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Joanne M. O’Connor

Shareholder

Florida Bar Board Certified
Business Litigation Attorney

Location

505 South Flagler Drive
Suite 1100
West Palm Beach
Florida 33401

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Class Action Against Municipality Regarding Underground Utility Project 
Representation of a municipality in defense of putative class actions challenging the bond referendum and special assessment criteria involved in its $90 million underground utility project.

Palm Beach County State-of-the-art Scientific Research Institute 

Served as counsel to The Scripps Research Institute in establishing Scripps Florida, a new state-of-the-art scientific research institute, in Palm Beach County, Florida against a variety of legal challenges from environmental and non-profit organizations.

Defense of $65 Million Claim Against Financial Services Chairman & CEO 
Representation of publicly held financial services corporation and its chairman and chief executive officer in defense of $65 million claim brought by minority shareholders of wholly owned subsidiary alleging breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, fraud and civil theft in two-week hearing before AAA arbitration panel.

Successful Defense of National Law Firm in Legal Malpractice Claim 
Obtained directed verdict, affirmed on appeal, on behalf of national law firm sued for damages in excess of $20 million for alleged legal malpractice in drafting limited partnership documents.

Insurance Brokerage TCPA Class Action Defense Representation of insurance brokerage in defense of consumer class action alleging violation of Telephone Consumer Protection Act ("TCPA") by sending unsolicited facsimile advertisements. Negotiated settlement and oversaw class administration.

Real Estate Broker Recovery of Commission 
Representation of real estate broker suing to recover commission due on sale of $10.6 million home at buyer's full asking price pursuant to exclusive listing agreement. Negotiated favorable settlement after early mediation.

Florida's Public Records Act & Public Records Requests 
Defense of more than 3 dozen lawsuits brought against municipality under Florida's Public Records Act resulting in numerous non-jury trials. Advise municipality on response to more than 2,000 public records requests.

Successful Defense of Facial Challenge to Municipal Aesthetic Ordinances 
Resident of oceanfront municipality composed several large paintings, described by Plaintiff as "satires" or "lampoons", criticizing Town officials on the exterior walls of his home following the Town's denial of his variance application. Following an evidentiary preliminary injunction hearing, the federal court preliminarily denied resident's attempt to stop the Town from enforcing its ordinance regulating exterior wall colors and found no constitutional violation and suit was voluntarily dismissed with prejudice.

Successful defense of motion to disqualify attorney for alleged conflict of interest 
Successful defense of attorney against claim that attorney's representation of Plaintiff years prior in wholly unrelated matter created a disqualifying conflict of interest.

Interpretation of Perpetual Parking Easement 
Representation of property owner in suit relating to interpretation and application of perpetual parking easement negotiated as part of sale of several West Palm Beach office buildings for approximately $70 million. Dispute concerned expenses attributed to a multi-million dollar parking garage constructed after the easement was negotiated.

Successful Defense of Florida-based Law Firm in Federal Court 
Successful defense of motion for sanctions in Federal Court against South Florida law firm following disqualification.

Constitutionality of Proposed Ballot Initiative 
A property-use agreement between municipality and owners of historic 60-year-old playhouse limited playhouse’s use as theater of performing or visual arts and for lectures or other special events. Political action committee sought to amend municipality’s charter to incorporate portions of the agreement’s covenants. For municipality, obtained declaration that proposed amendment was unconstitutional as in conflict with state comprehensive planning law and did not have to be put to a vote. Defended declaration through appeal to the Fourth District and Florida Supreme Court decision declining jurisdiction.

Breakup of Law Firm Valued in Excess of $7 Million
Representation of minority owner of law firm with over 200 employees and offices in Florida and New York. Dispute on key decisions requiring super majority vote under operating agreement resulted in New York operation being formed as a new entity by minority shareholder.

Appointment of Independent Forensic Examiner 
Client moved to appoint an independent forensic examiner to inspect and copy computer storage devices in dispute over medical practice breakup. Following an evidentiary hearing, the court granted client's motion.

National Builder Subsidiary Violates Florida Not-for-Profit Corporation Act When Operating South Florida Luxury Country Club 
Representation of South Florida country club and golf course in suit against a Fortune 500 company, one of the nation's leading builders of luxury homes, and its subsidiary entity that controlled and operated the club prior to turnover to its equity members. Suit alleged the builder's entities improperly profited from operating surpluses and membership payments of the luxury community's nonprofit club. Received favorable summary judgment, finding that the builder's subsidiary violated Florida's Not-for-Profit Corporation Act by retaining in excess of $4 million in operating surpluses.

Printing Manufacturer TCPA Class Action Defense 
Representation of nationwide print services company in defense of consumer class action alleging violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act ("TCPA") by sending 2,500 facsimile advertisements. Negotiated class action settlement and class administration. 

Successful Defense of Surgeon Against Claims of Tortious Interference 
Representation of surgeon against claims up to $16 million by anesthesiologist that surgeon and hospital conspired to tortiously interfere with anesthesiologist's business relationship, resulting in complete defense judgment including award of more than $100,000 in attorneys' fees and costs.