Joshua D. Lerner

Josh Lerner’s practice is as diverse as any in the law firm. He represents clients in commercial litigation, professional liability and insurance coverage, including Life, Disability and ERISA matters. Dating back to the late 1980’s, Josh has represented portfolio and private lenders and, more recently, CMBS special servicers in commercial foreclosure litigation. He leads a firm wide team of lawyers that handles foreclosure and other real estate litigation matters from each of the firm’s five offices.

 Josh has also represented insurers and their insureds since his earliest years in private practice. He provides opinions and handles litigation in matters relating to coverage under commercial general liability, errors and omissions, garage liability and trucker’s liability policies. Working closely with SIU professionals, Josh prosecutes recovery actions arising from insurance fraud. And among the insureds Josh has represented are accountants, lawyers, securities broker-dealers, financial planners, IRA custodians and automobile dealers.

One of his core strengths is as a writer and editor. Josh received focused training in appellate practice while in law school and served as a law clerk on Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeal. He has been counsel of record in more than fifty appeals.

Josh served on the firm’s executive committee from 2008-2015. He received his law degree from the University of Miami and his under graduate degree from Colorado College.

Trials and Significant Non-published Decisions

Bantock, et al. v. Whittington, et al.
1987 – 1991, Brevard County, Florida Circuit Court,
(Part of team representing CPA firm and individual partners in action for securities fraud by apprx. 600 individual investors; pursuant to case management order attended depositions for two weeks every four weeks for 3.5 years; confidential settlement)

Silver v. Florida Department of Transportation
1991, Miami-Dade County Circuit Court
(Represented defendant; first first chair trial; defense verdict)

Doctors Laboratory Services, Inc. v. Broad and Cassell

1992 – 1995, Broward County, Florida Circuit Court
(Represented, prominent state wide law firm in malpractice action; summary judgment entered for defendant)

Herbert P. Scharlow, et al., v. PENSCO Pension Services, Inc.
2001 - 2003, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida
(Counsel for Defendant custodian of self-directed Individual Retirement Accounts in RICO action arising from massive investment fraud in sale of viatical settlements; damages sought in excess of nine figures; settled in six figures)

E-One, Inc., f/k/a Emergency One, Inc. v. R. Cushman & Associates
Inc, et al.,
2005 -2006, U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida
(Counsel for Defendant manufacturer of diesel engines in breach of contract suit arising from plaintiff’s sale of 36 custom manufactured fire fighting vehicles to the Royal Netherlands Air Force, Royal Netherlands Navy and the Dutch National Airport Schiphol; confidential settlement)

Granat v. Perez
2006 – 2007, Broward County, Florida Circuit Court
(Counsel for plaintiff private investor in action to establish de facto mortgage and foreclose same; judgment for plaintiff after trial)

Gonzalez v. Hoffman

2006 – 2010, Miami-Dade County Circuit Court
(Counsel for plaintiff private investor in action to foreclose mortgage and defend counterclaim, arising from failed business partnership with numerous transactions between the parties; Final Judgment for plaintiff after trial, notwithstanding defendant’s claim of forgery supported by expert testimony and no corresponding expert for plaintiff)

Burnett v. Regions Bank
2010 – 2012,U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida
(Counsel for defendant lien holder in action to quiet title; judgment for defendant after trial)

Guardian Life Insurance Company, et al. v. Rupa H. Mehta, et al.
2012 – present, Hillsborough County, Florida Circuit Court
(Complex Business Litigation Divisiion) (counsel for plaintiff; architected and prosecuted suit against four former agents of Plaintiff and their sham entities for violation of state RICO statutes, including conspiracy, arising from scheme to rebate insurance commissions to insureds; confidential settlements against all defendants)

Sojo Design LLC v. Regions Bank, et al.

Miami-Dade County Circuit Court
(Complex Business Litigation Divisiion) (counsel for defendant, action against bank for failure to disclose/aiding bookkeeper embezzlement of more than $5 Million over five year period; scheduled for trial in April 2015)

Sunbeam Realty Corp. v Isle of Dreams LLC v. Sunbeam Television Corp.
Miami-Dade County Circuit Court, 2012 – present
(Counsel for plaintiff and third party counterdefendant, local Fox TV affiliate, in foreclosure action against adjoining propery owner and defense of counterclaim, culminating 10+ years of litigation regarding development and use of property adjoining client’s TV station; scheduled for trial in January 2015)
Published Decisions

MB Plaza, LLC v. Wells Fargo Bank, Nat. Ass'n
72 So. 3d 205 (Fla.App. 2 Dist. 2011)

Pycsa Panama, S.A. v. Tensar Earth Technologies, Inc.

