Judge reading opinion from the bench.

Order Compelling Discovery From Non-Party Attorney Reversed Because Trial Court Did Not Properly Assess Attorney’s Privilege Claim

In Varela v. OLA Condominium Ass’n, Inc. (Fla. 3d DCA Aug. 21, 2019), a condominium association subpoenaed a nonparty attorney to appear for deposition in the case, and produce numerous documents related to various corporate entities. The attorney filed a motion for protective order, claiming that the subpoena requested documents protected by the attorney-client privilege. […]

Elderly woman being assisted to stand up and use a walker.

Does a Patient’s Fall at a Medical Facility Constitute Medical Malpractice, or Ordinary Negligence? Small Factual Distinctions Make a Big Difference

Under Florida law, the mere fact that a negligent act occurred in a medical setting does not make it medical negligence. The distinction is important, because vastly different laws and procedures apply to each class of claim. Most importantly, a condition precedent to bringing a medical negligence claim is compliance with the presuit screening and […]

Courtroom scene with lawyer arguing before jury.

Jury Selection: Odd Facts Lead to Rare Case Where Cause Challenge to a Juror Is Preserved Without a Final Objection to the Jury Panel and Without a Request for Additional Peremptory Challenges

In Sanchez v. GEICO Indem. Co. (Fla. 1st DCA July 22, 2019), an unusual series of events caused a juror to be improperly included on a panel. The First DCA affirmed the trial court’s granting of a new trial, despite the fact that the party opposing the juror did not make a final objection to […]

Construction worker working on a wood frame of a building under construction, with ladder nearby.

Construction Law: Because Attic Ladder is an Improvement To Real Property, Statute of Repose Applies

In Harrell v. The Ryland Group (Fla. 1st DCA Aug. 13, 2019), a homeowner was injured when an attic ladder collapsed underneath him. The homeowner sued the builder, alleging that the builder was negligent in its installation of the ladder. The builder moved for summary judgment, arguing that the homeowner’s claim was barred by the […]

Stack of $US 50 bills with notebook, glasses, and newspaper.

Nominal Proposals For Settlement Are Enforceable If Good Faith Basis Exists For Concluding That Exposure Is Minimal

In Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida v. Lewis Tein, P.L. (Fla. 3d DCA August 14, 2019), a nominal proposal for settlement was upheld because the party making the proposal had a good-faith basis for concluding that its exposure was minimal. The underlying case involved a convoluted saga between the Miccosukee Tribe and its former […]

Image of a semi truck traveling along a road at sunset.

Even With Clear Video Evidence, Summary Judgment Not Available If Video Contradicted By Witness Testimony

In Lopez v. Wilsonart (Fla. 5th DCA Jul 12, 2019), the Fifth DCA held that a trial court erred by granting summary judgment based upon video evidence. A question of fact existed because an eyewitness’s testimony differed from the video, even though the video completely contradicted an eyewitness’s testimony about the facts of the incident. […]