Lawrence J. Dougherty

Special Counsel

Overview

Larry Dougherty (“DOCK-er-tee”) is a special counsel and litigator with Foley & Lardner LLP. He handles complex commercial litigation in federal and state courts with a focus on business disputes, civil and criminal appeals, and intellectual property litigation. Larry’s clients include executives, directors, inventors, investors, and their public and private companies in the following industries: health care, financial services, home building, and commercial real estate. He is a member of the Business Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Intellectual Property Litigation, and Appellate Practices.

Larry’s litigation skills have earned him the highest possible peer review rating of AV® Preeminent™ by Martindale-Hubbell ever since his first evaluation. He has tried cases as first-chair counsel, argued appeals in federal and state courts, managed discovery teams, and resolved cases through settlement and mediation. He helps his clients resolve complex litigation problems, to let them focus on business.

Clients praise the quality of Larry’s work. Sample comments:

“We were pleased as to both the result obtained and the manner in which the case was handled, including constant communication with us . . . .”

“As always, your responsiveness, professional demeanor and your sage advice is appreciated. In my experience intelligent, professional, and thoughtful approaches have always provided the best results. You certainly provided all of that in this matter.”

Representative Experience

  • Made successful oral arguments for six-figure judgments and awards of attorney’s fees in contract and real estate disputes
  • Obtained dismissal of patent troll litigation without payment to the plaintiff
  • Successfully argued direct criminal appeal in the Florida Supreme Court resulting in reversal of client’s murder conviction and life sentence
  • Served on the Foley team that won a groundbreaking U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding the constitutionality of inter partes patent review, Oil States v. Greene’s Energy, 584 U.S. ___ (2018)
  • Obtained dismissal of lawsuit blocking NASDAQ-listed client’s $326 million merger
  • Made successful oral argument for summary judgment removing restrictive covenants from 600-acre parcel slated for residential development
  • Resolved major Delaware litigation against client’s patented advertising technology
  • Served on multiple teams for three-week product liability trials in Florida state courts
  • Obtained dismissal with prejudice of lawsuit challenging NYSE-listed client’s new bylaw designed to reduce expenses of frivolous litigation

Before entering private practice, Larry clerked for the Honorable Charles R. Wilson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Larry worked as a newspaper reporter before he became a lawyer. He covered the federal and state courts in Tampa and wrote investigative stories for the St. Petersburg Times. He covered business and diplomatic news in Tokyo for The Japan Times.

Representative Matters

REAL ESTATE LITIGATION

Larry litigates construction defect, breach of contract, indemnification, quiet title, commercial eviction, and foreclosure matters, and counsels commercial property owners and commercial tenants on leases and other commercial matters.

APPEALS

Larry has argued appeals in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and the Florida Supreme Court. (Audio of oral argument is available at the preceding links.) He has briefed appeals and petitions for certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals, the Florida Supreme Court, and Florida’s District Courts of Appeal, several times winning awards of appellate attorney’s fees for his clients.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Larry litigates patent infringement matters, helping inventors defend their inventions. He counsels inventors on licensing and development strategies.

SECURITIES LITIGATION

Larry has defended NYSE- and NASDAQ-listed companies and their boards of directors against shareholder class actions alleging securities fraud and § 14(a) proxy counts filed under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act, and direct and derivative counts under state law, in both federal and state courts.

WHITE COLLAR DEFENSE

Larry served on the criminal trial team representing the former CFO of a Fortune 500 company charged in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, and in follow-on civil actions. He has completed representations in connection with federal grand jury, SEC, IRS, and Florida state insurance regulator investigations.

REPORTED CASES

  • Oil States Energy Services, LLC v. Greene's Energy Group, LLC, 584 U.S. ___ (2018) (Supreme Court of the United States)
  • Biver v. Nicholas Financial, Inc., 2014 WL 2241891 (Middle District of Florida)
  • Bearden v. State, 161 So. 3d 1257 (Florida Supreme Court 2015)
  • Rothenberg v. Imperial Holdings/Emergent Capital, 2015 WL 6161332 (Southern District of Florida)
  • S.T.O.F. Holdings, Ltd. v. Scandinavia-U.S.A. Homeowners Ass’n, Inc., 2016 WL 370957 (Polk Circuit Court)
  • Aguilar v. Gaston-Camara, 861 F.3d 626 (7th Cir. 2017)
  • Fennell v. Secretary, Florida DOC, 582 F. App’x 828 (11th Cir. 2014)
  • Health Care Advances, Inc. v. BVM Management, Inc., 2017 WL 2427327 (Hillsborough Circuit Court)
  • Health Care Advances, Inc. v. BVM Management, Inc., 2016 WL 5408050 (Hillsborough Circuit Court)

Pro Bono Service

Larry won a new trial for his client who was serving life in prison for murder, after the Florida Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the trial judge had improperly excluded the confession of another suspect. Larry argued the habeas corpus appeal of another client’s murder conviction and life sentence on appointment from the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. He argued a prisoner’s civil rights case in the U.S. Seventh Circuit on court appointment. Larry also first-chaired the successful dismissal of a county court charge pending against a homeless client. He has been recognized repeatedly by the Florida Supreme Court and the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee for his many hundreds of hours of pro bono service.

