Fresh Del Monte and Senior Officers Found Not Liable in Miami Trial
November 20, 2006In a case that captured national media attention, a jury in Miami-Dade County on November 17, 2006 took just three hours to find Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc.’s Chief Executive Officer, Mohammed Abu Ghazeleh, and an investor group he represented not liable of fraud in connection with the 1996 sale of Fresh Del Monte. The defendants were represented by Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP.
The suit was brought by five minority shareholders in the Mexican corporation that sold Del Monte to its current ownership in 1996. The plaintiffs alleged that Mr. Abu Ghazeleh and his co-defendants used bribery to win an auction for the company in the face of higher bids. Carlos Sires, the lead trial attorney for the defendants and a partner at the Fort Lauderdale office of Boies, Schiller, stated that his clients “have always known that this lawsuit was totally without merit. They are gratified that it took the jury a very short time to conclude exactly the same thing.”
The trial received daily coverage. In reporting on it, one newspaper said that Sires “sounded like O.J. Simpson lawyer Johnnie Cochran. . . . ‘If you don’t have the facts, then just attack,’ was how he summed up plaintiffs’ trial strategy” during closing arguments. In addition to Sires, the Boies, Schiller team included partner Carl Goldfarb, as well as counsel Jim Grippando.
Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP, founded in 1997, has become one of the nation’s premier law firms. It has approximately 240 lawyers in offices located in New York, Washington, D.C., California, Florida, New Hampshire and Las Vegas. Best known for landmark cases such as United States v. Microsoft, Bush v. Gore, and In re Vitamins, the firm represents some of the largest and most sophisticated organizations in the world in their most important matters. The firm has been described by The Wall Street Journal as a “national litigation powerhouse” and by the National Law Journal as “unafraid to venture into controversial” and “high risk” matters. Boies, Schiller & Flexner can be visited on the web at www.bsfllp.com.