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Judicial Hellholes -- How Does South Florida Fare?

One of my fellow colleagues at Houck Anderson has provided me a copy of the American Tort Reform Foundation's 2010-2011 "Judicial Hellholes" piece. I recall reading the piece issued for 2009-2010, which ranked South Florida as the number one "Judicial Hellhole" in all of the United States. That is quite a notorious distinction that no jurisdiction wants. The 2009-2010 report can be found below at:

http://www.atra.org/reports/hellholes/report.pdf

This year, South Florida ranks as the number 4 "Judicial Hellhole" for all the United States. The report cites the Florida Legislature's passing of three laws: 1) a constructive notice requirement for slip-and-fall cases; 2) the approval of parents signing liability waivers on behalf of their minor child; and 3) caps on attorney's fees for attorneys that do work for the state. That report can be found by clicking below:

http://www.judicialhellholes.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/JH2010.pdf

Now, I do not provide this information because I agree with the reports issued. Far from it! I provide this information so that points of view on litigation in South Florida can be brought out to light and discussed in this forum. Litigation affects the maritime industry--just look at the amount of cruise lines involved in litigation here. In interpreting these reports, they are certainly quite one sided (they are issued by the American Tort Reform Foundation, aren't they?). However, they do highlight difficulties those of us in the defense community face in South Florida--high verdicts and scandals involving attorneys meant to uphold their oaths of attorney when they became members of the Florida Bar. We can only hope that South Florida will continue to make its way out of this notorious list.

If you are interested in reaching me or wish to discuss this issue further, please feel free to write me at miampandi@comcast.net or at Houck Anderson, P.A. at motero@houckanderson.com.

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