Matthew Sarelson joined the Firm as a partner in September 2012 following six years managing his own litigation boutique. He concentrates his practice on complex, financial litigation in federal court. He has extensive experience litigating commercial, securities, banking and real estate disputes, first-party insurance disputes and bad faith claims, labor and employment matters (including wage and hour lawsuits, anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation lawsuits, whistleblower claims, Sarbanes-Oxley claims, IRS and SEC bounty claims), False Claims / Qui Tam actions, and class/mass actions. He has first chaired over a dozen trials to verdict, mostly in federal court.
Sarelson’s work has, in many ways, been groundbreaking. He was trial and appellate counsel in Mora v. Jackson Memorial Foundation, 597 F.3d 1201 (11th Cir. 2010), where the Eleventh Circuit reinstated an age discrimination lawsuit in the first appellate decision to apply the Supreme Court’s game-changing decision in Gross v. FBL Financial Services, Inc., 129 S.Ct. 2343 (2009). Virtually all lawyers assumed that age discrimination claims were all but over in light of Gross, but Sarelson convinced a conservative panel of judges on the Eleventh Circuit that Gross actually helps victims of age discrimination by ending an employer’s “same decision” affirmative defense.
A similar groundbreaking case was his representation of a manager who sued her own boss in addition to suing her company for wrongful termination. Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal reinstated a tortious interference lawsuit against a supervisor. See Ketlyne Alexis v. Arbor E-T, Inc., 66 So. 3d 986 (Fla. 3d DCA 2011). This opinion received considerable media attention and the defendants desperately attempted in vain to have the Florida Supreme Court dismiss the lawsuit.
In addition to traditional litigation work, Sarelson handles crisis management, public relations and media outreach services for his clients. The ability to draft and issue press releases, conduct television and radio interviews and hold press conferences is a critical skill for a modern lawyer.
Following his cum laude graduation from George Mason University School of Law, Sarelson headed to Miami, Florida, eager to take advantage of the area’s international lifestyle and entrepreneurial business environment. Before founding his own firm, he gained valuable litigation experience at the international law firm of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP. He also worked for the well-known Miami litigation firm Isicoff, Ragatz & Koenigsberg, P.L. and served as a law clerk to the Honorable Frank A. Shepherd in Florida’s Court of Appeals.
The Florida legal community has taken notice of Sarelson’s work. Florida Trend Magazine named Sarelson a “Legal Elite Up and Comer” in 2008 - 2012, an honor bestowed upon 150 out of 90,000 attorneys under age 40. Florida Super Lawyers honored him as a top “Up and Comer” in 2009 - 2012, and South Florida Legal Guide featured him as a top “Up and Comer” in 2009 - 2012. And in 2008, when he was just 30 years old, his nationwide leadership in filing FACTA class action lawsuits on behalf of consumers prompted LawyersUSA to feature him in a cover story.
Additionally, the Miami Herald, Miami New Times, Daily Business Review, South Florida Business Journal, Washington Times, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Bloomberg, and Jim DeFede radio show, as well as numerous other papers throughout Florida, have interviewed Sarelson, looking to his experience with high-stakes and groundbreaking employment lawsuits. Also, in 2011, SmartMoney Magazine featured a discussion of Sarelson’s class action suit against Paragon Properties of Costa Rica in a feature about the dangers of investing in South American real estate.
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