Past Case Results From Isicoff Ragatz
Jacobs v. Thornton
The Firm represented husband–and–wife property owners in a dispute with their neighboring property owner, a Florida Limited Liability Corporation (LLC). The sole owner of the LLC moved for a protective order and to quash a subpoena, which sought her deposition testimony and the production of documents. She argued that she had been served improperly with process and that she (a resident of Connecticut) could not be compelled to attend a deposition in person in Palm Beach County. Following an evidentiary hearing, the trial court denied her motion. She appealed, and the Fourth District Court of Appeal summarily affirmed.
Golden v. University of Miami
No. 1:18-CV-24414, 2020 WL 6482197 (S.D. Fla. Sept. 1, 2020) The Firm represented a private university in a breach of contract lawsuit brought by its former head football coach, who was terminated prior to the expiration of his operative employment agreement. The coach claimed that he was entitled to a $6 million buyout payment pursuant to his interpretation of the agreement’s buyout provision. The university filed a counterclaim for declaratory relief, which asked the Court to declare that the agreement’s plain language entitled the coach to a buyout of $2 million. Following discovery, the Firm moved for final summary judgment on all claims. The Court agreed with the university’s position and held that the coach was entitled to nothing more than the $2 million buyout provided for by the agreement.
In re: Miami Neurological Institute, LLC
No. 17-10703-BKC-RAM, 2020 WL 3410182 (Bankr. S.D. Fla. June 19, 2020). The Firm represented a private university against claims brought by the bankruptcy trustee of an insolvent neurosurgical practice seeking to recover tuition payments made by the debtor to the university for certain of the debtor’s executives to attend the university’s executive MBA program in the healthcare sector.
The trustee’s theory of the case was that the debtor had paid personal expenses of the executives for which the debtor received no value. The university’s theory of the case was that the university’s MBA program provided value both to the executives and to their employer, the debtor. After a bench trial, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida ruled in favor of the university, finding that the university’s MBA program did, in fact, provide reasonably equivalent value to the debtor.
Goldberg v. Florida International University, 838 Fed. Appx. 487 (11th Cir. 2020)
The Firm represented a public university in a lawsuit brought by a former student enrolled in its medical school. The student alleged that the medical school failed to accommodate his disability and dismissed him from school in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The medical school contended that it properly accommodated the student and dismissed him solely because of his poor academic performance. Following extensive discovery and briefing, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida entered summary judgment in favor of the medical school on all claims. The student appealed, and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the grant of summary judgment.
Doe v. University of Miami
No. 17-23408-CIV, 2020 WL 1129322 (S.D. Fla. Mar. 5, 2020). The Firm represented a private university in a lawsuit brought by a former student. The student brought claims under Title IX and the Rehabilitation Act, alleging that the university failed to respond adequately after she reported that she had been sexually assaulted by another student. The university contended that it promptly and properly responded to the student’s report. Following extensive discovery and briefing, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida entered summary judgment in favor of the university on all claims.
Keith v. University of Miami
437 F. Supp. 3d 1167 (S.D. Fla. 2020). The Firm represented a private university and a program director in a lawsuit brought by a former employee. The employee alleged that she was terminated by the university for raising complaints about her entitlement to overtime compensation and health-insurance benefits. She sued her former employer (the university) and supervisor (the program director) under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
In a case of first impression, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida dismissed the lawsuit, with prejudice, for failure to state a claim, adopting the arguments advanced by the Firm.
Lee v. Florida International University
No. 19-000040-AP (Fla. 11th Cir. Ct. Sept. 11, 2019). The Firm represented a public university in a certiorari proceeding brought by an undergraduate student, who challenged the university’s decision to suspend him for two years. Following full briefing and oral argument, the Appellate Division of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court denied the student’s petition for writ of certiorari and affirmed the university’s disciplinary decision.
Nelson v. Zimmerman Advertising LLC
No. 12-015899 (Fla. 17th Cir. Ct. Sept. 4, 2019). The Firm represented an advertising agency in a lawsuit brought by a former executive, who claimed that he was fired in retaliation for his alleged refusal to falsify a client proposal and that he was owed commissions under his employment agreement.
Following discovery, the Firm moved for summary judgment on all claims, arguing that the employee properly had been terminated due to performance issues and was not owed any commissions. The Court granted the motion and entered summary judgment in favor of the advertising agency on all claims.