The Appellate Strategist

The Appellate Strategist

Insights on appellate issues, trial consultations, and evaluating appeals

Category Archives: Florida

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

Posted in Florida
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

Posted in Florida
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

Posted in Florida
  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

Florida High Court to Decide Duties Owed by Public School Regarding Automated External Defibrillator

Posted in Florida
On October 6, 2014, the Florida Supreme Court heard oral argument in a case involving whether a public school owes a duty to maintain, make available, and use an automated external defibrillator (AED) on a student athlete who collapses during a school-sanctioned athletic competition.  See Limones v. School Board of Lee County, No. SC13-932.  The… Continue Reading

Florida High Court To Decide Whether State Insurer Is Immune From Statutory Bad Faith Claims

Posted in Florida
The Florida Supreme Court has accepted for review a First District decision holding that Florida’s state insurer of last resort, Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, is not immune from a statutory bad faith failure to settle claim.  See Citizens Prop. Ins. Corp. v. Perdido Sun Condo. Ass’n, No. SC14-185.  To view the First District’s opinion, click… Continue Reading

Florida High Court to Decide If Party Must Object to a Fundamentally Inconsistent Verdict to Preserve Issue

Posted in Florida
VERDICT FORM We, the jury, return the following verdict: 1. Did Defendants place the product      on the market with a design defect,     which was a legal cause of the     decedent’s death?     YES _______ NO X 2.  Was there negligence on the part of      Defendants which was a legal cause of      decedent’s… Continue Reading

Florida High Court to Decide Whether Statute of Frauds Applies to Oral Agreement to Split Lottery Winnings

Posted in Florida
          On June 20, 2014, the Florida Supreme Court accepted review of a Fifth District decision that certified the following question of great public importance: Is an oral agreement to play the lottery and split the proceeds in the event a winning ticket is purchased unenforceable under the statute of frauds when: there is… Continue Reading

Florida Supreme Court Strikes Down Red Light Ordinances as Preempted by State Law

Posted in Florida
On June 12, 2014, the Florida Supreme Court decided two cases that involved whether municipal ordinances imposing penalties for red light violations detected by devices using cameras were invalid because they were preempted by state law. See Mason v. City of Aventura, No. SC12-644; City of Orlando v. Udowychenko, No. SC12-1471. At issue in the cases was… Continue Reading

Florida Appellate Court Finds Daubert Standard Applies Retrospectively and Prohibits “Pure Opinion” Testimony

Posted in Florida
  In the first civil appellate case in Florida to address the newly adopted Daubert standard for the admissibility of expert testimony, Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal held that the standard applies retrospectively and, unlike the former Frye test, prohibits “pure opinion” testimony.  See Perez v. Bell South Telecommunications, Inc., 39 Fla. L. Weekly… Continue Reading

Florida Supreme Court Decides that Florida Civil Rights Act Prohibits Pregnancy Discrimination

Posted in Florida
             On April 17, 2014, the Florida Supreme Court resolved a certified conflict between two of Florida’s district courts of appeal, to hold that the Florida Civil Rights Act (FCRA) prohibits pregnancy discrimination. To read the full opinion click here.  In so doing, the supreme court quashed the Third District’s decision in Delva v. Continental… Continue Reading

Florida Supreme Court Strikes Down Wrongful Death Non-Economic Damages Cap for Med Mal Cases

Posted in Florida
  On March 13, 2014, the Florida Supreme Court, in a 5-2 ruling, issued its long-awaited opinion following review of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision in Estate of McCall v. United States, 642 F.3d 944 (11th Cir. 2011), and answered the following rephrased certified question in the affirmative: Does the statutory cap on… Continue Reading

Amendments to Florida Rules of Civil Procedure Effective January 1, 2014

Posted in Florida
The Florida Supreme Court has adopted various amendments to the rules of civil procedure that became effective on January 1, 2014.  To see all of the redlined changes and to read the decision of the Court adopting these changes, please click here.  The significant changes are highlighted below. Deadline Changes             The amendments made noteworthy… Continue Reading

Florida Supreme Court Clarifies the Scope of Discovery of Records of Adverse Medical Incidents and Reaffirms Buster

Posted in Florida
On January 30, 2014, the Florida Supreme Court concluded its review of Cedars Healthcare Group, Ltd. v. Ampuero-Martinez, 88 So. 3d 190 (Fla. 3d DCA 2000), (Case Nos. SC11-2208 and SC11-2336), by quashing the Third District’s decision and remanding the case for reconsideration by the Third District pursuant to Florida Hospital Waterman, Inc. v. Buster,… Continue Reading

Florida Appellate Court Construes Term “Legal Relationship” in Med-Mal Presuit Screening Rule

Posted in Florida
On January 3, 2014, Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal held, in a case of first impression, that a medical malpractice plaintiff’s direct notice to a medical provider of its intent to sue would also operate as notice to a physician who was an independent contractor of the medical provider.  To read the full opinion… Continue Reading

Florida Supreme Court Compels Legislator Depositions in Redistricting Case

Posted in Florida
On December 13, 2013, the Florida Supreme Court decided that Florida legislators and legislative staff members can be forced to give deposition testimony and produce documents relating to legislation establishing new congressional districts.  See Fla. House of Representatives v. League of Women Voters of Fla.; Romo v. Fla. House of Representatives, Nos. SC13-949 & SC13-951. … Continue Reading

Florida High Court To Examine Exculpatory Clauses That Do Not Specifically Reference Negligence

Posted in Florida
On November 5, 2013, the Florida Supreme Court heard oral argument in a case examining whether a release clearly and unambiguously releases the defendant from liability for a plaintiff’s physical injuries when the release does not expressly reference the defendant’s negligence.  See Sanislo v. Give Kids The World, Inc., 98 So. 3d 759 (Fla. 5th… Continue Reading

Florida High Court Reinstates $1.2 million Judgment Against Law Firm of Prospective Client

Posted in Florida
               On October 24, 2013, the Florida Supreme Court reinstated a $1.2 million final judgment awarded to a prospective client of a personal injury law firm who sat in a chair that collapsed during a consultation at the firm.  See Friedrich v. Fetterman & Assocs., P.A., No. SC11-2188, 2013 WL 5745617 (Fla. Oct. 24, 2013)… Continue Reading