John L. Urban is a founding shareholder of UTF Urban Thier & Federer and managing shareholder of the law firm’s Orlando office. He is based in Orlando and also works out of the offices in Atlanta, New York and London. Mr. Urban focuses his practice on civil litigation in business and contract disputes, commercial law, debt collection, recognition and enforcement of foreign court decisions, international law, real estate law, wills/probate law, significant personal injury and wrongful death matters. He has handled all manner of litigation cases including trials, appellate cases and arbitration proceedings. He has served as the lead attorney for over 500 federal court lawsuits and over 100 state court lawsuits, as well as numerous appeals in federal and state appellate courts, throughout the United States. These appearances include appearing as lead attorney in the Supreme Court of the United States, in multiple federal Circuit Courts of Appeal, in multiple state courts of appeal, in trial courts throughout the United States, and arbitration proceedings before the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the American Arbitration Association (AAA), and other arbitration organizations.
Mr. Urban is a member of the State Bars of Florida, New York, and Georgia, the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States, the Bar of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, the United States District Courts for the Southern, Middle, and Northern Districts of Florida, and the United States Bankruptcy Courts for the Southern, Middle, and Northern Districts of Florida. He is also a licensed foreign lawyer with the United Kingdom’s Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). Additionally, he has appeared pro hac vice (temporary admission) as lead attorney in multiple other jurisdictions, including Texas, California, Washington and others.
In re Estate of Policastro, Thirteenth Judicial Circuit, Hillsborough County, Florida, Case Number 13-CP-2788 (2013). Represented Austrian based personal representative and wife, and all surviving children, of husband/father who was killed in Tampa, Florida, in a truck versus bicycle accident. The only witness to the accident was the truck driver, who denied any liability, claiming that the deceased had swerved into his lane and that the accident was unavoidable. After extensive research and pre-suit procedures, which revealed that the truck driver was uncollectible/judgment proof and that the company that owned the truck had minimal assets, able to compile detailed pre-suit demand package and use Florida bad faith and Wrongful Death Act (Florida Statutes § 768.16 et seq) law to compel the liability insurer for the company that owned the truck to pay the full liability insurance policy limits of $1,000,000.00. Case proceeds were critical for providing financial security to surviving wife and children.
Scooter Attack, GmbH, Plaintiff, v. Martin Racing Performance, Inc., and Joel Martin, United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Miami Division, Case Number 1:13-cv-22015-CMA (2013). Represented German high-performance motorcycle parts manufacturer client against client’s Miami, Florida, based exclusive United States parts distributor and distributor’s owner. After filing lawsuit in federal court and pursuing aggressive litigation strategy, including litigating against distributor’s counterclaim/lawsuit. Federal lawsuit was automatically stayed/stopped when distributor (via In re Martin Racing Performance, Inc., f/k/a Malaguti USA Inc., United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida, Miami Division, Case Number 14-23733-LMI) and distributor’s owner (via In re Joel Manuel Martin, United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida, Miami Division, Case Number 14-27422-PGH) filed for bankruptcy and distributor’s assets were liquidated. After representing the client’s interests in the bankruptcy court proceedings, able to secure resolution of client’s claims and recovery of funds for the client.
D.C.F., Natural Father, as Personal Representative of the Estate of C.C.H., deceased, Plaintiff, v. M.B., Defendant, United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida, Tallahassee Division, Case Number 4:12-cv-00179-MW-CAS (2012), and Wurttembergische Gemeinde-Versicherung, Plaintiff, v. M.B., individually, and the Estate of C.C.H., deceased, Defendants, United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida, Tallahassee Division, Case Number 4:13-cv-00313-MW-CAS (2013). Represented Georgia based father and personal representative of the estate of his deceased son against Germany based grandmother who killed the client’s son while visiting Florida. After filing Wrongful Death Act (Florida Statutes § 768.16 et seq) lawsuit on behalf of the client in the Florida State Circuit Court in and for Franklin County, Florida, defendant grandmother removed/transferred case to the federal United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida, Tallahassee Division. The defendant grandmother’s German general liability insurer, which had issued a 5,112,918.81 Euro insurance policy, then filed a separate lawsuit in the same federal court seeking a legal declaration that it was not liable and did not owe coverage to the grandmother and did not have to pay damages to the client. After extensive legal proceedings, the federal court dismissed the German insurer’s declaratory lawsuit. Thereafter, the federal court conducted a trial in the wrongful death case which resulted in an $11,362,500.00 Judgment in favor of the client and against the defendant grandmother pursuant to Florida’s Wrongful Death Act (Florida Statutes § 768.16 et seq) to compensate the client for his past and future pain and suffering caused by his son’s wrongful death — recognized as one of the 20 largest verdicts in the State of Florida for the year 2016. Thereafter, initiated domestication proceeding in Germany, resulting in significant recovery of funds.
