sunEthics 

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




A trial court abused its discretion in disqualifying a lawyer in a postjudgment matter following a dissolution of marriage . . . (see more) [Added 7/16/19]


An insurer was negligent in failing to protect a withdrawn law firm’s charging lien of which it had notice . . . (see more) [Added 7/12/19]


Despite being small and made 9 months into the case, offers of judgment were made in good faith and their rejection meant that the trial court should have granted the offeror’s motion for fees . . . (see more) [Added 7/11/19]


A court erred in awarding fees under F.S. 768.79 based on a rejected proposal for settlement by including costs that were not taxable on the date the proposal for settlement was filed . . . (see more) [Added 7/9/19]


A lawyer does not “publish” a cease and desist letter to the opposing counsel for defamation purposes by sending a copy to his client . . . (see more) [Added 7/6/19]


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]


A trial court erred in dismissing a legal malpractice suit on statute of limitations grounds, where the accrual date of the claim was outside the four corners of the complaint . . . (see more) [Added 6/26/19]


The Fourth DCA holds “no standing = no attorney’s fees” in a mortgage foreclosure case, certifying conflict with the Second and Fifth DCAs . . . (see more) [Added 6/24/19]


A law firm that identified a public adjuster as its “loss consultant” should not have been sanctioned as a result of his failure to appear for depositions . . . (see more) [Added 6/21/19]


A trial court abused its discretion in not finding “excusable neglect” when a law firm did not timely file a fee motion because a lawyer failed to recognize that an email sent directly to him from a judicial assistant contained the court’s final judgment . . . (see more) [Added 6/20/19]


A court abused its discretion in not granting a criminal defendant a brief continuance to retain counsel of choice . . . (see more) [Added 6/19/19]


A fee award is reversed based on an exception to the general rule that the defendant is the prevailing party fees when the plaintiff voluntarily dismisses the suit . . . (see more) [Added 6/17/19]


A court erred in awarding fees under F.S. 736.1004 for time spent litigating entitlement to fees unsuccessfully on an alternative ground . . . (see more) [Added 6/14/19]


A trial court does not have inherent authority to award fees as a sanction for bad faith conduct on its own initiative after a voluntary dismissal . . . (see more) [Added 6/11/2019]


The Fourth DCA affirms an order allocating attorney’s fees to the prevailing parties in the “oldest active case in Palm Beach County" . . . (see more) [Added 6/10/19]


The Supreme Court dissolves its Commission on Professionalism and Civility . . . (see more) [Added 6/5/19]


The Board of Governors approves a rule change proposal that would prohibit advertising lawyers from using the names of other lawyers or law firms in a misleading way that states or implies that the other lawyer is part of the advertising lawyer’s firm . . . (see more) [Added 6/3/19]


A motion to disqualify a trial judge in a tobacco case should have been granted where the movants alleged that the judge had “recent and extensive involvement” in similar cases against the movants or related parties . . . (see more) [Added 5/29/19]


The Supreme Court withdraws its prior opinion (which ruled that prevailing party fees are recoverable under the reciprocal provisions of F.S. 57.105 by a borrower who succeeded in having plaintiff’s mortgage foreclosure suit dismissed on grounds including lack of standing), concluding that it had improvidently granted review . . . (see more) [Added 4/18/19]


Florida International leads the state in first-time-taker pass rate for the February 2019 general bar examination . . .  (see more[Added 4/15/19]


The Supreme Court declines to adopt a proposed rule that would bar lawyers from accepting referrals from any entity that refers to more than one type of professional for the same incident or transaction
. . . (see more) [Added 4/15/19]


The question of an insurer’s standing to bring a malpractice claim against counsel hired to represent an insured is certified to the Supreme Court . . . (see more) [Added 3/22/2019]


A judgment in a personal injury case is reversed because the trial court erred in admitting financial records that were attorney-client privileged under Worley v. YMCA and requiring plaintiff’s counsel to testify to such matters . . . (see more) [Added 3/12/19]


An insurance company does not have standing to bring a legal malpractice case against a law firm it hired to defend its insured . . . (see more) [Added 2/12/19]


The Supreme Court resolves a conflict and decides that proposals for settlement made under F.S. 768.79 need not comply with the email service provisions of Fla.R.Jud.Admin. 2.516 . . . (see more) [Added 2/11/19]


The Supreme Court acts on the Bar’s biennial rules proposals, including proposed amendments relating to self-reporting criminal charges and convictions to the Bar, the Bar’s duty to notify the Court of a lawyer’s felony adjudication, client payments by credit card, imputed disqualification, collaborative law, CLE “professionalism” requirements, and electronic meetings . . . (see more) [Added 1/14/19]


Per the Supreme Court, Rule 4-3.(b) permits payment to a fact witness for assistance with case and discovery preparation only if that assistance is “directly related to” the witness preparing for, attending, or testifying at proceedings . . . (see more) [Added 1/8/19]


Resolving a conflict between DCAs, the Supreme Court rules that an allegation that the trial judge is a Facebook “friend” of a lawyer in the case is not sufficient of itself to constitute a ground for the judge’s disqualification . . . (see more) [Added 11/17/18]


The Supreme Court approves rules allowing temporary authorization for spouses of active duty military personnel to practice law in Florida . . . (see more) [Added 7/20/18]


The Supreme Court amends rules regulating referral services to expressly recognize their applicability to all client-lawyer matching services, and further orders the Bar to prepare rules restricting services that refer to more than one professional service . . . (see more) [Added 3/9/18]


The Board of Governors determines that the “Avvo Advisor” program is considered a “lawyer referral service” under Bar rules . . . (see more) [Added 1/2/18]


The Supreme Court approves rule amendments regarding soliciting gifts or fiduciary appointments from clients, notifying clients when leaving a law firm, contacting prospective clients, settling malpractice claims with unrepresented clients, holding trust funds in credit unions, protecting trust funds when third parties claim an interest, emeritus attorneys, authorized house counsel, and foreign legal consultants; the Court rejects proposed change to rules on using “specialist” or “expert” in advertising . . . (see more) [Added 11/21/17]


Hoping to increase access to justice, the Supreme Court approves relaxed conflict of interest rules to apply in short-term, limited representation carried out through non-profit organization programs . . . (see more) [Added 10/23/17]


The Supreme Court rejects proposed changes to rules that would recognize 3 types of representation (lead counsel, additional counsel, and limited representation counsel), without prejudice to submission of “more individualized and refined proposals”  . . . (see more) [Added 9/15/17]


The Supreme rejects proposed amendments to the rules regarding character and fitness evaluations of students who apply for the Law School Practice Program . . . (see more) [Added 4/14/17]


The Supreme Court rejects a third Florida Bar proposal to authorize lawyers to handle “extraordinary” lien resolution services on a referral from a personal injury lawyer . . . (see more) [Added 10/7/16]

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