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Thomas E. Warner

Thomas E. Warner

Of Counsel

Overview

Tom Warner represents clients in complex litigation and appeals. He practices primarily in the areas of business litigation, healthcare and real estate litigation, including commercial contract disputes, leases, construction litigation, inverse condemnation, and land use, zoning, and environmental litigation. In the healthcare area, Tom represents hospitals on hospital governance issues, and physician peer review and credentialing. As a trial lawyer, he has tried numerous jury and non-jury cases to verdict and final judgment.

Tom is board certified in Civil Trial Law by The Florida Bar. Prior to joining the firm, Tom was the first Solicitor General for the State of Florida, representing the State of Florida before the United States Supreme Court and the Florida Supreme Court in civil cases involving constitutional issues and other matters of great public importance. Tom was also a member of the State Legislature, District 82, Florida House of Representatives, from 1992-1999. At that time, he was designated by the Miami Herald as one of the top 6 most influential members of the Florida House of Representatives.

Featured Insights

Experience

  • Bluefield Ranch Mitigation Bank Trust v. S. Fla. Water Mgmt. District, No. 4D16-3023 (Fla. 4th DCA July 11, 2018). Obtained reversal of order dismissing petition for administrative hearing for lack of standing. Opinion holds that mitigation bank has standing to challenge SFWMD’s compliance with statutes governing mitigation credits.
  • Desai v. Lawnwood Med. Ctr., Inc., 219 So. 3d 869 (Fla. 4th DCA 2017), and Keller v. Lawnwood Med. Ctr., Inc., 219 So. 3d 879 (Fla. 4th DCA 2017). Affirmed dismissal of suits by doctors challenging credentialing decisions based on failure to exhaust administrative remedies. Currently on review at the Florida Supreme Court.
  • Jordan v St. Johns Co., Case No.: 5D09-2183; 5D09-4378; 5D09-4379; 63 So. 3d 835 (Fla. 5th DCA 2011, r’hrg denied). Won appeal and reversal of adverse summary judgment for ocean front property owners against St. Johns County. Established property rights and inverse condemnation claim regarding duty of county to maintain public road and provide access.
  • HCA/Lawnwood v Desai, 4D10-49; 54 So.3d 1027 (Fla. 4th DCA 2011). Won interlocutory appeal and quashed a temporary injunction ordering hospital to retain physician on staff. Established hospital’s immunity from suit for peer review and credentialing actions, absent intentional fraud.
  • HCA-SLMC v Cyberknife, 4D11-484; 63 So. 3d 935 (Fla. 4th DCA 2011). Obtained grant of a Petition for Certiorari, quashing a trial court order allowing a claim for punitive damages (based on a waiver of punitive damages in parties’ contract).
  • Futernick v. Trushina, Case Nos. 3D13-2041, 3D13-2022, 2014 WL 3304848 (Fla. 3d DCA July 09, 2014). Won appeal affirming trial court judgment  granting specific performance of real estate contract for a multi-million dollar home.  Opposing party unsuccessfully claimed that real estate contract was negated by exercise of an option to purchase between the sellers, former husband and wife.
  • Schmidt v Schmidt, 4D11-3379; 120 So.3d 31 (Fla. 4th DCA 2013; r’hrg denied). Won appeal reversing judgment of divorce, awarding former wife $25,000 per month alimony and the good will value of husband’s optical business that could not be sold without a covenant not to compete.
  • Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. v Dolgencorp, Inc. and Crest Haven, LLC, 964 So. 2d 261 (Fla. 4th DCA 2007). On appeal, won reversal of a summary judgment against Winn-Dixie and obtained a favorable opinion establishing the validity and enforceability of a commercial exclusive covenant in Winn-Dixie’s recorded shopping center lease. The lease covenant gave Winn-Dixie the exclusive right to sell groceries in the shopping plaza. The appellate court held that Winn-Dixie’s commercial exclusive was a real property covenant, enforceable through injunctive relief (without a showing of irreparable harm), and that Dolgencorp (Dollar General) had constructive notice and implied actual notice of the recorded covenant.
  • Morgan Stanley & Co. v Coleman (Parent) Holdings Inc., 955 So. 2d 1124 (Fla. 4th DCA 2007). As a member of the trial and appellate team representing Morgan Stanley, Mr. Warner developed the argument on the proper measure of damages for fraud and helped win reversal of a $1.6 billion dollar judgment against Morgan Stanley, which was obtained by Coleman (Parent) Holdings, Inc. (a company owned by Ron Perelman).
