Leonard J. Dietzen, III

Leonard 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.

Exclusively representing management, Leonard routinely consults with employers on the development, application and implementation of policies and procedures which can help them avoid employment related claims and the disruption which they can cause. 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 elections and collective bargaining. He has experience negotiating union contracts for law enforcement agencies, school boards and counties.

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 board and charter schools in Florida. Well versed in the state and federal statutes governing the employment relationship, 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, 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.

Leonard has represented law enforcement agencies throughout the state of Florida for more than twenty 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.  He also provides advise to the Florida Police Chiefs Association and is a frequent lecturer at their conferences on a wide variety of topics.

Outside of litigation, he is a frequent speaker to management on employment issues and public records 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 2012, 2013
    • Listed in Florida Trend Legal Elite 2011, 2012, 2013
  • Bar Admissions

    • Florida (1990)
  • Court Admissions

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

    • Tallahassee Area Chamber of Commerce
    • Federal Bar Association
    • Florida Bar Association
      • Labor and Employment Section
      • Governmental Law Section
    • Education Law Association
    • Florida Association of Police Attorneys
  • Articles & Presentations

    • 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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