The firm has a long history and high level of experience in all types of commercial litigation. Such matters involve contract disputes, commercial transations, claims of fraud and corporate malfeasance. Complex litigation involving multiple parties and claims, sometimes resulting in multi-district litigation has been a firm forte for many years. Members of the firm have served as counsel to national and international organizations and companies facing litigation in Florida and as members of steering committees in complex litigation issues. These multi-jurisdictional cases allow the firm to exercise its litigation management skills for the client's benefit.
Attorneys Practicing in this Area
Betensky, Gary S. - Shareholder
Brumbaugh, John M. - Shareholder
Buckhalter, Georgia A. - Associate
Christensen, Bruce A. - Shareholder
Farach, Manuel - Of Counsel
Freire, Leora B. - Associate
Garcia-Linares, Manuel A. - Managing Shareholder
Greer, Alan Graham - Shareholder
Katzen, Diane Wagner - Shareholder
Myron, Adam M. - Associate
Naclerio, Steven - Of Counsel
Napoleone, Michael J. - Shareholder
Ponzoli, Jr., Ronald P. - Shareholder
Richman, Gerald F. - Shareholder
Romance, Mark A. - Shareholder
Shapiro, Lyle E. - Shareholder
Sodhi, Eric M. - Shareholder
Spoont, Joshua L. - Associate
Stypulkowski, Marta - Associate
Wall, Ethan J. - Associate
White, III., John "Jay" G. - Shareholder
Whittles, John R. - Shareholder
Featured Representative Cases
Following a three and a half week trial a jury awarded Richman Greer's client, American Somax Ventures, $8.6 million on its claims of breach of contract related to its development efforts at River Bridge in Greenacres, Florida.
In 1984, American Somax contracted with River Bridge Corporation, the developer of River Bridge and a wholly owned subsidiary of Mobil Land Development Corp., to be the exclusive builder of single-family homes in River Bridge. American Somax was guaranteed its exclusivity through a right of first refusal contained in its contract. The contract also required American Somax to designate River Bridge Realty Corporation, another wholly owned subsidiary of Mobil Land, as the exclusive agent for the sale of its homes. In 1986, American Somax began the construction of homes in Windward Isle, a subdivision within River Bridge.
From the beginning, American Somax and the builders of the multi-family product in River Bridge experienced difficulties with both River Bridge Corp. and River Bridge Realty. These problems included failure to construct adequate amenities in the community, failure to properly advertise and market the development as a whole and the communities specifically, and failure to have a properly trained sales force. These problems caused slower than anticipated sales in the entire River Bridge development. While American Somax and River Bridge Corp. projected that the 43 homes slated to be built in Windward Isle would be completely sold within 24 months, after 2 years, only 15 homes were sold.
When the builders complained about River Bridge Corp. and River Bridge Realty's breaches of its obligations, they agreed to hire an independent marketing consultant to evaluate the project as a whole. River Bridge Corp. required that the builders pay half of the cost to bring in the consultant. When the consultant - The Greenman Group - completed its analysis, it confirmed the builders complaints and pointed to the deficiencies of River Bridge Corp. and River Bridge Realty as the chief cause of the dreadful sales. Thereafter, it took River Bridge over two years to start implementing the changes recommended in the Greenman report.
At the same time the community was underperforming, River Bridge Corp. repeatedly refused to honor American Somax's right of first refusal to acquire all other parcels within River Bridge that were designated for single-family development. Instead, River Bridge Corp. treated American Somax's right as a "right of first offer". The key distinction is that in a right of first refusal American Somax had the right to acquire future parcels on the same terms and conditions as agreed to between River Bridge Corp. and another party; instead, River Bridge Corp. merely sent American Somax notices that parcels were being made available at certain prices and terms and insisted that American Somax acquire the property on those terms or waive its rights. American Somax's requests to be apprised of third party offers acceptable to River Bridge Corp. were ignored, and the property was sold to other builders. Ultimately, over 650 single-family homes were built in River Bridge by other builders in breach of American Somax's contract rights.
At trial, the jury determined that River Bridge Corp. breached the right of first refusal and that the breach resulted in substantial lost profits to American Somax; which profits would have been realized on the construction and sale of the other 650 homes in River Bridge which American Somax would have built had River Bridge Corp. not breached the right of first refusal provision of the contract. The jury also determined that River Bridge Corp. breached its obligation to construct amenities and that River Bridge Realty breached its obligations under the exclusive listing agreement; these breaches caused American Somax to suffer lost profits in its efforts to sell homes in Windward Isle. In total, the jury awarded American Somax $8.6 million dollars in damages, the exact amount sought.
Following the verdict, the trial court awarded attorney's fees to American Somax in the amount of $3.5 million as the prevailing party. In arriving at the amount of attorney's fees, the court considered the complexity of the case and the result obtained (which was every dollar sought by American Somax as damages) and awarded a contingency fee risk multiplier of 2.0 to the reasonable hours expended by Richman Greer on behalf of American Somax.
