Friday, April 24, 2015

Obamacare Surrender!

It's about time! Do you remember conservatives whining like tiny children that Obamacare was going to kill jobs?

Well that didn't happen.

Do you remember conservatives pleading like hungry kittens that Obamacare was going to cost more than we were told?

Well that didn't happen either.

What did happen is that a lot more people got insurance and a lot of lives were saved. Enough in fact that Republican leaders do not want Obamacare to be an issue in the 2016 election.

As you may or may not know, the direct subsidies that put the "affordable" in the Affordable Care Act are in serious danger from this randomly bogus lawsuit. Insurance exchange customers in states like Florida that didn't create their own exchanges face the loss of the subsides they depend on.

So now Republicans who voted 50-something times to repeal Obamacare are moving to preserve it!
The Senate's top five Republican leaders have cosponsored legislation to extend until 2017 the Obamacare insurance subsidies that may be struck down by the Supreme Court this summer.
The legislation, offered by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), one of the most politically vulnerable Senate incumbents in 2016, would maintain the federal tax credits at stake in King v. Burwell through the end of August 2017.
The bill was unveiled this week with 29 other cosponsors, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and his four top deputies, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), John Thune (R-SD), John Barrasso (R-WY) and Roy Blunt (R-MO). Another cosponsor is Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS), the chairman of the conference's electoral arm.
Such a move would seek to protect the GOP from political peril in the 2016 elections when Democrats would try to blame the party for stripping subsidies — and maybe insurance coverage — from millions of Americans in three dozen states. A defeat for the Obama administration in a King ruling would likely create havoc across insurance markets and pose a huge problem for Republicans, many of whom have been pushing the Supreme Court to nix the subsidies.
"This bill is a first step toward reversing the damage that Obamacare has inflicted on the American health care system," Johnson said.
Will their Tea Party base be smart enough to see through this transparent duplicity? All bets are off!

Happy weekend folks and remember to live and love!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Happy 67!

It Was Only Four Minutes Late -- Who's Counting? (Note:It Was Three Minutes and the Defendants Are Counting)

When you file a motion for reconsideration, you are already up against gargantuan hurdles.

So you really want to put your best foot forward.

Unless you are late plus your brief is too long:
On October 28, 2013, Plaintiffs filed a timely motion for reconsideration of the Order of Dismissal. (ECF No. 80). The motion exceeded the twenty-page limit and font requirement imposed by our local rules. Plaintiffs had previously sought leave to exceed the twenty-page limit, but this Court had not ruled on the motion prior to the 28-day deadline imposed by Rule 59(e). Because the motion failed to comply with font requirements, I subsequently granted Plaintiffs leave to re-file the motion nunc pro tunc to October 28, 2013, the original filing date. (ECF No. 96). I denied Plaintiffs’ request to exceed the page limits, however. (Id.) Plaintiffs were provided until December 9, 2013 to re-file.

Three minutes after midnight on December 10, 2013, Plaintiffs filed their revised Motion for Reconsideration. (ECF No. 97). The revised Motion for Reconsideration complied with the local rules on font requirements, but exceeded the twenty-page limit by ten lines. Plaintiffs’ counsel subsequently moved the Court to excuse the failure to comply with my prior Order (ECF No. 96), citing a faulty hotel internet connection and the complexity of the issues as the reasons for noncompliance. (ECF No. 100). Defendants moved to strike the Motion for Reconsideration as untimely and  exceeding the allowable page length (ECF No. 102, 108).

Defendants argue that this Court lacks the authority to extend the time for filing a motion for reconsideration pursuant to Rule 59(e), citing to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 6(b)(2). Defendants, however, concede that the revised motion is, in substance, the same as the original, timely motion filed on October 28, 2013. (ECF No. 113 at 7) (“A review of the second Motion for Reconsideration [DE97] shows that the motion contains many stylistic rather than substantive changes….”).  Moreover, Plaintiffs also moved for reconsideration pursuant to Rule 60(b)(6), which requires that motions be filed “within a reasonable time.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(c). Even applying the December 10, 2013 filing date, the Motion for Reconsideration is timely under Rule 60(b). While the Motion for Reconsideration was filed four minutes after the deadline I imposed, Defendants will not be prejudiced by the short delay in service of the revised motion, and this matter should be resolved on the merits. I will, however, disregard the last ten lines of the Motion for Reconsideration for failing to comply with my prior Order denying Plaintiffs’ motion to exceed the twenty-page limit.
Whether it's three or four minutes, Judge C did the right thing here.

(But sheesh, way to muck up your motion!)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

3d DCA Watch -- "Members Only" Historical Society Luncheon Edition!

The bunker was very busy this week, putting out a boring arbitration opinion and....well, that's about it.

So let's preview the exciting "Members Only" Historical Society luncheon:
On May 15, 2015, the Third District Court of Appeal Historical Society will hold its 2015 Members Only Biennial Luncheon with the Judges at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Florida.
Not a member?

Bunkerites, it's not too late to join!

Here's a taste of what you'll see:

First, a detailed presentation on the fascinating history of the construction of the bunker.

From its earliest origins:

 To its dazzling, breathtaking completion:

Pretty impressive, huh?

The Historical Society also digs deep into the bunker archives to find original artifacts and unretouched photographs of the original mechanical room/gym -- long before its many facelifts, remodeling, and multimillion dollar wholesale expansion and renovation.

Here it is in its original form:

And here is the bunker's new, modern completely redone state of the art exercise complex and juice bar emporium/mechanical room:

Gosh how time flies.

