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Representative Cases

Federal

Kyle Bermingham v. City of Clermont, et al. (M.D. Fla. 2012):  Action for declaratory and injunctive relief involving the unlawful termination of a police officer for acting in a whistleblowing capacity while raising allegations of ethical and criminal improprieties perpetrated by City’s Police Chief.

Benjamin Gage, et al. v. Sharon Scott, et al. (M.D. Fla. 2011):  Successful defense of allegations of Racketeering and Deceptive Trade Practices involving a real estate land deal.  The matter was resolved with the dismissal of all serious charges, and alternative resolution of the lesser case counts.

Project Golden Spike (2010-2012):  Serving as a senior consultant on constitutional law matters impacting a federal project designed to streamline budgetary oversight authority.  Project is to ultimately be managed through the Office of Management & Budget, and through the oversight of Professor Laurence Tribe.

Bee’s Automotive, et al. v. City of Clermont (M.D. Fla. 2010, 2012):  Action for declaratory and injunctive relief premised upon local government’s suppression of local business owner’s political speech.  Preliminary injunction granted by District Court in March 2010, and case resolved positively in November 2010.  New, subsequent litigation filed, again successfully challenging the constitutionality of the City’s successor ordinance.

United States of American v. Clara Hansen (M.D. Fla. 2010):  Defense of client charged with violations of the Controlled Substances Act for alleged cultivation of marijuana.  Defense strategy premised, in large part, upon challenge to federal jurisdiction under Commerce Clause to homegrown cultivation of marijuana without evidence of any outside distribution.

New Amsterdam Project Management Humanitarian Foundation v. Laughrin (N.D. Cal. 2009; 9th Cir. 2009): Prosecution of securities fraud case against law firm for complicity and lulling activities pursuant to its clients’ defrauding of plaintiff in the amount of $10 million.  Case involved use of crime-fraud exception, as well as eventual appeal of summary judgment premised upon statute of limitations.

United States of America v. Gerald Green (E.D. Cal. 2008):  Defense of client charged with violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) involving, in part, spirited defense to Government’s efforts to disclose attorney-client confidential communications under the crime-fraud exception.  Other aspects of the case focused specifically upon the required elements of violations under the FCPA.

United States of America v. Karen Fletcher (W.D. Pa. 2006):  Defense of client charged – for the first time since pre-Kaplan v. California – with federal obscenity offenses based upon ‘the written word.’  Case defense included drafting of comprehensive motion to dismiss premised upon the argument that ‘the written word’ could not be deemed obscene under modern standards, and adopting an intensive analysis of historical, literary, grammatical and psychological underpinnings of written works.

Campbell v. National Railroad Passenger Corp. (AMTRAK) (D. D.C. 1999):  Prosecution of class-action, race discrimination case pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1981 and Title VII against all three (3) regional sectors of the largest U.S. railroad passenger company, and  involving intensive investigation and motion practice.

Kelvis Rhodes v. Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores (N.D. Ga. 1999):  Prosecution of class-action, race discrimination case versus prominent national restaurant chain alleging systemic violations of 42 U.S.C. § 1981 and Title VII.  Case involved serious motion and deposition practice, and implicated several issues regarding attorney-client privilege and non-profit involvement pursuant to NAACP v. Button and In re Primus.

Burnette v. Cooker Restaurant Corp. (M.D. Fla. 1999):  Prosecution of class action, race discrimination case versus national restaurant chain alleging purposeful, blatant violations of 42 U.S.C. § 1981 and Title VII.  Case entailed intensive motion and deposition practice.

State/Provincial

De’Anthony Shamar v. City of Sanford (Fla. 18th Judicial Cir. 2011):  Challenge on behalf of fired Sanford police officer following rampant violations by the police agency of the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights, as codified under Florida law.

In re N. James Turner (Fla. Supreme Court 2011):  Representation before the Florida Supreme Court of an embattled circuit court judge, and involving a challenge the Judicial Qualification Commission’s removal recommendation.  Oral arguments in the matter were convened in September 2011, and an opinion issued in November 2011.

Armando Ramirez v. Osceola County Canvassing Board, et al. (Fla. 9th Judicial Cir. 2010):  Election challenge arising over improprieties with the vote tallying of a county commission race.  The challenge is intended to force a recount.

Orange County v. Linda Williamson (Fla. 9th Judicial Cir. 2010):  Successful defense and counteroffensive against Orange County Animal Control officials following efforts to sanction homeowner for performing Native American religious ritual to commemorate the passing of pets improperly destroyed by county officials.

State of Florida v. Brian Doyle (Fla. 10th Judicial Cir. 2008):  Post-conviction defense of former Assistant Communications Director for the Department of Homeland Security.

State of Florida v. Nicolas Ortiz (Fla. 9th Judicial Cir. 2008):  Defense of local police officer charged with Perjury.  Case dismissed following the filing of motions arguing materiality and violations of rights under Garrity v. New Jersey and Kastigar v. United States.

Veranda Partners, LLC v. Giles (Fla. 9th Judicial Cir. 2007):  Defense of local law enforcement officer sued by large developer for defamation-styled offenses.  Case also involved successful countersuit against the developer alleging its violation of Florida’s SLAPP (“Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation).

Kent J. Nauman v. Springwood Condominium Association (Fla. 18th Judicial Cir. 2007):  Successful prosecution of disabilities discrimination and retaliation action on behalf of amputee against local condominium association and its board of directors.

State of Florida v. McCowen (Fla. 1st Judicial Cir. 2006):  Defense of Internet webmaster charged with Racketeering and Money Laundering, and predicated upon allegations of obscenity and prostitution.  Defense included arguments opposing efforts to affiliate production of adult content with prostitution; the scope of the Commerce Clause and federal preemption; the scope of the community under the Miller standard; and the scope of any alleged criminal enterprise.  Case also involved the use of Google Trends to demonstrate community standards.

 State of Florida v. Christopher Wilson (Fla. 10th Judicial Cir. 2005):  Defense of Internet webmaster charged with over three-hundred counts of obscenity-related offenses following posting of Iraq War civilian atrocities.  Defense included, in part, arguments involving the proper scope of the Commerce Clause, federal preemption, and privacy.

 State of Florida v. Elizabeth Book (Fla. 7th Judicial Cir. 2005):  Defenses of local female protestor during Daytona Beach Bike Week charged multiple occasionally following her well-publicized, politically-motivated protest of topless laws.  Cases, following arguments regarding the protected nature of political speech, resulted in respective acquittal and dismissal.

 In re Maureen Bell (Fla. 9th Judicial Cir. 2006):  Representation of local county judicial candidate in recount of election.  Initial results reflecting a deficit eventually – through aggressive representation and oversight – resulted in the client’s come-from-behind victory.

 State of Florida v. Brant Copple (Fla. 9th Judicial Cir. 2004):  Defense of local crafts worker charged with threatening to detonate explosive device.  Following persistent motion practice and argument on First Amendment grounds, charge against client was dropped by the state prosecutors.

 State of Florida v. Lloyd Barnard (Fla. 7th Judicial Cir. 2003; Ga. Superior Ct. 2003):  Defense of cleaning supply company owner against both criminal and civil Racketeering allegations.  Strategy entailed a direct challenge, pursuant to Fifth Amendment’s Excessive Fines Clause, to statew governmental distribution of RICO proceeds.

State of Florida v. Carlos Lopez-Alonso (Fla. 20th Judicial Cir. 2001):  Defense of local émigré on charge of Attempted First-Degree Murder. Defense strategy involved motions arguing violations of Miranda rights, as well as violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

PUBLISHED DECISIONS

Bee’s Auto, Inc. v. City of Clermont, 503 Fed.Appx. 732 (M.D. Fla. 2014):  Representation of automobile repair proprietor for continued violation of Free Speech rights.  Opinion grants summary judgment in favor of the client, heavily referencing the arguments in Plaintiff’s Memorandum for Summary Judgment.

 Daphene Adamson-James v. Florida Department of Corrections, et al., 2013 WL 1968499 (M.D. Fla. 2013): Representation of former senior probation officer/whistleblower following unlawful termination accompanied by violations of federal and state human rights laws.  Opinion relates to district court’s findings on Defendants’ motions to dismiss.

 Peter Wicher v. Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, et al., 503 Fed.Appx. 732 (11th Cir. 2013):  Representation of a former police officer battling violations of labour and constitutional rights versus his former agency.  Appeal premised upon lower court’s granting of motion to dismiss and refusal to recognize jurisdiction over related state law causes of action.

 Kyle Bermingham v. City of Clermont, et al., 2013 WL 3974654, 5970700 (M.D. Fla. 2013):  Representation of a former whistleblower/police officer for violations of labour and Free Speech rights.  One court opinion premised upon denial of defendant’s motion for summary judgment, a/k/a, recognition of the issues as being ripe for jury trial; the other opinion related to rulings on pretrial evidentiary matters.

 Bee’s Auto Inc. v. City of Clermont, 927 F.Supp.2d 1318 (M.D. Fla. 2013):  Representation of automobile repair proprietor for violation of Free Speech rights and for inverse condemnation by Defendant City.  Opinion related to arguments on summary judgment, resulting in preservation of litigation for later jury trial.

 David Rosenberg v. MetroWest Master Association, 116 So.3d 641 (Fla. 5th DCA 2013):  Representation on appeal of local activist following loss to community association and improper imposition of attorneys’ fees contrary to plain language of applicable state statute.

 State of Florida v. Juan Caamano, 105 So.3d 18 (Fla. 2d DCA 2013):  “Stand Your Ground” appeal involving former police officer improperly charged with attempted battery, but deprived of mandated pretrial determination of “Standard Your Ground,” relating to use of force in an arrest incident.

 In re N. James Turner, 76 So.3d 898 (Fla. 2011):  Representation before the Florida Supreme Court of an embattled circuit court judge, and involving a challenge the Judicial Qualification Commission’s removal recommendation.  Oral arguments in the matter were convened in September 2011, and an opinion issued in late November 2011.

 State of Florida v. John Stelmack, 58 So.3d 874 (Fla. 2d DCA 2010):  Appeal of elementary school principal’s conviction for possession and manufacturing of child pornography.  Appeal premised, in part, upon Supreme Court jurisprudence providing that virtual images of children do not qualify as “child pornography” because there is no actual, direct harm to children.  The client’s conviction and sentence were reversed on statutory arguments that Florida’s child pornography statute does not prohibit virtual images of sexual conduct absent engagement from an actual child.

Campbell, et al. v. National Railroad Passenger Corp., 163 F.Supp.2d 19 (D.D.C. 2001):  Representation of class of black AMTRAK employees seeking class-based relief for race-based discrimination in hiring, promotions, discipline and treatment throughout AMTRAK system.  The District Court’s decision held that Plaintiffs were able to sue for allegations that flowed prior to the start of the statute of limitations period.