All About Experts – Florida Litigation Appellate Opinions, May 23-June 3, 2016

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail

Every week, Scott J. Edwards, P.A. brings you this summary of selected opinions issued by Florida’s appellate courts in the previous week, EDWARDS-SMALL_002511with a focus on opinions discussing civil procedure, appellate procedure, trial practice, evidence, commercial litigation, insurance litigation, technology, and personal injury litigation.  This article covers the weeks of May 23-June 3, 2016.  Click here to learn more about Scott Edwards’ appellate law services.

Expert Opinions, Sequestration of Witnesses, New Trial Dismex Food, Inc. v. Harris (Fla. 3d DCA June 1, 2016) In this personal injury case, the key issue was whether differences in two post-incident MRIs, taken several months apart, revealed that a new injury occurred between the time the two MRIs were taken. At trial, the plaintiff’s doctor testified for the first time that the earlier MRI could not be relied upon due to its poor diagnostic quality. The next day, the defendant’s expert testified that the earlier MRI was indeed of diagnostic quality, and concluded that his comparison of the two MRIs showed that an intervening injury must have happened at some time after the first MRI.

The trial court granted plaintiff’s motion for new trial. The trial court ruled that the defense expert’s testimony constituted a new opinion not contained in his report, in violation of a motion in limine. Also, the trial court ruled that defense counsel violated an order for sequestration of witnesses by sharing the plaintiff doctor’s opinion on the quality of the first MRI with the defense expert. The rule of sequestration is intended to prevent a witness’s testimony from being influenced by other witness’s testimony. If a witness’s testimony does not substantially differ from what it would have been absent a violation of the sequestration rule, there is no grounds for a new trial or mistrial.

The Third DCA reversed, holding that the defense expert’s testimony about the quality of the first MRI was consistent with his expert report. The defense expert’s report discussed the MRI’s findings in detail, discussing numerous specific findings. Thus, it defies logic and common sense to argue that the defense expert’s testimony that the first MRI was of diagnostic quality was an undisclosed opinion. Likewise, any information purportedly shared by defense counsel with the expert witness did not materially alter the witness’s testimony.

Daubert is Still Not Dead Bunin v. Matrixx Initiatives (Fla. 4th DCA June 1, 2016) The Fourth DCA holds that the trial court did not err in applying the Daubert standard to expert testimony, even though the case was filed before the effective date of the Daubert statute. Daubert is a purely procedural statute because it only relates to the admission of evidence. Therefore, the statute can be applied retroactively.

Parental Consent for Medical Treatment, Medical Provider Battery Angeli v. Kluka (Fla. 1st DCA May 25, 2016): Under Florida law, there is no cause of action for battery against a medical provider if one parent consents to a child’s medical procedure, but the other objects. In reaching its decision, the First DCA analyzed the limited statutory and case law regarding parental or guardian consent for medical treatment, and found that these sources uniformly authorized a singular parent or guardian to provide consent for treatment. The First DCA further concluded that a rule requiring both parents’ consent would place the health care provider in the untenable position of resolving parental disputes.

Lay Opinion Testimony, Daubert R.C. v. State (Fla. 2d DCA May 25, 2016): Florida’s adoption of the Daubert test has not changed long-standing Florida law that lay persons can identify marijuana based upon their personal experience and knowledge. Such testimony is not based on scientific expertise, but rather a laymen’s training and experience. The Second DCA noted that Federal courts have long allowed lay testimony to identify marijuana and other illegal drugs even after their adoption of Daubert.

Continuances Daher v. Pacha NYC (Fla. 3d DCA May 25, 2016) The trial court abused its discretion by dismissing a plaintiff’s case for failure to appear at trial. Plaintiff, a Brazilian citizen, was unable to travel to Florida in time for the trial because approval of his visa was delayed. The trial court refused to continue the case because it had been pending for over three years. Although a trial court has wide discretion on whether to grant or deny a continuance, such discretion is not unlimited. Here, the initial multiyear delay was caused by the defendant’s requested stay. The continuance would not have prejudiced the opposing party, and the delay in visa approval was unexpected and not due to any dilatory actions by plaintiff.

Dismissal Without Prejudice, Kozel Factors FNMA v. Linner (Fla. 2d DCA June 3, 2016) A trial court did not err in dismissing a party’s case without prejudice for failure to appear at a case management conference. The dismissed party argued that the trial court should have applied the factors from the case of Kozel v. Ostendorf, 629 So. 2d 814 (Fla. 1993) before dismissing its case. However, a trial court is only required to engage in a Kozel analysis if the dismissal is with prejudice. Because the case here was dismissed without prejudice, the party may still have its day in court if it chooses to refile the case.

EDWARDS-SMALL_002511Scott J. Edwards is an appellate and civil litigation attorney in Boca Raton, Florida, with a practice focused on personal injury, commercial litigation, technology law, and insurance law.  He can be reached at scott@scottjedwards.com or 561-609-0760.

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail
linkedinrss

Multimillion Dollar Claim for Lost Profits Affirmed (Florida Litigation Appellate Opinions, May 16-20, 2016)

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail

Every week, Scott J. Edwards, P.A. brings you this summary of selected opinions issued by Florida’s appellate courts in the previous week, EDWARDS-SMALL_002511with a focus on opinions discussing civil procedure, appellate procedure, trial practice, evidence, commercial litigation, insurance litigation, technology, and personal injury litigation.  This article covers the week of May 16-20, 2016.  Click here to learn more about Scott Edwards’ appellate law services.

Commercial Litigation, Causation, Lost Profits Arizona Chemical Co. v. Mohawk Industries, Inc. (Fla. 1st DCA May 20, 2016) Mohawk, a carpet manufacturer, experienced a significant increase in warranty claims on one of its carpet lines. Mohawk eventually traced the problems to defective resin manufacturer by its supplier, Arizona . Mohawk alleged that the defective resin caused sales of the carpet line to fall dramatically, and also damaged the company’s reputation, leading to $95 million in lost profits. Mohawk successfully obtained a $70.1 million verdict at trial, which was affirmed on appeal.

