Lydecker Plants 100 Trees in California to Commemorate Growth

In order to commemorate our 100-attorney milestone reached in January 2021, Lydecker is planting 100 trees in California forests.

The trees are a symbolism of our commitment to our team, our growth, and our commitment to serving at our best capacity in each of the states we expand our firm into.

California is the fifth state where Lydecker now has offices. Our 100th attorney, Michael C. Douglass, is our partner opening and leading our California office.

California has had to combat five years of drought, fires, and a large-scale bark beetle infestation that have seriously damaged the state’s landscape. Leadership at Lydecker feels there was no better way to show our dedication to our west coast expansion than to recognize this need and partner with a non-profit that is doing something about it.

If you or your organization would also like to partner with One Tree Planted, please visit

Lydecker Rings in 2021 with Five New Attorneys To The Firm

Lydecker is pleased to announce the addition of five new attorneys. The attorneys will be based in Lydecker’s New Jersey, Miami, Boca Raton, and Los Angeles offices and include one partner, one senior associate, and three associates.

Michael Douglass, Debbie Maken, Danielle Strauss, Jose Negreira, and Raul Alvarez join the firm at a pivotal time at Lydecker as we celebrate our milestone of reaching 100 attorneys.

At Lydecker, they will provide legal guidance on a full spectrum of insurance law issues including representing corporate and municipal clients in complex, high-exposure general liability claims, as well as in professional, employment, and municipal liability matters. Additionally, the new attorneys will deepen our focus on bad faith litigation, trucking and transportation, general liability, government liability, product liability, professional liability, and consumer finance.

“Our new attorneys have an excellent and established reputation in their respective specialties,” says Mark Hendricks, Managing Partner at Lydecker. “They will expand our national capabilities by providing services to our growing list of insurance carrier clients, and broaden our services to our many municipal clients.”

The new attorneys include:

Michael C. Douglass is an experienced trial attorney with a diverse civil litigation practice, who is eligible to practice in all California state and federal courts. Mr. Douglass focuses on the defense of corporate and municipal clients in complex, high-exposure general liability, professional liability, trucking, employment, insurance bad faith, consumer finance, and product liability matters. He has defended clients in arbitrations, tried cases to verdict, and successfully argued before the California Court of Appeal, resulting in reported decisions. Mr. Douglass is pragmatic, seasoned and well-versed in providing his business clients with strategic counsel to help them make better-informed decisions to assist in managing their legal risks and protecting their brands.

Debbie Maken has substantial experience in handling appellate matters. Over her career, she has authored hundreds of briefs filed in the Florida Supreme Court, Florida’s district courts of appeal, the Eleventh Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court. Her practice areas include banking-foreclosure law, commercial litigation, torts, insurance defense, employment law, parental rights, criminal law, and challenging unconstitutional state action. She is a former Assistant United States Attorney with the Southern District of Florida, and clerked at the Third District Court of Appeals and the Mississippi Supreme Court. She works with the Bankruptcy and Insurance Receivership Group at Lydecker.

Raul Alvarez is an Associate Attorney at the firm’s Boca Raton office. Mr. Alvarez began practicing law by defending first-party insurance and property claims shortly after graduating cum laude from the Florida State University College of Law. In law school, Mr. Alvarez completed a Business Law Certificate with honors and served as a judicial extern twice, first under federal Magistrate Judge John O’Sullivan in Miami and again under Chief Justice Charles T. Canady at the Supreme Court of Florida. Mr. Alvarez also worked at a large international law firm during law school, where he assisted business organizations and institutional lenders in complex litigation and transactional matters. Mr. Alvarez served as the Managing Editor of the Florida State University Law Review and as the President of the Cuban American Bar Association (CABA) at FSU Law. He was the recipient of the CABA/ FSU Raoul Cantero Merit Scholarship and the Distinguished Pro Bono Service Award.

