Pollard PLLC and its attorneys have successfully prosecuted numerous appeals in state and federal appellate courts. The firm’s appellate practice primarily focuses on appealing preliminary injunctions in non-compete and trade secret cases. In addition to prevailing on appeal, the firm also has obtained emergency relief from appellate courts (i.e. emergency stay of an injunction pending appeal). Various Firm attorneys are admitted to practice before Florida’s appellate courts and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh and Third Circuits.
- Vital Pharms., Inc. v. Alfieri, 23 F.4th 1282, 1285 (11th Cir. 2022): The maker of Bang energy drinks sued several departing employees for non-compete violations. The district court enjoined one of those employees who worked in the supply chain segment of the business. The Firm appealed. The 11th Circuit vacated the preliminary injunction, holding that VPX failed to establish either a legitimate business interest or the threat of irreparable harm.
- Moon v. Med. Tech. Associates, 577 F. App’x 934 (11th Cir. 2014): Medical Technology Associates (“MTA”) purchased Moon Medical. Following the sale, several key officers and employees of Moon Medical became MTA employees. The transition was a rocky one. The Moons eventually left MTA and went back into business. Faced with the threat of being sued in Florida state court for breach of a non-compete agreement, the firm preemptively launched a declaratory judgment action against MTA in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida. MTA countersued for various claims including breach of the non-compete agreement and breach of fiduciary duty. The trial court entered a preliminary injunction. The firm appealed. The Eleventh Circuit vacated the preliminary injunction and remanded for further proceedings. On remand, with the correct standard applied, the trial court denied MTA’s renewed motion for a preliminary injunction. The firm defeated MTA’s bid for summary judgment outright while winning partial summary judgment. The case then settled confidentially on the brink of trial.
- Salazar v. Hometeam 230 So. 3d 619 (2nd DCA 2017): The trial court granted a preliminary injunction to enforce a non-compete agreement. The firm appealed. Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal vacated the injunction and remanded. The appellate court held (1) that the form of the injunction order was defective for failure to state findings of fact necessary to support a grant of injunctive relief and (2) that the trial court was required to rule upon affirmative defenses, including illegality, before issuing a preliminary injunction.
- Silva v. Nightingale Nurses, LLC, Case No. 4D17-0032 (Fla. 4th DCA 2017): The case arose out of a dispute between rival nurse staffing companies. Nightingale Nurses had originally sued a former employee for violating his non-compete agreement. That case resolved via a consent injunction. Their rival MedTemps hired that employee, unaware that he was subject to a preliminary injunction. Upon learning that the employee had gone to work for MedTemps, Nightingale sued MedTemps and brought them into the prior non-compete action via contempt proceedings. After contempt proceedings that lasted three days, the trial court issued a sweeping order that barred MedTemps from engaging in competitive business, effectively required the company’s owners to divest themselves, and provided for further proceedings on Nightingale’s claimed damages (which by this point included millions of dollars in claimed disgorgement and attorneys’ fees). The firm appealed. In connection with the appeal, the firm filed an emergency motion for a stay of the trial court’s injunction pending appeal. After extensive briefing, Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal granted the firm’s extraordinary request for emergency relief and stayed the injunction pending appeal. After the firm’s victory on the stay motion, the case – and all related litigation, including a federal Lanham Act lawsuit and a shareholder lawsuit against Nightingale, both filed by the firm – resolved via confidential settlement.
- Evans v. Generic Solutions, 178 So. 3d 114 (Fla. 5th DCA 2015): Two independent contractors left a company Generic Solutions, a technology and marketing company, and started their own competing venture. Both individuals had signed a non-compete agreement with Generic. After a hearing, one independent contractor prevailed in establishing that he had a new contract without a non-compete agreement that superseded his prior agreement. The trial court, however, held that the other independent contractor remained subject to the non-compete agreement and issued a preliminary injunction. The Firm appealed. Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal vacated the injunction and held that the non-compete at issue was unenforceable for lack of any legitimate business interest.
The firm has extensive experience in all aspects of competition law, including non-compete agreements, trade secrets, trademark, false advertising and antitrust. Beyond competition law, the firm has substantial experience litigating a broad range of complex cases, including partnerships disputes, civil rights, defamation, and personal injury. This subject matter knowledge is critical on appeal. For more information, please contact our office at 954-332-2380.