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Court Opinions

Published Cases by Westlaw in Which the Court Threw the Case Out of Court Via Dispositive Motion

•  Dent v. Giaimo, 665 F. Supp. 2d 1295 (S.D. Fla. 2009)

The firm represented a physician in a case alleging overtime violations pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 201 et seq. The Defendant runs a successful medical practice in Palm Beach County. The Plaintiff sued for back wages, liquidated damages, and attorney' fees under the FLSA.

The firm persuaded the Court to grant summary judgment in our client' favor after showing that the physician was not subject to the FLSA because his practice did not have two or more employees engaged in interstate commerce. See Dent v. Giaimo , 606 F. Supp. 2d 1357 (S.D. Fla. 2009). The Court rejected the Plaintiff' theory that having out-of-state residents as clientele or calling out of state insurance companies made it subject to the FLSA and entered summary judgment for the Defendant. After the grant of summary judgment in our client' favor, the firm was able to secure approximately $14,000 in attorney' fees ($7,170.00 pursuant to the Court Order and additional fees for litigating the attorneys' fees issue that are mentioned in the opinion) for the client, based on the court' finding that the Plaintiff' attorney had filed the case without ensuring FLSA standards could be met.

•  Murray v. Playmaker Services, L.L.C., 325 Fed. Appx. 873 (11th Cir. 2009)

The firm represented the Defendant (a manufacturer' representative for playground equipment) in an action alleging four counts of Fair Labor Standards Act violations and two counts under Florida wage statutes. The Defendant defended the case on the ground that the Plaintiff was an independent contractor who (by virtue of that status) had no cause of action under the FLSA or under Florida unpaid wage statutes. Florida Statutes § 448.08. The Defendant' motion for summary judgment was granted. Murray v. Playmaker Servs., L.L.C. , 512 F. Supp. 2d 1273 (S.D. Fla. 2007). Following the court' decision, the Defendant moved for attorney' fees on the ground that the case was frivolous or, in the alternative, the continued litigation of the case past the discovery stage was litigated after Plaintiff' counsel knew or should have known the case was frivolous. The motion for attorneys' fees was granted in part by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida in the amount of $23,375.00. Murray v. Playmaker Servs., L.L.C., 548 F. Supp. 2d 1378 (S.D. Fla. 2007).  The plaintiff appealed, but the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the sanctions against the plaintiff' attorney for vexatious multiplication of the proceedings.

•  Ortiz v. D & W Foods, Inc., 657 F. Supp. 2d 1328 (S.D. Fla. 2009)

The firm represented Defendant D & W Foods, Inc. (a family-owned restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, Florida) in an action under the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 201 et seq. Plaintiff was a waiter at a restaurant owned by the Defendants. The case was dismissed because the Plaintiff was not entitled to individual coverage under the FLSA and the Defendant was not subject to enterprise coverage under FLSA, because its gross, annual revenues did not exceed $500,000. In addition to successfully getting the case dismissed, the Defendant was awarded partial attorney' fees and costs after the court found that the Plaintiff' suit was frivolous.

•  Tesma v. Maddox-Joines, Inc., 254 F.R.D. 699 (S.D. Fla. 2008)

The firm represented the defendant in a suit alleging wage and overtime violations pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 201 et seq. The Defendants filed a motion to dismiss the case as frivolous and requested to convert the motion into one for summary judgment because the defendant had not employed the plaintiff during the statute of limitations provided for in the FLSA. The Plaintiff eventually conceded to the court that he had filed suit for a claim that was outside the statute of limitations and Plaintiff therefore moved for voluntary dismissal. The court granted the plaintiff' motion for voluntary dismissal with the stipulation that the plaintiff pay the defendants the reasonable costs and attorney' fees incurred while defending the claim.

•  Williams v. Signature Pools & Spas, Inc., 615 F. Supp. 2d 1374 (S.D. Fla. 2009)

The firm represented the defendant a local company that installs and services swimming pools. The plaintiff was an employee who brought suit under the Fair Labor Standards Act for alleged failure to pay overtime and retaliatory termination under 29 U.S.C. § 215(a)(3) of the FLSA. The Defendants moved to dismiss the case or in the alternative for summary judgment. The court granted the motion after finding that there was no enterprise coverage over the Plaintiff' claim, nor was the employee covered individually under FLSA. The court held that Defendant' business was not subject to FLSA just because they used supplies that had previously traveled in interstate commerce or that Plaintiff installed products that had previously traveled in interstate commerce.

