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WHAT WE DO
For decades, our lawyers at Massey & Duffy have offered quality legal representation in the areas of employment law, personal injury, business law, and constitutional law. If you or someone you love faces a legal problem, call our office or fill out this contact form to talk to one of our attorneys. We look forward to hearing from you.
A Law Firm with a Statewide Reputation in Personal Injury Law
In our personal injury practice, we aggressively seek full compensation for people injured by the negligence and wrongdoing of others. Unlike some personal injury firms that take a large number of cases, we are selective in the cases we accept so that we can provide an unmatched level of focus and attention.
We represent clients who have sustained a serious injury resulting from a car accident, truck accident, motorcycle accident, unsafe property, sexual assault, and inadequate security.
Rebuilding Shattered Lives
Our personal injury practice is limited to physical or psychological injuries or death. The cause may be due to motor vehicle negligence, unsafe premises, inadequate security, sexual abuse, professional malpractice, or defamation. We know how devastating injuries are, whether it’s to your body, mind, or reputation, so we fight tenaciously to get you fair compensation.
We are proud to have been able to help so many families crushed by a wrongful death, devastated by disability, or pushed to the brink of financial ruin. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured by the negligence or misconduct of another, we can help you obtain the justice you deserve.
Scientific case evaluation
We routinely provide clients with a computer-generated verdict analysis based on a nationwide database of over 100,000 cases. The report tells us the statistical likelihood of prevailing at trial along with the likely amount of any verdict.
The report takes into account the nature of liability, the age race, and occupation of the parties, the nature and severity of the injuries, the presence or absence of lay and expert witnesses, the amount of past and future wage loss, and the county where the injury occurs. Of course, this report is no substitute for professional judgment, but it is a tremendously useful tool in most cases.
We Litigate Large Claims
Unlike many personal injury firms, we are highly selective in case selection. Some law firms focus on settling a large number of small claims. We focus on a small number of large claims.We represent clients who have sustained catastrophic or near-catastrophic injuries such as:
- Wrongful death
- Brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
We also accept matters involving aggravated liability, such as drunk driving accidents or deliberate misconduct. Although we aim to resolve all claims by settlement without a trial, major cases generally won’t settle for anywhere near their true value unless we pursue formal legal action and work relentlessly toward establishing an early trial date. When defendants know we have every intention of going to trial if our clients are not fairly compensated, they are more likely to pay what they owe. Litigation is time-consuming, so we are not equipped to pursue cases involving “fender benders” causing minor soft tissue injuries such as chronic back or neck strain.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Most of our personal injury cases involve a motorcycle, truck, or car accident. Cases that we handle involve:
- Drunk driving
- Rear-end collisions
- Hit and run
- Wrongful death
If you or a loved one has been hurt in an auto accident, do not face the insurance companies alone. We have the experience, dedication, and skill to help you get the compensation you need. Let us represent you, while you concentrate on your recovery.
Unsafe Buildings, Swimming Pools, and Parking Lots
Tens of thousands of people die or become permanently disabled every year due to negligent design, operation, and maintenance of buildings and adjacent areas. Negligent security, failure to warn, and failure to limit access to dangerous conditions, failure to repair building defects are just the most common examples.
Experienced Attorneys Representing Employees and Employers
Serious legal challenges demand the attention of serious, dedicated attorneys. For individuals and businesses alike, a negative outcome to a legal dispute can be a major setback. When you need someone to stand up for your rights and strive for positive resolutions, look no further than Massey & Duffy, PLLC.
Our firm is known throughout our area as premier employment law and business law firm. We also handle issues of professional malpractice, personal injury, and general civil litigation. We have been in business for over a decade, and we have the experience needed to win tough cases.
A Leader in the Field of Employment Law
Our firm has a well-earned reputation as one of the top employment law firms in the state of Florida. Our Gainesville employment attorneys have handled employment law cases for as long as we can remember. In this time, we have written and lectured on employment law, civil rights, and trial strategy. We are also longtime leaders in the National Employment Lawyers Association of Florida.
As employment and civil rights advocates, we have helped employees throughout Florida who have been injured as a result of discrimination, harassment, breach of contract, employer retaliation, and other unlawful employment practices. We also help employers and businesses of all sizes with employment contracts, employment law compliance issues, and human resources audits.
