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Florida Supreme Court to Decide If the Disclosure of an Attorney’s Referral of a Client to a Doctor is Privileged or Discoverable

On May 15, 2015, in Worley v. Central Florida Young Men’s Christian Ass’n, 163 So. 3d 1240 (Fla. 5th DCA 2015), Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeal held that information regarding a law firm’s referral of its client to a physician was discoverable. Briefing of this case in the Florida Supreme Court was completed on … Continue Reading

Florida High Court Reaffirms “Four-Corners Rule” for Determining the Sufficiency of a Complaint

This post updates the blog post dated May 13, 2015. On March 17, 2016, the Florida Supreme Court decided Santiago v. Mauna Loa Investments, LLC, No. SC13-2194 (review granted May 22, 2014), by quashing the Third District’s decision which improperly considered documents outside the complaint in determining the complaint’s sufficiency to state a cause of … Continue Reading

Florida Supreme Court to Examine Whether Relation-Back Doctrine Applies to New Causes of Action

The Florida Supreme Court will review two district court cases that apply the relation-back doctrine (when an amended pleading relates back to an original pleading) and decide whether the doctrine applies to new causes of action. See Palm Bch. Cnty. Sch. Bd. v. Doe, No. SC13-1834; Kopel v. Kopel, SC13-992. The doctrine can be found … Continue Reading

Florida Supreme Court to Decide Whether the Litigation Privilege Can Bar a Malicious Prosecution Claim

The Florida Supreme Court will resolve a conflict between the Third and Fourth Districts regarding whether the litigation privilege can be used to bar a claim for malicious prosecution. See No. SC15-1477. In the case before the Court, the Fourth District held that “the litigation privilege cannot be applied to bar the filing of a … Continue Reading

Florida High Court to Decide Whether Attorneys’ Fees Limitation in Claim Bill Is Constitutional

The Florida Supreme Court has accepted review of Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley, P.A. v. State, No. 4D13-3497, 2015 WL 4269031 (Fla. 4th DCA July 15, 2015), which will require it to decide whether a claims bill* that awarded $15 million to a minor plaintiff, but limited attorneys’ fees to $100,000, when the law … Continue Reading

Florida Supreme Court to Resolve Conflict Regarding Whether a Proposal for Settlement Must Reference Attorneys’ Fees When There Is No Fee Claim Pled

The Florida Supreme Court will review the First District’s decision in Borden Dairy Co. of Alabama, LLC v. Kuhajda, 171 So. 2d 242 (Fla. 1st DCA Aug. 14, 2015), which certified conflict with the Fourth District’s decision in Bennett v. American Learning Systems of Boca Delray, Inc., 857 So. 2d 986 (Fla. 4th DCA 2003). … Continue Reading

Florida Appellate Court Confirms That Pedestrian May Be Responsible For Collision With Vehicle

On December 2, 2015, the Second District Court of Appeal, in Panzera v. O’Neal (Case No. 2D14-4302), held that the plaintiffs did not present any admissible evidence to support their negligence claim against the defendant-truck driver and his employer or to refute the conclusion that the decedent-pedestrian caused the highway collision. Accordingly, the court affirmed … Continue Reading

Florida Appellate Court Reverses Decision that Declared Workers’ Compensation Law Unconstitutional

On June 24, 2015, Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal reversed a decision by an Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court judge that the “exclusive remedy” provision contained in Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Act is unconstitutional because it does not provide a reasonable alternative remedy to the tort remedy it supplanted.  In The State of Florida v. Florida … Continue Reading

Florida High Court to Examine Effect of Broad Language in Prenuptial Agreement

The Florida Supreme Court has accepted review of a Fourth District Court of Appeal decision which certified the following question of great public importance: Where a prenuptial agreement provides that neither spouse will ever claim any interest in the other’s property, states that each spouse shall be the sole owner of property purchased or acquired … Continue Reading

Florida Supreme Court to Determine Whether Property Owners Can Sue for Damages Under Florida’s Harris Act When No Law Has Been Enacted That Applies Directly to the Owners’ Property

On May 22, 2015, the Florida Supreme Court accepted review of a First District en banc decision that certified that following as a question of great public importance: May a property owner maintain an action pursuant to the [Bert J. Harris, Jr., Private Property Rights Protection Act] if that owner has not had a law, … Continue Reading

Florida High Court to Decide Two Cases Involving Arbitration Agreements

Two cases are currently pending in the Florida Supreme Court regarding whether the arbitration agreements at issue in the cases are enforceable. Hernandez v. Crespo (No. SC15-67) In this case, the Court must decide whether an arbitration agreement violates the public policy pronounced by the Florida Legislature in the Medical Malpractice Act, chapter 766, Florida … Continue Reading

