AXS Law Group | A-Litigation & Dispute Resolution-Complex
20670
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LITIGATION & DISPUTE RESOLUTION

Who We Are

We thrive on variety, flexibility, and creativity. Our broad experience provides us with unique insights as to the best strategy to pursue for each new matter. Evidence shows that creative contributions depend on the breadth, not just depth, of knowledge and experience. For that reason, we have never specialized in a particular area, and we do not do the same case from the same side time after time after time. Rather, we represent both plaintiffs and defendants in a wide variety of matters. We know what motivates each side and we understand our opponent’s case as well as our own. This informs our strategy from beginning to end. That’s why we win.

What We Do

While we handle a wide range of high-stakes litigation,  including personal injury, defamation, and class actions, our most extensive experience has been in the business arena, handling complex business litigation, cross-border disputes, and employment matters. For a sampling of the matters we have handled, please click on the links on the left.

Complex Litigation & Arbitration

We have defended  dozens of class actions in dozens of states in the country. We have done so successfully, winning all on motions to dismiss, class certification, or summary judgment, and settling only after significant victories in court. A sampling of the matters we have handled include:

  • Successfully defended consumer products company in deceptive advertising class actions filed in Colorado, North Carolina, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, California, and Washington D.C.
  • Successfully defended hospitality company in class action seeking $1 billion in damages. Obtained dismissal of the complaint and negotiated de minimus settlement during.
  • Obtained summary judgment for pharmaceutical company in class actions alleging that marketing of its anti-depressant invaded patient privacy and challenging numerous aspects of the marketing of pharmaceutical products to physicians.
  • Successfully defended major mutual insurance company in class actions seeking payment of policy dividend, obtaining entry of summary judgment and prevailing on appeal.
  • Successfully defended major wireless carriers in a series of eight national class actions claiming deceptive or inadequate disclosure of various billing practices. Defeated motions for class certification and obtained dismissal of actions.

When companies and their boards are sued by their shareholders, it is important to retain counsel experienced in protecting the board and disposing of the claims quickly and effectively. We have done so for a variety of companies, including:

  • Successfully defended independent directors of pharmaceutical company in shareholder derivative actions challenging a $50 million bonus paid to the company’s officers and directors.
  • Successfully defended independent directors of pharmaceutical company in a securities class action alleging violations of Sections 11 and 15 of the Securities Act arising out of alleged improper recognition of revenue and “channel stuffing.”
  • Successfully defended special committee and independent directors of real estate financing company in shareholder class actions in Delaware and Florida seeking to enjoin the $3.8 billion acquisition of the Company.
  • Successfully defended officers and directors of alternative energy company in federal and state court securities actions by minority shareholder challenging the price of a merger, sale of subsidiaries, executive compensation packages, and the disclosures in the proxy.
  • Successfully defended medical supply company’s CEO and Chairman in two securities class actions alleging violations of Sections 10(b) and 20 of the Exchange Act arising out of alleged Medicare fraud.

Sometimes a merger or an acquisition is challenged by a shareholder or a competing bidder. And sometimes one party seeks to terminate the deal. Such situations call for experienced counsel that can guide the company through either negotiations or the court proceedings. Our experience includes:

  • We assisted the target in negotiating the dissolution of a merger agreement without litigation.
  • We successfully represented the winning bidder for life insurance servicing company and defeated last minute bid by a notorious and aggressive hedge fund that tried to kill the deal by claiming the bidding procedures were unfair and offering to double bid.
  • We successfully defended the independent directors of a real estate financing company in shareholder class actions seeking to enjoin the acquisition of the Company.
  • We successfully defended the officers and directors of an alternative energy company in actions by shareholders challenging the price of a merger, sale of subsidiaries, executive compensation packages, and the disclosures in the proxy.
  • We successfully represented prominent developer in an action seeking blocking the sale of a national hotel and restaurant brand to a competitor.

When corporations and their boards are confronted with with allegations of wrongdoing by their directors, officers or other employees, it is important to have counsel that can help the board act quickly to investigate the matter and develop a strategy that satisfies the potentially competing interests of the shareholders, the board, the management, and potentially the government, and who can pursue that strategy in court or before various government agencies. We have successfully advised and defended companies and their boards in a wide variety of such matter, including:

  • Represented audit committee of international construction company in investigation of foreign corrupt practices in various Central and South American countries. Resolved matter with no charges being filed and no penalties imposed.
  • Represented audit committee of medical supply company in investigation of fundraising improprieties and diversion of corporate assets.
  • Represented management of public pharmaceutical company in wide ranging special committee investigation into potential securities law violations.
  • Successfully defended SEC investigation of insider trading at health maintenance organization resulting in the SEC deciding not to charge the client with any wrongdoing.
  • Successfully defended CEO of technology firm in US Attorney investigation into manipulative trading, pump and dump gypsy swap schemes, resulting in no charges being brought against the client.
  • Successfully defended independent directors of pharmaceutical and securities companies in SEC investigations of insider trading. Charges were filed and client prevailed on all counts.
  • Successfully defended medical supply company in DOJ investigation of fraudulent billing practices resulting in non charges being filed.