Danielle Strauss is an associate attorney at the firm’s Boca Raton office. Ms. Strauss received her undergraduate degree from the University of Florida, where she majored in Psychology and received two minors in Innovation and Disabilities in Society. Ms. Strauss attended Nova Southeastern University’s Shepard Broad College of Law and graduated in May 2020 with honors. During law school, Ms. Strauss was a member of the National Trial Association, and was the Co-President of the Jewish Law Student Association. Ms. Strauss participated in the Pro Bono Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Clinic, in which she assisted clients in becoming guardian advocates. She also was a Certified Legal Intern at the State Attorney’s Office of the 17th Judicial Circuit, in which she tried a misdemeanor case and argued motions in front of the Honorable Judge Deborah Carpenter-Toye. Ms. Strauss was admitted to practice law in Florida in November 2020.

Jose Negreirais.

About Lydecker

Lydecker provides a wide range of legal services to insurance clients throughout New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida, and California. The firm’s major practice areas include Appellate Practice, Business, Government, Industry, Insurance, Litigation, and Professional Liability. For more information, please visit

Lydecker Reaches 100 Attorney Milestone

Lydecker, a leading provider of litigation services for insurance companies, today announced it has crossed the 100 attorney mark. Lydecker’s 100th attorney, Michael C. Douglass, was brought on as a partner to open and lead their California office.

The national law firm continues to expand offices and hire talent aggressively across the United States.

In order to commemorate this milestone, Lydecker will plant 100 trees in California forests to individually honor each of our 100 attorneys and to help combat five years of drought, fires, and a large-scale bark beetle infestation that have seriously damaged the state’s landscape.

“We had one single attorney in January 2002 when we started. Over the past two decades, we have grown to over 100 attorneys across 5 states and 16 offices,” said Richard Lydecker, senior partner at Lydecker. “More importantly, we have been able to achieve this because we maintain our core competency of serving insurance carriers nationwide, as underscored by our high volume of cases. We have encouraged integrity, commitment, and excellence across the firm, urging our legal teams to focus every day on working with our clients to build stronger relationships. On behalf of Lydecker, I would like to thank our attorneys and support staff, past and present, for their contribution to Lydecker’s growth and success.”

“Over the years, we’ve been able to not only attract the best talent but also provide exciting legal career opportunities with rapid partner advancement,” said Manny Diaz, senior partner at Lydecker. “As we redefined the way insurance carriers benefit from legal services, we have always focused on building a national team of the very best people. We believe that our access to top talent from leading law schools, coupled with our unique Miami-flavoured culture, are among our key differentiators.”

About Lydecker

Lydecker is a Full-Service AV-rated national law firm with offices throughout New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida, and California.

Since its founding, Lydecker has built a distinguished history of skilled and effective legal service to its clients.

Visit us online at

Lydecker Celebrates the Opening of its Los Angeles, California Office, and New Partner!

Lydecker is pleased to announce the firm’s new office in Los Angeles, California. The office is located at 11150 West Olympic Blvd., Ste. 610, Los Angeles, CA 90064.

Lydecker partnered with experienced California civil litigation attorney Michael C. Douglass to extend our footprint across America and better serve our existing insurance clients.

“We can now represent our existing insurance clients in complex, high-exposure general liability claims, as well as in professional, employment, and municipal liability matters,” says Lydecker. “We’re also excited to bring on new clients because of Michael’s extensive network and unprecedented experience in defending his clients.”

Our new California office will officially make Lydecker a coast-to-coast law firm with existing offices throughout New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Florida.

Since its founding, Lydecker has built a distinguished history of skilled and effective legal service to its clients. Because our largest insurance clients have cases in almost all 50 states, our goal is to continue expanding for them.

Our 100+ attorneys nationwide give our clients a broader range of services and a deeper bench of legal talent. Through our new Los Angeles office, we will deliver the same high quality, personalized and dedicated service that our clients have experienced.

Lydecker is now licensed to practice law in all California state and federal courts, as well as the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Our experience, creativity, and commitment to our insurance carrier needs will continue in California. We will expand our focus on bad faith litigation, trucking and transportation, general liability, government liability, product liability, professional liability, consumer finance, and employment law.

We are dedicated to providing thoughtful, practical solutions to the complex problems faced by our insurance clients, with the same devotion to the excellent personal and timely service that is expected from our lawyers across the nation.

