REAL ESTATE: MORTGAGE FORECLOSURE; CIVIL PROCEDURE: SANCTIONS: DISMISSAL: DISMISSAL WAS TOO SEVERE A SANCTION FOR AN EIGHT DAY DELAY IN PAYING A $500 FINE BASED UPON NONCOMPLIANCE WITH A DISCOVERY ORDER: TO THE EXTENT THAT NONCOMPLIANCE WAS ATTRIBUTABLE TO COUNSEL, THE TRIAL COURT ERRED BY FAILING TO CONSIDER THE KOZEL v. OSTENDORF SIX FACTOR TEST: DEFENDANT, WHO WAS LIVING FOR FREE IN A HOME FINANCED BY THE PLAINTIFF, WAS NOT PREJUDICED BY THE DELAY

U.S. Bank National Association v. Whyte, ___ So. 3d ___, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D2422 (Fla. 3d DCA November 19, 2014)

The defendant in a mortgage foreclosure served a request to produce upon the plaintiff.  When the plaintiff failed to respond, the trial court granted the defendant’s motion to compel and imposed a $500 fine against the plaintiff.  When the … Click To Read Full Case Law Review...

FAMILY LAW: ATTORNEY’S FEES: CHARGING LIEN; MAGISTRATES: EXCEPTIONS; CIVIL PROCEDURE: SANCTIONS: TRIAL COURT ABUSED ITS DISCRETION BY DENYING EXCEPTIONS TO GENERAL MAGISTRATE’S RECOMMENDATIONS BASED UPON THE OBJECTING PARTY’S FAILURE TO PROVIDE OPPOSING COUNSEL WITH THE TRANSCRIPT OF THE HEARING BEFORE THE MAGISTRATE: A CONTINUANCE WOULD HAVE PROTECTED THE PREVAILING PARTY’S INTERESTS WITHOUT DENYING DUE PROCESS BY DEPRIVING THE OBJECTING PARTY OF A DETERMINATION ON THE MERITS

Goldberg v. Law Office of Sara Lawrence, P.A., ___ So. 3d ___, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D2304 (Fla. 4th DCA November 5, 2014)

The wife’s lawyer in a matrimonial case filed a notice of charging lien, which was referred to a general magistrate.  The wife filed timely exceptions to the magistrate’s recommendations, but the trial court denied them based … Click To Read Full Case Law Review...

CIVIL PROCEDURE: DISCOVERY: SANCTIONS: ORDER STRIKING THE DEFENDANT’S PLEADINGS AT HEARING ON PLAINTIFF’S MOTION TO COMPEL REVERSED BECAUSE OF (1) LACK OF NOTICE SANCTIONS WOULD BE CONSIDERED, (2) ABSENCE OF EXPRESS, WRITTEN FINDINGS ESTABLISHING WILLFUL OR DELIBERATE MISCONDUCT, FAILURE TO CONSIDER KOZEL v. OSTENDORF FACTORS, AND FAILURE TO CONDUCT AN EVIDENTIARY HEARING, (3) LACK OF RECORD EVIDENCE OF PREJUDICE, AND (4) LACK OF SUFFICIENT MISCONDUCT TO SUPPORT SEVEREST OF SANCTIONS

Celebrity Cruises, Inc. v. Fernandes, ___ So. 3d ___, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D2313 (Fla. 3d DCA November 5, 2014)

The plaintiff, a seaman, was injured during a fight with another crewmember on a cruise ship.  The trial court ordered the plaintiff, who resided in India, to submit to deposition before his fellow crewmembers were deposed.  The plaintiff sought relief … Click To Read Full Case Law Review...

REAL ESTATE: MORTGAGE FORECLOSURE: CIVIL PROCEDURE: TRIAL COURT DID NOT VIOLATE DUE PROCESS BY CONDUCTING TRIAL LESS THAN TWENTY DAYS AFTER THE LAST PLEADING WAS SERVED BECAUSE THE CASE WAS AT ISSUE BEFORE THE ANSWER WAS AMENDED, PLAINTIFF REPLIED TO THE ANSWER, PLAINTIFF DID NOT MOVE FOR AN IMMEDIATE CONTINUANCE AFTER THE ANSWER WAS FILED, AND THE BANK’S FAILURE TO PRODUCE A WITNESS FOR TRIAL WAS UNRELATED TO THE AMENDMENT: TRIAL COURT DID NOT ABUSE ITS DISCRETION BY DENYING MOTION FOR CONTINUANCE MADE AT TRIAL BECAUSE ALL OF BANK’S REPRESENTATIVES HAD BEEN ASSIGNED TO OTHER CASES: BANK’S OVERSCHEDULING OF ITS REPRESENTATIVES IN OTHER CASES DID NOT CONSTITUTE GOOD CAUSE FOR CONTINUANCE: TRIAL COURT DID NOT ABUSE ITS DISCRETION BY DISMISSING ACTION WITHOUT PREJUDICE BECAUSE THE TRIAL ORDER ADMONISHED THAT INABILITY TO RESOLVE CASE BY NON-JURY TRIAL MIGHT RESULT IN THE IMPOSITION OF SANCTIONS

HSBC Bank USA, N.A. v. Serban, ___ So. 3d ___, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D2218 (Fla. 1st DCA October 23, 2014)

Thirty-six days before the non-jury trial of a mortgage foreclosure, the trial court granted the defendant’s motion to amend his answer.  The bank filed its reply fifteen days before trial.  The bank moved for a continuance on the … Click To Read Full Case Law Review...

ARBITRATION: APPEALS: SANCTIONS: ATTORNEY’S FEES: SECTION 57.105, FLORIDA STATUTES: APPELLATE COURT DECIDES THAT SANCTIONS SHOULD BE IMPOSED AGAINST THE APPELLANT AND HIS LAWYER BECAUSE THEIR APPEAL PRESENTED NO JUSTICIABLE QUESTION AND WAS ON ITS FACE DEVOID OF MERIT

Nordt v. Nordt, ___ So. 3d ___, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D2184 (Fla. 3d DCA October 15, 2014)

The appellate court affirmed a non-final order compelling arbitration and “conclude[d] that sanctions should be imposed on [the appellant] and his counsel pursuant to section 57.105(1) [Florida Statutes] because his appeal of the order presented no justiciable question and was on its … Click To Read Full Case Law Review...