Steven D. Ginsburg focuses his practice on corporate and commercial litigation and matters involving agreements governed by the Uniform Commercial Code; real estate, construction and banking litigation; insurance, antitrust, copyright and patent-infringement actions; medical staff privilege litigation, contractual disputes; and probate and other civil tort litigation. He has represented several municipal governments in eminent domain, federal, civil rights, building- and zoning-code enforcement litigation; minimum housing appeals; police civil forfeiture litigation; personnel transportation and other municipal litigation matters. Mr. Ginsburg also represents clients in bank-related litigation; class action litigation in defense of RICO, fraud and price-fixing claims in the health insurance industry and in vehicle wholesaling and financial practices; and commercial torts, foreclosures and workouts. His appellate experience includes handling cases of first impression in Florida involving the rights of surviving spouses and creditors in estates and trusts, and the use of inculpatory statements.
Mr. Ginsburg is a 1976 graduate of the University of Miami School of Law and a cum laude graduate of the University of Miami.
- Defended Nissan North America Inc. in an action for breach of contract, RICO and fraud in the inducement brought by a bankrupt sign company arising out of actions Nissan took during the course of the bidding, auction, contracting and construction-installation process of its nationwide brand re-imaging program. Following jury trial in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, obtained judgment as a matter of law of no liability, and a new trial on Nissan's counterclaim for breach of contract. Settled counterclaim on terms the client found favorable. DePaola v. Nissan North America, Inc., No. 1:04cv00267 (M.D. Ala. 2004–2009).
- Defended GMAC in an action for breach of contract, breach of the federal and Pennsylvania dealer's-day-in-court statutes, conversion and tortious interference with contract brought by a car dealership in which it sought more than $40 million in damages. Case resulted in a $4-million jury verdict for the dealership. Matter is presently on appeal. Mente Chevrolet Oldsmobile, Inc. v. GMAC, No. 08-cv-2403 (E.D. Pa. 2009–present).
- Defended Principal Life Insurance Co. in a class action suit brought by various groups of medical providers asserting antitrust, price-fixing, conspiracy and slow-pay claims arising from the processing and payment of physician reimbursement by health insurance companies. Settled the case on terms the client found favorable. Kansas City Urology Care, PA, et al. v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City, Inc., et al., No. 05CV279 (Dist. Ct. Wyandotte County 2005–2010).
- Defended Textron Financial Corp. in a class action suit brought by recreational vehicle dealers asserting breach of contract, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and unjust-enrichment claims arising from Textron's charging of interest on floor-plan financing for the manufacture of recreational vehicles. Obtained judgment on the pleadings that the unambiguous language of the parties' agreement permitted Textron to charge interest on funds not yet advanced to recreational vehicle manufacturers. Copley's R.V. Center v. Textron Financial Corp., No. 09-14271-CIV-MARTINEZ/LYNCH (S.D. Fla. 2010).
- Defended a partnership and the majority partner in an action brought by a minority partner to determine who was entitled to more than $3 million in proceeds from the sale of the partnership's sole asset. After majority partner demonstrated that minority partner was misappropriating funds from the partnership to pay for personal expenses and make payments to site managers "under the table," settled the case on terms the client found favorable. Berg v. Eldridge, No. 07-40991 CA (Miami-Dade Co. Cir. Ct. 2009).
- Defended an individual who was a corporate officer and director of five civil engineering and construction companies against a shareholder derivative action asserting claims of self-dealing and seeking corporate dissolution, injunctive relief and damages. Asserted counterclaims for breach of contract, injunctive relief and civil theft after the two equal shareholders locked him out, formed new corporations and transferred corporate contracts to their new companies. Obtained settlement under which all claims were dismissed, the client was bought out, all but one of the companies were dissolved, the remaining company was transferred to client, and various noninterference agreements were reached. McCue v. Delta Consulting Engineers, Inc., No. 06-6568-CA-22 (Miami-Dade Co. Cir. Ct. 2007).
- Represented international shipping companies in a multimillion-dollar action for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, conversion, scheme to defraud, civil theft and RICO violations brought against a corporate officer and shareholder arising out of his employment in and management of an international shipping business in "owned-vessel" and "line" operations. The defendant counterclaimed with a shareholder derivative action and breach-of-contract claim. Panamanian Carriers Corp. v. Star Shipmanagement Ltd. , No. 98-26089 CA 25 (Miami-Dade Co. Cir. Ct. 2002).
- Defended an importer in an action brought by a Brazilian limited liability company for breach of contract and claims relating to the shipment of coffee and food products from Brazil to Florida. The Brazilian company claimed the importer was an alter-ego of a prior company to which it had sold products but had not been paid. Settled the case on terms the client found favorable. Doceira Campos do Jordão, Ltda v. Sol Packaging, LLC, No. 04-26984 CA (13) (Miami-Dade Co. Cir. Ct. 2007).
