Justin C. Carlin is a state and federal trial and appellate lawyer with extensive experience representing clients in business, real estate, and other civil litigation.
Justin represents clients in “complex actions” (involving complicated legal issues where the amount in controversy often exceeds $1 million), but also in routine disputes where the amount in controversy is less than $50,000.00. His clients include entrepreneurs, private businesses, financial institutions, community associations, real estate and construction professionals, and individuals involved in a business, property, or civil dispute (simple or complex).
Referred to as a lawyer who “goes the extra mile” and “knows every detail,” Justin is rated AV Preeminent® by Martindale-Hubbell—the highest rating available and a testament to the fact that his peers rank him at the highest level of professional ability. Justin has also been named a “Florida Rising Star” by Super Lawyers® magazine—an honor limited to no more than 2.5% of Florida attorneys. In 2016, Justin became a fellow of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) National Trial College at Harvard Law School, an exclusive program to which only 36 trial attorneys are accepted every two years.
While Justin prides himself on exceptional performance in the courtroom, he also emphasizes superior research and writing. A published author adept at writing complicated legal memoranda and appellate briefs, Justin’s scholarly work has been cited in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, and he has successfully handled appeals to several of Florida’s appellate courts and to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
Justin graduated from Florida International University College of Law, where he was a member of the Florida International University Law Review and a judicial intern for the Honorable Juan Ramirez, Jr. (Ret.) of the Florida Third District Court of Appeal (in Miami). Almost immediately after becoming a lawyer, he successfully established his own firm amid the 2008 financial crisis.
Justin is a member of both the Trial Lawyers and Business Law Sections of The Florida Bar, the Federal Bar Association, and the Broward County Bar Association’s Bench/Bar Committee. He is licensed to practice in all Florida courts, the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Middle Districts of Florida, and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, Georgia.
- – Commercial Litigation & Business Disputes
- – Real Estate Litigation & Property Disputes
- – Business & Corporate Transactions
- – Title III-ADA Litigation
- – Intellectual Property Litigation
- – Estate, Probate, & Trust Litigation
- – Employment & Labor Litigation
- – FINRA Arbitration
- – Construction Litigation
- – General Civil Litigation
- – Complex Divorce Litigation
- – Appeals
Commercial Litigation and Business Disputes
Represented plaintiff investor in federal court litigation involving alleged breach of joint venture agreement to purchase and resell exotic sports car worth more than $1.3 million. Parties entered into a confidential settlement agreement during the first day of jury trial.
Obtained temporary injunction on behalf of company whose former manager allegedly misappropriated the company’s customer lists and other trade secrets in violation of a non-compete agreement and Florida’s Uniform Trade Secret Act.
Represented former director of foreign corporation in defense of fraud and civil conspiracy claims arising from failed international real estate project in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Case voluntarily dismissed by plaintiffs after more than 24 months of active litigation.
Represented foreign judgment creditor seeking to enforce fraud judgment against “insolvent” corporation. The case was formally designated by the trial court as “complex” and involved parallel Chapter 727 assignment for the benefit of creditors (“ABC”) proceedings brought in coordinate trial courts, each of which resulted in appeals to the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal, and a Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding initiated in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida that resulted in an appeal to each of the District Court and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
Real Estate Litigation
Represented local financial institution in prosecution of $12+ million commercial mortgage foreclosure.
Represented real estate investor in challenge to $1.5 million special assessment imposed against unit owners of condominium property, contending that the special assessment was enacted in violation of the Association’s governing documents and, therefore, was void. Case settled before trial.
Prevailed in bench trial representing co-tenant who had been ousted from real property co-owned with her brother, claiming fair market rental value during the period of her dispossession, together with attorney’s fees and court costs.
Defended commercial tenant in trial on claim for eviction based on tenant’s alleged non-monetary default (serving “Greek beer” instead of “Turkish beer” to the restaurant’s patrons), arguing the absence of a default under the lease agreement or, in the alternative, that the inequitable forfeiture doctrine made eviction an inappropriate remedy.
