Cameron Carstens Selected to Participate in Advanced International Advocacy Course in Oxford, England

Messer Caparello, P.A. is pleased to announce that attorney Cameron Carstens will be participating in the Advanced International Advocacy Course at Keble College, Oxford, England on August 28, 2017 through September 2, 2017. The course is run by England’s South Eastern Circuit Bar.

 Mr. Carstens is one of four lawyers from the state of Florida to receive a Bennett Scholarship from the Trial Lawyers Section of the Florida Bar to participate in the course, which is internationally recognized as one of the most intensive advocacy courses in the world. The course helps participants refine their trial and appellate advocacy skills by performing simulated exercises involving all aspects of trial. Participants are critiqued on their performances by highly-experienced English lawyers and judges after each exercise. The course will conclude with each lawyer participating in a trial of an assigned case before an English High Court Judge.

 Mr. Carstens focuses his practice at the firm on defending claims brought under federal and state employment statutes, constitutional claims, as well as litigating claims involving breach of contract, restrictive covenants and other business disputes. Mr. Carstens also advises public K-12 educational institutions on a wide range of matters unique to the educational setting.

 

One-Third of Messer Caparello’s Attorneys Named 2017 Florida “Super Lawyers”

Messer Caparello, P.A., is pleased to announce that a third of its attorneys practicing in its full-service Tallahassee firm have been named 2017 “Super Lawyers” by Super Lawyers magazine, including Shareholders Dominic Caparello, Mark Herron, William Dillon, Gigi Rollini, and Robert J. Telfer III. Associate Melanie Leitman has been named a Super Lawyers “Rising Star.”

Super Lawyers names less than 5% of Florida’s attorneys “Super Lawyers” each year. Selection is through a competitive process of peer review and independent research into professional achievement, credentials, competence, experience, professional activity, pro bono work, honors, and recognitions.

Dominic Caparello is a Certified Mediator, and one of only five in Florida selected for Who’s Who Legal: Mediation. He is Past President of the American College of Civil Trial Mediators, a highly selective national organization for mediators at the highest level of achievement and recognition.

Mark Herron’s practice focuses on Election Law and Ethics matters, civil and administrative litigation and appeals, as well as regulatory compliance, public policy, and governmental relations.

Bill Dillon is Board Certified by The Florida Bar as a specialist in Health Law. His practice focuses on transactional and regulatory issues related to the health care industry, including providing advice on corporate compliance and health data privacy and security matters.

Robert Telfer’s practice focuses on Civil and Administrative litigation and appeals, as well as conservation easement law.

Gigi Rollini practices all aspects of Florida Administrative law, litigation and appeals, including agency licensing and discipline, corporate and non-profit regulation & compliance, agency rulemaking, administrative complaints, rule challenges, government contracts and bid protests. In addition to her law degree (J.D.), Ms. Rollini holds a Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) from the Florida State University Askew School of Public Administration & Policy. Gigi Rollini was also named one of Super Lawyers’ “Top 50 Women Lawyers” in Florida.

Melanie Leitman is a Litigator in both state and federal courts, with a focus on defending employers facing regulatory actions and civil rights litigation, whistleblower, retaliation, wage & hour, and FMLA claims, and advises employers on employment best practices and regulatory compliance matters.

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One-Third of Messer Caparello’s Attorneys Named 2016 Florida “Super Lawyers”

Messer Caparello, P.A., is pleased to announce that a third of its attorneys practicing in its full-service Tallahassee firm have been named 2016 “Super Lawyers” by Super Lawyers magazine, including Shareholders Dominic M. Caparello, Mark Herron, William P. Dillon, Robert J. Telfer III, and Gigi Rollini. Associate Melanie R. Leitman has been named a Super Lawyers “Rising Star.” Super Lawyers names less than 5% of Florida’s attorneys “Super Lawyers” each year. Selection is through a competitive process of peer review and independent research into professional achievement, credentials, competence, experience, professional activity, pro bono work, honors, and recognitions.

