Real Estate broker Edie Laquer (J. Albert Diaz)
Real estate power broker Edie Laquer won another legal battle Thursday.
Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Ronald Dresnick ruled she can keep celebrity attorney Roy Black’s law firm as counsel in litigation over the Miami Worldcenter project.
In recent years, Laquer has notched key court victories and settlements against developers such as Hank Sopher and Michael Samuel. She is now suing developers Marc Roberts and Arthur Falcone over her claim to a stake in the 17-acre project in the blighted Park West neighborhood north of downtown Miami.
Roberts claimed he confided in Black about a bankruptcy suit and Black’s firm should be barred from representing Laquer in the litigation against him.
Dresnick ruled Roberts never hired Black, Srebnick, Kornspan & Stumpf and its attorneys can continue representing Laquer in the Worldcenter case before him.
The same law firm represents Harvey Silverman, a former partner in the 750,000-square-foot mixed-used development, in a federal lawsuit against Falcone.
Black testified May 6 that he was only friends with Roberts and gave him no legal advice in the bankruptcy case.
Dresnick agreed, saying, “Although Roberts attempted to characterize his relationship with Mr. Black as ‘attorney-client,’ the evidence merely showed a longstanding social relationship between the two and was therefore insufficient to establish an attorney-client relationship.”
Attorney Jared Lopez, a partner at Black Srebnick and Laquer’s lead counsel, said the unsuccessful motion to disqualify was frivolous from the onset.
“We believe the motion was brought to try to delay the pending trial date and attempt to create issues for Ms. Laquer to deal with and to distract her from her trial preparation,” he said.
The trial is set for Sept .15.
Aventura attorney Richard J. Burton, who represents Roberts, said Dresnick’s ruling will be appealed.
“It’s trying to protect Mr. Roberts from being sued by someone he turned over confidential data,” he said.
Next up for Dresnick is to determine whether arbitration findings against Laquer in separate litigation with Falcone will be recognized by the court.