HOLDING EMPLOYERS ACCOUNTABLE SINCE 1985

If you have an employment issue, we can help. For more than 30 years, Fortune Law Offices has represented clients from every walk of life, including CEOs, medical doctors, human resources professionals, managers, supervisors, and hourly workers — in every industry and profession. Whether the issue involves an employment contract, a non-compete, a severance package, an unlawful termination or any other matter involving your employment, we can help.

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SCOTT THOMAS FORTUNE
Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law

Scott Fortune is Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law and is also a Certified Civil Mediator. Since 1985, Scott has represented more than 1,000 employees as plaintiffs in employment discrimination cases in addition to dozens of plaintiffs in personal injury cases. While most of his clients are high- and mid‑level managers, he has also represented men and women from virtually every occupation in public and private industry.

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AREAS OF PRACTICE

Scott has obtained jury verdicts in favor of his clients on scores of occasions in state and federal courts since 1985. He has settled hundreds of other cases without the necessity or risk of trial. In 1986, Scott obtained the first reported multi-million dollar jury verdict ($3.3 million) in the United States on behalf of a single employment discrimination victim in Vance v. Southern Bell Tel. & Tel. Co., which went to trial here in Jacksonville, in federal court. More recently, during the past few years, Scott and his staff have made recoveries totaling several million dollars on behalf of his clients.

Scott has a reputation for being tenacious and creative while advocating for his clients. He is rated “AV” by his peers, which is the highest rating an attorney can receive concerning ethics and legal ability. He is admitted to practice in the United States Supreme Court, in several federal courts, and all courts in the State of Florida. For nearly twenty years, Scott taught trial skills to other lawyers from around the country, as a faculty member of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy. He is also certified as a mediator by the Florida Supreme Court. Scott is also a member of the National Employment Lawyers Association, The Florida Bar, and the Jacksonville Bar Association.  He is currently co-chair of the Jacksonville Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Committee.

Scott usually represents no more than 10-15 individuals at a time to ensure that he can be personally involved in every case. Naturally, there is no guarantee that Scott or his firm can make any specific recovery in any particular case. Each case must be evaluated based on its own unique facts and circumstances.

Scott has obtained hundreds of jury verdicts, arbitration awards and settlements on behalf of his clients since 1985. In the past few years he has obtained multi-million dollar recoveries on behalf of several highly compensated persons who were wrongfully terminated. Scott recently assisted a 51-year-old, high-level executive of a Fortune 500 company receive more than $10 million in deferred compensation after being forced to “retire” early, due to political pressure from his superiors. In a case against an international banking organization, Scott’s client recovered an arbitration award in excess of $4 million after being terminated due to his age, in order to make way for the “young guns” he’d been supervising. In a case against a financial services firm, Scott’s female client recovered in excess of $2 million at mediation, after being terminated because of her alleged “affair” with a superior. (Significantly, her male superior was not disciplined for the same alleged “affair.”) In 2016, Scott recovered more than $400,000 on behalf of a 60-year-old marketing manager who was wrongfully terminated because of his age and nationality. Scott also recently helped a 50-year-old district manager recover an additional $300,000 in severance benefits, after being terminated in 2016 to make way for a younger replacement.  In 2015, Scott obtained more than $900,000 at mediation on behalf of a CEO wrongfully terminated in violation of his written employment contract.
In 2015 Scott obtained a settlement of more than $900,000 on behalf of a CEO wrongfully terminated without the proper notice required in his written employment agreement. He also recently obtained nearly $500,000 on behalf of a local college administrator who was forced out of his position in breach of his written employment agreement.
Scott has obtained recoveries of several hundred thousand dollars each on behalf of employees who were terminated after reporting dangerous or illegal conditions at their places of employment.  In 2015 Scott obtained nearly $400,000 on behalf of a mechanic who was fired after reporting dangerous workplace conditions to OSHA.
In the employment law field, Scott has worked with officer-level managers since 1985, and has represented employees who have been discriminated against due to their age, gender, race, disability, national origin or religion. Based on his experience and after passing a comprehensive written examination administered by the Florida Bar, Scott is Board Certified by the Florida Supreme court in the specialty of Labor and Employment Law. He prevailed in the United States Supreme Court on behalf of a client whose jury verdict had been overturned on appeal.  Scott has decades of experience representing men and women who have been terminated or punished in some way because of a chronic health condition; sudden or expensive medical bills; because they suffered a valid workers’ compensation injury; or because they objected to or refused to go along with any illegal activity by their employers.

