Taylor Day Law

The Briefing

Get to know this week’s featured attorney, Victoria E. Armstrong.

Get to know this week’s featured attorney, Victoria E. Armstrong.

This week’s featured attorney is Victoria Armstrong.  An integral part of Taylor Day’s PIP Defense team, she recently released an article examining the question raised by the Fourth District regarding Sovereign Immunity Liability.  Originally from Waterloo, Ontario, we look back at how she came to be at Taylor Day. What made you decide to move to the U.S., specifically Florida? After taking the LSAT, I received surveys about what type of law I wanted to practice and where. After I completed the surveys, I started to receive literature from Florida Coastal. I toured the school with my Dad and decided I was moving to Florida.  What made you decide to stay in Florida once you graduated? Sun, sand and not having to scrape my car or shovel the driveway. I also love Jacksonville and have great friends here! You recently got engaged to your fiancé Jason.  How did the two of you meet? I went on a date with his roommate, who then introduced me to Jason. When not practicing law, what are some of your favorite past-times? Going to the beach, traveling and trying to keep up with book club.  If you weren’t practicing law, what else would you be doing? An interior designer/decorator.  If you’d like to learn more about Victoria and her dog Cali, view her online biography.

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Citing to the Recent Rise of High-Profile Mass Shootings, Fourth District Court of Appeal Certifies Question of Great Public Importance to Florida Supreme Court Regarding Sovereign Immunity Liability

Citing to the Recent Rise of High-Profile Mass Shootings, Fourth District Court of Appeal Certifies Question of Great Public Importance to Florida Supreme Court Regarding Sovereign Immunity Liability

Pursuant to Florida’s Sovereign Immunity Statute (§768.28), the State of Florida and its political subdivisions has limited liability in tort for damages. Pursuant to the statute, the state is not required to pay a claim which exceeds $300,000.00 for all claims or judgments. Narrowly construed, this means that the cap is $300,000.00 for multiple claims arising out of the same negligent act(s) committed by the state agency. However, the Fourth District Court of Appeal recently held that a broader reading of the statute could allow a per injury limitation. The Fourth District Court of Appeal heard argument on the state entities’ Motion to Certify a Question of Great Public Importance to the Supreme Court regarding the sovereign liability. In the underlying claim, a negligence action was filed in Palm Beach County against the Department of Children and Families by the father/guardian of four children killed and one child injured by their mother’s boyfriend. The Complaint alleged that the department breached its duties to the children, resulting in their death and injury. With the question being whether damages are capped at $300,000.00 for the claims of all the children or $300,000.00 per claim. The Fourth District Court of Appeal granted the motion and certified the following question to the Supreme Court: “When multiple claims of injury or death arise from the same act of negligence committed by a state agency or actor, does the limitation on the waiver of sovereign immunity in section 768.28(5), Florida Statutes, cap the liability of state agencies […]

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Taylor Day Sponsors 2019 OneJax Humanitarian Awards Dinner

Taylor Day Sponsors 2019 OneJax Humanitarian Awards Dinner

Taylor Day is proud to be one of the sponsors for the 2019 OneJax Annual Humanitarian Awards Dinner, to be held Thursday, April 11th. This annual event honors individuals who have made a significant humanitarian contribution to their communities. OneJax is an interfaith organization dedicated to achieving civility, understanding and respect for all through education, dialogue and community-building. Learn more about OneJax by visiting https://www.unf.edu/onejax/.

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Florida’s Fifth DCA taketh away, but also giveth, to construction defect defense attorneys

Florida’s Fifth DCA taketh away, but also giveth, to construction defect defense attorneys

Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeal recently offered some clarity on two oft-argued defenses in construction defect matters. In CB Contractors, LLC v. Allens Steel Products, Inc., the 5th DCA reviewed both 1) indemnity provisions challenged under Fla. Stat. 725.06; and 2) common law indemnity claims brought by general contractors against their subcontractors. 2018 WL 6579215 (Fla. 5th DCA 2018). Typically, construction defect defense litigators will argue either via Motion to Dismiss or in affirmative defenses that an indemnity provision that does not comply with the mandates of Fla. Stat. 725.06 is void and unenforceable. Likewise, citing to Paul N. Howard Co. v. Affholder, Inc., 701 So. 2d 402 (Fla. 5th DCA 1997), defense counsel regularly argue subcontractors do not, as a matter of law, share a common obligation with the general contractor that may give rise to a common law indemnity claim. In CB Contractors, the 5th DCA virtually eliminated these two defenses. However, the court may have also provided significant insight on how to address multi-count claims that are, at their core, indemnity by another name. First, the court reviewed the matter of whether an indemnity provision that fails to comply with Fla. Stat. 725.06 is void and unenforceable, or whether just the portion of the indemnity provision that fails to comply is void. In analyzing the indemnity provision at issue, the trial court found the requirements of Fla. Stat. 725.06 were not met and the clause was deemed void and unenforceable in whole. The 5th DCA overturned this decision, finding support in prior case law that only the non-compliant portion […]

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Taylor Day Continues Expanding, Welcomes Shircola D. Powell

Taylor Day Continues Expanding, Welcomes Shircola D. Powell

Taylor Day welcomes its second associate this month, Shircola Powell. Shircola graduated with a B.A. in criminal justice before pursuing her J.D. She began her legal career in the banking industry, focusing on financial crime investigations including money laundering, terrorist financing, fraud, bribery and more. Shircola now joins our Automotive Accident Defense practice as part of the auto-accident fraud team. View Shircola’s biography. 

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Taylor Day Welcomes New Associate Ryan S. Treulieb

Taylor Day Welcomes New Associate Ryan S. Treulieb

Originally from East Meadow, Ryan earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Legal Studies at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, New York before obtained his Juris Doctor from Florida Coastal School of Law in 2015. Previously at Fidelity Investments, he obtained the Series 7, 63 and 66 licenses, and gained a strong knowledge base for financial products and the financial market. During his free time, Ryan plays guitar for his local church. He joins us as the newest member of our Florida Workers’ Compensation Defense team. Learn more about Ryan by viewing his biography.  

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Why Choose an ALFA Member Firm?

Why Choose an ALFA Member Firm?

ALFA International is an exclusive global network of independent law firms, who partner together, to provide clients and in-house counsel high quality, cost-effective legal solutions.  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. 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.

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Florida Supreme Court Rules Frye, not Daubert, is the Appropriate Test in Florida Courts

In April of 2013, the Florida Legislature passed a bill to amend the statutory standard for admission of expert testimony at trial, adding Florida to a long list of states rejecting the longstanding Frye standard and adopting the current federal standard, known as Daubert, in its place.  However, in the five years since it became effective, challenges to the constitutionality of the amendment has generated much debate and confusion regarding how an expert’s opinion is evaluated to determine whether it may be offered at trial.  A trial judge in Florida has broad discretion to determine the subject matter of an expert’s testimony; however, the court is bound to and must nonetheless follow applicable law.  Earlier this week the Florida Supreme Court released its opinion in DeLisle v. Crane Co., No. SC16-2182 (Fla. Oct. 15, 2018), weighing in on what the law actually is – and according to the court, the winner is Frye. Prior to the 2013 amendment, section 90.702, Florida Statutes, stated: If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact in understanding the evidence or in determining a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education may testify about it in the form of an opinion; however, the opinion is admissible only if it can be applied to evidence at trial. As amended in 2013, section 90.702 provides: Testimony by experts.—If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact in understanding the […]

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Three Taylor Day Attorneys Appointed to the Chester Bedell Inn of Court

Three Taylor Day Attorneys Appointed to the Chester Bedell Inn of Court

Congratulations to Christina Williams, appointed to be a Barrister, and Katherine Rafferty and Michael Cox, who have been appointed as Associates to the Chester Bedell Inn of Court.  American Inns of Court are designed to improve the skills, the professionalism, and the legal ethics with which the bench and the bar perform their functions.  Joining fellow Barrister and Shareholder, Chris Muller, Christina will assist Associates of the Inn of Court in helping them become more effective advocates, with a keener ethical awareness, by providing them with the opportunity to learn side-by-side with the most experienced judges and lawyers in their communities.  Katherine and Michael will serve one-year terms and Christina will serve a three-year term. 

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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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