  • Briarwood Shopping Center, LLC and Gates Capital Group, LLC v Lowe’s Home Center, Inc., 2009 WL 3199794 (Fla. 2nd DCA Oct. 07, 2009). Won affirmance on appeal of a lower court judgment granting Lowe’s specific performance on a $13,500,000 commercial real estate transaction.
  • Oak Square Joint Venture v Brand Properties IV, LLC, 9 So. 3d 620 (Fla. 1st DCA 2009). Won affirmance on appeal of a lower court judgment in favor of our client, declaring that the client’s redevelopment of a commercial property would not overburden or violate a joint cross-access easement between the client and an adjoining shopping center.
  • Pamela Grunow v. Valor Corporation, 904 So. 2d 55 (4th DCA Fla. 2005). Products liability case arising out of the use of a handgun by a student to kill a teacher. Plaintiff alleged that distributor was liable for not selling the handgun with internal trigger locks because the product was unreasonably dangerous. Won a post trial motion to set aside the $24 million dollar jury verdict for plaintiff and obtained entry of judgment for the defendant Valor Corp. Briefed and argued the case on appeal. Judgment for Defendant, affirmed.
  • Boca Airport, Inc. v. Boca Raton Airport Authority, 911 So. 2d 114 (Fla. 4th DCA 2005). Won appeal affirming summary judgment regarding interpretation and application of commercial lease.
  • Butler Pappas v. Coral Reef Key Biscayne, Inc., 873 So. 2d 339 (3d DCA Fla. 2003). Challenged trial court order that law firm and its client (Lloyds of London) waived attorney client privilege by committing a crime fraud. District Court granted the petition and quashed the trial court order, holding that under the facts of the case, no crime or fraud had been committed.
  • Florida Consumer Action Network, v. Bush, 830 So. 2d 148 (1st DCA Fla. 2002). Represented the Governor and the State of Florida and defended the constitutionality of the 1999 Tort Reform Legislation (pending in the Fla. Sup. Ct.).
  • Campus Communications v. Earnhardt, 821 So. 2d 388 (5th DCA Fla. 2002). Intervened as Solicitor General on behalf of the State of Florida to defend constitutionality of statute exempting autopsy photos of late NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt from disclosure under public records laws.
  • Face v. National Home Equity Mortgage Association, 540 U.S. 823 (2003). Wrote amicus briefs on behalf of the State of Florida and several other states, supporting the State of Virginia. At issue is whether state officials are liable for pay attorneys’ fees when plaintiffs prevail in 1983 actions under claims based on federal statutes pre-empted by the Commerce Clause.
  • John/Jane Doe No.’s 1-13, v. Chiles, 136 F.3d 709 (11th Cir. 1998). Represented the Governor and the State of Florida and successfully appealed civil contempt order imposed on Gov. Bush for alleged failure of state to adequately fund services to developmentally disabled.
  • Chiles v. Phelps, 714 So. 2d 453 (Fla. Sup. Ct. 1998). Represented the Speaker of the House in a constitutional case involving separation of powers and the authority of the legislature to take up and override veto messages by the Governor.
  • Jordan v St. Johns Co., Case No.: 5D09-2183; 5D09-4378; 5D09-4379; 63 So. 3d 835 (Fla. 5th DCA 2011, r’hrg denied). Won appeal and reversal of adverse summary judgment for ocean front property owners against St. Johns County. Established property rights and inverse condemnation claim regarding duty of county to maintain public road and provide access.
  • HCA/Lawnwood v Desai, 4D10-49; 54 So.3d 1027 (Fla. 4th DCA 2011). Won interlocutory appeal and quashed a temporary injunction ordering hospital to retain physician on staff. Established hospital’s immunity from suit for peer review and credentialing actions, absent intentional fraud.
  • HCA-SLMC v Cyberknife, 4D11-484; 63 So. 3d 935 (Fla. 4th DCA 2011). Obtained grant of a Petition for Certiorari, quashing a trial court order allowing a claim for punitive damages (based on a waiver of punitive damages in parties’ contract).
  • Futernick v. Trushina, Case Nos. 3D13-2041, 3D13-2022, 2014 WL 3304848 (Fla. 3d DCA July 09, 2014). Won appeal affirming trial court judgment  granting specific performance of real estate contract for a multi-million dollar home.  Opposing party unsuccessfully claimed that real estate contract was negated by exercise of an option to purchase between the sellers, former husband and wife.