•  Brillas v. Bennett Auto Supply, Inc., 675 F. Supp. 2d 1164 (S.D. Fla. 2009)

The firm obtained a summary judgment in favor of their client Bennett Auto Supply, Inc. in a case alleging violations pursuant to the overtime provisions under the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 201 et seq. Defendant, Bennett Auto Supply, Inc., sells auto parts and supplies on a wholesale and retail basis throughout the State of Florida. The Plaintiff held three positions with Bennett Auto: store manager, assistant store manager, and assistant store manager II. Suit was brought against the company after Plaintiff was discharged. The case had significant ramifications to the defendant because the company utilizes and has utilized the three different positions at many of its stores.

Bennett Auto successfully moved for summary judgment arguing that not only were all three positions exempt from FLSA coverage under the executive exemption but also the administrative exemption. Concerning the executive exemption, Bennett Auto was able to show that the Plaintiff' primary duty was management duties, he customarily directed the work of at least two other workers, and had input on the hiring and firing of employees. Concerning the administrative exemption, Bennett Auto was able to show that the Plaintiff had an office, non-manual labor position and regularly exercised discretion and decision-making on matter of significance. The entry of summary judgment was not appealed.

•  Monelus v. Tocodrian, Inc., 598 F. Supp. 2d 1312 (S.D. Fla. 2008)

The firm represented Tocodrian, Inc. which operated a local restaurant. The Plaintiff brought suit alleging overtime violations pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 201 et seq. , seeking unpaid overtime compensation, liquidated damages, costs, and attorney' fees. The defendant moved for summary judgment, which the court granted after finding that the defendant was not engaged in interstate commerce and thus was not subject to the FLSA. The court also held that regardless of the defendant' classification that the plaintiff did not work in excess of 40 hours.

•  Navarro v. Broney Automotive Repairs, Inc., 314 Fed. Appx. 179 (11th Cir. 2008)

The firm represented the Defendant, which is a local automotive repair business. The plaintiff was an employee who brought suit under the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 201 et seq., alleging unpaid overtime compensation. The Defendant moved for summary judgment because Defendant was not subject to the FLSA and the motion was granted. Navarro v. Broney Automotive Repairs, Inc., 533 F. Supp. 2d 1223 (S.D. Fla. 2008). The plaintiff appealed claiming that he was engaged in commerce because the automotive parts he used to repair the vehicles flowed in interstate commerce until the parts reached the customer. The court rejected this argument and found that the parts interstate activity ended when the parts reached the retailer' shop from which the Defendant purchased the parts. The Plaintiff taking those parts and placing them in customers' cars was purely intrastate activity and thus not subject to FLSA coverage. The Plaintiff filed a writ of certiorari with the Supreme Court of the United States which was summarily denied after the firm' Brief in Opposition was filed. See Navarro v. Broney Automotive Repairs, Inc., 129 S. Ct. 507 (2008).

•  Guzman v. Irmadan, Inc., 322 Fed. Appx. 644 (11th Cir. 2009)

The firm represented a small, family owned carpentry business in a suit alleging unpaid overtime wages against the company and owner pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 201 et seq. The plaintiff was a cabinet installer and assembler for the company. The plaintiff claimed he was an employee directly involved in interstate commerce due to the fact that he was sometimes sent to local hardware and retail stores to pick up items that had previously traveled in interstate commerce. The court granted the Defendant' motion for summary judgment finding that purchasing goods in Florida that had previously traveled in interstate commerce did not qualify as participating in interstate commerce. Guzman v. Irmadan, Inc., 551 F. Supp. 2d 1368 (S.D. Fla. 2008). The court had previously limited discovery to the issue of coverage under the FLSA and limited the plaintiff to approximately 34 days of discovery which greatly reduced the attorneys fees and costs in the case that were expended. See Guzman v. Irmadan, Inc., 2008 WL 926375 (S.D. Fla. 2008). The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeal affirmed the grant of summary judgment.

•  Gomez v. Vicky Bakery VIII, Inc., 2011 WL 1346887 (S.D. Fla. 2011)

The firm represented the Defendant which operates a local bakery. The Plaintiff was a cake decorator who worked at the company. The Plaintiff filed a claim alleging overtime violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 201 et seq., seeking back wages, liquidated damages, interest, attorney' fees and costs. The court granted the Defendant' motion for summary judgment finding that Plaintiff would not be able to meet the burden of proof that Defendant was subject to the FLSA under either the enterprise or individual coverage analyses, which the Plaintiff eventually conceded.

•  Rodriguez v. Marble Care Int'l, Inc., 2011 WL 918634 (S.D. Fla. 2011)

The firm represented the Defendant who is a local floor finisher. The plaintiffs were laborers who worked at the company. The Plaintiffs filed a claim alleging overtime violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 201 et seq., seeking back wages, liquidated damages, interest, attorney' fees and costs. The court granted the Defendant' motion for summary judgment finding that Plaintiffs would not be able to meet the burden of proof that Defendant was subject to the FLSA under either the enterprise or individual coverage analyses. The Defendants filed a motion for attorneys' fees and costs against Plaintiffs' counsel, as they believed that the case was completely frivolous. The General Master has recommended legal fees and costs totaling $7,480.00 be awarded to Defendant' counsel and such recommendation is subject to the review of the District Judge assigned to the case.