We are excited and hope you will join us in celebrating this milestone. We look forward to working on California-based insurance cases.

The Weight Is Over – Florida Finally Adopts The Federal Summary Judgment Standard

The Florida Supreme Court did not allow 2020 to pass without addressing an issue “which has long been the subject of thoughtful commentary” in the legal community for decades:  whether Florida should adopt the Federal summary judgment standard?

That issue is not merely academic as countless parties have experienced having a summary judgment motion denied under the heavy burden imposed by the current Florida standard, whereas a different result may have been obtained under the federal standard.  

On December 31, 2020, the Court answered the question in the affirmative and amended Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.510(c) on its own initiative pursuant to its rule-making authority.  The new amendment becomes effective May 1, 2021.  Because Rule 1.510(c) is procedural in nature, the amendment should apply to all cases pending on May 1, 2021.  See e.g. Montello v. Montell, 937 So. 2d 1154 (Fla. 3d DCA 2006) (holding that rule amendment applied to all cases pending on or after its effective date).

Federal v. Current Florida Standard 

Under federal and Florida law, summary judgment is designed “to secure the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action” by providing a mechanism for the early disposition of cases that do not present genuine triable issues.  Despite similarities between Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 and Florida Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 1.510(c), interpretation and application of both standards could not be more stark. 

For instance, while the federal standard set forth in the Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317 (1986) line of cases hold that claims may proceed to trial only if there is enough evidence for jurors to reasonably find for the nonmovant, the current Florida standard  precludes summary judgment if there is the “slightest doubt” as to the existence of a genuine issue of material fact.  Craig v. Gate Maritime Properties, 631 So. 2d 375 (Fla. 1st DCA 1994); Jones v. Dirs. Guild of AM., Inc., 584 So. 2d 1057 (Fla. 1st DCA 1991); Greene v. Twistee Treat USA, LLC, 302 So. 3d 481 (Fla. 2d DCA 2020; Gidwani v. Roberts, 248 So. 3d 203 (Fla. 3d DCA 2018); E. Qualcom Corp. v. Global Commerce Center Ass’n, Inc., 59 So. 3d 347 (Fla. 4th DCA 2011); Besco USA Intern. Corp. v. Home Sav. Of America FSB, 675 So. 2d 687 (Fla. 5th DCA 1996).  

Moreover, Florida courts have imposed upon the moving party the onerous burden of having to prove a negative: the non-existence of a genuine issue of material fact.  Holl v. Talcott, 191 So. 2d 40 (Fla. 1966) As borne out through practice, application of the current Florida standard has produced inconsistent results and led to the unnecessary prolonging of specious claims.

Amended Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.510(c)

Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.510(c) has been amended as follows:

The summary judgment standard provided for in this rule shall be construed and applied in accordance with the federal summary judgment standard articulated in Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317 (1986); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242 (1986); and Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574 (1986).

The Florida Supreme Court explained that “[t]hrough this amendment, we align Florida’s summary judgment standard with that of the federal courts and of the supermajority of states that have already adopted the federal summary judgment standard. See Zachary D. Clopton, Procedural Retrenchment and the States, 106 Calif. L. Rev. 411, 432 (2018) (identifying thirty-seven states as having adopted the federal standard in whole or in part; since then a thirty-eighth state (Utah) has embraced the federal standard).


The adoption of the federal summary judgment standard is a monumental shift in the law and a game-changer to Florida civil practice because: (i) the moving party will no longer have to disprove the opposing party’s claims; (ii) Florida courts will not have to accept assertions of fact or theories that are contradicted by the record evidence; and (iii) a non-moving party will no longer be able to defeat summary judgment by merely showing that the record raises the “slightest doubt” that material issues of fact could be presented.

In addition to making it easier to obtain summary judgment in Florida, it is anticipated that Florida litigants may be dissuaded from bringing dubious claims – which is not so under the current Florida standard.  

The trial and appellate attorneys at Lydecker have advocated for and anticipated Florida’s ultimate adoption of the federal summary judgment standard.  Therefore, we have the knowledge, insight, and experience to ensure proper record development in pending cases and effective strategies for taking advantage of the new summary judgment standard.

1 2 3 19