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Christina Harris Schwinn

Partner

Christina Harris Schwinn joined the Pavese Law Firm in 2005 and became a partner in 2009.  Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Schwinn served as the General Counsel and Senior Vice President of Legal and Legislative Affairs for HR Logic, Inc. and previously with The Vincam Group, Inc. (known today as ADPTotalSource).  Additionally, Ms. Schwinn worked for AIG Risk Management, Inc. where she held the position of National Vice President of Marketing for the Alternative Staffing Industry and worked on developing insurance products for the staffing industry, e.g. employment practices liability insurance plans.

Prior to becoming an attorney, Ms. Schwinn worked for a commercial bank and handled debt collection and loan workouts for both real estate and commercial loans.

Representative Experience

  • Litigated numerous lawsuits on behalf of both commercial and residential property owners associations to conclusion or settlement. 
  • Represented many employers in the defense of discrimination (including sexual harassment) and wage an hour claims brought by employees. 
  • Drafted declarations of condominium, declaration of covenants for homeowner association and cooperative documents.
  • Defended executives in noncompete litigation.
  • Successfully defended adverse agency actions brought by the State of Florida against clients for alleged license violations.
  • Represented clients against the State of Florida in matters involving rule challenges.

Community Associations

  • Drafted declarations of condominium, declaration of covenants for homeowner association and cooperative documents.
  • Covenant enforcement.
  • Alternative dispute resolution including arbitration and mediation. 
  • Contract negotiations with vendors providing services to associations. 
  • Defending fair housing discrimination complaints.
  • Handling complaints for those with professional licenses (real estate agents and community association managers).

Employment Law

  • Drafting employment agreements to include noncompete and severance agreements.
  • Drafting employee handbooks.
  • Advising client on matters of regulatory compliance with laws like the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act. 
  • Defending employment law complaints including, but not limited to, discrimination and wage and hour violations.
  • Advising clients on Anti-Discrimination, Medical Leave, and Wage and Hour laws.

Business and Corporate

  • Representing buyers and sellers in business and sales transactions.
  • Entity formation 
  • Contract negotiations.

Education

She has a Master of Laws in Employment Law from Atlanta’s John Marshall School of Law, a Master of Laws in Real Property Development and Finance Law from the University of Miami’s Graduate Law Program, a Juris Doctor degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School, and a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Nevada at Reno with a major in Criminal Justice and an undeclared minor in Psychology.

Publications

  • Article -Christina Harris Schwinn, Half-Time or Time and One-Half?  Recent Developments Deprive Employees of Their Rightful Overtime Compensation under the FSLA, Northeastern University Law Journal, Vol. 6 No. 2, 411-434.

Ms. Schwinn publishes and posts Articles on timely law topics to the Firm’s website on the Articles page.

Practice Areas

  • Business & Corporate
  • Civil Litigation
  • Condominium & Homeowners’ Association
  • Employment
  • Real Estate

Admitted to Practice

  • U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Florida
  • Federal District Court, Middle District of Florida
  • Florida State Court
  • Florida Bar

Education

  • Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, Master of Laws, Employment Law, LL.M.
  • University of Miami, Master of Laws, Real Property Development and Finance Law, LL.M.
  • Thomas J. Cooley Law School, Juris Doctor, Cum Laude
  • University of Nevada, Bachelor of Arts, Criminal Justice
  • Truckee Meadows Community College, Associates in Arts

Bar and Professional Association Memberships

  • Florida Bar
  • Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Committee
  • Florida Bar Condominium and Planned Unit Development Committee
  • Employment Law Committee
  • Lee County Bar Association
  • Florida Gulf Coast University Small Business Development Council (SBDC) Advisory Board, Past Board Member
  • Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida, Board Chair, 2017-2018, Board of Directors and Executive Committee Member
  • Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) SWFL, Director and Legislative Chair, 2014-2017
  • Lee County Alliance for the Arts, Member
  • Tiger Bay Club of Southwest Florida, Inc., Board Member
  • Rotary Club of Fort Myers, Member
  • Child Care of Southwest Florida, Inc., Past Board Member
  • Dress for Success SW Florida, Inc., Honorary Chair
  • Rotary Club of North Fort Myers, Member and Board Member

Community Service

  • Southwest Florida Community Foundation; Women’s Legacy Fund – Prima Donor Member
  • Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida, Inc., Board Member, Past Board Chair and Governance Committee Chair
  • Dress for Success SW Florida, Inc., Pro Bono Counsel
  • Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties, Inc.
  • PACE Center for Girls Lee County, Believe in Girls Society (BIGS), Member

Awards & Recognition

  • Apex Award Finalist
  • Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) SWFL Excellence Award
  • Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida’s Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida’s Over-the-Edge Achiever Award
  • Michaeline A. Doyle Volunteer Leadership Award from the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations
  • Robert F. Krinock Outstanding Senior Award from Thomas M. Cooley Law School