Insurance companies may be celebrating a change in Florida law intended to limit aggressive litigation. But the state’s largest personal injury law firm will give carriers no quarter.
A Morgan & Morgan company-wide memo suggests the firm’s only adjustment in legal strategy will be to push defendants harder.
“As we enter this new era, I want to make it unequivocally clear that we will not be giving an inch to carriers ever again,” wrote Matt Morgan, the firm’s managing partner, and Reuven Moskowitz, the firm’s Chief Operating Officer. “Not one inch.”
The memo says lawyers aren’t authorized to grant extensions to attorneys representing insurers.
“They can figure it out or file a motion,” the executives wrote. “Under no circumstances will we be agreeing to any continuances, discovery extensions, or request to extend (the) deadline to answer complaints.”
Describing “red line rules” for the new legal environment, Morgan and Moskowitz said it will be a “serious internal offense if we find any courtesies being extended to the insurance industry.”
That posture goes across the board, including for any litigation that predates March and the Legislative Session.
The Legislature approved a massive tort package (HB 837) that became the first bill passed in Session to be signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis.
The bill eliminates the requirement that policyholders cover attorneys fees for any party prevailing in a lawsuit against an insurance company.
While lawmakers stressed that Florida statute still allows avenues for plaintiffs to recoup court costs, trial lawyers stressed that it’s less likely in cases where parties settle, the outcome of a vast majority of lawsuits against carriers.
It’s clear from the memo that lawyers take the change personally.
“We may want to help the human being defense attorney because we know them and maybe like them, but we will not because they work for an enemy who is heartless and ruthless,” Morgan and Moskowitz wrote. “The enemy who just tried to kill us in FL. They work for the enemy who would like nothing more but for you to be unemployed.”
And Morgan and Moskowitz allude to the party who lawyers should keep top of mind: the clients.
“We work for the people,” they wrote. “Exclusively.”
March 28, 2023 at 7:34 pm
Go Florida, Morgan and Morgan advertise insurance companies pay. Not true everyone who is required to hold a policy pays for their jets and constant non stop adds. Must stop now Florida must do more to rain in exorbitant pay outs, PLEASE
March 29, 2023 at 2:27 am
If everyone didn’t try to get rich off of insurance we won’t have to pay 10;000 for insurance the way it’s going the insurance coast more than the house we will have to take out a mortgage on insurance to be able to pay for it.
Emma The Dog
March 29, 2023 at 6:39 am
I told my master John to pay the legislatuers off like we do everytime they bring this up. But noooo his snot nose kid Matt thinks hes the boss now and refused to pay them.
Now they are taking away my Alpo because the firm is going broke. Darn that snot nosed kid.
March 29, 2023 at 8:20 am
They ask for favors more than the defense does. They won’t be able to handle a two way scorched earth policy and the Judges are not going to take kindly with their gumming up hearing times on routine motions. That memo will come back to haunt them
March 29, 2023 at 12:58 pm
I suspect many defense lawyers will see this as a gift and be requesting extensions just to keep the refusal in their back pocket for when one of these lawyers misses a deadline, with Exhibit 2 being the firm email on this new ‘policy.’
It’s not hard to imagine a judge somewhere making an example out of them for exactly the reason you say, and a malpractice lawyer could have a field day if they lose a case on a missed deadline because of this policy.
April 1, 2023 at 10:39 am
Lol exhibit 2! Good idea!
March 29, 2023 at 8:26 am
Different kind of insurance. Not related.
March 29, 2023 at 9:13 am
I’m sorry so many people feel this way. It’s a double edged sword, for both sides. I placed a claim for a broken water pipe , prior to Ian and was denied. Hired an insurance mitigation team that did nothing, I completely did all the work. They were offered a small settlement, so we hired an attorney. After rambling back and fourth compiling estimates we were tired we settled. Here’s the breakdown our first demand was for $90,000 they denied us our second demand $90,000, they countered $23,000. With lawyer who said we were a strong case ended up settling for $90,000 less 20% mitigation , and $30,000 lawyers fees and costs. Net $50,000. Had insurance just paid our claim and been fair we as policy holder could have fixed our home and went on with our lives. But now we’re $40,000 in the hole lawyers got there money. So you see we lost insurance companies pray on our vulnerabilities as do some attorneys. In the end we all lose
March 29, 2023 at 9:47 am
douchesantis just opened up a well deserved can of whoop ass.
