Commercial Insurance Appellate Litigation

Commercial Insurance Appellate Litigation by Lydecker

The insurance coverage practice attorneys at Lydecker regularly represents international insurance carriers, third-party administrators, and insurance brokers on a wide array of insurance policy and coverage issues from the inception of a claim through trial, as well as any bad faith litigation stemming therefrom.

Our attorneys routinely assist carriers by providing opinions concerning coverage and defense opinions involving complex insurance issues, novel issues of law, and interpretations of specialized/manuscript insurance policies, reservation of rights, settlement agreements, cost-sharing agreements, and administrative responses (Civil Remedy Notices) involving statutory bad faith claims.

The firm also regularly handles insurance coverage litigation, as well as insurance disputes resolved through alternative dispute resolutions, including mediations and arbitration proceedings.

Lydecker’s Appellate Practice Division regularly handles appeals in the various Florida District Courts of Appeal, the Florida Supreme Court, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court. Our Appellate Practice group provides a full range of services in state, federal, and administrative cases. The Firm handles numerous high-stakes appeals, issues of the first impression, cases with industry-wide significance, and multi-party suits.

Why Insurance Professionals Need a Strong Appellate Attorney In High-Stakes Insurance Litigation

In this video, we will explain

  • Why Insurance Professionals Need to take Appellate Law Into Consideration
  • How Insurance Professionals Choose the Right Law Firm
  • How Appellate Lawyers Succeed for Insurance Professionals
  • How Appellate Lawyers Avoid Overturning of Insurance Cases
  • Why Insurance Professionals Choose Lydecker

ABOUT FORREST ANDREWS

Thank you Forrest Andrews for providing this insightful education for insurance professionals.

Forrest Andrews is a Florida Board-Certified Appellate Attorney and Partner with Lydecker, a full-service law firm with more than 80 attorneys and with offices in Florida, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

As one of only about 100 Board-Certified Appellate Attorneys in Florida, Forrest brings deep and broad experience in appellate, commercial, and state and federal litigation in high-profile cases.

Forrest provides litigation support services to trial counsel by developing effective strategies at the trial level in anticipation of an appeal. He is often brought in at the beginning of a case to guide insurance clients to identify the issues to raise, the arguments to make, and the procedures to navigate.


ABOUT LYDECKER

Lydecker is a Full-Service AV-rated national law firm with offices throughout New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida.

Since its founding, Lydecker has built a distinguished history of skilled and effective legal service to its clients.

Visit www.lydeckerlaw.com

*Please note that watching this video does not create an attorney-client relationship. Therefore, please do not comment with any confidential or otherwise sensitive information without first speaking to one of our attorneys and receiving confirmation that a conflicts check has been performed, conflicts cleared, and the firm has agreed it will accept the engagement. Any information submitted prior to establishing an attorney-client relationship may not be protected. Thank you.

The Weight Is Over – Florida Finally Adopts The Federal Summary Judgment Standard

The Florida Supreme Court did not allow 2020 to pass without addressing an issue “which has long been the subject of thoughtful commentary” in the legal community for decades:  whether Florida should adopt the Federal summary judgment standard?

That issue is not merely academic as countless parties have experienced having a summary judgment motion denied under the heavy burden imposed by the current Florida standard, whereas a different result may have been obtained under the federal standard.  

On December 31, 2020, the Court answered the question in the affirmative and amended Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.510(c) on its own initiative pursuant to its rule-making authority.  The new amendment becomes effective May 1, 2021.  Because Rule 1.510(c) is procedural in nature, the amendment should apply to all cases pending on May 1, 2021.  See e.g. Montello v. Montell, 937 So. 2d 1154 (Fla. 3d DCA 2006) (holding that rule amendment applied to all cases pending on or after its effective date).

Federal v. Current Florida Standard 

Under federal and Florida law, summary judgment is designed “to secure the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action” by providing a mechanism for the early disposition of cases that do not present genuine triable issues.  Despite similarities between Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 and Florida Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 1.510(c), interpretation and application of both standards could not be more stark. 

For instance, while the federal standard set forth in the Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317 (1986) line of cases hold that claims may proceed to trial only if there is enough evidence for jurors to reasonably find for the nonmovant, the current Florida standard  precludes summary judgment if there is the “slightest doubt” as to the existence of a genuine issue of material fact.  Craig v. Gate Maritime Properties, 631 So. 2d 375 (Fla. 1st DCA 1994); Jones v. Dirs. Guild of AM., Inc., 584 So. 2d 1057 (Fla. 1st DCA 1991); Greene v. Twistee Treat USA, LLC, 302 So. 3d 481 (Fla. 2d DCA 2020; Gidwani v. Roberts, 248 So. 3d 203 (Fla. 3d DCA 2018); E. Qualcom Corp. v. Global Commerce Center Ass’n, Inc., 59 So. 3d 347 (Fla. 4th DCA 2011); Besco USA Intern. Corp. v. Home Sav. Of America FSB, 675 So. 2d 687 (Fla. 5th DCA 1996).  

