Thursday, March 31, 2011

4th DCA Affirms That Plaintiff Is "Master of His Domain."



I really enjoyed Seinfeld and appreciated its groundbreaking comedy, but when I see lawyers who are insufferably uncool reference the show I start to feel that maybe it's a bit too obvious.

For example, when walking along with your 92-year old Grandma you never want her to turn to you and say "and by the way, they're real and they're spectacular"!

But with respect to this 4th DCA opinion from yesterday, it does seem to fit.

Apparently the plaintiff sued her employer in tort for battery and negligent retention and supervision, but the defendant argued the complaint was "actually for sexual harassment and discrimination" and plaintiff was trying to plead around the Title VII pre-suit requirements.

You hear this a lot in state court.  Parties are always trying to argue what the other party "really is doing" and lawyers frequently spin out fanciful narratives to explain why one count got dismissed, or why someone amended, yada yada yada.  (Oops!)

Here's what the 4th said:
Florida law permits multiple causes of action to co-exist. Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.110(g) states that “[a] pleader may set up in the same action as many claims or causes of action or defenses in the same right as the pleader has, and claims for relief may be stated in the alternative if separate items make up the cause of action, or if 2 or more causes of action are joined.” It further provides that “[a] party may also state as many separate claims or defenses as that party has, regardless of consistency and whether based on legal or equitable grounds or both.”
In short, something can actually be more than one thing at the same time.

Imagine that!

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