Thomas J. Ali was born on October 26, 1958, in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Mr. Ali and his family moved to the Delray Beach, Florida area in 1973. Mr. Ali graduated from Delray Beach Atlantic High School in 1976. Mr. Ali obtained his Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Florida in 1980. He was an undergraduate member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity, Florida Upsilon Chapter. This fraternity was established on February 11, 1884, and was the first fraternity at the University of Florida. The national fraternity was founded in 1856. Mr. Ali received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Florida Levin College of Law in 1983. Upon graduation, Mr. Ali served as a Judicial Aide to the late Honorable Jack R. Schoonover, Second District Court of Appeal, in Lakeland, Polk County, Florida. Mr. Ali has been a member of the Florida Bar since October 26, 1983. Mr. Ali next served as an Assistant Public Defender in the Tenth Judicial Circuit in Bartow, Polk County, Florida. Mr. Ali has been in private practice in Palm Beach County, Florida since December, 1986. Mr. Ali has been a continuous member of the Palm Beach County Bar Association since 1987. Mr. Ali is admitted to practice law in the Southern, Middle and Northern U.S. District courts of Florida. Mr. AiI is admitted as Pro Hac Council in Complex Litigation in other states. He is an experienced trial attorney having tried over fifty (50) cases to jury verdict. Mr. Ali served as both a member and eventual Chairman of the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit of Palm Beach County Grievance Committee. Mr. Ali, during his career has been actively involved in local youth sports and volunteer organizations. He is a communicant of St. Patrick’s Church in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, where he lives with his wife of over thirty-five years, Mary Beth, a resident of Palm Beach County for almost six decades. Their four (4) adult children all prospering and achieving, are ages 22 through 32.
Mr. Ali was acknowledged as the Rotarian of the Year by the Rotary Club of the Northern Palm Beaches in 2013. Mr. Ali served as prior President of the Rotary Club of the Northern Palm Beaches and currently holds a position within the Club on the Board of Directors. In years past, Mr. Ali has performed community service for and been a member of various charities to include the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society and Alzheimer’s Association of Palm Beach County.
Throughout his thirty eight (38) year legal career Mr. Ali has litigated numerous trial, hearing, and appeals matters at the County Court, Circuit Court and Administrative levels on a non-jury and jury basis. He has participated in over 50 appellate matters, many resulting in significant decisions from Florida courts. Below is a listing and synopsis of some of Mr. Ali’s reported cases:
- Lannquist v. Munyon, 45 Fla. L. Weekly D 2641 (Fla. 4th DCA, November 25, 2020). Once a defendant files ”any paper” the Rule requires service of notice of application for a default and requires the court and not the clerk to enter a default. The appeals court held the clerk’s default, as argued on appeal, was void ab initio.
- Guncheon v. The Town Council of North Palm Beach, 1 FLW Supp. 5 (August 10, 1992). (Involved a successful challenge to the Village of North Palm Beach Code Enforcement Board concerning the construction of a gazebo in a resident’s yard).
- Lake v. McDonald, 2 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 224 (March 24, 1994). (Upheld a challenge to an arbitration award).
- Reliable Reprographics Blueprint and Supply, Inc. v. Florida Mango Office Park, Inc. 645 Southern 2d. 1040 (Fla. 4th DCA 1994). (One of the leading Florida cases governing appeals of orders relating to attorney’s fees and cost awards).
- Patterson Outdoor Advertising v. Department of Transportation, 651 So. 2d. 784 (Fla. 4th DCA 1995). (The court held the absence of proper notice either that fees for billboards on I-95 were coming due or that they were late and must be paid within thirty (30) days required reversal of the order the Florida Department of Transportation denying applications for billboard permits).
- DeSantis v. DeSantis, 692 So. 2d. 300 (Fla. 4th DCA 1997). (The District Court affirmed the final judgment of dissolution of marriage).
