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Gunster shareholders to argue back-to-back cases before Florida Supreme Court

Published Wednesday, February 5, 2020


On Wednesday and Thursday of this week, two shareholders from Gunster, one of Florida’s oldest and largest business law firms, will argue two separate cases before the Florida Supreme Court. George S. LeMieux, chairman of the firm and business litigator in the firm’s Ft. Lauderdale office, and Lauren Purdy, a newly promoted shareholder and litigator in Jacksonville, will present arguments in two cases before the state’s highest court.


LeMieux represents Hillsborough County and the City of Tampa in defense of a charter amendment passed by county voters in November 2018. The amendment would levy a 1-cent sales surtax to be used for transportation purposes in the region. The consolidated appeal addresses both the validation of the bonds issued in connection with the surtax and the constitutionality of the charter amendment.


Purdy represents DFG Group, LLC and two individuals who were defendants in a controversy concerning the sale of a business. The issue on appeal is whether, in the context of a conspiracy to breach fiduciary duty claim, a jury may award punitive damages when it has found the defendants conspired to breach a fiduciary duty, but the conduct did not cause any cognizable compensatory damages. Her arguments involve interpretations of Florida Supreme Court precedent and United States Supreme Court case law concerning due process rights under the 14th amendment.


The team of Gunster attorneys working on these matters includes Ken Bell, a former Florida Supreme Court Justice and shareholder in the firm’s Tallahassee office.


LeMieux, a former U.S. Senator, serves as chairman of the firm’s board of directors. Previously, he was a shareholder at Gunster, working with the firm from 1994 through 2002 and again from 2008 until 2009, when he was appointed to serve as Florida’s 34th United States Senator. He previously served as the governor’s chief of staff and as deputy attorney general for the state of Florida. He practices business litigation and counsels Fortune 500 companies, their officers and boards, as well as high profile individuals in Florida and throughout the country. He focuses his practice on resolving business, and governmental disputes, and advising CEOs and C-suite executives on business, law and government from a local, state and national perspective. He earned his undergraduate degree at Emory University and his J.D. at Georgetown Law.


Purdy advises local, national and multinational clients in a wide array of business disputes in both state and federal courts. Her practice is focused on complex commercial litigation, transportation and professional liability matters at both the trial and appellate court level. She is recognized by both Florida Trend’s Legal Elite and Florida Super Lawyers and serves on the firm’s Women’s Leadership Forum executive committee. She earned her undergraduate degree from Ouachita Baptist University and her J.D. from the Florida State University.