Practices

At Meland Russin & Budwick, we take an interdisciplinary approach to the law. We pride ourselves on our flexible, creative method of problem solving and on our firm culture that highly prioritizes responsiveness to our clients’ needs.

Commercial Litigation

Business litigation is one of Meland Russin & Budwick’s core strengths. We have extensive experience representing businesses and individuals in virtually all aspects of this area of the law and litigating cases in state and federal courts. We represent clients in matters related to breaches of contract, financial frauds, intellectual property, insurance, secured transactions, business torts and related matters.

Commercial Litigation Representative Matters

  • Representation of bankruptcy trustee for two South Florida-based hedge funds that suffered $651 million in cash-on-cash losses in a $2 billion Ponzi scheme perpetrated by Thomas J. Petters in Minneapolis, the third-largest financial fraud in U.S. history. Prosecuted more than 140 adversary proceedings, including claims for accountant and attorney malpractice and clawback of fraudulent transfers, as well as a conspiracy claim against a global financial institution. Successfully prosecuted tort and novel fraudulent transfer claims against BMO-Harris Bank, N.A. resulting in a $16 million recovery. Representation of client as a member of the Petters Company, Inc., Liquidating Trust Committee, responsible for overseeing and managing hundreds of millions of dollars in litigation claims.
  • New World Network International Ltd. – representation of a group of minority shareholders in a telecommunications Chapter 15 bankruptcy pending in the Southern District of New York and litigated whether a foreign proceeding in Bermuda should be recognized as a main proceeding as well as other venue issues.
  • Condominium Developer Workouts – during the downturn of the real estate and condominium market, represented numerous developers in workouts with senior secured and mezzanine lenders, including, Corus Bank, Fremont, Key Bank and Ocean Bank.
  • Represented group of major clawback defendants in Lancer Partners financial fraud case.
  • Represented largest creditor in Evergreen Securities bankruptcy in Orlando, Florida, involving $214 million ponzi scheme.
  • Representation of shareholders of close corporation in eight figure settlement of lender liability claims against consortium of financial institutions.
  • Representation of minority shareholders in derivative action related to corporation holding real estate investments with tens of millions of dollars in equity.
  • Represented owner of Grand Bay Hotel in Coconut Grove in successful workout with lender.
  • Representation of BNY Mellon Bank, Metro Bank, Northern Trust Bank, Professional Bank, Intercontinental Bank and other lenders in numerous commercial real estate loan transactions.
  • Appointed Special Master by Miami-Dade County in connection with collection of county waste fee judgments.
  • Representation of Isle of Dreams, the owner of real property in Miami, in contentious state court foreclosure proceedings against Sunbeam Realty and Sunbeam Television (owned by Edmund Ansin) which include significant counterclaims.
  • Representation of the owner of a retail shopping center in Pinecrest, Florida in a commercial foreclosure action. We negotiated a highly favorable settlement that allowed our client to keep the property.
  • Representation of the borrower under a commercial loan in an action against the lender for breaching the loan documents.
  • Represented judgment creditor against insurance company, and successfully defeated the insurance company’s claims that actions could not be brought against it as a result of the insured debtor’s discharge in bankruptcy.
  • Representation of BNY Mellon Bank, Metro Bank, Northern Trust Bank, Professional Bank, Intercontinental Bank and other lenders in numerous commercial loan transactions.
  • Supra Telecommunications & Systems, Inc. – represented the largest CLEC in the Southeastern United States in its Chapter 11 Reorganization, litigating numerous contentious matters with Bellsouth and successfully reducing Bellsouth’s claim from approximately $170 million to approximately $37.5 million and ultimately confirmed a plan.
  • Puig, Inc. – representation of the Official Joint Committee of Unsecured Creditors and then the Plan Administrator in connection with 26 debtor affiliates in the business of condominium conversions. The asserted unsecured claims exceeded $100 million. Prosecuted claims against third parties include actions for avoidance of transfers, professional malpractice, usury, fraud and breach of fiduciary duty.
  • Condominium Developer Workouts – during the downturn of the real estate and condominium market, representing numerous developers in workouts with senior secured and mezzanine lenders, including, Corus Bank, Fremont, Key Bank and Ocean Bank.
  • New Florida Properties, Inc. (Blue and Green Diamond) – representation of the equity holder and its affiliates in connection with the 630 unit landmark Blue and Green Diamond condominium projects on Miami Beach, Florida. Prosecuted tort claims against the senior secured participating lenders, including, Union Planters and Ocean Bank. MRB raised claims against the lenders for equitable subordination and lender liability resulting in the bank group waiving over $6 million in debt and agreeing to permit the equity holder to retain control over the disposition of the units.
  • Representation of the owner of a retail shopping center in Ft. Myers, Florida in a commercial foreclosure action that resulted in a favorable workout.
  • Representation of the owner of commercial property on International Drive in Orlando, Florida in a commercial foreclosure action. Obtained a favorable workout that allowed our client to keep the property.
  • Representation of a noteholder in commercial foreclosure actions over multiple properties in Miami-Dade, Florida. Obtained foreclosure judgments.