Arizona  first argued on appeal that the trial court erred by excluding evidence that Mohawk’s warranty claims spiked on other lines of carpet at the same time. Thus, Arizona claimed it was prevented from arguing its theory that the increase in warranty claims was caused by quality control problems at Mohawk’s plant, rather than by defects in Arizona’s resin. The trial court, however, properly excluded this evidence because Arizona’s experts failed to properly link the spike in claims on other carpet lines to Arizona’s alleged lack of quality control at the plant. Moreover, Mohawk provided extensive scientific evidence that the carpet line’s problems were caused by chemical defects with Arizona’s resin.

Finally, Mohawk met its burden at trial to show that Arizona’s defective resin was a “substantial factor” in causing its lost profits, and established the amount of lost profits with reasonable certainty.

Appellate Procedure, Notice of Appeal Filed in Wrong Court Bennett v. State (Fla. 1st DCA May 20, 2016) Filing a notice of appeal in the wrong court is not a jurisdictional defect. Thus, the First DCA allowed the appeal in this case to go forward despite timely notice being filed in the wrong court.

Proposals For Settlement Ochoa v. Koppel (Fla. 2d DCA May 20, 2016) A motion to enlarge time to accept a proposal for settlement does not toll the thirty-day deadline to accept the proposal. Rule 1.442, governing proposals for settlement, contains a hard deadline of 30 days to accept a proposal. Furthermore, Rule 1.090, governing enlargement of time periods, does not contain any provision for tolling time periods while a motion for enlargement of time is pending. The Second DCA reasoned that allowing the mere filing of a motion for enlargement of time to automatically toll the acceptance period would frustrate the proposal for settlement rule’s purpose of encouraging timely settlement of claims. The Second DCA certified conflict with the 5th DCA opinion of Goldy v. Corbett Cranes Services, Inc., which allowed the tolling of a deadline to accept a proposal for settlement if a motion for enlargement of time is filed.

Due Process, Notice of Hearing Bank of America v. Fogel (Fla. 4th DCA May 18, 2016) A party’s due process is violated if it receives a notice of hearing on a Friday for a hearing scheduled for the following Monday.

Summary Judgment Burden of Proof Wells Fargo v. Bilecki (Fla. 4th DCA May 18, 2016) In this foreclosure case, the trial court erred by shifting the burden of proof to the bank to oppose the borrowers’ motion for summary judgment. Summary judgment should not have been entered because the borrowers did not meet their initial burden to prove that they did not receive the bank’s demand letter.
EDWARDS-SMALL_002511Scott J. Edwards is an appellate and civil litigation attorney in Boca Raton, Florida, with a practice focused on personal injury, commercial litigation, technology law, and insurance law.  He can be reached at scott@scottjedwards.com or 561-609-0760.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail
linkedinrss
Broken Arm X-Ray

Florida Supreme Court Declares Worker’s Compensation Attorney Fee Caps Unconstitutional

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail

In the long-awaited opinion in Castellanos v. Next Door Co. (Fla. Apr. 28, 2016),EDWARDS-SMALL_002511 the Florida Supreme Court held in a 5-2 decision that Florida’s Worker’s Compensation Statutes, which set a mandatory fee schedule for claimants’ attorneys, are facially unconstitutional.

Most recently amended in 2009, Florida’s Worker’s Compensation statutes mandate a sliding scale for fee awards to a claimant’s attorney: 20% of the first $5,000 of benefits secured, 15% of the next $5,000 of benefits secured, 10% of the remaining amount of benefits secured within 10 years of the claim, and 5% of benefits secured after 10 years. The statute forbade, under penalty of criminal prosecution, a claimant’s lawyer from receiving any compensation for his or her services other than that awarded under the mandatory sliding scale.

The 2009 amendments replaced long-standing statutory language allowing a Judge of Compensation Claims (JCC) to award a “reasonable fee” to a prevailing claimant. Thus, in the Castellanos case, although the claim was complex and vigorously opposed by the employer and its insurance carrier, the amount of benefits secured was only $822.70. The claimant’s attorney was awarded a fee of only $164.54 under the mandatory fee scale, despite reasonably spending 107.2 hours on the defense of the case. The claimant attorney’s fee award was a mere $1.53 per hour worked. The JCC and the First District Court of Appeal both expressed concern about the inadequacy of the fee award, but were bound by precedent to uphold the award.

In declaring the mandatory fee scale unconstitutional, the Florida Supreme Court began its analysis by noting the historical purpose of the worker’s compensation system to provide “simple, expedious” relief to the injured worker in exchange for surrendering the right to bring tort lawsuits for workplace injuries. However, the supreme court has found that in the eighty years since the first worker’s compensation statutes, worker’s compensation laws have become so complex that it is nearly impossible for a claimant to successfully litigate a claim without attorney assistance.

Although the method for calculating fees has changed frequently as the statutes were amended over the years, Florida’s worker’s compensation laws had long allowed the award of reasonable attorneys fees to successful claimants. The 2009 amendments to the worker’s compensation statutes eliminated language allowing a claimant to recover a reasonable fee, thus only allowing fee awards as mandated by the statutory sliding scale.

The Florida Supreme Court held that removing the ability to award a claimant a reasonable attorney’s fee violated the due process requirements of the Florida and United States constitutions. The statute prevents courts from altering a claimant’s fee award, even if there is a finding that the attorney’s fee award is either grossly inadequate or grossly excessive. Thus, the supreme court reasoned, the statute improperly created a conclusive and irrebuttable presumption that attorney’s fees awarded under the statute were reasonable, regardless of the facts of an individual case.

The legislature’s concern about excessive attorney’s fee awards was held to not be a reasonable basis to justify the mandatory fee scale. Rather, the supreme court held that Rule Regulating the Florida Bar 4-1.5(b)(1)(A) provided adequate protection against excessive attorney’s fees. Furthermore, the mandatory fee scale did not protect against excessive fees, because excessive fees could easily result in cases with large recovery amounts. Finally, the fee scale did not provide any penalty to the employer or insurance carrier for wrongfully delaying or denying benefits to injured workers.

Because the supreme court declared the attorney fee provisions in the 2009 amendments to the worker’s compensation statutes unconstitutional, the supreme court revived the previous version of the statute. Thus, although the statutory fee schedule remains the starting point for awarding a claimant’s fee award, a claimant may now present evidence that the application of the fee schedule will result in an unreasonable award. Therefore, a claimant can be awarded fees that deviate from the scale only if the claimant can first prove that the scale results in an unreasonable fee.