The law of defamation dates back to the Ten Commandments: “Thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” Today, in Florida, the “personal interest in one’s own good name and reputation surpasses economics, business practices or money. It is a fundamental part of personhood, of individual standing and one’s sense of worth.”  Lawnwood Med. Ctr., Inc. v. Sadow, 43 So. 3d 710, 729 (Fla. 4th DCA 2010).   In fact, Florida law provides an “unusually high protection of personal reputation,” and the “history of Florida law makes clear that that liability alone for intentionally malicious defamation per se will support substantial punishment in punitive damages.”

We have prosecuted and defended defamation actions on behalf of both individuals and multi-national companies.

We successfully represented a number of prominent Miami real estate brokerage firms in numerous litigations and arbitrations arising from the financial crises, including recovering millions of dollars in unpaid commissions from developers of major condominium projects.

We have also represented owners of properties involved inactions with contractors for cost overruns and scheduling delays resulting in tens of millions in damages.

Our attorneys also are experienced in negotiating and closing loan sales, discounted pay-offs, loan modifications, REO sales, and deed-in-lieu of foreclosure transactions. We have successfully advised lenders, borrowers, owners, and purchasers through the complex legal and business issues of a distressed real estate transaction.

Start up companies have focused needs. They face all the legal issues of established companies, plus more, but with less infrastructure and resources. Moreover, any litigation is potentially high stakes for start-ups, and it must be dealt with quickly and decisively. Our experience includes:

  • Guided the board of a start-up company providing an internet platform for electronic medical records through shareholder disputes, including termination of founding shareholder’s role as CEO.
  • Successfully defended start-up company developing mobile banking and cell phone payment technology in a number of actions seeking to prevent shareholders from manipulating restricted trading shares.
  • Represented a start-up social media company in dispute with technology service provider and successfully negotiated resolution without litigation.
  • Successfully defended start-up engineering company in patent dispute with a founding partner. Brought in three months before trial, our investigators uncovered devastating evidence that ended the matter favorably and promptly.
  • Represented start-up consumer products company in negotiating the termination of an acquisition agreement.

Intellectual property may be your most valuable asset. Many forms of business information can be classified as trade secrets, including valuable blueprints, non-public test data, training manuals, designs and models, research products, marketing programs, financial data, business strategies, recruiting techniques, customer information and purchasing programs. AX-S lawyers are adept at developing strategies that protect these assets. We identify areas of business information that can be classified as trade secrets, develop trade secret protection policies, and draft confidentiality agreements for use with third parties.

Trade secrets, trademarks and copyrights all can be lost if a business is not proactive about protecting them. When an infringement or misappropriation occurs, AX-S takes swift and aggressive action to enforce your rights, prevent further damage, and recover compensatory and punitive damages.

  • Represented former CEO of major cruise line in a case based upon the misappropriation of a novel business idea for launching a new cruise company using only best in class assets. The case generated tremendous publicity and was settled amicably at the end of discovery.
  • In a patent dispute, we were retained three months before trial, and one month before the close of discovery, we conducted a thorough investigation, won an order finding waiver of the attorney client privilege, obtained production of privileged documents, deposed all of the principal witnesses, and settled the case with no money changing hands and a covenant never to sue defendants again.
  • Successfully represented private hospital chain in trademark infringement case.
  • Successfully defended shareholder and vice president from claims that he breached a non-competition clause and stole company trade secrets.

Cross Border Disputes

Our arbitration practice has taken us to Bangkok, Hong Kong, Moscow, London, Sardinia, Kenya, Colombia, Canada, and Mexico. Arbitration is an excellent way to resolve sensitive private disputes out of the public court system as well as, for defendants, to gain a level of predictability that is sometimes not available in a state court system. Some examples of our matters include:

  • Representing smart phone manufacturer in a partnership dispute.
  • Prosecuted claims by Moscow-based company against Canadian and American entities involving mining rights in excess of $100 million.
  • Prosecuted claims by American company against Canadian companies for failure to pay millions of dollars in commodities shipped from Russia.
  • Prosecuted ICC claims on behalf of European and African software distributors against American software providers.
  • Defended Asian governmental authority in $60 million construction dispute.
  • Advised American and Swiss companies on expropriation and fair treatment claims under NAFTA and various bilateral investment treaties.