  • Represented the owner of commercial property in Palm Beach County, Florida in a commercial foreclosure action that resulted in a highly favorable settlement.
  • Obtained dismissal of all claims in pre-litigation negotiations with the FDIC while representing directors and officers of a Florida financial institution that went into receivership.
  • Represented former employee of solid fuel provider in action regarding non-solicitation and non-compete obligations.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a vocational institution in a four-hundred-thousand-dollar breach-of-contract and declaratory judgment action involving the interpretation of an asset purchase agreement.
  • Represented Miami-Dade County government entity in recouping over four million dollars in a financial dispute.
  • Defended directors and officers from multiple Puerto Rican financial institutions in litigation brought by the FDIC for alleged breaches of fiduciary duty regarding governance and the management of over fifty lending transactions.
  • Participated in litigation team that obtained a multi-million-dollar settlement in class action litigation against one of Florida’s largest health insurance providers.
  • Represented minority shareholder in bringing derivative action for breach of fiduciary duty, tortious interference with advantageous business relationships, and various other business torts.
  • Second-chaired bench trial and obtained a collective four-million-dollar verdict in two breach of guaranty actions that were collectively tried in Miami-Dade’s Complex Business Litigation Division.
  • Represented Turks & Caicos corporation defendant through appeal to the Eleventh Circuit in a dispute involving allegations of fraud and corruption.
  • Represented EMI Resorts, Inc. and 20 related company defendants through two appeals to the Eleventh Circuit in action alleging wire fraud, money laundering and other violations of RICO in an amount of $170 million. Successfully defended the action through the ultimate dismissal of the action by the plaintiffs.
  • Represented multiple individual and corporate plaintiffs, including Berjaya Group (Cayman) Limited and Prime Gaming Philippines, Inc. in litigation against Duffy’s Holdings, Inc. involving allegations of breaches of a stock purchase agreement regarding the multi-national restaurant chain of Roadhouse Grill, Inc.
  • Represented largest victim in Ponzi scheme perpetrated by Scott Rothstein and Rothstein Rosenfeldt & Adler, P.A. law firm in Fort Lauderdale.
  • Representation of bankruptcy trustee for two South Florida-based hedge funds that suffered $1.1 billion in losses in connection with the $3.5 billion Ponzi scheme perpetrated by Thomas J. Petters in Minneapolis, the third-largest financial fraud in U.S. history. Prosecuted more than 140 adversary proceedings, including claims for accountant and attorney malpractice and clawback of fraudulent transfers, as well as a $1.1 billion conspiracy claim against one of the nation’s largest financial institutions. Successfully prosecuted common law tort and novel fraudulent transfer claims against BMO Harris Bank, N.A. resulting in a recovery of $16,000,000. Representation of client as one of three members of the Petters Company, Inc., Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in Minnesota.
  • Representation of high net worth individuals in navigating their business and financial interests, including through judicial proceedings, as they arise.
  • Representation of the defendant in $20 million fraud action in the Southern District of Florida stemming from a complex corporate transaction which took place in Eastern Europe.
  • Representation of Florida corporation to assist in winding down its affairs, dissolving the corporation, and settling all obligations with lending institutions, vendors and creditors.
  • Representation of Florida corporation for claims of fraud and breach of contract against several parties in connection with the sale of the assets of several businesses.
  • Representation of management company in connection with its unlawful termination.
  • Represented bank against claims of usury brought by borrower in connection with various financing agreements.
  • Represented guarantors and owners of commercial property in Broward County, Florida and negotiated a highly favorable settlement, including a discounted payoff, release of all liens, and release of the guarantors.
  • Representation of owner of commercial property in litigation against secured lender and special services in connection with a $27 million loan.
  • Represented a group of major clawback defendants in the Nevin Shapiro ponzi bankruptcy case who were sued for more than $50 million. Obtained a very favorable ruling on a motion to dismiss which led to settlement of the case at less than 1.5% of the originally sought amount.
  • Representation of lender in high value personal property foreclosure proceedings against a commercial entity. Judgment was obtained and the client was able to obtain possession and title to the valuable personal property at issue.
  • Representation of note purchaser in commercial foreclosure proceedings. Judgment was obtained and the commercial property was successfully sold at auction.
  • Representation of defendants in fraudulent transfer adversary proceedings involving unresolved issues of law concerning use of the Internal Revenue Service as the triggering creditor. Representation led to a favorable global settlement of multiple pending adversary proceedings.
  • Representation of defendant against a judgment creditor seeking to collect on a judgment in excess of $20 million. The matter involved highly disputed and unresolved issues concerning the applicable statute of limitations. Representation led to a very favorable settlement for the defendant.
  • Represented developer in breach of contract action against an investor and obtained judgment in favor of developer.
  • Representation of bankruptcy trustee for two South Florida-based hedge funds that suffered $1.1 billion in losses in connection with the $3.5 billion Ponzi scheme perpetrated by Thomas J. Petters in Minneapolis, the third-largest financial fraud in U.S. history. Representation includes prosecuting a $1.1 billion conspiracy claim against one of the nation’s largest financial institutions.
