Firm News 2016

Daniela Abratt to Coach FIU Moot Court Team at Price International Media Law Moot Court Competition

Daniela Abratt, an Associate at DLD Lawyers’ Coral Gables office, has been selected to serve as a coach for the Florida International University College of Law moot court team at the Price International Media Law Moot Court Competition. Ms. Abratt will help the six-student team prepare for oral arguments at the regional round in New York City, where they will compete against teams from across the United States, Caribbean, and Latin America. If the team advances out of the regional round, they will travel to the University of Oxford, United Kingdom to compete in the international round against teams from countries across the globe, including India, the Philippines, Egypt, Ukraine, and Nigeria.

When Ms. Abratt was a third-year law student at FIU, she participated in this competition and argued as a finalist in the regional competition in New York. She and her team then advanced to the international round in Oxford where they placed third overall out of 35 teams.

The goal of this competition is “to foster and cultivate interest in freedom of expression issues and the role of the media and information technologies in societies around the world.” This year’s case involves issues of political expression and laws that limit such expression, protests, and the power of social media as to a tool to disseminate speech. The students will argue before a distinguished panel of lawyers, judges, academics, and practitioners from the media industry.

December 23, 2016

Jose Rojas and Angel Castillo Defeat Legal Malpractice Claim

Jose I. Rojas, a partner at DLD Lawyers, along with Partner Angel Castillo, represented a prominent Miami attorney and his law firm in defending a lawsuit alleging legal malpractice filed by a former client, a real estate developer, and its two principals, whose business dealings went sour in South Florida during the Great Recession. The lawsuit, potentially for millions of dollars in damages, was filed in the Florida state circuit court in Miami in 2015. The matter was dismissed with prejudice, resulting in a complete win for the client at the trial court level. The win was reported by DRI in the And the Defense Wins feature of its monthly newsletter, The Voice.

December 22, 2016

“Reno Acted with Integrity, Honor and Grace,” a commentary by George Yoss and Gregory Victor for the Daily Business Review

In the aftermath of the passing of Janet Reno, November 7, 2016, the Daily Business Review published a commentary written by Firm partner, Gregory Victor, along with his fellow former prosecutor, George Yoss, which discusses the virtues of Janet Reno and the many challenges and successes of her tenure as Miami-Dade County State Attorney during the highly volatile and crime-ridden period of the late 1970s and 1980s.

The full article can be found at http://www.dailybusinessreview.com/home/id=1202771719697/Reno-Acted-With-Integrity-Honor-Grace?mcode=1202617073880&curindex=4&slreturn=20161008090343

November 8, 2016

DeMahy Labrador & Drake Joins NextLaw Global Referral Network, Will Connect Clients to Top Tier Legal Talent Around the World

DeMahy Labrador & Drake (DLD Lawyers) today announced it has joined Nextlaw Global Referral Network, enabling it to connect its clients to high quality lawyers around the world. Nextlaw Global Referral Network is the largest legal referral network in the world, with 283 member firms, 18,600 lawyers covering 160 countries.

DLD Lawyers’ managing member, Frank L. Labrador, said, “By joining Nextlaw Global Referral Network, we can now provide our clients with the best of all worlds by continuing to serve them where we currently have offices, while also being able to direct them to top tier lawyers in other jurisdictions where they need legal counsel and business advice. We can build on our trusted relationships with our clients by putting the full resources of the global, legal powerhouse at their disposal.”

Jeff Modisett, Nextlaw Global Referral Network CEO said, “We’re proud to have DLD Lawyers as part of our network. We’re only as good as the quality of our member firms and DLD Lawyers makes us stronger and better able to meet the needs of our other members’ clients throughout Florida.”

Nextlaw Global Referral Network was created by Dentons, the largest law firm in the world. The network employs a detailed screening system to guarantee the quality of its member firms and has developed proprietary technology to allow members to identify lawyers at other member firms with the appropriate experience where clients need legal counsel.