During the past three decades, Scott has negotiated scores of severance packages on behalf of executives and others, and has helped many men and women obtain favorable employment contracts. He also has helped numerous employees negotiate challenges involving non-compete agreements.

Scott and his team recently represented a woman who had been fired from her clerical position with a national trucking firm after her husband, who was an insured on her employer-provided health insurance policy, had incurred nearly one million dollars in medical bills. Scott was able to secure a neutral reference and five year’s pay for his client.

Scott obtained a settlement of approximately $400,000 on behalf of a wrongfully terminated warehouse worker making approximately $12 per hour. Scott’s client was “downsized” in a reduction in force less than a month after his wife was diagnosed with cancer. Scott alleged that the employer had fired his client in order to avoid paying for his wife’s medical treatment, which was expected to be very expensive.

Scott and his client won an age discrimination case in federal court on behalf of a 62-year-old crane operator who was laid-off due to an alleged lack of work, and was replaced a few months later by a much younger operator.  In addition to his client’s age, the employer was motivated to fire him due to the fact that his client’s wife had expensive medical conditions which had been paid for by the client’s employer.  Mr. Fortune’s client recovered nearly $900,000.00 at trial, including attorneys’ fees and costs.

Scott has represented men and women who have been denied promotions due to their gender, their race or their disability, and based on other protected categories. He tried a case in federal court in Jacksonville on behalf of a black grocery store “Assistant” Manager who had been performing the duties of a Store Manager, but without the title, prestige or pay of a Store Manager. The jury awarded a six-figure amount for mental anguish and back pay, and the store was required to promote Scott’s client to the Store Manager position.
The law prohibiting this type of harassment can include demeaning treatment which is not of a “sexual” nature. For example, the law could protect a woman who is treated disrespectfully by a boss who shows favoritism toward male employees; or a gay man who is ridiculed because of his sexual orientation. Scott has represented many men and women who have been harassed due to their gender or sexual orientation, as well as those who have been sexually harassed and those who have been made to endure continuous, sexually inappropriate advances.
Scott has represented hundreds of executives, mid-level managers, physicians, banking executives, sales persons, and others who have been terminated and offered a proposed severance agreement in exchange for signing a Release of Claims. Often, Scott has assisted his clients in obtaining more favorable severance terms, including greater lump sum payments, extended periodic payments, greater deferred compensation, extended benefits, and the like. Recently, Scott helped a terminated CEO recover more than $900,000 after he had been abruptly terminated without any severance. The employer initially had attempted to coerce Scott’s client into accepting only a tiny fraction of the severance amount provided in his written employment agreement, and then declined to pay him anything when Scott’s client refused to buckle under.
Scott has assisted hundreds of executives, mid-level managers, sales persons and others who plan to enter into contracts with their employers.  Persons about to sign contracts often benefit from experienced legal guidance to minimize the risk of undesirable consequences, and to help ensure that the terms of their contract are fair and balanced, and to help ensure that the employee’s interests are adequately protected.
Scott has assisted employers in drafting employee handbooks, and he has assisted employees to help them understand and comply with the terms of their employee handbooks.
Scott frequently assists executives, mid-level managers, physicians, banking professionals, sales persons and others who have been terminated, or who have otherwise ended their employment and need to deal with a non-compete agreement. Often the non-compete agreements are at least partially invalid, or can be modified by negotiation. The goal, of course, is to allow the client to work as freely as possible without being unduly restricted by the non-compete agreement.
This is as very active area of the law.  Unfortunately, employers often retaliate against employees who have used FMLA leave, or they interfere with an employee’s plans to use FMLA leave. Scott has represented dozens of clients who have recovered hundreds of thousands of dollars at trial or during mediation because their employers violated the FMLA when disciplining or terminating them.  Employers also often fail to promote, or otherwise punish employees who have used, or who need, FMLA coverage.
Early in his legal career, Scott represented insured parties who were being sued for causing personal injury to others. This led to Scott representing personal injury clients when he began his own law practice in 1985.  Since then, Scott has recovered millions of dollars on behalf of clients injured in automobile collisions, motorcycle wrecks, and other mishaps.
As a Certified Civil Mediator, Scott has assisted parties in resolving their legal claims involving business disagreements, employment matters, personal injury claims, construction claims, contract disputes, and other areas of the law.  His ongoing work as a mediator makes him a better litigator and attorney, allowing him to serve as both a lawyer and a counselor to his clients. Scott’s work with plaintiffs and defendants makes him a better plaintiff’s advocate and a more effective litigator on behalf of his clients.

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