Joseph P. Klock, Jr., Equally at home in the boardroom or courtroom, Mr. Klock has negotiated acquisitions and mergers, counseled families on the re-structuring of family enterprises, advised corporate CEOs on various corporate and personal matters, and has also litigated cases through every court level in Florida, including two successful arguments in the Supreme Court of the United States that resulted in President Bush succeeding in his bid for the White House in 2000. He sits on the board of a public company as well as advising both domestic and international, for-profit and not for profit, boards of directors.
In the courtroom, he handles complex civil litigation in state and federal courts, as well as criminal law, environmental, election, and constitutional/civil rights issues. He has litigated complex and multi-district cases as well as domestic and international arbitrations and other forms of alternate dispute resolution, and has also handled election and other issues before the Florida appellate courts and the U.S. Third, Fifth, Sixth, and Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Mr. Klock also represents individuals, families, and investor groups who control and invest in large publicly- and privately-held business enterprises, as well as professional athletes. His practice spans corporate, litigation, family wealth planning, immigration, professional licensing, and personal law issues.
- For 32 days following the presidential election in 2000, he headed a team of 20 lawyers who represented then-Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris in the various Bush-Gore election challenges. He personally argued cases in federal and state trial courts; multiple appeals in Florida appellate courts, an en banc appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit; and two successful appeals within eight days to the United States Supreme Court.
- Following the 2000 election, he headed the teams that defended Florida election laws during 2001-2003 in state and federal courts. He has since handled litigation for candidates in contested state and local elections.
- He was lead counsel with a team of 27 lawyers in the representation of a major health insurer in a $2 billion-plus federal False Claims Act litigation regarding alleged Medicare overpayments in the trial courts and then successfully settled the matter while it was pending in the United Sates Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit on highly favorable terms.
- He has served and continues to serve as general counsel and chief legal officer of a major international sugar farming, manufacturing and distribution holding company, with extensive operations in the U.S., Canada, Europe, The Caribbean, and Mexico, including hotel and resort operations in the Caribbean.
- He led a team of lawyers in successfully resisting a series of class action suits seeking damages for lost wages for H2A guest workers from abroad in excess of $100 million over a 23-year period involving foreign governments, federal and state regulators, thousands of workers, and unrelenting local, national and international press coverage, resulting in three jury and two non-jury verdicts in favor of the companies, all of which have been affirmed on appeal.
- He has litigated and continues to litigate issues relating to water quality and the impact of farming operations on the Everglades and surrounding waters and lands before the Florida Environmental Regulation Commission, the Division of Administrative Hearings, state circuit, appellate, and supreme, as well as federal district and appellate courts.
- He has handled politically sensitive and high-profile cases with extensive media coverage, including successfully arguing against amendments to the Florida state constitution that would have singled out farming operations for penurious taxes and which were being supported on a wide basis inclosing by the then vice president of the United States.
- He served as co-personal representative of one of the largest estates ($750 million-plus) ever probated in Florida, overseeing multiple investment portfolios as well as extensive oil and gas interests in Texas.
- He serves as a director to a publicly-traded vertically-integrated producer of soft drink beverage products.
- He serves as a director of a corporation that operates resort properties in the Dominican Republic, including Casa de Campo, and negotiating numerous hotel management contracts for resort owners and developers in the United States, the Caribbean, South America and Europe.
- He advises clients on wealth management and family wealth dispositions as well as complex U.S. and international marital litigation including the restructuring of business and property interests across the globe.
- He has negotiated the break-ups and dissolution of business entities, resolving complicated business disputes, and has mediated and negotiated intercompany and interfamily disputes without resort to the courts.
- He has handled MDL and complex class action defense cases in federal and state courts.
- He has handled post-trial and appellate issues involving novel or monetarily significant issues, most recently the defense of a $79 million verdict in federal court in South Florida.
- He frequently argues cases in Florida appellate courts on novel issues of Florida constitutional and public interest law.
- He has represented numerous private and governmental institutions in South America and the Caribbean, including in contested matters dealing with commercial sales and purchase transactions between China and South America.
- He has represented professional athletes, musicians, horse breeders and owners, race tracks, and professional race car teams.
- He has successfully negotiated settlements with networks and other media regarding unwanted publicity of private clients.
- He has handled international child kidnapping and wrongful removal cases in the United States District Court.
- He has handled several very high profile marital and family matters, both inside and outside of court.
- Served for five years as Special and General Master In Family Court Division of Sixteenth Judicial Circuit for Chief Circuit Judge Sandra Taylor in marital and guardianship cases, and has served as appointed special master in United States District Court, Special Master in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida, and as a Miami-Dade County School Board Hearing Officer.
- He has handled over 300 matters involving criminal charges against individuals and family members in state and federal court.
- He has handled incompetency proceedings, guardianships, and substance abuse interventions for foreign and domestic clients and has extensive experience dealing with clients with substance abuse problems, including interventions and allied criminal and drug court matters.
Mr. Klock is deeply committed to the firm’s pro bono tradition and has handled hundreds of cases in state and federal courts for indigent clients involving criminal and dependency law, landlord/tenant rights and discrimination issues, as well as administrative actions in Florida courts for individuals and nonprofit institutions. He also is extensively involved in dealing with the issues of drug abuse and the response of the judicial system to the challenge of cure and recidivism on the adult and juvenile level. In addition, Mr. Klock has served as guardian ad litem for a number of orphans and children in state dependency custody and continues to mentor and work with individuals who have aged-out of those systems.
Mr. Klock serves on the board of trustees of Barry University and Belen Jesuit Preparatory School. He has served on the Boards of the Miami Art Museum, the Carrolton School of the Sacred Heart (chair 1987-91; 1994-98) and St. Joseph’s Preparatory School in Philadelphia. He is the secretary and a board member of New Hope Charities, Inc., which sponsors schools and various support and medical programs for the indigent in the western part of Palm Beach County, Florida, as well as Fundacion Mir in La Romana, Dominican Republic, which runs trade schools, AIDS clinics and an orphanage for the underprivileged. Mr. Klock serves as board chairman at the Bay Point Schools, a boarding school in Miami for young men with behavioral and delinquency problems, where he also teaches on an informal basis. He also serves as a board member of a nonprofit corporation that supports the work of the Miami-Dade Drug Court and has served as well on an advisory board to the County’s Juvenile Justice Center.
Mr. Klock has been honored with the University of Miami Center for Ethics and Public Service Lawyers in Leadership Award and served as president of the University of Miami Law Alumni Association, where he was later honored with the Outstanding Alumnus of the Year Award. Mr. Klock also served as an adjunct professor of law at the University of Miami teaching civil procedure, federal jurisdiction and real property for 10 years following his graduation from the school.
He has served as a panelist at The American Lawyer’s Law Firm Management Seminars, has written articles on civil procedure and has served on the Federal Judicial Nominating Committee in the Southern District of Florida, a group charged with nominating individuals for the United States District Court (district judges and magistrates) as well as candidates for the post of United States Attorney and United States Marshal. Mr. Klock has been named in Who’s Who in America.