Intellectual Property Litigation
Defended local marketing and branding company in a federal lawsuit asserting claims for trademark infringement, unfair competition, and cybersquatting.
General Civil Litigation
Co-counsel and principal personal counsel in defense of wrongful death action brought against property owners who allegedly allowed invitees (guests) to shoot firearms and drink alcohol on their property, resulting in one invitee accidentally shooting and killing another invitee.
Defended former board member of condominium association against defamation suit stemming from remarks allegedly made at a community association meeting and later in a written communication to members of the community association.
Represented investors in dispute with precious metals firm over commission fees and interest charged on allegedly fictitious commodities transactions in violation of Commodities Exchange Act and Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.
Prevailed in appeal of trial court’s decision declining to dismiss Chapter 727 assignment for the benefit of creditors proceeding as void on ground that Chapter 727 is strictly construed, and debtor and assignee failed to strictly follow statutory requirements of ABC proceeding. See Pro Finish, Inc. v. Estate of All American Trailer Mfgs., Inc., __ So. 3d ___, 2016 WL 4132721 (Fla. 4th DCA 2016).
Prevailed in appeal of trial court’s decision denying Plaintiffs’ motion for proceedings supplementary in aid of execution of judgment. See Forster, et al. v. Nations Funding Source, Inc., et al., Case No. 15-14316-DD (11th Cir. 2016) (unpublished opinion).
Prevailed in appeal from an Order denying a Motion to Vacate Summary Final Judgment; appellate court held that Association’s “suspension plan” from previously recorded “termination plan” was legal nullity and Final Judgment was void for failure to join indispensable party (Association’s termination trustee). See Bawi v. Inverrary Resort Hotel Condominium Ass’n, Inc., 22 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 67 (Oct. 31, 2014).
Publications and Speaking Engagements
Speaker: “Civil Litigation in Federal Courts,” Florida Lawyers Network, Fort Lauderdale Chapter, Lauderdale Yacht Club (Aug. 23, 2017).
Panelist: “The Winning Edge,” The Florida Bar’s Henry Latimer Center for Professionalism and Standing Committee on Professionalism, Nova Southeastern University Law School (Oct. 22, 2015).
Author: What Every Florida Business Owner Should Know about Collections, Broward County Bar Association People’s Law Guide (2011).
Research and Writing Contributor: Jerry W. Markham, Glass Steagall vs. Gramm-Leach-Bliley-A Test Match for the Bankers, 12 U. Pa. J. Bus. L. 1081 (2010).
Author: State Sovereign Immunity and Privatization: Can Eleventh Amendment Immunity Extend to Private Entities? 5 F.I.U. L. Rev. 209 (2009).
Research Fellow to Prof. Jerry Markham for U.S. banking law address delivered to the International Monetary Fund.
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, 2010
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, 2010
U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, 2012
Pro hace vice admissions obtained in federal courts outside of Florida
J.D., Florida International University College of Law, 2009
– Member, Board of Editors, Florida International University Law Review
– Participant, Trial Advocacy Program
B.S., Florida State University, 2005 (Double Major: Political Science & Psychology)
Honors and Awards
Fellow, American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) National Trial College, Harvard Law School, 2016
Rated AV Preeminent® by Martindale-Hubbell (highest rating available)
“Florida Rising Star,” Super Lawyers®, 2016 and 2017
Client Champion – Gold, Martindale-Hubbell, 2017
Client Distinction Award, Martindale-Hubbell, 2014 and 2015
Clients’ Choice Award, Avvo, 2012
The Florida Bar (Member, Sections on: Trial Advocacy, Business Law)
Federal Bar Association (Member, Section on Federal Litigation)
Broward County Bar Association (Member, Bench/Bar Committee)
Federalist Society for Law & Public Policy Studies (Miami chapter)
Florida Lawyers Network (Member, Category: Commercial Litigation)
FIU Law Dean’s Alumni Circle
Leadership Broward, Class XXXIV