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Florida Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in Public Employee Pension Case

On September 7, the Florida Supreme Court (the “Court”) heard oral arguments concerning an appeal by state officials seeking to overturn a decision issued by state court Judge Jackie Fulford in Leon County, Florida that voided a law that, among other things, required public employees to contribute 3% of their pay into a state retirement system. The central issue in Scott v. Williams, SC122-520, is whether the state of Florida can revise the terms of the public pension plan for active participants who were hired before the law took effect. The State, along with local governments and other public entities that participate in the state retirement system, argued that the lower court’s decision will produce significant financial hardship for the State, which will have to repay an estimated $1 billion in worker contributions if the decision is upheld. No timetable was given for a decision from the Court.

 

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentLitigationConstitutional LawContracts
Tags: Public EmployeesEmployment AgreementsPublic EmployersSenate Bill 88Governmental LitigationFlorida Supreme CourtFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Constitutional Law AttorneysMiami Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Employment Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Labor Law AttorneysMiami Labor Law AttorneysSouth Florida Labor Law AttorneysFlorida Employment AttorneysFlorida Labor LawyersFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Labor LawyerMiami Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Employment Lawyers
Author(s): Brett J. Schneider & Brooke P. Dolara

Florida Supreme Court Adopts Amendments Governing Discovery of Electronically Stored Information

Effective September 1, procedural rule amendments governing discovery of electronically stored information (ESI) will go into effect in Florida courts. These amendments permit discovery of ESI during the pretrial and discovery phases of civil litigation. Rule 1.340, which governs interrogatories, permits production of ESI in response to an interrogatory or specific request. Rule 1.280 sets limitations on discovery and specifies procedures for a recipient of a discovery request to object to the action if producing the ESI is too costly or too burdensome (the Court may still grant the movant’s request, but may be shift some of the cost to the movant). For a complete list of all procedural rule amendments regarding ESI, please click here.

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Categories: Litigation
Tags: Florida Supreme CourtJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaDiscoveryFort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Commercial Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation LawyersMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

Florida Bar Says Undocumented Status Does Not Automatically Disqualify Applicant from Practicing Law

The Florida Bar recently notified the Florida Supreme Court that there were "no good moral character and fitness issues" that would automatically disqualify an undocumented immigrant from being admitted to practice law in Florida.  The Bar had previously denied the application of Jose Godinez-Samperio, a Tampa resident who entered the United States with his parents under a tourist visa.  In its filing with the Court, the Board of Bar Examiners noted that it would wait for the Florida Supreme Court to issue an opinion before making a decision on Mr. Godinez-Samperio's application.  The Court has given no timeline for an advisory opinion on the matter.

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Categories: Ethics & Professional Responsibility
Tags: Florida Supreme Court
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

Third DCA Holds FCRA Does Not Support Claim for Discrimination Based on Pregnancy

Today, Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal issued an employment ruling very favorable to employers, but certified conflict with the Fourth District on the same issue. The decision is Delva v. The Continental Group.   You can read a copy of the Opinion here.

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentLitigationAppellate Law & Practice
Tags: Florida Supreme CourtFort Lauderdale Appellate Law AttorneysMiami Appellate Law AttorneysSouth Florida Appellate Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Employment Law AttorneysMiami Employment Law AttorneysSouth Florida Employment Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Labor Law AttorneysMiami Labor Law AttorneysSouth Florida Labor Law AttorneysFlorida Employment AttorneysFlorida Labor LawyersFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Labor LawyerMiami Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Employment Lawyers
Author(s): Edward G. Guedes

Florida Supreme Court to Tackle Conflict Between 2nd and 5th District Court of Appeal Decisions Reached in CMI Cases

The Florida Supreme Court has recently accepted jurisdiction in Ulloa v. CMI, Inc. to resolve a conflict between the Fifth District Court of Appeal and Second District Court of Appeal in CMI, Inc. v. Landrum. In both cases, our appellate practice chair, Edward G. Guedes, represented CMI. The issue to be reviewed by the Florida Supreme Court relates to the ability of state courts to subpoena documents from an out-of-state corporate witness that happens to do business in the state, but otherwise has no documents, employees or offices in the state.

