News & Events

Susan Raffanello and Scott Hiaasen Get Big Win for Client Edgardo DeFortuna

Susan Raffanello and Scott Hiaasen obtained an important win for client Edgardo DeFortuna when the Miami-Dade Circuit Court summarilly dismissed the lawsuit against him arising out of the Jade Ocean luxury condominium tower.

Judge William Thomas ruled that the plaintiffs had no evidence to support their claims that Mr. Defortuna and his company Fortune International Group misled them about their investment in the project.

“All the allegations of any fraud or misconduct have been established as false,” said Susan Raffanello, partner at the Coffey Burlington law firm who represents Defortuna. “Fortune will be seeking its attorneys’ fees and costs for having to fight this six-year meritless litigation.”

A copy of the full article can be found here.

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Kendall Coffey and David Zack Get Big Win for Client at Court of Appeals


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Bob Burlington and Dan Blonsky win First Amendment Case Against Florida Bar

United States District Court Judge Beth Bloom of the Southern District of Florida issued a 38-page summary judgment order on December 9, 2014 in favor of Plaintiffs Robert Rubenstein and Rubenstein Law, P.A. Plaintiffs sued the Florida Bar challenging on First Amendment grounds bar guidelines prohibiting television and radio advertisements by attorneys referencing their past results. 

Bob Burlington and Dan Blonsky of Coffey Burlington, along with co-counsel Greg Beck of Gupta Beck in Washington, DC, represented the plaintiffs.  In granting summary judgment, Judge Bloom also entered an injunction prohibiting enforcement of the Bar’s guidelines preventing reference to past results in attorney advertising.  The case has been closely followed in the legal media.

A copy of the Order can be found here.

Ben Brodsky and Dan Blonsky Win Summary Judgment on Behalf of Fortune 500 Company’s Affiliates

Congratulations to Partner Ben Brodsky and Dan Blonsky who prevailed on summary judgment on behalf of two affiliates of a Fortune 500 company in a federal employment discrimination and retaliation case in front of Judge Marcia G. Cooke in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. The Court found that, as to one of the defendants, the plaintiff’s claims were barred by statute of limitations; as to the other, the Court found that it had no employment relationship with the plaintiff.  

David Freedman and Paul Schwiep Obtain $3.75M Settlement

David Freedman and Paul Schwiep obtained a favorable settlement to conclude a dispute related to the purchase of hotel in South Beach. After filing a motion for summary judgment and serving a motion for sanctions under Florida Statue 57.105, the defendant dropped its spurious defenses and counterclaim and agreed to pay $3,750,000 - over 90% of Coffey Burlington’s clients initial claim.

Dan Blonsky Wins Federal Employment Discrimination Trial

Congratulations to Partner Dan Blonsky who obtained a complete defense verdict on behalf of a Fortune 500 company in a federal employment discrimination and retaliation trial in front of Judge William P. Dimitrouleas in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. The Court found, after a three day trial, that "(1) Plaintiff was not discriminated against based upon his race, religion or national origin; and (2) Plaintiff was not retaliated against for filing the EEOC charges or the instant lawsuit."  

Kendall Coffey Leads Defense Team in Legal Malpractice Trial to a Complete Defense Verdict

As featured in the front page of the Miami Daily Busines Review, Founding Partner Kendall Coffey obtained a complete defense verdict on behalf of the law firm of Shutts & Bowen, which was defending a multi-million dollar legal malpractice suit.  Mr. Coffey led the trial team in the marathon trial, which included a five-week interruption.  Still, the Miami-Dade County jury entered a complete defense verdict, awarding the plaintiff $0.  Shutts & Bowen stated after the trial that it was "pleased that the jury's verdict represents a complete vindication of our work and our tradition of professionalism."

Eleventh Circuit Affirms $3.5 Million Jury Verdict Against Miami-Dade County

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed a $3.5 million jury verdict against Miami-Dade County, as well as a declaration that a county ordinance regulating stevedores was unconstitutional in Florida Transportation Service, Inc. v. Miami-Dade County.

Jeffrey Crockett, who tried the case and handled the appeal, was quoted by the Daily Business Review as stating that the 83 page opinion "demonstrates without question that Judge Jordan correctly analyzed the legal issues and that the county's conduct in protecting existing stevedores from outside competition violated the U.S. Constitution."

A copy of the Eleventh Circuit's opinion can be read here.  