•  Rivera v. Fantastic Finishes Auto Body, Inc., 651 F.Supp.2d 1356 (S.D. Fla. 2009)

The firm represented the defendant (a local autobody repair shop) in a suit for overtime violations brought pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 201 et seq. The Defendant moved for summary judgment on the grounds that the Plaintiff did not meet the requirement for individual coverage under the FLSA and the Defendant did not meet the requirements for enterprise coverage. Plaintiff had argued the Defendant was subject to the FLSA based on the fact that parts used in the shop originated from out of state. The court found that the Defendant was not engaged in interstate commerce because all of the parts used within his body shop were purchased from local retailers or wholesalers and his shop only performs services within the state of Florida, and the business did not have gross revenue that exceeded $500,000 annually. Summary judgment was entered for the defendant. The Defendant moved for attorneys' fees and costs to be assessed against Plaintiff and his counsel, and the fee issue was resolved by the parties before it was ruled on by the Court.

•  Rozenblum v. Ocean Beach Properties, Inc., 436 F. Supp. 2d 1351 (S.D. Fla. 2006)

The firm represented the defendants who own and operate a local hotel in Miami Beach. The plaintiff was a night manager for the hotel and brought suit alleging overtime violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 201 et seq. The court granted the defendant' motion for summary judgment after finding that the plaintiff was subject to the FLSA overtime exemption for executives because during the relevant time period he had the ability to hire and fire other employees, customarily and regularly directed the work of two or more employees, was the sole manager present, and was therefore a manager not entitled to overtime.

•  Zarate v. Jamie Underground, 629 F. Supp. 2d 1328 (S.D. Fla. 2009)

The firm represented the defendant, a local business that provides ditch digging and cable burying services. The plaintiff was a laborer who filed suit alleging overtime violations pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 201 et seq. The court found that it was undisputed that the goods and materials used in the defendant' business were purchased and used locally, and that the Defendant did not provide any services out of state. The court rejected the Plaintiff' argument that the cables buried by defendant would eventually be connected to an interstate network and thus should qualify as engaging in interstate commerce. The court was not persuaded that Defendant' purely local activity could be deemed interstate commerce based on what the customer planned to use it for in the future. Defendant' motion for summary judgment was granted.

•  Lainez v. Francis Engineering, Inc., 2009 WL 3423035 (S.D. Fla. 2009)

The firm represented the defendant, a local business that provides the installation of fire sprinklers and related products in commercial buildings. The plaintiff was a laborer who filed suit alleging overtime violations pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 201 et seq. The court found that it was undisputed that the goods and materials used in the defendant' business were purchased and used locally, and that the Defendant did not provide any services out of state. The court rejected the Plaintiff' argument that the related materials were made out of state, when there was no proof of that that was so. The court was not persuaded that Defendant' purely local activity could be deemed interstate commerce. Defendant' motion for summary judgment was granted as to enterprise coverage. In Lainez v. Francis Engineering, Inc., 2009 WL 3334124 (S.D. Fla. 2009), the court had previously granted summary judgment in the defendant' favor as to individual coverage under the FLSA.

•  Martinez v. Mtel-One, Inc., 2009 WL 2014609 (M.D. Fla. 2009)

The firm represented the defendant, a local business that provides the installation of telecommunications wiring in commercial buildings. The plaintiff was a laborer who filed suit alleging overtime violations pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 201 et seq. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss the case on the ground that venue was not proper in the Middle District of Florida. The court dismissed the action on the ground of improper venue, holding that the case should be filed in the Southern District of Florida (the case was filed in the Middle District of Florida). The plaintiff' attorney withdrew from representation, and although the plaintiff vowed to find an attorney in the Southern District of Florida and re-file the suit there, the plaintiff never did, and now the statute of limitations has run on the claim.

•  Ali v. Prestige Window & Door Installation, L.L.C. , 2009 WL 927947 (S.D. Fla. 2009)

The firm represented the defendant, a local business that installed windows and doors in both residential and commercial buildings. The plaintiff was a laborer who filed suit alleging overtime violations pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 201 et seq. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that the Fair Labor Standards Act does not apply to it, because its gross annual sales volume never exceeded $500,000. The court found that it was undisputed that the FLSA did not apply to the defendant, and therefore granted the motion to dismiss.

•  Casseus v. First Eagle, L.L.C., 2008 WL 1782363 (S.D. Fla. 2008)

The firm represented the defendant, a local restaurant. The plaintiff was a worker in the restaurant who filed suit alleging overtime violations pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 201 et seq. The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment on the ground that the Fair Labor Standards Act does not apply to it, because its gross annual sales volume never exceeded $500,000. The court found that it was undisputed that the FLSA did not apply to the defendant, and therefore granted the motion for summary judgment.

