MasRec retains HSM
MasTec, one of the largest infrastructure engineering and construction firms in the world, retained HSM to file suit in federal court against certain defendants regarding a tax dispute. After many months of hard-fought litigation preparing the case for trial, the parties amicably resolved the dispute.
New Member: Daniel Crispino
As part of our commitment to align our firm with the legal industry’s best talent, we are pleased to announce the addition of attorney Daniel Crispino as an associate. Before joining our firm, Daniel served as a law clerk to two (can you say, “overachiever?”) judges in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida: U.S. District Judge Rodney Smith and U.S. Magistrate Judge Lauren F. Louis. Before his clerkships, he practiced high-risk, complex commercial litigation with a focus on class-action lawsuits and contractual disputes at Boies Schiller Flexner LLP. He also was a part of a team who represented victims of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein pro bono.
Daniel graduated from Emory University with a Bachelor of Arts in English in 2013, and from Wake Forest University School of Law with a Juris Doctor in 2016. While in law school, Daniel completed a summer judicial externship with then-Florida Circuit Court Judge Raag Singhal in the 17th Judicial Circuit of Florida. Currently, Daniel is involved with the local chapters of the Federal Bar Association and the Asian Pacific American Bar Association. When not working, Daniel can be found on the tennis court, at the beach, or volunteering at his local animal shelter.
HSM wholly supports the Honorable Thomas J. Rebull in the Group 65 race in the August 18, 2020, election for judges. Judge Thomas Rebull is now a Circuit Judge for the 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida, Appellate Division.
After law school, Judge Rebull clerked for Judge Joseph Nesbitt for two years. When the clerkship ended, he moved into the private sector. Eventually, he ended up with a position at Broad and Cassel where he stayed for a decade and rose to partner. Judge Rebull was ultimately appointed circuit judge by Governor Rick Scott in September of 2011, filling the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Israel Reyes.
Judge Rebull’s first assignment as a Circuit Judge was in the Felony Criminal Division. The Honorable Bertila Soto, after becoming Chief Judge in 2013, appointed Judge Rebull as an Associate Administrative Judge for the Criminal Division. Judge Soto later named him co-chair of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Professionalism Committee. Judge Rebull rotated from the Criminal Division to the Civil Division in January 2015.
Judge Rebull is currently participating in a case management pilot program in the civil division. He is a frequent lecturer on professionalism and civility issues, as well as matters related to practice in the civil division of the Circuit Court. Judge Rebull has also served as faculty at the Florida College of Advanced Judicial Studies. For more information, please visit https://www.judgerebull.com/. To be able to vote by mail in the August election, you may wish to visit the Miami-Dade website to obtain your ballot: https://miamidade.electionsfl.org/vrservices/mbrs
Noteworthy Legal Decisions
Following is HSM’s analysis of a recent court ruling which serves as a useful “Writ of Mandamus 101.” In layman’s terms, a writ of mandamus is an order by a court to a government official to perform an act required by law, which he or she has refused or neglected to do. In Point Conversions, LLC v. Pfeffer & Marin Holdings, LLC, the Florida Third District Court of Appeal addressed whether a petitioner was entitled to a writ of mandamus. No. 3D20-0249, 2020 WL 2048064 (Fla. 3d DCA April 29, 2020). The Third DCA denied the petition for a writ of mandamus to challenge a trial court’s decision to dismiss its complaint without prejudice to amend for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. Id. at *1.
To seek a proper writ of mandamus, blackletter law requires three elements be met: “…  the petitioner must have a clear legal right to the requested relief,  the respondent must have an indisputable legal duty to perform the requested action, and  the petitioner must have no other adequate remedy.” Id. (emphasis omitted). In denying the petition, the majority relied upon the determination that the Petitioner had to avail itself of the alternative remedy, i.e., it could have seized upon the permission to amend the complaint.
Interestingly though, through a short historical analysis of mandamus dating back to 1882, the concurring opinion emphasized that mandamus should really truly only lie where the lower court refused to “take jurisdiction.” Id. at *2-3. It should not lie where the petition seeks to “control [the] discretion [of the lower court] while acting within its jurisdiction.” Id. at *4. Mandamus is not available to mandate the doing or undoing of a discretionary act or a merely erroneous decision.