I saw an interesting piece on the Orlando Sentinel website discussing how closely the legislative agenda for the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Republican Party mirror one another. The Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives estimates that at least 90% of the Florida House’s agenda is the same as big-business-friendly Florida Chamber. One of the most interesting points in the article to me — as an Orlando personal injury attorney — was the inclusion in the agenda of an effort to eliminate “frivolous lawsuits.” In Florida, this has historically usually meant an effort to eliminate lawsuits and infringe upon the legal rights of regular people to bring claims against large corporations and insurance companies. In many instances, this means personal injury cases. However, there is absolutely zero evidence that there is a problem with or proliferation of personal injury cases, OR that significant numbers of them are “frivolous.” Data from virtually every Clerk of the Court anywhere shows that the numbers of personal injury cases filed has actually fallen in recent years. On the issue of whether these cases are “frivolous”, I don’t think there is any evidence supporting this, either. I believe the only thing that makes these cases “frivolous” is the fact that the corporations and insurance companies that have to answer them just don’t want to pay what they are currently legally obligated to pay. As I have blogged before, “frivolous” is all in the eyes of the beholder. Florida personal injury lawyers already face plenty of penalties for filing truly frivolous lawsuits. Since we only receive a fee if we win, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to bring cases that have no merit. If we lose cases without merit, we face stiff financial penalties of having to potentially pay the other side’s attorneys’ fees and costs. If we spend years of our lives working frivolous lawsuits that potentially have absolutely no value, we are wasting precious time assets that we could be using to work on meritorious cases that do generate money. In short, Florida personal injury lawyers have little incentive to work on “frivolous” lawsuits, and every incentive to hate them even more than the general public. By the way, any Clerk of the Court will tell you that the number of corporation versus corporation lawsuits have skyrocketed over the past several years. These cases are often filed by corporations in order to seek damages for breach of contract, use of copyrighted materials, etc. Funny thing that we’ve never heard the Florida Chamber of Commerce refer to these as frivolous lawsuits… If you have any questions about a real, legitimate, meritorious Florida injury case, call Winter Park personal injury lawyers Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at 407-254-4901. If you have a case that is truly frivolous and has no merit, please keep that one to yourself – or call...Read More »
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