Seth J. Welner is a West Palm Beach commercial litigation attorney with particular experience in high-stakes lawsuits, including the defense of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act and other civil racketeering claims as well as the prosecution of emergency injunctions to protect businesses from the misuse of confidential and trade secret business information. Mr. Welner also has conducted internal corporate investigations relating to fraud and abuse allegations for several high-profile clients and, when necessary, has helped those clients communicate with federal authorities in relation to those investigations.
Mr. Welner also is experienced in defending telecommunication and internet providers and contractors from property-related disputes where electrical lines, fiber-optic cable systems, and/or other critical infrastructure are alleged to encroach and/or trespass on private property. In defending these suits, Mr. Welner has developed in-depth knowledge regarding lands held in the public trust and other legal issues related to submerged properties, including sovereign submerged lands.
His diverse practice makes Mr. Welner well suited for anticipating a client's litigation needs from the outset. His notable representative matters include:
- successfully defended one of the world's largest waterworks companies against federal and state RICO claims brought by a market competitor seeking significant damages; secured favorable rulings from the trial court level through the competitor's final appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court
- obtained an ex parte emergency injunction on behalf of a publicly traded company with more than $2 billion in annual revenues against a significant market competitor to prevent the continued use and misappropriation of the client's trade secrets by the competitor and two defecting employees
- obtained an ex parte temporary injunction for a national bank to enjoin competitors and former employees from stealing private wealth business from the client's Latin American private wealth group
- obtained a dismissal, final judgment, and entitlement to attorney’ fees and costs for a client alleged to have published defamatory election-related materials under Florida’s amended Anti-SLAPP statute, which is one of the first circuit-court applications of the new Anti-SLAPP law in Florida
- defended multiple telecommunication providers and contractors from suits seeking tens of millions of dollars in damages relating to the alleged placement of subterranean and subsea fiber-optic cable systems on private properties submerged in or around Florida’s Intracoastal Waterway, including efforts to eject the cable systems from the properties
- conducted internal investigations for several schools in connection with sexual abuse allegations and related law enforcement investigations
- represented a major banking institution in connection with a federal investigation regarding a multimillion-dollar fraud allegedly committed by the CEO of a significant client of the bank
- counseled a national franchisor in effective protection of trade secrets with its franchisees through the use of appropriate restrictive covenants
- assisted several clients in obtaining injunctive relief and other favorable rulings against former employees acting in violation of their restrictive covenants
Mr. Welner also has an active pro bono practice. Recently, he served as first chair in a federal jury trial on behalf of a pro bono client seeking civil rights protections related to his incarceration at a local jail. Mr. Welner also has participated in the firm's Mickey Rooney Elder Financial Abuse Pro Bono Project, which seeks to protect vulnerable, elderly citizens from financial abuse at the hands of caretakers, family members and others. In addition, he has represented pro bono clients as amicus curiae at the U.S. Supreme Court.
During law school, Mr. Welner worked as a law clerk for Florida's Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Division of Condominiums, Timeshares and Mobile Homes. He also served as a certified legal intern for the Florida Attorney General's Office, State Programs Division, where he represented the state of Florida and its officers in civil lawsuits. Mr. Welner also served as an executive editor of the Florida State University Law Review and was an active member of FSU's Moot Court Team.
- Florida State University College of Law, J.D., magna cum laude
- University of Florida, B.A., History and Political Science, magna cum laude
- All State Courts in Florida
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
- U.S. Supreme Court
- Order of the Coif
- Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches, Class of Leadership West Palm Beach, 2015
- Palm Beach County Bar Association
- Law Firm Award, Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County, 2015
- Holland & Knight Public and Charitable Service All-Star, 2014, 2017
- Holland & Knight Pro Bono All-Star 2014, 2017
- Historical Service Award, U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, 2012
- Florida State University College of Law, President's List
- Florida State University College of Law, Deans' List