Florida 4th DCA: Disputed Personal Jurisdiction Requires Evidentiary Hearing

Florida’s 4th District Court of Appeal has issued an important decision on long-arm personal jurisdiction. Not surprisingly, the case arises out of a non-compete dispute. Let’s take a look. Citrix is one of Fort Lauderdale’s 800lb gorillas. They are also a notorious bully when it comes to non-compete agreements. Citrix filed a non-compete lawsuit against seven former employees who went to work for another software company. All seven of the employees worked at Cisco’s Raleigh, North Carolina office. All seven are North Carolina residents. Their new company, Egntye, is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in California.…

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FLSA Claims, Mootness, & Fee Exposure (A Cautionary Tale)

Today’s post touches upon an important procedural aspect of Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) case law. As many people know, I am quite critical of the FLSA and many of the FLSA mills that exist throughout the country. That’s right: FLSA mills. That’s what we call bottom-feeder lawyers and law firms whose entire business model consists of filing high volume, low quality, an often frivolous FLSA cases. The problem is particularly bad in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and other parts of Florida. I once defended a group FLSA action where (1) paralegals and legal assistants were running the plaintiff’s case; (2)…

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What I’ve Learned in 7 Years of Defending Poor People Against Bogus Non-Compete Agreements

In a few months, I'll hit the 7-year mark of having my own law firm. During that time, I've done one thing more than anything else: Defend poor and working class people against immoral, unethical, abusive non-compete agreements that are illegal restraints of trade. Here are the highlights of what I have learned. 50 million Americans or more are subject to or have been subject to bogus non-compete agreements. The estimates of how many people are subject to non-compete agreements are way too low. Just because you don't hear about non-compete agreements in a certain business or industry doesn't mean…

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Pollard PLLC Suing Critical Intervention Services for Wage Theft

In the latest chapter of the Firm’s long running crusade against corporate abuse of working class Americans, Pollard PLLC is suing the Florida-based private security company Critical Intervention Services ("CIS") for wage theft in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"). The Beginning: A Security Guard Non-Compete Case The case arises out of Michael Kenny’s brief employment with CIS. All told, Mr. Kenny, a military veteran and single father, worked at CIS for less than three weeks. The majority of that time was spent in unpaid training. Mr. Kenny was assigned a night-shift work schedule. Unable to find overnight…

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Florida Non-Compete Defense: Playing Offense

A core principle of successful non-compete defense is that the best defense is a good offense. The embedded video below explores this topic. Some of the highlights: https://youtu.be/gGZJs48z6c8 Play Offense: Any time an employee receives a cease and desist letter for allegedly violating a non-compete agreement, or, a company receives a cease and desist letter for hiring individuals who have non-compete agreements (e.g. tortious interference), the potential defendant(s) must start thinking about offensive strategy. Element of Surprise: Filing non-compete lawsuits is big business for many corporate or management-side law firms. But many of these plaintiff-side non-compete lawyers have only one…

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New York’s Unique Services Non-Compete Law is Complete Trash

In today’s non-compete lesson, we address New York’s “unique services” non-compete exception. New York courts generally disfavor non-compete agreements, only enforcing them in limited circumstances (such as the protection of trade secrets). One massive exception: New York’s “unique services” rule. Essentially, this doctrine holds than an employer can enforce a non-compete agreement where the employee is uniquely talented and provides unique services to the employee. Once again: This is sheer madness. New York's enforcement of non-compete agreements based on an employee's unique talents is legally unprincipled and contravenes antitrust law. The fact that an individual is uniquely talented does not…

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How Florida Non-Compete Law is Really Supposed to Work

This is an introduction that I wrote earlier today for a brief in one of our non-compete cases currently pending in Tampa, Florida. The team wrote the brief, I wrote the intro.  Unfortunately, over the past twenty years or so, many judges in Florida trial courts - both state and federal - have simply gotten the law wrong. It happens.  Consider this: The entire United States District Court for the Southern District of New York got the Martin Act wrong until the venerable Judge Marrero set the record straight. There was a time when anybody challenging the doctrine of Martin…

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Trade Dress Trash: Yellowfin Yachts Loses (Again!) on Appeal to Eleventh Circuit

America is in the midst of an epidemic of frivolous trademark litigation. If you have followed the news over the past several months, there have been numerous fantastic examples: Hard Rock Hotel’s absurd case against Rock Star Hotels, which is not a hotel chain at all, but rather, a hotel booking service. FyreTV – a pornography company – suing Amazon over Amazon Fire TV. Yep, I’m sure people were accidentally signing up for Amazon Fire while looking for pornography. Today’s case provides an example of (basically) frivolous trade dress litigation (trade dress being a type of trademark claim). At issue:…

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Defamation Per Se in the Facebook Era

A recent decision out of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida takes a look at defamation per se in the era of Facebook and social media. The entire case revolves around a single Facebook post by an individual named Eugene Weiner: “Yurim and Isaac took advantage of a old 94plus sick man elder abuse [sic]” Apparently, Isaac Aflalo saw the post, took exception to it, and filed suit, styling his claim as one for defamation per se. Florida defines defamation – slander when spoken, libel when written – as (1) a false statement of fact, (2) published…

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