Scott J. Edwards is an appellate and civil litigation attorney in Boca Raton, Florida, with a practice focused on personal injury, commercial litigation, technology law, and insurance law.  He can be reached at scott@scottjedwards.com or 561-609-0760.  Click here to learn more about Scott Edwards’ appellate law services.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail
linkedinrss

Rise of The Procedural Decisions: Florida Litigation Appellate Opinions (February 8-19, 2016)

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail

Every week, Scott J. Edwards, P.A. brings you this summary of selected opinions issued by Florida’s appellate courts in the previous week, EDWARDS-SMALL_002511with a focus on opinions discussing civil procedure, appellate procedure, trial practice, evidence, commercial litigation, insurance litigation, technology, and personal injury litigation.  This article covers the weeks of February 8-19, 2016.  Click here to learn more about Scott Edwards’ appellate law services.

Lack of Prosecution Zuppardo v. Dunlap & Moran (Fla. 2d DCA Feb. 12, 2016): The trial court issued a sua sponte notice of lack of prosecution in this case after more than two years of inactivity. The notice stated that the case would be dismissed if no record activity occurred within 60 days. Plaintiff filed several documents before the deadline, but the documents suffered various technical deficiencies. The trial court dismissed the case for lack of prosecution, agreeing with Defendant’s arguments that the technical deficiencies caused the filings to not constitute sufficient record activity.

The Second DCA reversed the dismissal because the filing of any document whatsoever during the 60-day grace period triggered by a notice of lack of prosecution is sufficient to prevent dismissal. As a reminder, the requirement that a filing must affirmatively move the case forward to avoid dismissal has long been abandoned by Florida courts.

Dismissal as a Sanction Jenkins v. Allstate (Fla. 2d DCA Feb. 10, 2016) After numerous instances of Plaintiff’s counsel acting with a lack of diligence, the trial court dismissed this case when Plaintiff’s counsel failed to attend a status conference. The Second DCA reversed because the order of dismissal failed to make specific findings that counsel’s failure to attend was willful, flagrant, persistent, or otherwise aggravated. The case was remanded to allow the trial court an opportunity to make findings as to whether counsel’s behavior justified dismissal.

Final Orders, Counterclaims Morris v. Garcia (Fla. 3d DCA Feb. 10, 2016) A court order dismissing a counterclaim is not an appealable final order of dismissal if the issues in the main claim are interrelated with the issues in the counterclaim.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW

Sign up for the Scott J. Edwards, P.A. mailing list to receive the Florida Litigation Appellate Opinions article every week via email.

Post-Judgment Interest Shoemaker v. Sliger (Fla. 5th DCA Feb. 12, 2016) In jury trial cases where the court enters a money judgment, post-judgment interest begins to accrue on the date the judgment is entered. However, if a jury trial concludes without the entry of a money judgment, and an appeal later results in a remand for entry of a money judgment, post-trial interest is deemed to accrue from the date of the jury’s verdict.

Attorney-Client Privilege, 57.105 Motion Tedrow v. Cannon (Fla. 2d DCA Feb. 19, 2016) A party may not compel disclosure of attorney-client privilege or opinion work product in support of a motion for Section 57.105 sanctions.

Medicaid Liens, Wrongful Death Estate of Hernandez v. Agency for Health Care Admin. (Fla. 3d DCA Feb. 17, 2016) Under Florida’s Medicaid Third Party Liability Act, Medicaid is a payer of last resort. Thus, its liens have priority over any other claims to funds received from judgments or settlements. In a wrongful death action, a Medicaid lien must be satisfied before allocating a settlement between the estate and the survivors. This is true even though wrongful death damages recovered by the estate and the survivors are distinct.

Daubert Hearings Rojas v. Rodriguez (Fla. 3d DCA Feb. 17, 2016) A party challenging the scientific basis of an expert’s opinion has the burden of requesting a Daubert hearing before the conclusion of a trial. Thus, in this case, the Third DCA reversed a granting of a new trial where no Daubert objection was made until after trial.

Attorney’s Fees Petrovsky v. HSBC Bank (Fla. 4th DCA Feb. 17, 2016)  Because awards of attorney’s fees is typically are not liquidated damages, an evidentiary hearing must be held to establish an amount of reasonable attorney’s fees.

Request for Admissions Chelminsky v. Branch Banking & Trust Co. (Fla. 4th DCA Feb. 17, 2016) In this foreclosure case, the bank failed to respond to the homeowner’s requests for admissions. The homeowner obtained a ruling deeming the admissions to be admitted, and the bank’s motions seeking relief from the order were all denied. However, at the trial years later, a successor judge denied the homeowner’s motion in limine to enforce the admissions, and entered a judgment of foreclosure. The Fourth DCA reversed, holding that although the original judge likely committed reversible error by not granting relief from the admissions, the successor judge also erred in failing to grant the motion in limine before trial. The homeowner was entitled to rely on the admissions, and was prejudiced by the successor judge reversing the original judge’s orders at the last minute. According to the Fourth DCA, the homeowner relied on the admissions in conducting discovery and preparing for trial, and thus should have had more notice before the admissions were vacated.
EDWARDS-SMALL_002511Scott J. Edwards is an appellate and civil litigation attorney in Boca Raton, Florida, with a practice focused on personal injury, commercial litigation, technology law, and insurance law.  He can be reached at scott@scottjedwards.com or 561-609-0760.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail
linkedinrss

Sheriff Not Liable For Damages Due to Failure to Corral Horse (Florida Litigation Appellate Opinions (February 1-5, 2016)

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail

Every week, Scott J. Edwards, P.A. brings you this summary of selected opinions issued by Florida’s appellate courts in the previous week, EDWARDS-SMALL_002511with a focus on opinions discussing civil procedure, appellate procedure, trial practice, evidence, commercial litigation, insurance litigation, technology, and personal injury litigation.  This article covers the week of February 1-5, 2016.  Click here to learn more about Scott Edwards’ appellate law services.

