Areas of Practice:
Business & Commercial Litigation
Sean McCleary is a member of the firm’s Litigation Group, focusing on complex business and commercial litigation, including business torts, development and antidevelopment litigation, partnership and corporate disputes, trade secret, non-compete, and non-solicitation matters, construction litigation, and intellectual property litigation. Sean also has extensive experience prosecuting and defending against fraud-related claims. Sean has prevailed in both jury and non-jury trials, motions for summary judgment, motions to dismiss, and significant evidentiary hearings.
Sean graduated cum laude from the University of Miami School of Law in 2015. During his time in law school, he was a student attorney in the Investor Rights Clinic, representing indigent investors before FINRA, and he was the Editor-in-Chief of the Inter-American Law Review for its 46th volume.
University of Miami School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 2015
University of Florida, B.A., 2011
RELATED PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
Inter-American Law Review, Editor-in-Chief, 2014-2015
United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida
To Discovery and Beyond: A Comprehensive Look at Argentina’s Data Protection Laws, 47 U. Miami Inter-Am. L. Rev. 129 (2015)
VERDICTS & SETTLEMENTS
- Represented the owner of one of the few remaining historic mansions along Miami’s Brickell Avenue, which, at the time, was valued at over $8,000,000. After the property’s value increased substantially following its sale to Sean’s client, the prior owner attempted to exercise its right to buyback the property at a steep discount under the terms of the parties’ purchase and sale agreement. In a non-jury trial to determine whether the prior owner had properly exercised his option to buyback the property, Sean helped to successfully defeat the prior owner’s claim to retake the property, and was able to successfully recover nearly all his client’s attorneys’ fees that were incurred in fighting the protracted battle over the prior owner’s attempted buyback.
- Represented a national security company in a trademark infringement lawsuit against its competitor based on claims of cybersquatting under the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (“ACPA”) 15 U.S.C. § 1125. Following a non-jury trial, the court awarded $1,000,000 in disgorgement damages after previously entering an order awarding attorneys’ fees as the prevailing party.
- Represented an industrial property investor in prosecuting fraud, RICO, breach of fiduciary duty, civil conspiracy, and other claims against his former business partners and an international bank that colluded with the former business partners to secretly cross-collateralize the investor’s property with other property not owned by the investor so the investor’s business partners could refinance their loans. After a protracted battle, Sean helped secure a confidential seven-figure settlement for his client.
- During the height of the COVID-19 Pandemic, represented a commercial landlord in Key West and secured the recovery of over $250,000 in unpaid rent and unpaid expenses owed under the parties’ triple net lease (“NNN”) after filing suit against the commercial tenant.
- Obtained $100,000 verdict following a non-jury trial over a breach of contract action stemming from the non-payment of attorneys’ fees.
- Represented a national security company in a jury trial over the enforcement of its non-competition and non-solicitation provisions against its former client. At issue at trial was whether the security’s company’s former client could be found liable for indirectly employing any of the security’s company’s former employees in violation of the non-competition and non-solicitation provisions contained in their agreement. In reaching its verdict, the jury affirmed the enforceability of the non-competition and non-solicitation provisions due to the former client’s indirect employment of the security company’s former employees, and successfully recovered a substantial award of attorneys’ fees incurred in the litigation.
- Represented a physician who set up a competing concierge medical practice after leaving his prior employer. After the court issued a declaratory ruling setting forth the bounds of his non-competition agreement with his former employer, the prior employer subsequently sought sanctions, alleging the physician was in violation of the court’s declaratory ruling and his non-competition agreement by competing for patients within the restricted geographical area. Following an evidentiary hearing on the alleged violations, Sean successfully got the claims dropped.
- Represented the owners and developers of a high-end residential construction project on the Venetian Isles in lawsuits against their former general contractor and their interior designer for breach of contract and fraud in the construction and design of their multi-million dollar custom waterfront home. In the lawsuit against the interior designer, Sean recovered nearly $50,000 in attorneys’ fees alone as a sanction under section 57.105, Florida Statutes, against the former interior designer and its law firm during the litigation for asserting frivolous counterclaims. The case eventually resulted in a favorable settlement for the clients.
- Represented a provider and expert in the field of addiction treatment in a cyberdefamation claim after being sued in Florida by a celebrity addiction specialist based on alleged statements that were made on Facebook while in California. In getting the case dismissed at the trial court level for lack of personal jurisdiction, Sean subsequently helped convince the Third District Court of Appeal to affirm the trial court’s ruling, which resulted in a detailed opinion setting forth the bounds for establishing long-arm jurisdiction over a non-resident defendant in the context of social media and cyberdefamation claims. Estes v. Rodin, 259 So. 3d 183 (Fla. 3d DCA 2018).
- Represented a small cap lender and investor in the pursuit of defamation and civil conspiracy claims against various defendants and obtained a final judgment in excess of $400,000 in the client’s favor.
- Represented a developer in a complex and strategic acquisition of a commercial property situated in downtown Miami, and successfully represented the same developer in related litigation subsequently brought by the seller in an attempt to back out of the sale.
- Represented the former owner of a South Florida luxury real estate developer and large financial services firm in numerous state court actions centered around an alleged $250 million international Ponzi scheme.