UNITED AUTOMOBILE INS. CO. v. PETER F. MERKLE, M.D., P.A., 35 Fla. L. Wkly D620a (Fla. 4th DCA Mar. 17, 2010)

In this insurance coverage dispute, the circuit court affirmed a county court judgment against the insurer on the basis that its opposing summary judgment expert affidavit contained “technical defects” (which are not identified in the opinion).  The Fourth District reversed because summary judgment may not be granted by reason of a technical defect in an affidavit unless the appellate court first provides leave to amend the affidavit, if requested by the non-movant.

UNITED AUTOMOBILE INS. CO. v. PETER F. MERKLE, M.D., P.A., 35 Fla. L. Wkly D620a (Fla. 4th DCA Mar. 17, 2010)

CHRISTIAN N. ZARRA et al. v. KEN BURKE, 35 Fla. L. Weekly D436a (Fla. 2d DCA February 24, 2010)

In this class action case, plaintiffs sued the clerk of court for charging “a reopen fee for cases previously reported as disposed of.”  The trial court dismissed the complaint with prejudice for failure to state a cause of action after two amendments because of “pleading deficiencies.”  The trial court reasoned that a “re-opening fee” could be charged in such cases if one followed the “Summary Reporting System Manual.”  The Second District affirmed, with a special concurrence requesting clarity from the legislature and judiciary on this issue.

CHRISTIAN N. ZARRA et al. v. KEN BURKE, 35 Fla. L. Weekly D436a (Fla. 2d DCA February 24, 2010)

Ramle Int’l Corp. v. The Greens Condo. Assoc., No. 3D08-2834 (Fla. 3d DCA Feb. 10, 2010)

In this attorneys’ fees case, Ramle Int’l prevailed at trial and was awarded attorneys’ fees as part of the judgment. The trial court reserved jurisdiction as to the amount of fees and Ramle waited eleven months to file its motion to determine the amount of attorneys’ fees owed.

After Ramle moved for a determination of fees, The Greens Condo filed a brief in opposition arguing that Ramle waived its right to seek attorneys’ fees by failing to file its motion within 30 days of judgment, which they argued was required by Rule 1.525, Fla. R. Civ. Pro. The trial court then denied Ramle’s fee motion as untimely and The Greens Condo appealed.
The Third DCA reversed the trial court, finding that the time limit in Rule 1.525 only applied to the determination of entitlement to fees, not in cases where the Court has already established entitlement.  Citing Amerus Life Ins. Co. v. Lait, 2 So.3d 203, 207 (Fla. 2009).