329 Fed. Appx. 257 (11th Cir. 2009)

F.W.F., Inc. v. Detroit Diesel Corp.
308 Fed. Appx. 389 (11th Cir. 2009)

Kmart Corp. v. Sundmacher
997 So. 2d 1158 (Fla.App. 3 Dist. 2008)

Bob Hilson & Co., Inc. v. Garcia

985 So. 2d 1176 (Fla.App. 3 Dist. 2008)

Taylor v. Mazda Motor of America, Inc.
934 So. 2d 518 (Fla. App. 3 Dist.2005)

Aguilera v. Inservices, Inc.
905 So. 2d 84 (Fla. 2005)

Kozial v. Bombardier-Rotax GmbH

129 Fed. Appx. 543 (11th Cir. 2005)

Mosquito Control Dist. of Florida v. Coregis Ins. Co.
327 F. 3d 1307 (11th Cir. 2003)

Miranda v. Volvo North America Corp.

763 So. 2d 536 (Fla. App. 3 Dist. 2000)

Chambless v. Officers and Directors of Snapper Creek
743 So. 2d 129, 1999 WL 765942, 24 Fla. L. Weekly D2242, Fla. App. 3 Dist., September 29, 1999 (NO. 98-3002)

Visoly v. Kluger, Peretz, Kaplan & Berlin, P.A.

707 So. 2d 427 (Fla. App. 3 Dist. 1998)

Machinery Wholesalers, Inc. v. Wolpe, Leibowitz & Brotman
700 So. 2d 170 (Fla. App. 3 Dist. 1997)

Bankers Trust Realty, Inc. v. Kluger
672 So. 2d 897 (Fla. App. 3 Dist. 1996)

Pharmafax, Inc. v. Mike Segal, P.A.
654 So. 2d 1244 (Fla. App. 3 Dist. 1995)

Federal Home Loan Mortg. Corp. v. Molko
602 So. 2d 983 (Fla. App. 3 Dist. 1992)

Cataract Surgery Center v. Health Care Cost Containment Bd.
581 So. 2d 1359 (Fla. App.1 Dist. 1991)

Country Manors Ass'n, Inc. v. Master Antenna Systems, Inc.
534 So. 2d 1187 (Fla. App. 4 Dist. 1988)

Berea v. State
497 So. 2d 1324 (Fla. App. 3 Dist. 1986)

Beceiro-Mesa v. State
492 So. 2d 1148 (Fla. App. 3 Dist. 1986)

  • Language

    • Spanish
  • Education

    University of Miami School of Law - J.D., 1984

    Deans list (Fall 1981, Fall 1983, Spring 1984)

    • Recipient, American Jurisprudence Book Award in Administrative Law
    • Florida Appellate Practice Workshop
    Colorado College in Colorado Springs - B.A., History, 1980
  • Honors

    • South Florida Legal Guide Top Lawyer, Professional Liability (Defense), Corporate and Business Litigation 2015-2018
    • Florida Trend Magazine Florida Legal Elite 2012
  • Bar Admissions

    • Florida (1984)
  • Court Admissions

    • U.S. District Courts of Florida (Middle, Southern)
    • U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit
    • U.S. Supreme Court
  • Notable Cases

    • MSP Claims 1, LLC v. Infinity Auto Insurance Company  >>
    • Aguilera v. Inservices, Inc.  >>
    • Chambless v. Officers & Directors of Snapper Creek  >>
    • Country Manors Association, Inc. v. Master Antenna Systems, Inc.,  >>
    • Koziol v. Bombardier-Rotax GmbH, Motorenfabrik  >>
    • Machinery Wholesalers Inc. v. Wolpe, Leibowitz & Brotman,  >>
    • Wilks v. Boston Whaler, Inc.  >>
  • Professional & Civic Activities

    • Defense Research Institute
    • Professional Liability Underwriting Society
    • Dade County Bar Association
    • Florida Bar Grievance Committee 11A, Member (2001-2004)
    • American Bar Association
    • The Florida Bar
    • Mortgage Bankers Association
  • Articles & Presentations

    • Author, "Defending Against Subjective Disorder Claims," For the Defense, August 2019
    • Speaker, "Defending Subjective Disorder Clams," DRI Life, Health, Disability & ERISA Seminar, April 2018, Chicago, IL
    • Author, "Interpreting Accident under ERISA-Governed AD&D Coverage," The ERISA Report, Volume 13, Issue 3, December 2018
    • Co-Author, "Interpleader: Court Holds Plan Benefits Must Be Distributed to Beneficiary and Insured's Estate May Not Assert Claims Against Plan Trustee Regarding Distribution of the Death Benefits," DRI-The Voice of the Defense Bar, "ERISA Report," Volume 13, Issue 2, August 23, 2018
    • Author, "Court Construes Pre-Existing-Condition Exclusion to Avoid Illusory Disability Coverage," The Voice of the Defense Bar "ERISA Report," Volume 13, Issue 1, May 17, 2018
    • Co-Author, "Chapter 558 Pre-Suit Notice May Trigger an Insurer's Duty to Defend and Indemnify," January 2018
    • Potential liability of workers’ compensation carriers and adjusters to claimants for claims of intentional infliction of emotional distress resulting from their conduct during the adjusting of workers’ compensation claims , Speaker
    • Topics related to accountant liability to the Management Advisory Services Committee of American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Speaker
  • Community Involvement

    • President, Royal Palm Tennis Club
  • Ratings and Certifications

    • AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell


  • Florida
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