Following oral argument, Bob Case obtained a favorable opinion from the Second Circuit Court of Appeal on behalf of the firm’s bank client. The issues raised in the appeal related to the trial court’s entry of summary judgment following the trial court’s acceptance of certain evidence argued by the commercial borrower as being improperly presented under Florida’s evidentiary statutes. The Second Circuit Court of Appeal affirmed the entry of summary judgment and the commercial real property securing the loan was sold at a judicial sale.
Bob Case and Kathryn Smith secured a million dollar jury verdict in favor of the firm’s bank client following a two-day trial in Naples, Florida. The matter arose from a guarantor’s refusal to comply with the terms of the guaranty and an allegation that the bank’s willingness to work with the borrower released the guarantor from his obligation. The jury found in favor of the bank on all issues and held the guarantor liable under the guaranty.
Scott Hudson obtains an “AV” rating from the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory in the legal community, the highest rating achievable for legal ability and ethics. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of the peer review process that rates attorneys. The Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and the Judiciary. Bob Stovash, Bob Case, and Amy Tingley each hold “AV” ratings in Stovash, Case & Tingley, P.A.
Senior Associate Attorney with the Firm, Dana Snyderman Lidfeldt has been selected to the 2015 Florida Rising Stars list by Super Lawyers. This is Dana’s second time being selected as a Rising Star by Super Lawyers. Dana’s selection as a Rising Star is based on merit and only 2.5% of attorneys are selected as “Rising Stars.” Dana practices in the areas of business litigation and banking litigation. The firm is proud of her inclusion in the list. Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process includes independent research, peer nominations, and peer evaluations and is an impartial, third-party selection process.
Robert (Bob) Case was selected to the 2015 Florida Super Lawyers list for his Business Litigation practice. This is Bob’s second year on the list, as he was also selected in 2014 for the Super Lawyers list. Only 5% of attorneys are selected to Super Lawyers. Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process includes independent research, peer nominations, and peer evaluations. In April 2013 the selection process received a US Patent and is described as an impartial third-party rating system.
Robert (Bob) Stovash successfully argued on behalf one of the firm’s bank clients, Hancock Bank, before the Fifth District Court of Appeal that a court imposed vendor’s lien could not be levied against property encumbered by Hancock Bank’s mortgage. By successfully appealing the trial court’s declaratory judgment, Bob was able to protect the lien priority of his client’s multi-million dollar mortgage. The decision is titled “Hancock Bank vs. D.S.C. of Newark Enterprises, Etc.” and is published by the Fifth District Court of Appeal of the State of Florida as Case number 5D13-2305.
Two of the firm’s shareholders, Robert (Bob) Case, and J. Scott Hudson were recently selected to join the Corporate America’s Legal Elite for 2015. We congratulate Bob Case, selected as “Best for Complex Contract Disputes in Florida” and Scott Hudson, selected for “Best Human Resources Lawyer in Florida.” Corporate America is the definitive magazine for CEOs, top tier management, and key decision makers across the US. Nathan Angell, Awards Coordinator, said: “The Legal Elite Awards honor the dedicated professionals and individuals that are innovating and shaping the legal sector, as well as achieving outstanding results for their clients. We received a tremendous response for the awards this year, encompassing a diverse range of practices and legal services, and it is a privilege to reward the winners for their achievements over the past 12 months.” All winners for the awards were the result of months of research and analysis from Corporate America’s dedicated awards team. As a result, all winners can be assured that they were chosen on merit only and can take pride from the fact that they were selected for their success.
Florida Banking Magazine
By J. Scott Hudson, Esq
Published: May 2011
As social media content seemingly expands at the speed of light, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is struggling to apply an archaic law to employee postings, blogs and other comments about managers and employers. The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), passed in 1935, protects the right of employees to engage in concerted activity.
Although concerted activity is not defined in the act, it includes activities jointly undertaken by employees relating to wages, hours, safety, benefits, working conditions and other job-related concerns. Employers are prohibited from taking action or implementing policies that interfere with, restrain or coerce employees as they exercise these rights.
The NLRB recently filed an unfair labor practice charge against an ambulance service company that fired an employee, in part, because of comments she made on her Facebook page about her manager. Upset that her manager asked her to respond to a customer complaint, the employee posted negative comments about the manager; other employees also posted comments in support of the employee and critical of the manager. The company says it then fired the employee because of complaints about her conduct, including personal attacks against co-workers on Facebook. They claimed the employee’s actions were in violation of the company’s social media policy which prohibited “disparaging, discriminatory or defamatory” comments about employees, managers or competitors. The NLRB, on the other hand, took the position that the company’s actions amounted to an infringement on the employee’s right to engage in concerted activity.
Ultimately, the parties settled the case and, on Feb. 7, 2011, the NLRB issued a news release stating that the company would “revise its overly-broad rules to ensure they do not improperly restrict employees from discussing their wages, hours and working conditions with co-workers and others while not at work and that they would not 22 – WWW.FLORIDABANKERS.COM discipline or discharge employees for engaging in such discussions.”
Though the NLRA provides broad protection for such electronic comments and postings, there are some limits. Postings that are clearly personal in nature, breach confidentiality, are disloyal, or reckless or malicious are not protected by the NLRA. Also, comments that disparage the bank or its services would not likely be protected either.
So if an employee should posts, “My branch manager is terrible,” the employer might be able to use this as the basis of an employment decision in that it appears to be a personal attack. If the employee says, “My branch manager is terrible because he makes me work the drive-thru every Saturday,” however, these comments could be protected as concerted activity. This is especially true if other employees respond and the conversation thread is clearly related to pay, benefits or working conditions.
As you review your social media policy or consider implementing a social media policy, here are some suggestions:
- Emphasize bank policies, such as those related to professional conduct, confidentiality, discrimination, and harassment, apply to social media postings.
- Make sure the social media policy complies with the NLRB’s stance against overly broad restrictions.
- Prohibit the use of the bank’s name, logos or work e-mail addresses on social media sites.
- If employees discuss work-related matters, emphasize that the employee is required to provide notice that the comments and opinions are their own and do not reflect the opinions of the bank.
- Make it clear that the bank reserves the right to monitor employee comments and postings to the extent permitted by law.