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Substantial Hit to Indivisible Injury Argument in Florida

Substantial Hit to Indivisible Injury Argument in Florida

July 27, 2020 For Immediate Release Written by: Christopher J. Mueller, Esq. & Taylor Schmidinger, Law Clerk Recently, the Fourth District Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court’s apportionment of damages between an engineering firm, a general contractor, and a program manager in the matter of Broward County, Florida v. CH2M Hill, Inc. In doing so, the appeals court dealt a substantial, if not fatal, blow to the concept of indivisible injury among multiple breaches of contract causing a single harm. In the underlying case, Broward County alleged that the general contractor for a project to construct a taxiway at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport breached its contract with the County by performing defective work which contributed to the defective construction of the taxiway. The County also alleged that an engineering firm, breached its contract with the County through errors, omissions, or defects in the design of the project as well.  The trial court entered a final judgment in favor of the County and subsequently allocated damages for breach of contract between Triple R, CH2M, and a former party in the lawsuit that had settled before trial.  The trial court allocated the damages as follows: (1) 60% of the damages to the former party; (2) 25% of the damages to Triple R; and (3) 15% of the damages to CH2M. In doing so, the trial court rejected the County’s argument that judgment should be joint and several, arguing the County’s breach of contract damages were indivisible and therefore not subject to […]

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The Artemis Accords – Law for Lunar Explorers

The Artemis Accords – Law for Lunar Explorers

While the Artemis Accords sounds like a treaty to come out of a sci-fi film, Japan joins the latest group of nations to agree to collaborate on the Artemis Program. The goal of the Artemis Program is for NASA to corroborate with other nations for lunar surface exploration and establishment of a foothold to Mars. NASA’s immediate goal is to land the first woman and the next man on the Moon by 2024, heralding a new era for space exploration and utilization. And signing the Joint Exploration Declaration of Intent, code-named JEDI, along with the Artemis accords establishes a common set of principals to govern the civil exploration and use of outer space grounded in the Outer Space Treaty of 1967[1] (“Treaty”) of both governments and private companies. Among the agreements of the Artemis Accords are to promote international cooperation for peaceful purposes, transparency, interoperability through implementation of international standards, provide emergency assistance when needed, register space objects, release scientific data to the world at large, protect historic sites around the moon (such as the Apollo 11 landing site), space resource extraction and utilization to be conducted under the tenets of the Treaty, the creation of “safety zones” and information of locations off-limits to the general public, and the mitigation of orbital debris and Spacecraft disposal. The Artemis Accords are just one small step to continued space exploration and our return to the moon and the giant leap beyond. [1] The Outer Space Treaty of 1967 is a list of […]

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Sharpening the Axe: Forging the Tools Needed to Optimize Your Response to the COVID-19 Disruptions.

Supply shortages, stay-at-home orders, mandatory business closures, businesses today are facing unprecedented challenges. ALFA members, John Osgathorpe, Joseph Fortner, Angela Higgins and Jennifer Pedevillano, examine theories related to excusing non-performance, discuss which insurances may be relied upon and action steps to take in re-negotiating or litigating Covid-19 related issues. OptimizeResponseToCovid-19

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Ryan W. Reese Attends June 2019, The Florida Bar Aviation Law Committee Meeting

Ryan W. Reese Attends June 2019, The Florida Bar Aviation Law Committee Meeting

Helping clients stay ahead of legal developments is a critical part of our practice. Whether it’s taking advantage of new technologies, serving on committees dedicated to studying new legislation and regulations, to continuously develop our client-specific service offerings, we assist our clients in staying ahead of economic, regulatory and legislative developments. Attorney, Ryan Reese, who was recently appointed by The Florida Bar President, John Steward, is seen here attending last Friday’s The Florida Bar Aviation Law Committee meeting

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Taylor Day Attorneys Named to 2019 Super Lawyers® Lists

Taylor Day Attorneys Named to 2019 Super Lawyers® Lists

Taylor Day is pleased to announce that all of their Florida Board Certified attorneys were named to the 2019 Super Lawyers® list. Shareholders Reed Grimm and Chris Mueller, both Board Certified in Construction Law by the Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization and Education, were selected as top-rated Construction Litigation attorneys for Jacksonville. This marks the fifth consecutive year each has earned the designation. Super Lawyers® is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. To compile the lists, Super Lawyers® selects attorneys using a patented multi-phase selection process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement. Selections are made on an annual, state-by-state basis. The final published list represents no more than 5% of the lawyers in the state.

