Here are some of our representative cases in a variety of practice areas:
Real estate and business litigation:
Waterview Towers Condo. Assoc, Inc v. City of West Palm Beach, et al., 232 So.3d 401 (Fla. 4th DCA Nov. 1, 2017). A condominium association sought a declaratory judgment to determine whether a proposed hotel development on condominium property violated height, depth, and width restrictions in the condominium documents. The trial court denied declaratory relief and assessed over $300,000 in attorneys’ fees against the association. On appeal, the association obtained the substantive declaration that it sought (that the restrictions applied).
In a companion appeal, the appellate court reversed the attorneys’ fees award because the underlying judgment was reversed. Waterview Towers Condo. Assoc, Inc v. City of West Palm Beach, et al., 238 So. 3d 846 (Fla. 4th DCA March 7, 2018).
Richard I. Clark et al. v. Soneet R. Kapila, Trustee, No. 18-15678-CIV-MORENO (S.D. Fla. Sept. 9, 2019). A trustee in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy sued Clark seeking to recover receivables that had been assigned to Clark as part of a factoring agreement. In the middle of the litigation, the law firm representing the trustee hired the sitting bankruptcy court’s live-in fiancé. This contact with and hiring of the Court’s fiancé was not disclosed to Clark or his counsel. The bankruptcy court entered a highly unfavorable judgment against Clark, including a requirement to pay attorneys’ fees. On appeal to the district court, the appellate court held that the judgment was required to be vacated due to the appearance of impropriety created by the hiring of the judge’s fiancé in the middle of the lawsuit.
Wortley v. Chrispus, 763 F.3d 1341 (11th Cir. 2014) – The Eleventh Circuit reversed an order denying Rule 60(b) relief based on newly discovered evidence. After the bankruptcy court denied a motion to dismiss, the movant obtained e-mails which conclusively showed that two of the movant’s business partners in a closely held LLC had conspired to file an involuntary bankruptcy against the corporation in order to force him to agree to “restructure” the company and thereby cede his voting interest. The Eleventh Circuit held that the involuntary bankruptcy was filed in bad faith and remanded for assessment of fees, sanctions, damages, accounting, and disgorgement of the filing parties’ ill-gotten gains.
Marshall-Beasley v. Beasley, 77 So. 3d 751 (Fla. 4th DCA Dec. 7, 2011) – the Fourth District affirmed a complex divorce judgment that was favorable to the former husband despite multiple challenges by the former wife, including challenges to the denial of permanent periodic alimony in a long-term marriage and the imputation of substantial employment income.
Hooker v. Hooker, 220 So. 3d 397 (Fla. March 30, 2017) – The parties went through a divorce trial. On appeal, the Fourth District reversed and upset the trial court’s equitable distribution rulings by $1 million, by holding that there was not “a preponderance of the credible evidence” to find donative intent to the former wife as to certain marital property. The supreme court granted review because the standard of review applied by the Fourth District was erroneous; the court reinstated the trial court’s judgment.