More Coverage on the New Complex Litigation Rule 1.201 (Florida Bar News)

In this article on Rule 1.201, the Florida Bar News highlights a few of the changes included in the new complex litigation rule.

And also highlights the opinions of those who opposed the rule change:

The three dissenting justices sided with the Bar’s Rules of Civil Procedure Committee, which unanimously opposed the complex litigation rule, saying it would “micromanage cases” and the goals the rule seeks to accomplish can be found, for the most part, in existing rules. A minority of the task force — led by First District Court of Appeal Judge Peter Webster — also opposed the rule saying the creation of complex litigation divisions has the potential of “skimming the cream from the top of our available judicial labor pool” and could create the “impression that some litigants are getting more justice from the system than are others.”

Reconsideration or Rehearing: Is There a Difference?

James Wyman explains in the most recent edition of the Florida Bar Journal that: “while the rules of civil procedure themselves do not authorize motions for rehearing directed to nonfinal orders, a trial court does have the inherent authority to reconsider and alter or retract such orders prior to the entry of final judgment. Rather than constituting a motion for rehearing under Rule 1.530, a motion directed to a nonfinal order is actually a “motion for reconsideration” based upon this inherent and discretionary authority of the trial court.6 Despite this distinct and well-established basis for reconsideration of interlocutory orders, there still exists confusion among many practitioners about the differences between reconsideration and rehearing.”

Cabrera v. Pazos (Fla. 2d DCA March 2, 2006)

In Cabrera v. Pazosthe Second DCA found that “once a party files a proper rule 1.440(b) notice that a matter is ready for trial, it is the court’s duty to set the cause for trial. See Young, 730 So. 2d at 766 (“[I]t is the trial court’s responsibility to enter an order setting a date for trial, and it is the filing of the notice which bars the court from dismissing the action for lack of prosecution.”). Failure of the trial court to set the case for trial precludes dismissal for failure to prosecute despite the lack of record activity. Reyes, 895 So. 2d at 1274-75; see Pierstorff v. Stroud, 454 So. 2d 564, 565 (Fla. 2d DCA 1983). This matter was never scheduled for trial after Mr. Cabrera filed his notice for jury trial.

The trial court abused its discretion when it dismissed Mr. Cabrera’s complaint for failure to prosecute pursuant to rule 1.420(e). Accordingly, we reverse the final judgment of dismissal and remand for further proceedings.”