DLD Lawyers is a minority-owned and diverse civil trial firm established in 1984, committed to the delivery of exceptional legal services to major corporations and insurance industry. We represent large and mid-sized national companies as well as local emerging companies with unique and varied needs. We are responsive to those needs in a collaborative, creative, and economical manner leading to consistently satisfied clients. DLD Lawyers has over 24 attorneys, with collectively over 1000 jury trials, 100 non-jury trials or arbitrations, and 5,000 plus trial days. DLD Lawyers and the majority of our partners are rated AV-Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell and recognized by Best Lawyers. Many of our partners have been selected as Super Lawyers in South Florida.

DLD Lawyers has offices in Coral Gables (Miami-Dade), Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.

General & Products Liability | Construction | Professional Liability | Directors & Officers | Labor & Employment | Insurance Coverage including Bad Faith & Extra Contractual Liability | Property & Casualty | Intellectual Property & Technology Law | Toxic Tort & Environmental Litigation | Commercial Litigation | Appeals

About Nextlaw Global Referral Network

Nextlaw Global Referral Network is the client focused legal referral network created by Dentons, the world’s largest law firm. Nextlaw Global Referral Network is the largest legal network in the world, open to all high-quality law firms regardless of size and does not grant geographic exclusivity to its members. This enables the network to connect clients of member firms to the best lawyers with the appropriate experience in the locations where clients need legal counsel. The network utilizes a proprietary technology platform to help member firms research, contact and rate the performance of network members in order to guarantee that clients receive the highest quality legal advice and business solutions.

About Dentons

Dentons is the world’s first polycentric global law firm. A top 20 firm on the Acritas 2015 Global Elite Brand Index, the Firm is committed to challenging the status quo in delivering consistent and uncompromising quality and value in new and inventive ways. Driven to provide clients a competitive edge, and connected to the communities where its clients want to do business, Dentons knows that understanding local cultures is crucial to successfully completing a deal, resolving a dispute or solving a business challenge. Now the world’s largest law firm, Dentons’ global team builds agile, tailored solutions to meet the local, national and global needs of private and public clients of any size in more than 125 locations serving 50-plus countries.

October 25, 2016

Defense Win in Virginia

Michael James Crist, a partner at DLD Lawyers in Fort Lauderdale, successfully argued a motion for summary judgment in a mesothelioma case pending in Virginia. The Plaintiff claimed exposure to crocidolite (asbestos) products allegedly sold or distributed by the Defendants in 1973. The defense pursued several avenues including the location and deposition of multiple coworkers, the examination of construction records, and collection and analysis of corporate records from multiple sources.

Ultimately, it was the later that proved most effective at the motion stage. Through an extended analysis of over 60-years of mergers, acquisitions, asset sales, names changes, and corporate transactions, he was able to establish through both direct and secondary sources that his client bore no legal responsibility for actions of the company identified in depositions. To untangle the corporate web of historical transactions, thousands of pages of ancient records were summarized, referenced, and explained in a graphic manner. One expanded chart showed every corporate transaction, its evidentiary basis, and its legal effect on the transfer of liabilities. The second chart streamlined and simplified the first chart, showing just the resulting lines of corporate succession and liability. The combination of charts helped to make the confounding, clear, and the complex, simple.

This victory followed his successful arguments before the Georgia Court of Appeals (Fletcher v Water Applications) on an issue of first impression in a take-home asbestos case.

Michael Crist is a partner at DLD in Florida, but handles cases nationally for multiple clients in asbestos, products liability, and general litigation matters.