Florida Supreme Court Considers Agency Review Requirements for Involuntary Admission of Developmentally Disabled Individuals to Residential Services

On May 14, 2015, the Florida Supreme Court answered the following two questions in the negative, which were certified to it by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals: Does “support plan” review under Fla. Stat. § 393.0651 require the Agency for Persons with Disabilities to consider the propriety of a continued involuntary admission to residential … Continue Reading

Florida High Court Holds That Oral Agreement to Split Lottery Winnings Falls Outside Statute of Frauds

(updates article posted on August 4, 2014) On May 28, 2015, the Florida Supreme Court answered the following rephrased certified question in the negative: Is a terminable-at-will agreement to pool lottery winnings unenforceable in the absence of an express agreement to continue the agreement for a period of time exceeding one year, when full performance … Continue Reading

Florida Supreme Court Reaffirms Need to Object to Inconsistent Verdict Before Jury Is Discharged

(updates article posted on Aug. 19, 2014) On May 14, 2015 the Supreme Court of Florida rejected the “fundamental nature” exception with regard to objecting to an inconsistent verdict in products liability cases and announced that “a timely objection is required to an inconsistent verdict in all civil cases.”  See Coba v. Tricam Indus., Inc., … Continue Reading

Florida High Court Finds State Insurer Immune From Statutory Bad Faith Claims

(updates article posted on Oct. 31, 2014) After its property was damaged by a hurricane, Perdido Sun Condominium Association filed an insurance claim with Citizens Property Insurance Corp., a state-created entity that provides property insurance.  Perdido Sun was not satisfied with the amount of Citizens’ eventual payment on the claim and sued for breach of … Continue Reading

Florida High Court to Examine the Scope of a Psychotherapist’s Legal Duty to Prevent an Outpatient’s Suicide

The Florida Supreme Court has accepted review of Granicz v. Chirillo, 147 So. 3d 544 (Fla. 2d DCA 2014), where the Second District reversed a summary judgment in favor of a psychotherapist, finding that plaintiff’s expert testimony established that the psychotherapist owed a legal duty to prevent his outpatient’s suicide.  See Chirillo v. Granicz, No. … Continue Reading

Florida High Court Set to Clarify When an Insured Is Entitled to Attorneys’ Fees When an Insurer Initially Denies a Sinkhole Claim

On April 15, 2015, the Florida Supreme Court accepted review of Omega Insurance Co. v. Johnson, No. 5D13-1701, 2014 WL 4375189 (Fla. 5th DCA Sept. 5, 2014), which found that an insured was not entitled to an award of attorneys’ fees under section 627.428, Florida Statutes and the confession of judgment doctrine based on an … Continue Reading

Florida High Court Overturns Summary Judgment for Defendant School Board, Deciding it Owed Common Law Duty to Student Athlete

On April 2, 2015, the Florida Supreme Court quashed the Second District Court of Appeal’s decision in Limones v. School District of Lee County, 111 So. 3d 901 (Fla. 2d DCA 2013), and held that the school district owed a common law duty to supervise a student athlete who collapsed during a high school soccer … Continue Reading

Florida High Court Rules that Exculpatory Clauses Need Not Reference Negligence to Bar Negligence Claims

On February 12, 2015, the Florida Supreme Court affirmed the Fifth District Court of Appeal’s decision in Sanislo v. Give Kids the World, Inc., 98 So. 3d 759 (Fla. 5th DCA 2012) and held that an exculpatory clause was effective to bar a negligence action, despite the absence of express language in the clause releasing … Continue Reading

Florida Appellate Court Blocks Discovery of Communications Between Insured and Insurer-Retained Defense Counsel in Third-Party Bad Faith Action

On September 5, 2014, the Fifth District Court of Appeal issued its en banc decision in Boozer v. Stalley, 146 So. 3d 139 (Fla. 5th DCA 2014), holding that in a third-party bad faith action, the attorney-client privilege precludes discovery of confidential communications between the insured and counsel retained by the insurer to represent the … Continue Reading

Florida High Court Declares That Contract Legality Is Not Reviewable On A Motion to Vacate An Arbitral Award

  On November 6, 2014, the Florida Supreme Court resolved a conflict among the Fourth and Fifth District Courts of Appeal by holding that a court is not required to determine whether a contract is legal before enforcing an arbitral award based on the contract.  See Visiting Nurse Ass’n of Fla., Inc. v. Jupiter Med. … Continue Reading
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