Disciplined in Sophisticated Defense and Insurance Litigation

October 26, 2016 | Publication| What's a Court to Consider After a Post-Suit Payment?

Anthony J. Russo

Most first-party insurance lawsuits are accompanied by a claim for attorneys' fees based on section 627.428, Florida Statutes. The operative language of this statute has been part of Florida law for over a century, and the cases interpreting that language are legion. On September 29, 2016 , the Florida Supreme Court issued its decision in Johnson v. Omega Insurance Co., which addressed the following issue...

Click the Article Link to read more.

Anthony J. Russo

A Partner at Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig LLP. in Tampa, FL. Anthony practices in our Appellate, Extra-Contractual, Contractual,First-Party Coverage, and Third-Party Coverage departments.

Ezequiel Lugo

A Senior Associate at Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig LLP. in Tampa, FL. Ezequiel practices in our Appellate, Extra-Contractual, First-Party Coverage, and Third-Party Coverage departments.

November 29, 2017 PublicationExisting Tools to Curb Runaway Attorney FEE Awards

Florida provides one of the most generous insurance fee-shifting mechanisms in the nation. The lure of a large attorney fee award has spawned the very litigation that the fee-shifting statute was intended to avoid. It is common for attorneys representing insureds to file lawsuits over matters that could easily be resolved informally or to drive up a fee claim by unnecessarily aggressive litigation. Courts often reward these tactics by failing to adjust a claim for attorney fees to account for unnecessary litigation, or, worse, by applying a contingency fee multiplier. But courts can only respond to arguments made by the litigants. Florida law provides existing tools that, if applied, can help curb a runaway attorney fee award. This article sets out the current legal environment and discusses ways defendants can fend off a runaway attorney fee award.

Read More »
February 22, 2016 PublicationFlying Witnesses: Admissibility of Drone-Gathered Evidence in Florida

If reported surveys are accurate, Americans are ambivalent about the potential consequences of operating drones in both the public and private sectors; however, mixed feelings do not seem to be slowing the growth in their ownership and use. It seems inevitable that trial courts will be called on to exclude or admit evidence that was gathered remotely. The following article explains the legal framework the Florida courts will use when ruling on drone-gathered evidence.

Read More »
March 13, 2015 PublicationLiability and Damages: Understanding Property Insurance Bad Faith Litigation in Florida

Florida recognizes two general categories of insurance bad faith: first-party and third-party. A cause of action for third-party bad faith exists at common law, but also may be brought under the Florida bad faith statute. The essence of a cause of action for third-party bad faith is that the insurer breached its duty to its insured by failing to properly or promptly defend claim, which resulted in the insured being exposed to a judgment in excess of the coverage limits.

Read More »
March 01, 2015 PublicationRecent Legal Developments

The Florida Supreme Court in Delva v. Continental Group, Inc., 137 So. 3d 371 (Fla. 2014), held that pregnancy is a primary characteristic of the female sex and a natural condition unique to women. Discrimination based on pregnancy is therefore unlawful discrimination because of sex prohibited by the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992

Read More »
April 16, 2014 PublicationFlorida Statutes Create A New Challenge to Specialty Experts in Medical Malpractice Cases

For a copy of this article, please contact Brandon Blake.

Read More »
January 10, 2017 PublicationDON'T WIN THE BATTLE AND LOSE THE WAR: PRESERVING ERROR FOR APPEAL (AND WHY YOU NEED AN APPELLATE LAWYER)

Errors will happen during litigation and at trial. They are simply inevitable. Many of them will be harmless. But when the error is harmful, a trial lawyer’s nightmare is finding out (too late) that the error was not preserved for appeal.

Read More »
November 18, 2015 PublicationABOUT JIM . . . BRIEFLY

Jim, who had been the Second District Court of Appeal’s clerk for 16 years, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly in August of this year. His death is a tragic loss to all who knew him. Despite Jim’s gruff exterior, he was a generous, compassionate, and devoted man whose contributions to the Second District and the Florida court system will long be remembered.

Read More »
September 08, 2015 PublicationJudge John Badalamenti Joins the Second District

As a boy, Judge Badalamenti occasionally took the train from his home in Brooklyn to lunch with his mother, a bookkeeper working in the Southern District of New York courthouse.

Read More »
July 08, 2015 PublicationBut At Least You Can Recover Your Costs, Right? A Practitioner's Guide to Appellate Costs in Florida — the Good, the Bad, and the Money

Even though the former husband obtained a credit of $1.2 million for post-judgment alimony as a result of his appeal, the appellate court found that, in the grand scheme of the case, the issue was relatively insignificant. As explained by the court, he was “merely given a credit” for amounts already paid and his obligations under the final judgment were not reduced.

Read More »
June 27, 2013 PublicationWhy Sue For Bad Faith When Consequential Damages Are Available?

Bad faith aside, insurers often assume a claim's ‘‘total" exposure under the insurance contract is the policy's limit.  Courts traditionally allow insureds to recover contractual damages based on the limit, plus legal interest.  However, a new trend is emerging in some jurisdictions.

Read More »
May 29, 2013 PublicationCertiorari Redefined: Would the "Functional Restatement" Function?

Some pretrial rulings can impose unbearable pressures on a litigant, change the course of a case, and cause lasting harm.  Sometimes, your client just cannot wait until the end of a case to appeal. Imagine that the trial court has just issued a non-final order adverse to your client that you think will likely be reversed on appeal.

Read More »
Key Points