Wednesday, March 23, 2011

3d DCA Watch -- Elizabeth Taylor Special Edition.

RIP you insane, crazy and remarkable lady.

On to the swillers......

Castillo v. Castillo:

I propose a one-year moratorium on any further citations to Canakaris -- it has to be one of the more unpleasantly named yet seminal Florida decisions to have to repeatedly see in briefs and orders.

Reid v. Estate of Sonder:

Judges Shepherd and Wells have an very interesting disagreement over the significance of record evidence.

I say "very interesting" but remember this is a probate case we are talking about.

State Farm v. Puig:

In a bad faith action are you entitled to the entire claims file including attorney-client protected communications?

You would think the answer to that question would be settled law, but remember this is Florida state court we are talking about.

Here is what Judge Rothenberg has to say:
We agree with the First, Second, Fourth, and Fifth Districts. In Ruiz, the Florida Supreme Court held that in the bad-faith context, the normally automatic work product protection afforded to certain claim file documents will not bar their production. Ruiz, 899 So. 2d at 1131. However, that decision did not add a firstparty bad faith exception to the statutory protection of confidential communications between attorneys and their clients.
The Judge continues:
Our review of the instant case reflects that the trial court departed from the essential requirements of law by disregarding State Farm’s rightful assertions of attorney-client privilege. The trial court did so under the banner of the compelled claim file production involved in Ruiz. However, the issue in Ruiz was limited to whether an insurer’s assertion of work product protection must yield to a bad-faith plaintiff’s need to determine whether the underlying claim was processed in good or bad faith. Ruiz, 899 So. 2d at 1124. The Ruiz holding did not alter the availability and existence of the attorney-client privilege. See id. at 1131 (“In accordance with our decision today, work product protection that may otherwise be afforded to documents prepared in anticipation of litigation of the underlying coverage dispute does not automatically operate to protect such documents from discovery in the ensuing, or accompanying, bad faith action.”) (Emphasis added). In other words, the trial court’s decision lacked any support in the law.

The instant petition must be granted in large part because the essential requirements of law provide that the attorney-client privilege exists and is available to an insurer that is faced with a bad faith claim.
Will this clear things up?

Come on, you should know better than that!


Shoot The Lawyers said...

I will never forget Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf. I watch it every year on the anniversary of my divorce. Just to remind myself what the first Mrs was like and never to make the mistake again.

Anonymous said...

I propose a one-year moratorium on any further citations to Bonner v. City of Prichard. Daily, for about 30 years, the 11th has been reminding us about the binding nature of the former 5th's decisions.

South Florida Lawyers said...

Good point. It's an obligatory footnote anytime pre-split authority is cited. But I guess some people don't know our history?

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