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Florida’s Expert Witness Standard: Daubert Reigns Supreme (Again)

Florida’s Expert Witness Standard:  Daubert Reigns Supreme (Again)

(This post assumes a general understanding of the Frye and Daubert standards.  For a detailed explainer, click here.) Daubert is again the standard for admission of expert witness testimony and evidence in Florida state courts, displacing the Frye standard.  Daubert limits the admission of so-called “pure opinion testimony” from expert witnesses. Since 2013, Florida’s standard for determining the admissibility of expert witness testimony and evidence has fluctuated.  After decades following the more permissive Frye standard, in 2013, the Legislature amended the Florida Evidence Code by adopting the more robust Daubert standard. Daubert and its progeny had controlled expert testimony in the federal courts and at least 36 state courts for over 20 years. But in response to the Legislature’s amendment, the Supreme Court of Florida concluded, in a rule-making opinion, that the Legislature had infringed upon the Supreme Court’s rulemaking authority by passing the amendment. The Florida Supreme Court explained that the amendment was procedural in nature, and therefore could only be changed by the court. Additionally, after considering the extensive briefings, oral arguments, public commentary, a Report of the Florida Bar’s Code and Rules of Evidence Committee, and extra jurisdictional case law study, the Florida Supreme Court reasoned that that Daubert’s broad applicability to all expert testimony (as opposed to Frye’s limitation to “new and novel” methods) posed “grave constitutional concerns” about access to courts and the expense of litigation on the parties and the judicial system.  The Court’s reasoning seemed at odds with greater than twenty years’ worth […]

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Gov. Ron DeSantis OKs Bill On Assignment of Benefits Reform

Gov. Ron DeSantis OKs Bill On Assignment of Benefits Reform

            After 7 years of failed attempts, Governor Ron Desantis recently signed a bill to reform Assignment of Benefits (“AOB”) in Florida.  In general, AOB agreements allow policyholders to give up their insurance contract rights to third-parties in exchange for quick repairs and relief from the hassle of dealing with claims.             In recent years, many contractors have taken advantage of Florida’s unique one-way attorney’s fee-shifting statute for insurance coverage litigation.  The rule incentivized contractors to, via the AOB mechanism, charge property owners’ outrageous amounts and to then pursue needless, often frivolous, and expensive litigation against insurance companies.             According to the new bill, an AOB must: (1) Be in writing and executed by and between the assignor and the assignee; (2) Contain a provision that allows the assignor to rescind the assignment agreement without a penalty or fee by submitting a written notice of rescission signed by the assignor to the assignee within 14 days after the execution of the agreement, at least 30 days after the date work on the property is scheduled to commence if the assignee has not substantially performed, as at least 30 days after the execution of the agreement if the agreement does not contain a commencement date and the assignee has not begun substantial work on the policy; (3) Contain a provision requiring the assignee to provide a copy of the executed assignment agreement to the insurer within 3 business days after the date on which  the assignment agreement is executed or the […]

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Bo Boyd Named ALFA International Workers’ Comp Practice Group Chair

Bo Boyd Named ALFA International Workers’ Comp Practice Group Chair

About ALFA International:  ALFA International is the premier global network of independent law firms. Founded in 1980, ALFA International was the first and continues to be one of the largest and strongest legal networks. With 150 members firms throughout the world, their 80 U.S. firms maintain offices in 95 of the 100 largest metropolitan areas. Their 70 international firms are located throughout Europe, Asia, Australia/New Zealand, Africa, Canada, Mexico and South America. ALFA International’s mission is to use relationships to provide high quality, cost-efficient legal services wherever clients need them. The ALFA International model enables members to use their local expertise to deliver highly effective legal solutions, often drawing upon the collective wisdom and experience of other member firms. ALFA International clients benefit from a geographically comprehensive network of exceptional law firms and accomplished trial and business counsel. Member firms meet high standards to be part of the ALFA International network and are well respected by their peers in the legal and business community. Taylor Day is proud to be a member of this premier global network.

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Chris Mueller Selected to Co-Host 2020 ALFA International Construction Law Seminar

Taylor Day is pleased to announce that shareholder, Chris Mueller, has been named as one of two co-program chairmen for the ALFA Construction Practice Group.  He will be co-hosting the 2020 ALFA International Construction Law Seminar with John Watt, trial attorney for Baker Sterchi.  ALFA programs are developed by ALFA member attorneys with participation by both clients and members. About ALFA International: ALFA International firms are selected by a rigorous, invitation-only process, then carefully evaluated based on numerous factors, such as: Number and range of practice areas including litigation and trial experience; Quality and diversity of client base; Commitment to client service and diversity; Profiles of practice area leaders and other key lawyers; Reported cases, transactions and other matters; and Awards, recognitions and memberships received or maintained by key lawyers. ALFA International’s memberships are exclusive. Only one law firm represents the ALFA network in each metropolitan area, state, or country. Taylor Day is proud to be the ALFA International representative firm for the Jacksonville area. Through their partnership, ALFA firms exchange non-privileged legal research, consult on trial and transaction strategies and facilitate the pooling of knowledge and resources to host multi-day, practice-specific educational seminars. Taylor Day not only utilizes the resources available through ALFA International to assist clients with their litigation needs, irrespective of the jurisdiction the litigation arises, but to also educate clients on updated case law relevant and specific to their business practice.

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