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Business litigation: Orlando judge dismisses real estate mogul’s lawsuit

Critics across the country were nearly unanimous in their praise of “The Queen of Versailles,” filmmaker Lauren Greenfield’s documentary about the Orlando couple behind Westgate Resorts and their quest to build the largest private home in America.

At least one person was not very happy with the film, though: Westgate CEO David Siegel. David Siegel filed a lawsuit against Greenfield over the film which the judge dismissed. To ascertain your rights and remedies under the law, contact the highly skilled attorneys at the Carr Law Firm, P.A. for all of your business litigation and real estate litigation needs.

When Greenfield began making “The Queen of Versailles,” it was supposed to be about the opulent Orlando mansion David and Jackie Siegel were building. Over the course of two years, however, the recession of 2008 hit, Westgate Resorts floundered and construction on the palatial residence floundered.

Although the Siegels gave Greenfield permission to make “The Queen of Versailles” and cooperated with her during its filming, David Siegel was not happy with the final product. He claims it made it look like Westgate had failed as a company and argues that Greenfield did not have permission to talk to his son, Richard Siegel, whose segments gave some of the least flattering pictures of Westgate.

On Monday, a federal judge in Orlando dismissed Siegel’s defamation lawsuit against Greenfield, saying his argument did not make sense and did not hold legal weight. The lawsuit will now go to arbitration.

Although “The Queen of Versailles” is a well-regarded film, we are not writing about this for that reason. Rather, we think this is an example of how not to use a lawsuit. We say that because it certainly seems to the judge here felt the suit had no merit and amounted to a pointless waste of time and resources.

Now, without question, lawsuits are powerful and useful instruments that can be used to protect your rights, but that is true only if your argument is sound, logical, grounded in fact and well-supported by law. To make sure your case displays those characteristics, you may need the assistance of a dedicated and experienced counselor.

Source: The Orlando Sentinel, “‘Queen of Versailles’ lawsuit headed for arbitration,” Sara K. Clarke, Jan. 28, 2013

Mon Jan 28, 4:42pm

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