OUR PRACTICE AREAS
Heise Suarez Melville excels in the defense and prosecution of complex, high-stakes antitrust cases, whether it is defending Burger King in a class action accusing them of concerted action that depressed workers’ wages or enforcing or defeating non-competition agreements.
The legal battle is not always over when the judge announces a ruling. Many times, the party who is unhappy with the outcome files an appeal of the adverse ruling. Heise Suarez Melville is aware of this reality and is well-equipped to continue representing its clients during this phase of the litigation, whether the goal is to protect a hard-earned trial victory or reverse an unfair result. Partners at Heise Suarez Melville have handled appeals in many tribunals, including the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, the Florida Supreme Court, and each of Florida’s District Courts of Appeal.
Heise Suarez Melville has prosecuted and defended claims in arbitration proceedings, ranging from airport purchase and sale disputes to calculation of monies due to medical providers. The Firm also prosecutes securities arbitration claims.
Partners at Heise Suarez Melville have been involved in a wide variety of class actions, both on the plaintiff and defense side. For plaintiff classes, we vigorously prosecuted the claims in the Takata Air Bag MDL, which already has resulted in $1.5 billion in settlements, and in the Blue Cross Blue Shield Antitrust action. We also have been class counsel in class actions representing consumers against AT&T and representing taxpayers overcharged by the City of Miami. This history of representing plaintiff classes has honed our skills for when we represent defendants, such as Burger King in a purported nationwide antitrust case.
CONTRACTUAL AND PARTNERSHIP DISPUTES
These types of cases are a staple at Heise Suarez Melville. Whether it is a bet-the-company contractual dispute or a multi-million-dollar breach of a commercial lease or an onerous non-competition agreement, we doggedly pursue every avenue that can lead to success. We are always asking the question: how do we win this case? We don’t push paper around to try to settle but take every step with an eye towards winning at trial because not all cases can be settled fairly. We know, and so do our clients, that the best settlements depend on being prepared to win at trial.
Heise Suarez Melville regularly litigates non-competition agreements, oftentimes in the health care industry. Whether it is representing the employer or the employee, we have the experience to carefully analyze the issues and provide clear and direct advice. In one such matter, we represented a group of doctors who wished to begin their own practice, which ultimately led to the passage of a statute ensuring that the doctors could not be sidelined and instead could continue to treat their patients. The partners at Heise Suarez Melville, along with the Florida Attorney General’s office, then successfully litigated the constitutionality of that statute in federal court in Tallahassee.
Heise Suarez Melville’s partners have counseled and represented companies throughout the energy sector in crucial matters, including the handling of active litigation. We have defended project owners against claims of negligence, responded to environmental charges, and assisted in obtaining necessary zoning variances and special or conditional use permits. We have also litigated disputes concerning physical assets such as oil and natural gas, intangible assets such as Renewable Energy Credits and capacity plays, and defended our clients’ contractual and competition rights. The Firm provides trial-ready counsel prepared to bring any energy-related matter to a successful conclusion.
Heise Suarez Melville assists doctors and physician practice groups and others in the medical industry navigate complex legal issues. Our expertise regarding the health care industry enables the Firm to work with our clients to reach their particular solutions, whether that is filing an antitrust action in federal court attacking anti-competitive behavior, voiding or enforcing a non-competition agreement or prosecuting an action on behalf of a whistleblower who reported safety violations at their hospital.
The partners of Heise Suarez Melville have represented plaintiffs and defendants in a full range of high-stakes, high-profile lawsuits involving copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets and other intellectual property. These cases range from representing an energy company that found its trade name being misappropriated in another state to a computer company suing when its copyrighted and confidential code was placed in the public domain.
Heise Suarez Melville has been involved in a wide variety of international matters, including representing the Crown Prince of the United Arab Emirates, Mohamed Bin Zayed, after he, along with many others, was sued in federal court in Miami for allegedly hacking the phone of an Al Jazeera correspondent. The Firm’s partners have also represented individuals and Fortune 100 companies with international litigation matters, mostly involving Latin America and South America, including Section 1782 actions in federal court.
