No. SC05-1150.

939 So.2d 1032 (2006)


Supreme Court of Florida.

September 28, 2006.

Attorney(s) appearing for the Case

Stephen H. Grimes and Jerome W. Hoffman of Holland and Knight, LLP, Tallahassee, FL, Petitioners.

John F. Harkness, Jr., Executive Director, Henry M. Coxe, III, President, Major B. Harding, Chair, Special Committee on Amendment 3, and Kenneth L. Marvin, Director of Lawyer Regulation, Tallahassee, FL, The Florida Bar, filing proposed amendments to Rule 4-1.5.

Raquel A. Rodriguez, General Counsel, Executive Office of the Governor; Linda McMullen, General Counsel, on behalf of the Mississippi State Medical Association, Ridgeland, MS, and Jon N. Ekdahl, General Counsel, and Steve I. Ro, on behalf of the American Medical Association, Chicago, IL; Mary Ann Stiles of Stiles, Taylor and Grace, P.A., Tampa, FL, on behalf of Associated Industries of Florida, Inc.; Guy Marvin, President, The Florida Insurance Council, Inc., Tallahassee, FL; Roy C. Young of Young van Assenderp, P.A., Tallahassee, FL, on behalf of the Florida Chamber of Commerce; William W. Large, Tallahassee, FL, on behalf of the Florida Justice Reform Institute; Mark Hicks of Hicks and Kneale, P.A., Miami, FL, on behalf of First Professionals Insurance Company, Proponents.

Barry S. Richard of Greenberg Traurig, P.A., Tallahassee, FL; Roy D. Wasson of Wasson and Associates, Miami, FL, John W. Thornton, Jr. of Thornton and Rothman, President, DCBA, Miami, FL, and Robert J. Fiore, Immediate Past President, DCBA, Miami, FL, on behalf of Dade County Bar Association; Jonathan Friedland, President, Dade County Trial Lawyers Association, and Roy D. Wasson of Wasson and Associates, Miami, FL, on behalf of Dade County Trial Lawyers Association; Theodore J. Leopold of Ricci and Leopold, on behalf of the Palm Beach County Bar Association; Scott T. Johni, Tampa, FL, on behalf of Tampa Bay Trial Lawyers Association; Alexander Clark of Winston and Clark, P.A., President, Plantation, FL, on behalf of Broward County Trial Lawyers Association, Inc.; Mark P. Buell, Tampa, FL, on behalf of the Trial Lawyers Section of The Florida Bar; William E. Hahn, Tampa, FL, and Herman J. Russomanno, Miami, FL, on behalf of the Florida Chapters of the American Board of Trial Advocates; Joel S. Perwin, Miami, FL, on behalf of The Florida Consumer Action Network, Inc.; Tony Fransetta, President, FLARA, Wellington, FL, on behalf of Florida Alliance for Retired Americans, Inc.; Alan M. Pickert, Jacksonville, FL, on behalf of the Jacksonville Bar Association;

Bard D. Rockenbach of Burlington and Rockenbach, P.A., West Palm Beach, FL, on behalf of Floridians for Patient Protection, Inc.; Robert S. Peck, Washington, D.C., Philip M. Burlington, West Palm Beach, FL, and Weldon Earl Brennan, Tampa, FL, on behalf of Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, Inc.; Brian J. Wolk, Tallahassee, FL, Claudia B. Greenberg and Tom Pennekamp, Jr. of Grossman and Roth, P.A., Miami, FL, Scott R. McMillen of McMillen, Reinhart and Voght, P.A., Orlando, FL, Roy L. Glass, St. Petersburg, FL, Charles B. Patrick, Miami, FL, Lake H. Lytal, Jr., Lake H. Lytal, III, Lance C. Ivey, Don Fountain, Gregory T. Zele, Darla L. Keen, Marci Fuentes Ball, Kevin C. Smith, Julie H. Littky-Rubin, Barry N. Heisler, II, David Gaspari, and Nancy La Vista of Lytal, Reiter, Clark, Fountain and Williams, West Palm Beach, FL, James J. Traitz of Freshman, Freshman and Traitz, Miami, FL, John K. Lawlor, Andrew Y. Winston and Cam F. Justice of Lawlor, Winston and Justice, P.A., Fort Lauderdale, FL, Steven B. Lesser of Becker and Poliakoff, P.A., Fort Lauderdale, FL, Timothy Carl Blake, Miami, FL, Anthony Britt of Brandon, FL, Charles H. Cohen, Fort Lauderdale, FL, Steven W. Wingo, Ocala, FL, Amy S. Farrior of Schropp, Buell and Elligett, P.A., Tampa, FL, Spencer M. Aronfeld of Aronfeld and Associates, P.A., Coral Gables, FL, John B. Ostrow, Miami, FL, James W. Gustafson, Jr. of Searcy, Denney, Scarola, Barnhart and Shipley, P.A., Tallahassee, FL,