March 29, 2023 at 2:39 pm
Not quite. Regardless of what legislation “[d]ouchesantis” signed, the primary recipients of that “can of whoop ass” you refer to are going to be the actual attorneys doing the work. Trust me, you’re about to see a complete deterioration in efficiency and civility between defense counsel and plaintiff’s counsel, which will make things even worse than they already are.
March 29, 2023 at 10:16 am
It is amazing to me that over the last 10 years insurance carriers have paid out more than $16B in claim money from these lawsuits. Homeowners only received 8% of that $16B to fix our homes. The blood sucking legal firms received 78%, or nearly $12.5B, of that number which is mind blowing. Morgan & Morgan filed more lawsuits against insurance carriers last Thursday than the state of California did last year by 7 times! Maybe it is time for these attorney firms to be unemployed after making billions off our backs.
March 29, 2023 at 6:16 pm
March 29, 2023 at 5:33 pm
This is what happens when you’re a mediocre lawyer with the right last name… this guy is going to get the lawyers in his firm slapped with sanctions in every courthouse from here to California. Which is why he’s already issued an internal email walking all of this back.
March 29, 2023 at 6:15 pm
March 29, 2023 at 5:44 pm
Was about time that Florida lawmakers put these leaches in their place. It’s disgusting the barrage of lawyer ads on TV, radio and social media competing in their claims as to how much money they got for their so called clients. But it’s even more disgusting the so called clients exposing themselves to unnecessary treatments and even surgeries just to pad their settlements.
At the end it’s the law firms, their hired so called experts and medical facilities that get to keep the bulk of the settlement and clients pennies on the dollar. Wake up people, in the end it’s your name that will appear on data bases and next time you renew your policy be prepared to pay. I am an insurance consumer as you all, and I am tired of paying high insurance rates as the result of these law firms enticing people to file claims that subsequently end in litigation where the law firms make their money. While Florida lawmakers tried to correct the tort laws with these new laws they should have addressed the PIP as well.
March 29, 2023 at 6:09 pm
Follow up: Some law firms advertise that they don’t sue individuals but their insurance company, NOT so. In Florida the party being sued is served with the law suit and the individual’s insurance company has to defend the policy holder.
Another thing I like to address is that some law firms that claim they have the people’s best interest is NOT so. See if they’ll represent you if the other party has NO insurance (they won’t as there is no money to be made).
March 30, 2023 at 10:20 pm
The lawyer will generally only file a lawsuit if there is an insurance policy to pay. Many people are deterred from seeking compensation because of the the financial impact it may have on the at-fault party. The firm is not in the business of bankrupting individuals. Most are not collectible. Most times it doesn’t make good business sense for the client or the firm to file a lawsuit if the other side has no insurance. If it’s a big/strong enough claim and a collectible defendant the analysis may change.
March 29, 2023 at 8:15 pm
Morgan and Morgan is a primary example to why the civil justice system is so broken. They are scumbags who have a billion dollar racket with certain Doctors, all of which have huge financial benefits in lying, cheating and unfortunately maiming plaintiffs with unnecessary surgeries, only to raise the “past meds” and “future care” demands. They literally harm their clients to drive their BS narrative of “For the People”
March 31, 2023 at 8:35 am
DeSantis really took a blow against the people of Florida. I voted for him in both of his races for governor in both the primary and the main election, as did my my entire family – my wife, four adult kids and their spouses. We gave him money, we advocated amongst our friends and colleagues for him, and we bought his campaign apparel and signs. NEVER AGAIN. He is a third-rate sellout to the insurance companies and a disgrace to the people he purports to represent. #FJB and #FRD
March 31, 2023 at 11:26 am
There is a reason Florida has the highest home owner property rates in the country and it’s not b/c of Desantis being a sellout. As the story states, the vast majority of suits against carriers end in settlements. Why do you think that is? B/c its cheaper to settle than to fight in a court even if half of the suits are not warranted.
As someone posted earlier, “The last 10 years insurance carriers have paid out more than $16B in claim money from these lawsuits. Homeowners only received 8% of that $16B to fix our homes. The blood sucking legal firms received 78%, or nearly $12.5B”.
Maybe there is merit for the new statutes and it’s not Desantis “selling out” to the insurance companies. Both sides are certainly at fault but the law firms like Morgan and Morgan have become extremely rich at the expense of their clients and have hurt Florida in the process.
April 9, 2023 at 3:28 pm
What goes around comes around.
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