Defending Against Preliminary Injunctions in Florida State & Federal Courts

As non-compete and trade secret lawyers, a major part of our practice revolves around preliminary injunctions. In most cases where plaintiffs allege the breach of a non-compete agreement or the theft of trade secrets, a motion seeking an injunction is sure to follow. In these types of cases, Plaintiffs will proceed in one of two fashions: (1) They immediately will seek an emergency injunction, referred to as a temporary restraining order or (2) They will seek a preliminary injunction.

When plaintiffs seek a temporary restraining order (“TRO”), they are seeking an emergency preliminary injunction. In essence, plaintiffs seeking a TRO take the position that the damages are so immediate and catastrophic that any delay – even a delay of a few weeks or months before holding a preliminary injunction hearing – could result in irreparable harm. In some states, including Florida, courts can issue TRO’s on an ex parte basis, meaning without any notice to the defendant. An ex parte injunction, however, should only be issued in very limited circumstances. Specifically, Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.610(a) provides that an injunction can be granted without notice to the adverse party only where: (1) the movant presents specific facts showing immediate and irreparable harm (2) the movant’s attorney certifies in writing any efforts to give notice to the adverse party and the reasons why notice should not be required.

Where the plaintiff seeks a preliminary injunction – as opposed to a TRO – the process is at least a bit longer and usually more orderly. In this context, the plaintiff will file a motion seeking a preliminary injunction. At the very least, the defendant will have the opportunity to respond to that motion and will be given […]

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