Experienced Florida Business Lawyers
For many years, we have helped entrepreneurs and established businesses deal with a wide range of business law issues, such as:
- Contract drafting
- Business disputes
- Employee relations
- Dissolving a business
- Business formation
If you have a legal need, we are ready to help. Schedule a consultation with us by calling 352-505-8900. You may also contact our law offices online. All information exchanged is held in the strictest confidence and is protected by the attorney-client privilege.
Top 10 Reasons to Choose Massey & Duffy as your Ocala Lawyers:
There are 10 reasons why you should consider hiring our Ocala Employment litigation attorneys:
- Experience: We’ve got the experience you want
- Credentials: We’ve got top-notch credentials
- Style: We’re down to earth
- Philosophy: We’ll collaborate, not dominate
- Affordability: We seek affordable solutions
- Determination: We’re determined to see you succeed
- Technology: We’re known for our technological savvy
- Our Caseload: We accept serious matters only
- Our Clients: Whom we represent
- Integrity: We won’t compromise our ethics – or yours
Ocala Employee Handbook Lawyer
Most companies do not intentionally violate employment laws. They are simply so complex and so numerous that they fail to fulfill every requirement. At Massey & Duffy, we work with employers to develop documents to help ensure compliance with state and federal law. Our Ocala employee manual attorneys help businesses create documents that minimize potential liability, such as:
- Policy and procedure manuals
- Employee handbooks
- Anti-discrimination policies
- Affirmative action procedures
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) procedures
- Human Resources Compliance
- Human resources law involves hundreds of different federal, state and local laws. h. These laws change frequently and are frequently reinterpreted by the courts, requiring an experienced lawyer to help the company manage the requirements. We help businesses comply with the laws by:
- Reviewing handbooks
- Reviewing job descriptions
- Reviewing job applications and investigation forms
- Reviewing methods for keeping employee data secure
- Advising businesses of HIPPA rules for employee health information
Employers often have inadequate forms related to hiring and investigations. The proper forms can make the difference between winning and losing an employee lawsuit or even an unemployment hearing. The forms must not contain questions prohibited by law, and such questions cannot be asked at an interview. It is essential that HR employees be properly trained on the kinds of questions that can be asked. Employees sometimes hire companies who send people out to pose as job seekers, but whose real function is to gather information on the company’s hiring practices.
Ocala Internal Investigation Attorney
When an employee makes an allegation of impropriety against your company, it is necessary to investigate thoroughly. All the facts and circumstances surrounding the allegations must be examined to determine whether the company has a real risk of liability.
Our firm has an exceptionally long history of representing employees. When a company hires a law firm known for representing employees, it demonstrates the company’s commitment to conducting a good-faith investigation and it enhances the company’s credibility should the matter wind up in litigation.
Ocala Wage and Hour Dispute Attorney
Under a federal law called the Fair Labor Standards Act (aka the “FLSA”), workers are entitled to receive at least minimum wage for their services, and they are entitled to overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours a week. There is also a similar Florida State law about minimum wages. These are simple principles, but the realities of wage and hour law often become complex.
At Massey & Duffy, we have been handling employment law matters on behalf of employees and employers for over a decade. When you hire us, we will provide the kind of personal service you deserve. Our clients are more than just case files. Here, everyone is treated with care and respect.
Experienced Attorneys Handling a Variety of Wage and Hour Claims
Our attorneys have the experience needed to assist clients on a broad range of wage and hour topics. Some examples of cases we handle are:
- Overtime claims: failure to pay overtime, paying at the incorrect rate
- Wait staff wage claims: In some circumstances, Florida law allows restaurants and bars to pay employees less than minimum wage. The employer must follow certain procedures, however.
- Equal Pay Act violations: paying workers of one gender more money for the same work
- Failure to pay minimum wage
- Failure to pay commissions
In order to be protected by the Fair Labor Standards Act, a worker must fall into a nonexempt category. Many workers are misclassified as exempt and are not paid correctly. Our attorneys will investigate your status to make sure that you are correctly classified and are paid fairly under the law.
Ocala Unfair Performance Review Attorney
For workers facing disciplinary action or a series of negative performance reviews, saving their job becomes a top priority. For employees who have never been disciplined or reviewed badly before, such events can be very stressful and frustrating. If you are concerned that your employment may be in jeopardy, you should speak with a lawyer you can trust.
