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(c) 2016 Jon L Gelman, All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Florida Upholds Low Counsel Fees

$164.54 for 107.2 hours of legal work

"Constrained by the statutory formula set forth in section 440.34(1), Florida
Statutes (2009), the judge of compensation claims awarded claimant’s counsel an
attorney’s fee of only $164.54 for 107.2 hours of legal work reasonably necessary
to secure the claimant’s workers’ compensation benefits. We do not disagree with
the learned judge of compensation claims that the statute required this result, and
are ourselves bound by precedent to uphold the award, however inadequate it may
be as a practical matter. "
*****
"In the circumstances, we certify to the Florida Supreme Court the following as a question of great public importance:
WHETHER THE AWARD OF ATTORNEY’S FEES IN
THIS CASE IS ADEQUATE, AND CONSISTENT
WITH THE ACCESS TO COURTS, DUE PROCESS,
EQUAL PROTECTION, AND OTHER
REQUIREMENTS OF THE FLORIDA AND
FEDERAL CONSTITUTIONS.

The fee award is affirmed, and the question of its constitutional adequacy is
certified to the supreme court. "


MARVIN CASTELLANOS, 
Appellant, 
v. 
NEXT DOOR COMPANY/ 
AMERISURE INSURANCE 
CO., 
Appellees. (Filed Oct. 23, 2013)