Lawrence J. Hamilton II is a Jacksonville trial lawyer whose practice focuses on class actions, transportation matters and complex commercial disputes. He serves as practice group leader for the firm's North Florida Litigation Group and is a deputy chair of the firm's Transportation & Infrastructure Industry Sector Group.
Mr. Hamilton has broad experience handling complex commercial lawsuits and arbitrations, particularly class-action lawsuits covering a wide variety of industries. Mr. Hamilton is admitted to practice in Florida and has been admitted to practice in numerous other state and federal courts on a pro hac vice basis. He has been certified by the state of Florida as a civil mediator.
Mr. Hamilton also handles a wide variety of matters for clients engaged in the transportation business, including motor carriers, logistics companies, shippers, and Class I and II railroads. In addition to assisting clients with disputes and legal proceedings, he is also a trusted counsel and regularly advises transportation and other clients on contractual, regulatory and business issues.
In 2020, Mr. Hamilton received a Band 2 ranking from Chambers USA in the nationwide Transportation: Road (Carriage/Logistics) category. This is the eighth consecutive year that Mr. Hamilton has received Chambers recognition in the Road category. Chambers USA has noted that Mr. Hamilton is a "very experienced litigator with high integrity and work ethic" and was described by an interviewee as "a strong litigator – experienced with strategy." He also has been recognized by Chambers USA in the Transportation: Rail (for Railroads) category.
- Successfully defended a motor carrier in a class-action lawsuit in federal court in Florida alleging regulatory violations by a motor carrier; received a zero verdict after two trials; obtained highly favorable legal rulings that benefited the trucking industry as a whole
- Part of a trial team that obtained a multimillion-dollar jury verdict in a trial in Colorado state court arising from the sale of building products that contained excessive amounts of formaldehyde
- Successfully defended rural electric cooperatives in multiple class actions in Florida, including dismissal of six separate lawsuits
- Defended multiple rural electric cooperatives in attempted class actions in Mississippi and obtained a number of favorable rulings, including compelling arbitration of some cases
- Filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit on behalf of an electric cooperative in support of the decision of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama dismissing a class-action lawsuit against an electric cooperative
- Obtained favorable rulings leading to the dismissal of a class-action lawsuit seeking an injunction in connection with the use of electronic voting machines and software in the 2016 U.S. presidential election
- Defended a health plan and a hospital in class-action lawsuits for alleged failure to make timely payments or reimbursements
- Successfully represented a manufacturer of building products with respect to a class-action lawsuit alleging breach of warranty and in obtaining voluntary dismissal of the class action alleging contamination of a manufacturing site
- Successfully defended a retailer with respect to a class-action lawsuit alleging improper collection by the retailer of an occupational license tax
- Successfully handled arbitration by a Class II railroad against a Class I railroad alleging breach of a trackage rights agreement; the arbitrator rejected the Class I railroad's antitrust and other defenses and terminated the contract
- Represented a Class I railroad in connection with a wide variety of commercial issues and disputes, including contract and cargo disputes filed in multiple jurisdictions
- Represented a former CEO of a short line railroad and affiliated companies in a federal court lawsuit in California, arbitration in Florida and Delaware Court of Chancery lawsuit in Delaware; a favorable settlement was negotiated after obtaining a ruling from the Delaware Chancery Court upholding the former officer's entitlement to advancement of his legal expenses defending the California lawsuit
- Defeated counterclaims and obtained a judgment for a motor carrier in a federal court in Florida following a trial against a former agent seeking amounts due under applicable contracts
- Provided analysis and assistance to numerous transportation clients in connection with the issue of classification of independent contractors
- Assisted with the drafting of agency and independent contractor agreements, as well as with trade secret issues and enforcement of noncompete and non-solicitation agreements, on behalf of motor carrier clients and with independent contractor agreements on behalf of rail clients
- Filed lawsuits against competing motor carriers that hired away former agents and employees of a motor carrier client; negotiated settlements after receiving favorable rulings in state and federal courts
- Enforced an arbitration agreement and obtained dismissal of a lawsuit filed in Illinois federal court by a former agent against a motor carrier client
- Obtained a dismissal of a lawsuit against a motor carrier client filed in Oklahoma federal court alleging violation of the Telephone Communication Privacy Act
- Defended a motor carrier against claims by a former agent in North Carolina federal court and, following selection of jury and highly favorable rulings on motions in limine, settled the case on favorable terms
- Assisted a motor carrier in connection with a variety of contract and regulatory issues and a government investigation
- Defended a logistics client and negotiated a favorable settlement of an Alabama federal court lawsuit alleging breach of contract arising from a sales agency agreement involving international transportation services
- Represented a shipper with respect to the potential double payment liability following the failure of a broker to remit payments to a motor carrier
Other Litigation Matters
- Obtained an order dismissing a lawsuit against the Republican National Committee (RNC) seeking an injunction in connection with the 2016 Republican National Convention
- Assisted a foreign client with the discovery in the United States pursuant to 28 USC Section 1782, as well as trial strategy in connection with lawsuits in Switzerland and Cyprus that resulted in a substantial verdict in favor of the client