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Judge Eleanor Schockett of the Miami-Dade County Circuit Court in Florida set aside a $1.5 million jury verdict against the Doral Golf Resort & Spa in a sexual harassment case and entered a judgment in favor of the hotel. Last month, a six-person jury sided with former Doral pastry chef Nisaratana “Kitty” Russell, who claimed she was subjected to ongoing sexual harassment while working at the Doral from November 1997 to March 1998. Doral filed a post-trial motion asking Schockett to set aside the verdict. Schockett announced her ruling in chambers Tuesday. According to attorneys for Russell, the judge did not elaborate on the legal grounds for her decision but is expected to do so in a written order in the coming weeks. Attorneys for Russell reacted with disappointment but said they are not surprised. “We think what the judge did was wrong,” said Howard R. Behar, of Rasco Reininger Perez & Esquenazi in Coral Gables, Fla., who represented Russell with Steven R. Reininger. “We expected this ruling because of the judge’s rulings during the trial,” said Behar, who could not recall any specific rulings against his client but said Shockett generally seemed to rule in the Doral’s favor. The Doral was represented by David Shankman, a solo practitioner in Tampa, Fla., who could not be reached for comment by deadline. Tom Manno, vice president and general manager of the Doral, said he was pleased with the ruling. “We’re glad we were heard by the judge and look forward to moving on to the next step,” said Manno. The next step will be the 3rd District Court of Appeal where attorneys for Russell said they intend to file an appeal of Schockett’s decision.

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