Photo of Kyle Dudek

Kyle Dudek is an associate in the Tort & Insurance Litigation division. A large part of his practice is dedicated to serving as counsel for state and municipal entities involved in civil rights litigation. Kyle defends government actors against claims for false arrest, malicious prosecution, excessive force, and retaliation under the First Amendment. In the private sector, Kyle defends individuals and entities in cases involving employment law, premises liability, professional malpractice, subrogation rights, automobile liability, and wrongful death. In addition, Kyle has experience handling insurance coverage disputes.

Kyle’s practice before joining Henderson Franklin also afforded him extensive time in the courtroom. He served as a law clerk for the Honorable G. Steve Agee in the U.S. Court of the Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, the Honorable James C. Cacheris in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, and the Honorable Andrew Baxter in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York. Kyle also previously worked as an associate for a law firm in Northern Virginia.

Kyle is a member of the Florida, Virginia, and New York Bars. He is admitted to practice before all state courts in Florida, Virginia and New York, as well as the Middle District of Florida, the Northern District of New York, the Eastern District of Virginia, and the United States Court of Appeals for Fourth Circuit.

Kyle has been recognized for his professional achievements and was named a “Rising Star" by Florida Super Lawyers magazine in 2018.

Kyle graduated magna cum laude from George Mason University School of Law, where he served on the Articles Committee for the Journal of Law, Economics & Policy. He was also an active member of the business law society, first as the treasurer and then president. While attending Cornell University, Kyle was a teaching assistant and nationally certified peer tutor.

Kyle grew up in Syracuse, New York and relocated to Southwest Florida to join the Henderson Franklin legal team. He currently resides in Fort Myers with his wife, Casey. When not working, Kyle enjoys golfing and walking his dog.

Articles

The First Amendment is commonly understood as protecting the right to free speech. But the First Amendment does not impact the ability of private citizens and organizations to punish or limit speech. This is why it’s permissible for a private employer to fire an employee for engaging in speech the employer disapproves of – private employers have the right to manage their employees as they see fit.

The situation grows more complicated when the government is the employer. Like any other employer, the government has a legitimate interest in maintaining efficient offices and agencies, which often requires managing and disciplining employee speech. At the same time, however, public sector employees have a protected right to free speech under the First Amendment.

The law attempts to balance these two interests noted above by differentiating between private and official speech. The First Amendment only protects government employees when they are speaking as a private citizen about matters of public concern. If the government employee’s speech is instead part of their official job duties, they can be disciplined or fired for what they say.

Private v. Official Speech Test

Continue Reading Airing of the Grievances: 11th Circuit Declines to Extend First Amendment Protection to Employee’s Work Complaint