Britelyt, Inc., et al. v. Pelam International, Ltd., et al., Case No. 8:10-cv-822-T-23AEP (M. D. Fla. 2013). Represented Germany based United Kingdom multinational company and its owner, against Florida based company that filed a lawsuit in Florida federal court (the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division) for patent infringement and Sherman Act (15 U.S.C. § one et seq) anti-trust violations. The case centered around clients’ agreement with a Chinese manufacturer to stop manufacturing certain products for the Florida based plaintiff and to only supply the defendant clients. After litigating jurisdictional and procedural issues, federal court granted summary judgment in favor of defendant clients and entered judgment in favor of defendant clients and against plaintiffs on all counts finding plaintiffs failed to prove anti-trust or patent violations by German/United Kingdom defendant clients and that it had no jurisdiction over the Chinese manufacturer.
In re Estate of R.K., Fifteenth Judicial Circuit, Palm Beach County, Florida, Case Number 502003-CP-5436 (2003), and In re Estate of F.K., Fifteenth Judicial Circuit, Palm Beach County, Florida, Case Number 502007-CP-4158 (2007). Represented German client whose sister lived in Florida and was killed by her husband, who died a few years later. German client was an heir of the estate of her sister and a Wrongful Death Act (Florida Statutes § 768.16 et seq) claimant of the estate of her sister’s husband. The combined estates totaled approximately $60,000,000.00 in mostly commercial real estate assets. The estates’ heirs/claimants included the German client, German siblings of the client, the son of the late, federal and state taxing authorities and multiple creditors who financed the majority of the real estate holdings. After engaging in Florida probate court legal proceedings on behalf of the client and rejecting initial low settlement offers made by the personal representatives of the estates, able to secure large cash settlement and payment stream for the client, significantly improving client’s financial security and quality of life.
In re Engler, 490 B.R. 622, 2013 WL 1460054 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. 2013) in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida, Bankruptcy Case No. 9:08-bk-04360-MGW, Tardif v. Herrling, Adversary Proceeding Case No. 6:10-ap-00516-MGW. Represented Germany based investment advisor client in adversary proceeding lawsuit brought by Bankruptcy Trustee, pursuant to sections 544, 548 (a)(1)(A) and 550 of Title 11 of the United States Code (U.S.C.) to recover funds received by the client from a Ponzi scheme. After the trial, Bankruptcy Court ruled that the client received a portion of the funds for value, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 548(c), and the remainder of the funds as a mere conduit, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 550 (a)(1) “mere conduit” defense. Accordingly, the Bankruptcy Trustee was not entitled to recover any of the funds from the client and judgment was entered in favor of the client.
Actify, Inc., v. 3D View Software Distribution GmbH, International Court of Arbitration, Case No. 18464/VRO (2012). Represented California based Delaware corporation in a contractually mandated arbitration proceeding against German software distribution company for breach of contract and failure to pay agreed to proceeds from software distribution agreement. Pursuant to the dispute resolution provisions of the parties’ contract, initiated and prosecuted International Court of Arbitration, International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), arbitration proceeding, which concluded with client recovering funds and other concessions from opposing party/respondent.
Thomas Cook UK Ltd. v. Maesbury Homes, Inc., 280 F.R.D. 649 (M.D. Fla. 2012) in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida. Represented the United Kingdom and Germany based international tourism and vacation industry multinational corporation in dispute with Florida based condominium hotel owner-vendor. Initiated federal lawsuit on behalf of the plaintiff client and secured judgment of more than $2,000,000.00.