Police Officer Duty, Responsibility for Escaped Animals Manfre v. Shinkle (Fla. 5th DCA Feb. 5, 2016) In this case, Plaintiff was injured when her vehicle crashed after striking a dead horse on a public roadway. Earlier that evening, a sheriff’s deputy responded to a call that horses were roaming free on the road. When the deputy arrived on the scene, the horses were spooked by the lights on the deputy’s vehicle and returned to their pasture. The deputy made no effort to contact the owner of the horses or otherwise ensure that the horses were secure in their pasture. One of the horses later returned to the road, and was killed by another motorist before Plaintiff’s crash.

The Fifth DCA held that the Sheriff owed no duty to protect Plaintiff from the hazard caused by the escaped horses. Under the public duty doctrine, any tort duty owed by the government to an individual must be specific and beyond the general duty the governmental entity owes to the public as a whole. Therefore, because a sheriff’s duties to enforce the law and protect citizens apply to the public as a whole, a sheriff does not owe a duty to an individual who is injured by the sheriff’s failure to enforce the law or generally protect the public. Also, the deputy’s actions in this case did not create a foreseeable zone of risk, nor did his acts create liability under the undertaker’s doctrine. Indeed, the deputy’s response to the call reduced the risk of injury because he caused the horses to return to their pasture.

Property Insurance, Assignment of Benefits Bioscience West, Inc. v. Gulfstream Prop. & Cas. Co. (Fla. 1st DCA Feb. 5, 2016) In this first party property insurance case, the Second DCA held that an insurance company cannot prohibit its insured from assigning post-loss benefit under an insurance policy to a third party. The homeowners insurance policy at issue in this case contain a provision limiting the assignment of the policy without the insurer’s with written consent. The homeowner, after suffering water damage, hired a water mitigation service. The homeowner executed assignment of insurance benefits form authorizing the water mitigation company to directly bill and receive payment from the insurance company for the mitigation services. The insurance company denied the claim, leading to the the water mitigation company suing the insurer for wrongful denial of coverage.

The Second DCA held that the policy’s language only prohibits the assignment of an entire policy, and does not prohibit the assignment of specific post-loss benefits. The court rejected the insurer’s argument that the assignment of the claim violated Florida’s public adjusting statutes. The water mitigation company only performed emergency services; it did not adjust the claim and did not determine the amount due under the policy. Finally, Florida over 100 years of Florida case law has held that an insurance company cannot prohibit post-loss assignments of benefits.

Construction Defect, Damages Gray v. Mark Hall Homes, Inc. (Fla. 2d DCA Feb. 5, 2016) In this construction defect case, the contractor constructed a single-family house without flashing connecting the roof to the walls, causing extensive water intrusion damage. Indeed, the damage to the home was so bad that numerous witnesses testified that the home was worthless, was among the worst that they had ever seen, was uninsurable, that no bank would allow a mortgage on the property, and that the owner was better off bulldozing the property and starting anew. At trial, the jury awarded the owner damages equal to the entire amount of the construction contract.

Nonetheless, the trial judge reduced Plaintiff’s award $16,000, reasoning that the only evidence of damage was testimony of a general contractor who testified that a balcony was replaced for $16,000. The Second DCA reversed, holding that the jury’s verdict should be reinstated.  Under Florida law, there are two valid ways to measure breach of contract damages for defective construction. First, a jury can award the reasonable cost of construction to complete the work as described in the contract. Alternatively, a jury can award the difference between the value of the product described in the contract, and the value of the defective product actually delivered by the contractor. The purpose of  money damages is to put the injured party in as good a position as if full performance had occurred. Therefore, it was proper for the jury to award damages by concluding that the house contractor built was worthless.

Objections, Preservation of Error Aris v. Applebaum (Fla. 3d DCA Feb. 3, 2016): A party objected to a clearly improper question asked by opposing counsel during trial. The court sustained the objection, the question was stricken, and the jury was instructed to ignore the question. However, the party failed to preserve its objection to the question for a motion for new trial or appellate review because it did not make a contemporaneous motion for mistrial. The Third DCA noted that in this situation, a party may move for mistrial, but can also request that the trial court reserve ruling on the motion for mistrial until after the verdict is returned.

Class Certification, Delay Osborne v. Emmer (Fla. 4th DCA Feb. 3, 2016) Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.220(d)(1) requires that class representation be pursued as soon as practicable after a pleading alleges a class action. Here, the trial court did not err by denying class certification when more than five years had passed without Plaintiff attempting to certify the class.

EDWARDS-SMALL_002511Scott J. Edwards is an appellate and civil litigation attorney in Boca Raton, Florida, with a practice focused on personal injury, commercial litigation, technology law, and insurance law.  He can be reached at scott@scottjedwards.com or 561-609-0760.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail
linkedinrss

Expert Witness Can’t Change Testimony to Avoid Summary Judgment, and Fabre Defense Dirty Tricks (Florida Litigation Appellate Opinions, January 24-29, 2016)

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail

Every week, Scott J. Edwards, P.A. brings you this summary of selected opinions issued by Florida’s appellate courts in the previous week, EDWARDS-SMALL_002511with a focus on opinions discussing civil procedure, appellate procedure, trial practice, evidence, commercial litigation, insurance litigation, technology, and personal injury litigation.  This article covers the week of January 24-29, 2016.  Click here to learn more about Scott Edwards’ appellate law services.

Products Liability, Expert Witnesses, Summary Judgment Lesnik v. Duval Ford (Fla. 1st DCA Jan. 28, 2016) In this products liability case, Plaintiff was injured in a single-vehicle rollover accident. Plaintiff owned a used pickup truck whose original owner had installed an aftermarket lift kit and modified the suspension system. However, Plaintiff also made numerous repairs and aftermarket modifications to the truck. Plaintiff sued the dealership that sold the truck, alleging that the dealer was liable for selling the truck in a defective condition by installing the suspension system. Plaintiff also sued the dealer who sold the used truck to Plaintiff, claiming that the used truck dealer was negligent for failing to inspect the truck and warn of the danger of lifted vehicles.

Plaintiff’s expert witness, however, testified at deposition that he did not have any opinions that the conduct of either dealership caused Plaintiff’s accident. The dealerships moved for summary judgment because the expert’s admission caused there to be no evidence of liability against them. However, Plaintiff filed an affidavit by the expert in response to the summary judgment motions in an attempt to allege new opinions of liability against the used truck dealer. The trial court struck the affidavit, and entered summary judgment in favor of the dealerships.

