Practice/Industry Group Overview
GrayRobinson's litigation department is committed to providing powerful representation throughout the State of Florida.
We have experience at every level of the court system, including all state and federal courts through the appellate level to the U.S. Supreme Court and the Federal Court of Claims. We seek creative solutions for our clients. As part of our client-centered approach we attempt to evaluate all available options to resolve disputes. These options include arbitration, mediation, negotiation and other creative, but less obvious, solutions. We work promptly, efficiently and cost-effectively with persistence, determination and tenacity.
We have developed a team approach to litigation, in which we assemble a team of lawyers and other professionals to ensure that our clients receive sound advice and the strongest possible representation. When necessary, and with client approval, attorneys from other practices within the firm are consulted regarding specific issues with which they have experience, such as tax and securities matters or environmental and land use issues. Finally, we have developed relationships with experts in Florida and throughout the nation to provide added depth and perspective to our legal services. Realizing the difficulties of other controlling outside expenses, such as experts, we have developed detailed policies for dealing with experts and work closely with our clients to ensure the appropriate expert is chosen to meet their needs. This team approach is a hallmark of the GrayRobinson law firm, and is particularly evident in our litigation department.
To ensure our team approach is also cost-effective, we explore and utilize alternative billing strategies often proposing a blended rate that allows us to assemble the strongest possible force for the case at an hourly billing rate consistent with the client's fee expectations. We are always willing to discuss result driven arrangements if a case merits such a strategy.
We have the resources and personnel to handle the most complex cases. Our client service includes a computerized document control system that we developed to manage complex litigation. We frequently use demonstrative graphs, charts, models and the latest cutting edge technology if necessary to properly present our clients' cases to facilitate understanding of complicated matters. We employ the latest communication and legal research technology to save our clients time and money in research, through on-line document sharing and other information exchange. Our computer system can further work in real-time with our clients and staff, promoting secure extranet sharing of case material.
THE PRACTICE TEAMS
Our senior litigators have 20 years or more experience handling civil cases. There are few areas of the law in which we have not practiced, and have successfully pitted our resources against many other prestigious firms and attorneys. Our experience continues to grow. We have the depth and capabilities within our department and firm to tailor a team to handle any type of civil case. There are also many areas in which we have developed such a strong reputation and are called upon to practice so often that we have formalized them into practice teams.
The firm has handled every type of Chapter 120 proceeding on behalf of both governmental agencies and petitioners. Our representation has included rule challenges, bid protests, administrative hearings, contested disciplinary matters and licensing issues. We have appeared before the Department of Administrative Hearings, the Florida Real Estate Commission, the Florida Commission on Human Relations, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority; the counties of Orange, Seminole, Volusia, Brevard and Marion; and the school boards of Orange, Lake and Volusia counties. In addition, we currently represent Marion and Orange counties in Chapter 120 adjudicatory proceedings before the Florida Public Service Commission.
Since its inception, the firm has represented our clients through all levels of the court system, including appeals. Our appellate practice offers our capability and experience at the appellate level to attorneys and law departments outside of the firm who may need assistance in taking a case to the next level. We offer the appellate attention and experience of a boutique appellate firm, while maintaining the resources and knowledge of a large, multi-purpose law firm with practices in virtually every area of civil law. Moreover, many of our trial lawyers have successfully prosecuted their own appeals in State and Federal courts, including the Florida and United States Supreme Courts, thus adding to the depth of our practice.
Our litigators have both the technical know-how and the advocacy skills to effectively handle commercial disputes of all types, from simple breach of contract actions to complex banking and corporate matters. The firm's expertise extends to claims involving bank and lender liability; commercial electronic fund transfers; investment securities; letters of credit; negotiable instruments; partnership; Replevin; commercial sales, leases and warranty claims; (enforceability, priority, and default); shareholder actions; and security interests and transportation law; and warehouse receipts, bills of lading, and documents of title. The commercial litigation team utilizes the state-of-the-art computer document control and courtroom presentation technology, including the cutting-edge Sanction program, in efficiently stating its clients' cases to the judge or jury.
The eminent domain department of GrayRobinson has handled more than 1,000 eminent domain cases on behalf of public and private clients. Our approach is to assemble a team of experts and analyze the property and its market potential. The team strives for innovation and tenacity in protecting the client's interests.
One major advantage our firm has to offer is that we are a large civil law firm that can handle most of the legal issues that might arise in an eminent domain case. Specifically, we have lawyers who specialize in real estate, local government, land use, environmental permitting and tax planning.
We have worked with all types of eminent domain valuation and engineering experts throughout the state and nation and can bring together a well-qualified team of experts for our clients depending on the size and complexity of each case.
The firm focuses on securing maximum compensation to the property owners. Although we recognize that compromise and settlement of a matter is sometimes the best way to minimize uncertainty and risk for the client, we will not hesitate to take our clients' cases before juries to determine full compensation.