- Defended The Hartford Insurance Company and its insured, Jorda Enterprises Inc., an HVAC subcontractor, in an equitable subrogation action which sought more than $3 million in damages relating to a pipe burst at a luxury condominium building located in Miami, Fla., which coincided with Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The Court entered summary judgment in favor of Jorda, finding that: there was no valid release from the Condominium Association which permitted the subrogation claim to be brought; the Association previously released Jorda in earlier construction litigation when the subrogation claim had not been perfected by payment; and, the subrogation claim was barred by res judicata. QBE Insurance Corporation v. Jorda Enterprises, Inc., No. 10-21107 CIV-GOLD (S.D. Fla. 2012).
- Defended a subcontractor against claims brought by the developer and general contractor for latent defects in the construction of residential communities in Florida. Settled the case on terms the client found favorable. Centex Homes v. Mr. Stucco, Inc., Nos. 8:07-CV 366-T-26- MSS & 8:07-CV 365-T-27 MSS (M.D. Fla. 2009).
- Defended two subcontractors against claims brought by the developer and general contractor for latent defects in the construction of a commercial office park and office condominium in Florida. Settled the case on terms the clients found favorable. Skanska USA Building, Inc., v. Exterior Walls, Inc., Nos. 06-CA-1831 & 07-CA-7205 (Orange Co. Cir. Ct. 2008).
- Defended Motiva Enterprises, LLC and Shell Oil Company in a lawsuit brought by a commercial property owner which sought damages for breach of a written lease arising from loss of rental income due to contamination of a former gas station site. The plaintiff sought in excess of $4.3 million. After a non-jury trial the court found that the Plaintiff failed to prove its case and ruled that Motiva and Shell could not be held liable. The court also found the defense was entitled to recover attorney’s fees and costs from the plaintiff. Sarria Holdings, Inc. v. Motiva Enterprises, LLC, No. 05-08587 CA (Miami-Dade Co. Cir. Ct. 2012).
- Obtained on behalf of a major motor vehicle floor-plan lender a $923,000 judgment in an action against car dealership Moultrie Chevrolet Cadillac, Inc. and its principal in an action for conversion, breach of a floor-plan agreement and breach of guaranty arising from Moultrie's failure to pay back financing. GMAC LLC v. Moultrie Chevrolet Cadillac, Inc. and Michael T. Grubbs, No. 08-CV-06744 (Colquitt County, Ga. Superior Court 2012).
- Obtained on behalf of Flagstar Bank, FSB an order from the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey dismissing with prejudice a predatory lending action that arose from a reverse mortgage a mortgage-lending company made to an 80-year-old. Also obtained a summary judgment in favor of Flagstar on cross-claims brought by the mortgage-lending company for contribution and indemnification. Leff v. First Horizon Home Loan Corp., No. 05-3648 (MLC) (D.N.J. 2005).
- Obtained on behalf of Flagstar Bank, FSB a $2.15-million judgment for mortgage fraud against a mortgage broker, its principal, a real estate appraiser and others. The claims, which included allegations of misrepresented and incorrect appraisals and misrepresentations regarding borrowers' assets, income, employment, occupancy and Social Security numbers, arose from 23 residential mortgage loans that Flagstar Bank underwrote, approved and funded. Flagstar Bank, FSB v. Caribbean Mortgage Corp., No. 1:05-CV-02364-JG-RML (E.D.N.Y. 2007).
- Represented GMAC in a breach-of-contract action brought against an automobile dealership and its principal. Dealer's principal brought counterclaims against GMAC for fraud, RICO and breach of contract. After GMAC filed a motion for sanctions, obtained the return of vehicles financed by GMAC and the imposition of a payment plan for sums owed to GMAC. GMAC LLC v. Thomas Motor Cars, Inc., No. 08-001592CAA (Gadsden Co. Cir. Ct. 2010).
- Obtained on behalf of a company and its executive officers the disclosure of the defendant's identity through a pure bill of discovery served on various Internet service providers. Subsequently negotiated an agreement requiring defendant to cease and desist posting defamatory and inaccurate information about the clients. Settled the case on terms the client found favorable. Yak Communications, Inc. v. Yahoo! Inc., No.: 05-4632 CA 01 (Miami-Dade Co. Cir. Ct. 2005).
- Represented Marlin Engineering, Inc. in a False Claims Act suit brought by an engineer on behalf of the United States against several engineering firms. The suit alleged that the engineering firms caused the federal government to expend federal funds in payment of false claims filed in connection with a FEMA project in Miami-Dade County, Fla., that was intended to pay for repairs and improvements to roadways damaged by flooding from Hurricane Irene in October 1999 and a storm known as the No-Name storm of October 2000. United States ex rel. Juan Wong v. Consul-Tech Engineering, Inc., No. 02-23081-CIV-SEITZ (S.D. Fla.).
Complex Jury Trials
Class Action Litigation
International Corporate and Civil Tort Litigation
Construction Defect Litigation
Complex Commercial Litigation
Qui Tam (Whistleblower) Defense Litigation
Areas of Practice
- Commercial Litigation
- Corporate Law
- Governmental Law
- Real Estate Law
- Construction Litigation
- Class Action Litigation
- Banking and Financial Services
- Consumer Lending Litigation
- Environmental Litigation
- New York
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
- U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida
- U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
- U.S. Tax Court
- Supreme Court of the United States
- University of Miami School of Law, J.D., 1976
- University of Miami (FL), B.B.A. Accounting, cum laude, 1973
- Duane Morris LLP
- Partner, 2011-present
- Yoss LLP (formerly Adorno & Yoss, LLP)
- Shareholder, 1997-2011
- The Town of Surfside
- Municipal Prosecutor, 1985-2007
- Ginsburg & Ginsburg, P.A. and related entities
- City of Miami Beach
- Chief Deputy Assistant City Attorney and Municipal Prosecutor, 1980-1981
- Dade County State Attorney's Office, 1975-1980
- Chief Assistant, Insurance Fraud Division, 1978-1980
- Florida Attorney General's Office
- Legal Intern, 1973-1975
- American Bar Association
- Federal Rules Revision Subcommittee
- Florida Bar Association
- Former Chairman, Unlicensed Practice of Law Committee
- Licensed Real Estate Broker
- Licensed General Contractor
- Licensed Roofing Contractor
Honors and Awards
- Selected as a Top Rated Lawyer by Martindale-Hubbell and American Lawyer Media, 2013
- Listed in Georgia's Top Rated Lawyers, 2012
- Listed in South Florida's Top Rated Lawyers, 2012
- Listed in Florida Super Lawyers, 2006-2007
- Ranked among Top Lawyers in South Florida by South Florida Legal Guide, 2005-2009, 2012
- AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
Civic and Charitable Activities
- University of Miami Alumni Association
- Past Vice President and Director
- University of Miami Alumni Club of Greater Miami
- Past President
- Georgia Aquarium
- Chastain Park Conservancy
- Co-Author,"It Ain't Easy Building Green Part 2: Sustainable Practices for Sustainable Building," CMFA Building Profits, January-February 2013
- Co-author, "Key Ruling for Insurance Companies in Equitable Subrogation Action in U.S. District Court in Florida," Duane Morris Alert, August 13, 2012
- Co-author, "Motion for Sanctions Granted for Failure to Comply with Discovery Obligations to Designate Witness Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(b)6," Duane Morris Alert, February 21, 2012
- Co-author, "It Ain't Easy Building Green," CFMA Building Profits, November-December 2011
- Co-Author, Discovery Chapter, Florida Civil Practice Before Trial, The Florida Bar Continuing Legal Education, 2004-2013
- Contributing Editor to the International Law Digest of Florida Cases published by the International Litigation and Arbitration Committee of the International Law Section of the Florida Bar, 2004
- "Zoning In Florida Under The Religious Freedom Restoration Acts: What City Officials Should Watch Out For in Defending Their Ordinances Against Freedom of Religion Claims," 12 St. Thomas Law Review 157 (Fall 1999)
Selected Speaking Engagements
- Lectured at Construction Financial Management Association 2012 Senior Management Spring Seminar on Sustainable Practices for Sustainable Building, May 2, 2012
- Speaker, "Catching Those Tweets: Discovery and Document Preservation Challenges Posed by Social Media Evidence," Industry Highlights: A Duane Morris Perspective, Online, January 24, 2012
- Lectured and published on the Bert J. Harris Act: Private Property Rights Protection at the Lorman Education seminar on Zoning, Subdivision and Land Development Law in Florida, 2008
- Lectured and published on the Economic Loss Rule, Commercial Litigation, Fiduciary Duties, Attorney’s Fees and Fee Disgorgement, National CLE Conference Civil Litigation, Law Education Institute, Inc., 2001
- Lectured and published on Zoning Under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, A Review of Issues on Enforcing Zoning Laws Restricting Location of Buildings Under the State and Federal Religious Freedom Restoration Acts, Florida Municipal Attorneys' Association 18th Annual Seminar, 1999