April 19, 2024

Government/Politics & Law

Critical Mass

Florida gives rise to its share of class actions and mass tort claims. That's expected given its size as the third largest state by population and a history of pro-plaintiff laws and court rulings — a tendency GOP legislators and governors have had success in recent years reversing. Read more »
Published on 4/19/2024

Burger Suing King

If you don't know Delray Beach attorney Anthony Russo by name, you perhaps know his firm's work. He sued Wendy's, McDonald's, Arby's and Taco Bell for alleged consumer fraud for ads that portray products in quality and portions superior to what consumers actually get in stores. He sued Amazon for suspending rapid delivery in the early days of the pandemic, which he argued was a breach of contract with its Prime members. He sued candy maker Hershey over alleged fraud in its Reese's packaging. (Wrappers showed the likes of jack o'-lanterns but the actual candy lacked detail.) Read more »
Published on 4/16/2024

Courting Success

Chanel T. Rowe is the high achiever you remember from high school — she was in the pre-law magnet program, worked in retail, was a varsity cheerleader for the Flying L's of Fort Lauderdale High and graduated a year early. She just never slowed down. Read more »
Published on 12/15/2023

A Bridge Too Far

A federal appeals court has upheld a lower court ruling that contractor Skanska was negligent in its response to Hurricane Sally in 2020 when more than two dozen of its barges in Pensacola Bay broke loose from their moorings, causing massive damage to the $400-million bridge it was building. Read more »
Published on 10/25/2023

Knocked Down, Not Out

On the day in March that Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the Florida Legislature's historic changes in the laws governing the personal injury litigation arena, the chief operating officer of Orlando-based Morgan & Morgan wrote a memo to staff. A ubiquitous advertiser in Florida and nationally, under founder and main pitchman John “For the People” Morgan, the firm boasts of more than 800 lawyers and $15 billion recovered for clients. Read more »
Published on 8/17/2023

The Property Case

Last year in Florida, the Moises Gross law firm in Coral Gables ranked sixth among law firms in Florida filing suits against property insurance companies. It was high-volume, low-damages work — tens of thousands of dollars per claim, generally. Read more »
Published on 8/10/2023

A “Whopper” of a Verdict

Earlier this year when a Broward County jury awarded nearly $8 million to Richard Tulecki for a slip-and-fall accident in a Burger King restroom, his personal injury attorneys heralded the verdict as a triumph in the face of Florida's newly enacted limits on tort lawsuits. Read more »
Published on 8/10/2023

What the Legislature Did

Among other measures, the Legislature changed Florida law on: COMPARATIVE NEGLIGENCE… What changed: Previously, Florida was one of 12 “pure” comparative negligence states. Imagine a pedestrian on his phone who... Read more »
Published on 8/9/2023

Reading Between the Lines

Twenty years ago, St. Petersburg criminal defense attorney Lucas Fleming began noticing that many of his teenaged clients had something in common: They could barely read. Read more »
Published on 7/26/2023

Dial-an-Expert, No Charge

Steven D. Rubin, a South Florida real estate attorney for more than four decades, jokes that he has a bright idea every 40 years. Several years back, he had the... Read more »
Published on 7/21/2023

An Ounce of Prevention

Scott Westheimer, the new president of the Florida Bar, says education, mentoring and other proactive approaches can keep attorneys out of trouble. Read more »
Published on 7/21/2023

Serving those who serve: Florida attorneys' pro bono law project aids active duty military

Commercial litigation attorney Josh Roberts of Holland & Knight in Jacksonville recalls one of his first pro bono cases around 2008, when he helped an active-duty member of the Navy regain custody of his six-year-old son. The client had divorced his wife, who suffered from an addiction. He would pick up his son, only to find the ex-wife passed out on the sofa and his son neglected. Read more »
Published on 7/19/2023

