- Business Litigation
- Shareholder and Securities Disputes
- Employment Claims
- Contract Actions
- Deceptive Trade Practices Litigation
- Noncompete and Trade Secret Claims
- Professional Liability Disputes
- Healthcare Fraud
- Electronic Discovery
- Media and First Amendment Law
- Trademark and Copyright Litigation
- Corporate and White Collar Investigations
- Scott W. Atherton
- Lauren S. Atherton
- Michael McAuliffe
- L. Martin Reeder, Jr.
- Terence M. Mullen
- Brittany Tarazona
- Timothy W. Schulz
- Jon A. Jacobson
in malpractice and fraud-related litigation.
Professional Liability Disputes
Malpractice actions, breach of fiduciary duty claims, and regulatory inquiries can threaten both a professional’s livelihood and reputation. At AM&R, we leverage our complex litigation experience in diverse commercial practice areas to defend attorneys, accountants, officers, directors, and other fiduciaries in professional liability disputes, including the following:
- Legal Malpractice Actions
- Director and Officer Liability Disputes
- Accountant and Auditor Malpractice Claims
- SEC Investigations/Enforcement Actions
- Law Firm Break Up and Separation Disputes
- Conflict of Interest and Disqualification Claims
- Florida Bar Grievances and Related Proceedings
Professional Liability Experience
Although each case we handle is unique, and the results our lawyers have obtained were the product of many case-specific factors which may differ from your case, the following summarizes some of our lawyers’ prior experience and results:
Defense of a Chicago-based international law firm against malpractice claim seeking over $1 billion in economic damages where the plaintiff claimed an interest in two Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts which held the proceeds from the $2.65 billion sale of an oil and gas venture. The Court struck the plaintiff’s claims after a five day federal trial. The plaintiff’s trial counsel included Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, a former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and several large international law firms. See Leor Exploration & Production, LLC v. Aguiar, 2010 WL 3782195 (S.D. Fla. Sept. 8, 2010).
Trial counsel for attorney in connection with cross fraud-on-the-court motions relating to manipulated email evidence in a large commercial dispute. The main issue tried was whether the attorney we represented, or his opposing counsel, manipulated certain email evidence which had been presented at a summary judgment hearing by opposing counsel in support of economic damage claims in excess of $40 million. Following a four day trial, the court found, "by clear and convincing evidence, that either [the opposing party] or [opposing counsel] … fraudulently doctored the email.” See Palm Beach Florida Hotel v. Nantucket Enterprises, Inc., 2013 WL 686433 (Fla. Cir. Ct. Feb. 25, 2013). The court struck certain of the opposing counsel’s pleadings, and also awarded attorneys’ fees to our client.
Defended international New York-based law firm's Board of Directors against breach of partnership agreement, breach of fiduciary duty, and defamation claims asserted by five of the firm's former equity partners. Yueh-Mei Kim Nutter, P.A. v. Schober, 2011 WL 1474864 (S.D. Fla. Feb. 4, 2011).
Defended general counsel of biotech company in claims arising from joint venture to promote new pharmaceutical products in which plaintiffs sought $82 million in economic damages and alleged that the general counsel represented both sides of the joint venture transaction. Case settled on the tenth day of the federal jury trial after the court granted our motion to exclude the plaintiffs’ damages expert’s testimony.
Defense of malpractice claims, and prosecution of counterclaim for unpaid legal services, on behalf of national law firm. After obtaining partial summary judgment determining that the plaintiff was obligated to pay the firm approximately $415,000 in past due fees, costs, and interest, the plaintiff attempted to voluntarily dismiss his action to avoid the imposition of sanctions by the Court. After the plaintiff’s voluntary dismissal, the Court determined that it maintained jurisdiction to enforce certain sanctions against the plaintiff and the Court further ruled that the firm was entitled to prevailing party attorneys’ fees for prevailing on its counterclaim for unpaid legal fees. See White v. Buckingham Doolittle & Burroughs, LLP, 2010 WL 3823479 (Apr. 16, 2010).
Represented regional accounting firm in audit malpractice lawsuit brought by trustee of the audit client, an insolvent mortgage bank, alleging damages in excess of $20 million under a “deepening insolvency” theory.
Represented an audit engagement partner from a Big Four accounting firm in connection with responding to a SEC Wells notice arising out of the restatement of a national restaurant chain's financial statements; SEC ultimately decided not to initiate an enforcement proceeding against our client.
Represented an audit engagement partner in an SEC enforcement action arising out of alleged improprieties in the financial reporting by Sunbeam Corporation; case settled on favorable terms less than one month prior to trial.
Defense of accounting firm and its CPAs against claims that our clients were individually responsible for the tax positions taken in certain corporate tax payer’s returns. After a four day final arbitration hearing, which included the presentation of competing tax experts, the arbitrator found in favor of our clients and determined that they were not required to individually sign, or take personal responsibility for, the corporate tax returns in dispute.
Represented director of a Fisher Island, Florida condominium association in defense of a multi-million dollar tortious interference lawsuit brought by prospective developer of Fisher Island; obtained dismissal with prejudice based on litigation privilege. See Boca Investors Group, Inc. v. Potash, 835 So.2d 273 (Fla. 3d DCA 2003).