The Mavrick Law Firm recently prevailed on behalf of an employer defending against a former employee’s claim for wages in Broward County state court. The Mavrick Law Firm proved at trial that, despite the employee’s claim for overtime and other wages, no wages were owed to the former employee.
In April 2013, the Mavrick Law Firm represented a victorious client in state court in Broward County, Florida. The case involved a lawsuit filed by a construction subcontractor against the general contractor in a commercial construction case. The Mavrick Law Firm successfully defended the general contractor at trial. The verdict was a complete defense verdict of no liability. In addition, the Mavrick Law Firm also filed a counterclaim on behalf of the general contractor, and prevailed in that counterclaim at trial. Attorney Peter Mavrick was lead counsel and was assisted by attorney David Friedman as second chair at the trial.
In March 2013, Mr. Mavrick successfully represented a corporate employer at trial in a worker’s compensation case in Broward County, Florida. Mr. Mavrick presented testimony from four witness and conducted an extensive cross-examination of the Claimant-employee. Crucial credibility problems emerged with the former employee’s case. The Judge ruled in favor of Mr. Mavrick’s client. In denying the former employee’s claim, the Judge cited inconsistencies in the former employee’s testimony that became apparent at trial.
In July 2012, Mr. Mavrick successfully represented a corporation in a jury trial in federal court in Miami, Florida. The corporation was being sued for alleged overtime wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Mr. Mavrick and his opposing counsel made opening statements, and then four witnesses testified on behalf of the Plaintiff. At the close of the Plaintiff’s evidence, Mr. Mavrick made a motion that his client should be deemed to prevail in the case because the evidence showed that the Defendant corporation had no liability in the case based on its legal defense. On the third day of the trial, the Court agreed with the merits of the motion, and dismissed the case against Mr. Mavrick’s client and entered judgment in favor of Mr. Mavrick’s client.
In a September 2011 jury trial in Miami, Florida, Peter T. Mavrick successfully defended his client who was being sued for over a million dollars. Mr. Mavrick’s client won a complete defense verdict. Mr. Mavrick’s client was being sued for alleged fraud, breach of partnership agreement, breach of contract, civil theft, and conversion. On the sixth day of trial, the jury retired to deliberate. After several hours, the jury reached a unanimous defense verdict that Mr. Mavrick’s client owed nothing at all to the plaintiff.
Attorney Peter Mavrick recently obtained dismissal of an employee’s federal and state law claims for race discrimination, hostile work environment, and retaliation against a medium sized corporation. The employee’s lawsuit followed the EEOC’s issuance of a right to sue letter against the employer corporation. The employee contended that the employment termination was based on race, even though the employer had clearly documented problems with the employee’s performance.
In this difficult economy, it is important to recognize that any employment termination may result in a future EEOC charge of discrimination or possibly a lawsuit. Terminated employees often have difficulty finding suitable replacement employment, and sometimes look to blame their former employers for their situation. To protect against unnecessary legal problems, management should properly document performance problems. This should be done even if terminating employment is not something the employer is considering at the moment. Documenting performance issues is important to protect the employer’s interests in the event that termination of employment becomes necessary. Performance reviews should reflect an honest appraisal of an employee’s performance, showing good and bad points. The EEOC and the courts view employers more favorably when they possess evidence of timely and regular performance appraisals.
Attorney Peter Mavrick advises management regarding various problems they encounter with employees, including issues involving employee compensation, misconduct, performance problems, demotion, and termination. Mr. Mavrick also has successfully represented many employers when current or former employees threaten legal action. Mr. Mavrick regularly studies changes in federal and Florida labor and employment laws, including legal trends affecting the interests of management.
Attorney Peter Mavrick recently defended Soroka’s International, Inc. in Fort Lauderdale, Broward Circuit Court, in a case seeking a prejudgment writ of replevin. The case arose from a business dispute among former owners of a business, and their separation from each other. The plaintiffs, Event Horizon Glass Corp. and Luis Gonzales Stained Glass, Inc. sought a prejudgment writ of replevin to compel attorney Peter Mavrick’s client to produce numerous pieces of equipment and machinery. Obtaining a prejudgment writ of replevin in this case involved a type of emergency legal proceeding. The trial court sets a hearing on short notice where the parties have to appear, testify, and explain the ownership of personal property that at least one party wants to possess immediately.
At the evidentiary hearing in this case, witnesses testified about the machinery and who was the owner. However, the evidence did not demonstrate that the plaintiffs were the owners of the machinery or that Soroka’s International, Inc. had possession of anything owned by the plaintiffs. At the end of the hearing, the Judge refused to grant the prejudgment writ of replevin.
Thereafter, Mr. Mavrick’s clients, Soroka’s International, Inc. and its owner, counterclaimed. Eventually a default was entered in favor of Mr. Mavrick’s clients as to their counterclaims. The plaintiffs did not further pursue the issue of replevin.
Peter Mavrick, a Fort Lauderdale lawyer, successfully defended a Broward County business for alleged violation of a contract that prohibited competition. The case was venued in Circuit Court, and followed departure of employees from a company who then started their own business.
Before hiring attorney Peter Mavrick, the client corporation tried to show the plaintiff corporation that no trade secrets were stolen and that there was no breach of Florida law. However, the plaintiff demanded that Mr. Mavrick’s client close its business entirely and pay thousands of dollars.
After court argument and several depositions, the evidence showed that there were no trade secrets because nothing was kept secret. The plaintiff never treated any of its alleged secrets as a “secret” until after it decided to sue its former employees’ corporation. For example, the alleged trade secrets were kept in the open for everyone to view, there were no protective measures to safeguard the alleged secrets, and the plaintiff never even told its employees the alleged trade secrets were even “secrets” that were required to be kept confidential. Attorney Peter Mavrick argued that the there could be no theft of trade secrets under Florida law when no measures existed to ensure secrecy ever existed before the plaintiff’s lawsuit was filed. In addition, Peter Mavrick argued that the alleged secrets would not qualify as trade secrets that meet the requirements of Florida law.
Under Florida law, non-compete contracts are often held unenforceable due to circumstances of the employer-employee relationship, employee background, or the contract itself. Generally, employers must show they have a “legitimate business interest” to make a non-competition covenant enforceable. A legitimate business interest could include specialized training the employer provided the employee, a sort of investment in the employee.
In a case handled by attorney Peter Mavrick, an employer wanted to enforce a noncompete covenant against Mr. Mavrick’s client, an employee that had received some training from his former eimployer. However, the training was minimal. Most importantly, the employee had many years of experience in the employer’s industry before he signed the noncompetition contract. It was because of that substantial industry experience that the employer hired Mr. Mavrick’s client. The employee was highly competent because of his experience.
Based on case law invalidating a noncompete contract where the employee’s specialized knowledge preceded his contract, attorney Peter Mavrick successfully argued that the noncompetition covenant was invalid. Mr. Mavrick’s client was allowed to continue his own business in competition with his former employer.
Peter Mavrick, a Fort Lauderdale lawyer, recently successfully defended a local company, Roadrunner Permit Processor, Inc., that was sued for receipt of allegedly unwanted advertising. However, the plaintiff also advertised its contact information in printed advertisements. Roadrunner contended that it did not violate any law because the printed advertisements constituted a solicitation for Roadrunner’s and other advertisements.
Before Roadrunner hired attorney Peter Mavrick, the plaintiff demanded payment of several thousand dollars. Despite the threat of further litigation, Roadrunner refused to pay that because it believed it did nothing wrong. In addition, Roadrunner contended that the lawsuit was without merit because the plaintiff never received the advertisements. Instead, another company received the advertisement at the same address.
Attorney Peter Mavrick argued at a hearing before a Broward County Judge that the initial lawsuit filed by the first company lacked merit. The Judge agreed. The Judge determined that Roadrunner was entitled to reimbursement of its legal expenses associated with the lawsuit, because the case lacked an adequate basis under the law. The same law firm that represented the original plaintiff, filed another lawsuit against Roadrunner asserting grounds similar to the first lawsuit. Eventually, the case settled with Roadrunner paying nothing to either of the plaintiffs. Roadrunner admitted no wrongdoing.