Cases and Settlements

NON-COMPETE AGREEMENT DEFEATED, CLIENT OBTAINS JUDGMENT AGAINST FORMER EMPLOYER FOR OVER $200,000

Donna M. Ballman, P.A. has successfully fended off an attempt to enforce a non-compete agreement against a client. A complaint and emergency motion for temporary injunction had been filed against the client alleging violation of a non-compete, misappropriation of trade secrets, and tortious interference with contractual relations. The motion for temporary injunction was denied and the complaint filed against the client was subsequently dismissed with prejudice by the court. The court then entered final judgment of $17,000.26 of attorney's fees and costs in favor of the client in May 2009. Donna M. Ballman, P.A. subsequently filed a counterclaim seeking damages and declaratory relief, including Partition of Property, Fraud in the Inducement, Fraudulent Concealment and Misrepresentation, Breach of Contract, Unpaid Wages, Florida Private Whistleblower Act, Defamation, Declaratory Relief, and Voiding of a Mortgage. In September 2009, a final judgment on liability and partial final judgment on damages was entered in favor of the client, with a partial monetary damage award on the unpaid wage claim totaling $210,419.57 exclusive of interest. In addition, the court ordered a partition of disputed property and an inspection of shareholder records, voided an illegal mortgage, and entered declaratory relief on behalf of the client.

$600,000 JUDGMENT ON BREACH OF CONTRACT CASE

Donna Ballman has obtained a judgment in excess of $600,000 for breach of an employment contract. The company terminated its employee prior to the end of an employment contract and failed to pay the severance set forth in the agreement. Summary judgment was entered in favor of the employee, and damages included the lost wages and prejudgment interest, with the Court reserving jurisdiction to assess the amount of attorney's fees and costs.

NON-COMPETE AGREEMENT THROWN OUT

Donna M. Ballman, P.A. has defeated a non-compete injunction entered against a client. An emergency injunction was entered without notice to the former employee. Upon hearing the testimony presented by attorney Lorena Schwartz, the court overturned the non-compete agreement. The employee was a sales person who obtained leads through a public source. The former employer sought to keep the employee from opening a competing corporation. The Court found that, because the information used in leads was public information and not confidential, the former employer had no interest to protect and lifted the injunction.

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$100,000 VERDICT ON DEFAMATION CASE

Donna M. Ballman, P.A. has won a $100,000 jury verdict* on a defamation case against a major corporation. The case involved the company putting false information in a disciplinary action, spreading false information about the employee, and allowing the information to continue to spread knowing it was false. The jury further found that the company had negligently supervised its employees. The employee, who still works for the company, received the monetary award for damage to reputation and for emotional distress.

BALLMAN NAMED TO TOP ATTORNEYS IN SOUTH FLORIDA

Donna Ballman was named a "Top Lawyer in South Florida" in 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 in the area of employment law for the third year by South Florida Legal Guide. Attorneys were chosen based upon a screening process which began with asking 5,000 lawyers whom they would recommend to a friend or family member in a variety of fields or areas of practice. They then took an initial list of approximately 400 lawyers who were mentioned most frequently in the responses, and in an effort to further narrow the field, had the list reviewed by other lawyers to cull it down to what South Florida Legal Guide believes are the top lawyers in each area of practice.

BALLMAN NAMED LEADING FLORIDA ATTORNEY

Donna Ballman was named a "Leading Florida Attorney" in 2000 by the American Research Corporation. This selection was the result of an extensive survey involving thousands of members of The Florida Bar. Less than 5% of the attorneys licensed to practice in Florida have been selected as Leading Florida Attorneys.

HIALEAH PAYS $189,000 TO SETTLE SWIM CASE

The City of Hialeah settled a race discrimination suit by five black firefighter applicants by paying $189,000.00. Three of the plaintiffs are being allowed to re-apply to the Fire Department, and will be allowed one year after hiring to pass the swim portion of the physical agility test. The suit, handled by attorney Donna Ballman for the plaintiffs, was based upon changes to the pre-hiring swim test that were made after the Department of Justice filed a class action suit against the City alleging race discrimination in hiring practices in the police and fire departments. The plaintiffs re-applied to the City of Hialeah Fire Department as part of the settlement of that DOJ class action. However, instead of being faced with the test that was in place when they originally applied to the department, they were forced to take a substantially harder test.

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BALLMAN APPEARS ON LIFETIME TELEVISION SPECIAL ON SEXUAL HARASSMENT

Donna Ballman appeared on "Final Take: Sexual Harassment", a one-hour special on Lifetime Television Network. Ms. Ballman was interviewed regarding a case in which she represented a man who was falsely accused of sexual harassment and who sued his former employer for defamation. The special focused on issues surrounding sexual harassment by spotlighting four cases which demonstrated unique perspectives on the issue, then had a panel and audience discussion regarding each case.

$916,000 JURY VERDICT

Donna Ballman obtained a $916,000 jury verdict for a man who claimed he was fired for making a worker's compensation claim and that his employer engaged in illegal wiretapping. The jury found for the plaintiff on both the wrongful termination and wiretapping counts.

$275,000 JURY VERDICT

In a same-sex sexual harassment case, Donna Ballman won a $275,000 jury verdict for her client, a former police dispatcher. She was continually harassed by females in her department, including criticism of clothes, jewelry, work; looking up and down; inappropriate comments about clothing, appearance; questions about personal life. She repeatedly complained. An anonymous letter was sent to her husband which contained sexually graphic and obscene language, and innuendos about her having affairs with a supervisor and police officers.

* reversed on appeal.