Moreover, Florida courts have imposed upon the moving party the onerous burden of having to prove a negative: the non-existence of a genuine issue of material fact.  Holl v. Talcott, 191 So. 2d 40 (Fla. 1966) As borne out through practice, application of the current Florida standard has produced inconsistent results and led to the unnecessary prolonging of specious claims.

Amended Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.510(c)

Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.510(c) has been amended as follows:

The summary judgment standard provided for in this rule shall be construed and applied in accordance with the federal summary judgment standard articulated in Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317 (1986); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242 (1986); and Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574 (1986).

The Florida Supreme Court explained that “[t]hrough this amendment, we align Florida’s summary judgment standard with that of the federal courts and of the supermajority of states that have already adopted the federal summary judgment standard. See Zachary D. Clopton, Procedural Retrenchment and the States, 106 Calif. L. Rev. 411, 432 (2018) (identifying thirty-seven states as having adopted the federal standard in whole or in part; since then a thirty-eighth state (Utah) has embraced the federal standard).

Conclusion 

The adoption of the federal summary judgment standard is a monumental shift in the law and a game-changer to Florida civil practice because: (i) the moving party will no longer have to disprove the opposing party’s claims; (ii) Florida courts will not have to accept assertions of fact or theories that are contradicted by the record evidence; and (iii) a non-moving party will no longer be able to defeat summary judgment by merely showing that the record raises the “slightest doubt” that material issues of fact could be presented.

In addition to making it easier to obtain summary judgment in Florida, it is anticipated that Florida litigants may be dissuaded from bringing dubious claims – which is not so under the current Florida standard.  

The trial and appellate attorneys at Lydecker have advocated for and anticipated Florida’s ultimate adoption of the federal summary judgment standard.  Therefore, we have the knowledge, insight, and experience to ensure proper record development in pending cases and effective strategies for taking advantage of the new summary judgment standard.

Attorney Spotlight: Forrest Andrews, Board-Certified Appellate Attorney

Forrest Andrews is a Florida Board-Certified Appellate Attorney and Partner with Lydecker, a full-service law firm with more than 80 attorneys and with offices in Florida, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. 

As one of only about 200 Board-Certified Appellate Attorneys in Florida, Forrest brings deep and broad experience in appellate, commercial, and state and federal litigation in high-profile cases. 

Forrest provides litigation support services to trial counsel by developing effective strategies at the trial level in anticipation of an appeal. He is often brought in at the beginning of a case to guide insurance clients, identify the issues to raise, the arguments to make, and the procedures to navigate. 

Before coming to Lydecker in 2018, Forrest served as an assistant city attorney for the City of Miami. He began his career in 2005 with the Miami-Dade County State Attorney’s Office as an assistant state attorney before moving on to the Florida Office of the Attorney General as an assistant attorney general.

When working with clients, Forrest provides them with the right guidance, strategy, and recommendations to move their case forward and resolve cases quickly and successfully. He helps them anticipate issues, see possibilities, and go beyond winning the case to securing rulings that bring clarity for future cases. 

Comprehensive preparation is a hallmark of Forrest’s approach. He understands how an issue is likely to play out in front of a jury or judge, develops contingency plans, and has an answer for every possible development. He operates outside of conventional thinking, has cultivated a highly respected reputation among appellate judges, and knows how to write motions and briefs that educate and influence on behalf of his clients. 

Forrest earned his Juris Doctorate from Albany Law School in 2005 and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Delaware in 2002.

He enjoys sports, particularly baseball, and loves playing basketball. He likes to travel and spend time outdoors.

Please note that submitting a message to us using this website does not create an attorney-client relationship. Therefore, please do not submit to us any confidential or otherwise sensitive information without first speaking to one of our attorneys and receiving confirmation that a conflicts check has been performed, conflicts cleared, and the firm has agreed it will accept the engagement. Any information submitted prior to establishing an attorney-client relationship may not be protected. Thank you.

Please note that submitting a message to us using this website does not create an attorney-client relationship. Therefore, please do not submit to us any confidential or otherwise sensitive information without first speaking to one of our attorneys and receiving confirmation that a conflicts check has been performed, conflicts cleared, and the firm has agreed it will accept the engagement. Any information submitted prior to establishing an attorney-client relationship may not be protected. Thank you.

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