The department primarily has represented property owners, but our experience "on the other side of the fence" has proved useful in understanding the issues and concerns that must be considered by a taking authority in dealing with property owners. In many instances, we are able to present the property owner's case in a manner that will appeal to the taking authority. This has proven particularly true in providing the justification necessary for some of the substantial settlements that we have obtained for property owners.
Our construction litigation team brings together the considerable talents of individuals whose construction litigation experience spans more than 100 years. Beginning with the planning and financing of the project and continuing through contracting, bidding, contract administration, dispute resolution and litigation, if necessary, we have the experience to advise and support your project team and to bring your construction disputes to a favorable conclusion.
INDOOR AIR QUALITY
The firm has also developed considerable experience in such specialized areas of construction law as Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), including cases involving "sick building syndrome" and "building-related illness" issues. The firm counsels clients on IAQ risk management issues relating to new construction, as well as the operation and maintenance of, and improvements to, existing facilities. The firm also counsels clients on IAQ issues relating to business transactions, such as real property sales and commercial leasing. We continue to counsel more clients on the ever-increasing amount of IAQ compliance issues, such as the initiatives at both the federal and state levels to promulgate new IAQ regulations. We also work to develop strategies for avoiding IAQ litigation. The firm has considerable experience in IAQ litigation. For example, the firm successfully defended two clients who were sued in the Martin County Courthouse IAQ litigation which involved claims in excess of $25 million. Of the numerous persons and entities sued, our two clients were the only ones whose defense proved successful. As with our other areas of practice, we have represented a broad spectrum of clients in IAQ matters, including public and private owners and developers, architects and engineers and contractors.
INSURANCE DEFENSE TEAM
We handle a full range of insurance defense issues, including commercial general liability; automobile casualty; professional malpractice, including medical, dental, legal, architect and engineers; coverage opinion letters; coverage declaratory action and admiralty and maritime claims.
The greatest endorsement that can be made of our practice comes from the numerous top-tier insurance companies that have chosen us for their legal needs, including USF&G, DPIC, CNA, and FLMIC. Our successes include defense verdicts in the Lakeland Coal-Fired Power Plant and the Isleworth stormwater cases. We currently serve as coordinating counsel in a multi-million dollar case in which we monitor and coordinate the activities of five different law firms associated with the defense team.
The team is led by GrayRobinson Litigation Department Chairman Jeffrey D. Keiner, who has nearly 25 years of experience in insurance defense litigation. Mr. Keiner began his career in the insurance defense department of a major Orlando law firm, formed his own insurance defense firm in the mid-1980s and joined GrayRobinson in 1995.
LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT LAW FOR MANAGEMENT
The firm offers its clients more than 45 years of management labor and employment law. The litigation team has advised clients in all areas of litigation on employment issues including discrimination claims under Title VII (race, sex, color, creed, national origin); the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and related state law and local ordinances; equal pay and wage and hour matters under the Fair Labor Standards Act and related government contractor matters; and the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.
In addition, our litigators have considerable experience representing clients issues related to employment contracts; confidentiality and trade secret agreements; and non-competition and non-solicitation agreements.
The team also defends clients against Equal Employment Opportunity charges in the investigation and litigation stages at the federal, state and local levels, as well has handling employment at-will and related contractual and tort claims in federal and state courts. Finally, our management labor and employment litigation team represents employers in unemployment compensation claims, misconduct issues and the appeal process before the agency and in state courts.
LAND USE AND REAL ESTATE
The firm actively litigates all varieties of real estate matters, including mortgage and mechanics lien foreclosures, boundary disputes, property rights, real estate commissions and condominium problems.
MEDICAL MALPRACTICE DEFENSE
We also have experience defending medical malpractice cases. From pre-suit screening through trial on the merits, we can provide the health care practitioner with excellent legal representation and advice that draws upon our years of experience.
GrayRobinson represents individuals who have been injured in all manner of cases, except medical malpractice cases, throughout the state of Florida. The firm employs a number of methods including mock juries, computer graphics and simulations, jury verdict research and expert witnesses appropriate to the case all to help maximize the recovery for our clients.
PRODUCT LIABILITY AND TOXIC TORT DEFENSE
GrayRobinson' Product Liability attorneys have extensive experience representing clients throughout the supply chain at all levels of the legal system both directly and on behalf of insurers. Our firm has provided crucial counsel in some of Florida's highest-profile product liability cases, from the emotionally charged issues surrounding tobacco and Phen-fen to the complexities of manufacturing synthetic human tissue.
We have represented manufacturers, distributors and retailers in personal injury litigation as well as large class actions, where we have worked with national counsel to coordinate defense strategy. GrayRobinson's Product Liability team is well-versed in the ever-changing laws and FDA regulations and work proactively with clients to help them steer clear of trouble.
Our firm's lawyers have extensive experience in all aspects of securities industry related litigation and arbitration. Over the years, we have represented both public and private companies, underwriters, accounting firms, investment banks, broker-dealers, insurers, financial planning consultants, investment advisors, mutual fund companies and their officers and directors in cases involving federal and state securities law issues.