In re KA and KM Development, Inc., Bankruptcy Case No. 6:09-bk-06245-KSJ; Hollander et al. v. KA and KM Development, Inc., Titleconcepts, LLC, SunTrust Bank, and Kalidas, Adversary Proceeding Case Nos. 6:09-ap-0772-KSJ and 6:09-ap-0927-KSJ; and Federal District Court Case Nos. 6:08-cv-(2132-2155)-ACC-DAB and 6:09-cv-(0050-0055, 0185-0186, 0189-0192, 0194-0199, 0282-0285, 0287-0288, 0290-0292, 0330-0337, 0411-0412, 0414, 0419-0422, 0693)-ACC-DAB. Represented over 100 United Kingdom residents in 67 separate federal lawsuits filed in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida against KA and KM Development, Inc., for violations of the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act (15 U.S.C. § 1701 et seq), the Securities Act of 1933 (15 U.S.C. § 77e), the Florida Securities and Investor Protection Act (Florida Statutes Chapter 517), the Florida Condominium Act (Florida Statutes Chapter 718), the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (Florida Statutes § 501.201 et seq), Breach of Contract and other causes of action to terminate each purchase contract and to recover deposits paid. After the developer filed a petition for bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida, filed Proofs of Claim for each client and adversary lawsuits, on behalf of the majority of the 176 Lake Eve Resort development units, within the bankruptcy proceeding. After asserting multiple claims and litigating against the developer (KA and KM Development, Inc.), the escrow agent (Titleconcepts, LLC), the mortgage holder (SunTrust Bank) and the officers of the developer (Kalidas), able to secure settlement of all claims against all parties after extended multi-day court-ordered mediation sessions. Pursuant to the settlement, Amended Plan of Reorganization provided for all 93 client units to be released from contractual obligation and to recover full amounts remaining in escrow (at least 10 percent of the contracted for the purchase price for each client unit) plus additional amounts for a total recovery of over $4,500,000.00.
Kiersz v. Seymour International, Inc., Case No. 6:08-cv-1664-Orl-22GJK (M. D. Fla. 2010); 201 DPH LLC, v. Seymour International, Inc., Case No. 6:08-cv-1665-Orl-22GJK (M. D. Fla. 2010); HAA 505 LLC, v. Seymour International, Inc., Case No. 6:08-cv-1666-Orl-22GJK (M. D. Fla. 2010); 211 VBH LLC, v. SeymourInternational, Inc., Case No. 6:08-cv-1667-Orl-22GJK (M. D. Fla. 2010); and Harari v. Seymour International,Inc., Case No. 6:09-cv-1277-Orl-22GJK (M. D. Fla. 2010). Represented many Central and South American plaintiffs who entered into purchase agreements with Seymour International, Inc., to purchase units in the Point Orlando Resort Condominium development. Based upon the plaintiffs’ motions for summary judgment, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida entered Final Judgments terminating the parties’ purchase agreements and awarding the plaintiffs their full deposits plus attorney fees, interest and costs. Extensive post-judgment proceedings resulted in a recovery for all clients.
Hemachandra v. Lake Buena Vista Resort, L.L.C., Case No. 6:08-cv-1516-Orl-35KRS (M. D. Fla.2009); Nguyen v. Lake Buena Vista Resort, L.L.C., Case No. 6:08-cv-1658-Orl-35KRS (M. D. Fla. 2009);and Tran v. Lake Buena Vista Resort, L.L.C., Case No. 6:08-cv-1516-Orl-35KRS (M. D. Fla. 2009). Represented multiple United States-based plaintiffs who entered into purchase agreements with Lake Buena Vista Resort, LLC, to purchase units in the Lake Buena Vista Resort development. Based upon the plaintiffs’ motions for summary judgment, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida entered Final Judgments terminating the parties’ purchase agreements and awarding the plaintiffs their full deposits plus attorney fees, interest and costs. Extensive post-judgment collection proceedings, including multiple garnishment proceedings in aid of execution and collection of the final judgments, resulted in full recovery by client plaintiffs.
Harvey v. Lake Buena Vista Resort, L.L.C., 568 F.Supp.2d 1354 (M. D. Fla. 2007) affirmed Harvey v. Lake Buena Vista Resort, L.L.C., 306 Fed. Appx. 471 (11th Cir. 2009). Represented United Kingdom resident husband and wife in United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida federal lawsuit for violations of the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act, Florida Statutes Chapter 718, Breach of Contract and other causes of action against defendant developer to recover their $77,800.00 deposit. Based upon plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment, Court entered Final Judgment terminating the parties’ purchase contract and awarding the plaintiffs their full deposit plus attorney fees, interest and costs. The developer appealed the decision to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals (the federal appellate court for the States of Alabama, Florida, and Georgia). The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals three-judge panel unanimously affirmed the federal trial court’s final judgment, and the plaintiffs recovered over $150,000.00 in deposits, fees, interest, and costs.