•  Delisle v. LGY Corp., 2008 WL 1821518 (S.D. Fla. 2008)

The firm represented the defendant, a local restaurant. The plaintiff was a worker in the restaurant (a cook) who filed suit alleging overtime violations pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 201 et seq. The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment on the ground that the Fair Labor Standards Act does not apply to it, because its gross annual sales volume never exceeded $500,000. The court found that it was undisputed that the FLSA did not apply to the defendant, and therefore granted the motion for summary judgment. The court had previously limited discovery to the issue of coverage under the FLSA and limited the plaintiff to approximately 34 days of discovery which greatly reduced the attorneys fees and costs in the case that were expended. See Delisle v. LGY Corp., 535 F. Supp. 2d 1266 (S.D. Fla. 2008).

•  Herard v. ATN Restaurant, Inc., 2007 WL 4145879 (S.D. Fla. 2007)

The firm represented the defendant, a local restaurant. The plaintiff was a worker in the restaurant who filed suit alleging overtime violations pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 201 et seq. The defendant filed a motion for involuntary dismissal on the grounds that the plaintiff and his attorney had engaged in gross misconduct during the discovery period and sought attorneys fees and costs as sanctions. The court granted the motion for involuntary dismissal, and partially granted the motion for sanctions awarding part of the fees and the costs that were sought. For the orders concerning the issuance of attorneys fees and costs against the plaintiff and his attorney, see Herard v. ATN Restaurant, Inc., 2007 WL 4302703 (S.D. Fla. 2007) and Herard v. ATN Restaurant, Inc., 2008 WL 123596 (S.D. Fla. 2008).

•  Josendis v. Wall to Wall Residence Repair, Inc., 606 F. Supp. 2d 1376 (S.D. Fla. 2009)

The firm represented the defendant, a local business that engaged in residential and commercial remodeling. The plaintiff was a laborer who filed suit alleging overtime violations pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 201 et seq. The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment on the ground that the Fair Labor Standards Act does not apply to it, because its gross annual sales volume never exceeded $500,000 and because it did not employ two or more persons engaged in interstate commerce. The court found that it was undisputed that the FLSA did not apply to the defendant, and therefore granted the motion for summary judgment.  This case was affirmed on appeal in all respects, as the Eleventh Circuit issued a landmark opinion concerning the issues surrounding enterprise coverage.  See Josendis v. Wall to Wall Residence Repairs, Inc., 662 F.3d 1292 (11th Cir. 2011).

•  Joseph v. Nanak's Landscaping, Inc., 2007 WL 1238591 (S.D. Fla. 2007)

The firm represented the defendant, a local landscaping company. The plaintiff was a laborer for the company who filed suit alleging overtime violations pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 201 et seq. The defendant filed a motion to compel arbitration and stay proceedings, in order for the case to be removed from court and jury system, and brought before a private arbitrator, who would act as judge and jury.

•  Francisque v. Nanak's Landscaping, Inc., 2005 WL 5419062 (S.D. Fla. 2005)

The firm represented the defendant, a local landscaping company. The plaintiff was a laborer for the company who filed suit alleging overtime violations pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 201 et seq. The defendant filed a motion to compel arbitration and stay proceedings, in order for the case to be removed from court and jury system, and brought before a private arbitrator, who would act as judge and jury.

Federal Court Appeals

•  Murray v. Playmaker Services, L.L.C. , 325 Fed. Appx. 873 (11th Cir. 2009)

The firm represented the Defendant (a manufacturer' representative for playground equipment) in an action alleging four counts of Fair Labor Standards Act violations and two counts under Florida wage statutes. The Defendant defended the case on the ground that the Plaintiff was an independent contractor who (by virtue of that status) had no cause of action under the FLSA or under Florida unpaid wage statutes. Florida Statutes § 448.08. The Defendant' motion for summary judgment was granted. Murray v. Playmaker Servs., L.L.C., 512 F. Supp. 2d 1273 (S.D. Fla. 2007). Following the court' decision, the Defendant moved for attorney' fees on the ground that the case was frivolous or, in the alternative, the continued litigation of the case past the discovery stage was litigated after Plaintiff' counsel knew or should have known the case was frivolous. The motion for attorneys' fees was granted in part by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida in the amount of $23,375.00. Murray v. Playmaker Servs., L.L.C., 548 F. Supp. 2d 1378 (S.D. Fla. 2008). The plaintiff appealed, but the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the sanctions against the plaintiff' attorney for vexatious multiplication of the proceedings.

