The Florida Supreme Court has quashed an 11th Circuit judge’s order prohibiting insurance company staff counsel from signing pleadings using a firm-like name.But one justice said that doesn’t mean trial courts are without any authority in the matter, and the court said it was not prejudging recommendations on the issue that are coming from The Florida Bar.In an April 19 order, the court vacated orders by Judge Paul Siegel that prohibited insurance company counsel from using firm names in proceedings and filings in his court. Siegel had prohibited the lawyers from using language that implied they worked for an independent law firm if they were actually staff counsel for the company. He also ordered that independent medical experts hired by the defense could not say they were paid by the “law firm” but would have to say they were paid by the insurance company.Lawyers representing insurance companies told the courts in oral arguments in March that full disclosure was always made to clients and no one was being harmed. They also argued that Judge Siegel overstepped his authority and, in essence, created and enforced a Bar rule, thereby infringing on the Supreme Court’s authority.In their order, the justices unanimously agreed, and noted they are expecting proposals from a special Bar study commission on the issue.“We determine that these prohibitions encroach upon this court’s ultimate jurisdiction to adopt rules for the courts,” the order said.The court added: “The Florida Bar has notified this court in this proceeding that the Special Commission on Insurance Practices II has performed a comprehensive study of issues similar to those identified in Judge Siegel’s orders and that the commission will submit recommendations from the study to this court.. . . granting these petitions, we are not ruling upon any matters which may be contained within the recommendations that may be provided in that report.”In a separate concurring opinion, Justice Barbara Pariente, joined by Justice Fred Lewis, wrote that the court was not saying that disclosure of an attorney’s actual employer could never be a factor in a case. “[T]he quashing of the orders should not be interpreted to mean that a trial court is without any authority to require disclosures of a lawyers’ employment in a pretrial disclosure or as a ruling as to issues that may arise during the trial for which information regarding the attorney’s employment may be relevant,” she wrote.The Board of Governors at its March meeting accepted the recommendations from the special commission. Those included that insurance company staff counsel can use firm-like names, as long as certain conditions are met, including disclosure to clients, and there is a physical and actual separation from the remainder of the company’s operations. The commission recommended, and the board approved, amending two Bar rules to clarify those and potential conflict issues for staff counsel.Those rules could be ready to submit to the court this summer. (See story in the April 1 Bar News. ) Text of the order can be found on the Supreme Court’s Web site at the April orders page at http://www.flcourts.org/sct/clerk/disposition/2002/4/index.html. Scroll down to the orders for April 19. The lead case for the petition to the court is United Services Automobile Association v. Goodman, case no. SC01-1700. Supreme Court quashes order in firm-like name case Supreme Court quashes order in firm-like name case May 15, 2002 Regular News
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About a month before she died, the nurse had a brain tumour removed. She called police two days before the murder, when Sturt began having delusions he was Jesus. But Ms O’Brien lived in fear of her violent and increasingly erratic boyfriend. He also forced Ms O’Brien to eat an apple so she could be like Eve and be enlightened. TVNZ One News 4 May 2020Family First Comment: “Shea Sturt attacked his girlfriend with scissors and smothered her with a pillow before strangling the brain surgery survivor with tracksuit pants to make sure she was dead. He had a long history of violence towards his girlfriend before killing her amid a CANNABIS-INDUCED psychotic state, the Supreme Court of Victoria was told.”But hey – dope just makes you sleepy eh.#saynopetodopeShea Sturt attacked his girlfriend with scissors and smothered her with a pillow before strangling the brain surgery survivor with tracksuit pants to make sure she was dead.The 33-year-old was in a drug-induced psychotic state when he killed 31-year-old Caitlin O’Brien at their Melbourne home in June 2019. Sturt was taken to hospital but released that night.READ MORE: https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/world/melbourne-man-in-drug-induced-psychotic-state-smothers-fatally-strangles-girlfriend
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