Ed Koester chairs the Firm’s trial, arbitration and appellate practice group. Ed represents clients with relentless energy and focus, is well known for his expert use of trial technology, is an exceptional tactician and always maintains the Coup d’œil. Ed enjoys a nationwide practice, and while he holds active licenses in Florida, Michigan, and Montana, he routinely appears pro hoc vice throughout the United States. Board certified in business litigation by the Florida Bar and AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell, Ed has a wealth of trial experience in probate and trust litigation, intellectual property, non-compete and employment litigation, real estate development litigation, shareholder disputes, construction matters and bankruptcy litigation. Ed’s complex litigation practice includes litigation against Fortune 500 companies.
Ed has prevailed in jury trials on a myriad of subjects:
- Represented a doctor/inventor accused of fraud in the sale of an orthopedic device company in a two-week jury trial in Orlando, Florida and obtained a judgment in favor of the doctor/inventor on his counter-claims in excess of $8,000,000.00.
- Prevailed in a two-week jury trial in Tampa, Florida, on behalf of a client being sued for millions of dollars by a jury consultant. Ed procured a judgment against the jury consultant for the client’s attorneys’ fees and expenses of over $2,000,000.00.
- After an eight-week jury trial, Ed’s client prevailed against an engineering firm for negligent misrepresentation related to hurricane code compliance for a multi-million dollar home.
- Represented sellers of property in Pine Island, Florida who were sued by a buyer for fraud. Ed successfully defended the claims brought by the buyer, won on the sellers’ counterclaims, and obtained a jury verdict and judgment against the buyer for over $4,000,000.00.
- Successfully defended a prestigious golf club in a jury trial brought by a wealthy homeowner alleging defective design and utilization of a golf course.
- Defended an individual accused of fraud in the sale of product and successfully reduced the damages from over $6,000,000.00 to less than $300,000.00.
- Successfully defended a husband and wife in a jury trial over claims brought by the buyers of their multi-million dollar home over fraudulent misrepresentation and fraudulent concealment of alleged defective conditions, and obtained a judgment against the buyers for attorneys’ fees and costs.
- Successfully represented a homeowner in a jury trial for water intrusion and construction defects.
Ed is a very experienced and skilled appellate lawyer. He has represented clients before federal and state appellate courts including the Florida Supreme Court and the Montana Supreme Court. He recently prevailed at the Florida Supreme Court on the issue of the right to compensate witnesses for assisting in discovery and for reasonable compensation for testifying. Ed’s body of work includes upholding jury verdicts and judgments in numerous appellate courts and obtaining reversals on appeal of lower court judgments. He has prevailed on appeal at the Federal Court of Appeals for Eleventh Circuit in cases involving judgment collection, maritime law and civil rights. Ed has also succeeded in upholding several summary judgments on appeal in complex litigation matters. Example oral arguments: Trial Practices, Inc., v. Hahn Loeser & Parks, LLP, 260 So. 3d 167 (Fla. 2018) [Oral Argument]; and Young Bock Shim, et al., v. Frederick Buechel, et al., 291 So.3d 1249 (Fla. 5th DCA 2020) (table decision) [Oral Argument].
Ed routinely uses his tactical skills and creative thinking to obtain summary judgment and favorable settlements to help his clients avoid trial:
- Represented clients suing Raymond James on behalf of foreign investors who lost their investment in an EB-5 program and obtained in excess of $10,000,000.00 in recovery from Raymond James in settlement.
- Obtained summary judgment against an executive who claimed to be a partner of an oil and gas company, and in a related matter, obtained dismissal of the Federal court case in Oklahoma by another executive contending to be a partner in the same company.
- Succeeded in obtaining summary judgment that a plaintiff was not entitled to a multimillion dollar life insurance commission, because the plaintiff’s interpretation of the contract would render the contract an illegal restraint of trade.
- Successfully defended a developer in Destin, Florida accused of fraud in the sale of a condominium parcel, and obtained, by way of summary judgment, recovery in excess of $10,000,000.00 on the developer’s counterclaims, and further prevailed on affirming the summary judgment on appeal.
- Successfully defended a developer in a class action lawsuit regarding condominium sales.
- Obtained summary judgment for a long-term land leaseholder in a dispute with a condominium association regarding whether the land lease was unconscionable.
- Successfully prevented a developer client from facing trial on alleged fraud claims by settling with an insurance bonding company, obtaining an assignment of the plaintiff’s claims, and forcibly dismissing the plaintiff’s claims; and thereafter successfully handled the appeal where the result was affirmed.
- Obtained summary judgment and prevailed on appeal on behalf of an individual executive who was alleged to have engaged in a criminal act by remaining silent during an alleged conversation.
- Prevailed at the Montana Supreme Court on the ability of an employer to fire an executive employee without facing a jury trial under Montana’s for-cause termination law. See Sullivan v. Continental Construction of Montana, LLC, 299 P.3d 832, 370 Mont. 8 (Mont. 2013).
- Obtained more than $5,000,000.00 in settlements for a homeowner bringing claims against a builder and subcontractors for construction defects on a multi-million dollar home.
Ed represented Shepler’s Inc., in antitrust litigation in Michigan where Shepler’s main competitor tried to form a monopoly and put Shepler’s out of business. See Shepler’s Inc., v. James F. Wynn, et al., Case No. 1:10-cv-00968-JTN, U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan. The case is discussed in the book: Undefeated: The True Story of How the Family-Owned Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry Service Survived and Advanced through Three Generations, by Jean R. Beach and Dr. Don Steele, AuthorHouse, 2014.
Ed has obtained favorable results in countless bench trials. Ed prevailed in defending a borrower in a lengthy bench trial against a trust seeking to collect funds owed on a judgment by proving the judgment was deemed satisfied as a result of the trust’s exercise of maritime jurisdiction in seizing a ship, arguing, in part, arson. He won in the related maritime action at the federal trial court level and on an appeal to the Eleventh Circuit. Ed succeeded at trial in an elder abuse case and obtained a multi-million dollar judgment against a family friend who took advantage of a client’s failing mental state to obtain funds. Succeeded in obtaining a judgment of over $7,000,000.00 on infrastructure bonds at a bench trial.
Ed has enjoyed great success in arbitration. He obtained an arbitration award in a fifteen-week American Arbitration Association arbitration against a contractor and the seller of a multi-million dollar home under Johnson v. Davis and contractor liability. Ed won in an international arbitration in Barcelona, Spain, against a Bluetooth headset company for breach of a consulting agreement entered into by the parties. See Team Digital Consulting, LLC, v. Southwing, S.L., Case No. 14768/CCO, International Court of Arbitration. Ed prevailed in an American Arbitration Association arbitration that permitted a developer to go forward with plans to create wet slips on property with a 99 year lease.
Ed’s practice is varied and his skillset enables him to successfully participate in litigation matters covering a wide bandwidth of areas and specialties. His commitment to his clients, however, does not vary. He approaches each client and every matter with the same grit, commitment and a passion that make Ed a unique and unparalleled advocate.
Awards & Recognition
- Naples Illustrated’s 2020 list of Top Lawyers
- AV Preeminent® Peer Rating by Martindale Hubble
- Board Certified in Business Litigation Law
- Florida State University J.D., with honors, 1996
- Westminster College B.S., with honors, 1993