In the last two weeks Lin Wood has been busy; “writing the book on starting a law firm in two weeks.” With two attorneys he has mentored over the years, Katherine V. Hernacki and Stacey G. Evans Wood has created the “boutique lawfirm” of Wood, Hernacki & Evans on May 9, 2011.
A major break-up you ask? No Wood moved his firm across the street and will continue to share previous cases with Bryan Cave attorneys. (I. E. the Estate of Anna Nicole Smith, the Estate of Richard Jewels and the defamation case of Jeff Greene). Both firms hope to share future cases as well.
So why did Lin Wood leave? “I spent most of my life as a plaintiffs’ lawyer. I don’t know that I ever got that out of my heart and soul, I’m not sure I’m the kind of trial lawyer that is comfortable in a 1,000-person law firm. I spent 28 years making compensation decisions in five seconds or less. It was a big learning curve to join Powell Goldstein and more so when the firm combined with Bryan Cave.” Wood went on to tell the Fulton Daily Report in an interview “Is Bryan Cave losing the person I believe is the best trial lawyer they have? Of course, but there are some great trial lawyers there who are aggressive and I want to continue working with them. I will call them when I have a significant matter and need a significant support team—and I hope they will call me.”
So what propel this to happen in just two weeks? A big whistleblower case that posed conflicts at at Bryan Cave which presented “actual and strategic conflicts”.
Wood is joining qui tam lawyers Marlan B. Wilbanks and Ty M. Bridges on a suit alleging fraud against DaVita Inc., the largest kidney dialysis chain in the U.S., which Wilbanks said could potentially be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
Wood said Wilbanks and Bridges needed “a first-class trial lawyer” to help them with the case. “It was the case that broke the camel’s back,” he said. “I had to leave the law firm to do it.”
When asked if Bryan Cave would recruit another high-profile trial lawyer to replace Wood? “Lin is one of a kind,” said Thomas R. McNeill, the firm’s Atlanta managing partner.
When Wood, 58, gave up his own firm to join Powell Goldstein in 2006, he told the Daily Report that he expected to end his law career as a partner there. “I wanted to. But life is an adventure,” he said. How very true isn’t it?
We agree with L. Lin Wood and are glad it was an amicable parting because there really is just one L. Lin Wood, and it is good to see him return to his roots as a plaintiff’s attorney. We will continue to highlight cases that Wood is part of, he is simply the best at what he does.
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In a New York Time’s interview Jeff Greene, the billionaire who unsuccessfully challenged Kendrick Meek for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate, is preparing to sue the St. Petersburg Times and Miami Herald, claiming stories the newspapers published cost him his bid for the United States Senate.
Mr. Greene lost the Democratic primary last week to Kendrick B. Meek, who will face Gov. Charlie Crist, an independent, and Marco Rubio, a Republican, in November.
During a bruising primary, Greene faced a series of questions about parties aboard his yacht and fraudulent real estate deals. Greene has singled out two news articles that were printed in the Times and the Herald, and an editorial in the Times.
During the interview with the New York Times on Tuesday, Greene said; “I want to send a message to every newspaper in the country: Do your homework. I deserve to have the record corrected, and they deserve to be punished”.
In one article, The Times reported that Greene was party to a real estate deal that left 300 California families homeless and a partner of his in jail. The other left the impression that boxer Mike Tyson, who was the best man at Greene’s wedding, used drugs while on Greene’s 145-foot yacht the Summerwind. Even thought the paper later ran a front-page correction clarifying that Tyson said he had not used drugs on the yacht.
Greene will seek at least $500 million in damages, famed libel attorney L. Lin Wood has told the paper he plans to file file a formal complaint in state court in Miami-Dade County today, September 1, 2010..
With money not a problem to hire the very best, Greene hired L. Lin Wood, a prominent libel lawyer who has won settlements for other public figures who claimed they were defamed by the news media, including Richard A. Jewell, the security guard cleared as a suspect in the 1996 Olympics bombing in Atlanta; Howard K. Stern the lawyer and boyfriend of model Anna Nicole Smith as well as the estate of Anna Nicole Smith in recovering alleged stolen property the day after her death; John and the late Patsy Ramsey the parents of JonBenet Ramsey, former U. S. Congressman Gary Conduit in a battle with author Dominick Dunne involving Coduit’s intern Chandra Levy’s death; Beth Holloway Twitty, mother of Natalee Holloway, and the victim of an alleged rape involving Kobe Bryant the famous basket ball player..
Neil Brown, the editor of St. Petersburg Times in an email to the New York Time stated; “The Times’ coverage of Mr. Greene and his business transactions has been thorough and fair, and the reporting is well-documented in public records”, while defending the newspaper of any wrongdoing.
Sandra S. Baron, executive director of the Media Law Resource Center said; “even with an admission of error, Jeff Greene is going to have to prove that the articles were published with actual malice.”
