Kacy Donlon has practiced in the area of commercial and securities litigation for over 20 years. Her practice is based on the principles instilled in her during her clerkship with a federal judge in Alabama – work hard for your client, be honest, and look for creative ways to win or resolve cases. Her main concentration is the defense of businesses and individuals involved in the securities and financial services industries, and she also has experience in a broad spectrum of commercial litigation matters, including employment disputes, class actions, business torts, and contract disputes. Kacy has handled complex matters in federal and state court as well as in arbitration, including the successful defense of numerous matters involving allegations relating to the sale of variable and equity-indexed annuities and other insurance product sales practices.
Kacy’s experience includes the representation of national and regional brokerage and insurance firms in arbitration and court proceedings brought by customers involving variable products, mutual funds, REITs, TICs, equity securities, viaticals, oil and gas partnerships, and other investment products. In addition to litigation, Kacy has represented many clients in investigations and enforcement actions by regulatory bodies such as the SEC, FINRA, CFP, and state securities and insurance regulators. She also counsels clients on compliance issues.
Kacy is originally from Alabama where she graduated summa cum laude from Birmingham-Southern College. She then attended the University of St. Andrews in Scotland on a Rotary Scholarship. After working as a paralegal for a prominent securities litigator, she continued her education at Washington & Lee University School of Law where she was the Securities Editor of the Washington & Lee Law Review and graduated cum laude.
Kacy is the President of the Florida Securities Dealers Association for 2020. She is also actively involved with the Business Law Section of the Florida Bar. She is currently the Treasurer of this 5000 member organization. She is a past president of the Federal Bar Association, Tampa Bay Chapter. In 2010, the Chapter awarded her its highest award, the George C. Carr award, for excellence in federal practice and service to the Federal Bar. Admitted in both Florida and Alabama, Kacy is AV Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell and has been recognized as one of the Best Lawyers in America and a Super Lawyer.
- Defended numerous FINRA arbitration claims related to the suitability of variable annuity purchases. See Guin v. InterSecurities, 2005 WL 2044617; Oliver v. InterSecurities, 2006 WL 954102; Johnston v. InterSecurities, 2005 WL 1140251 (directed verdict); Apichino v. InterSecurities, 2006 WL 3716863.
- Defended financial institutions against former employees. See Darden v. Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., 2018 WL 5299741; Piston v. Transamerica Capital, Inc., 2018 WL 3063603; Variable Annuity Life Ins. Co. v. Hausinger, 927 So.2d 243 (Fla. 2d DCA 2006) (raiding); Amon v. InterSecurities, 2007 WL 4079432; Heller v. InterSecurities, 2007 WL 2493125 (compensation).
- Obtained dismissal by summary judgment of fraud claims against insurance company related to variable annuity disclosures. See Greening v. Western Reserve Life Assurance Co. of Ohio, 439 F. Supp.2d 612 (M.D. La. 2006).
- Successfully argued motions to dismiss based on eligibility. See Martini v. ProEquities, Inc., 2014 WL 2154611; Klein v. Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc., 2015 WL 4100430; Columbus-Sierra LLC v. Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc., 2018 WL 2980920; Beja Finance Int’l v. RBC Dain Rauscher, 2010 WL 3072256.
- Argued before Third District Court of Appeals and obtained affirmance of lower court dismissal of claims against insurance company for denial of death benefit. See Solorzano v. Old Mutual International (Isle of Man) Ltd., 772 So. 2d 1175 (Fla. 3d DCA 2000).
- Represented insurers in state court litigation related to the suitability of the sale of equity indexed annuities.
- Successfully defended negligence and fraud claims in arbitration. See Pavonia Investments, SA v. RBC Capital Markets Corp., 2012 WL 5962562 (directed verdict in fraud and churning case); Knaub v. ProEquities, 2007 WL 2893308 (sale of variable annuities and mutual funds); Nagda v. New England Securities, 2004 WL 1047928 (sale of stocks, commission issues).
- Summary judgment granted in favor of client in securities-related legal malpractice action. See Steffen v. Gray, Harris & Robinson, 283 F. Supp.2d 1272 (M.D. Fla. 2003), aff’d, 138 Fed. Appx. 297 (11th Cir. 2005).
- Defeated motion to dismiss under PSLRA in federal securities action. See Anderson v. Transglobe Energy Corp., 35 F. Supp.2d 1363 (M.D. Fla. 1999).
- “FINRA Arbitration 2018: Tips, Tricks and Considerations”, Current Issues in FINRA Arbitration and Enforcement, ABA Section of Litigation, February 2018
- “Law & Order SVU: Securities Veterans United Lessons from the Street”, ProEquities OSJ Conference, July 2015
- “A Penny for Your Thoughts; Recent AML Enforcement Cases,” Co-presenter with Dionne Fajardo, Financial Services Institute Webinar, January 2015
- “Orange is Not the New Black,” National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, Tampa Chapter, How to Avoid Being Sued, May 2014
- “The Duke Lacrosse Team of Investments,” Co-presenter with Burt Wiand, Nationwide CLE Seminar, Variable Annuities and Variable Products, September 2007
- Florida Securities Dealers Association: President 2020; Vice-President 2019; Treasurer 2018; Secretary 2017; Board Member 2013-present.
- The Business Law Section of The Florida Bar: Treasurer 2019-2020; Secretary 2018-2019; Chair, Legislation Committee, 2017-2018; Chair, Communications Committee, 2014-2015; Chair, State/Federal Judicial Liaison Committee, 2006-2007; Chair, Business Litigation Committee, 2005-2006; Executive Council, 2004-present.
- Federal Bar Association: President, Tampa Bay Chapter, 2006-2007; Executive Board, 2000-2008.
- Florida Bar Special Committee on Chapter 517, 2005-2007
- Florida Supreme Court: Committee on Standard Jury Instruction-Contract and Business Cases, Member, 2006-2008
- Hillsborough County Bar Association
- Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association: Member, Compliance and Legal Division
- American Bar Association: Securities Litigation Committee; Section of Litigation
- Southeastern Women in Financial Services
- Birmingham-Southern College National Alumni Association: Vice-President, Service and Outreach, 2007-2009
- Leadership Tampa: Class of 2004
- Bayshore Christian School Athletic Boosters
- J.D., cum laude, Washington and Lee University School of Law, 1994 (Securities Editor, Law Review)
- Attended University of St. Andrews, Scotland on Rotary International Scholarship, 1989-1990
- B.A., summa cum laude, Birmingham-Southern College, 1989 (Phi Beta Kappa, Mortar Board, Omicron Delta Kappa)
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
- U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida
- AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating by Martindale-Hubbell®
- The Best Lawyers in America, 2009-2019
- Tampa Bay’s Top Lawyers by Tampa Bay Magazine, July/August 2010
- Tampa’s Top Attorneys 2011 by The National Law Journal, November 2010
- George C. Carr Memorial Award by the Tampa Bay Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, November 2010
- Florida Super Lawyers, Florida Super Lawyers Magazine, 2011-2019
- Outstanding Member of the Year by the Business Law Section of the Florida Bar, June 2015