Friday, July 8, 2011

BREAKING -- Florida's Offer of Judgment Law Still Messed Up!

Careful readers of this blog know my feelings on Florida's offer of judgment jurisprudence -- it's hopelessly screwed up, to the point where practitioners, litigants and certainly judges can't figure it out and actually make things worse even as they try to clarify or apply or argue about what should be a fairly straightforward legal doctrine.

In walks the 11th Circuit, as bewildered by the miasma surrounding the doctrine as the rest of us, but they have the ability to ask the Florida Supreme Court to "clarify" (yet again) how the hail you apply the stupid thing.

And the good news is they only have four questions(!) about the statute:
First, we ask whether an offer of judgment may be viable when it purports to settle “all claims,” even though it does not explicitly “state whether the proposal includes attorneys’ fees and whether attorneys’ fees are part of the legal claim” as required by Rule 1.442(c)(2)(F). Second, we ask whether the offer of judgment statute, which applies in “any civil action for damages” but generally does not apply to a case seeking both damages and non-monetary relief, applies to a lawsuit seeking damages or, in the alternative, specific performance. Third, we ask whether the FDUTPA’s fee-shifting provision applies to an action with the following procedural history: the plaintiff filed an action alleging a FDUTPA claim and prosecuted that claim for seven months; the district court ruled at summary judgment that he could not pursue the FDUTPA claim because Florida law did not apply, but allowed him to prosecute the action under Arizona’s unfair trade practices law instead; then he lost on the Arizona unfair trade practices claim at trial. Finally, if the FDUTPA’s fee-shifting provision does apply, we ask whether it applies only to fees incurred during the seven months before the plaintiff’s FDUTPA claim was defeated at summary judgment, or also to fees incurred during the subsequent litigation.
Thank goodness the law in this area is otherwise crystal clear!


Shayne said...

This won't succeed as a matter of fact, that's exactly what I consider.
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