Practice Area: Litigation
Outcome: Parties entered into a CFDL. Settlement Agreement
Description: This lawsuit was instituted by the Plaintiff, State of Florida, Office of the Attorney General. The Plaintiff brought suit for monetary, injunctive and other equitable relief. Plaintiffâ€™s cause of action was stated as violations of Floridaâ€™s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, False Advertising, Failure to provide required disclosure and cancellation notices, and violations of Credit Repair Organizations Act. The Defendant New Leaf Associates was a Florida limited liability corporation. Defendant James Patterson was a sole Manager of New Leaf, and itsâ€™ principle. The Defendant Quantum Business Consultants (QBC) and Defendant Thomas Spiller (Spiller) were a marketing entity which promoted New Leafâ€™s business activities. The Plaintiff alleged that the Defendant New Leaf collected fees ranging from $3,000 to $7,000 per customer, in exchange for the companyâ€™s promise that the customerâ€™s credit card and student loan debts would be eliminated in full. Further, the Plaintiff claimed that despite the payment of fees, the company failed to eliminate consumer debt. Defendants QBC and Spiller maintained they relied upon representations of New Leaf and James Patterson; Spiller believed the New Leaf program was truthful, based upon the legal opinion letter of New Leafâ€™s attorneys as to their review of the New Leaf Associates business plan and practice. Defendants QBC and Spiller did not admit liability for any of the claims in the action.The procedural history of this case is extensive. Defendants QBC and Spiller filed an Answer and Affirmative Defenses to the Plaintiffâ€™s claim. Defendants QBC and Spiller also filed a Cross-claim against Defendant New Leaf stating that Defendants QBC and Spiller had no knowledge of the misrepresentations and false representations in the documents of Defendant New Leaf. The lawsuit alleged Defendant New Leaf took in more than $8 million. Plaintiff filed a Motion to Strike Affirmative Defenses of Defendants QBC and Spiller. Defendants QBC and Spiller filed a Request for Copies of Production of Documents. During the litigation there was an inadvertent disclosure of privileged documents by a third party attorney. As a result of this Defendants QBC and Spiller filed a Motion to Compel Plaintiff to Return Privileged Documents to the Defendants and Supporting Memorandum of Law; when these privileged documents were not returned by the Plaintiff, Defendants QBC and Spiller filed a Second Amended Motion to Compel Plaintiff to Return Privileged Documents to the Defendants. Because Plaintiff failed to return Defendantâ€™s privileged documents, the Defendant filed a Certificate of Good-faith Attempt at Resolving Discovery Dispute. Plaintiff filed a Memorandum in Opposition to Defendantâ€™s Second Motion to Compel. In response to this, Defendant QBC and Spiller filed a Motion for In Camera Review. Further Stipulation for In-camera Review was later filed.Defendants QBC and Spiller filed a Response to Defendantsâ€™ Legal Club Financial and Brett Merlâ€™s Request for Production of Documents. Defendants QBC and Spiller filed an Amended Motion to Dismiss which was denied by the Circuit Court Judge for the Sixth Judicial Circuit. The court ordered a Referral to Mediation.