- DeSantis v. DeSantis, 714 So. 2d. 637 (Fla. 4th DCA 1998). (Court held that the trial court was un-able to enter post-judgment 'QDRO' (Qualified Domestic Relations Order) to enforce the equitable distribution portion of a final judgment when one spouse solely owns the pension fund against which the QDRO is ordered).
- Binkerd v. Svendsen, 724 So. 2d 1264 (Fla. 4th DCA 1999). (In an estate case, the appellate court reversed the trial court granting a summary judgment and remands for a trial).
- McArdle v. McArdle, 753 So. 2d 696 (Fla. 4th DCA 2000). (The court held non-custodial parent should be granted reasonable visitation with a child unless there is proof of extreme circumstances, or the trial court finds that the visitation will adversely affect the welfare of the child. Further, the court ruled absent a showing of parental unfitness or detriment to the child, it was an error to condition time-sharing on the child's consent).
- Zakian v. Zakian, 837 So. 2d 549 (Fla. 4th DCA 2003). (Court held the ex-wife was entitled to 'all reasonable attorney's fees incurred in enforcing' the obligation to pay the expenses the former husband withheld from the former wife).
- In Re: Relief: Margaret Helm, Chapter 2002-313 Laws of Florida Acts 2002 (June 11, 2002). (Legislation passing equitable claim bill approved by Florida Governor Jeb Bush for injured claimant in action against Martin County, Florida where a volunteer fireman runs over claimant acting as Good Samaritan assisting elderly couple injured in accident). $2.4 million bill approved.
- Cacciatore v. Fisherman’s Wharf Realty, 821 So. 2d. 1251 (Fla. 4th DCA 2002). (Seminal Florida case holding a presumption of tenancy by the entireties arises in connection with ownership of a stock certificate issued in the joint names of the husband and wife, the words “with right of survivorship” are not required to be appended).
- Della Ratta v. Della Ratta, 927 So. 2d. 1055 (Fla. 4th DCA 2006). (Seminal Florida case concerning the “family member presumption,” and claims for “unjust enrichment” and imposition of an equitable lien on a condominium apartment relating to claims of a son that with the knowledge and consent of his mother and step-father, he made improvements to a condominium owned by his mother and step-father and paid all expenses in expectation of eventually receiving title to the condominium by gift or purchase, and that the mother and step-father ultimately decided to sell the condominium to a third party. The appellate court ruled in favor of the son by concluding that his claims below for damages for “unjust enrichment” and the imposition of an equitable lien on the condominium should not have been dismissed by the trial court).
- Department of Financial Services, Division of Workers’ Compensation v. Lumbert, DOAH Case No: 10-0520. (February 23, 2011). (The Department of Financial Services, Division of Worker’s Compensation sought unsuccessfully to impose a penalty of $43,718.07 against James Lumbert for failing to obtain worker’s compensation insurance coverage. The Administrative Law Judge ruled that not only did the Division fail to properly calculate penalties sought (which originally was over $80,000.00) but that Mr. Lumbert was neither a sole proprietor nor an independent contractor employed in the construction industry at the time of the proceeding at issue. Thus, the Division failed to prove that Mr. Lumbert was an employer/employee in the construction industry required to provide worker’s compensation insurance coverage for himself).
- Blake v. City of Pt. St. Lucie 73 So. 3d 905 (Fla. 4th DCA 2011) (Absolute immunity suit against public officials. Cogent appeal afforded in interplay sections 768.095, FS and 943.149(4) FS.).
- Fidelity and Cas. Co. of New York v. Lodwick and Brain 126 F. Supp.2d 1375 ( S.D. Fla. 2000). (Lead Florida and national case on whether automobile exclusion in homeowners policy bars negligent supervision and negligent entrustment claims under concurrent cause theory).
- 1983, Florida
- 1984, U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida
- 2001, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida
- University of Florida Levin College of Law, Class of 1983, J.D.
- University of Florida, Class of 1980, B.A.