•  Navarro v. Broney Automotive Repairs, Inc. , 314 Fed. Appx. 179 (11th Cir. 2008)

The firm represented the Defendant, which is a local automotive repair business. The plaintiff was an employee who brought suit under the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 201 et seq. , alleging unpaid overtime compensation. The Defendant moved for summary judgment because Defendant was not subject to the FLSA and the motion was granted. Navarro v. Broney Automotive Repairs, Inc., 533 F. Supp. 2d 1223 (S.D. Fla. 2008). The plaintiff appealed claiming that he was engaged in commerce because the automotive parts he used to repair the vehicles flowed in interstate commerce until the parts reached the customer. The court rejected this argument and found that the parts interstate activity ended when the parts reached the retailer' shop from which the Defendant purchased the parts. The Plaintiff taking those parts and placing them in customers' cars was purely intrastate activity and thus not subject to FLSA coverage. The Plaintiff filed a writ of certiorari with the Supreme Court of the United States which was summarily denied after the firm' Brief in Opposition was filed. See Navarro v. Broney Automotive Repairs, Inc., 129 S. Ct. 507 (2008).

•  Guzman v. Irmadan, Inc., 322 Fed. Appx. 644 (11th Cir. 2009)

The firm represented a small, family owned carpentry business in a suit alleging unpaid overtime wages against the company and owner pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 201 et seq. The plaintiff was a cabinet installer and assembler for the company. The plaintiff claimed he was an employee directly involved in interstate commerce due to the fact that he was sometimes sent to local hardware and retail stores to pick up items that had previously traveled in interstate commerce. The court granted the Defendants' motion for summary judgment finding that purchasing goods in Florida that had previously traveled in interstate commerce did not qualify as participating in interstate commerce. Guzman v. Irmadan, Inc., 551 F. Supp. 2d 1368 (S.D. Fla. 2008). The court had previously limited discovery to the issue of coverage under the FLSA and limited the plaintiff to approximately 34 days of discovery which greatly reduced the attorneys fees and costs in the case that were expended. See Guzman v. Irmadan, Inc., 2008 WL 926375 (S.D. Fla. 2008). The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeal affirmed the grant of summary judgment.

•  Bussell v. Motorola, Inc., 127 S. Ct. 38 (2006)

In Bussell v. Motorola, Inc., 141 Fed. Appx. 819 (11th Cir. 2005), the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a grant by the lower court against Bussell on her claims of sexual harassment and retaliation. The firm filed a petition for certiorari review with the Supreme Court of the United States, which granted the certiorari petition, vacated the judgment against Plaintiff, and remanded back to the Eleventh Circuit.

State Court Appeals

•  Malin v. Town of Davie, Florida, 22 So. 3d 88 (Fla. 4th DCA 2009)

The firm represented the Defendant (a municipality in Florida) in an action brought by two plaintiffs (former police officers) alleging discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in violation of Florida' Civil Rights Act, Florida Statutes § 760.01 et seq.  Plaintiff testified that he was referred to as a "f------ Jewish pig", and that his co-plaintiff was retaliated and discriminated against for maintaining a friendship with Plaintiff. The Defendant' motion for summary judgment was granted. Malin v. Town of Davie, 2008 WL 2752707 (Fla. Cir. Ct. 2008).  Following the court' decision, the plaintiff appealed to the Fourth District Court of Appeal which affirmed the decision below.

•  McCarroll v. Van Dyk, 8 So. 3d 1256 (Fla. 4th DCA 2009)

The firm represented the Defendants (Safe Hurricane Shutter, Inc. and Francis McCarroll) in a collection action brought by a former employee. The suit was filed in Palm Beach County. Defendants moved for change of venue to Broward County, Florida. The circuit court judge in Palm Beach County denied the motion. The Defendants appealed, because they suspected that the Plaintiff really did not intend to litigate the case if it was transferred to Broward County. The Fourth District Court of Appeal held that venue was proper in Broward County, and therefore reversed the Palm Beach County judge.  After remand, the Plaintiff abandoned the case.

•  Brown v. Jenne, 941 So. 2d 447 (Fla. 4th DCA 2006)

The firm represented one of approximately ten (10) Defendants (Lt. Kenneth Swan) in a civil rights case brought under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1985 for wrongful death. Swan moved for dismissal on the ground that he was entitled to absolute immunity from suit under Florida Statutes § 768.28(9)(a) - this firm had previously obtained an order from a court holding that employees of governmental entities (such as cities and counties) are absolutely immune from such suits. Brooks v. Jenne, 2005 WL 5488060 (S.D. Fla. 2005). The circuit court granted the dismissal. The plaintiffs appealed, and the Fourth District Court of Appeal reversed, holding that § 768.28(9)(a) does not render employees of governmental entities absolutely immune from suit. Lt. Swan sought review in the Supreme Court of Florida, which denied review.

