Scott S. Cairns Partner

Scott is a trial lawyer who, for more than 30 years, has represented clients in a broad range of cases, often involving sensitive and high-profile issues. His litigation experience has involved a wide variety of matters, including civil rights, employment, tort, and commercial litigation in trial and appellate courts across the United States. He has been recognized by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America and was named to Florida Super Lawyers.

Scott represents employers in discrimination and harassment cases under federal and state laws. He represents public institutions litigating civil rights and constitutional issues under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and Title IX, 20 U.S.C. § 1681. He handles class actions under Rule 23 and opt-in claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act. He has litigated a variety of commercial litigation matters including theft of trade secrets and breach of noncompetition agreements. Scott also defends clients in high-exposure toxic tort, product liability and personal injury matters.

He counsels clients concerning issues associated with their mergers, acquisitions and layoffs; the drafting of employment agreements, noncompetition agreements and related employment policies; as well as investigation of sexual harassment claims, preparation of affirmative action plans and OFCCP audits.

Scott worked in McGuireWoods’ London office, representing clients in cross-border matters and assisting in the development of the firm’s international practices. Scott has been part of the firm’s management, having served as managing partner of the Jacksonville office and as a member of the firm’s Board of Partners. He is a certified circuit court mediator for the Florida Supreme Court and a certified mediator for the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida.

"Taking the time to understand our clients’ business allows us to be certain that our advice is not only accurate and timely, but also that it truly provides value to the client."

Experience

Representation of Fortune 250 client in sexual harassment claim in federal court in Florida.

Advised client on restrictive covenants in the US and the UK and coordinated advice from other international jurisdictions such as Hong Kong and Russia.

Representation of Fortune 250 client in racial harassment and personal injury claims in federal court in North Carolina.

Representation of Fortune 250 client in race, sex and age discrimination claims in federal court in Florida.

Representation of forest products company in theft of trade secrets noncompete case resulting in consent decree and very favorable settlement.

Representation of forest products company in nationwide class action involving migrant workers. The federal district court granted our motion for summary judgment, which was upheld by the court of appeals.

Lead trial counsel in over twenty jury trials.

Lead appellate counsel in over twenty appeals in state and federal court.

  • Florida
  • Virginia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Selected for inclusion as a "Leading Lawyer," Transport: Rail And Road, Florida, Legal 500 US, 2017-2018

Named "Lawyer of the Year," Litigation - Labor and Employment, Jacksonville, The Best Lawyers in America, 2017, 2019

Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America, Litigation - Labor and Employment, Railroad Law, Woodward/White, Inc., 2006-2019

Named to "Florida Super Lawyers," Employment & Labor, Business Litigation, International, Employee Benefits/ERISA, Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2006-2018

Named a "Best Lawyer," Jacksonville Magazine, 2013-2017

Named “Ultimate Attorney – Pro Bono”, Jacksonville Business Journal, 2017

Named a "Leader in the Field," Employment (Foreign Expert), Chambers Global, 2013-2014

Named a "Leader in the Field," Litigation (Experts Based Abroad), Chambers Global, 2013

AV Rated, Martindale-Hubbell

  • University of Virginia School of Law, JD, Member, Editorial Board, Virginia Law Review, 1981
  • University of Virginia, BA, 1973

Chairman, Board of Directors, The Sulzbacher Center

Board of Directors, Community Hospice and Palliative Care

Board of Directors, World Affairs Council of Jacksonville

Secretary / Treasurer, Chester Bedell Inn of Court

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