At Heise Suarez Melville, when we say we are involved in malpractice litigation, it runs the gamut from medical malpractice to legal malpractice to accounting malpractice. And, unlike most firms, we are not beholden to one side of the case or the other. We have defended a law firm accused of wrongdoing and $100 million in losses and are representing a former NFL player suing to recover his tens of millions of dollars in lost wages after his career ended unnecessarily at a surgery center. Having seen both sides of these types of malpractice claims, Heise Suarez Melville can effectively get them ready for trial and, if that is the only way to resolve them, to try them.
The partners at Heise Suarez Melville have been involved in hundreds of mediations, mostly representing one side or the other, but oftentimes as a mediator. Because the Firm is not confined to only representing plaintiffs or only representing defendants, when asked to mediate a case we don’t have an inherent bias and can appropriately evaluate a case and bring it to a successful conclusion.
Heise Suarez Melville represents those who have suffered catastrophic injuries, whether it is the mother of three who received a delayed cancer diagnosis or the users of products that have caused cancer or other illnesses. The Firm also has been involved in the defense of significant cases, including a failure to warn about criminal activity after guests were allegedly raped at an international hotel.
Heise Suarez Melville believes wholeheartedly that it has an obligation to give back to the community and its pro bono representation reflects that belief. We have gone to trial at the Court of Federal Claims to prosecute a claim under the Vaccine Injury Compensation Act, represented the victim of sexual harassment before a college investigative panel at Johns Hopkins University, and regularly act as a guardian ad litem in cases. The Firm also tries to make the legal system better, whether that is serving on the Judicial Nominating Commission or lecturing at a seminar to educate lawyers. The Firm also has made it a practice when it discounts or “no charges” its work to ask the client to donate to Feeding South Florida or a charity of their choice—a win for everyone!
The partners at Heise Suarez Melville have been actively involved high-profile, high-stakes product liability cases involving complex scientific and medical issues. We spent over a decade defending Philip Morris USA in smoking and health cases in Florida, both pre-trial and oftentimes successfully trying the case to verdict. We also spent years representing DuPont in cases where plaintiffs alleged economic damages resulting from the use of the product Benlate. Our partners have represented automobile manufacturers in litigation involving various alleged product defects. We currently represent Endo Pharmaceuticals, an opioid manufacturer, in a suit brought by dozens on hospitals in Broward County. At the same time, we are actively pursuing product liability claims against the manufacturers of Roundup, Talc, Zantac and other defective products.
Heise Suarez Melville is involved in receivership matters in a variety of ways. In some instances, our corporate clients find themselves in a deadlock or with a rogue partner and they file a lawsuit seeking the appointment of a receiver. In other instances, Heise Suarez Melville is appointed Receiver, as was the case when we were appointed Receiver over Apeiron, the owner of the Jockey Club development in North Miami.
Over the years, the partners at Heise Suarez Melville have represented individual and institutional investors who have lost money as a result of securities fraud or stockbroker misconduct. We have brought these claims as class actions and in arbitrations on behalf of individual investors. No matter whether it is in court or in arbitration, the Firm aggressively pursues claims to recover our clients’ investment losses.
The partners of Heise Suarez Melville regularly are appointed as Special Magistrate by the judges in the Complex Business Litigation Division to oversee discovery disputes. This unique perspective provides the Firm with insight on how courts evaluate the matters brought before them.
White Collar Criminial Defense and Government Investigations
Heise Suarez Melville combines government experience with deep industry knowledge to bring practical, solutions-oriented, and battle-tested perspectives to high-stakes, government-related problems. The Firm’s partners have a proven track record of litigating complex white collar criminal cases. Our team, which includes a former federal prosecutor, has expertise handling federal crimes such as money laundering and illegal monetary transactions; RICO; wire, mail, access-device, and bank fraud; and environmental crimes. Our partners have also litigated criminal matters in federal appellate courts. Additionally, the Firm provides a broad array of services to help guide our clients through grand jury and other government investigations.
When a family member is killed due to the negligence of others, there perhaps is no more difficult time in the surviving family members’ lives. Heise Suarez Melville understands that fact and takes on a limited number of wrongful death cases and pursues them diligently and with care towards the surviving family members. Our range of experience is broad, whether it is a cyclist hit by a car or truck to a fisherman run over by a yacht in the Keys, Heise Suarez Melville is prepared to get justice for the family.