Below you'll find descriptions of some of the cases we've handled recently for our clients. As you'll see, we represent clients in many distinct areas of practice. Be sure to check back frequently to stay up to date on what we're doing.
Representing a regional bank against claims brought by a former employee under the ADA and FMLA, Joseph Gosz earned a summary judgment in the Bank's favor by successfully arguing that the Plaintiff's injury did not fall under the ADA and that Plaintiff was never cleared to return to work, so a violation of the FMLA could not have occurred.
Representing a professional athlete in a federal lawsuit by a former employee alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and its Florida counterpart, Joseph Gosz settled the case on terms very beneficial to his client while also keeping the case out of the media.
In The News
By Rob Jordan
Trying to lose a few pounds might have been the worst thing Loni Salmon ever did.
In the market for an appetite suppressant, the 25-year-old Jackson Memorial Hospital nurse this past March stopped in at Kendall diet product outlet Slim Spa. The company's president, Maria de la Paz Ortiz, sold Salmon a combination of supplements, assuring her they were not only effective but also completely natural, according to a lawsuit Salmon recently filed against the company and De la Paz Ortiz.
A week after Salmon began taking the pills from Slim Spa, she was shocked to hear she had failed a drug test as part of her application for another nursing job at Baptist Hospital. She was temporarily suspended from her job at Jackson, required to enter an intervention program, subjected to random drug tests, and placed under heightened supervision, according to the lawsuit.
Although Salmon declined to comment for this story, her attorneys, Albert Gonzalez and Joseph Gosz, said their client is most certainly of the non-drug-using persuasion. There was no explanation for the failed drug test which turned up amphetamines and sedatives except for the Slim Spa supplements, the lawyers said. Gosz acknowledged he had not had the pills chemically tested but said he was confident he could prove the presence of controlled substances.
In a series of cases, Joseph Gosz successfully argued to vacate the convictions of numerous clients who had been subject to deportation as a result of the convictions. In some cases, Mr. Gosz convinced the State Attorney's Office to stipulate to the vacation of the convictions, while in other cases, Mr. Gosz was successful in convincing judges over the State's objection that vacation of the convictions at issue was warranted. In each such case, Mr. Gosz also ensured that the reopened cases were dismissed.
Representing a former chief of police of a department in south Florida, Joseph Gosz was successful in getting all charges against his client dismissed.
Representing the manager of a famous band, Joseph Gosz prevented aggravated battery charges from being filed against his client by investigating the facts and presenting a defense to the State before the arraignment date.
Joseph Gosz has succesfully petitioned for the sealing or expungement of criminal records on behalf of numerous clients.
Representing a client charged in Pinellas County with aggravated battery and several counts of battery on a law enforcement officer, Joseph Gosz investigated mitigating circumstances and presented the circumstances to the State Attorney's office, resulting in a withhold of adjudication rather than jail or prison time.
Representing an individual who had signed a contract to purchase a high end condominium unit, Joseph Gosz successfully obtained a portion of the buyer's deposit back from a notoriously litigious developer without having to file a lawsuit. Although the client did not recover all his deposit money, the client was happy to get a portion back without having to spend money on a lawsuit.
Representing a high net worth client in a first party insurance claim that arose from damage to the client's yacht, Joseph Gosz, Mr. Gosz was successful in convincing the insurance company that a $40,000 deductible did not apply and in gaining the client an additional 25% over what the insurance company first offered.
Having been retained the day before a scheduled foreclosure sale, Joseph Gosz quickly brought himself up to speed on the case, filed an Emergency Motion to Cancel Foreclosure Sale, and, in court the following day, successfully argued to have the sale cancelled just minutes before it was scheduled to occur.
After taking over representation of homoeowner clients at the trial court level while already representing the same clients on appeal, Joseph Gosz made a novel argument in objecting to the foreclosure sale by which his clients' home was sold. The judge sustained the objection and vacated the foreclosure sale. Because the objection Mr. Gosz made was one that could apply to thousands of foreclosure sales, the Daily Business Review ran the story on their front page. You can see the article here: Broward Judge Orders New Auction After $5,200 Sale.
By Aaron Leibowitz, The Miami Herald
North Miami’s city council on Tuesday approved a severance package for City Manager Larry Spring that includes 32 weeks of pay, a city-owned car worth $45,000 and an iPad, then said they would fire him as soon as the agreement was signed. His last day of work will be Jan. 31.
It was not a surprise.
In a Dec. 31 letter to the council, a lawyer for Spring said the manager had learned the council was “prepared to terminate him to allow a new City Manager to be appointed.” Spring, therefore, was asking the council to fire him without cause.
“Mr. Spring understands the decision and has no desire to impede the City Council’s ability to have the City Manager of its choosing,” wrote Spring’s attorney, Joseph Gosz.
But none of the elected officials, nor Spring himself, seemed to want to tell residents on Tuesday exactly why Spring is on his way out.
“I’m the mayor of the city. I can hire, I can fire a city manager,” said Mayor Philippe Bien-Aime after Councilwoman Carol Keys pressed her colleagues on why Spring was leaving. “If someone wants to do so, there is nothing unusual.”
The council agreed to the terms Spring requested: termination without cause, 20 weeks of severance pay as outlined in his contract, plus an additional three months’ pay allowed under an odd provision in the city charter that deals specifically with the firing of city managers.
In exchange, Spring agreed to waive his right to a public hearing within three months on why he’s being fired.
“Instead of 12 weeks of back and forth with the manager, he gets what is required under his contract, plus the car,” City Attorney Jeff Cazeau said at Tuesday’s meeting.
Florida law generally limits public employees to 20 weeks of severance pay plus up to six additional weeks for “the settlement of an employment dispute.” But Gosz told the Herald in an email that Spring’s request was proper. “Given the procedures available to the city and to Mr. Spring, he would be able to collect salary, whether actively working or not, for a period after any resolution terminating him without cause, and he would be entitled to a hearing,” Gosz said. “We have indicated that Mr. Spring is willing to waive those procedures (which will expedite everything) if the city agrees with our request for 12 weeks of salary.”
Several council members raised concerns about Spring’s additional request to keep a city car, which Spring said was “fairly new” to the city’s fleet and valued at around $45,000. City Clerk Vanessa Joseph told the Herald on Wednesday that the car is a 2020 GMC Yukon SLT. One councilor, Alix Desulme, voted against the severance proposal as a result, while four others voted in favor.
“The car was an important inclusion for us in exchange for a [waiver],” Gosz told the council.
Spring, who became city manager in 2016 and was previously the city’s finance director and the chief financial officer for the city of Miami, makes $240,000 per year.
Two council members, Keys and Scott Galvin, said they were disappointed to see Spring go. Galvin, who has served on the council for 21 years, said the city has had about 10 different managers during his tenure and called Spring “the best city manager we’ve had in decades.”
“I’m not happy to see things unfurl the way they are,” Galvin told the Miami Herald before Tuesday’s meeting. “I would have been thrilled if he stuck around another 10 [to] 15 years.”
Keys called Spring’s accomplishments “amazing” during the council meeting, citing economic development in the city, and accused fellow council members of being “wishy-washy” about whether they wanted to go in a different direction.
Desulme, who has been critical of Spring, shot back by saying he never had a discussion with the manager about possibly firing him.
“I didn’t know this was coming,” Desulme told the Herald.
During the public comment portion of Tuesday’s meeting, several residents praised Spring and challenged the council’s reasoning.
You can read the rest of the story here.
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