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RECENT RELEASES - FLORIDA SUPREME COURT
ATTORNEY'S FEES--CONTINGENCY FEE MULTIPLIER. The district court erroneously held that the application of a contingency fee multiplier to the award of attorney's fees to a prevailing party is limited to "rare" and "exceptional" circumstances. The trial court properly applied a contingency fee multiplier to the award of attorney's fees to insureds who prevailed in an action against their insurer upon finding that the relevant market required a contingency fee multiplier for the insureds to obtain competent counsel, that the insureds' attorney could not have mitigated the risk of nonpayment, and that the case was a complex commercial case.
STANDARD JURY INSTRUCTIONS--CRIMINAL--AMENDMENT.
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The Court adopted amendments to the following standard criminal jury instructions: 3.6(o) (Transferred Intent); 11.17(a) (Soliciting a [Child] [Person Believed by the Defendant to be a Child] for Unlawful Sexual Conduct Using Computer Services or Devices); 11.17(b) (Soliciting a Parent, Legal Guardian, or Custodian of a Child for Unlawful Sexual Conduct Using Computer Services or Devices); 11.17(c) (Traveling to Meet a Minor); and 11.17(d) (Traveling to Meet a Minor Facilitated by Parent, Legal Guardian, or Custodian). The Court noted these significant changes to the jury instructions as amended: "First, with regard to Instruction 3.6(o), the phrase "but instead" is replaced with "and in the process," the word "the" is replaced with "any," and the word "actually" is removed from the instruction." Secondly, "[W]ith regard to Instructions 11.17(a), (b), (c), and (d), the crime of Unlawful Use of a Two-Way Communications Device is added as a category two lesser included offense. With regard to Instruction 11.17(b), the phrase "Legal Guardian, or Custodian" is added to the first sentence of the instruction to mirror its title and the language of section 847.0135(3)(b), Florida Statutes (2017)."VIEW OPINION (login required)