Christian D. Searcy, David J. White, Harry A. Shevin, and Sean C. Domnick of Searcy, Denney, Scarola, Barnhart and Shipley, P.A., West Palm Beach, FL, Theodore Babbitt of Babbitt, Johnson, Osborne and Lechlainche, P.A., West Palm Beach, FL, Kerry E. Mack, Englewood, FL, Andrew Needle and Andrew Ellenberg of Needle, Gallagher and Ellenberg, P.A., Miami, FL, Scott E. Perwin of Kenny Nachwalter, P.A., Miami, FL, Paul J. McConnell of McConnell and Company, Orlando, FL, Stephen G. Charpentier of Childress and Charpentier, P.A., Melbourne, FL, Howard S. Weinstein, Aventura, FL, Stephen R. Williams of Williams, Ristoff and Proper, PLC, New Port Richey, FL, Frederick A. Gunion, Jr., Miami, FL, Paul G. Finizio of Finizio and Finizio, P.A., Fort Lauderdale, FL, Jay S. Weiss, Fort Lauderdale, FL, Milton S. Blaut, Neal W. Hirschfield, Kenneth J. Sobel, Bradley A. Ross, and Jeffrey C. Fox of Greenspoon, Marder, Hirschfeld, Rafkin, Ross, Berger and Abrams Anton, P.A., Fort Lauderdale, FL, Harvey D. Friemdan of Friedman, Rodman and Frank, P.A., Miami, FL, Lauri Waldman Ross, Miami, FL, Jane Kreusler-Walsh, West Palm Beach, FL, Ross Bennett Gampel of the Law office of Klemick and Gampel, P.A., Miami, FL, Thomas C. Staples and H.E. Ellis, Jr. of Staples, Ellis and Associates, P.A., Pensacola, FL, David L. Magidson of Abramson and Magidson, P.A., Homestead, FL, Marc Jay Tannen, P.A., Marc Jay Tannen, Hollywood, FL, Michael Diaz, Jr. of Diaz and Kaiser, LLP, Miami, FL, Lester G. Kates, Coral Gables, FL, Gary E. Susser of Boynton Beach, FL, Richard N. Shapiro and Elizabeth T. Herd of Shapiro and Herd,

Douglas J. McCarron of Feiler, Leach and McCarron, PL, Debra M. Salisbury, Sarasota, FL, N. Paul San Filippo of Seidensticker and San Filippo, LLP, Naples, FL, William E. Partridge of Grossman, Roth and Partridge, Sarasota, FL, Robert Gregory King of the King Law Firm, Ocala, FL, Gary L. Wilkins of Wilkins, Frohlich, Russell, Hanaoka and Mizell, P.A., Port Charlotte, FL, Michael S. Olin, Miami, FL, Gary M. Cohen and Andrew B. Yaffa of Grossman and Roth, P.A., Boca Raton, FL, C. Rufus Pennington, III of Margol and Pennington, P.A., Jacksonville, FL, John E. Napolitano, Sarasota, FL, William E. Ruffier, Anthony F. Sos, Samuel P. King and Kenneth J. McKenna of Dellecker, Wilson, King, McKenna and Ruffier, Orlando, FL, Ray Goldstein, Stephen W. Buckley, John B. Cechman, J. Jeffrey Rice, Richard L. Purtz, Barry Alan Roth, David H. Harris, Michael J. Ciccarone, Mary G. Jack, Paul A. Ryan, A. Paul Molle and Brian D. Zinn of Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice and Purtz, P.A., Fort Myers, FL, Barbara Green, Coral Gables, FL, Samuel W. Bearman, Pensacola, FL, Leo A. Thomas, Stephen H. Echsner, John F. Asmar, Virginia M. Buchanan, Robert M. Loehr, Brian H. Barr, William J. Mims, Jr., and Troy A. Rafferty of Levin, Papantonio, Thomas, Mitchell, Echsner and Proctor, P.A., Pensacola, FL, Joseph H. Williams of Troutman, Williams, Irvin, Green, Helms and Polich, P.A., Winter Park, FL, Paul T. Cardillo, Tampa, FL, James M. Corrigan and Christopher P. Janes of Corrigan and Janes, Pensacola, FL, Donna M. Burroughs, Deerfield Beach, FL, J. Scott Murphy of Allen and Murphy, P.A., Maitland, FL,