The case went back down to the trial court, and after further discovery, the circuit court granted Lt. Swan's motion for summary judgment on the ground of qualified immunity.  Brown v. Jenne, 2009 WL 3253820 (Fla. Cir. Ct. 2009). The Plaintiffs appealed, and the firm successfully defended that appeal, as teh grant of summary judgment in favor of the firm's client, Lt. Swan, was affirmed and upheld in all respects.  See Brown ex rel. Brown v. Jenne, 122 So. 3d 881 (Fla. 4th DCA 2012).

•  Arugu v. Division of Administrative Hearings, 1 So. 3d 187 (Fla. 4th DCA 2009)

The firm represented the Broward County Sheriff' Office in a discrimination and civil rights proceeding brought by a former employee Kenneth Arugu, who had filed a charge of discrimination alleging various violations of the Florida Civil Rights Act, Florida Statutes §§ 760.01 et seq.  After review of BSO' position statement contesting the allegations in the plaintiff' charge of discrimination, which set forth the percentage of minorities employed by BSO, the administrative agency issued a "no-cause" determination, meaning it found that plaintiff Arugu was not discriminated against. Because of this finding, Arugu could not file suit in court, but was limited to administrative remedies (a hearing before DOAH), which he pursued. At the DOAH, DOAH found in favor of BSO.  Arugu appealed, and the Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed the decision for BSO.

Published Cases by Westlaw in Which the Court Threw the Case Out of Court Via Dispositive Motion

•  Portales v. Another Beautiful Corporation, 2011 WL 1043663 (Fla. Cir. Ct. 2011)

The firm represented Defendant, Another Beautiful Corporation, in a case alleging pregnancy discrimination and whistleblower retaliation (for allegedly being fired after complaining about the employer wrongly recording telephone calls between sales associates and potential customers, pursuant to the Florida Civil Rights Act, Florida Statutes § 760.01 et seq., and Florida' Whistleblower Act, Florida Statutes § 448.101 et seq. The Defendant runs a successful modeling school and agency. The Plaintiff sued for compensatory damages, punitive damages, back pay, front pay, attorney' fees, and costs.

The firm defended the charge of discrimination filed with the EEOC, and obtained a "no-cause" determination (that is, a legal ruling from the administrative agency that there was no discrimination that occurred) from the agency investigating the plaintiff' allegations. This served to bar the plaintiff from litigating her pregnancy discrimination claim in court. Discovery revealed that while represented by counsel, the plaintiff told the EEOC that the sole reason for her termination was the fact that she was pregnant, and that she never even filed a charge of discrimination with the Florida Commission on Human Relations which is a prerequisite to bringing a claim under FCRA.

Discovery also revealed that there was nothing unlawful about the recording of the telephone calls (they contained the admonition that "this telephone call may be recorded . . . "), and the plaintiff did not even complain about any telephone calls being recorded until February, 2009, but she learned that she was going to be replaced in November, 2008.

The court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendant for all of the reasons listed and others. The defendant is deciding whether to seek attorneys' fees from plaintiff' counsel for the filing of a frivolous lawsuit.  The Plaintiff appealed the decision and lost, as the appellate court affirmed in all respects the grant of summary judgment in favor of the Defendant.  See Portales v. Another Beautiful Corp., 121 So. 3d 562 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2012).

•  Malin v. Town of Davie, Florida, 22 So. 3d 88 (Fla. 4th DCA 2009)

The firm represented the Defendant (a municipality in Florida) in an action brought by two plaintiffs (former police officers) alleging discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in violation of Florida' Civil Rights Act, Florida Statutes § 760.01 et seq. Plaintiff Malin testified that he was referred to as a "f------ Jewish pig", and that his co-plaintiff was retaliated and discriminated against for maintaining a friendship with Plaintiff Malin. The Defendant' motion for summary judgment was granted. Malin v. Town of Davie , 2008 WL 2752707 (Fla. Cir. Ct. 2008).  Following the court' decision, the plaintiff appealed to the Fourth District Court of Appeal which affirmed the decision below.

•  Brown v. Jenne, 941 So. 2d 447 (Fla. 4th DCA 2006)

The firm represented one of approximately ten (10) Defendants (Lt. Kenneth Swan) in a civil rights case brought under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1985 for wrongful death. Swan moved for dismissal on the ground that he was entitled to absolute immunity from suit under Florida Statutes § 768.28(9)(a)-this firm had previously obtained an order from a court holding that employees of governmental entities (such as cities and counties) are absolutely immune from such suits. Brooks v. Jenne , 2005 WL 5488060 (S.D. Fla. 2005). The circuit court granted the dismissal. The plaintiffs appealed, and the Fourth District Court of Appeal reversed, holding that § 768.28(9)(a) does not render employees of governmental entities absolutely immune from suit. Lt. Swan sought review in the Supreme Court of Florida, which denied review.

