ethics Training Florida School Boards Association", 34th Annual Spring Training Program, May 2014
    • Presenter, "Public Records and Sunshine Law Update", Ethics Training Florida School Boards Association, May 2014
    • Presenter, "Administrator Training", Suwannee County School Board, March 2014
    • Presenter, "Best Practices in Electronic Communications", Florida Police Chiefs’ Association, January 2014
    • Presenter, "Public Records and Sunshine Law Update", Ethics Training Florida School Boards Association, December 2013
    • Presenter, "Collective Bargaining Dos and Don’ts", North East Florida Educational Consortium, October 2013
    • Presenter, "Public Records Update", Ethics Training – Florida Association of District School Superintendents , September 2013
    • Presenter, "Labor Law for Advanced Chief", Florida Police Chiefs’ Association, August 2013
    • Speaker, "Legal Expectations for the Chief (Ethics, Integrity and Transparency)", Summer Conference Florida Police Chiefs’ Association, June 2013
    • Presenter, "Financial Urgency: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly", 33rd Annual Spring Training Program Florida Educational Negotiators, May 2013
    • Presenter, "Public Records and Email Pitfalls", Spring Conference – Florida Association of District School Superintendents, March 2013
    • Presenter, "Tips for Avoiding Employment Lawsuits", Panhandle Training (to all employees) Public Risk Insurance Agency, February 2013
    • Webinar Presenter, "Collective Bargaining Dos and Don'ts." The webinar sponsored by the Florida Police Chiefs Association and hosted by the Center for Florida Local Government Excellence. July 2012.
    • Presenter, "Hot Topics in Collective Bargaining" to the Florida Educational Risk Management Association in Sarasota, FL, July 2012
    • Presenter, "Public Records" to the Florida School Finance Officers' Association in Melbourne, FL, June 2012
    • "Social Media and Off-Duty Conduct of Public Employees," PGIT Newsletter, January 2012
    • "Public Records," Annual Mid-Winter Training, Police Chiefs Association, January 2012
    • "Social Media: Why the Time to Adopt a Policy is Now!" 66th Annual Joint Conference, Florida School Board Association, November 2011
    • "Bullying in the Electronic Age," Florida School Board Attorneys' Association, August 2011
    • "Impasse & Beyond: How the Process Works," Annual Conference Florida School Finance Officers Association, June 2011
    • "What You Need to Know About the Officers' Bill of Rights," Mid-Winter Training Conference, Florida Police Chiefs Asociation, January 2011
    • "Public Employee Collective Bargaining in Florida: Playing the Game to Win," Florida School Finance Officers Associations, November 2010
    • "Lifting Lid on Pandor's Box (re: Impact of City of Ontario v. Quon," Orlando Sentinel, May 28, 2010
    • "The U.S. Supreme Court Announces New Rule for First Amendment Free Speech Cases: Public Employee Whistle-blowers Need Not Apply", Florida Bar Journal
    • “Strategies for Preventing Sexual Harassment Liability”, Jim Moran Institute
    • “When Bringing a Florida Civil Rights Act Claim Let the Plaintiff Beware,” , Florida Bar Labor Section Check-Off Publication
    • Deputy Court Clerks Can Now Collectively Bargain, Who’s next?, Florida Bar Journal
    • How to Prevent Sexual Harassment Claims, Tallahassee Area Chamber of Commerce

Jurisdictions

  • Florida

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