Kayla Leland Pragid
Kayla Pragid is a trial and litigation attorney in Holland & Knight's West Palm Beach office. Ms. Pragid focuses her practice on complex federal litigation and class actions nationwide, with an emphasis on prosecuting and defending fraud and unfair and deceptive trade practices across multiple industries, including securities fraud, healthcare and insurance fraud, crypto fraud, equine fraud, as well as shareholder derivative claims and Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)/employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) claims with underlying allegations of deceptive or unfair conduct. Ms. Pragid also has significant experience handling transactions and litigation involving medical providers.
Ms. Pragid is the founder and chair of Holland & Knight's Equine Industry Team. Her complex and nationwide practice makes her well-positioned to identify and resolve potential issues before they result in costly litigation. She works to understand her clients' long-term business strategies and works to ensure the legal help provided furthers their business objectives. In this role, Ms. Pragid often acts as a strategic partner and legal advisor, assisting clients with navigating fraudulent, deceptive and unfair trade practices in the equine industry, as well as non-litigation prevention strategies such as advising equine sponsors and the hospitality industry on statutory protections and manners to limit potential liability for equine-related activities.
Clients often call on Ms. Pragid because of her ability to strategically and efficiently manage large cases and massive discovery obligations, including the management of electronic discovery (e-discovery). Ms. Pragid is organized, strategic and efficient with both time and resources. She assists clients in achieving successful, cost-effective results. Ms. Pragid has successfully managed and litigated cases to settlement, summary judgment and verdict.
Ms. Pragid prides herself on her commitment to pro bono legal work for those who are so often underserved by the community. In this regard, she frequently represents pro bono clients in domestic violence and stalking cases on the civil and criminal side. She is also passionate about diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). She co-chairs the West Palm Beach office's DEI committee and sits on the firmwide Diversity Counsel. She also manages an intensive mentorship program for diverse law students.
While in law school, Ms. Pragid was a judicial law clerk for the Honorable A. Jay Cristol of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of Florida.
- Represented an insurance carrier in a favorable settlement against a conglomerate of medical practices and their medical providers who were over-prescribing dangerous opioids to induce patients to seek medically unnecessary and unreasonable treatment
- After being retained by the plaintiff property and casualty insurer just weeks before trial, successfully settled a contentious multimillion-dollar federal dispute brought under Florida's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA); the settlement allowed the insurer to avoid an unnecessary and costly trial with terms extremely favorable to the insurer
- Represented a property and casualty insurance company in a favorable settlement against a group of medical providers who were uniformly treating auto-accident patients and improperly overbilling the patients for their treatment to maximize their profits by exhausting the patients' personal injury protection (PIP) insurance
- Represented a national health insurance company in a multimillion-dollar settlement involving allegations of inflated billing for surgical assistants in the operating room; the settlement saved the insurance company from paying for tens of millions of dollars of overpriced services being provided by an out-of-network provider
- Represented a cruise line in fraud litigation against an equipment manufacturer, which resulted in a favorable $159 million verdict after a contentious four-week jury trial
- Represented nominal company defendant in a massive shareholder derivative litigation alleging breaches of fiduciary duty, aiding and abetting breaches of fiduciary duty, and various purportedly deceptive actions by the company during a stock split
- Represented a class of plaintiffs who were defrauded out of hundreds of millions of dollars resulting from a crypto-currency Ponzi scheme
- Defended a national moving company against allegations that the company intentionally underpaid for employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) shares during the sale of the company
- Defended a class action alleging one of the largest agricultural companies purportedly improperly administered its Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)-governed pension plans as a result of a merger
- Defended a class action alleging the owners of a multinational company deceived its employees when it created an ESOP by purportedly overvaluing the company
- Obtained the complete dismissal of a lawsuit filed against a national insurance company after successfully arguing ERISA preempted the state law claims; the dismissal saved the company millions of dollars because (after some negotiation) the provider ultimately agreed to go in-network and forgo all litigation and arbitration options
- Successfully removed several cases from state court to federal court on the grounds of ERISA preemption (and other related preemptions) and resolved the cases shortly thereafter
- Defended a political candidate in a protracted class action alleging he and his campaign violated a federal statute and were subject to significant statutory fines
- On the verge of protracted and costly litigation, advised a national restaurant brand in negotiating new terms for the limited liability agreements controlling the various companies and avoided litigation between the five business partners
- Represented several international manufacturers in dozens of matters involving product liability, breaches of warranties, breaches of contract, construction defects and complaints of nuisance
- Represented a national hotel chain in assessing liability for certain equine activities
- Represented the owner of an equine company in prosecuting fraudulent and deceptive business practices of a former partner
- Assists clients with navigating European litigation-related issues
- Obtained sanctions against opposing counsel for e-discovery improprieties, which shifted the cost-burden of the production to the opposing party
- Ms. Pragid routinely counsels clients on designing, implementing and maintaining litigation holds, which require an in-depth understanding of the company's software, document storage systems, document retention policies, applicable laws and local practices. Litigation holds are essential for preserving electronically stored information (ESI) that may need to be produced in the litigation.
- E-discovery is often the most expensive "cost" in litigation. Ms. Pragid is highly sophisticated in negotiating the parameters and limitations of e-discovery with opposing counsel to minimize the exorbitant costs while still providing the necessary discovery.
- Ms. Pragid has spent thousands of hours effectively managing e-discovery review teams and project managers to ensure a streamlined and cost-effective process for clients. She routinely works with internal, as well as third party project managers and review teams.
- Assisted a veteran, who was shot eight times by her boyfriend, by navigating the criminal prosecution of the attempted murder and domestic violence charges; after a two-day jury trial, the attacker was convicted of three felonies and is currently serving 30 years in prison
- Obtained a temporary and permanent injunction (restraining orders) for a victim who had been cyber-stalked for more than five years; after the respondent repeatedly violated the restraining orders, assisted the client in seeking criminal contempt; thereafter, the local sheriff's office arrested the respondent, who was incarcerated
- Assisted a stalking victim with obtaining an initial temporary and later a permanent injunction to prevent a stalker from sending her unsavory daily packages, letters and other communications
- Obtained a permanent injunction (restraining order) for a victim of domestic violence who had been repeatedly physically abused by an ex-boyfriend
- University of Miami School of Law, J.D., summa cum laude
- Boston University, B.S.B.A., magna cum laude
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
- U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida
- United States Equestrian Federation (USEF)
- Raise the Bar, Women's Foundation of Florida, Committee Member
- National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL)
- Central Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce, Committee Member
- Human Trafficking Coalition of the Palm Beaches
- Palm Beach County Bar Association
- American Bar Association
- On the Rise (Large Firm) Honoree, Florida Legal Awards, Daily Business Review, 2024
- The Best Lawyers in America guide, West Palm Beach Commercial Litigation, Insurance Law Ones to Watch, 2023, 2024
- Rising Star, Florida Super Lawyers magazine, 2020-2023
- Holland & Knight Pro Bono All-Star, 2020, 2021
- Dean's List, University of Miami School of Law
- CALI Excellence Award, Property and Health & Elder Law Clinic
- Dean's Certificate of Achievement, University of Miami School of Law
- Duberstein Moot Court Competition, Octofinalist 2011, 2012
- Khan, Cristol, Paskay Moot Court Competition, Semifinalist
- Moot Court Competition, Quarterfinalist and Best Brief
- 1L Moot Court Competition, Semifinalist