The Wrongful Act Doctrine: Recovering Third-Party Litigation Expenses as Damages

Authored by James Diamond and Richard I. Segal

Florida follows the “American Rule” on the entitlement to attorney’s fees, in that attorney’s fees generally are not recoverable as an element of damages in the absence of statutory authority or a contractual agreement. However, civil litigators throughout Florida should be aware of a powerful yet somewhat unknown exception to that general rule – the Wrongful Act Doctrine.

The Wrongful Act Doctrine permits “a plaintiff to recover third-party litigation expenses as special damages where the defendant’s wrongful act caused the plaintiff to litigate with a third party.” More specifically, the Doctrine provides that “[w]here the wrongful act of the defendant has involved the claimant in litigation with others, and has placed the claimant in such relation with others as makes it necessary to incur expenses to protect its interests, such costs and expenses, including reasonable attorney’s fees upon appropriate proof, may be recovered as an element of damages.” Continue reading

Avoid Legal Troubles in the Workplace, Part 2

law 360

There are two simple ways to prevent unwanted legal claims from interrupting the fun: 1) limit alcohol consumption, and 2) have procedures in place to ensure office policies remain intact. For example, companies can choose to refrain from serving alcohol entirely, or offer drink tickets to regulate alcohol consumption by employees. In addition, when choosing a venue for the holiday party, it is important to keep in mind the access employees have to public transportation to avoid drinking and driving. Employers should also consider offering reimbursements for taxis, Uber or other services that offer employees alternatives to impaired driving. By encouraging employees to make good decisions, employers can set an expectation for employees to follow that will help ensure a safe and fun party.

Maintaining office policies during holiday parties is also very important. An email reminder prior to the party reminding everyone to adhere to office policies is a good idea. In addition, members of management should especially adhere to company policies since others will likely follow suit.

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‘Tis The Season To Avoid Workplace Legal Troubles, Part 1

Michael T. Landen and Lisa J. Jerles


MIchael T. Landen

The holidays are among us, which means employees can look forward to company holiday parties to celebrate another successful year with their firm or companies. Unfortunately, the holiday season can also result in legal issues for both employers and employees, which may arise from seemingly harmless activities.

Holiday Parties

Holiday parties are a positive way to promote a healthy, collaborative and comfortable working environment. Many employers strive to create a family-friendly environment in the workplace, and the holiday party is an effective way for employees to get to know one another outside of the office. The goal, however, is that employees do not become too comfortable in their surroundings and forego company policies, potentially bringing unwarranted legal claims to the company.

Lisa Jerles

Lisa Jerles

According to a recent study by the Society for Human Resource Management, approximately 65 percent of companies are having a holiday party, of which 59 percent plan to serve alcohol. Alcohol can increase the chances of a legal issue arising from drunk driving, sexual harassment or worker’s compensation due to an injury. But by planning ahead, employers can take steps to mitigate issues that may arise from alcohol consumption at the office holiday party.

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Lawyers Represent Spa in ‘Bet-the-Company’ Case Against Donald Trump




Alan Kluger, Philippe Lieberman and Richard Segal
Kluger Kaplan

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Jose Rodriguez’s courtroom was packed with lawyers and reporters waiting to hear from the man on the witness stand: Celebrity developer and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

“He is a very smart guy,” said veteran Miami litigator Alan Kluger. “He knew the record. He knew the documents. He is the classic ‘not always right, but never in doubt’.”

At issue was whether Trump acted legally in trying to force Florida Pritikin Center LLC, which operates as Pritikin Longevity Center and Spa, out of 40,000 square feet of leased space at his Trump National Doral golf resort.

Kluger, a founding member of Kluger Kaplan, represented Pritikin, along with his law firm partners Philippe Lieberman and Richard Segal.

They contended that Trump National wrongfully tried to terminate Pritikin’s lease and refused to acknowledge that Pritikin properly exercised its first option to extend the term of the lease. They also argued that Trump National falsely asserted claims of lease defaults and violated a group room agreement between the resort and Pritikin when the resort tried to increase daily room rates by between 226 and 583 percent.

“It was a bet-the-company case,” Kluger said. “If Pritikin was found to either have not have properly extended or was in default, they would have been out of business just as the season was at its height. Hundreds of employees would have been out of work.”

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2016 “Best Law Firms”

Kluger, Kaplan, Silverman, Katzen & Levine, P.L. ranked in U.S. News & World Report’s  “Best Law Firms.”

Litigation – Mergers & Acquisitions
Litigation – Real Estate

Commercial Litigation

Commercial Litigation
Litigation – Real Estate

Entertainment Law – Motion Pictures
Litigation – Merges & Acquisitions

Family Law
Litigation – Banking & Finance
Litigation – Intellectual Property
Securities / Capital Markets Law

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