The First DCA affirmed the striking of the expert’s affidavit, and affirmed the summary judgments. The expert’s affidavit impermissibly contradicted the expert’s deposition testimony without explanation. A litigant confronted with an adverse motion for summary judgment may not contradict or disavow prior sworn testimony with contradictory sworn affidavit testimony. Thus, given the expert’s original deposition testimony, there was no evidence that the lift kit was defective or improperly installed, nor was there any evidence that the used truck dealer breached any duty to inspect or warn Plaintiff of the truck’s condition.

Withdrawal of Fabre Defense, New Trial Edwards v. Rosen (Fla. 2d DCA Jan. 29, 2016): In this medical malpractice wrongful death case, the Second DCA reversed a judgment in favor of a doctor due to gamesmanship caused by the doctor’s withdrawal of his Fabre defenses at trial. Plaintiff’s complaint alleged that the patient’s death was caused by the negligence of several doctors. All but one of the doctors were either granted summary judgment or settled with Plaintiff. Shortly before trial, the doctor’s motion to assert a Fabre defense as to the settling doctors was granted over Plaintiff’s objection. At trial, Plaintiff presented evidence of the party doctor’s negligence, as well as the negligence of the Fabre doctors. However, during his case, the doctor withdrew the Fabre defense. The jury’s verdict was in favor of the doctor.

The Second DCA held that Plaintiff’s motions for mistrial and motion for new trial should have been granted. A Fabre defense must be raised before trial because the defense may affect both the presentation of the case and the trial court’s ruling on evidentiary issues. Thus, the cumulative effect of the last minute amendment to add a Fabre defense, the withdrawal of the defense at trial, and the trial court’s failure to give a curative instruction to the jury generated prejudice that Plaintiff could not cure. The doctor’s tactics here constituted gamesmanship because they allowed him to gain the benefit of having evidence of the other doctor’s negligence introduced at trial, but without the cost of having fault apportioned between himself and the other doctors.

Forum Non Conveniens Abeid-Saba v. Carnival Corp. (Fla. 3d DCA Jan. 27, 2016) The Third DCA upheld orders dismissing lawsuits arising from the Costa Condordia wreck under the doctrine of Forum Non ConveniensItaly is an available and adequate forum for Plaintiffs’ claims, even though it lacks procedural benefits such as class actions. Private factors weigh in favor of litigation in Italy because the vast majority of evidence and witnesses are in Italy. Public interest factors also weigh in favor of Italy over Florida, as most of the Plaintiffs were not United States residents, and virtually all of the allegedly negligent conduct occurred in Italy.

Appellate Sanctions HSBC Bank v. Biscayne Point Condo. Ass’n (Fla. 3d DCA Jan. 27, 2016): Yes, you can get sanctioned as the appellee. In this case, the appellee caused a judgment to be entered at the trial court based on an “indefensible” position. The appellee failed to appear in the appeal, failed to file a brief, and failed to concede error on appeal.

Appellate Procedure Young v. State (Fla. 1st DCA Jan. 25, 2016): A party cannot seek relief on appeal for an error committed by the party.
EDWARDS-SMALL_002511Scott J. Edwards is an appellate and civil litigation attorney in Boca Raton, Florida, with a practice focused on personal injury, commercial litigation, technology law, and insurance law.  He can be reached at scott@scottjedwards.com or 561-609-0760.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail
linkedinrss

Florida Litigation Appellate Opinions: First Amendment Victory for Florida Newspaper, and Strict Compliance Required For Proposals for Settlement (January 11-22, 2016)

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail

Every week, Scott J. Edwards, P.A. brings you this summary of selected opinions issued by Florida’s appellate courts in the previous week, EDWARDS-SMALL_002511with a focus on opinions discussing civil procedure, appellate procedure, trial practice, evidence, commercial litigation, insurance litigation, technology, and personal injury litigation.  This article covers the weeks of January 11-22, 2016.  Click here to learn more about Scott Edwards’ appellate law services.

First Amendment, Privacy Rights for Jailhouse Conversations Palm Beach Newspapers v. State (Fla. 4th DCA Jan 21, 2016) In a criminal case, a jailhouse snitch was accused of receiving numerous benefits from his jailers in exchange for testifying at trial against numerous accused criminals. The trial court improperly entered an order sealing transcripts of the snitch’s telephone calls, prohibiting their publication, and ordering a newspaper to remove the transcripts and an article about the issue from its web site. The Fourth DCA quashed the trial court’s order, holding that inmates have no expectation of privacy in their telephone conversations. Furthermore, the order violated the newspaper’s first amendment rights because it improperly prohibited the publication of lawfully obtained, truthful information that was clearly a matter of public concern.

Proposal For Settlement Colvin v. Clements & Ashmore, P.A. (Fla. 1st DCA Jan. 15, 2016) Because the rules governing proposals for settlement and offers of judgment must be strictly complied with, the First DCA affirmed that a proposal for settlement was unenforceable because it failed to state that attorney’s fees and punitive damages were part of the claim. The proposal was unenforceable even though Plaintiff’s complaint did not seek attorney’s fees or punitive damages.

Slip and Fall, Summary Judgment Perez-Rios v. Graham Cos. (Fla. 3d DCA Jan. 20, 2016) The trial court properly entered summary judgment in favor of the property owner in this slip and fall case. Plaintiff alleged that she tripped on a step leading into a building owned by Defendant. The step was plainly visible, and there was no evidence of a foreign object, disrepair, inadequate lighting, slippery conditions, or any other defect. Thus, the step was not a defective condition, and was open an obvious to Plaintiff.

Dismissal as a Sanction Prater v. Comprehensive Health Center (Fla. 3d DCA Jan. 20, 2016): The trial court erred by striking a party’s pleadings for the late disclosure of evidence during jury selection for a trial. The striking of pleadings for a discovery violation is a severe sanction that should only be employed in extreme circumstances. There was no finding in the trial court record that the late disclosure of evidence was deliberate. Thus, the trial court should have employed a lesser remedy such as excluding the document from evidence, or by awarding attorney’s fees and costs caused by the late disclosure.

Clerk’s Default Stuart-Findlay v. Bank of America (Fla. 4th DCA Jan. 20, 2016): Once a defendant files a paper in an action, the clerk no longer may enter a default against the defendant, regardless of whether the defendant files a timely response to the complaint.