This folks is going to be the libel suit of all times, as always L. Lin Wood’s hand picked legal team filed the Original Complaint late today in the In the Circuit Court of the 11th Judicial Circuit in and for Miami-Dade County, Florida. The suit states in part that the papers and reporters listed in the suit, …”[Defendants] abandoned journalistic integrity and ignored the fundamental canons of journalistic conduct while wholeheartedly embracing the publication of false and defamatory articles about Greene with Constitutional actual malice. As a result, Defendants crossed the threshold from speech protect by the First Amendment to enter the arena of actionable libel for which they must be held legally accountable.” The suit further states that reporters and papers, “not only published the articles with the goal of destroying the personal, business and political reputation of Green, Defendants also urged that Green be criminal investigated by the FBI in connection with serious crimes.” This billionaire, Jeff Greene, has the money to stay in this suit with only the best libel and defamation lawyer, L. Lin Wood, right up and through any trial. Like I said before the primary, the papers should have done a front page correction on all of the issues and addressing all of the points that Wood presented in his two letters to the papers before the Florida primary with. the corrections but also made it clear they might be a tad bias as both newspapers endorsed Greene’s opponent, Kendrick B. Meek in the primary last week.
Per CNN: Florida Senate candidate Jeff Greene is a billionaire real estate investor who has spent millions to fund his primary campaign against fellow Democrat, Rep. Kendrick Meek. Now, one week before Florida’s primary elections, Greene is preparing to spend his money on a lawsuit against two Florida newspapers if they don’t publish lengthy retractions to damning articles they recently published about him.
Famed Bryan Cave LLP defamation attorney L. Lin Wood is the attorney Greene has chosen to represent him in what is shaping up as a very expensive battle with the St. Petersburg Times and the Miami Herald. The papers have a working partnership and often share resources to cover state news.
Times editor Neil Brown said last week after receiving a letter dated August 11, that no retraction is forthcoming, and Greene is expected to follow through, potentially as early as Friday, August 20, 2010
Both papers have endorsed Greene’s opponent, Meek in the Democratic primary for Senate Florida’s primary elections will be held Tuesday, August 24.
The allegations leading up to the threat of a defamation case is based on that one of the stories, first published on August 8, the Times reported that in 2006, Greene had sold California property to Delbert McConville, who is now in jail facing conspiracy and money laundering charges. Greene admits to selling McConville 300 condos, but insists that his connection to McConville ends there and that he was not a party to the dealings McConville engaged in that led him to jail.
Then we have the article stating links between Mike Tyson and Greene even going as far as to tying in a Sport’s Illustrated Article interview of July 28 where Tyson allegedly describes Greene’s 145-foot yacht, the activity on the yacht; including it was lavish, and teeming with naked, drunken parties. Greene denies those claims. Tyson–who is a close friend to Greene and was best man at his 2007 wedding–spent a month aboard Greene’s yacht, Summerwind, during the summer of 2005, however the Sport’s Illustrated Article does not name Greene. Sport’s Illustrated would not comment to CNN.
In the August 16 letter to the Miami Herald executive editor Anders Gyllenhaal, attorney L. Lin Wood, said the stories are “replete with false, misleading and defamatory statements of fact concerning Mr. Greene.”
Greene is threatening to open his wallet wide to wage this legal fight. “It will be a substantial lawsuit, because I am a high net-worth individual who does earn a lot of money,” Greene said at a press conference last week that was recorded by the Miami Herald, “and if my reputation is damaged, the St. Petersburg Times will be held accountable.”
Neil Brown has stated; “The Times’ coverage of Mr. Greene and his business transactions has been thorough and fair, and the reporting is well-documented in public records,” Brown said in a statement published on The Times’ political blog. “Our story is accurate, balanced and we stand by it.”Mr. Greene is welcome to submit a letter to the editor if he wishes to take further exception.”
An aide to Greene told CNN that this is no political bluff and that “recklessly disregarding the truth is actionable and Jeff plans to take action.”
The South Florida Law Blog says in their article today; “to paraphrase Steely Dan, Lin Wood is a major dude. He previously represented accused Centennial Olympic Park bomber Richard Jewell, the parents of Jon Benet Ramsey, Howard K. Stern, and has been involved in many other high-profile defamation cases. The article goes on to muse that; “if the Herald will retain our own silver fox, Sandy Bohrer, …if so we are looking at a powerhouse match up.”
Rose Speaks.com will follow this suit for sure if it is filed in Federal Court which it might not be as all of the parties are located as entities or citizens of Florida. If it is file in state Court if the Sunshine state shares the filings as they have on other high profile cases then we will followed the case as well.
This is going to prove up to be an interesting fall season if Wood slaps both papers with defamation suits in the next few days.
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