Our attorneys have considerable experience in handling actions involving governmental entities. We have both represented and opposed various county and municipal governments, the Escambia County school district, and instrumentalities of local governments.
Our experience includes litigation involving competitive award statutes, Florida's "Sunshine Law," public records law, and election laws. Our clients have included a former U.S. President and Vice President, U.S. Senators, U.S. Congressmen, and various local and State officials.
We also have handled contested bid awards, contract fraud actions, contested elections, ad valorem tax challenges, and other matters involving laws regulating the government. Our cases have included the largest ad valorem tax challenge in the State of Florida, and we have successfully challenged the legality of actions by Property Appraisers in both Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.
In George W. Bush, President Elect, and Dick Cheney, Vice President Elect, v. Hillsborough County, we successfully changed the rejection of a Canvassing Board around the State of Florida (2000 Presidential Election) to not consider overseas and military ballots. The end result was that rejected ballots had to be counted in a razor-thin election that determined the outcome of the Presidential Election.
We successfully defended a decision by a public entity to terminate a multi-million-dollar public works contract when it was shown that the contractor had misrepresented its credentials for performing the work. And we successfully defended a public entity that was accused of violating the Sunshine Law by not allowing members of the public to join into the governing board's discussion of agenda items.
Other government-law issues have included successfully prosecuting action under the Federal Claims Act, as well as actions to enforce rights against "Miller Act" and "Little Miller Act" claims by construction professionals. We have represented numerous elected officials in election law matters, and successfully defended a public entity against a "Sunshine Law" violation. We were successful in invalidating a multi-million public works contract, and successfully contested the validity of a multi-million-dollar public works contract.
Our attorneys have considerable experience both defending, and contesting, trial court decisions and jury verdicts on appeal in both State and Federal courts.
We have obtained favorable rulings for clients both before the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, as well as in Florida's District Courts of Appeal and Florida's Supreme Court.
Cases that illustrate our appellate experience include:
1. Island Resorts v. Jones -- We successfully challenged a Property Appraiser's decision to treat leased property as if owned by the tenant. This case is the landmark decision on treatment of land leases on government-owned land.
2. Holley-by-the-Sea Home Improvements Associations v. Brown -- We successfully challenged a Property Appraiser's taxation of an Association's clubhouse, tennis courts, boat house, and other water-front property as a separately owned parcel. The end result was that the Association's property was given a nominal valuation, resulting in a substantial tax savings to the Association.
3. Portofino v. Jones -- We successfully argued that the valuations placed on the taxpayer's property ranged from two to five times higher than fair market value. The result of this case was a substantial reduction of the taxes charged, resulting in millions of dollars in savings to the taxpayers.
4. Dyer v. Bank of America -- We successfully defended an appeal from a grant of summary judgment in favor of our client on a violation of trade secrets case. The core of our appellate advocacy team includes two attorneys who were elected to the "Order of the Coif," a century-old honors society based on exceptional legal scholarship. Its ranks are limited to attorneys who finish at the top of their classes at law schools that are highly ranked. The writing an speaking abilities of our appellate team are recognized within the legal community, and our appellate lawyers have achieved the highest ranking for legal abilities by their peers and judges before whom they practice.