Condominium & Planned Development Law Certification In re: Fla. Bar Rules (Fla. Jan. 21, 2016): The Florida Supreme Court approved new board certification in the area of condominium & planned development law.

Foreclosure, Civil Procedure In re: Fla. R. Civ. P. (Fla. Jan. 14, 2016) Amending the rules of civil procedure on pleading requirements in foreclosure cases.
EDWARDS-SMALL_002511Scott J. Edwards is an appellate and civil litigation attorney in Boca Raton, Florida, with a practice focused on personal injury, commercial litigation, and insurance law.  He can be reached at scott@scottjedwards.com or 561-609-0760.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail
linkedinrss

Florida Litigation Appellate Opinions: Spat over Michael Jackson Hologram is a Business Dispute, Not Cyberstalking

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail

Every week, Scott J. Edwards, P.A. brings you this summary of selected opinions issued by Florida’s appellate courts in the previous week, EDWARDS-SMALL_002511with a focus on opinions discussing civil procedure, appellate procedure, trial practice, evidence, commercial litigation, insurance litigation, technology, and personal injury litigation.  This article covers the weeks of January 4-8, 2016.  Click here to learn more about Scott Edwards’ appellate law services.

Cyber Stalking Injunction David v. Textor (Fla. 4th DCA Jan. 6, 2015): Two businessmen, David and Textor, were involved in a dispute about the use of a hologram of Michael Jackson in a music performance. Textor obtained a cyberstalking temporary injunction against David, claiming that David engaged in several acts of cyberstalking. Textor claimed that David sent threatening communications arising from pending litigation between the men’s companies. Textor further complained that David posted embarrassing information about Textor on social media, and that David stated in an interview that he “would have killed Textor if he could.” The Fourth DCA reversed, as the acts complained of did not violate Florida’s cyberstalking laws. The behavior did not cause substantial emotional distress, and served the legitimate purpose of attempting to pursuade Textor to drop his company’s lawsuit. Moreover, social media posts to be read by others are not directed to a particular person under anti-stalking laws. Finally, the trial court’s injunction violated the First Amendment as a prior restraint on speech.

Tobacco, Improper Closing Argument, Jury Instructions, Detrimental Reliance, Comparative Fault, Punitive Damages R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. Calloway (Fla. 4th DCA Jan. 6, 2016) In this Engle progeny tobacco case, Plaintiff was awarded a multimillion-dollar verdict. The Fourth DCA reversed the judgment in part, touching on numerous topics:

  • Improper Closing Argument: It is improper for counsel to suggest in closing argument that a defendant should be punished for contesting damages at trial or failing to take responsibility for their acts. During closing argument, Plaintiff’s counsel made numerous improper arguments regarding the tobacco companies’ failure to accept responsibility for their behavior. Although Plaintiff’s counsel’s improper arguments throughout the case pushed the envelope and nearly caused reversal, the Fourth DCA nonetheless ruled that the trial court did not commit reversible error by sustaining the objections, but not granting a mistrial.
  • Jury Instructions on Fraudulent Concealment: The Fourth DCA held that the trial court did not properly instruct the jury on Plaintiff’s fraudulent concealment claim. The trial court erred by rejecting Defendants’ proposed jury instruction that stated the required elements of a reliance on a fraudulent concealment claim. A trial court abuses its discretion if prejudice results from the failure to give a proposed jury instruction that accurately states the law, is supported by the facts, is necessary for the jury’s proper resolution of the issue, and is not redundant. Numerous Florida tobacco opinions have discussed the requirement to prove the element of detrimental reliance on a fraudulent concealment claim. Note that in Engle progeny tobacco cases, a plaintiff alleging fraudulent concealment must only prove that he or she detrimentally relied on the tobacco company’s misinformation.
  • Punitive Damages: Because the award of punitive damages was based in part on the reversed award for the fraudulent concealment damages, a new trial is required on the entitlement to and amount of punitive damages.
  • Comparative Fault In tobacco cases, comparative fault applies regardless of whether a plaintiff alleges that the tobacco industry’s behavior was negligent or intentional.

Tobacco, Federal Preemption, Certified Question R.J. Reynolds v. Marotta (Fla. 4th DCA Jan. 6, 2016): In another Engle tobacco case, the Fourth DCA rejected R.J. Reynolds’ argument that Federal law preempts state law tort claims based on the sale of cigarettes. RJR argued that because Congress has expressly allowed the sale of cigarettes, and because the Engle case establishes that all cigarettes are inherently dangerous and defective, strict liability and negligence claims are implicitly preempted by Federal laws allowing the sale of cigarettes. The Federal appeals court for the 11th Circuit in Graham v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., 782 F.3d 1261 (11th Cir. 2015) recently agreed with this argument in reversing a Florida tobacco verdict. The Fourth DCA expressed its disagreement with the Graham opinion, arguing that Federal law regulates the manufacture, labeling and advertising of cigarettes, but does not prohibit a state from banning the sale of cigarettes. Thus, tobacco tort cases are not preempted by Federal law.

The Fourth DCA certified this issue as a question of great public importance given the contrary state and Federal opinions on the issue. This issue appears destined to be ultimately resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Libel, Internet Reviews, Appellate Procedure Blake v. Ann-Marie Giustibelli PA (Fla. 4th DCA Jan. 6, 2016): The Fourth DCA affirmed a verdict for libel and breach of contract (including punitive damages for libel) in a suit by an attorney against her former client and the client’s husband. The attorney represented the wife in a dissolution of marriage proceeding. However, after the attorney-client relationship broke down, the client and the husband both posted defamatory reviews of the attorney on various internet sites. The reviews falsely claimed that the attorney lied about her fee and that she falsified a contract. Because these reviews contained false allegations of fact, the attorney was entitled to recover in a libel action. The Fourth DCA rejected Defendant’s first amendment  free speech claims, holding that a cause of action for libel per se remains valid against non-media defendants.

An interesting appellate procedure note: the Fourth DCA rejected one of the party’s notice of settlement and attempted withdrawal of the appeal. An appellate court has the discretion to retain jurisdiction over an appeal that has been voluntarily dismissed if the case presents a question of public importance, and substantial judicial labor has already been expended.

