Anthony J. Palermo
Anthony J. Palermo is a Tampa litigation attorney who represents clients in complex commercial disputes, governmental investigations, enforcement actions, and administrative proceedings, arbitrations, and state and federal court litigation, including through trial and appeal. Mr. Palermo also advises clients on regulatory compliance and corporate governance issues with a particular focus on consumer protection, data privacy and security, and financial services laws and regulations. He has significant experience in the financial services, transportation, healthcare, and technology and telecommunications industries.
Mr. Palermo has been recognized as one of the top lawyers in Tampa for commercial litigation as well as banking and finance litigation by Tampa Magazine, one of the "Rising Stars" in the state of Florida by Super Lawyers, and as a "Florida Legal Elite" attorney for commercial litigation by Florida Trend magazine. In addition, he was previously recognized nationally as one of only five consumer protection attorneys to be honored as a Law360 Rising Star and named to its list of top attorneys "whose legal accomplishments transcend their age."
As part of his litigation practice, Mr. Palermo has defended against putative class actions in various jurisdictions stemming from data breaches, and unauthorized access and disclosure of private information. He has also represented multiple professional sports teams in Florida, including Major League Baseball and National Hockey League franchises. As part of his regulatory practice, Mr. Palermo has been appointed a Special Assistant Attorney General to advise a state-run lending institution on compliance with consumer protection and banking laws, and has counseled clients on safeguarding data and responding to data security incidents, including conducting internal investigation, coordinating incident response and third-party notification, and preparing risk assessments for protected information.
Mr. Palermo has held various positions of bar leadership and is the chair of The Florida Bar's Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Subcommittee of the Consumer Protection Law Committee, of which he is the immediate past chair. He is a frequent speaker at continuing legal education seminars for The Florida Bar, has authored articles for multiple legal publications, and has presented for statewide and national courses and conventions. His published work has been quoted in law review articles, cited as support in appellate briefs by other lawyers before courts throughout Florida, and cited with approval in a recent decision by Florida's Second District Court of Appeal, which has appellate jurisdiction over the state courts in Hillsborough County, Florida, including Tampa.
Mr. Palermo's recent representative matters include:
- defended international company, employee, and director on claims of fraud, misrepresentation, and violations of Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act (UDTPA) and Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO); prevailed in federal court and appeal before U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and granted trial and appellate fees under North Carolina statute that "North Carolina court[s] ha[d] yet to apply" where defendants "obtained excellent results" and "defeated all of the plaintiffs' claims"
- represented a National Hockey League (NHL) franchise in a trademark infringement dispute
- defended large, multi-specialty medical group with more than 80 locations in consolidated, putative data breach class actions arising from ransomware attack at vendor involving personal information of alleged 170,000 patients; obtained order dismissing all 11 causes of action filed in New York state court despite court's recognition that case law was "far from uniform" and there was "not binding precedent"
- defended a surgery center in federal court against a putative class action arising from a data breach involving an alleged 142,000 patients; obtained an order dismissing all claims regarding a "novel" issue of law for which "circuit courts have reached conflicting conclusions" and that had "not been addressed by the Eleventh Circuit"
- conducted factual investigation, incident response, and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) risk assessment for statewide behavior health and counseling provider for incident involving protected health information
- prosecuted a breach of contract action on behalf of a mergers and acquisitions (M&A) advisor; obtained dismissal of counterclaims for fraud in the inducement and rescission, and obtained an order compelling the production of key discovery and subject of the claim for breach and awarding attorneys' fees and costs
- represented a national bank in a three-day trial; obtained final judgment declaring that the client had a top priority security interest in the collateral
- defended a debt-buying company and account-servicing corporation in seven different lawsuits filed by multiple plaintiffs in Florida state court and defeated claims of alleged Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act (FCCPA) and Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) violations after removing to federal court, consolidating cases, prevailing on a motion for summary judgment and obtaining an order granting final judgment in the defendants' favor
- prosecuted an action on behalf of a transportation and logistics company for breach of option contract and conversion; obtained order striking opposing party's responsive pleading
- defended a real estate development company against claims of alleged business torts and breach of contract; obtained dismissal with prejudice of multiple claims, including for civil theft
While attending law school, Mr. Palermo was a teaching fellow at Harvard in the government department and received the Harvard University Certificate of Distinction in Teaching. Prior to law school, Mr. Palermo worked for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, a combat support agency for the U.S. Department of Defense, where he held Top Secret/SCI level security clearance and traveled internationally as part of a U.S. delegation to the Global Dialogues on Emerging Science and Technology conference in Cape Town, South Africa.