Education

Larry graduated with high honors in the top 2% of his class at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he was elected to the Order of the Coif and served as editor in chief of the Florida Law Review. His published law review note won the national writing competition of the American Bar Association’s Section of Antitrust Law. Larry also worked as a research assistant updating a major antitrust treatise. He earned his undergraduate degree from Princeton University.

Admissions

  • Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • Supreme Court of the United States

Affiliations and Professional Memberships

  • Wm. Reece Smith, Jr. Litigation American Inn of Court, Tampa
    • Inaugural Member
    • Executive Committee, 2015–2019
    • Treasurer, 2017–2019
    • Mentoring Coordinator, 2015–2017
  • Federal Bar Association, Tampa Bay Chapter
    • Board Member, 2016–2018
    • Civics Liaison, 2017–2018
    • Inaugural Member, Intellectual Property Committee
    • Co-Editor, 2016
    • Co-Chair, U.S. Eleventh Circuit Luncheon & Panel Discussion, 2015
  • History, Education, and Public Outreach Subcommittee of the Bench Bar Fund Committee of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
    • Organizing Committee for Hidden Figures: Honoring Trailblazers in Tampa Bay, 2018
    • Moderator, “Fifty Years of Justice”/BCCI Trial Panel Discussion, 2015
  • Hillsborough County Bar Association, 2010–present
  • American Bar Association, 2009–present 
  • Eleventh Circuit Historical Society, 2011–present
  • Princeton Club of Tampa Bay School Interviewing Committee
    • Member, 1995–present
    • Chair, 1998–2003
  • Florida Blue Key
  • Tampa Rowing Club 

Publications

  • “Middle District of Florida’s ‘Fifty Years of Justice’ Book Celebration,” 11th Circuit Historical News, Winter 2015
  • “Wm. Reece Smith, Jr. Litigation American Inn of Court Focuses on Pro Bono and Diversity," American Inns of Court, The Bencher, November-December 2014
  • “Does a Cartel Aim Expressly? Trusting Calder Personal Jurisdiction When Antitrust Goes Global,” 60 Fla. L. Rev. 915 (2008)

Presentations

  • Panelist, “Avoiding Deal Blow-Ups in Today’s Market,” Society of Real Estate Professionals, Tampa, September 28, 2017
  • Moderator, “BCCI Money Laundering Trial,” Bench Bar Fund Committee, Tampa, September 22, 2015
  • Panelist, “Federal Judicial Law Clerk Roundtable,” North Florida Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, University of Florida Levin College of Law, February 2011
  • Panelist, “Conversation with Justice John Paul Stevens,” America & the Courts, C-SPAN, November 29, 2008, available here
  • Legal Commentator, “Investigators Indict Parents in Baby’s Disappearance,” Larry King Live, September 10, 1999

Representative Matters

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A cross-disciplinary team of Foley lawyers secured a dismissal with prejudice in Florida federal court for Emergent Capital Inc., in a case that could pave the way for companies seeking to minimize meritless shareholder actions. This suit was believed to be the first nationwide to challenge a corporate bylaw requiring minimum-support-to-sue, by which shareholders must have written consent from holders of at least three percent of the company’s shares before suing the company or its directors or officers on behalf of other shareholders in a class action or a derivative action. In addition to dismissing the complaint with prejudice, the plaintiff issued a statement acknowledging that the board acted in good faith and did not engage in any improper behavior in adopting the bylaw or otherwise. Over 90% of mergers and acquisitions of public companies lead to shareholder lawsuits, most of which are resolved without any monetary benefit to shareholders, while imposing substantial costs. Directors of public companies are closely following activity related to the minimum-support-to-sue bylaw and other bylaws seeking to manage shareholder litigation before it is filed. This resolution leaves the door open for other companies to follow Emergent’s lead and adopt similar bylaws to rein in meritless shareholder lawsuits.
Representing a financial services company and its senior officers and directors in a series of putative shareholder class actions in Florida state court and the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida.
Foley represented a former senior officer of a Fortune 500 company in government enforcement proceedings, including False Claims Act, SEC enforcement, and federal criminal proceedings filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida.