Complete Defense Verdict - Defamation and Breach of Contract - Broward County 

Fort Lauderdale East Partners Craig Minko and W. Taylor Loe and Associate Jenna Updike recently obtained a complete defense verdict in a 2019 complex defamation and breach of contract case after a 4-day jury trial before Judge Michael Robinson in Broward County Circuit Court.

The plaintiff sued his condominium association and a former board member for defamation per se, breach of non-disparagement agreement, breach of confidentiality agreement, violation of the Mediation Confidentiality Act, and defamation by implication, and sought $1M in alleged damages. The case was litigated for 5 years and, prior to trial, CSK obtained a dismissal with prejudice on all counts against the community association and entitlement to fees in excess of $400K.

The case proceeded to trial this week with respect to the remaining board member defendant on the defamation by implication, breach of confidentiality, and violation of the Mediation Confidentiality Act counts. On day 1 of trial, Craig successfully argued a motion in limine that changed the entire course of the trial. This was Jenna’s first trial and she delivered a fantastic and very memorable opening statement. Taylor’s voir dire set the mood for the week, and Craig’s cross-examination and closing drove it home. After 4 days, the jury deliberated for nearly 2 hours, and returned a complete defense verdict in our client’s favor a little after 7:00 p.m. on a Friday night. Needless to say, the client and carrier are thrilled with the result, and we are now entitled all of our additional fees and costs associated with the trial.

A special thank you to partner Diana Rafael for her work on the case, and to associate Natalia Morales for her work behind the scenes all week. Also, a special thanks to the rest of Craig’s team for their hard work on this case, including Melissa Botero, Daniel Garcia, Jonathan Fernandez, and Ivania Teran, as well as Fort Lauderdale East Office Manager, Barbara Murphy.

Our team is available to discuss the topics written here and ready to provide additional information contained in this article. Contact us for more information.

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