Dominic Caparello is a Certified Mediator, and one of only five in Florida selected for Who’s Who Legal: Mediation. He is Past President of the American College of Civil Trial Mediators, a highly selective national organization for mediators at the highest level of achievement and recognition.

Mark Herron’s practice focuses on Election Law and ethics matters, civil and administrative litigation and appeals, as well as regulatory compliance, public policy, and governmental relations.

Bill Dillon is Board Certified by The Florida Bar as a specialist in Health Law. His practice focuses on transactional and regulatory issues related to the health care industry, including providing advice on corporate compliance and health data privacy and security matters.

Robert Telfer’s practice focuses on civil and administrative litigation and appeals, as well as conservation easement law.

Gigi Rollini is a litigator with a focus on Florida appeals, civil and administrative litigation, and all aspects of Florida Administrative Law, including agency licensing and discipline, corporate and non-profit regulatory compliance, policy and rulemaking, administrative complaints, rule challenges, government contracts and bid protests. In addition to her J.D., Ms. Rollini earned a Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) from the Florida State University Askew School of Public Administration and Policy.

Melanie Leitman primarily advises clients on general employment best practices and defends employers facing civil rights litigation, whistleblower, retaliation, wage and hour, and FMLA claims.

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PUBLIC RECORDS LITIGATION: Condition Precedent for Seeking Attorneys’ Fees Against the State

In a recent case – State of Florida, Department of Economic Opportunity v. Consumer Rights, LLC – the First District of Appeal reversed the trial court’s award of attorney’s fees under Florida’s public records law, because the party seeking the public records failed to give notice of the claim for attorney’s fees to the Department of Financial Service at the time it filed the complaint pursuant to Section 284.30, Florida Statutes.

Section 284.30, Florida Statutes, provides as follows:

State Risk Management Trust Fund; coverages to be provided.—A state self-insurance fund, designated as the “State Risk Management Trust Fund,” is created to be set up by the Department of Financial Services and administered with a program of risk management, which fund is to provide insurance, as authorized by s. 284.33, for workers’ compensation, general liability, fleet automotive liability, federal civil rights actions under 42 U.S.C. s. 1983 or similar federal statutes, and court-awarded attorney’s fees in other proceedings against the state except for such awards in eminent domain or for inverse condemnation or for awards by the Public Employees Relations Commission. A party to a suit in any court, to be entitled to have his or her attorney’s fees paid by the state or any of its agencies, must serve a copy of the pleading claiming the fees on the Department of Financial Services; and thereafter the department shall be entitled to participate with the agency in the defense of the suit and any appeal thereof with respect to such fees. (Emphasis added.)

In its opinion, the Court noted that “[t]he statute explicitly excludes eminent domain, inverse condemnation, or Public Employees Relations Commission suits from this statute’s requirements. If the Legislature sought to exclude public records cases from these requirements, it would have listed it with the other exclusions. As such, the plain language of the statute shows that the Legislature intended to include public records cases within its purview.”

Accordingly, the Court concluded that the notice requirement of Section 284.30 was a condition precedent to the award of attorney’s fees and reversed the award of fees in this case, despite a finding by the trial court that the agency had “unjustifiably delayed in producing the records” in violation of Chapter 119, Florida Statutes.
A motion for rehearing has been filed with the Court.

For more information regarding this issue or other open government issues, contact Mark Herron at mherron@lawfla.com

Messer Caparello Attorneys Named Florida Trend’s 2015 Florida “Legal Elite”

Press Release

Messer Caparello, P.A., is pleased to announce that three of its attorneys practicing in its full-service Tallahassee firm have been named 2015 “Legal Elite” by Florida Trend magazine, including Managing Shareholder Thomas M. Findley and Shareholders William P. Dillon and Gigi Rollini.

Florida Trend magazine names less than 2% of Florida’s practicing attorneys “Legal Elite” each year. The attorneys selected “exemplify a standard of excellence in their profession and by so doing, have garnered the respect and esteem of their colleagues,” according to Florida Trend.

