Memorandum of Decision on Anti-SLAPP Motion

170327 Memo of Decision and Order on Pl’s Emergency Special Motion to Dismiss Defs’ Counterclaims

A Suffolk County judge dismissed counterclaims that the Court determined to constitute SLAPP claims, essentially retaliatory claims based on nothing substantial beyond constitutionally-protected petitioning activity. In the 21-page memorandum of decision, the Court dismissed a breach of contract counterclaim and misrepresentation counterclaims. Previously the Court had denied in its entirety the defendants’ motion to dismiss Dr. Carr’s claims. The case has been expedited at the request of Dr. Carr for trial as early as the fall.

On Friday, March 24, 2017, a federal judge in the Southern District of Florida awarded $422,433 in fees and costs to EDCare Management, Inc., a PSD client in an employment dispute. A former employee had sued EDCare in two lawsuits, claiming a wrongful termination and alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Discovery and investigative efforts revealed that the plaintiff had certain documents in her possess that she should not have taken or kept from the company. Eventually, EDCare resolved the claims with the plaintiff, partially in return for her waiver of attorney-client privilege. Additional discovery revealed the role of her lawyers at Amlong & Amlong, P.A. in receiving a copy of folders from the laptop belonging to the CEO of EDCare. The court conducted an evidentiary hearing on a sanctions motion against plaintiff’s firm, rejected testimony by two of its lawyers, and found that plaintiff’s firm violated federal law prohibiting bad faith actions by attorneys that protract or multiply a proceeding. After additional rounds of briefing and another hearing, the federal judge rejected an argument by the Amlong firm that less than $200,000 in fees would be the outer limit for an award against it. Instead the court applied a much more modest discount and awarded $422,433 in fees and costs against the Amlong firm. Barry Pollack and Joshua Solomon have served as the lead counsel on the underlying matters.

On March 7, 2017, a 12-person Suffolk County jury returned a verdict in favor of a PSD client on her contract and breach of fiduciary duty claims.Peter Duffy served as lead trial counsel on behalf of a widow against a manager of a family business who claimed she owned the company after PSD client’s husband passed away. The jury deliberated for less than a half day. Judgment entered in favor of the PSD client in the amount of $514,369.