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Commercial and Complex Litigation

FMG's Commercial and Complex Litigation Section works with clients of all sizes covering the full spectrum of large and sophisticated commercial litigation. Often, these disputes involve complex business or financial transactions, multi-jurisdictional claims and numerous plaintiffs and defendants.

Commercial and Complex Litigation Professionals

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

As the threat of runaway verdicts and the costs of litigation have increased, so has an employer’s desire to develop practices that reduce or even avoid such a possibility. Our group’s lawyers work closely with employers to design and implement enforceable ADR programs (including mediation and arbitration proceedings) and frequently represent clients in these forums in complex litigation matters.

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Appellate Advocacy

At the appellate stage of a complex litigation matter, a special set of skills and knowledge is needed to successfully obtain appellate relief. Far more than lower court decisions on individual cases, published appellate decisions establish precedents for the cases that follow. Accordingly, appellate practice presents the skilled advocate with a unique opportunity to shape the law.

FMG lawyers have gained keen insight into how trial courts render their decisions and how those decisions are analyzed by appellate courts by serving as clerks and staff attorneys for trial court and appellate judges, on both the state and federal bench. We also have been frequently retained to file amici curiae or “friends-of-the-court” briefs in appeals involving important issues for our clients. Given the breadth of our experience, FMG lawyers have succeeded in obtaining numerous far-reaching decisions for our clients, including a landmark decision from the Supreme Court of the United States.

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Banking and Financial Transaction Litigation

FMG's Banking and Financial Services Practice Group is a multi-disciplinary team of professionals who represent financial institutions, as well as their Directors and Officers, in a wide spectrum of transactional, regulatory, and litigation-related matters, including fiduciary litigation and counseling in emerging areas of law such as data security and privacy issues and the guidelines being issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The group's Partners, several of whom spent substantial portions of their careers with some of the nation's largest law firms, have represented clients ranging from community banks to money-center financial institutions, including commercial banks and savings institutions, finance companies, credit card issuers, trust companies, investment advisors, broker-dealers, credit unions, mortgage originators, and insurance companies, in the following areas: California, Georgia, Florida, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.

Regulatory/Enforcement

Our experience includes regulatory matters with federal agencies such as the FDIC, OCC, FRS, OTS and NCUA, as well as enforcement and/or administrative-related activities with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the NYSE and other commodity exchanges. FMG's lawyers also are experienced in state-related enforcement actions, and have represented clients before regulators in Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, South Dakota, Utah and Wisconsin.

Our lawyers defend regulatory audits and provide guidance and advice regarding audit deficiencies, including the preparation of compliance manuals.

Litigation and Trial Practice

FMG's lawyers also aggressively defend banks and financial institutions in securities litigation, shareholder derivative lawsuits, and lender-liability actions brought in both commercial and consumer contexts, and in both individual and class actions. Our attorneys have defended residential mortgage lenders, loan servicers, and other creditors in lawsuits filed by consumers involving claims such as wrongful foreclosure, wrongful repossession, predatory lending practices, fraud, conversion, intentional infliction of emotional distress, defamation, and alleged violations of federal and state laws such as the FDCPA, FCRA, RESPA, TILA, HAMP, ECOA, and UDAP.

For example, our lawyers have represented some of the nation's largest financial institutions and residential mortgage lenders in wrongful foreclosure litigation and have recently helped redefine Georgia law to protect lenders' ability to non-judicially foreclose. Additionally, we have enforced the rights of commercial bankers and creditors in judicial and nonjudicial proceedings, including foreclosure of real and personal property, deficiency actions, foreclosure confirmation proceedings, bankruptcy cases, and all types of collection proceedings including litigating claims to judgment, garnishment, and discovering and attaching assets.

We also provide extensive guidance to boards of directors regarding their fiduciary duties, disclosure obligations, and special litigation committees. FMG represents fiduciaries across a full range of matters, including trust administration, asset investment and diversification, conflicts of interest, trustee removal, and breaches of various fiduciary duties. The depth of our experience includes representation of an ERISA Plan and its Trustee in the successful recovery of millions of dollars of pilfered funds, as well as the aggressive defense of officers and directors of financial institutions for alleged breaches of their fiduciary duties of care, loyalty, and/or the duties to protect trust assets through maintenance of appropriate insurance.

Our Partners also have extensive experience and expertise representing a variety of registered financial advisors, broker-dealers and other professionals in FINRA disputes and arbitrations, including customer complaints and non-compete/non-solicit lawsuits.

We also have defended matters concerning memoranda of understanding, supervisory agreements, cease and desist orders, civil money penalties, orders of suspension, prohibition and removal orders, restitution orders, and orders terminating FDIC deposit insurance coverage.

