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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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Reed Grimm & Chris Mueller Named Construction Lawyers Society of America Fellows

Reed Grimm & Chris Mueller Named Construction Lawyers Society of America Fellows

Taylor Day is pleased to announce that Construction Practice Group Leaders Reed W. Grimm and Christopher J. Mueller have been selected and accepted the invitation to join the Fellowship of the Construction Lawyers Society of America (CLSA). The CLSA is an invitation-only, international association of preeminent lawyers specializing in, and dedicated to, promoting advocacy and ethical standards in construction law and related fields.  Attorneys are invited into Fellowship upon a proven record of excellence and accomplishment in construction law at both the trial and appellate levels, as well as superior ethical reputations. Reed and Chris have been recognized as SuperLawyers™ by Florida’s Legal Elite and both are peer-ranked AV-Preeminent, the highest ranking designation by Martindale-Hubbell. Additionally, both are also Board Certified by the Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization and Education in construction law, a distinction that is unique to less than 400 attorneys in the state.  Chris was also recently appointed to the Construction Trades Qualifying Board by Mayor Lenny Curry, which was confirmed earlier this week by the Jacksonville City Council.  Congratulations to you both!

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Taylor Day Teams Up with Berkshire Hathaway In 19th Annual Backpack Challenge

Taylor Day Teams Up with Berkshire Hathaway In 19th Annual Backpack Challenge

A very special thanks to all the Taylor Day attorneys and staff who, through their support and generosity, were able to fill 35 backpacks to be donated to the 19th Annual Backpack Challenge.  That is in addition to the sizeable box of teacher-related supplies collected for donation.  The drive was organized by attorney, Brandi Londrico, and donated to Berkshire Hathaway Home Services (Avondale-Ortega), who spearhead’s the Backpack Challenge.  Last year, the drive donated over 1,000+ backpacks for distribution to students of all grade levels and this year’s goal was to beat that number.  We hope our donation helps them reach that goal!

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Supreme Court Hears Argument Over Judge’s Facebook Friendship With Attorney

Supreme Court Hears Argument Over Judge’s Facebook Friendship With Attorney

Yesterday the Florida Supreme Court heard arguments on whether a judge should be recused for being Facebook friends with an attorney appearing in front of her. A Miami law firm sought to disqualify Circuit Judge Beatrice Butchko on grounds that she was Facebook friends with an attorney representing the opposition. Judge Butchko refused to recuse herself and the matter was appealed to the Third District Court of Appeal. The Third DCA likewise refused to recuse Judge Butchko, finding a “friend” on a social networking website is not necessarily a friend in the traditional sense of the word. The Florida Supreme Court took on the issue given the important overarching theme – the possibility of the appearance of impropriety between the court and a party appearing before it. Justice Canady appeared to agree with the Third DCA when indicating, “Facebook friends frequently are friends of a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend,” before stating just participating in a network such as Facebook should not de facto lead to disqualification. But Justice Pariente warned participating in Facebook can be a danger leading to disqualification and the wiser course is not to have “lawyers as friends.” While certainly avoiding the appearance of impropriety is critical to a fair justice system, that must be balanced with benefit of networking between attorneys and judges. Judges and attorneys in Jacksonville frequently network at Jacksonville Bar Association and other civic events, such as Rotary Clubs. The Jacksonville Women Lawyers Association held an event […]

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The Great Fire of 1901

The Great Fire of 1901

THIS DAY IN HISTORY: May 3, 2018 marks the 117th anniversary of the Great Fire of 1901.  The glow from the flames could be seen in Savannah, GA.  The fire claimed many buildings including the second Duval County courthouse.  Ironically, the first Duval County Courthouse, constructed in the 1840s, was also burned to the ground during the Civil War.  Because all real estate records were destroyed in the fire, to this day, real estate deeds in Duval County refer either to “the current public records of Duval County, Florida” or, if the records predate the fire, “the former public records of Duval County, Florida.” It is the only county in Florida for which that is the case.   Learn more about the history of Duval County’s courthouses and the Great Fire of 1901.

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Shareholder, John D. Osgathorpe, Presents At 2018 ALFA International Client Seminar

Successful litigation requires in-house and outside counsel to be synergistic teammates.  Yet because of their nature and “nurturing,” often litigators’ collaborative skills need some rehabilitation to excel as team members instead of operating as a thrown together team of all-stars. Shareholder John Osgathorpe joined ALFA International friends Ashley Kisner (Strasburger & Price), Cate Huff (Gentry Locke), Tamera deWild (O’Reilly Automotive) and Eric Cotton (DDR) to present at the 2018 ALFA International Seminar on Collaboration: Challenges, Benefits and Best Practices.  

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Construction Defect Claim Statute of Repose (HB 377) Clarified

Construction Defect Claim Statute of Repose (HB 377) Clarified

On June 14, 2017, Governor Rick Scott signed HB 377, making it law effective July 31, 2017. HB 377 relates to the 10-year statute of repose relative to construction defect claims. The statute repose is the absolute bar precluding claims for construction defects on projects 10-years-old or older. Specifically, Fla. Stat. §95.11(3)(c) states that, regardless of the latency of a defect, no claim for construction defects can be asserted if brought beyond ten (10) years of the latest of actual possession by the owner, issuance of a certificate of occupancy, abandonment of construction, or completion of the contract. “Completion of the contract” had, for many years, gone undefined and was the subject of much litigation and arguably opened the construction industry to claims beyond the ten (10) year statute of repose. Then, in 2015, a Florida Court in Cypress Fairway Condominium v. Bergeron Construction Co., Inc., 164 So.3d 706 (Fla. 5th DCA 2015) defined “completion of the contract” as the date the owner issued final payment. But what happens in cases where the owner endlessly negotiates final payment, refuses to make the final payment, or cannot make final payment? Arguably, the statute of repose would lag on and on to the detriment of the contractor in those circumstances. The Cypress Condominium case would also arguably allow unscrupulous owners to intentionally withhold final payment simply to extend the statute of repose on any potential defect claims.

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The Slavin Defense’s Application to a Contractor’s Claims Against Its Subcontractors

The Slavin Defense’s Application to a Contractor’s Claims Against Its Subcontractors

Oftentimes, subcontractors raise the so-called Slavin Doctrine as an affirmative defense to third-party indemnity claims brought by general contractors in construction defect matters. Under the Slavin Doctrine, a contractor cannot be held liable for injuries sustained by third parties when the injuries occur after the contractor completed its work, the owner of the property accepted the contractor’s work, and the defects causing the injury were patent.1 Typically, subcontractors argue the Slavin Doctrine excuses a defective construction claim if the evidence concludes 1) a third party claims injury or damages after the work is complete, 2) the property owner accepted the contractor’s work, and 3) the defect causing the injury was apparent, or patent. For example, the Slavin Defense might be raised by a general contractor in response to a condominium association’s claim that the windows suffer from condensation and require repair or replacement, if it can be shown the developer accepted the windows and approved their installation, the contractor completed the work, and the condensation issue is apparent. However, oftentimes subcontractors, too, assert the defense against the general contractor that is seeking indemnity due to an owner’s claims of defective construction, arguing the elements of the defense are met and, therefore, the subcontractor is absolved of the claims brought by the general contractor.

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