All entries for June 2016

Provision of Workers' Compensation Law Limiting Temporary Total Disability Payments Ruled Unconstitutional

The Supreme Court of Florida recently ruled that Section 440.15(2)(a), Florida Statutes (2009) in the workers' compensation law chapter of the Statutes is unconstitutional because it limits disability benefits after 104 weeks to a worker who is totally disabled but who has not yet reached maximum medical improvement.  The basis for the determination of the Court was that this limit denies access to the court system in violation of Florida's Constitution.  

Some may perhaps term this judicial activism, however, since the Court effectively stated that the law should be rolled back to a previous iteration before legislators reduced the limit from 260 weeks to 104.  The decision can be found here

Man Not Permitted to Charge Visitation Expenses to Former Wife

A man nearly got away with charging his former wife around 97% of his travel expenses associated with visiting his children.  In the case of McWilson v. McWilson, 192 So. 3d 719 (Fla. 1st DCA 2016), the former husband had allocated on his income and expense worksheets in such a way that his former wife bore nearly the entire cost of his monthly travel expenses to visit his children.  

The First DCA reversed the trial court's order allowing this arrangement, sending it back to determine a more equitable share of expenses. However, the former husband got the trial court to agree with his math for a time and would have been successful without the appellate court's decision. 

This case illustrates why it is crucial to have a competent attorney representing your interests in a divorce.  The facts and law are complicated and having someone with the knowledge and experience to represent you can sometimes be the difference in getting taken advantage of.  Consult with our family law attorneys today if you have questions about your rights. 

Department of Labor Passes New Overtime Rules

The Department of Labor recently passed new changes to overtime rules, expanding protections for workers, raising the minimum salary requirements for exempt (non-overtime) employees, changing duties for certain classes of employees to provide greater potential overtime, and other changes.   These changes will have a substantial impact on a great number of businesses across the country. 

The text of the new rule and explanatory materials can be found here.  

If you have questions about your overtime rights, or how it will affect your business, talk to our employment law attorneys today.

Retaining Jurisdiction on Deficiency Deprives Court of Separate Action Jurisdiction

A curious result in a recent foreclosure action bears a closer look.  In the case of Higgins v. Dyck-O'Neal, Inc., 41 Fla. L. Weekly D1376 (Fla. 1st DCA June 9, 2016), the First District Court of Appeals held that the final order of the trial court which included language retaining jurisdiction to determine a deficiency judgment on the foreclosed note precluded jurisdiction of the trial court in a subsequent action for deficiency.  

The First DCA found that, since a deficiency was asked for in the complaint and included in a reservation by the trial court, the matter was resolved pending entry of the deficiency by the trial court in the first action and there was, essentially, nothing left to sue for in the second action.  

The decision has caught the attention, though not in a positive way, of other courts subsequently.  In fact, the First DCA's opinion has already seen criticism by the Second, Fourth, and Fifth DCAs.