Elephant Group, a prominent marketing firm, initiated suit in state court against two former employees, both officers, for injunctive relief for breach of a non-compete agreement and for misappropriation and theft of trade secrets, and against the successor employer, for conspiracy to misappropriate confidential information. Simultaneously, both former employees commenced an arbitration proceeding against the company claiming close to $5M in damages for an alleged unpaid equity position in the company. Elephant’s secret investigation of one of the officers uncovered a suspicious transaction whereby the officer apparently realized personal profit while employed by a public company.
That finding caused the former officer to immediately settle with the company in both the state court proceeding and arbitration. Thereafter, the arbitration was resolved at mediation with the other former officer.
Defended and prosecuted claims by and against client, Janus Hotels and Resorts, Inc., relating to issues arising out of performance under numerous hotel management contracts. Settlement.
Defended client, L'Ambiance Beach Resort, Ltd., against claims brought by corporation with a contract that permitted it to operate a watersports concession on our client's property when the property was owned by a hotel. Trial court entered final summary judgment in favor of our client.
Successfully prosecuted clients' claims against former employer for non-payment of earned commissions. Also successfully defended clients against former employer's claims that clients violated non-competition agreements and misappropriated trade secrets. Obtained ruling from court that bifurcated the case to proceed to trial on clients’ claims of non-payment of contractual commissions before continued litigation of former employer's claims. Prevailed at trial on clients’ contractual claims, nullifying the claims of the former employer. Clients were awarded damages of $454,000 in unpaid compensation, with interest, in addition to attorney’s fees and costs of $1,181,000.
Representation of an out of state medical practice contesting long-arm jurisdiction over the proceeds of a defined benefits pension plan and trust.
Successful representation of 501 (c) (3) not for profit corporation in reversing the revocation of will and trust devise to a different not for profit
Successful defense of corporation at jury trial in breach of contract, conversion and business torts claims totaling over $20,000,000.
Representation of former trustee against charges of defalcation across two dozen cases, in and outside of bankruptcy court, and totaling $25,000,000.00.
Representation of the seller of real estate regarding the applicability of arbitration provisions in real estate disputes. Keyes Co. v. Spencer, 16 So. 2d 213 (Fla. 4th DCA 2009).
Representation of seller of real estate arising out a breach of contract that involved two appeals to the district court of appeal and the Florida Supreme Court, including making new law regarding payment of attorney’s fees. Swift v. Wilcox, 924 So. 2d 885 (Fla. 4th DCA 2006).
Representation of party enforcing payment under a real estate contract and established new law regarding waiver of the right of equity of redemption in settlement agreements. Rothschild Reserve Intern., Inc. v. Silver, 830 So. 2d 224 (Fla. 4th DCA 2002).
Representation of landowners in establishing that abandonment of a non-conforming use requires intent to abandon, and not merely the passage of time. City of Lake Worth v. Cook, 1 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 383 (Fla. 15th Cir.), aff’d, 626 So. 2d 1115 (Fla. 4th DCA 1993).
Representation of the beneficial owners under a nominee agreement in regaining their legal rights and placing the clients into full ownership, including through summary judgment and appeal, arising out of a complex, multi-million dollar real estate development.
Representation of numerous banks in litigation matters, including enforcement of loan obligations, fraudulent conveyances, bankruptcy matters, and E.F.T. disputes such as establishing the proper revocation of a wire transfer and return of the disputed funds to the corporate issuer of the wire, including representing lenders from lender liability claims, including in construction, loan origination and business dissolution cases.
Representation in significant complex foreclosure experience, including commercial foreclosure of notes and mortgages that lack indorsement to present lender.
Representation in the in the resolution of intra-business disputes, including litigation in the following industries: health care, construction, product manufacturing, transportation and communications.
Representation of numerous landlords in landlord-tenant matters, including two of the regional shopping malls in Palm Beach County.
Plaintiff Sunshine was formed along with its subsidiaries, Sunbelt Airlines, Inc. and Sunbelt Rent-A-Car, Inc., to engage in the passenger airline and automobile rental business (“business”). In order to obtain funds for the business, Plaintiff entered into a Subscription Agreement with Defendant LTS Business Trust (“LTS”) which provided that LTS would purchase 60,000 shares of Series A Preferred Stock at a price of $100 per share, for a total purchase price of $6,000,000, payable in the following manner: $60,000 at closing (July 29, 1993), $1,940,000 on August 6, 1993 and $4,000,000 on September 15, 1993. The last two payments were evidenced by two promissory notes executed on July 29, 1993. On June 26, 1993, Defendant Simpson, on behalf of LTS, signed a letter confirming the terms of the Subscription Agreement. On July 29, 1993, Defendant Jolly, as authorized trustee, signed the Subscription Agreement and two promissory notes on behalf of Defendants Simpson and LTS.
In addition, Defendants Simpson, LTS and Jolly presented a “Trust Receipt” from First National Bank Ltd. to Plaintiff which stated that LTS had deposited in said bank, $25,000,000 in government securities. The “Trust Receipt” was false, as it was never actually funded and was presented allegedly to deceive Plaintiff.
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Richman Greer has a diverse portfolio of clients both nationwide and throughout the world representative of a vast range of industries.