September 28, 2016

Defense Win

DLD Lawyers represented a prominent Miami attorney and his law firm in defending a lawsuit alleging legal malpractice filed by a former client, a real estate developer and its two principals whose business dealings went sour in South Florida. The lawsuit, potentially for millions of dollars in damages, was filed in the Florida state circuit court in Miami in 2015. We filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiffs’ Complaint and, after oral argument, the Circuit Judge granted our motion. The judge allowed the plaintiffs an opportunity to correct their pleading defects by filing an Amended Complaint. Thereafter, the plaintiffs filed an Amended Complaint, this time attaching over 100 pages of documentary exhibits. Again we moved to dismiss. At a lengthy hearing held in late August, 2016, the Judge concluded that the allegations of the pleadings and the exhibits attached did not provide any basis to claim that our clients had committed legal malpractice or done anything wrong, and that any economic damages suffered by the plaintiffs had been “self-inflicted.” The Judge granted our motion to dismiss the Amended Complaint, this time with prejudice, meaning that the plaintiffs can not try to amend their pleading again. The judge said that in his view it would be futile for plaintiffs to try to file another amended complaint. Partners, Jose I. Rojas and Angel Castillo, Jr., represented the defendant in this win.

September 13, 2016

DLD Lawyers Congratulates José Rojas, Partner

DLD Lawyers is excited to congratulate Jose Rojas on his appointment to serve as Vice Chair of the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel’s Diversity Committee. The Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel (FDCC) is a very prestigious and selective organization composed of recognized leaders in the legal community who have achieved professional distinction, and is dedicated to promoting knowledge, fellowship, and professionalism of its members as they pursue the course of a balanced justice system and represent those in need of a defense in civil lawsuits.

Mr. Rojas is AV-rated and possesses over 35 years of experience in complex civil litigation and intellectual property. He concentrates his practice in resolving or trying non-medical professional liability cases, complex insurance and business lawsuits, international commercial disputes, and intellectual property and technology-related matters. Mr. Rojas has served as outside “risk management” counsel to several clients in South Florida and has substantial “in-the-trenches” experience trying complex cases before juries, arbitrators, and state and federal judges.

August 22, 2016

“The Take Home Tort – Fueled By Asbestos” By Michael Crist

In the June 2016 Issue of DRI’s Strictly Speaking, Michael Crist was the author of the featured article, entitled, The Take-Home Tort – Fueled by Asbestos. Asbestos litigation is a 40-year-old, billion-dollar litigation beast with an insatiable appetite for Plaintiffs, Defendants, and viable jurisdictions. This article provides a nationwide analysis and compendium of the on-going struggles with take-home asbestos cases, and the various analytical rubrics by which liability is considered.

June 17, 2016

NAMWOLF Business Conference, New Orleans

On February 22, 2016, Jeanne Crandall chaired two panels sponsored by the NAMWOLF Financial Services Practice Area Committee in the NAMWOLF New Orleans Business Conference. The first panel addressed the highly controversial “Fiduciary Rule” now adopted by the Department of Labor which applies to more than $3 million in retirement assets. This rule requires brokers, investment advisers, and others who “recommend” investments for retirement accounts to act in the best interests of their clients and disclose all conflicts of interest (such as higher fees and commissions on certain products) when recommending investments. Previously, IRA accounts were not covered by any fiduciary rule.

Jeanne also moderated the panel discussion on “ E-Discovery in light of the December 1, 2015 Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.” The amendments are a significant change from previous rules applicable in federal court.

March 18, 2016

“Formaldehyde – The Next Asbestos?” by Michael Crist

In the November 2015 Issue of DRI’s For the Defense magazine, Michael Crist provided a detailed analysis of a new wave of formaldehyde toxic tort litigation in “Formaldehyde – The Next Asbestos?” The article provides a primer for potential litigants by identifying the potential pool of plaintiffs and defendants, analyzing the quantum and nature of exposure pathways, reviewing recent regulatory and scientific developments, highlighting the nature of the expert work up required to buttress defense positions, and then setting forth those defense positions in a clear framework. While this article is specifically focused upon formaldehyde, the methodology and litigation analysis applies to all mass tort cases.

March 16, 2016