Monday, October 7, 2013

Equitable distribution, arbitration, family law and potato-fresh chive, sage, and rosemary frittata with brie cheese and whole wheat toast with Tupelo honey

Another certiorari petition is filed too late:
Appeals -- Certiorari -- Timeliness of petition -- Appellate court is without jurisdiction to consider petition for writ of certiorari to review discovery order where petition was filed more than 30 days after rendition of order -- Motion for reconsideration was not an authorized motion and did not suspend rendition of order or toll time period for filing petition for writ of certiorari -- Petitioner is not entitled to an additional five days to file petition because of fact that order was e-mailed to petitioner's counsel
MICCOSUKEE TRIBE OF INDIANS OF FLORIDA, etc., Petitioner, vs. GUY LEWIS, Esquire, et al., Respondents. 3rd District.

Knowing when to appeal is as important as what to appeal:
Appeals -- Court has no authority to grant belated appeal in a civil proceeding
MICHAEL GREEN, Petitioner, v. DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, Respondent. 1st District.

Knowing when to concede error is vital:
Appeals -- Sanctions -- Maintaining frivolous defense to appeal
M.B., Appellant, vs. AGENCY FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES, Appellee. 3rd District.

How long is the reach of long-arm jurisdiction?
Contracts -- Torts -- Jurisdiction -- Non-residents -- Law firm's action against former client for breach of contract and against former client's attorney for tortious interference with contract -- Allegations that out-of-state client breached contract with Florida attorneys by failing to make payment in state were sufficient to bring former client within ambit of long-arm statute -- Former client had sufficient minimum contacts with Florida where she voluntarily contracted with law firm in Florida to perform services on her behalf -- Error to dismiss claims against former client -- With respect to client's present attorney, complaint did not sufficiently allege that he committed a tortious act within Florida so as to provide basis for long-arm jurisdiction -- Actions giving rise to tortious interference claim against attorney occurred in foreign state, where attorney allegedly convinced former client to breach her contract with plaintiffs -- Fact that this action resulted in breach of a Florida contract and loss of income to a Florida firm is immaterial for purpose of determining jurisdiction
METNICK & LEVY, P.A., Appellant, v. BARBARA SEULING and LAW OFFICES OF ANTHONY J. PIRROTTI, P.C., Appellees. 4th District.

Dissolution of marriage -- Equitable distribution -- Decision regarding equitable distribution of marital home is deficient where no finding awarding equity in home can be discerned from record -- Where request for partition complies with statute, and is not contested by opposing party, failure to divide property is reversible error -- Imputation of income to former wife is not supported by findings or evidence -- Child support -- Error to require noncustodial parent to pay for private school tuition without required findings -- Error to require former husband to obtain life insurance to secure alimony and child support without required findings -- Attorney's fees -- Because equitable distribution award is reversed, it may be appropriate to reexamine attorney's fee award -- Contempt -- Error to require former husband to pay former wife's attorney's fees for enforcement of additional purge amount where former wife did not adequately demonstrate need for attorney's fees -- Because award of alimony and child support is reversed, determination that former husband is in contempt for failure to pay alimony and child support is also reversed -- Remand for more specific findings as to how amount of arrearage was calculated
DANIEL JOSEPH BRENNAN, Appellant, v. MARIANNE K. BRENNAN, Appellee. 4th District.

Why retaining appellate counsel in the trial court before appeal is helpful:
Dissolution of marriage -- No merit to husband's argument, raised for first time on appeal, that guardian ad litem's participation in trial requires reversal -- Although trial court erred when it allowed guardian ad litem to question witnesses, error was not fundamental and husband's failure to object constituted waiver of issue
JONATHAN MILLEN, II, Appellant, vs. ELIZABETH MILLEN, Appellee. 3rd District.

Trial courts can abuse their discretion in deciding injunctions:
Injunctions -- Domestic violence -- Dissolution of injunction -- In dissolving permanent injunction for domestic violence protection, trial court abused discretion by reweighing evidence supporting initial injunction rather than finding a change of circumstances since the injunction was issued
ALESSANDRA BARBIERI, Appellant, v. GLENN MULLER, Appellee. 5th District.

Signing with the express authority to sign is important in nursing home arbitration agreements:
Torts -- Nursing homes -- Arbitration -- Validity of arbitration agreement -- Where husband of nursing home resident signed arbitration agreement without indicating his authority to sign agreement on behalf of resident, it was error for trial court to deny defendants' motion to compel arbitration without holding evidentiary hearing to determine the validity of the agreement -- Trial court is required to conduct evidentiary hearing on motion to compel when there is a substantial issue regarding the making of the agreement -- Trial court should have conducted evidentiary hearing at which it considered parol evidence to determine whether resident assented to arbitration agreement in the absence of her signature, or whether resident's husband had authority to sign on resident's behalf -- Failure to sign an arbitration agreement does not automatically render the agreement invalid

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