How an Attorney Can Help Protect your Job
As experienced employment law attorneys, we know that responding to negative feedback from your boss can be very difficult. In many instances, it is useful to follow up with your boss and attempt to talk things out. If your employer refuses to discuss or change the review, however, the situation can become more difficult.
We are available to help workers who are facing these challenging workplace situations. There are a number of ways we may be able to help, including:
- Challenging inaccurate performance reviews
- Investigating your history with the company
- Seeking the basis for disciplinary action
- Responding to disciplinary notices
Often, we help clients write letters to their employers, explaining the employee’s view of the situation. These letters sometimes resolve the issues. Other times, the employer threatens the employee with termination. In these situations, we may take your case to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or other appropriate agency. We make it clear that the employer may face liability for retaliation if the employee is fired for exercising these rights.
Managing the Legal Affairs of Florida Businesses
It is important for every business to establish a long-term working relationship with a law firm they can rely upon when they face legal issues. When you work with a lawyer for years, that lawyer can understand your specific business needs, issues, and risks and advise you accordingly. Many large businesses have lawyers in-house, but for small and medium-sized businesses, it usually makes better economic sense to hire outside lawyers to provide general counsel services.
We tailor our services to the needs of each business. Some clients may retain us for 20 hours a month. Others may engage us only for specific projects. The scope of our assistance is defined completely by the client. All of our business clients understand the importance of building that relationship based on trust.
The Benefits of Hiring a Florida Business Lawyer
We understand the challenges facing business owners in today’s economic environment. We attempt to handle all matters efficiently and cost-effectively. Some of the issues that we handle include:
- Business formation
- Regulatory compliance
- Contract drafting and review
- Creating employment manuals
- Handling business disputes
- Business divorce, partnership dissolutions, and dissolving professional corporations
- Shareholder and partner disputes
- Handling employment law issues, including defending against lawsuits filed by employees
Lake City Age Discrimination Attorneys
If you have been pushed into early retirement against your will, terminated or passed up for a promotion because of your age, you are not alone. Sadly, age discrimination seems to be one of the only types of employment discrimination that seems to be taken in a cavalier manner by employers and the public alike.
Sometimes, it almost seems as if employers are not even aware that state and federal laws prohibit age discrimination.
The ADEA and the Florida Civil Rights Act
Both federal and state laws prohibit employers from engaging in age discrimination. The federal law that protects employees from age discrimination is the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). The state law that protects Florida workers from age employment is the Florida Civil Rights Act.
Section 760.10 of the Florida Civil Rights Act states, that “It is an unlawful employment practice for an employer: (a) To discharge or to fail or refuse to hire any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap, or marital status.”
Lake City Gender Discrimination Attorneys
Despite the fact that we are now well underway in the 22nd century, gender discrimination remains a continued reality in the American workplace. Pregnancy discrimination, unequal pay, discriminatory hiring and promotion practices and sexual harassment are just a few forms of gender discrimination that continue to persist in workplaces across the nation.
At Massey & Duffy., we have been helping people throughout Florida in employment discrimination cases for years. Our firm has some of the most prominent and well-regarded employment law attorneys in the state of Florida.
If you have been the victim of gender discrimination, let us put our years of combined legal experience to work for you. Contact an experienced employment law attorney at Massey & Duffy today to learn more about your legal rights and remedies.
Experienced Negotiators and Trial Lawyers
Whether your case is handled out of court or through litigation, we have the experience necessary to handle your case with the highest level of sophistication and care. In each case, we seek the best possible result in the most prudent and efficient manner possible.
As experienced trial lawyers, we prepare meticulously for the possibility of trial in each case we handle. Employers in Gainesville, Ocala, Lake City, Jacksonville, Orlando and Tampa all know that we will be prepared to take a case to trial if they are unwilling to accept their responsibility and reach a fair resolution that protects our client’s rights fully and fairly.
Lake City Race Discrimination Attorneys
Racial discrimination is detestable. It is illegal as well. Federal and Florida State laws prohibit employers from discriminating against an employee on the basis of their race or country of national origin. Religious discrimination is prohibited as well. Discrimination may take many forms and is not limited to wrongful termination. Examples of race discrimination may include:
- Failure to hire
- Failure to promote
- Unfair demotions
- Unequal pay
- Racial harassment
- Discriminatory discipline
- Wrongful termination
Lake City Religious Discrimination Attorneys
Our employment law attorneys have represented employees, employers and religious organizations in civil litigation involving claims of religious discrimination. It is unlawful under state and federal law to discriminate against an employee on the basis of their religion.
