ANTI-SPAM INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (IT) ERROR INDUCES LEGAL MALPRACTICE
Emerald Coast Utilities Authorities v. Bear Marcus Pointe, LLC, A Florida Limited Liability Company, # 1D15-5714 (Fla. 1st Dist. Court of Appeals, decided August 10, 2017)
Significantly, experts had warned the firm against doing this. The firm did not follow this advice in order to save money–$1200.00 a year at most.
The opinion is rather interesting chastening. Citations are omitted, except for the applicable Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.540(b), here mentioned.
The law firm has applied to the trial-level court to set aside its order regarding attorney fees. There was hearing. Several experts testified as to what happened. The trial court refused to set its order aside.
“Florida courts have discretion to set aside a final judgment, decree, order, or proceeding based on ‘mistake, inadvertence, surprise or excusable neglect. . . . A conscious decision not to compy wit the requirements of the law cannot be ‘excusable neglect’ under the rle or any other equivalent requirement. . . . Likewise, gross neglect is not excusable.”
Unfortunately for the law firm, its conscious decision not to obtain a proper law firm server was a “conscious decision to use a defective email system without any safeguards or oversight in order to save money.” Moreover, “there was an absence of ‘any meaningful procedure in place that, if followed, would have avoided the unfortunate events hat resulted in a significant judgment against’ appellant.”
Thus, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in not denying the Rule 1.540(b) order.
Law Office of Michael Sean Quinn