While I am a litigator at heart (assuming lawyers have hearts – which, as far as I know, is not yet proven), business disputes are not always best resolved through the scorched earth litigation process. I’ve had the privilege of working with big (Fortune 100) companies, solo entrepreneurs, and just about everyone in-between. This may come as a surprise, but not too many of them are thrilled with the prospect of multi-year litigation that does nothing but eat away at their bottom line. For this reason, I am always committed to obtaining practical, creative, and efficient solutions for my clients in both litigation and well before litigation ever arises. Litigation is not always in my clients’ best interest, and I regularly counsel clients regarding strategies for the avoidance of litigation, risk management, and litigation cost reduction.
Prior to establishing DeSouza Law, I was a senior attorney with a leading Florida law firm (Becker & Poliakoff, PA) and, in a prior life, an attorney in Washington, DC with a top multinational firm (Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP). I’ve handled high stakes litigation with hundreds of millions of dollars on the line, and I’ve had the honor of going toe-to-toe with some of the country’s brightest attorneys. My philosophy is a simple one – small firm attention, big firm expertise. My clients certainly deserve both. I am committed to providing practical, real-world advice to clients in a language they can understand (no ‘lawyer-ese’) and obtaining favorable results for them whenever possible.
I am also well-known in the South Florida legal community for areas such as litigation avoidance, e-discovery, and disputes involving discovery of electronically stored information. I frequently write on these subjects and speak at conferences and continuing legal education courses presented to clients, judges, in-house counsel, and practicing attorneys.
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- Obtained a $1.4 million jury verdict on civil theft claims based on allegations that gold coins/cash had been misappropriated from the client’s safe deposit box and that the defendant had defaulted on a loan agreement.
- Obtained a favorable jury verdict for a group of entities and individuals who were sued for alleged violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) relating to the creation and operation of a Chinese restaurant trade association.
- 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 litigation of commercial and business disputes, I also regularly represent creditors, secured lenders, debtors, and others in complex contested matters and adversarial proceedings in bankruptcy courts throughout the United States. I represent clients in preference and fraudulent transfer actions, involuntary bankruptcy proceedings, bankruptcy discharges, and motions relating to the bankruptcy automatic stay. My 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.
- “Litigation Avoidance and Cost Minimization,” Florida Aviation Business Association Annual Conference
- “Social Media in E-Discovery,” ESI Roundtable
- “The E-ssentials of E-Discovery: A Practical Guide to Managing E-Discovery Disputes in Your Courtroom,” presented to Broward County judiciary
- “Federal and Florida E-Discovery Amendments,” ESI Roundtable
- “Today’s E-Mail is Tomorrow’s Evidence,” presented to the Construction Financial Management Association
- “E-Discovery: A Byte of Planning Can Save You a Gigabyte of Trouble,” eDiscovery Leadership Conference at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
- “E-Ethics for E-Discovery: Considerations and Solutions for the E-Practitioner,” webinar presented and recorded for The Florida Bar
- “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
- “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
- “E-Discovery and You,” presented to Coral Gables Bar Association
- “I Have Had it With These [CENSORED] Employees on this [CENSORED] Plane!!,” Florida Aviation Business
- “Don’t Sue Me Bro: Three Steps to Guarantee a Litigation Free Future,” Florida Aviation Business
- State of Florida
- State of New York
- United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida
- United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida
- United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit
- United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
- United States Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit
- United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas