Court rules decisively in favor of PRA Law Firm in Kelly case. Victory creates positive precedent.

Posted by on May 2, 2010 in Legal Corner | Comments Off on Court rules decisively in favor of PRA Law Firm in Kelly case. Victory creates positive precedent.

The Orlando-based civil recovery law firm prevailed decisively in a lawsuit with major implications for retailers and for the practice of civil recovery. U.S. District Court Judge Federico Moreno, ruled in the Defendant’s favor on all counts of PRA’s Motion for Summary Judgment on January 11, 2010. Specifically, Judge Moreno found against the Kelly Plaintiffs on every count, rejected their claims in their entirety, and ruled in PRA’s favor on all issues.

“This is an especially gratifying decision because of the important implications for the practice of civil recovery and for retailers”, said firm partner, who added, “We rejected many offers by Plaintiff’s counsel to settle in favor of pursuing this decisive ruling from a Federal Court Judge.”

Kelly v. PRA, filed June 26, 2008 in Federal Court, sought class action certification and invoked RICO claims against PRA with the intent of effectively halting the practice of civil recovery. However, despite all efforts, Judge Moreno ruled that the Plaintiffs “have not shown that the settlement amounts they paid to the law firm were out of line with the damages authorized by the statute, nor that the retailers were not entitled to pursue civil theft claims against them.”

In addition, claims by the Plaintiffs that the law firm was not engaged in the practice of law also failed, as it was noted in the ruling that the firm, “…did not go beyond rendering traditional legal services to its clients…” affirming the principles of attorney-client privilege and therefore, work product immunity, in the practice of civil recovery law by lawyers. This precedent helps assure retailers that outsourcing civil recovery claims to law firms provides important advantages, as opposed to working with non-law firm “civil recovery companies”, who may be more vulnerable to such claims, as well as to claims of Unlicensed Practice of Law (UPL).

PRA is a law firm with a focus on civil recovery law. Civil recovery is the practice of civil law most often pursuant to state statutory law enacted to help retailers recover their losses (“shrink”) caused by theft, which totaled over thirty billion dollars in the U.S. alone in 2008. The law firm is one of the largest civil recovery providers with an active role in shaping civil recovery law. In 1994, PRA defended another landmark case, Shorts v Palmer, which also set important precedent for the practice of civil recovery for retailers and other victims of theft.

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