In addition, the attorneys at FMG have represented financial institutions in matters involving general liability, labor and employment issues, commercial litigation, contract disputes, and insurance disputes, including issues relating to coverage questions, D&O insurance, E&O insurance, and procurement of insurance by brokers and agents.

Transactional

Our lawyers represent banks and creditors in commercial and real estate lending matters, including loan documentation in secured and unsecured transactions, loan workouts and restructuring, UCC Article 9 Secured Transactions, and construction lending.

Data Security

FMG lawyers have extensive experience in developing policies, procedures and controls to minimize the risk of a security breach and ensure that processes are in place to minimize operational damage should a breach occur.

CFPB

Our professionals closely follow the procedures and guidelines being issued by the new CFPB created under the Dodd-Frank Act and advise clients on the agency's increasing regulatory activities.

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Business Torts and RICO Actions

FMG attorneys regularly represent clients in a variety of the inevitable lawsuits, whether by consumers, suppliers, or competitors, that have become a common part of doing business. FMG attorneys represent clients in claims involving fraud, bad faith, unfair dealings, consumer protection, defamation, commodities disputes, manufacturers and supply-chain claims, RICO actions, and interference with business contracts. Wherever business is done and conflicts arise, FMG is there to facilitate the best possible resolution for our clients.

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Class Actions

Our law firm has decades of experience in dealing with class action claims. Our attorneys have the trial experience, depth of staffing, organizational skills, and knowledge of technology to aggressively litigate class-wide litigation. Our reputation as one of the top litigation firms in the region makes us ideally suited to handle such complex litigation.

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Contract Disputes

FMG lawyers have represented clients in a variety of commercial contract disputes, including claims under the Uniform Commercial Code, purchase and sale of businesses, contracts for the sale or development of intellectual property, consumer protection issues, “buyer’s remorse” claims, construction contracts, employment agreements, and partnership disputes. Our lawyers have handled all types of cases involving debts, security interests, loan disputes, and contracts for the sale of goods.

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Corporate Litigation

FMG attorneys represent employers of all sizes in general corporate litigation that virtually every company confronts in today’s litigious world. Our experience encompasses all aspects of commercial disputes, contract claims, and business torts. Our lawyers are routinely involved in the pursuit and defense of breach of contract claims, breach of warranties, Uniform Commercial Code disputes, claims for indemnity, breach of fiduciary duty, interference with potential business advantage, and breach of employment covenants.

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Dealer and Franchise Litigation

FMG recognizes that our clients are under increasing pressure to maximize efficiencies and control costs to remain competitive in a global economy. Our lawyers have substantial experience in handling the often contentious relationships between companies and their franchisees and dealers. From contractual disputes to product liability claims, our lawyers serve our clients, which include manufacturers of heavy machinery, consumer products, and hospitality and food products throughout the United States, as well as automobile dealerships. Each company we represent faces unique challenges and has its own specific legal needs. Our lawyers bring together experience in multiple practice areas to provide our clients with comprehensive litigation representation.

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Errors & Omissions

FMG's E&O practice team handles a wide array of professional negligence claims. Our seasoned trial attorneys have defended and tried to verdict numerous cases throughout the country. Our attorneys defend insureds of over 30 national carriers providing coverage for accountants, doctors, dentists, lawyers, insurance agents, real estate agents, teachers, architects, engineers, clergy, corporate officers, and other professionals.

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False Claims Act

FMG's attorneys aggressively and effectively defend clients facing False Claims Act and other whistleblower investigations, enforcement actions, civil litigation and other related matters. These claims against federal contractors accused of defrauding the government pose significant financial exposure. Our attorneys have a demonstrated record of success in defending corporations, executives and insureds in these claims.

We have been at the forefront of this area of the law, and our experience ensures our clients can effectively respond to investigations and successfully litigate actions pursued by whistleblowers or the government. Whether it is the DOJ, State Attorney Generals or private litigants in Qui Tam cases, with FMG at your side, you have the representation you need to win or successfully resolve these high-exposure and complex claims.

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Intellectual Property

The world of intellectual property law is complex and rapidly changing in many areas. Obtaining and protecting the hard work and investment of an entrepreneur, artist and company's intellectual property, including trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets, in any medium, is a priority for many. FMG's experienced attorneys assist in this process from application to enforcement to defense of alleged infringement. Each situation is unique and requires individual strategies for protecting the rights and interests of those involved. From counseling to litigation, FMG provides services in the areas of trademark and service mark, copyright, internet/e-commerce and trade secrets.