You won't want to miss this!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Unstoppably Mayoral-Like Force (Michael Pizzi) to Meet Immovably Concrete-Like Appellate Object (Bunker)!

It's on peoples:
The next chapter in the Miami Lakes mayoral battle will happen Wednesday as lawyers for Michael Pizzi, Wayne Slaton and the town head to the Third District Court of Appeal.
The hearing is the result of an appeal filed by lawyers representing the town and Slaton regarding Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Gisela Cardonne Ely’s March 31 decision to allow Michael Pizzi to return to the mayoral seat, following a 30-day stay.
Ely denied a request made by the town and Slaton on Thursday to extend the stay until the appellate court makes a ruling.
Miami Lakes Attorney Raul Gastesi plans on filing a motion to extend the stay with the appellate court. He said that Ely instructed in court that it would be appropriate for the appellate court to make that call.
On Tuesday night, the town council addressed the issue of legal fees associated with this battle, voting 5-1 to approve spending an additional $111,051.19 in town funds to pay the Akerman law firm to represent Slaton.
One hundred and eleven thousand to Akerman I understand -- that buys you some research and partial parking validation downtown.

Ok throw in the 51 bucks.

But nineteen cents? 

Offer to write that off -- clients like that meaningless crap.

Read more here:

Magistrate Judge Goodman's 115th Dream!

It's almost concert time (sold out!) so I decided to take a completely benign order from Magistrate Judge Goodman and turn it into a more fitting Goodman-esque tribute to the craggy-voiced/faced Bard of Duluth:
Plaintiff Enrique Collado (“Collado”) filed his Amended Complaint on June 21, 2014, alleging that Defendants failed to pay him and other similarly situated employees the overtime rate for hours worked beyond forty hours a week (Count I) and/or a minimum wage (Count II), in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 201, et seq. (“FLSA”). [ECF No. 36]. According to the Amended Complaint, J&G Transport is a Florida corporation that transports, inter alia, garbage, debris, mulch, sugar, sugar cane, and molasses exclusively within the State of Florida. [ECF No. 36, ¶ 10]. J&G Transport allegedly employed Collado from 2013 to 2014 as a truck driver hauling
garbage, debris, or mulch. [ECF No. 38‐1, ¶ 2].
I was truck-driving for Defendants
When I transported debris across some land
I yelled for Fair Labor Standards
I have yuh understand
Who came running to the deck
Said, “Boys, forget the mulch, sugar, sugar cane, and molasses
Look on over yonder
Cut the engines
Change the forty-hour work week
Haul on the lawline”
We filed that amended complaint
Like all tough plaintiffs do
When they are in the Southern District

Monday, April 20, 2015

SHOCKING -- There is Confusion Over Offers of Settlement!

Careful readers of this blog may have discerned that we frequently point out the hopeless state of offers of settlement jurisprudence.

And we're not alone -- all the state DCAs and even the Florida Supreme Court have struggled with how to deal with a legacy of bad decisions, statutory confusion and amendments, exceptions that swallow the rule, practitioner misunderstanding, and general confusion.

But the Supremes are here to try again (except for a dissent):
We conclude that the plain language of the settlement offer in this case demonstrates it was a joint proposal. Although the offer was titled “Defendant, Florida Medical Center’s, Proposal for Settlement/Offer of Judgment,” the text of the proposal unambiguously refers to the defendant offerors in the plural. Thus, under the clear wording of the proposal, two offerors—FMC Hospital and FMC Medical—presented the offer. Accordingly, under section 768.79 and rule 1.442 the proposal was invalid because it failed to apportion the settlement amount between FMC Hospital and FMC Medical.
That should clear things up.

Spence Gets Your Monday Off Right!

With a little cruise ship murder/suicide.....

Isn't it a glorious day?

Happy Monday!

Friday, April 17, 2015

The Kardashians Just Broke the Middle District of Florida!

(The following really boring opinion is absolutely not a pretext for posting the above photo on a Friday, I promise!)

Fresh off of breaking the internet, now the Kardashians broke CM/ECF with this trademark infringement suit brought against them before Judge Byron, which just survived motion to dismiss:
Before selecting a name for the makeup brand, Boldface conducted a preliminary trademark search for terms such as “Khroma” and “Kardashian Khroma.” (Id. ¶ 21). Boldface subsequently presented these designations to the Kardashian Defendants as possible brand names, despite their conflict with “Kroma” in the preliminary trademark search. (Id. ¶¶ 21–22). The Kardashian Defendants also inquired into the propriety of using “Khroma” when it became unclear whether they could purchase or use the “Kroma” mark. (Id. ¶ 24). Nevertheless, the Kardashian Defendants chose “Khroma” and submitted applications to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) to protect “Khroma” and other similarly-named marks. (Id. ¶ 26). The USPTO ultimately refused to register any mark containing the word “Khroma,” stating that it was likely to create consumer confusion with “Kroma.” (Id. ¶ 30).
Congrats to Jared Beck for a nice win!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

My Second Favorite Attorney

Have you all been catching Daredevil on Netflix? I'm really enjoying it. The problem with many superhero adaptations is that they try to compress decades of comic book lore into 2 hours and by the time you get through the hour of mind-blowing special effects there is scant little time left for character development.

That isn't an issue with the Netflix format where we get 13 joyous hours to delve deep into what makes a young attorney want to spend his nights prancing across rooftops and beating the tar out of bad guys with cool ninja moves. 

Daredevil is airing on Netflix anytime you want it. Game of Thrones who?