TURKEL CUVA BARRIOS
Shane is a highly accomplished trial lawyer who prides himself on having a tireless work ethic and relentless commitment to his clients. He focuses his practice on defamation, privacy, entertainment, intellectual property, and complex business litigation. Shane has been at the forefront of some of the past decade’s most high-profile and legally significant First Amendment cases, positioning him as one of the country’s leading attorneys prosecuting speech and privacy claims against large media and entertainment companies.
In 2016, Shane played a prominent role in the jury trial of Terry Bollea’s (“Hulk Hogan”) invasion of privacy case against Gawker, resulting in a $140.1 million[i] verdict—one of the largest verdicts ever against a media company in an invasion of privacy case—and a permanent injunction[ii] against the use, exhibition, and dissemination of secretly-recorded video of Mr. Bollea. Shane currently represents Gov. Sarah Palin in her defamation lawsuit against The New York Times, which he tried before a jury in early 2022 and which is currently on appeal at the Second Circuit. Shane was also part of the team that prosecuted a ground-breaking false advertising claim under the Lanham Act against Warner Bros. involving the movie War Dogs, which survived a motion to dismiss based on the First Amendment.[iv]
Over the past several years, Shane has helped several high-profile clients who were being victimized by threatening and harassing emails and defamatory online postings obtain permanent injunctions against tortious speech. For example, in 2016-2017, Shane helped Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. obtain and enforce a permanent injunction against defamatory YouTube videos, resulting in the jailing of the defendant in that case for contempt and the removal of all the defamatory videos.[v] In 2019, Shane helped Marion P. Hammer obtain a permanent injunction prohibiting several individuals from sending her threatening and harassing emails.[vi]
Although Shane often represents clients prosecuting claims for reputational harm, invasions of privacy, and violations of intellectual property rights, he also has a strong track-record defending individuals and companies facing these types of claims. In 2015, Shane helped defend boxer “Sugar” Shane Mosley against a lawsuit brought by Don King that sought to stop a pay-per-view boxing event, including obtaining the denial of a motion for a temporary injunction and dismissal of the case on jurisdictional grounds.[vii] In 2017, Shane was part of the team that defended Robert Ritchie’s (“Kid Rock”) First Amendment rights against injunctive relief and trademark infringement claims brought by Feld Entertainment (a/k/a “Ringling Bros.”).[viii] And in 2019, Shane helped secure one of Florida’s first appellate decisions enforcing Florida’s revamped anti-SLAPP statute, following which a developer’s counterclaims brought against a group of homeowners for exercising their First Amendment rights were dismissed.[ix]
Shane has been Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Business Litigation since 2015, and is Board Certified in Civil Trial Law. Board Certification is The Florida Bar’s highest level of evaluation of an attorney’s competency and experience, and it recognizes only those who meet The Bar’s highest standards for special knowledge, skills, and proficiency, as well as professionalism and ethics in the practice of law. In 2016, Shane was named Courtroom View Network’s Florida Plaintiff’s Attorney of the Year. Shane is also rated AV Preeminent® by Martindale Hubbell and has been recognized as one of The Best Lawyer’s in America®.
Shane was born and raised in Tampa. He graduated from Chamberlain High School in 1992, where he excelled in the classroom and on the basketball court, scoring over 1,000 career points in just 2 seasons at Chamberlain and being named Hillsborough County Basketball Player of the Year in 1992. After high school, Shane attended Eckerd College in Saint Petersburg, where he was named to the Sunshine State Conference All-Freshman Basketball Team in 1993 and competed in the NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball National Tournament. Shane graduated second in his class, magna cum laude, from Stetson College of Law in 1999. At Stetson, he was awarded the William F. Blews Pro Bono Service Award and Victor O’Wehle Trial Advocacy Award.