Daniel DeSouza is a senior attorney in Becker & Poliakoff’s Ft. Lauderdale office and a member of the firm’s Business Litigation group. His practice concentrates on complex commercial disputes in state, federal, and bankruptcy courts throughout the United States. Daniel’s areas of concentration include litigation of business torts (such as tortious interference, breach of fiduciary duty, fraudulent inducement, and misappropriation claims), employment disputes (on behalf of both employers and employees), and complex contractual disputes between businesses. He is committed to obtaining practical, creative, and efficient solutions for his clients in both litigation and negotiations of settlements.In addition, Daniel is well-known in the South Florida legal community for his leadership in e-discovery and disputes involving discovery of electronically stored information. He frequently speaks at e-discovery conferences and continuing legal education courses presented to clients, judges, in-house counsel, and practicing attorneys.
Daniel understands that most litigation clients share a common bond – they hate litigation. It is an expensive and often frustrating event, and clients generally prefer to avoid litigation like the plague. Because of this, Daniel also publishes a blog specifically for clients that is aptly named http://www.IHateLitigation.com. The blog uses humor to tackle real-world issues typically faced by clients and provide practical tips to lessen the sting of litigation.
Prior to moving to Florida, Daniel practiced at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP in Washington, D.C., where he focused on a range of areas including complex commercial litigation and bankruptcy litigation on behalf of national and multinational institutional clients.
Daniel’s recent matters include a wide array of commercial and business disputes that he resolved for his clients:
- Represented a leading seller of medical aesthetic equipment in obtaining a preliminary injunction in federal court against former employees accused of violating non-compete and other restrictive covenants, misappropriating sensitive customer data, and establishing a competing business.
- Represented owner and lessor of commercial aircraft in litigation brought by lessee alleging fraudulent inducement of lease regarding technical condition of the aircraft at issue.
- Pursued declaratory judgment action on behalf of domestic designer of women’s footwear against foreign individuals and entities regarding ownership of trademarks and other intellectual property.
- Obtained a favorable settlement as class counsel in action brought under Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act and the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act against sellers and financiers of what was represented to buyers as investment property on the Gulf Coast of Florida.
- Represented manufacturer of industrial water treatment unit in litigation with commercial laundry facility regarding the technical performance of unit and the causes for deficiencies in performance.
- Obtained a favorable settlement with a leading software developer regarding the payment of bonuses and other benefits to a Czech Republic citizen that was working for the software developer in Russia.
- Represented leading payroll software developer in obtaining temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against former employee/salesperson accused of misappropriating confidential customer lists and other proprietary information.
- In addition to his litigation of commercial and business disputes, Daniel also regularly represents creditors, secured lenders, debtors, and others in complex contested matters and adversarial proceedings in bankruptcy courts throughout the United States. He represents clients in preference and fraudulent transfer actions, involuntary bankruptcy proceedings, bankruptcy discharges, and motions relating to the bankruptcy automatic stay. Daniel’s recent bankruptcy matters include:
- Served as special counsel to bankruptcy trustee in investigating and pursuing multiple fraudulent transfer actions, resulting in the recovery of substantial amounts for the bankruptcy estate.
- Represented creditor in investigating debtor’s complex scheme to transfer assets to friends and family members, ultimately obtaining a judgment exempting creditor’s debt from debtor’s Chapter 7 discharge.
- Represented targets of preference actions in obtaining favorable settlements with bankruptcy trustees and advancing new value, contemporaneous exchange, and ordinary course defenses.
- Defended debtor in involuntary bankruptcy proceeding brought by former employees of debtor’s subsidiary on the basis that bankruptcy was brought in bad faith and against incorrect entity.
- “Social Media in e-Discovery,” ESI Roundtable (September 2013)
- “The E-ssentials of E-Discovery: A Practical Guide to Managing E-Discovery Disputes in Your Courtroom,” presented to Broward County judiciary with Continuing Judicial Education accreditation (April 2013)
- “Federal and Florida E-Discovery Amendments,” ESI Roundtable (February 2013)
- “Today’s E-Mail is Tomorrow’s Evidence: Legal Implications of the Move to an E-World,” presented to the Construction Financial Management Association (November 2012)
- “E-Discovery: A Byte of Planning Can Save You a Gigabyte of Trouble,” eDiscovery Leadership Conference at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (November 2012)
- “E-Ethics for E-Discovery: Considerations and Solutions for the E-Practitioner,” webinar presented and recorded for The Florida Bar (October 2012)
- “Just When You Thought E-Discovery Was Only a Federal Court Issue: Proposed ESI Amendments to the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure,” Legal Learning Series, Broward Bar (June 2012)
- “Just When You Thought E-Discovery Was Only a Federal Court Issue: Proposed ESI Amendments to the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure,” Daily Business Review’s In-House Corporate Counsel Summit (May 2012)
- “E-Discovery and You,” presented to Coral Gables Bar Association (April 2012)
Organizations & Memberships
ESI Roundtable (Miami) – Member / Panelist
- New York
- 8th Circuit Court of Appeals
- United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida
- United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida
- United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
- George Washington University, J.D.
- Florida Atlantic University, B.A.
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