  • Represented an insurance benefits administrator and its principal against fraudulent inducement claims and negotiated a favorable settlement through mediation.
  • Represented Hyperion Partners in connection with acquisition of loan encumbering the Onyx Condominium project, related litigation and bankruptcy to gain control of project, modification of condominium documents and end sale of balance of acquired condominium units.
  • Representation of the assignee, pursuant to Chapter 727 of the Florida Statutes, of a company in the business of distributing recording devices throughout Central and South America.
  • Represented group of guarantors of a $19.6 million credit facility collateralized by real estate, and negotiated a settlement that included a discount payment to release the guarantors and a release of the lender’s mortgage lien on the real estate at issue.
  • Representation of the principal of a large South Florida based company accused of breach of fiduciary duty and negligence by the company’s creditors. Vision Development Group, LLC – representation of the developer of a large condominium conversion project and its principal member in connection with litigation and a workout with the senior secured lender, Corus Bank, and various mezzanine lenders.
  • Representation of the Chapter 7 Trustee and Michael Budwick served as the receiver appointed by the United States District Court in a $19 million Ponzi scheme case perpetrated by Thomas Abrams. Brought a variety of litigation claims and reached a multi-million dollar settlement of an aiding and abetting claim against Fidelity Federal Bank & Trust, N.A.
  • Represented Glenn Beck, Mercury Radio Arts, Inc., and TheBlaze, Inc. in multiple litigations in Texas and Delaware against the companies’ former CEO for violating a restrictive covenant and breaching his fiduciary duty.
  • Represented Crown Linen, LLC in a trade secrets, FDUTPA, and tortious interference claim against its former sales director, who started a competing company. Obtained a jury verdict in Crown Linen’s favor.
  • Represented purchaser of a for-profit college in litigation against the seller for breaching of purchase and sale agreement. Obtained summary judgment.
  • Represented a developer in a class action brought by unit owners in a downtown Miami high-rise condominium.
  • Represented minority shareholder of a franchisor in litigation against the majority shareholders for breach of fiduciary duty.
  • Represented note purchaser in commercial foreclosure action, obtaining foreclosure judgment. Later secured a $5 million judgment against the guarantors following trial in Miami-Dade Complex Business Court.
  • Represented art purchaser in litigation against Art Basel art dealer asserting fraud claims.
  • Represented Isle of Dreams, the owner of real property in Miami, in contentious state court foreclosure proceedings against Sunbeam Realty and Sunbeam Television (owned by Edmund Ansin) which include significant counterclaims.
  • Represented the owner of commercial property on International Drive in Orlando, Florida in a commercial foreclosure action. Obtained a favorable workout that allowed our client to keep the property.
  • Represented the owner of a retail shopping center in Pinecrest, Florida in a commercial foreclosure action. Negotiated a highly favorable settlement that allowed our client to keep the property.
  • Represented Crown Linen, LLC in litigation with Miami-Dade County over water and sewer services.
  • Representation the owner of commercial property in downtown Key West in multiple foreclosure actions and obtained a favorable workout that enabled the client to keep its properties.
  • Represented 50% property owner in arbitration against co-owner for breaching operating agreement.
  • Represented law firm in breach-of-contract dispute with former attorneys.
  • Represented property owner in multimillion-dollar dispute with insurance company over damage to the property.
  • Successfully defended various businesses against claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act and Americans With Disabilities Act.
  • Representation of bankruptcy trustee for two south florida based hedge funds that suffered $1.1 billion in losses in connection with the $3.5 billion Ponzi scheme perpetrated by Thomas J. Petters in Minneapolis, the third largest financial fraud in U.S. history. Prosecuted over 140 adversary proceedings including claims for accountant and attorney malpractice and clawback of fraudulent transfers as well as a $1.1 billion conspiracy claim against one of the nation’s largest financial institutions. Representation of client as one of three members of the Petters Company, Inc. Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in Minnesota.
  • Successfully reorganized a 147-unit condominium hotel in South Florida in a chapter 11 reorganization proceeding. Successfully negotiated with multiple levels of secured and unsecured creditors to obtain a highly favorable result.
  • Representation as local counsel to handle proceedings in the U.S. District Court in relation to letters rogatory issued by a Mexican federal court.
  • Represented broker dealer in New York in aggressive litigation with excellent result for client. 
  • Represented real-estate developer in aggressive litigation by competitor and later a national bank.
  • Represented Trustees of family trusts involving management of significant operating business interests.
  • Represented developer consulting company in litigation relating to termination of management agreement and related issues.
  • Represented electronics manufacturer in disputes relating to license agreement issued by internationally known celebrity chef.
  • Represented Alchemist, a trendy clothier, in a successful workout with creditors, thereby making substantial success of company possible.
  • Represented an affiliate of Madison Capital with regard to various litigation issues.