Senator Jeff Brandes Calls for Narrowing the Use of Contingency Fee Multipliers – the “Slot Machine” for the Legal Profession – on the Florida Chamber’s Bottom Line
TALLAHASSEE, FL (February 21, 2020) – As the Florida Legislature tackles narrowing the use of contingency fee multipliers, Senator Jeff Brandes tells the Florida Chamber’s Bottom Line that these fee escalators were never designed to be “the slot machines for the legal profession.”
In fact, contingency fee multipliers, which are used by trial lawyers to get legal fees two or three times higher than their normal, hourly rate, are only granted in “rare and exceptional” circumstances everywhere but Florida.
“We’re trying to level the playing field and set the standards as where it is in the rest of the 49 states and the federal standard,” Brandes explains.
Florida’s bottom five legal climate is costing the average family $4,442 each year in lawsuit abuse ‘taxes.’ Lawsuit abuse reform is a top legislative priority for the Florida Chamber.
Senator Brandes also discusses criminal justice reform as well as the future of innovation and disruptive technologies.
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Established in 1916 as Florida’s first statewide business advocacy organization, the Florida Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business and the state’s largest federation of employers, chambers of commerce and associations aggressively representing small and large businesses from every industry and every region. The Florida Chamber works within all branches of government to affect those changes set forth in the annual Florida Business Agenda, and which are seen as critical to secure Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber works closely with its Florida Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FloridaChamber.com for more information.
Tell the Senate to Put the Brakes on Higher Auto Rates
On February 28 at 4 P.M., the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services will debate a bill which would end the requirement that Florida drivers obtain no-fault personal injury protection insurance (PIP) coverage.
SB 150 would eliminate “no fault” insurance and require drivers to carry bodily injury protection insurance. Florida’s legal climate ranks in the bottom five, and is the worst “judicial hellhole” in the country. Our poor legal climate, along with a lack of bad faith reform which billboard trial lawyers use to increase the cost of claims, will drive up the cost of auto insurance over time as the number of lawsuits and the amount of each claim increases.
If you are wondering if this legislation is good for you as a consumer, ask yourself one question: “Why is it billboard trial lawyers’ number one must-pass bill?”
Stop the Trial Bar Agenda
Contact the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services and let them know that SB 150 is an accident waiting to happen.
Urge Lawmakers to Help Improve Florida’s Insurance and Legal Climates
On Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hear two bills – one that would improve Florida’s insurance climate and one that would make Florida’s legal climate even worse than it already is. Please email these key legislators on the Senate Judiciary Committee and urge them to support SB 1064 and oppose SB 794.
SB 1064 sponsored by Sen. Dorothy Hukill (R-Port Orange), allows insurance companies to write policies that prohibit the post-loss assignment of benefits or rights other than for purposes of payment. This protects the homeowner by allowing them to maintain the rights of their policy but allows the contractor or subcontractor to be directly paid by the insurer.
SB 1064 is Important to Florida’s Business Community Because the Bill:
- Protects insurers against inflated claims by insuring the homeowner maintains control of the repair and mitigation process
- Balances the rights of the homeowner and the insurer when a loss occurs
- Clarifies that insurers can prohibit the post-loss assignment of benefits as a part of an insurance policy
SB 794 (Prejudgment Interest) allows interest to be charged on damages from the date the injury or tort occurred, not from the date the legal decision was made. Delays in the legal system, which might not be due to the defendant, will only further drive up the cost of personal injury lawsuits. The result is that more companies will be forced to settle to avoid increased legal costs as a result of additional interest in a drawn out legal system.
Please take a moment now to contact these key legislators and urge them to VOTE YES ON SB 1064 and NO ON SB 794 during Wednesday’s Senate Judiciary Committee meeting.
Share your opinion with key Senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee.