MSC recently prevailed in two different contentious appeals on behalf of its clients in the months of May and June, one in the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal and another in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.
In Hoch v. Loren, Partner Douglas McIntosh, assisted by Partner Aleida Mielke, successfully handled the appeal of an order of dismissal achieved in the trial court involving an alleged defamation case filed against a law firm. The issue being litigated involved whether an attorney’s cease and desist letter sent to an opposing party is “published” for the purpose of a defamation action when the attorney sends a copy of the letter to his client. On June 12th, following oral argument three weeks prior presented by Mr. McIntosh, the Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s order granting the motion to dismiss with prejudice because it found that sending the letter to the client did not amount to a “publication” under the law of defamation. The opinion will provide good precedent for lawyers and law firms going forward, on the issue of third-party publication, for a defamation action.
In Zurich American Insurance Co. v. Southern-Owners Insurance Co., Partner Douglas McIntosh and Sr. Associate Dale S. Dobuler presented oral argument before the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit on an important issue regarding the scope of “additional insured” coverage to a general contractor. MSC won the matter at the trial level in the District Court, which was then appealed by Southern-Owners to the 11th Circuit. Following oral argument to the three-judge panel by Mr. McIntosh and Mr. Dobuler, on May 29th, the Court issued an opinion affirming the District Court’s ruling in favor of MSC’s client, Zurich, in full. The opinion upheld the District Court’s 41-page opinion finding that Southern-Owners must reimburse all funds Zurich paid in order to resolve an underlying injury lawsuit, holding that Southern-Owners owed a duty to defend and failed to honor that obligation.
MSC is pleased to zealously advocate for our clients, not only at the trial level, but in any appeals that may follow.