- Represented a national bank in a three-day trial in an action for a breach of loan agreement, breach of promissory note, and breach of guaranty; obtained final judgment declaring that the client had a top priority security interest in fees payable to the borrower
- Defended former officers and directors of multiple community banks in three separate actions filed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) for claims of alleged negligence, gross negligence, and breach of fiduciary duty
- Represented a business broker and a mergers and acquisitions (M&A) advisory firm in multistate litigation; obtained a publicly filed stipulation from the opposing party admitting contract was valid and enforceable, acknowledging liability under the contract, and withdrawing all prior allegations against the client
- Defended a bank against claims of breach of contract, fraud in the inducement, misleading advertisement, and negligent misrepresentation; obtained an order striking the claim for punitive damages and awarding attorneys' fees
- Defended multiple insurance companies against claims of tortious interference and unjust enrichment in a putative class action in a Florida state court; obtained order granting motion for sanctions and dismissal with prejudice
- Defended a financial services corporation against a putative class action based on alleged violations of the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act (FCCPA) and Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA); resolved on an individual basis with the plaintiff after filing a dispositive motion
- Obtained final judgment in favor of individual clients in probate litigation after full evidentiary hearing
- Defended a surgery center against a putative class action; obtained dismissal of multiple claims and denial of motion for class certification in order where the federal court found "there is no clear consensus as to how the issue should be resolved," but "[c]onsidering the arguments on both sides, the Court agrees with [defendant]" as to "novel" issue of "whether a data breach on its own is an 'injury in fact'" and, therefore, "[t]he Court concludes the action should be dismissed" and plaintiffs "lack standing to sue"
- Defended healthcare provider with more than 2,000 employees against putative data breach class action; obtained dismissal of multiple claims seeking damages, restitution, and injunctive relief
- Defended a healthcare facility during a binding, two-day arbitration regarding a joint venture buyout dispute with a minority owner that implicated Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute; argued evidentiary issues and cross-examined opposing expert witness
- Obtained temporary injunction, then a permanent injunction and final judgment in favor of an assisted-living facility, allowing the facility to terminate a contract after full evidentiary hearing
- Defending healthcare insurance technology company against putative Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) class action
- Represented a client selected for an award of public contract in its response to request for a proposal and the ensuing evaluation process by the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority
- Represented a government-control district and body corporate of the State of Florida in a bond validation action; obtained final judgment that found the financing at issue was valid, legal, and binding, which validated and confirmed related proceedings by district
- Appointed Special Assistant Attorney General and advised the state-run housing and lending authority regarding compliance with rules implemented by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) under the Dodd-Frank Act and regulations enacted under the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA)
- Advising a multinational pharmaceutical and medical-device company regarding compliance with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and negotiated healthcare-related product delivery arrangements with multiple different companies on the client's behalf to reduce risk based on structuring agreement to qualify for relevant safe harbors and exceptions pursuant to regulations and orders of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
- Advised a publicly traded retailer regarding regulatory compliance risks regarding the acquisition of a financial services company
- Advising one of the largest healthcare clinics in the Southeastern United States regarding compliance with various consumer protection laws and assisting with patient intake forms, privacy policies, and financial agreements
- Defended a leading company in the hospitality industry in an investigation by the CFPB, resulting in the government's closing of its investigation, withdrawal of its civil investigative demand and document-retention obligations, and a decision not to take enforcement action
- Represented a regional bank in Florida under examination by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) after the OCC questioned whether the bank's lending practices for foreign nationals complied with the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA); submitted an analysis of the practices in question resulting in the OCC concluding that the bank's practices did not present any fair lending issues
- Represented a storage corporation in an administrative appeal of a stop-work order and order of penalty assessment based on alleged violations of workers' compensation laws; obtained order significantly reducing assessed penalty
- Represented a construction company in an administrative appeal of a stop-work order and order of penalty assessment based on alleged violations of workers' compensation laws; obtained an order significantly reducing assessed penalty