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Internet/E-commerce

Online business and the laws governing it may be one of the fastest moving areas of the law today. FMG has dedicated attorneys working to protect our client's interests in the World Wide Web and in cyberspace. Domain name acquisition and management, along with web site development, can lead to claims of infringement of copyrights or trademarks, advertising injury, or unfair competition. FMG can counsel and defend its clients in the unique issues that arise through the use of the Internet, not only in defending litigation, but in preventative measures including the development of privacy and security policies, internet and intranet usage policies, and license agreements.

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Media, Advertising and Entertainment

FMG's Media, Advertising and Entertainment team provides counseling and defense for the full array of legal challenges to businesses and professionals involved in the creation, production, distribution, publication and broadcast of film, print and electronic content. Whether the business model is a traditional entertainment, media, or advertising business or the latest digital platform, the ever changing legal landscape requires an experienced team of attorneys well versed in the myriad of modern legal claims such as business interruptions, copyright and trademark, directors and officer claims, social media, defamation, data breaches, contract disputes, employment claims, and catastrophic accidents.

The FMG team has faced virtually every type of legal issue encountered in representation media, entertainment and advertising businesses, including so called "news gathering torts," negligent hiring and supervision, invasion of privacy or publicity, copyright, trademark, title, slogan infringement, unfair competition and usurpation of business opportunities, misappropriation and plagiarism. We also have defended and prosecuted breach of license to use a third party's intellectual property, libel, slander and defamation including contextual error claims, and cases concerning breach of agreement to maintain the confidentiality of sources.

We also routinely handle Errors and Omissions claims as well as property damage and negligence claims. And, our practice group works in tandem with our nationally renown Data Privacy and Breach team in all aspects of cyber breaches, breach counseling and forensic examinations.

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Non-Competition and Trade Secrets

FMG attorneys have years of experience defending and prosecuting trade secret litigation, as well as other time-sensitive matters involving potential confidential information disclosure, customer and employee raiding, and violations of covenants not to solicit customers or covenants not to compete. We work with clients in preparing effective non-disclosure, non-solicitation and non-competition agreements. Our attorneys also assist clients in conducting audits of their proprietary information to ascertain the types of information afforded protection under the law and what steps employers need to take to gain that protection. We also work with companies to avoid possible liability which may result when companies hire employees with post-employment restrictions on their activities or employees with knowledge of their competitors’ confidential information and trade secrets.

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Real Estate Litigation

FMG lawyers have extensive experience in representing clients in real estate disputes involving title and land disputes, purchase and sales contracts, commercial retail evictions, appraisals, adverse possession claims, trespass and nuisance claims, landlord-tenant disputes, zoning disputes, sign disputes, construction matters, and design defect claims. Our lawyers work closely with our clients in these types of case to ensure that the clients’ interests are protected.

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Real Property and Title Claims

FMG is deeply rooted in the real estate industry. Our attorneys have extensive experience representing real estate and title professionals and also property appraisers in matters alleging errors and omissions, negligence and fraud.

Our team's practice include an array of title claims and challenges involving real and personal property. We also have a substantial practice involving commercial tax appeals and other real estate-related disputes. Our lawyers business knowledge ensures the best outcome for your case. Our attorneys also provide extensive counseling and training on risk management practices in order to prevent and avoid claims.

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FMG can assist clients in trademark/service mark counseling, selection, prosecution, enforcement and defense. Our services include performing searches to determine whether names and marks are available and then filing and prosecuting the appropriate application with the US Patent and Trademark Office get obtain the registration. Once obtained, FMG assists in the policing and enforcement of the registrations for their clients. In addition, counseling and drafting of agreements for licensing, transfer and assignment are handled by our experienced attorneys.

FMG also assists its clients in the establishment of ownership and registration of their copyrighted works. We work to enforce client´┐Żs rights and defend against infringement claims while addressing issues such as fair use, joint ownership, work for hire matters, and damages. FMG will assist our clients in the licensing, transfer or assignment of their portfolio as it meets their business needs.

If our clients receive cease and desist notices, service of litigation, or government notices of opposition or cancellation proceedings, FMG is there to defend and protect the interests of our clients. Trademark and trade dress litigation, alleged dilution or infringement, unfair trade practices or false advertising, and the accusation of the theft and sale of trade secrets are all matters within the skill set of our attorneys.

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TROs and Injunctions

FMG lawyers understand that immediate action is needed in many instances to serve our clients’ interests. Our lawyers have the ability and resources to move quickly to obtain TROs and injunctions in matters where imminent harm to a client may occur. Our lawyers are well known to the judges and courts in our region and bring the credibility necessary to obtain immediate results to enjoin or restrain parties acting against our clients’ interests.

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