Baker v. Plaza Court, L.P., Ninth Judicial Circuit, Orange County, Florida, Case Number 2007-CA-13562 affirmed Plaza Court, L.P., v. Baker-Chaput and O’Brien, 17 So.3d 720 (Fla. 5th DCA 2009), Case Numbers 5D08-899 and 5D08-1188 (Fla. 5th DCA 2009). Represented, and filed lawsuit for violation of the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act, Florida Statutes Chapter 718, Breach of Contract and other causes of action on behalf of, plaintiff who was party to a purchase contract for the purchase of a condominium unit from Plaza Court, L.P., at Solaire at the Plaza Condominium. Based upon plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment, Court entered Final Judgment terminating the contract and awarding the plaintiff client his full deposit plus attorney fees, interest and costs. The developer appealed the decision to the Fifth District Court of Appeals (the state appellate court for Central Florida). Prepared answer brief and conducted oral argument before a three-judge panel of the Fifth District Court of Appeals, result – three-judge panel unanimously affirmed the trial court’s final judgment and the plaintiffs recovered deposits, fees, interest and costs totaling more than twice the amount of the deposits at issue.
Pistner v. SBI Consult GmbH, Ninth Judicial Circuit, Orange County, Florida, Case Number 2007-CA-06791. Domesticated many German judgments in Florida court and then enforced the same by seizing assets of the defendant being held by an investment company in Florida.
Ruiz v. Mercedes Homes, Inc., Construction Arbitration Services, Inc., Case No. 07-224 (2007). Represented contract purchasers of new construction house seeking to terminate the contractual obligation to purchase the home from a builder and to recover deposit paid. Pursuant to the dispute resolution provisions of the parties’ contract, initiated and prosecuted Construction Arbitration Services, Inc. (CAS), arbitration proceeding through to a final hearing. The arbitration resulted in a written award by the arbitrator terminating/rescinding the parties’ contract and awarding the client purchasers a return of deposit funds.
Intralogistics Corp v. DotShop Wireless LLC, American Arbitration Association, Case No.32 181 00805 05 (2005). Represented the United Kingdom and Florida based telecommunications reseller company and its owner in an arbitration proceeding before the American Arbitration Association (AAA) initiated by a Florida based telecommunications provider seeking to collect for extensive unpaid services provided to the client. After extensive procedural tactics within the arbitration proceeding on behalf of the client, able to cause claimant/plaintiff to abandon and dismiss proceeding with no recovery.
Zwebner, Universal Communication Systems, Inc., & Airwater Corporation v. Coughlin, Case No. 05-20168-CIV-COOKE (S. D. Fla. 2005) Represented California defendant sued in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Secured final judgment and order of dismissal of the case in favor of defendant/client on personal jurisdiction, subject matter jurisdiction and venue grounds. Also defeated plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration of final judgment and order of dismissal.
Daghofer v. Daghofer (Fla. 4th DCA 2003) Domesticated and enforced Austrian judgments in Florida and prepared the Fourth District Court of Appeals initial appellate brief. Former husband and wife were involved in litigation initiated by the former wife in Austria. After unfavorable developments in Austria, the former wife brought a second action in Florida in an attempt to forum shop and litigate the same issues pending and/or decided before the Austrian court. The case involved German and English documents as well as a complicated procedural history.
Bio-Med Plus, Inc. v. Shea, 827 So.2d 260 (Fla. 3d DCA 2002) Prepared answer brief and conducted oral argument before a three-judge panel of Third District Court of Appeals. Case involved plaintiff who appealed dismissal with prejudice of its third amended complaint, which was its fourth attempt to state a cause of action against three officers of a bankrupt corporation. The appellate court PCA affirmed the lower court’s dismissal of all defendants/clients and denied the appellant’s subsequent motions for reconsideration and rehearing en banc.
Armindo v. Padlocker, Inc., 209 F.3d 1319 (11th Cir. 2000) Prepared Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals answer brief. The case involved a pregnant, female, African-American who was terminated from her employment. The appellate court affirmed the dismissal with a written opinion.
