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Week In Review

Headnotes of selected Florida Supreme Court and District Courts of Appeal cases filed the week of
November 20 - November 24, 2017

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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Attorneys -- Disqualification -- Conflict of interest -- Trial court departed from essential requirements of law by denying motion to disqualify opposing counsel based on ground that party seeking disqualification lacked standing to move to disqualify -- Where lawyer in law firm that represented opposing party was member of defendant/movant's board of directors, and factual disputes were raised in affidavits for both sides, remand is appropriate for evidentiary hearing and further consideration
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Contempt -- Civil -- Willful failure to attend and participate in court-ordered mediation -- Compensatory fine imposed following finding of contempt improperly included losses not caused by underlying contempt -- Remand for new hearing on amount of compensatory fine
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Dissolution of marriage -- Attorney's fees -- Garnishment -- Continuing writ of garnishment is not available to collect judgment for attorney's fees incurred in post-dissolution litigation related to child custody
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Judges -- Certification of need for additional judges
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Standard jury instructions in civil cases -- Amendment -- Burden of proof on main claim -- Summary of claims or contentions -- Retaliation; adverse employment action -- Protected activity -- Issues on plaintiff's claim -- Unlawful retaliation damages -- Model verdict form 4
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Torts -- Jurisdiction -- Receiverships -- Plaintiff was required to seek leave of court from court that appointed receiver before bringing negligence claims against receiver, as required by U.S. Supreme Court's holding in Barton v. Barbour -- Barton doctrine has been recognized in Florida and applies to state-court appointed receiver sued in state court -- Even if receiver has been discharged, as in instant case, leave from court that appointed the receiver must be obtained to file suit against receiver, and requesting party must demonstrate prima facie case of liability before appointing court may grant leave to file suit -- “Carrying on business” exception to Barton doctrine does not apply to receivers appointed by state court -- Petition for writ of prohibition granted -- Remand with instructions to enter order granting receiver's motion to dismiss negligence counts of complaint, without prejudice to plaintiff moving to amend complaint to sufficiently allege that acts or omissions of receiver were outside authority granted to him by appointing court or to seek leave to file negligence action from court that appointed receiver
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Torts -- Professional malpractice -- Architects -- Action by general contractor for city renovation project against architects who were to prepare design documents for renovation, alleging that defendants' professional malpractice delayed construction on the renovation -- Trial court erred in entering summary judgment for defendants on ground that defendants played no role in the project where there was factual issue as to whether defendants were involved in the project -- Provision in contract between contractor and city whereby contractor waived its right to seek delay damages against city does not bar contractor's action seeking delay damages against architects
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Torts -- Professional malpractice -- Engineers -- Action by general contractor for city renovation project against engineering design company which was to prepare mechanical, electrical, and plumbing design services for renovation, alleging that defendant's professional malpractice delayed construction on the project -- Trial court erred in dismissing complaint on ground that provision in contract between contractor and city whereby contractor waived its right to seek delay damages against city barred action against defendant for delay damages -- Court additionally erred in adding a pleading deficiency not raised by parties as an alternate basis for dismissal without giving plaintiff notice of this new ground and opportunity to amend complaint
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Wrongful death -- Product liability -- Tobacco -- Damages -- Reduction -- Comparative negligence -- Defendants waived right to reduce compensatory damages award based on comparative fault by repeatedly stating that award would not be reduced
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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.