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Week In Review

Headnotes of selected Florida Supreme Court and District Courts of Appeal cases filed the week of
October 12, 2020 - October 16, 2020

Civil Law Headnotes (Jump to Criminal Law Headnotes)

THESE ARE NOT ALL OF THE CASES RELEASED BY THE COURTS FOR THE WEEK.
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Civil rights -- Employment discrimination under Florida Civil Rights Act -- Punitive damages -- Discovery -- Financial worth -- Trial court departed from essential requirements of law in allowing financial worth discovery without considering whether an actual factual basis exists to support punitive damages -- Trial courts retain broad discretion to limit financial worth discovery under circumstances of each case and may consider the $100,000 cap on punitive damages under the FCRA
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Dissolution of marriage -- Child custody -- Modification -- Restrictions on timesharing -- Trial court did not commit legal error or abuse its discretion by failing to specify steps former wife must take to regain meaningful time-sharing when it modified parties' parenting plan, which originally awarded former wife a majority of parenting time, and granted a majority of time to former husband -- Discussion of court's discretion to set forth benchmarks or guidance in time-sharing orders -- Court recedes from Grigsby v. Grigsby and its progeny to the extent that they held the omission of such provisions from parenting orders or judgments to be legal error -- Conflict certified
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Family Law Rules of Procedure -- Forms -- Amendment -- Collaborative Law Process
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Injunctions -- Contracts -- Employment -- Restrictive covenants -- Non-competition, non-solicitation, and non-disclosure agreements -- Enforcement -- Choice of law -- Trial court erred in denying employer's motion for preliminary injunction in action to enforce restrictive covenants in employment agreement -- When dealing with choice of law matters, Florida courts apply foreign law to substantive issues and forum's law to procedural matters -- Employer established likelihood of success on merits of its claims under Delaware law, which governed substantive issues -- Agreements signed by individual defendants who were formerly employed by plaintiff before accepting jobs from competing entity satisfied Delaware contract law requirements, in that there was mutual assent by both parties and adequate consideration; agreements, which provided for non-competition for 12 months following date of employees' resignation and non-solicitation for 24 months following resignation and which applied to geographic region in which employer conducted business, were reasonable in scope and duration; agreements advanced legitimate economic interest in protecting employer's good-will and protecting against misuse of employer's confidential information; and agreements survived balance of equities examination -- Considering remaining procedural factors under Florida law, former employees' violation of enforceable restrictive covenants created presumption of irreparable injury to employer, and that presumption was not rebutted by defendants; record demonstrated unavailability of adequate remedy at law, in that individual defendants' continued breach of restrictive covenants would continue to damage employer's goodwill and relationships with its customers, suppliers, and vendors; and neither trial court nor defendants identified public policy that would substantially outweigh the need to protect employer's legitimate business interests -- Trial court's reliance on certain federal district court ruling for its conclusion that under Delaware law a restrictive covenant entered into after an employee's service began is enforceable only if supported by new consideration in the form of a corresponding benefit or beneficial change in employment status was misplaced
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Mortgage foreclosure -- Conditions precedent -- Trial court erred in finding that mortgagee failed to prove compliance with HUD requirement to make a reasonable effort to arrange a face-to-face meeting with mortgagor because it failed to introduce a return receipt for a certified letter -- Plain language of HUD regulation does not require a certified mail receipt from postal service to establish compliance -- Mortgagee established compliance through testimony of servicing agency's specialist -- Court erred in dismissing complaint for failure to comply with condition precedent
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Torts -- Negligence -- Workers' compensation immunity -- Statutory employers -- Contractors -- No error in denying public utility's motion for summary judgment and determining as a matter of law that public utility was not entitled to workers' compensation immunity in lawsuits brought against it by two injured maintenance workers employed by an entity with which public utility had contracted to provide maintenance work -- Public utility was not the statutory employer of either worker where undisputed material facts did not establish that public utility sublet to employing entity any part of a prime contract public utility had entered into with a third party -- Court rejects argument that public utility had an implied contractual obligation to its customers to maintain its electrical generating equipment and that it sublet that obligation to employing entity -- Although public utility's tariff is considered a contract between the public utility and its customers, nothing in tariff imposes a contractual obligation on public utility to maintain its electrical generating equipment -- Fact that maintenance of electrical generating equipment contributed to utility's express contractual obligation to supply electricity did not create statutory employer status -- Section 440.10(1)(b) uses the term “contract work” and does not create statutory employer status whenever a party enters into a contract with another that contributes to or facilitates its work under a separate contract -- Absent such an obligation under the tariff or any other contract, public utility's obligation to maintain its equipment is one purely imposed by administrative regulation authorized by statutory law, and thus does not constitute “contract work” sublet to employing entity for purposes of Section 440.10(1)(b)
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Criminal Law Headnotes (Jump to Civil Law Headnotes)

THESE ARE NOT ALL OF THE CASES RELEASED BY THE COURTS FOR THE WEEK.
To see others not presented here, log in for more comprehensive weekly listings.

No entries for this section this week.