Flood Zone Option

Some flood insurance policyholders in Panama City, seeing their household budgets squeezed by the steady rise in premiums, now have another option. Under the state's federally funded Rebuild Florida Voluntary Home Buyout Program, they can sell their homes at fair market value to the city. Read more »
Published on 6/23/2023

Insurance: Headwinds

While the Legislature addressed property insurance during special sessions last year, work remains as premiums continue to rise and insurers bail out. In the meantime, health care providers still struggle with rising costs, mental health coverage issues and staff shortages. Also on the agenda, there's opportunity for rare bipartisan agreement on two key issues: Resiliency and water. Read more »
Published on 3/8/2023

Health Care: Lingering Effects

Three years after it began sweeping the country, COVID-19 continues to cast a pall over the state's health care policy arena. Read more »
Published on 3/8/2023

2023 Florida Legislature Priorities

As Florida's population surges and the state posts a record surplus, there are common causes for Republican and Democratic legislators convening March 7: Defending against natural disasters and water shortages, upgrading infrastructure and providing for affordable housing and workforce needs. Read more »
Published on 3/8/2023

Update: Election results show Black, Hispanic women candidates bringing new perspectives to Florida politics

In the November 2022 issue of FLORIDA TREND, we profiled several Black and Hispanic women candidates who are part of a trend of more women of color running for political office. The 2022 election set a new high bar for women of color in Florida politics: 49% of women candidates running for major state or federal office in Florida are women of color. Read more »
Published on 11/10/2022

Black and Hispanic women running for office are shaking up Florida's political landscape

Ashley Gantt already has two careers under her belt: Teacher and attorney. Now she's embarking on a third: State legislator. Read more »
Published on 11/7/2022

AI-based program makes easy work of legal contract reviews

Reviewing contracts for legal purposes takes a lot of repetitive attention to detail. The use of artificial intelligence at the law firm Foley & Lardner makes that type of review easier, according to Jacksonville-based partner Chanley Howell. Read more »
Published on 10/27/2022

What the generational shift of Florida voters means for the future

The following excerpt is from the forthcoming book Generational Politics in the United States (University of Michigan Press). Susan A. MacManus is a University of South Florida professor emerita of political science. Anthony A. Cilluffo is an economist and holds a master's in public administration from Princeton University. Read more »
Published on 10/13/2022

Florida's rapid rise of No Party Affiliation voters

Amid the acrimony of partisan politics, the ranks of Florida's unaffiliated voters are growing rapidly. Their elusive and critical votes reflect changing demographics. Read more »
Published on 10/12/2022

Florida's new Secretary of the Department of Management Services to oversee state's IT infrastructure

Former U.S. Department of Homeland Security official Pedro Allende has been appointed Florida's new Secretary of the Department of Management Services, which is tasked with overseeing cyber-security for state government and administering tens of millions of dollars in new funding for government cyber-resiliency programs. Read more »
Published on 8/31/2022

The Case Against Scot Strems

South Florida attorney Scot Strems built his law firm suing insurance companies — and built the insurers' case for reining in lawyers. Read more »
Published on 8/24/2022

FAMU's Economic Justice Initiative provides free legal services to minority business owners 

With a $110,000 grant from Wells Fargo Bank, Florida A&M University's College of Law is spearheading its Economic Justice Initiative, which will provide free legal services to help minority-owned small-business owners as they launch and grow their enterprises. Read more »
Published on 7/26/2022

Attorney Mischelle D'Angelone reflects on her childhood and why she does so much pro bono work

Pasco County-based Mischelle D'Angelone, one of 20 lawyers recognized this year by the Florida Bar for service to low-income and disadvantaged clients, points to her own childhood as the reason why she does so much pro bono work, particularly work on behalf of children and families. Read more »
Published on 7/20/2022

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Giant domino line of cereal boxes falls to celebrate Cereal for Summer Drive
Giant domino line of cereal boxes falls to celebrate Cereal for Summer Drive

About one thousand cereal boxes were lined up by Achieva Credit Union employees in honor of the donations.

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