  • Schmidt v Schmidt, 4D11-3379; 120 So.3d 31 (Fla. 4th DCA 2013; r’hrg denied). Won appeal reversing judgment of divorce, awarding former wife $25,000 per month alimony and the good will value of husband’s optical business that could not be sold without a covenant not to compete.
  • Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. v Dolgencorp, Inc. and Crest Haven, LLC, 964 So. 2d 261 (Fla. 4th DCA 2007). On appeal, won reversal of a summary judgment against Winn-Dixie and obtained a favorable opinion establishing the validity and enforceability of a commercial exclusive covenant in Winn-Dixie’s recorded shopping center lease. The lease covenant gave Winn-Dixie the exclusive right to sell groceries in the shopping plaza. The appellate court held that Winn-Dixie’s commercial exclusive was a real property covenant, enforceable through injunctive relief (without a showing of irreparable harm), and that Dolgencorp (Dollar General) had constructive notice and implied actual notice of the recorded covenant.
  • Morgan Stanley & Co. v Coleman (Parent) Holdings Inc., 955 So. 2d 1124 (Fla. 4th DCA 2007). As a member of the trial and appellate team representing Morgan Stanley, Mr. Warner developed the argument on the proper measure of damages for fraud and helped win reversal of a $1.6 billion dollar judgment against Morgan Stanley, which was obtained by Coleman (Parent) Holdings, Inc. (a company owned by Ron Perelman).
  • Briarwood Shopping Center, LLC and Gates Capital Group, LLC v Lowe’s Home Center, Inc., 2009 WL 3199794 (Fla. 2nd DCA Oct. 07, 2009). Won affirmance on appeal of a lower court judgment granting Lowe’s specific performance on a $13,500,000 commercial real estate transaction.
  • Oak Square Joint Venture v Brand Properties IV, LLC, 9 So. 3d 620 (Fla. 1st DCA 2009). Won affirmance on appeal of a lower court judgment in favor of our client, declaring that the client’s redevelopment of a commercial property would not overburden or violate a joint cross-access easement between the client and an adjoining shopping center.
  • Pamela Grunow v. Valor Corporation, 904 So. 2d 55 (4th DCA Fla. 2005). Products liability case arising out of the use of a handgun by a student to kill a teacher. Plaintiff alleged that distributor was liable for not selling the handgun with internal trigger locks because the product was unreasonably dangerous. Won a post trial motion to set aside the $24 million dollar jury verdict for plaintiff and obtained entry of judgment for the defendant Valor Corp. Briefed and argued the case on appeal. Judgment for Defendant, affirmed.
  • Boca Airport, Inc. v. Boca Raton Airport Authority, 911 So. 2d 114 (Fla. 4th DCA 2005). Won appeal affirming summary judgment regarding interpretation and application of commercial lease.
  • Butler Pappas v. Coral Reef Key Biscayne, Inc., 873 So. 2d 339 (3d DCA Fla. 2003). Challenged trial court order that law firm and its client (Lloyds of London) waived attorney client privilege by committing a crime fraud. District Court granted the petition and quashed the trial court order, holding that under the facts of the case, no crime or fraud had been committed.
  • Florida Consumer Action Network, v. Bush, 830 So. 2d 148 (1st DCA Fla. 2002). Represented the Governor and the State of Florida and defended the constitutionality of the 1999 Tort Reform Legislation (pending in the Fla. Sup. Ct.).
  • Campus Communications v. Earnhardt, 821 So. 2d 388 (5th DCA Fla. 2002). Intervened as Solicitor General on behalf of the State of Florida to defend constitutionality of statute exempting autopsy photos of late NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt from disclosure under public records laws.
  • Face v. National Home Equity Mortgage Association, 540 U.S. 823 (2003). Wrote amicus briefs on behalf of the State of Florida and several other states, supporting the State of Virginia. At issue is whether state officials are liable for pay attorneys’ fees when plaintiffs prevail in 1983 actions under claims based on federal statutes pre-empted by the Commerce Clause.
  • John/Jane Doe No.’s 1-13, v. Chiles, 136 F.3d 709 (11th Cir. 1998). Represented the Governor and the State of Florida and successfully appealed civil contempt order imposed on Gov. Bush for alleged failure of state to adequately fund services to developmentally disabled.
  • Chiles v. Phelps, 714 So. 2d 453 (Fla. Sup. Ct. 1998). Represented the Speaker of the House in a constitutional case involving separation of powers and the authority of the legislature to take up and override veto messages by the Governor.

