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Supreme Court Rejects Class Certification In Comcast Lawsuit

On March 27, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Comcast Corporation (“Comcast”) in an antitrust case brought by a group of its subscribers in the Philadelphia area on the basis of the group’s improper class certification. In Comcast Corporation v. Behrend, --- S. Ct. ----, 2013 WL 1222646 (U.S. Mar. 27, 2013). the Court held that issues of damages can preclude class certification, and that district courts must conduct a “rigorous analysis” of whether a group of plaintiffs satisfies the certification criteria under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, even if certain issues in the analysis are also addressed in the merits of the case. The decision provides companies with a substantial defense to class certification in antitrust cases.

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Categories: LitigationFederal LawFederal CourtsClass ActionsCivil ProcedureTortsAdministrative Law
Tags: Fort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Commercial Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation LawyersFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

Florida Supreme Court Narrows Privilege Protecting Attorneys from Tort Suits for Conduct or Comments Made in Litigation or Pre-Litigation Investigations

On February 14, 2013, the Florida Supreme Court handed down its decision in Delmonico v. Traynor, which was somewhat less than a Valentine’s Day card to lawyers around the State of Florida. Historically, a lawyer engaged in litigation and pre-litigation investigation of matters has enjoyed an absolute privilege that protects him or her from being sued in tort for comments made or conduct engaged in while handling the litigation on behalf of a client. Yesterday, the Florida Supreme Court articulated a new rule, concluding that when a lawyer is investigating a matter in litigation, but engages in ex parte communications with a non-party witness, comments made to that witness that result in harm to one of the parties are actionable in tort. The lawyer may not invoke an absolute privilege, but rather only a qualified privilege, provided the comments were related to the substance of the litigation.

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Categories: LitigationAppellate Law & PracticeTorts
Tags: Florida Supreme CourtJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaLaura K. WendellFort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Commercial Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation LawyersMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale Appellate Law AttorneysMiami Appellate Law AttorneysSouth Florida Appellate Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Edward G. Guedes

WSH Achieves Dismissal of High-Profile Case for City of Homestead

Last week, WSH Founding Member Joseph H. Serota and Partner Matthew H. Mandel achieved a significant victory for the City of Homestead in a high-profile case brought by a former city employee. Circuit Court Judge Jorge E. Cueto dismissed former city administrator Johanna Faddis’ lawsuit against the city and its elected officials finding that Faddis lied under oath multiple times and thereby forfeited her right to seek relief from the court.

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentLitigationTorts
Tags: Public EmployeesPublic EmployersGovernmental LitigationSpecial Counsel to Local GovernmentJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Commercial Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Commercial Litigation LawyerMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Employment Law AttorneysMiami Employment Law AttorneysSouth Florida Employment Law AttorneysFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Employment AttorneysFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Matthew H. Mandel & Brooke P. Dolara

Public Employees Alleging Sovereign Immunity Do Not Have To Wait for Lawsuits to Be Resolved to Appeal Non-Final Orders

On November 15, the Florida Supreme Court (the “Court”) unanimously ruled in Keck v. Eminisor, 2012 WL 5516053 (Fla. Nov. 15, 2012) that public employees do not have to wait until lawsuits are resolved to appeal non-final orders denying summary judgment based on claims of sovereign immunity.

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Categories: LitigationAppellate Law & PracticeTorts
Tags: Public EmployeesPublic EmployersGovernmental LitigationSpecial Counsel to Local GovernmentJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaLaura K. WendellMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale Appellate Law AttorneysMiami Appellate Law AttorneysSouth Florida Appellate Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

WSH Obtains Summary Judgment Against Local Hotelier, Preserving $36 Million Deficiency Judgment

On October 22, 2012, the Palm Beach County Circuit Court, Judge Lucy Chernow-Brown, granted a motion for summary judgment against an attempt by Shubh Hotels Detroit, LLC, Atul Bisaria, and Mihu Bisaria to collaterally attack a loan deficiency judgment in excess of $36,000,000 entered against them by a Michigan State Court. The Michigan judgment is in favor of United Central Bank, which is represented in Florida by Michael S. Popok and Eric P. Hockman.

