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Clifton R. Gruhn

Clifton R. Gruhn

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Overview

Cliff Gruhn's practice involves defending financial services institutions in complex litigation matters and class actions in federal and state courts throughout the United States.

Cliff litigates cases involving a variety of issues surrounding life, long-term care, and property-casualty insurance, including coverage disputes and bad faith allegations at both the trial and appellate levels. In addition, he litigates matters involving allegations of trade secrets, fraud, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and violations of federal statutes, including RICO, ERISA, RESPA, and the TCPA, as well as state statutes governing unfair trade practices, suitability, sales and marketing, and debt collection.

Cliff is regularly involved in complex motion practice, large-scale electronic discovery, and trial preparation, as well as client counseling to ensure compliance with federal and state statutes and regulations.

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Experience

  • PDVSA U.S. Litig. Trust v. Lukoil Pan Americas, LLC, No. 1:18-cv-20818 (S.D. Fla. Mar. 8, 2019) (dismissing case alleging RICO and antitrust violations, as well as numerous other common law and statutory claims, based on purported bid-rigging and price-fixing involving international oil companies and banks).
  • Pruco Life Ins. Co. v. Baggs, No. 3:16-cv-00206 (N.D. Fla. Aug. 29, 2017) (granting declaration of entitlement to rescind and reform life insurance policy based on material misrepresentations and misstatements in applications).
  • Epstein v. Transamerica Life Ins. Co., No. 2010-015515 (Fla. Cir. Ct. Mar. 6, 2017) (partially dismissing complaint alleging underpayment of benefits under health insurance policy).
  • Hill v. Allianz Life Ins. Co. of N. Am., 51 F. Supp. 3d 1277 (M.D. Fla. 2014) (denying motion to remand); 2016 WL 872936 (M.D. Fla. Feb. 17, 2017), aff’d, 693 F. App'x 855 (11th Cir. 2017) (granting summary judgment in defamation and tortious interference action brought by former agent of life insurance and annuity company); 2019 WL 932264 (M.D. Fla. Feb. 26, 2019) (awarding attorneys' fees to insurer). 
  • Patel v. Pruco Life Ins. Co., No. 1:16-cv-23520 (S.D. Fla. Dec. 5, 2016) (granting interpleader and awarding attorneys’ fees in favor of insurer).
  • Direct Gen. Ins. Co. v. Houston Cas. Co., 139 F. Supp. 3d 1306 (S.D. Fla. 2015), aff’d, 661 F. App’x 980 (11th Cir. 2016) (granting final summary judgment in favor of professional liability insurance carriers based on broad interpretation of “related claims” provision).
  • Office Depot, Inc. v. AIG Specialty Ins. Co., No. 2:15-cv-02416, 2016 WL 6106408 (C.D. Cal. June 6, 2016) (granting judgment in favor of media liability insurer holding that insurer had no duty to reimburse $15 million in defense expenses or to indemnify $77.5 million settlement of a whistleblower suit; court found that Section 533 of the California Insurance Code precluded any duty to defend or indemnify the qui tam lawsuit alleging violations of the California False Claims Act).
  • Eisenberg Dev. Corp. v. City of Miami Beach, 95 F. Supp. 3d 1376 (S.D. Fla. 2015) (finding entitlement to attorneys' fees and costs pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1988, 28 U.S.C. § 1927, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11, and the court’s inherent authority after obtaining final summary judgment).
  • Club Madonna, Inc. v. City of Miami Beach, No. 1:13-cv-23762, 2015 WL 5559894 (S.D. Fla. Sept. 22, 2015) (awarding more than $100,000 in attorneys’ fees under 42 U.S.C. § 1988).
  • Mann v. Unum Life Ins. Co. of Am., 129 So. 3d 895 (Fla. 2d DCA 2014) (affirming dismissal with prejudice in favor of defendant in statewide class action regarding long-term care insurance rate setting).
  • Doe v. Ejercito De Liberacion Nacional, No. 1:10-cv-21517 (S.D. Fla. Aug. 11, 2014) (report and recommendation to dissolve writ of garnishment seeking to garnish cash value of whole life insurance policy), withdrawn following settlement (S.D Fla. Sept. 17, 2014) (recommending award of attorneys’ fees incurred by insurer in defending writ of garnishment proceedings), adopting report and recommendation (S.D. Fla. Oct. 14, 2014).
  • Allianz Life Ins. Co. of N. Am. v. Cain, No. 3:12-cv-00264, 2013 WL 3880217 (W.D.N.C. July 26, 2013) (granting motion for entry of temporary restraining order).
  • Hunter v. Transamerica Life Ins. Co., No. 4:10-cv-04906, 2011 WL 4621111 (S.D. Tex. Sept. 27, 2011) (dismissing national class action collaterally attacking prior class action settlement), aff’d 498 F. App’x 430 (5th Cir. 2012).
  • Landon v. Orange Clothing Co., No. 10-20310 (Fla. Cir. Ct. Aug. 8, 2012) (granting final default judgment as sanction for discovery misconduct in action alleging misappropriation of funds from business).
  • Baba Lodging LLC v. Wyndham Worldwide Operations, Inc., No. 5:10-cv-01750, 2011 WL 1598910 (W.D. La. Apr. 26, 2011) (dismissing case against client due to lack of personal jurisdiction because defendant was not joint venturer with co-defendant and passive website was insufficient for exercise of personal jurisdiction).
  • Global Towers, LLC v. Telecom Rentals, Inc., No. 10-80726 (S.D. Fla.) (obtained voluntary dismissal of action alleging breach of contract concerning sale of wireless communications towers after filing or motion to dismiss).

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Recognition

  • Recognized by the Cuban American Bar Association for Outstanding Service and Dedication to the CABA Pro Bono Project

Professional & Community Involvement

  • American Bar Association
  • Dade County Bar Association

Pro Bono

  • Frequently represents minors in dependency proceedings.

Credentials

Education
  • University of Miami School of Law (J.D., magna cum laude, 2009)
    • Order of the Coif
    • CALI Excellence for the Future Award in Federal Courts
  • Bellevue University (B.S., 2006)
Bar Admissions
  • Florida
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin

Background

  • Judicial Intern to the Honorable Linda Ann Wells, Florida Third District Court of Appeal

Disclaimer

The information on this website is presented as a service for our clients and Internet users and is not intended to be legal advice, nor should you consider it as such. Although we welcome your inquiries, please keep in mind that merely contacting us will not establish an attorney-client relationship between us. Consequently, you should not convey any confidential information to us until a formal attorney-client relationship has been established. Please remember that electronic correspondence on the internet is not secure and that you should not include sensitive or confidential information in messages. With that in mind, we look forward to hearing from you.