Meet Erik Hawks
Mr. Hawks is a partner with over twenty years of experience with complex commercial litigation matters in both state and federal court, and involving all aspects of commercial enterprise, including contract performance, investment, corporate/partnership management, real estate, construction, business torts, statutory compliance, trademark, franchise, hospitality, and timeshare matters.
He effectively and aggressively represents his clients’ interests throughout all stages of the litigation process, including, when necessary, at trial and final arbitration hearings.
Florida State University College of Law
- Juris Doctor, With High Honors, 1995
- Order of the Coif
- Florida State Law Review, Member and served on writing competition committee
- Journal of Transnational Law and Policy, Member
Toccoa Falls College
- Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Religion, Magna Cum Laude, 1989
- 3.87 GPA
- Dean’s List 1985 to 1989
- DELTA Epsilon Chi Honor Society
- Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges, 1988 to 1989
- Vice President, Student Government/Body
- Vice President, Student Senate
- Freshman and Sophomore Senate Representative
- Baseball Team Captain
- Represented some of the nation’s top companies, handling and advising on numerous complex business litigation cases.
- At both the trial and appellate level, represented national timeshare client in tax case of first impression and before special panel of the Fourth District Court of Appeal, resulting in the appellate court affirming a declaratory judgment against Broward County providing that its assessment of a transient occupancy tax against client was illegal and void. See Broward County v. Fairfield Resorts, Inc., 946 So. 2d 1144 (Fla. 4th DCA 2006).
- Successfully represented defense contractor in Colorado federal court in lawsuit over ownership of patent for improvised explosive devices used in training military and law enforcement worldwide, resulting in patent being granted to contractor.
- Represented global security and aerospace company to trial and successful pre-verdict settlement in high profile case within company stemming from lawsuit’s subject matter’s impact on company’s relations with Korean government.
- Represented North America’s largest charter airline in an enforcement action concerning the enforceability of its nationwide pilot training reimbursement agreements.
- Represented world’s top vacation ownership company to successful resolution at trial of a multi-million dollar dispute comprised of seven inter-related cases concerning a mixed-use condominium and involving complex issues on the: (1) use and enforceability of developer owned marketing and hotel operation easements; (2) propriety of board of director composition and actions; (3) proper use of assessments in a class-ownership structured condominium; and (4) operation, maintenance, and financial management of condominium associations and their assets and property.
- Successfully represented leading Pacific Northwestern health care insurance provider by obtaining dismissal and removal of lawsuit on personal jurisdictional grounds.
- Following full-day evidentiary bond hearing, obtained dismissal with prejudice of Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act claim brought against corporate client.
- Represented clients in numerous lawsuits involving issues of contractual enforcement, performance and breach.
- Represented and worked with general contractors, subcontractors, design professionals, suppliers and manufacturers in numerous lawsuits and arbitrations involving defective work, faulty design and delay claims arising out of various construction projects.
- Represented top national window manufacturer in obtaining favorable judgment against large Florida building supplier in lawsuit centered around claims of widespread construction defects in national homebuilder’s residential developments.
- Obtained substantial monetary award for state-wide general contractor following two week evidentiary arbitration.
- On behalf of window manufacturer client, persuaded Florida Supreme Court to threaten issuance of Writ of Prohibition against district court of appeal, which, in turn, caused appellate court to reverse its prior ruling. See Florida Extruders International, Inc. v. McMur, Inc., SCO7-321 (Fla. July 18, 2007) (Loislaw.com, Fla. Case Law).
- Obtained favorable disposition of lawsuit brought against international paint manufacturing client stemming from claims of alleged construction and manufacturing defects.
- Successfully defended North America’s largest roofing manufacturer in case involving claims of alleged construction defects.
- Defended clients in multiple lawsuits involving issues of water intrusion arising from alleged construction and manufacturing defects.
- Represented clients in the negotiation and drafting of construction contracts.
- Handled numerous business dissolution cases involving issues of breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, conversion, civil theft, management gridlock, company governance, and interest/asset valuation and buyout.
- Assisted client, who was member of Limited Liability Company, in gaining and maintaining rightful control over company in the face of attempted takeover by disgruntled and dissenting fellow member, which, in turn, lead to client obtaining Final Judgment in excess of one million dollars, plus all fees and costs. See Razin v. A. Milestone, LLC, 67 So. 3d 391 (Fla 2d DCA 2011).
- Represented minority shareholder to successful recovery of business investment following non-binding arbitration involving issues of breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, conversion, and civil theft.
- Counseled and advised clients on the management obligations and risks associated with various business entities, including, inter alia, corporations, partnerships, and limited liability companies.
- Served as outside counsel for homebuilders, real estate developers and real estate investors, handling and advising on all aspects of complex commercial litigation matters.
- Prosecuted lawsuit to favorable verdict for regional homebuilder in case involving claims against multiple defendants for conspiracy, civil theft and conversion.
- Successfully defended national merchandise retailer in lawsuit with commercial landlord regarding lease build out and alleged damages stemming therefrom.
- Defended to favorable resolution lawsuit involving claims of nuisance and trespass brought against leading national homebuilder.
- Successfully represented national homebuilder in prosecuting to judgment party who engaged in fraud, civil theft and conversion.
- Represented landlords in landlord-tenant disputes, including eviction cases.
- Represented lenders in the foreclosure of commercial mortgages on multi-million dollar properties.
- Represented clients in multiple lawsuits involving franchise, hospitality and trademark infringement issues.
- Represented international hotel franchisor and licensor in successful defense of claims asserted by franchisee for, inter alia, purported violations of the Florida Franchise Act arising out of alleged fraudulent representations in the opening of a franchise.
- Represented multi-national hotel franchisor and licensor to favorable resolution of Florida Attorney General investigation of automatic hotel charges within hotel franchises throughout the state of Florida.
- Represented clients in multiple defamation lawsuits, involving claims of both libel and slander.
- Represented companies seeking enforcement of non-compete agreements.
- Represented multiple clients in complex commercial litigation appeals.
Bar and Court Admissions:
- The Florida Bar, Member in good standing for 20 years
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
- U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida
- U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
Previous Professional Experience:
- Akerman, LLP (formerly Akerman, Senterfitt & Eidson, P.A.), Orlando: Equity Partner, Commercial Litigation Department, August 1995 to July 2015
- Law Clerk: Hopping, Boyd, Green, Sams & Smith, P.A., Tallahassee: September 1994 to April 1995
- Law Clerk: Akerman, Senterfitt & Eidson, P.A. (n/k/a Akerman, LLP), Orlando: June to August 1994
- Law Clerk: Moore, Williams, Bryant, Peebles, & Gautier, P.A., Tallahassee: May 1993 to April 1994
Professional Memberships & Community Activities:
- American Bar Association
- Orange County Bar Association
- Florida State University, Alumni
- Florida State University, Seminole Booster
- Guardian Ad Litem