Attorney’s Fees

So, this is my second appellate win!  I wrote about this back in October.  The controversy centered around a mistake by the E/C’s computer system when it accidentally cut Claimant off from voluntary PTD payments.  Claimant filed a Petition for Benefits for reinstatement.  By the time the E/C corrected the error and paid past PTD with penalties and interest, more than 30 days passed and we owed a fee.  You can read the decision here.

The issue on appeal was: how much were the benefits that Claimant’s attorney secured?  The answer after the jump. . .


It was too good to be true.  This past July, I wrote of a proposed change by DOAH to the Rules of Procedure for W/C Adjudications that would put a time limit of when Claimant attorneys could file a Motion for Attorney’s Fees against an E/C.  The proposed rule change, specifically to Rule 60Q-6.107, was as follows:

“(4) Any party seeking an order determing the entitlement to or amount of attorney’s fees or costs shall file the motion therfor within 365 days after the provision of benefits, dismissal of claim, judicial order, or appellate mandate from which the movant claims attorney’s fees or costs are due.  Untimely motions or petitions for attorney’s fees or costs will be dismissed.”

It looks like a compromise was made and, effective October 31, there will be a new wrinkle towards Claimant attorney fee claims. (more…)

UPDATED! I forgot to include the this link to the video of my oral arguments.  I believe you need Windows Media Player to watch.  Enjoy!

In my last blog entry, I wrote of a pending oral argument for an appeal I was handled.  I did not want to publicly comment on the issue since it was a pending matter before the First DCA.  So, allow me some space to explain what the issues were.

At issue was the amount of a Carrier paid fee to a Claimant attorney where the only efforts to secure any benefits was simply filing a Petition. (more…)

For many of the changes in Workers’ Compensation, the saying would go “the legislature giveth, the legislature taketh.”  That saying remains true.  . . until the First DCA says otherwise.

In another precedent setting case, the Court finds that, for accidents after the 1994 changes, an implantation of a prosthetic device continuously tolls the Statute of Limitations since it is “remedial treatment.” 

But, what’s that you say?  Didn’t the Legislature specifically, and intentionally, remove prosthetic devices from s. 440.19 back in 1994?  Once again, that remains true. . . until the First DCA says otherwise.


To classify the FWCI Convention a “marathon” would be an understatement to say the least, but there were three new case discoveries I wanted to share that I learned of during the 3 day seminars. I will go through each one over the course of this week.

But first I want to address the biggest buzz I heard about during the Convention: a very recent lower court case that the Claimant’s bar is pursuing towards the First DCA regarding the constitutionality of the 7/1/09 changes to the attorney fee provision of section 440.34.

The case is Kaufmann v. Community Inclusions and you can read the Final Attorney Fee Order that is going up on appeal here.


While everyone gets ready for “Comp Camp” next month at the FWCI Convention in Orlando, with all of its catered meals, live music, and open bars, we must not forget that things actually get done at the Convention.  For example, the Division of Administration Hearings (DOAH) has proposed changes to the Rules of Procedure for W/C Adjudications and will be presenting them at a hearing at the Convention on August 18, from 8 am to 9:30 am.

These changes reflect the desire to transfer all legal pleadings to towards e-filing, as well as streamline the mediation process.  However, buried within these procedural changes is a whopper of a rule change that can affect every claims professional and HR person handling W/C files:  

Finally, DOAH is placing a Statute of Limitations on motions for Claimant attorney fees. (more…)

File this one under obvious decisions: Claimant asserts temporary partial disability benefits for a four month period.  The E/C asserts that Claimant is not entitled to any TPD payments since he voluntary limited his income during the entire time.  After a trial, the Judge found that Claimant was entitled to the entire period of TPD payments except for one week (presumably Christmas vacation). 

The E/C then filed a motion to tax costs under s. 440.34 for winning the one week of denied benefits. 

What do you think happened?


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