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Contractor sues Lisa Miller for defamation

SFR Services is seeking at least $30K in damages.

A high-profile and sometimes controversial lobbyist and attorney in Tallahassee has landed in the middle of a legal tussle with a construction company over a dispute regarding the attorney’s characterization of that business.

Stuart-based SFR Services filed a lawsuit against Lisa Miller and her firm, Lisa Miller & Associates, in the 2nd Judicial Circuit Court in Leon County seeking damages from her on four counts: two counts of defamation and two counts of tortious interference.

The 17-page legal brief was filed July 22 and seeks at least $30,000 in damages. The allegations in the suit span from 2018 to this year.

SFR claims that Miller in an early 2018 podcast referred to the contractor as engaging in “extortionist” conduct with a client in Fort Myers and described the company’s “assignment of benefits” as a “terrorist attack.” She also described the SFR firm as “a crook.”

It’s an intricate case where Miller on her law firm’s website described the SFR client as being “threatened” by the contractor after a dispute for charges for roofing services provided by SFR to the client after Hurricane Irma in 2017.

Additional allegations involve Miller’s alleged interference with contract rights for SFR with the company’s client in Fort Myers and another contract with a Florida condominium association in February. In that allegation, SFR said in the suit that Miller advised the association not to contract with SFR and “find you a roofer that will do the right thing…” in an email.

Miller is no stranger to controversial issues, but she has public standing in media circles. She’s often an expert that journalists turn to when seeking analysis of unfolding insurance and policy issues.

In April, Capital News Service in Tallahassee quoted her extensively as Miller advised businesses in the state to make sure they have ample insurance for worker’s compensation and other concerns during the outbreak of COVID-19 in Florida.

But Miller has also drawn fire when she was heavily criticized by Sen. Kevin Rader, a Democrat from Boca Raton, for possibly posing as a “concerned citizen” during a state conference call in 2017 regarding insurance rates when, in fact, she was a lobbyist at the time.

Miller flatly denied the allegation and said she never made any such phone call posing as any other person.

The lawsuit filed against Miller last week seeks a jury trial in Leon County.

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