Title VII and Florida state law provide employees the right to file suit seeking financial compensation for lost wages and other forms of compensable damages in cases involving religious discrimination. The experienced employment law attorneys at Massey & Duffy are dedicated to fighting injustice in any form. As employee rights and civil rights advocates, we aggressively pursue compensation for people injured by religious discrimination.
Lake City Dispute Lawyers
Business disputes are costly, not only because of the direct financial impact, such as a customer refusing to pay a valid invoice their bill but because of the cost to resolve. These costs can include loss of employee time compiling information or sitting through depositions, loss of company focus because of the need to concentrate on a matter extraneous to a company’s core mission, and of course, because of legal fees, which can be crushing if not managed properly, sometimes even dwarfing the amount in dispute.
The decision to bring a lawsuit should not be made lightly. Litigation is costly and time-consuming. We have a practical approach to business lawsuits. If it turns out that a court case is the best way to protect your business interests, we will vigorously fight forcefully fight to secure the best possible result. Email a business attorney today.
Our philosophy of resolving business disputes is to explore avenues for a prompt fair resolution. When that objective is unachievable, we represent your interests aggressively by taking the appropriate legal action–whether it is filing suit for monetary damages, or obtaining an emergency court injunction.
Our services can be as simple as a telephone call or as complex as multi-district federal litigation. When business relations go badly, you need a quality advocate to protect your business interests.
We litigate contract disputes, partner and shareholder disputes, real estate and construction disputes, deceptive business practices, misappropriation of trade secrets, defamation and unfair competition. We also do commercial collection work where the amount owed justifies taking legal action, and where we have good reason to believe that a judgment would be collectible.
We do our best to make litigation affordable in a number of ways. Where feasible, we will offer you the option to work on a contingent, or partially contingent fee basis so you will only pay fees for a successful outcome.
We encourage our clients to adopt procedures to minimize litigation expense and we will provide you with an estimate of the projected costs and expenses as well as when those costs and expenses are expected to be incurred so you can budget accordingly.
Jacksonville Wrongful Termination Attorneys
State and federal employment laws prohibit employers from engaging in various types of wrongful discrimination, harassment and retaliation. Anyone who is terminated, denied a promotion, demoted or otherwise discriminated against on the basis of race, religion, gender, age or disability may seek redress through a civil lawsuit.
As employment law attorneys, we have extensive experience in wrongful termination cases, including claims based on discrimination, quid pro-quo harassment, and unlawful employer retaliation.If you have been fired or forced to resign as a result of threats or abuse by your employer, we can help. To schedule an appointment with an experienced employment and labor law attorney in the Jacksonville area, contact Massey & Duffy.
Jacksonville Sexual Harassment Attorney Representing Victims of Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment can take many forms. Harassment can range from something as mild as unwanted flirting to something as serious as sexual assault or requiring employees to provide sexual favors to keep their job or get promoted. It is important to understand that verbal harassment is harassment. Unwanted and inappropriate jokes, e-mails, and flirtation can form the basis of a sexual harassment lawsuit. Both federal law (Title VII) and Florida state law prohibit sexual harassment in the workplace.
No person should be the victim of sexual harassment at work. If you have been harassed, it is important to seek the advice of attorneys you can trust, attorneys who are passionate about protecting your rights.
Warning: Beware of Quitting Your Job Before Consulting an Attorney
If you were victimized by harassment, you may be able to recover whether you were fired or voluntarily quit your job. However, quitting your job could make it much more difficult to enforce your legal rights and remedies. Courts are generally reluctant to allow employees who quit their jobs to recover damages unless they can prove that the work environment was so bad that no reasonable employee could be expected to continue working. If you are thinking about quitting, it is essential that you obtain legal guidance before taking acting in haste.
If an employer or supervisor makes inappropriate advances and you reject them, it is illegal for the employer to reduce your pay, demote you or fire you. You have the right to work in an environment free of that type of behavior, and we will work hard to protect that right.
Jacksonville Disability Discrimination Attorneys
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Florida state law prohibit employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of a disability. An employer may not terminate, demote or otherwise discriminate against a person on the basis of a disability.
People protected by state and federal law include anyone with a qualified “disability” as defined by law. Both physical and mental disabilities are covered by the ADA and Florida law.