The case went back down to the trial court, and after further discovery, the circuit court granted Lt. Swan' motion for summary judgment on the ground of qualified immunity. Brown v. Jenne, 2009 WL 3253820 (Fla. Cir. Ct. 2009). The Plaintiffs appealed, and the firm prevailed on appeal for Lt. Swan, as the appellate court affirmed the grant of summary judgment.  See Brown ex rel. Brown v. Jenne, 122 So. 3d 881 (Fla. 4th DCA 2012).

•  Arugu v. Division of Administrative Hearings , 1 So. 3d 187 (Fla. 4th DCA 2009)

The firm represented the Broward County Sheriff' Office in a discrimination and civil rights proceeding brought by a former employee Kenneth Arugu, who had filed a charge of discrimination alleging various violations of the Florida Civil Rights Act, Florida Statutes §§ 760.01 et seq. After review of BSO' position statement contesting the allegations in the plaintiff' charge of discrimination, which, among other things, set forth the percentage of minorities employed by BSO, the administrative agency issued a "no-cause" determination, meaning it found that plaintiff Arugu was not discriminated against. Because of this finding, Arugu could not file suit in court, but was limited to administrative remedies (a hearing before DOAH), which he pursued. At the DOAH hearing, DOAH found in favor of BSO. Arugu appealed and the Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed the decision of BSO.

•  Sweat v. Town of Davie, Florida, 2007 WL 3234638 (Fla. Cir. Ct. 2007) (Damoorgian, J.)

The firm represented the Defendant (a municipality in Florida) in an action brought by the plaintiff (a former police officer) alleging sexual harassment and retaliation in violation of Florida' Civil Rights Act, Florida Statutes § 760.01 et seq. At the motion to dismiss stage, the firm was able to get the sexual harassment claim thrown out by the court. See Sweat v. Town of Davie, 2004 WL 5354051 (Fla. Cir. Ct. 2004). After discovery revealed that the plaintiff did not engage in any protected activity and that even if she had the decision-maker, the police chief, did not have knowledge of the alleged protected activity, the firm filed a motion for summary judgment which was granted by the court. No appeal was filed.

•  Brooks v. Jenne, 2005 WL 5432453 (S.D. Fla. 2005)

The firm represented the Defendant (the Broward Sheriff's Office and two employees) in an action brought by the plaintiff (a former police officer) pursuant to (42 U.S.C. §§ 1981, 1983, and 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. (Title VII), and pursuant to the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. (See Amended Complaint ¶ 5). The court had previously dismissed the claims brought against defendant Dansky under Title VII because such claims can only be brought against the employer. Brooks v. Jenne, 2005 WL 5488060 (S.D. Fla. 2005). The Plaintiff sue d Sheriff Jenne in his official capacity as Sheriff of Broward County and he sue d defendants Kohnke and Dansky in their individual capacities. Id. ¶¶ 2-3. Essentially, Plaintiff s ought to hold Sheriff Jenne liable vicariously for the actions of Kohnke and Dansky under § 1981, 1983, and Title VII, as a result of their investigation into Plaintiff' alleged Personnel and Policy Manual violations, which allegedly cast Plaintiff in a bad light and contained unfair inaccuracies. Id. ¶ 42. Count I of the Complaint was against Sheriff Jenne and Count II was against Dansky. The court dismissed the complaint for numerous reasons, including qualified immunity, absolute immunity, and the failure to properly plead § 1983 claims. No appeal was filed in this case.

•  Smith v. Sheriff Jenne, 2005 WL 5375369 (S.D. Fla. 2004)

The firm represented the Defendant (the Broward Sheriff's Office) in an action brought by the plaintiff (a former police officer) in which the plaintiff filed a Complaint alleging employment discrimination (brought pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII", 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq.), breach of contract (common law), breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing (common law), wrongful discharge (common law), intentional infliction of emotional distress (common law), and fraud, deceit, and misrepresentation (common law). No appeal was filed in this case. The court dismissed the complaint for numerous reasons.

Decisions Not Published by Westlaw Which Involve the Firm Ending the Case Dispositively

•  Tropical Aviation v. Broward County, Case No. 04-60416-PCH (S.D. Fla. 2005)

The firm represented the defendant after the p laintiff (a company with a lease to operate an airplane hangar at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport) filed this action against Sheriff Jenne and BSO employee Robert Sierra in the Circuit Court in and for Broward County, Florida, pursuant to one federal statute (42 U.S.C. § 1983), the Florida Constitution, and the United States Constitution, arising out of an alleged illegal search and seizure. [D.E. 1].  The plaintiff sued Sheriff Jenne in his official capacity as Sheriff of Broward County and it sued Sierra in his individual capacity.  Essentially, Plaintiff s ought to hold Sheriff Jenne liable vicariously for the actions of Sierra under § 1983, as a result of an illegal search and seizure, because there we re no allegations in the Amended Complaint concerning the sheriff doing anything unlawful or improper. This case was removed to federal court. Count I of the Amended Complaint was against Sheriff Jenne, and sought a permanent injunction against Sheriff Jenne from engaging in any illegal searches. Count II sought damages against Sheriff Jenne for the alleged illegal search and seizure. Count III sought damages against Sierra, and there was an allegation that Sierra had been enjoined from illegally searching the plaintiff' hangar in state court .