Thomas Marshall Findley is the Managing Shareholder of Messer Caparello, P.A. Mr. Findley is a former federal prosecutor who handles white collar criminal defense and regulatory matters. He also handles complex civil litigation at the trial and appellate levels, including employment defense and tax litigation. Mr. Findley formerly served as a law clerk for the Honorable Joseph Hatchett, United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

Bill Dillon is Board Certified by the Florida Bar as a specialist in Health Law. His practice focuses on transactional and regulatory issues related to the health care industry, including providing advice on corporate compliance and health data privacy and security matters.

Gigi Rollini is a member of Messer Caparello’s Litigation & Appellate Team. Her practice focuses on Florida appellate law, general civil and administrative litigation and litigation support, and all aspects of administrative law, including license disputes, regulatory compliance, policy, government contracts and bid protests. Ms. Rollini was named one of Florida’s 2015 “Extraordinary Woman” by the Florida Association for Women Lawyers. She has also been recognized as one of Florida’s Top 40 Litigators Under 40, Florida’s Most Productive Young Lawyer, and one of Tallahassee’s “25 Women You Need to Know.”

One-Third of Messer Caparello’s Attorneys Named 2015 Florida “Super Lawyers”

PRESS RELEASE

Messer Caparello, P.A., is pleased to announce that a third of its attorneys practicing in its full-service Tallahassee firm have been named 2015 “Super Lawyers” by Super Lawyers magazine, including Shareholders Dominic M. Caparello, Mark Herron, William P. Dillon, Robert J. Telfer III, and Gigi Rollini. Associate Melanie R. Leitman has been named a Super Lawyers “Rising Star.”

Super Lawyers names less than 5% of Florida’s attorneys “Super Lawyers” each year. Selection is through a competitive process of peer review and independent research into professional achievement, credentials, competence, experience, professional activity, pro bono work, honors, and recognitions.

Dominic Caparello is a Certified Mediator, and one of only five in Florida selected for Who’s Who Legal: Mediation. He has also been elected President of the American College of Civil Trial Mediators, a highly selective national organization for mediators at the highest level of achievement and recognition.

Mark Herron’s practice focuses on Election Law and ethics matters, civil and administrative litigation and appeals, as well as regulatory compliance, public policy, and governmental relations.

Bill Dillon is Board Certified by the Florida Bar as a specialist in Health Law. His practice focuses on transactional and regulatory issues related to the health care industry, including providing advice on corporate compliance and health data privacy and security matters.

Robert Telfer’s practice focuses on civil and administrative litigation and appeals, as well as conservation easement law.

Gigi Rollini is a litigator with a focus on Florida appeals, civil litigation, and all aspects of Administrative Law, including license disputes, regulatory compliance, policy, government contracts and bid protests.

Melanie Leitman primarily advises clients on general employment best practices and defends employers facing civil rights litigation, whistleblower, retaliation, wage and hour, and FMLA claims.

Mr. Caparello has been selected into the International Who’s Who of Mediation Lawyers

Tallahassee, FL 32308
January, 23, 2012

Mr. Caparello has been selected into the International Who’s Who of Mediation Lawyers. The selection was based on the opinions and input of international law firm clients, corporate counsel and mediation specialists from the United States and around the world. Continue Reading Mr. Caparello has been selected into the International Who’s Who of Mediation Lawyers

Bryan W. Duke, Former St. Joe Company Assistant GC, Joins Firm

Bryan W. Duke

Bryan W. Duke

Bryan W. Duke, former Assistant General Counsel for the St. Joe Company, joined the firm effective January 1, 2011. Bryan brings over 25 years of experience to his practice which will focus on the areas of real estate transactions, land use, permitting and litigation.

Bryan is a graduate of Davidson College and the University of Florida, College of Law. He began his legal career in Fort Lauderdale as a litigator with a focus on commercial and construction litigation. He participated in jury and non-jury trials and handled a number of appeals. After eight years of private practice, Bryan took the position of General Counsel with Stiles Corporation in Fort Lauderdale. At Stiles, Bryan worked on every aspect of project development: property sales and acquisitions, development and architectural agreements, and commercial retail and office leases.

Continue Reading Bryan W. Duke, Former St. Joe Company Assistant GC, Joins Firm