The Duty of Reasonable Accommodation
In addition to prohibiting wrongful termination and harassment, employment laws require employers to make “reasonable” accommodations to help disabled workers adjust to their work environment. Employers may be subject to civil liability for a failure to accommodate disabled workers in a reasonable manner. Determining what is reasonable or unreasonable can involve a number of questions. The best way to understand your rights is to consult with an experienced employment law attorney.
Perceived Disabilities and Retaliation
The protections of the ADA apply to people who do not have disabilities who are wrongfully perceived as having a disability. For example, a person who is fired because their employer thought they had AIDS or cancer may be able to prevail in a civil lawsuit even though they did not in fact have AIDS of cancer.
In addition, an employer may not fire, harass or otherwise retaliate against an employee for seeking a reasonable accommodation or making a complaint about disability discrimination.
Jacksonville Whistleblower and Qui Tam Claim Attorneys
All of us have an interest in making sure that businesses comply with the law. For that reason, people who witness illegal acts must not be punished by their employer for reporting illegal activities. There are laws that protect people from retaliation when they report certain types of wrongful employer conduct. These laws are often referred to as whistleblower laws.
Employees who Refuse to Break the Law
One type of whistleblower action involves an employee who informs the government of illegal employer activity. This may include a violation of tax laws, Intellectual property laws, criminal laws and a host of regulatory violations.
Although laws vary from state to state, employees may have a basis for financial recovery through a civil lawsuit if they have been fired or harassed for making a complaint of unlawful employer conduct. Qui Tam cases involve reports of employer conduct that violates federal law.
Reports of Workplace Discrimination and Harassment
Another type of whistleblower action occurs when an employee is fired or discriminated against because they made internal or external reports about race discrimination, sexual harassment or other prohibited employment practices. These claims may arise when an employee makes a report to a work superior, the EEOC or another party.
Non-Compete Agreement Attorney
Although it may seem like a simple matter, any employment agreement entered into can have a significant impact on your future. If you are an employee or prospective employee who is being asked to sign a non-compete or trade secret confidentiality agreement, protect your rights by consulting with an attorney.
An experienced employment law attorney can review the proposed agreement to determine if it is fair, advise you of your rights and help you make an informed decision. If the agreement contains language that could negatively impact you, our attorneys can provide counsel or even negotiate directly on your behalf.
Restrictive Non-Compete Agreements
To be upheld in court, non-compete agreements must be reasonably fair in regard to the time and territory of restraint. A non-competition agreement that bars a former employee from competition for more than a few years may well be struck down. However, highly sensitive and competitive industries may allow for more restrictive covenants against competition.
In determining whether to uphold a non-compete agreement, a judge will weigh the necessity of the covenant against the competing interests of the parties and the equitable interests at stake.
Our attorneys assist clients with the draft and review of non-compete and trade secret agreements. We also serve clients seeking to enforce the terms of a non-compete agreement, or litigate the terms of an inequitable employment agreement.
Jacksonville Invasion of Privacy Attorneys
When you enter the workforce, you understand that you are giving up some of the rights you enjoy in your private life. You anticipate that you may not be able to say whatever comes into your mind or do whatever you feel like doing while you are at work.
But when you entered the workforce, you did not give up all of your rights. One of the rights you have not surrendered, at least not entirely – is your right to privacy. An employer may not violate your right to privacy by engaging in any of the following acts:
* Disclosing private medical records
* Disclosing your disability status
* Setting up security cameras in a bathroom stall
* Public disclosure of other certain private and sensitive information
In recent years, our attorneys have represented several employees whose rights to privacy have been violated by their employers. In one case, an employer disclosed to an employee’s co-workers the fact that she had spent time in a mental health facility. In another case, an employer actually went so far as to make a peephole so he could watch female employees in the restroom.
These may seem like extreme examples, but situations like this occur every day throughout Florida and across the country. Our employment law attorneys aggressively seek full compensation for people injured by the wrongful and illegal acts of employers. If your employer has invaded your privacy and caused mental anguish of financial loss to you, we can help.
Divorce is never an easy transition. Whether you have been married for two months or 20 years, it can be very stressful. If you face divorce, paternity issues, or other family law crises, we offer our levelheaded advice and experienced representation. We can offer legal advice to guide you through this difficult period. We can help you protect your property interests and parental rights.