ALM Properties, Inc.
Page printed from: International News
Select 'Print' in your browser menu to print this document.
Fla. Appeal Court Rules Against Mexican Pop Diva
Daily Business Review
A Miami-Dade circuit judge erred in granting Mexican songstress Paulina Rubio's request to disqualify the opposing attorney in a lawsuit over a missed concert, the Florida Third District Court of Appeal said Wednesday.
"The case law uniformly calls disqualification of a party's lawyer in a civil case a drastic remedy, one that must be employed only in limited circumstances," Third District Judge Richard Suarez wrote.
Richard Wolfe of Wolfe Law Miami represents promoter Carlos Gutierrez and a consortium of Colombian entertainment groups in a 2010 breach of contract suit.
Wolfe also represents Felipe Restrepo, whom Rubio hired as a personal assistant in late August and fired in October, in a claim for overtime and assault and battery in Miami federal court. Restrepo and Rubio were to file a stipulated dismissal of the overtime allegation Thursday.
The concert lawsuit, which seeks $985,000 in compensatory damages from Rubio, was scheduled for trial in January.
But at an emergency, non-evidentiary hearing, Rubio claimed Restrepo was present at strategy meetings between Rubio and her attorney, had access to papers protected by attorney-client privilege and divulged the contents of conversations and documents to Wolfe. Wolfe denied receiving any information from Restrepo about the case, and Restrepo claimed to have no knowledge of the dispute.
Suarez, joined by Chief Judge Linda Ann Wells and Judge Ivan Fernandez, said Circuit Judge Abby Cynamon based her decision to eject Wolfe from the concert case on affidavits that disagreed on material issues and needed to consider testimony.
"We therefore quash the trial court's order granting disqualification and remand the cause for an evidentiary hearing," Suarez wrote.