Prior History: 2002 Irrevocable Trust for Richard C. Hvizdak v. Shenzhen Development Bank, Co., No. 2:08-cv-556-FtM-36DNF, 2011 WL 4112776 (M.D. Fla. Sept. 15, 2011) [USA], noted in 2012 ANNUAL REVIEW OF INTERNATIONAL BANKING LAW & PRACTICE at 353.

Note: In its judgment in the above cited case, the United States District Court for the Middle district of Florida's awarded attorney's fees pursuant to Florida Statute Section 675.111(5) in favor of Huntington National Bank (Issuing Bank) and Shenzen Development Bank (Nominated Bank). 2002 Irrevocable Trust for Richard C. Hvizdak (Applicant) appealed. The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, Hull, Wilson, and Jordan, JJ., affirmed in a per curium opinion.

While Applicant conceded that Issuing Bank and Nominated Bank were prevailing parties within the meaning of the Florida statute, Applicant argued that award of attorney's fees under the statute was inappropriate because the theory of relief in their amended complaint was not based on letter of credit law.

The appellate court reviewed the trial court's award of attorney's fees on the standard of whether the trial judge abused discretion. In doing so, the appellate court noted that Applicant's initial complaint sought injunctive relief under Fla. Revised UCC Section 5-109 (Fraud and Forgery) and that Applicant's "theory of liability throughout [the] litigation [was] letter-of-credit fraud" as addressed in this statute. Thus, the appellate court concluded that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in awarding attorney's fees pursuant to Florida Statute section 675.111(5).



The views expressed in this Case Summary are those of the Institute of International Banking Law and Practice and not necessarily those of ICC or the other partners in DC-PRO.