Covering legal ethics, judicial ethics, bar admissions in Florida, Tennessee, and nationally.  See our Subject Index to past postings.

The Second DCA quashes a discovery order against a slip-and-fall defendant because the order did not apply the proper statutory standard and was overbroad . . . (see more) [Added 3/21/23]

The Florida Supreme Court grants the Florida Bar’s petition to amend the confidentiality rule in two respects, including adding a provision addressing responses to negative online reviews . . . (see more) [Added 3/16/23]

The Fourth DCA grants a petition for writ of prohibition and orders a judge disqualified after the judge had denied the disqualification motion as legally insufficient . . . (see more) [Added 3/13/23]

A lawyer provided ineffective assistance by misadvising the defendant about a possible maximum sentence when the lawyer failed to realize that the defendant qualified as a habitual felony offender . . . (see more) [Added 3/10/23]

A government entity violated the Sunshine Law by not promptly recording minutes of a meeting and making them available to the public, despite the claim of a mistake . . . (see more) [Added 3/6/23]

A trial court’s order awarding fees under F.S. 57.105 is reversed because the movant failed to present the necessary evidence . . . (see more) [Added 3/1/23]

The Sixth DCA decides that testimony from the attorney who performed the services is not required to support a request for attorney’s fees where other admissible evidence details the nature and extent of the work performed . . . (see more) [Added 2/24/23]

A trial court departed from the essential requirements of law when it ordered production of certain documents from an insurer’s claims file while the issue of coverage was in dispute . . . (see more) [Added 2/22/23]

A trial court abused its discretion in awarding fees for time prior to suit being filed . . . (see more) [Added 2/20/23]

The Supreme Court rules that the president of an insured’s public adjusting firm, which is compensated on a contingency basis for its adjusting services, cannot serve as a “disinterested” appraiser under the policy’s appraisal process . . . (see more) [Added 2/13/23]

The Third DCA grants a petition for writ of prohibition because a motion to disqualify a trial judge was legally sufficient and should have been granted . . . (see more) [Added 2/9/23]

The Sixth DCA comments on a prosecutor’s “ill-advised” statement during closing argument but affirms the conviction . . . (see more) [Added 2/7/23]

A water management district properly awarded fees against a party who filed an administrative petition challenging the issuance of an environmental resource permit . . . (see more) [Added 2/2/23]

A trial court’s denials of prevailing party fees under FDUTPA and fees under F.S. 768.79 are affirmed . . . (see more) [Added 1/31/23]

On appeal, the Fourth DCA determines that a law firm’s fee agreement is not ambiguous, resulting in a partial reversal of a judgment in the firm’s suit for fees . . . (see more) [Added 1/27/23]

A fee award to an insured is reversed because the suit was not necessary to resolve the dispute with the insurer and there was no breakdown in the claims adjusting process . . . (see more) [Added 1/24/23]

A court award of fees directly to a claimant’s counsel in an insurance case is reversed, because the statute requires fees to be paid to an insured or beneficiary as party to the litigation . . . (see more) [Added 1/19/23]

The First DCA denies a public defender’s motions to withdraw from a case due to an “irreconcilable conflict of interest” because  the motions did not specify what the conflict was . . . (see more) [Added 1/12/23]

Dismissal of a lawsuit against Florida Bar employees is affirmed based on immunity from suit for actions in their official capacities . . . (see more) [Added 1/6/23]

​The Supreme Court disbars, rather than suspends, a lawyer for mismanagement of his law firm, as well as violating fee and conflict of interest rules . . . (see more) [Added 1/2/23]

A court erred in rejecting a lawyer’s claim to a charging lien against funds held in the trust account of her co-counsel, who refused to release the funds after the client signed the closing statement because of an alleged fee the lawyer owed to co-counsel from an unrelated case . . . (see more) [Added 12/29/22]

In a detailed opinion the Fourth DCA quashes orders requiring production of documents over attorney-client privilege objections and confirms that a privilege waiver must be made by one with authority to do so . . . (see more) [Added 12/15/22]

The Fifth DCA quashes the portion of a trial court order compelling production of work product that is not limited to the underlying facts . . . (see more) [Added 12/12/22]

The First DCA reverses an order dismissing a legal malpractice claim on limitations grounds, rejecting an argument that the Supreme Court has receded from the bright-line rule set in Silvestrone v. Edell . . . (see more) [Added 12/9/22]

The Supreme Court suspends a lawyer for 91 days, rather than the recommended 60 days, for “dishonest” conduct related to a non-party subpoena . . . (see more) [Added 11/21/22]

The Second DCA quashes a discovery order obtained by a law firm that was pursuing a charging lien in a case in which it did not appear . . . (see more) [Added 11/1/22]

The Florida Bar files 4 petitions to amend various Rules Regulating The Florida Bar with the Supreme Court, inviting comments from interested members . . . (see more) [Added 10/17/22]