Martin G. Arnowitz, Fort Myers, FL, David R. Heil, Winter Park, FL, P. Scott Russell, IV, Jacksonville, FL, Steven M. Fahlgren of Hogan and Fahlgren, P.A., Orlando, FL, Kenneth E. Ehrlich of Ehrlich and Tipton, LLC, West Palm Beach, FL, Angelo Marino, Jr., Fort Lauderdale, FL, Wayne C. McCall of Ayres, Cluster, Curry, McCall, Collins and Fuller, P.A., Ocala, FL, Joseph A. Zarzaur, Jr. of McKenzie, Taylor and Zarzaur, P.A., Pensacola, FL, Todd M. Cranshaw and Michael Slick of the Cranshaw Law Firm, Ormond Beach, FL, C. Richard Newsome, Henry N. Didier, Jerri Coletti, R. Frank Melton, II, P. Alexander Gillen, and Andrew Knopf of Newsome and Dider, P.A., Orlando, FL, Gil Haddad, Coral Gables, FL, William C. Gentry and Jennifer Kolinski Millis of W.C. Gentry, P.A., Jacksonville, FL, Jefferson W. Morrow, Jacksonville, FL, Arthur B. Skafidas and Phillip W. Farthing of Cohen, Jayson and Foster, P.A., Tampa, FL, Brian F. LaBovick, Esther U. LaBovick, Carl J. Wald and Susan B. Ramsey of LaBovick, LaBovick and Wald, P.A., Jupiter, FL, David L. Deehl of Deehl and Carlson, P.A., Coral Gables, FL, Richard W. Slawson and Gregory M. Yaffa of Slawson, Cunningham and Whalen, PL, Palm Beach Gardens, FL, Dawn M. Vallejos-Nichols of Avera and Avera, LLP, Gainesville, FL, Lance E. Howden, Palm Beach Gardens, FL, Mark P. Cressman of E. Clay Parker, P.A., Orlando, FL, Kim Patrick Hart of Burkert and Hart, P.A., Fort Myers, FL, Dan Cytryn of Cytryn and Santana, P.A., Tamarac, FL, Matthew J. Cardillo of McLean and Cardillo, P.A., Tampa, FL, Howard C. Coker, M. Wayne Myers, Charles A. Sorenson, Richard R. Alexander and E. Aaron Sprague of Coker, Myers, Schickel, Sorenson and Green, P.A., Jacksonville, FL, Neal A. Roth of Grossman and Roth, P.A., Miami, FL, Michael B. Feiler and Martin E. Leach of Feiler, Leach and McCarron, PL, Coral Gables, FL,

Frank M. Petosa of Petosa and Associates, PL, Boca Raton, FL, A. Clark Cone, West Palm Beach, FL, Council Wooten, Jr., Orman L. Kimbrough, Jr., Bruce A. Gibson, III, Edmund Alonso Normand, and Cindy G. Duque of Wooten, Honeywell, Kimbrough, Gibson, Doherty and Normand, P.A., Orlando, FL, Joseph P. Milton, Jacksonville, FL, James R. Holland, II and Robert R. Underwood of Wettermark, Holland and Keith, LLC, Jacksonville, FL, Joshua A. Whitman, Jacksonville, FL, D. Frank Winkles, Tampa, FL, M. David Shapiro, David L. Goldman, Michael J. Babboni, and Rochelle T. Curley of Shapiro, Goldman and Babboni, P.A., Sarasota, FL, R. Gene Odom of Guarnieri, Martinez and Odom, P.A., Brandon, FL, Kurt Eugene Lee, Nokomis, FL, Carol Holland, O.D., Jacksonville, FL, Jay Cohen, Fort Lauderdale, FL, John McLaughlin, Kevin McLaughlin and Michael C. McLaughlin of Wagner, Vaughan and McLaughlin, P.A., Tampa, FL, Diana Santa Maria, Fort Lauderdale, FL, Nina B. de Jesus, Hollywood, FL, James J. Daniel, Jacksonville, FL, Debra Zebersky, Hollywood, FL, Edward H. Zebersky of Zebersky and Payne, LLP, Hollywood, FL, Marc A. Gregg, Fort Lauderdale, FL, Douglas G. Rawnsley, Daytona Beach, FL, Robert E. Collier, II and Anthony V. Scalese of Collier and Scalese, PL, Plantation, FL, Richard Roud, Hamilton Beach, New Jersey, Steven T. Vasilaros, Michael J. Politis, and Marla J. Rawnsley of Vasilaros and Politis, P.A., Daytona Beach, FL, Geraldine L. Braun, Fort Lauderdale, FL, Paul J. Cappiello of Harrell and Harrell, P.A., Jacksonville, FL, Thomas F. Slater of Pajcic and Pajcic, P.A., Jacksonville, FL, William Corry, Tallahassee, FL, Marianna Raaidy, Hollywood, FL, Rita Phillips, Gainesville, FL, Linda DiTomaso, Alachua, FL, John W. Staunton, Clearwater, FL, C. Steven Yerrid, Ralph L. Gonzalez, Theresa L. Fiset, and Tammy J. Judge of the Yerrid Law Firm, Tampa, FL, Bill Wagner, Tampa, FL, Pamela Jo Hatley, Tampa, FL, J. Steele Olmstead, Tampa, FL, Mitzi Plunkett, Palm Beach Gardens, FL, John Calhoun Bales of Bales Weinstein, Tampa, FL,