Voluntary Dismissal, Mistake Cottrell v. Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortg. Corp. (Fla. 2d DCA Jan. 8, 2016): In this foreclosure case, the holder of the mortgage voluntarily dismissed its complaint because its law firm advised that the claim was potentially barred by the statute of limitations. Plaintiff later moved to vacate the dismissal for mistake, alleging that it mistakenly dismissed the action before knowing that the limitations period was tolled by the defendant’s military service. The Second DCA ruled that the trial court should not have granted the motion to vacate. Judgmental or tactical errors are not “mistakes” that can relieve a party from a voluntary dismissal under Rule 1.540. Rather, relief is only available from a voluntary dismissal if there is a mistake in execution of a party or lawyer’s decision regarding voluntary dismissal (for example, a lawyer’s staff accidentally titles the dismissal notice as “with prejudice”).

Offers of Judgment, Hearsay, Expert Testimony Mootry v. Bethune-Cookman University (Fla. 5th DCA Jan. 8, 2016). In this employment law case, a tenured professor challenged his termination from the university due to sexual harassment allegations. The Fifth DCA held that the trial court committed reversible error in admitting a hearsay report containing statements from students accusing the professor of sexual harassment. Furthermore, the trial court erred in allowing the university’s attorney to testify as an expert. The attorney testified to her opinions that the university had cause to terminate the professor, and that the university gave the professor due process. The attorney’s expert testimony should have been excluded because it only told the jury how to decide the case, and did not help the jury determine what occurred.

The 5th DCA also made two rulings based upon multiple offers of judgment served in the case. First, it upheld the trial court’s ruling that several $100 proposals for settlement made by the university were invalid because they were not made in good faith. The trial court was within its discretion to rule that the offer did not bear a reasonable relationship to the amount of damages suffered and a realistic assessment of liability. Second, a later offer of judgment by the university for $140,000 was upheld. Under the holding in Mathis v. Cook, 140 So. 3d 654 (Fla. 5th DCA 2014), an offer of judgment is not ambiguous if it requires release of other entities besides the party serving the offer.

Premises Liability Christakis v. Tivoli Terrace, LLC (Fla. 4th DCA Jan. 6, 2016): The trial court improperly granted a judgment not withstanding the verdict in this premises liability case. Although the evidence showed that the steps Plaintiff fell on were in disrepair, Plaintiff testified that she did not know what exactly caused her fall. Because expert testimony and photographs showed the steps in a damaged condition, the jury was entitled to find that Plaintiff’s fall was caused by the steps’ defective condition.

Judicial Disqualification State v. Oliu (Fla. 3d DCA Jan. 6, 2016): The Third DCA denied a petition for writ of prohibition seeking the disqualification of a trial judge. Although the State properly alleged facts justifying recusal, the petition was denied because the recusal motion was not filed within 10 days of discovering the grounds for recusal.
EDWARDS-SMALL_002511Scott J. Edwards is an appellate and civil litigation attorney in Boca Raton, Florida, with a practice focused on personal injury, commercial litigation, and insurance law.  He can be reached at scott@scottjedwards.com or 561-609-0760.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail
linkedinrss

Article by Scott Edwards on Florida Supreme Court Collateral Source Ruling Published in The Advocate

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail

I am happy to announce that my article, Florida Supreme Court Rules That the Collateral Source Rule Bars Evidence of Future Government Benefits in Personal Injury Cases, was published in the January 2016 issue of The Advocate, a publication of the South Palm Beach County Bar Association. I have reproduced the article below.

Florida Supreme Court Rules That the Collateral Source Rule Bars Evidence of Future Government Benefits in Personal Injury Cases

by Scott J. Edwards

In Joerg v. State Farm, 40 Fla. L. Weekly S 553 (Fla. Oct. 15, 2015), the Florida Supreme Court resolved a split among the Dis- trict Courts of Appeal to hold that evidence of future governmental benefits, such as Medicaid and Medicare, is inadmissible as evidence to reduce the amount of future damages in a personal injury case under the Collateral Source Rule.

The Collateral Source Rule regulates both evidence and damages. In a personal injury case, a trial court is required under Florida Statutes § 768.76(1) to reduce the plaintiff’s damages award by all amounts that have been paid for the benefit of the plaintiff from any collateral source. However, there are no reductions in damages for any collateral sources for which a right of subroga- tion or reimbursement exists. Section 768.76(1) explicitly states that benefits from Medicaid and Medicare are not collateral sources under the rule, because these programs retain a right of reimbursement.

As a rule of evidence, the Collateral Source Rule forbids admission of evidence of payments received by a party from insurance or government benefits. The rule is based on a concern that such evidence will cause a jury to reduce the amount of a damages award, believing that the plaintiff has already been compensated by insurance or governmental benefits. The evidentiary Collat- eral Source Rule thus prevents a jury from altering its verdict due to a belief that the plaintiff will receive a windfall recovery.

However, in Florida Physician’s Insurance Reciprocal v. Stanley, 452 So. 2d 514 (Fla. 1984), the Florida Supreme Court stated an exception to the Collateral Source Rule, allowing a party to introduce evidence of free or inexpensive services from govern- mental or charitable programs to reduce the amount of future damages awarded to a plaintiff. The supreme court concluded that the Collateral Source Rule should only apply to benefits earned by the plaintiff.

Florida courts, however, have struggled to apply the Stanley rule, because it is often unclear whether government benefits are free and available to all, or earned due to payments such as payroll taxes and deductions from Social Security benefits. In the Joerg case, the Second District Court of Appeal ruled that a plaintiff’s future Medicare benefits were free and unearned, and therefore admissible into evidence under the Stanley rule. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. v. Joerg, 38 Fla. L. Weekly D1378 (Fla. 2d DCA June 21, 2013).

The Florida Supreme Court rejected the Second District’s conclusion that Medicare benefits are free and unearned. Joerg v. State Farm, 40 Fla. L. Weekly S 553 (Fla. Oct. 15, 2015). Rather, under Federal law, Medicare is a “secondary payer,” authorized to make conditional payments in situations where a primary payer such as an insurer or a tortfeasor does not make prompt pay- ments. The administrators of the Medicare program vigorously enforce its right of repayment from primary payers, including the filing of independent causes of action to recover payments for medical expenses that should have been paid by primary in- surance or a tortfeasor. Medicare’s right of recovery is broad: it can recover funds paid to any entity, including beneficiaries, doctors, attorneys, and private insurers. Medicare can also recover double damages and civil penalties when a primary payer fails to properly reimburse the government for payments made by Medicare.