Florida International sets the pace for first-time bar passage results for the July 2022 general bar examination . . . (see more) [Added 9/19/22]

Reversing an attorney’s fee sanction order, the Fourth DCA concludes that the trial court’s application of F.S. 57.105(8) would take the statute down “Swearing Match Lane" . . . (see more) [Added 9/18/22]

Responding to a petition from the Bar, the Supreme Court amends bar rules various subjects including lawyer advertising, dealing with clients with diminished capacity, inventory attorneys, and confidentiality in the disciplinary system . . . (see more) [Added 3/4/22]

The Supreme Court amends Rule 4-5.5 to conform to the UPL advisory opinion permitting lawyers licensed in other states to work remotely from Florida for extended time periods on matters not involving Florida . . . (see more) [Added 2/18/22]

Rejecting a lesser sanction, the Supreme Court suspends a lawyer for 2 years for making unfounded accusations of racial bias and failing to properly handle a misdelivered fax . . . (see more) [Added 12/10/21]

The Board of Governors votes to reject recommendations made by the Special Committee to Improve Delivery of Legal Services concerning non-lawyer ownership of law firms, fee sharing, and changes to advertising rules . . . (see more) [Added 11/8/21]

​​The Supreme Court rejects a referee’s recommendation for reinstatement of a suspended lawyer and asks the Bar to study whether civil mediation should be prohibited in Bar case . . . (see more) [Added 10/27/21]

The Supreme Court approves a unique rule creating a special disciplinary process for complaints against lawyers that were instigated by a judge’s complaint or comment . . . (see more) [Added 10/25/21]

The Supreme Court clarifies the scope of Worley and declines to apply it to permit discovery regarding the financial relationship between a defendant’s nonparty insurer and a defense expert witness . . . (see more) [Added 10/19/21]

A narrow Supreme Court majority rules that a company connecting drivers who get traffic tickets with lawyers who will defend the tickets engaged in the unauthorized practice of law . . . (see more) [Added 10/15/21]

The Supreme Court denies a claim of ineffective assistance based on alleged “disarray and division” among the defense team . . . (see more) [Added 8/30/21]

The Supreme Court amends the IOTA rules, adopting proposals of the Task Force on the Distribution of IOTA Funds with modifications
. . . (see more) [Added 6/21/21]

The Professional Ethics Committee approves for publication a proposed advisory opinion addressing the ethical obligations of a lawyer in responding to negative online reviews posted by someone who is not the lawyer's client or former client . . . (see more) [Added 6/11/21]

A unanimous Florida Supreme Court rules that an insurer has standing to bring a legal malpractice action against counsel it hired to represent its insured, based on the policy’s subrogation provision . . . (see more) [Added 6/4/21]

The Supreme Court approves an advisory opinion concluding that it is not the unlicensed practice of law for a lawyer licensed in other states but not in Florida to work remotely from his home in Florida on federal intellectual property matters . . . (see more) [Added 5/21/21]

The Supreme Court approves rule changes regarding appointments to Bar ethics and advertising committees, and expands electronic signatures to more aspects of Bar functions . . . (see more) [Added 5/14/21]

The Professional Ethics Committee approves a proposed confidentiality rule amendment to authorize limited responses to negative online reviews, adopts new proposed advisory opinions on using web-based payment processing services and the obligations of a lawyer appointed to represent an alleged incapacitated person in an emergency guardianship proceeding, and modifies a long-standing opinion on providing case file materials to clients and former clients . . . (see more) [Added 3/26/21]

The Supreme Court amends and renames the Rules of Judicial Administration, addressing judicial disqualification, creating disqualification through adding counsel, and appearance of “stand-in counsel” . . . (see more) [Added 1/27/21]

The Supreme Court rules that a unilateral attorney’s fee provision in a credit card contract is made reciprocal when the debtor prevails in an account stated action to collect unpaid debt . . . (see more) [Added 1/18/21]

The Florida Bar files its biennial rule change petition with the Supreme Court, seeking rule amendments relating to fees, clients with diminished capacity, client files, advertising, solicitation, and other topics . . . (more) [Added 10/8/20]

The Supreme Court remands a disciplinary case for further proceedings after clarifying that an “advice of counsel” defense may be available in limited circumstances . . . (see more) [Added 6/26/20]

The Supreme Court approves a rule permitting spouses of military service members to practice as certified legal interns while undergoing the character and fitness review pending authorization to practice in Florida . . . (see more) [Added 5/26/20]

The Florida Bar petitions the Supreme Court for approval of new rules creating a “Registered Online Service Provider” program . . . (see more) [Added 1/3/20]

The Supreme Court approves amendments to Rule 4-7.14 to permit non-certified lawyers, and law firms, to advertise that they specialize or have expertise in areas of practice . . . (see more) [Added 7/1/19]

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