David Freedman Obtains Final Judgment in Foreclosure in Complex Commercial Matter

Attorney David Freedman crafted a creative solution to a highly disputed commercial foreclosure matter on behalf of the firm's client, a venture capital firm. After the case had been stalled for almost two years by the borrower, the firm was retained to take over representation of the plaintiff and within eight months obtained a final judgment in foreclosure, coupled with a long-term lease back to the prior owner.

David Freedman Achieves Favorable Settlement in Complex Land Use Matter

Attorney David Freedman successfully resolved a complex land use matter on behalf of client, a national real estate trust, involving complex land use documents, cross easements and an unconstitutional county ordinance which allowed the adjacent land owner to impair the firm's client's property rights, in secret, without giving them an opportunity to be heard.  After filing suit against the neighboring landowner and the County, Mr. Freedman was able to re-capture 95% of the disputed property rights and substantial monetary compensation for the client.

Successful Appeal Restores Client's Multi-Million Dollar Development Rights

After a Miami-Dade County trial court entered an order stripping in excess of 100 acres of prime developable land (zoned for over 500 residential units), the firm was retained to file an appeal.  Attorney David Freedman successfully obtained a ruling from the Third District Court of Appeals which restored the development rights to the property. The Opinion in this case, 19650 NE 18th Ave & Union Labor v. Presidential Estates, can be read here.

Susan Raffanello Obtains Summary Judgment Win in $7.5 million Breach of Contract Action

After staying the course through three amendments and Plaintiff’s Motion for Summary Judgment, Susan Raffanello obtained a final summary judgment in favor of her client, Royale Florida Enterprises, Inc., in an action seeking $7.5 million for breach of contract. After four years of litigation, the Court entered judgment in favor of Royale, agreeing that no contract had been formed.

Dan Blonsky and Alice Meyer Win Appeal in an Indemnification Contract Dispute

Attorneys Daniel Blonsky and Alice Meyer won a big victory when the Third District Court of Appeals of the State of Florida reversed a circuit court's summary judgment which had found that an indemnification agreement entered into by the firm’s client when it sold its downtown property to The Fallstaff Group, protected the firm’s client, MPA Brickell Key, LLC, from a dispute that arose when a former neighbor sued MPA over property tax payments.  Dan Blonsky succesfully argued the case in front of the Third DCA.

The win was featured on the cover of the Miami Daily Business Review.




Ben Brodsky Wins Federal Appeal on Behalf of Pro Bono Client

Today, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a district court order denying a Motion to Dismiss on qualified immunity grounds in Alsobrook v. Medina, Case No. 11-11244.  Attorney Ben Brodsky handled the appeal on behalf of the pro se plaintiff/appellee.  Mr. Brodsky volunteered his time to represent the client at the request of the court.

This case is representative of our firm's commitment to legal public service and to our community.

Jeff Crockett and Fernando Tamayo Obtain Award for Client, a Mortgage Servicing Company, in a Federal Jury Trial.

Jeff Crockett and Fernanado Tamayo obtained an award of $428,035 for the firm's cilent, a mortgage servicing company, in a federal jury trial, upon the jury's finding that the defendant had breached the party's contract by overcharging the plaintiff in that amount.  The case was a breach of contract claim against one of the country's largest financial institutions. Mr. Crockett and Mr. Tamayo tried the case over five days before the Honorable Jose Martinez of the Southern Distrcit of Florida.

Foreclosure Order Obtained for Bondholders in Complex Dispute

David Freedman successfully obtained a foreclosure order in the Miami-Dade County Circuit Court for the benefit of bondholders of over $70 million in bonds, which had been issued by a unit of local government.  The foreclosure was obtained despite the property owner's attempt to circumvent the foreclosure by filing a separate lawsuit seeking an injunction of the foreclosure, arguing that the persons holding office for the governmental unit that had originally issued the bonds were not properly elected.

Paul Schwiep and Gabriel Groisman Obtain Dismissal with Prejudice in $8m Breach of Contract Action

Defending an $8 million breach of contract action on behalf of a Miami business man, attorneys Paul Schwiep and Gabriel Groisman obtained a Dismissal with Prejudice in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

Complex Will Contest

In August 2011, Firm partner, David Freedman, successfully engineered the settlement of a complex will contest, resulting in large monetary distributions to the Firm’s clients. The matter involved seven wills, several trusts, a disinherited son, a prominent decedent, a substantial trust to support household pets, and large bequests to employees.