Insurance companies may be celebrating a change in Florida law intended to limit aggressive litigation. But the state’s largest personal injury law firm will give carriers no quarter.
A Morgan & Morgan the company-wide memo suggests the firm’s only adjustment in legal strategy will be to push defendants harder.
“As we enter this new era, I want to make it unequivocally clear that we will not be giving an inch to carriers ever again,” wrote Matt Morganthe firm’s morgan/”>managing partnerand Reuven Moskowitzthe firm’s Chief Operating Officer. “Not one inch.”
The memo says lawyers are not authorized to grant extensions to attorneys representing insurers.
“They can figure it out or file a motion,” the executives wrote. “Under no circumstances will we be agreeing to any continuity, discovery extensions, or request to extend (the) deadline to answer complaints.”
Describing “red line rules” for the new legal environment, Morgan and Moskowitz said it would be a “serious internal offense if we find any courtesies being extended to the insurance industry.”
That posture goes across the board, including for any litigation that predates the March and the Legislative Session.
The Legislature approved a massive tort package (HB 837) that became the first bill passed in Session to be signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis.
The bill eliminates the requirement that policyholders cover attorneys’ fees for any party prevailing in a lawsuit against an insurance company.
While lawmakers stressed that Florida statute still allows avenues for plaintiffs to recover court costs, trial lawyers stressed that it’s less likely in cases where parties settle, the outcome of a vast majority of lawsuits against carriers.
It’s clear from the memo that lawyers take the change personally.
“We may want to help the human being defense attorney because we know them and maybe like them, but we will not because they work for an enemy who is heartless and ruthless,” wrote Morgan and Moskowitz. “The enemy who just tried to kill us in FL. They work for the enemy who would like nothing more but for you to be unemployed.”
And Morgan and Moskowitz allude to the party whose lawyers should keep top of mind: the clients.
“We work for the people,” they wrote. “Exclusively.”
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