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Categories: LitigationCivil ProcedureTorts
Tags: Jamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesEric P. HockmanMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaFort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Commercial Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation LawyersMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Eric P. Hockman

WSH Obtains Favorable Ruling From Florida Supreme Court in Wrongful Death Case

On September 14, 2012, WSH Partners Matthew H. Mandel, Edward G. Guedes, and Jamie A. Cole, obtained a favorable ruling from the Florida Supreme Court on behalf of the City of Boca Raton in a wrongful death action. The issue in the appeal was whether the police, after releasing an impaired person from their custody, owed a duty of care to that person. The Florida Supreme Court denied the plaintiff’s petition to have the Court review the favorable En Banc decision from the Fourth District Court of Appeal, which held that the police did not owe a duty of care. The entire panel of judges from Fourth District Court had reversed an earlier decision by 3 of its judges and affirmed the trial court’s dismissal of the plaintiff’s complaint.

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Categories: LitigationTorts
Tags: Governmental LitigationFlorida Supreme CourtJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation Attorneys
Author(s): Matthew H. Mandel

Plaintiffs Alleging Securities Fraud Face Difficulty Establishing Prima Facie Case

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued an opinion addressing what elements a plaintiff in a private securities fraud case must prove in order to establish a prima facie case. In Hubbard v. BankAtlantic Bancorp, Inc., 2012 WL 2985112 (11th Cir. Jul. 23, 2012), the Court held that the plaintiff had to prove loss causation, or that the plaintiff’s loss can be attributed to the defendants’ fraud and not ancillary factors unrelated to the defendant’s actions. The decision highlights the difficulty for most plaintiffs in establishing a prima facie case of securities fraud in a turbulent economic environment.

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Categories: LitigationFederal LawFederal CourtsTorts
Tags: Market Share LiabilityFort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Commercial Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation LawyersSouth Florida Private Transactions AttorneysSouth Florida Private Transactions LawyersFort Lauderdale Private Transactions AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysMiami Construction LawyerMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneySecurities and Exchange Commission
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

WSH Appellate Team Obtains Favorable Decision by Fourth DCA in Premises Liability Case

Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal today granted a petition for writ of certiorari filed by Publix Super Markets, Inc., and quashed a trial court order that had required the supermarket chain to turn over privileged work product documents prepared by its risk management team in connection with a premises liability incident. WSH's Appellate Practice Group  members Edward G. Guedes and Laura K. Wendell, represented Publix and took the unusual approach of asking the appellate court to engage in an in camera inspection of the privileged documents, since the documents represented evidence available to establish the applicability of the privilege. In adopting the appellate team’s argument, the Fourth District adopted a very favorable view of the privilege in premises liability cases, highlighting the practical realities that retailers face when these incidents occur on their premises.

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Categories: LitigationAppellate Law & PracticeTorts
Tags: Jamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaLaura K. WendellFort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Commercial Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation LawyersMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale Appellate Law AttorneysMiami Appellate Law AttorneysSouth Florida Appellate Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Edward G. Guedes

Florida Supreme Court Abrogates Joint Residency Rule, Gives Plaintiffs Greater Latitude in Selecting Venue

On March 15, the Florida Supreme Court held that a plaintiff suing defendants who reside in different counties is not limited by the “joint residency rule” and can sue in the county of his or her choice.

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Categories: LitigationAppellate Law & PracticeCivil ProcedureTorts
Tags: Florida Supreme CourtJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaLaura K. WendellFlorida LegislatureMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale Appellate Law AttorneysMiami Appellate Law AttorneysSouth Florida Appellate Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Litigation AttorneysMiami Litigation AttorneyNegligence
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

WSH Wins Appeal of Wrongful Death Case Before Fourth DCA

On February 22, WSH Partners Matthew H. MandelJamie A. Cole and Laura K. Wendell  obtained a favorable en banc decision on behalf of the City of Boca Raton in a wrongful death action from the Fourth District Court of Appeal.  The issue in the appeal was whether the police, after releasing an impaired person from their custody, owed a duty of care to that person.  Holding that the police did not owe a duty of care, the entire panel of judges from Court reversed an earlier decision by 3 of its judges and affirmed the trial court’s dismissal of the plaintiff’s complaint.

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Categories: LitigationLocal GovernmentTorts
Tags: Governmental LitigationMunicipal GovernmentSpecial Counsel to Local GovernmentVicarious LiabilityMitchell A. BiermanJamie A. ColeChad S. FriedmanEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaRichard Jay WeissLaura K. WendellDavid M. WolpinFort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysMatthew H. MandelMiami Appellate Law AttorneysSouth Florida Appellate Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsFlorida Litigation AttorneysMiami Litigation AttorneyNegligence
Author(s): Matthew H. Mandel & Brooke P. Dolara