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Categories: LitigationAppellate Law & PracticeCivil Procedure
Tags: Florida Supreme CourtJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaLaura K. WendellMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Commercial Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Commercial Litigation LawyerMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale Appellate Law AttorneysMiami Appellate Law AttorneysSouth Florida Appellate Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Edward G. Guedes

Florida Supreme Court Abrogates Joint Residency Rule, Gives Plaintiffs Greater Latitude in Selecting Venue

On March 15, the Florida Supreme Court held that a plaintiff suing defendants who reside in different counties is not limited by the “joint residency rule” and can sue in the county of his or her choice.

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Categories: LitigationAppellate Law & PracticeCivil ProcedureTorts
Tags: Florida Supreme CourtJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaLaura K. WendellFlorida LegislatureMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale Appellate Law AttorneysMiami Appellate Law AttorneysSouth Florida Appellate Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Litigation AttorneysMiami Litigation AttorneyNegligence
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

Mandatory Contribution by Public Employees of 3% Earnings to FRS Declared Unconstitutional

In a long awaited opinion, Judge Jackie Fulford issued a decision on March 6, 2012, in which shedeclared unconstitutional a requirement that government employees in Florida contribute 3% of their earnings to a state retirement fund (i.e., the Florida Retirement System). Judge Fulford wrote in her opinion that the Legislature committed “an unconstitutional impairment of plaintiff’s contract with the State of Florida, an unconstitutional taking of private property without full compensation, and an abridgement of the rights of public employees to collectively bargain over conditions of employment.” This ruling could cost the state more than $1 billion a year. The ruling does not impact the 3% contribution to the state retirement fund from employees hired after July 1, 2011, when the law went into place.

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentLitigationConstitutional LawContracts
Tags: Public EmployeesPublic EmployersCollective BargainingGovernmental LitigationSpecial Counsel to Local GovernmentFlorida Supreme CourtJamie A. ColeRaquel ElejabarrietaEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokBrett J. SchneiderJoseph H. SerotaFlorida LegislatureMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Constitutional Law AttorneysMiami Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Employment Law AttorneysMiami Employment Law AttorneysSouth Florida Employment Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Labor Law AttorneysMiami Labor Law AttorneysSouth Florida Labor Law AttorneysFlorida Employment AttorneysFlorida Labor LawyersFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Labor LawyerMiami Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Employment Lawyers
Author(s): Brett J. Schneider & Raquel Elejabarrieta

Can Insurer's Conduct During Claims Administrative Process Expose It to Tort Liability?

On January 20, 2012, WSH obtained a complete defense victory for a major insurer in a case involving a unique section of Florida's Workers' Compensation Law. An employee who was injured in an on-the-job accident more than 10 years ago sued his insurer for "intentional infliction of emotional distress," arguing that the insurer's conduct during the claims administration process was deliberately intended to (and did) worsen his injuries. The employee demanded punitive and a million dollars in compensatory damages.

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Categories: LitigationContractsTorts
Tags: Florida Supreme CourtJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokTimothy M. RavichJoseph H. SerotaFort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Commercial Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation LawyersMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Timothy M. Ravich

Mandatory Foreclosure Mediation Ends in Florida

On Monday, Florida Supreme Court Justice Charles Canady issued an Order terminating the state’s mandatory foreclosure program. Citing the program’s abysmal success rate, Justice Canady wrote that the state “cannot justify the continuation of the program.”

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Categories: LitigationCondominium AssociationsBankruptcy & Creditors’ RightsHomeowners' AssociationsAlternative Dispute Resolution
Tags: CollectionsFlorida Supreme CourtJamie A. ColeDouglas R. GonzalesEdward G. GuedesJoshua D. KrutAleida Martinez MolinaMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaFort Lauderdale Condominium Association AttorneysMiami Condominium Association AttorneysSouth Florida Condominium Association AttorneysFort Lauderdale Homeowners' Association AttorneysMiami Homeowners' Association AttorneysSouth Florida Homeowners' Association AttorneysFort Lauderdale Bankruptcy AttorneysMiami Bankruptcy AttorneysSouth Florida Bankruptcy AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsAlternative Dispute ResolutionMediation
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

No More "Loosey-Goosey" Mediation For Insurance Companies

New rules for mediation take effect on January 1, 2012 that impact the way insurance companies participate in mediation.

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Categories: LitigationAlternative Dispute Resolution
Tags: Florida Supreme CourtJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaInsuranceFort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Commercial Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Commercial Litigation LawyerMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsAdrian J. AlvarezMediation
Author(s): Adrian J, Alvarez