Recognition

  • AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America, Appellate Practice, Commercial Litigation (2007-2019)
  • Florida Trend’s Florida Legal Elite (2005-2006, 2008)
  • Listed in South Florida Legal Guide (2009-2010, 2014-2015)
  • Selected for inclusion in Florida Super Lawyers (2006-2018)
  • Designated by the Miami Herald  as one of the top 6 most influential members of the Florida House of Representatives (1997, 1998)

Professional & Community Involvement

  • Helping People Succeed, Inc.
    • Board Member (2003) 
    • Non-profit organization providing services for developmentally disabled children and adults

Speaking Engagements

  • “Moving From Briefs to Oral Argument,” AJEI Summit Meeting of the ABA Appellate Judges’ Conference (AJC), the Council of Appellate Staff Attorneys (CASA), and the Council of Appellate Lawyers (CAL), Orlando, FL (November 21, 2009)
  • “The Validity and Enforcement of Commercial Exclusives in Shopping Center Leases and Other Real Property Covenants,” at the Plat and Subdivision Law in Florida seminar put on by Lorman Education Services (September 9, 2008)
  • “Contemporary Threats to Judicial Independence,” Florida Appellate Justice Conference, Orlando, FL (June 27, 2007)
  • “Lodging Law,” Florida Association of Conventions and Visitors Bureaus Annual Conference, Sanibel, FL (September 21, 2006)

Credentials

Education
  • University of Florida College of Law (J.D., with honors, 1973)
  • University of Florida (B.S., 1970)
Bar Admissions
  • Florida
Board Certifications
  • Civil Trial Law
Court Admissions
  • United States Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
  • Florida Supreme Court
  • Florida State Courts

Background

  • Solicitor General, State of Florida (1999-2002) 
    • Represented the State of Florida before the United States Supreme Court and the Florida Supreme Court in civil cases involving constitutional issues and other matters of great public importance.
  • Visiting Professor, Florida State University College of Law, Richard W. Ervin Eminent Scholar Chair in Law (1999-2002)
  • Chair, Florida House of Representatives (1992-1999)
    • Judiciary Committee and Procedural Council (1996-1998)
    • Chair, Civil Justice Council (1998-1999)
    • Chair, Real Property & Family Law Sub-Committee (1994-1996) 
  • Co-Chaired House/Senate Conference Committee on Tort Reform (1998)
    • Member, Select Committees on Telecommunications, Juvenile Justice Reform and Workers Compensation
    • Governor’s Task Force on Telecommunications Taxation (1996-1997)
    • Governor’s Commission on Education (1997-1999)
  • Senior Litigator and Managing Partner, Warner, Fox, Seeley, Dungey & Sweet, LLP (1979-1999)
  • Stuart City Attorney (1984-1988)

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.