Treaties and federal statutes provide certain foreign parties with a right to seek discovery in the United States. This can be an extremely powerful tool for gathering sensitive and potentially damaging information for companies and individuals even when such discovery is not available in the foreign jurisdiction. We have succeeded in obtaining this international discovery and depositions on behalf of the foreign parties and also successfully challenged international discovery petitions on behalf of our American companies resisting. When it is necessary to gather evidence in foreign jurisdictions, we have obtained evidence from abroad through The Hague Convention and other international discovery methods. When effectively utilized, this evidence can have a profound impact on the outcome of the case.

We work with a team of retired federal agents (from the FBI, DEA, ICE, and Secret Service) who conduct our investigations both in this country and abroad. We have supervised investigations throughout South and Central America, the Caribbean, Mexico, Canada, Italy, Romania, Russia, the Philippines, and throughout the United States. These investigations can turn up critical evidence that otherwise would not be as available through traditional discovery tools. Such evidence, which our opponents are unaware we have, can be used with devastating effects in depositions and trials. Indeed, we have won cases and forced highly favorable settlements on the strength of such investigative evidence.

Employment & Non-Competition Litigation

AXS represents employers and employees across a wide range of industries. We offer preventive counseling and litigate all facets of employment disputes. We counsel clients on non-competition agreements and other restrictive covenants, confidentiality agreements, severance agreements, and anti-discrimination laws. On behalf of employers, we bring actions to protect company trade secrets, enforce confidentiality agreements, and defend against claims of wrongful termination.

Representative employment-related matters include:

  • Successfully defended life insurance company in defamation and wrongful termination cases, obtaining judgment as a matter of law.
  • Successfully defended pharmaceutical company in defamation and wrongful termination cases, negotiating favorable settlement after deposing the plaintiff and filing the summary judgment motion.
  • Obtained summary judgment for transportation company in age discrimination case.
  • On behalf of employee, defeated motion for preliminary injunction seeking to enforce non-competition clause and prevailing at trial.
  • Prosecuted claim for theft of confidential customer lists by former employee, resulting in favorable settlement.
  • Successfully prosecuted claim for usurpation of corporate opportunity by publicly traded Russian company against former agent.
  • Successfully defended hospitality company in class action seeking $1 billion in damages. Obtained dismissal of the complaint and negotiated de minimus settlement.

Intellectual Property Litigation

A company’s most valuable assets are it intellectual property – its trade secrets, trade marks, copyrights, customer lists and patents.  We have experience protecting this property in a wide variety of matters.  In one case, when we were retained three months before trial, and one month before the close of discovery, we conducted a thorough investigation, won an order finding waiver of the attorney client privilege, deposed all of the principal witnesses, and settled the case with no money changing hands and a covenant never to sue defendants again.  We also represented a former CEO in an action against the Virgin Group for misappropriation of a novel business idea, which case was widely reported in the press.

Mortgage Repurchase Litigation

We have defended loan originators and mortgage lending affiliates for major homebuilders in multiple lawsuits brought by plaintiffs alleging loan defects in connection with their purchase of residential mortgage loans. Our representation has included complex securities litigation where the court has consolidated actions against our clients with several other defendants. In these types of cases, in addition to various loan-level defenses, we focus on establishing defenses related to statute of limitations, causation, materiality, and standing. We have achieved significant victories through favorable settlements and dismissal of cases by filing dispositive motions, including:

 

  • Voluntary dismissal of a federal action for breach of contract against mortgage originator after gaining favorable concessions during the deposition of the plaintiff.
  • Representation of mortgage lending affiliates for major homebuilders in defense of multiple lawsuits brought by the FDIC as Receiver for AmTrust Bank relating to alleged loan defects in connection with separate mortgage loan portfolios. As a result of our substantial efforts, our clients were able to successfully settle the cases at mediation for a small fraction of what was being sought, well below settlements obtained by other defendants in identical cases brought across the country.
  • Defended mortgage companies accused of breaching their contract with Residential Funding Company (“RFC”) by selling RFC bad loans that contributed to its bankruptcy in sprawling lawsuit in Minnesota federal court.
  • Counsel to several mortgage lending companies affiliated with nation’s largest homebuilders in various actions brought by Lehman Brothers alleging breach of contract and seeking indemnification for loan defects.

Construction Litigation

We are experienced construction litigators and represent owners, contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and design professionals in disputes arising out of projects throughout Florida. The firm represents clients in all types of construction lawsuits, including claims for breach of contract, breach of express or implied warranties, construction defect, construction delay, and malpractice.