Overview

Catherine “Cat” DiPaolo is a shareholder in the Litigation and Dispute Resolution Group. Her practice includes construction, business, and employment disputes in state and federal courts throughout Florida. An experienced trial attorney, Cat has handled cases for a wide variety of clients in diverse areas including complex business and construction defect litigation, lien and bond disputes, homeowner property matters, shareholder derivative suits, franchising/distributorships, healthcare and medical staff privileges litigation, proceedings supplementary, and non-compete and restrictive covenants, as well as all manner of employment-related matters.

Cat represents owners, homeowners’ associations, developers, contractors, subcontractors, design professionals, manufacturers and suppliers in all phases of dispute resolution and litigation, as well as serving as a counselor and advisor to business owners and executives, helping them navigate and resolve complex legal matters and disputes.

Representative Matters

Construction 

  • Represent a leading national manufacturer and modular homebuilder in construction dispute claims, involving single-family homeowners and multi-resident medical and housing developments, in both state and federal courts.
  • Represent a contractor specializing in remediation and restorations with the foreclosure of a construction lien on a high-rise luxury condominium development in the Florida panhandle area.
  • Represent a national financial management factor in lien foreclosure and breach of contract claims for non-payment to subcontractors.
  • Assist a contractor client who fabricates specialized and miscellaneous metals and light structural steel products with the filing and successful prosecution of liens and public construction bonds, recovering in excess of $1 million on various projects.
  • Represent clients who provide construction services to private companies, non-for-profits, local municipalities, and Federal Government facilities in lawsuits against sub-contractors.

Business Litigation

  • Successfully represented managing member of an LLC in connection with misappropriation and theft of intellectual property in excess of nearly $10M belonging to the business.  The lawsuit was resolved on favorable terms.
  • Represented multi-line insurance agency in co-brokerage commission dispute, securing favorable trial result on behalf of client.
  • Successfully defended state university against defamation and tortious interference claims brought by former medical resident.
  • Obtained six-figure domestic judgment against an international non-vessel operating common carrier and non-asset-based logistics provider.

Employment Litigation

  • Successfully defended a global insurance brokerage and specialty risk management firm against multi-million dollar wage and labor claims by a former employee in federal court.
  • Successfully defended an industrial metal finishing, plating, and processing manufacturer against hostile work environment, qui tam, retaliation, and discrimination claims.
  • Obtained court-approved settlement for foreign corporations on wage, breach of contract, and equitable claims alleged by former workers.

Honors and Distinctions

  • Florida Legal Elite, 2021
  • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Florida Super Lawyers, Rising Star, Construction Litigation, 2017-2021
  • The Best Lawyers in America, Commercial Litigation; Construction Law, 2021-2022
  • ABA Young Lawyers Division, Star of the Quarter, Fall 2012, Midyear 2014, Spring 2015, Midyear 2017
  • ABA Young Lawyers Division, Star of the Year, 2015

Professional Involvement

  • The Florida Bar
    • Young Lawyers Division (YLD)
      • Assembly Delegate to American Bar Association YLD, 2012-2015
      • Law Student Division Mentoring Program, Mentor, Spring 2012
    • Labor and Employment Law Section
    • Trial Lawyers Section
  • American Bar Association
    • Construction Law Forum
      • Diversity Committee, Fellowship 2018
    • Young Lawyers Division
      • Leadership Advisory Board, 2016-2018
      • Liaison to ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, 2016-2018
      • Conference, Programs & Products Director 2014-2016
      • New Partner Team, Team Lead, 2013-2014
      • National Conferences Team, 2012-2014
        • Vice-Chair, 2013-2014
        • Inaugural Wellness Series Instructor, Fall 2012
      • Diversity Team, 2011-2012
      • Litigation Committee, 2010-present
        • Vice-Chair, 2012-2013
        • Interim Vice-Chair, 2011-2012
      • Awards and Subgrants Team, Associate Judge, 2010-2011
      • YLD Touch 10,000 Ambassador, 2010 (Inaugural year)-2018
    • Section of Litigation
      • Commercial and Business Litigation Committee
        • Young Lawyers Sub-Committee
      • Pretrial Practice and Discovery Committee
      • Trial Practice Committee
      • Young Advocates Committee
  • The Hispanic Bar Association
    • Marketing Committee, 2018-2019
    • Membership Committee Co-chair, 2014-2015
  • Hillsborough County Bar Association
    • Pro Bono Committee Co-chair, 2019-present

Community Involvement

  • Glazer Children’s Museum, Board of Trustees
  • Metropolitan Ministries, volunteer, 2004-present
    • “Red Apron” Volunteer Leader, beginning 2007
  • Habitat for Humanity, volunteer, 2001-present
  • Guardian Ad Litem, Pinellas county, 2007-2012, 2015

Thought Leadership

  • Authors, “Manage Supplier and Vendor Relationships as COVID-19 Disruptions Continue,” Construction Executive, October 2020
  • Co-Author, “Recovery Plans, Change Orders, Liquidated Damages, and the Owner’s Implied Obligations—Who Is Responsible When Schedule Slips?” Journal of the ABA Forum on Construction Law, Volume 39, Fall 2019
  • Author, “Costs of Repair – Keystone Airpark v. Pipeline,” Hillsborough County Bar Association’s Lawyer magazine, May 2019
  • Presenter, “E-Discovery,” Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division Basic Discovery CLE, April 2019 (Rescheduled from October 2018)
  • Co-Author, “New OSHA Rule Requires Immediate Action by All Employers,” Trenam Legal Update, July 2016
  • Presenter, “E-Discovery and Evidence,” Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division Basic Technology Law Seminar, Tampa, FL, May 2016
  • Co-Author, “DOL Announces Final Rule Doubling Salary Threshold for Exempt Employees,” Trenam Legal Update, May 2016
  • Co-Author, “Coming Changes to Overtime Exemptions Rules Will Have Serious Impact on Employers,” Trenam Legal Update, November 2015
  • Moderator, “Fireside Chat with Chief justice Labarga and Ramon A. Abadin,” ABA Young Lawyers Division Spring Conference, Tampa, FL, May 2015
  • Panelist, “Finding the Time,” ABA Young Lawyers Division Spring Conference, Tampa, FL, May 2015
  • Presenter, “Miscommunication: Common Mishaps to Avoid in Dealing with Counsel, Clients, Colleagues and the Court,” ABA Section of Litigation, Young Advocates Committee Teleconference, June 2014
  • Program coordinator and moderator, “Improving Your Effectiveness at Mediation,” ABA YLD Litigation Committee/Minorities in the Profession Committee Co-Sponsored Teleconference, May 2013
  • Co-presenter, “E-Discovery Basics: What You Need to Know,” ABA Young Lawyers Division Fall Conference, Charleston, SC, October 2012
  • Panelist, “Bridging the Gap Between Junior and Senior Associates,” ABA Young Lawyers Division Spring Conference, Nashville, TN, May 2012
  • Co-Author, Fifty-State Lien and Bond Law Manual, Florida Chapter and Forms and Updates, Aspen Law Publishing, 2008-2010