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Are Some Florida Workers’ Comp Judges Bending to the Political Winds on Fees?



March 11, 2024

 

Attorney fees in Florida workers’ compensation cases seem to be part of a story that will never end, and a state appeals court has added new life to the story with decisions that give support to both sides of the divide.

 

In one long-awaited ruling, the 1st District Court of Appeals struck down a compensation judge’s decision that had slashed a claimant’s lawyer’s $805,000 fee by 90%. But other opinions by the same court last week dismissed requests to bar another comp judge from future cases because of his stinging excoriation of plaintiffs’ attorneys who had accepted large fees.

 

Claimants’ lawyers said the cases highlight an apparent trend among some comp judges to knock down large fees – in keeping with the pro-business, pro-insurance-company political winds blowing through the state.

 

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