- Defended a hauling company and obtained an order denying a claim for punitive damages after multiple evidentiary hearings based upon, among other things, compliance with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) standards, despite the court allowing the claim of punitive damages to proceed against the driver after the trucking accident
- Represented multiple transportation and logistics companies in various disputes related to noncompetition, nondisclosure, and nonsolicitation provisions in agreements with subcontractors
- Represented a transportation and logistics company in an indemnity action against a sub-hauler stemming from a prior personal injury action
- Represented a transportation and logistics company in a dispute with a former customer arising from a multiyear business relationship governed by tariffs and multiple contractual arrangements
- Defended a transportation and logistics company in a dispute with a shipping agency regarding invoices arising under an intermodal interchange and facilities access agreement
- Represented a telecommunications company in an adversary proceeding in bankruptcy court in a constructive fraudulent transfer action
- Represented a telecommunications company in a tax controversy and obtained summary judgment defeating the IRS' claim of a superior creditor interest in the client's real property
- Represented a telecommunications company in a multimillion-dollar, international dispute relating to multiple breach of contract claims and business torts
- Defended a leading global mobile and network communications company in an international contractual dispute before the American Arbitration Association's International Centre for Dispute Resolution (AAA-ICDR)
- Represented clients in a range of business and employment disputes, including involving restrictive covenants (non-compete and non-solicitation provisions), insurance and healthcare-related remuneration issues, as well as the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) claims
- Represented a national airline company in a putative class action in which the plaintiff asserted that the client's Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) enrollment and eligibility notices failed to comply with U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) regulations; DOL filed amicus brief for the first time on evolving and disputed notification issue that supported defendant's position; federal district court recognized appellate court had "not directly addressed" the issue, expressly declined to follow decisions that allowed claims to proceed, and granted motion to dismiss before plaintiff dismissed claims with prejudice without settlement
- Received the President's Award from The Young Lawyers Division of The Florida Bar for pro bono services related to natural disasters in 2018 and 2019
- In June 2019, he earned the honor for "outstanding service to the young lawyers of Florida and his contributions to the betterment of the legal profession" for similar pro bono service in the wake of Hurricane Michael.
- In June 2018, received the recognition for distinguished leadership, service and contributions to the legal profession for coordinating a statewide response to Hurricane Irma between the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the American Bar Association (ABA), The Florida Bar, and legal aid providers and volunteer attorneys. As a result, more than 460 attorney volunteers provided free legal assistance to over 2,000 Floridians who could not afford to retain an attorney to address legal issues resulting from the storm.
- Harvard Law School, J.D.
- The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, B.A., Political Science, minor in Philosophy, with highest distinction
- U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida
- U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
- The Florida Bar, Consumer Protection Law Committee, Chair, 2020-2021; Vice Chair, 2019-2020; Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Subcommittee, Chair, 2021-Present; CLE Subcommittee, Chair, 2018-2019; Appointed Member, 2016-Present
- The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division (YLD), Board of Governors, 2017-2019
- American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division (YLD), District Representative for Florida, 2017-2019; Corporate Counsel Committee, Co-Chair, 2017-2019; Vice Chair 2015-2017; Litigation Committee, Vice Chair, 2014-2015
- The Florida Bar, Leadership Academy, Fellow, 2015-2016
- Hillsborough County Bar Association, Leadership Institute, Chair, 2014-2015
- Tampa Bay Carolina Club, President, 2016-2019
- Harvard College, Admissions Office, Interviewer
- Harvard Club of Tampa Bay, President, 2015-2017
- Best Buddies Tampa Bay, Advisory Board, 2012-2014
- Tampa Hispanic Bar Association
- The Best Lawyers in America guide, Commercial Litigation, 2021, 2022
- Florida Legal Elite, Florida Trend magazine, 2020, 2021
- Holland & Knight Living the Commitment Award, 2020
- Top Lawyer, Litigation: Banking & Finance, Tampa Magazine, 2020
- Proven Pro Bono Producer Award, Hillsborough County Bar Association, 2016-2020
- Rising Star, Florida Super Lawyers magazine, 2015-2021
- President's Award, The Florida Bar YLD, 2018-2019
- Public and Charitable Service All-Star, Holland & Knight, 2018; Pro Bono All-Star, 2017-2020
- Up & Comer, Florida Legal Elite, Florida Trend magazine, 2016-2019
- Top Lawyer, Commercial Litigation & Transactions Law, Tampa Magazine, 2017-2018
- Outstanding Services Award, American Bar Association Military Pro Bono Project, 2018
- Rising Star, Consumer Protection, Law360, 2018
- Star of the Quarter, American Bar Association YLD, Fall 2017
- Up & Comer, Under 30 Category, Tampa Bay Business Journal, 2015
- Certificate of Distinction in Teaching, Harvard University
- Order of the Bell Tower, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill