Fox Litigation Team Wins Victory for Prominent Plastic Surgeon in Palm Beach CountyMarch 12, 2021 – Press Releases
Fox Rothschild LLP attorneys W Mason and Megan McNamara successfully obtained a declaratory judgment in the Circuit Court for the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit for Palm Beach County on behalf of a high-profile plastic surgeon regarding the enforceability of restrictive covenants contained in an employment agreement, freeing him to launch his own practice.
After resigning from his position with a former employer in February 2020, the client retained Fox to file a lawsuit seeking a declaratory judgment that the non-competition and non-solicitation provisions in his employment agreement were void. The restrictive covenants at issue prohibited the client from working in two counties, and from providing services to or obtaining referrals from any current or prospective patient or referral source of the employer for a period of two years following his resignation. Notably, the former practice consisted of only one other plastic surgeon.
The highly contested case involved numerous motions for sanctions based on discovery abuses by the former employer’s counsel, and was delayed by court closures during the pandemic. After successfully arguing that the declaratory judgment action should be set for an expedited and bifurcated trial due to the time-sensitive nature of the relief sought and uncontrollable backlog in jury trials, the action proceeded to a bench trial.
The Fox team argued that the former employer did not have any legitimate business interest and the court agreed at the conclusion of trial. Both the employment agreement and Florida law entitled the prevailing party to attorney fees.
This was a monumental victory for the client. Now, nearly a year before the restrictive covenants were set to expire, the client can freely open a practice and begin treating patients in Palm Beach County, including former patients he treated while working for the employer.
Fox attorney Amy S. Rubin also assisted on the matter.