Attorneys and Attorneys’ Fees

The Florida Bar v. Kane

Despite referee’s recommendation of suspension, Florida Supreme Court disbarred two attorneys for settling PIP claims without allocating any money to clients’ bad faith claims.  The Florida Bar v. Kane, 41 Fla. L. Weekly S426 (Fla. Oct. 6, 2016).

Faith Freight Forwarding Corp v. Anias

Trial court erred by finding offer of judgment was invalid because a “passing reference” in the complaint for equitable relief did not alter fact that claim for damages for retaliatory discharge was essentially one for damages. Faith Freight Forwarding Corp. v. Anias, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2214 (Fla. 3d DCA Sept. 28, 2016) (correcting opinion reported at 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2096).

Cruz-Ramirez v. American Airlines

Judge of Compensation Claims erred by including in award for attorney’s fees time spent by claimant’s previous counsel because there was an order substituting counsel relieving previous counsel of all responsibility and there was no record evidence to support ten hours of work represented “hours of work between two attorneys of record” Cruz-Ramirez v. American Airlines, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2257 (Fla. 1st DCA Oct. 4, 2016).

Johnson v. Omega Ins. Co.

The Florida Supreme Court found that the Fifth District Court of Appeal’s decision in Omega Ins. Co. v. Johnson, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D1911 (Fla. 5th DCA Sept. 5, 2014) conflicted with its decision in Ivey v. Allstate Ins. Co., 774 So.2d 679, 683-84 (Fla. 2000), and held “that a recovery for attorney’s fees under section 627.428 requires an incorrect denial of benefits by the insurance company, not a bad faith denial.”  Johnson v. Omega Ins. Co., 41 Fla. L. Weekly S415 (Fla. Sept. 29, 2016) (emphasis in original).

Stereo v. Markusson

Trial court erred in denying motion for appellate attorney’s for the reason that plaintiff made a joint proposal for settlement to two defendants because prior case law holding such proposals were invalid were superseded by the addition of a provision to Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.442(c) in 2010 that specifically authorizes a joint proposal to two defendants where one of them is vicariously liable. Saterbo v. Markuson, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2169 (Fla. 2d DCA Sept. 21, 2016).

St. Peter v. Osorio-Khor

Trial court properly denied motion for attorney’s fees per section 57.105, Florida Statutes because the issue of who is an “interested party” for purposes of seeking to remove a guardian varies with the facts of each case and the petition filed in this case, although denied, was not frivolous.  St. Peter v. Osorio-Khor, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D1790 (Fla. 4th DCA Aug. 3, 2016).