McKesson Corporation v.Wells Fargo Alarm Services, Inc. and Securtek Plus, Inc., Fourth Judicial Circuit, Duval County, Florida, Case Number 1998-CA-006753. The case involved a lawsuit brought by a pharmaceutical company to recover $500,000.00 in damages for pharmaceuticals spoiled when the company’s refrigeration system malfunctioned, and the rising temperature was not reported by the alarm services company contracted to monitor the refrigeration system continuously. Prepared motion for summary judgment as to client/defendant alarm services company based upon contractual language contained in the parties’ alarm services contract. Although the alarm company had negligently handled the refrigeration alarm, the court entered summary judgment in favor of the defendant/client based upon alarm services contract language.
Wills v. Chadwick, Eighteenth Judicial Circuit, Brevard County, Florida, Case Number 2006-CA-11046. Lead counsel in bench trial representing defendant client who entered into purchase and sale contract to sell oceanfront condominium unit. After a hurricane destroyed the condominium and the unit was completely rebuilt, the client refused to continue with the sale of the unit and purchasers sued for damages and specific performance. After bench trial involving fact and expert witness testimony, Court ruled in favor of defendant client and entered final judgment against plaintiffs, finding contract terminated.
Chenevert v. Pappas, Ninth Judicial Circuit, Orange County, Florida, Case Number 2007-CA-150. Lead counsel in bench trial representing New Hampshire plaintiff who purchased equipment from an Orlando area business based upon specific promises made by a principal of the business. After a trial, Court ruled in favor of the client and entered final judgment against defendant/principal of business personally for the full amount paid to the business.
Youssef v. Abbas, Ninth Judicial Circuit, Orange County, Florida, Case Number 2006-CA-00842. Lead counsel in bench trial representing New Jersey plaintiff who co-owned real property in Florida with former wife, who continued to reside in the property. After extensive litigation and multiple amended counterclaims by the defendant, the court held a bench trial and ruled in favor of plaintiff/client, entering final judgment for partition and forced sale of the real property.
Devoogel v. Petit, County Court in and for Orange County, Florida, Case Number 2005-SC-9561. Lead counsel in trial representing a defendant who retained plaintiff’s earnest money deposit for the purchase of real estate. Although plaintiff never signed a contract and never agreed that defendant could keep the deposit if the purchase was not completed, the court ruled in favor of defendant/client, allowing the client to retain the entire deposit.
Zimmerman v. Sunset Rugs & Antiques, Inc. and Amini, Eleventh Judicial Circuit, Dade County, Florida, Case Number 2003-12762-CA-01. Lead counsel in the trial of a case involving the representation of plaintiff suing for breach of contract and conversion to recover goods consigned to defendant corporation. Final judgment entered in favor of plaintiff/client on all counts against corporation and owner/officer, jointly and severally. Court also awarded fees and costs pursuant to offer of judgment statute.
Cushman Wakefield v. Paper et al., Eleventh Judicial Circuit, Dade County, Florida, Case Number 1998-29051-CA-01. One week jury trial involving representation of plaintiff/multinational real estate services firm against defendants building owner and building tenant for breach of brokerage agreement. Jury verdict rendered in favor of plaintiff/client and against the building owner.
American Express v. Alvarez, Eleventh Judicial Circuit, Dade County, Florida, Case Number 2000-18482-CA-01. Lead counsel in bench trial of a case involving client who was indebted to American Express for more than $100,000.00. The case involved a unique fact pattern in that the client had used a personal American Express card to finance business transaction and had returned the majority of goods to the vendor.
Parish v. Wells Fargo Armored Services Corp., Eleventh Judicial Circuit, Dade County, Florida, Case Number 1998-23750-CA-01. A two-day jury trial involving security services client whose armored car lost all power while exiting the highway and collided with the plaintiff’s automobile. Plaintiff, who had rejected the client’s offer of judgment and made own demand for judgment, sought damages for permanent injuries. Jury rendered verdict in favor of Plaintiff in an amount insufficient to trigger attorney fee liability.
Frankl v. Burke, County Court in and for Dade County, Florida, 2000. Lead counsel in bench trial representing doctor in a suit to recover money for medical services rendered pursuant to a letter of protection signed by an attorney. The case involved extensive expert witness testimony.