Discovery revealed that the plaintiff misrepresented that it obtained a restraining order against defendant Sierra, and the court, in part because of this fraud, dismissed the case. [D.E. 50]. The court gave the plaintiff the option of voluntarily dismissing the case, or the court would dismiss the case involuntarily and require the plaintiff to reimburse the defendant for all attorneys fees expended in the case. The plaintiff chose the former.

•  Bellamy v. Broward Sheriff' Office, Case No. 99-07435-DMM (S.D. Fla. 1999)

The firm represented the Defendant (the Broward Sheriff's Office) in a claim alleging race discrimination under 42 U.S.C. § 1981 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. Plaintiff was employed as a police officer. [D.E. 1]. The firm filed a motion for involuntary dismissal because the plaintiff engaged in discovery fraud. [D.E. 30]. The plaintiff, after discovery, could not establish that there was any race discrimination, and agreed to dismiss the case without receiving any compensation. [D.E. 44, 45].

•  Hite v. Hollywood Imports Ltd., Inc., d/b/a Hollywood Honda Case No. 98-06894-WJZ (S.D. Fla. 1998)

The firm represented one of the Defendants (the manager of a car dealership), in a claim alleging race discrimination brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1981. Plaintiff was employed as a car salesman by the defendant. [D.E. 1]. The plaintiff failed to follow pretrial deadlines after his co-workers received an unfavorable jury verdict in Andrews v. Hollywood Imports Ltd., Inc., d/b/a Hollywood Honda, Case No. 97-07525-CIV-ZLOCH (S.D. Fla.). [D.E. 44]. Thereafter, the plaintiff agreed to dismiss his case, and the court accepted the dismissal. [D.E. 45, 46].

•  Adelson v. Brooks Boatworks, Inc., Case No. 07-14218-DLG (S.D. Fla. 2007)

The firm represented the Defendant Brooks Boatworks, Inc. in a claim alleging overtime violations and retaliation pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 201 et seq. Plaintiff was employed as a worker at a local boat painting and maintenance business in Riviera Beach, Florida. [D.E. 1]. The firm filed an answer and affirmative defenses on behalf of the defendants, because the corporate defendant did not have gross annual revenue that exceeded $500,000, and thus was not subject to the FLSA. [D.E. 7]. The plaintiff, after discovery, could not establish that the defendant' gross annual revenue exceeded $500,000, and agreed to dismiss the case receiving no money. [D.E. 29, 34].

•  Pielech v. Independent Education Corp., d/b/a Key College, Case No. 04-10700(05)-Richard Eade (Broward County, Florida)

The firm represented the Defendant, which is a college. Plaintiff filed a one-count Complaint against Ronald H. Dooley (the Dean of the college) on June 30, 2004 alleging that Plaintiff was terminated from his employment and was still owed $975.00 for his last week of work, plus 12 hours of unpaid wages. (Complaint ¶ 23). Plaintiff entitled this one count, "Claim for Unpaid Wages Against the Employer", and sought recovery under Florida Statutes § 448.08. Mr. Dooley moved to dismiss the Complaint on July 13, 2004 for failing to state a cause of action in that a claim for unpaid wages should be brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act (the FLSA preempts the state wage claim) and § 448.08 does not allow for the recovery of unpaid wages (it pertains to the recovery of attorney' fees to the prevailing party in an action for unpaid wages).

The firm on behalf of Mr. Dooley set the hearing on the Motion to Dismiss for August 11, 2004.  Plaintiff then, unilaterally and without conferral with undersigned counsel, filed a three-count First Amended Complaint against the college raising an entirely new claim, and simultaneously noticed four depositions. That filing rendered moot the legal sufficiency of the original complaint, because it was superceded via the filing of an amended complaint. Vanderberg v. Rios, 798 So. 2d 806 (Fla. 4th DCA 2001). The three-count First Amended Complaint contained allegations of breach of contract, quantum meruit, and a violation of the Florida Whistleblower Act against the college. The Whistleblower Act claim alleged that IEC 1) falsified student grades; 2) falsified student attendance records; 3) falsified course schedules; 4) falsified faculty lists; 5) engaged in fraud in connection with student loans; and 6) sexually harassed students. (See First Amended Complaint ¶ 15). The court dismissed the first, second, and third complaints, because the plaintiff could not state a cause of action.