Thus, rather than being a “free” government benefit, future Medicare benefits are instead a significant liability for all beneficiar- ies: even if a plaintiff does not directly pay for Medicare benefits, he or she nonetheless must reimburse Medicare with any per- sonal injury judgment they receive. Furthermore, Medicare’s right of reimbursement prevents a plaintiff from receiving windfall damages on top of benefits paid by Medicare. Therefore, evidence of future Medicare benefits should be excluded from evi- dence.

The Florida Supreme Court’s ruling is further supported on policy grounds, as evidence of future Medicare benefits is prejudi- cial and speculative. There is no way of knowing the amount of government benefits a plaintiff will receive in the future, or whether the government programs will always be available due to changes in the law.

Finally, the Joerg court’s holding also applies to Medicaid benefits, as Medicaid is likewise a secondary payer with rights of reimbursement.

Scott J. Edwards of Scott J. Edwards, P.A. is an attorney with a practice focused on appeals and litigation support for personal injury, insurance law, and commercial litigation matters. He can be reached at scott@scottjedwards.com or (561) 331-0779

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail
linkedinrss

Litigating Away in Margaritaville: Florida Litigation Appellate Opinions, December 21-31, 2015

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail

Every week, Scott J. Edwards, P.A. brings you this summary of selected opinions issued by Florida’s appellate courts in the previous week, EDWARDS-SMALL_002511with a focus on opinions discussing civil procedure, appellate procedure, trial practice, evidence, commercial litigation, insurance litigation, and personal injury litigation.  This article covers the weeks of December 21-31, 2015.  Click here to learn more about Scott Edwards’ appellate law services.

First Amendment, Zoning Ordinances Buehrle v. City of Key West (11th. Cir. Dec. 29, 2015): A tattoo artist challenged a Key West ordinance banning tattoo parlors in the historic district. Key West won summary judgment at the trial court level, successfully arguing that tattoo parlors are inconsistent with the historical character of the district, and have a negative impact on tourism if inebriated tourists get tattoos that they later regret. The Eleventh Circuit reversed because the only “evidence” presented by the city of the impact of tattoo parlors on tourism were the lyrics to the Jimmy Buffett song “Margaritaville.” The Eleventh Circuit noted that the lyrics were open to interpretation, as the song’s narrator states that the tattoo “is a real beauty.”

Pain and Suffering Damages Ortega v. Belony (Fla. 3d DCA Dec. 30, 2015): Pain and suffering damages are difficult to calculate and have no set standard of measurement; therefore, such damages are awarded purely at the discretion of the jury. Because pain and suffering awards are intangible and “attempt to measure that which is immeasurable,” a pain and suffering verdict is presumed correct if it is supported by the evidence. In this case, the plaintiff suffered a neck injury in an auto accident. Extensive evidence was presented at trial that the plaintiff successfully recovered from the injuries received in the accident. Therefore, the trial court erred in granting additur because the verdict was supported by the evidence, and there was no showing that the jury was improperly influenced by prejudice, passion, or corruption.

Prevailing Party Attorney’s Fees in Insurance Litigation Citizens Property Ins. Corp. v. Pulloquinga (Fla. 3d DCA Dec. 30, 2015): Following years of contentious litigation, including over 20 depositions taken statewide and multiple summary judgment hearings, the insurer ultimately agreed to pay the insured its full policy limits. The Third DCA affirmed an attorney’s fee multiplier of 1.5 because the case involved unusual issues (including allegations of arson and insurance fraud), and because the evidence showed that the fee multiplier was necessary in order to obtain competent counsel.

Standing Thriving Investments v. Chao (Fla. 3d DCA Dec. 23, 2015): A third party purchased a property at a judicial foreclosure sale. The purchaser later discovered that the property might be subject to a superior mortgage than the one foreclosed. Thus, the purchaser moved to set aside the final judgment upon which the foreclosure sale was based. The trial court ruled that the purchaser did not have standing to vacate the judgment because it was not a party to the foreclosure action, and thus was a stranger to the proceedings. The appellate court likewise dismissed the purchaser’s appeal, because a non-party is a stranger to the record, and does not have standing to bring an appeal.

Contempt, Sanctions, Attorney Alcohol Use Edge-Gougen v. State (Fla. 1st DCA Dec. 28, 2015): An attorney, believing that she was off of work for the rest of the day, drank alcohol at lunch. The attorney later learned that a client had a plea hearing that day, which she attended. The attorney did not behave in an intoxicated matter, did not disrupt proceedings, and was prepared to argue the hearing. Nonetheless, the trial court held her in direct criminal contempt because courtroom witnesses smelled alcohol on her breath. The First DCA reversed the contempt conviction, holding that under the unique facts of this case there was no evidence of contemptuous conduct, and that the trial court made due process errors in arresting the attorney for contempt and compelling a breathalyzer test.

State Court Proceedings After Removal to Federal Court Musa v. Wells Fargo (Fla. 1st DCA Dec. 31, 2015): If a party removes a case to Federal court, the state court is deprived of all jurisdiction in the case, and cannot proceed unless the Federal court enters a remand order. Any state court proceedings after removal are void ab initio.  The state court cannot proceed even if it is obvious that the petition for removal is defective.

 

Statute of Frauds New Dirt, Inc. v. Harrison (Fla. 5th DCA Dec. 31, 2015): If an oral contract does not fix a definite time for performance, and there is nothing in the terms of the contract showing that performance could not take place within one year, the statute of frauds defense is not available.

Attorney’s Fees City of Miami Beach v. Deutzman (Fla. 3d DCA Dec. 23, 2015) Attorneys’ fees cannot be awarded as a matter of equity. Rather, they can only be awarded when expressly provided for by statute, rule, or contract, or as a sanction.
EDWARDS-SMALL_002511Scott J. Edwards is an appellate and civil litigation attorney in Boca Raton, Florida, with a practice focused on personal injury, commercial litigation, and insurance law.  He can be reached at scott@scottjedwards.com or 561-331-0779.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail
linkedinrss