Eric Romano and Todd Romano of Romano, Eriksen and Cronin, West Palm Beach, FL, Frank M. Bedell of Winderweedle, Haines, Ward and Woodman, P.A., Orlando, FL, Maureen Martinez-Schwab, West Palm Beach, FL, C. Ryan Eslinger, Jacksonville, FL, Glenn Klausman and Karen R. Wasson of Jacobs and Goodman, P.A., Altamonte Springs, FL, James E. Messer, Jr., Tallahassee, FL, Stephen Spector, Tallahassee, FL, Scott D. Sheftall and Brian M. Torres of Sheftall and Torres, P.A., Miami, FL, Stephen F. Rossman, Charles H. Baumberger, Manuel A. Reboso, Howard A. Spier, Lincoln J. Connolly and Peter Baumberger of Rossman, Baumberger, Reboso and Spier, P.A., Miami, FL, Paul A. Shoucair, Orlando, FL, Michael Srebnick, Miami, FL, Frank A. Ashton, Eric C. Ragatz, Joel B. Toomey, and Thomas S. Edwards, Jr. of Peek, Cobb, Edwards and Ashton, P.A., Jacksonville, FL, Christopher G. Burns, President of the Jacksonville Trial Lawyers Association, Jacksonville, FL, Eric Halsey, Miami Beach, FL, Deborah J. Gander of Colson, Hicks and Eidson, Coral Gables, FL, Wayne Hogan of Terrell, Hogan, Ellis and Yegelwel, P.A., Jacksonville, FL, Steven M. Meyers of Meyers, Stanley and Waters, Orlando, FL, Nicholas M. Matassini, Tampa, FL, Maggie Rodriguez, Miami, FL, Dorothy Johnson, Miami, FL, Lisha Bowen, Tampa, FL, Dawn M. Ikerd of Ikerd and Ikerd, Orlando, FL, Larry S. Stewart and Stephen F. Cain of Stewart, Tilghman, Fox, and Bianchi, P.A., Miami, FL, Robert F. Spohrer, Greg Maxwell and Robert B. Guild of Spohrer, Wilner, Maxwell, and Matthews, P.A., Jacksonville, FL, R. Scott Costantino of Liles, Gavin, Costantino and George, Jacksonville, FL, Paula Kelly, Tallahassee, FL, Claire Davis, Tallahassee, FL, Robert T. Bergi, Jr., West Palm Beach, FL, Adam M. Fetterman and Arthur B. Cavataro of Fetterman and Associates, North Palm Beach, FL, Joseph M. Traska, Altamonte Springs, FL, A. Scott Noecker, Altamonte Springs, FL, Amy K. Guinan of James, Hoyer, Newcomer and Smiljanich, P.A., Tallahassee, FL,

Joseph D. McFarland, St. Petersburg, FL, Lee D. Gunn, IV, Tampa, FL, Stephen G. Fischer, Miami, FL, Stephen A. Marino, Jr. of Ver Ploeg and Lumpkins, P.A., Miami, FL, Michael K. Bailey of Bailey and Myers, P.A., Maitland, FL, Yvonner R. Volcy, Royal Palm Beach, FL, David Templer, North Miami Beach, FL, Gary M. Farmer, Jr., Weston, FL, W. Marc Hardesty, Michael S. Tyde, Karl T. Green and Lenn A. Ferrer of Hardesty, Tyde and Green, P.A., Jacksonville, FL, Samuel Howell, West Palm Beach, FL, Todd E. Copeland, Orlando, FL, Landry Steve Lolcy, West Palm Beach, FL, Gonzalo R. Dorta, Coral Gables, FL, Tomas F. Gamba and Hector J. Lombana of Gamba and Lombana, P.A., Coral Gables, FL, G. Bart Billbrough and Geoffrey B. Marks of Billbrough and Marks, P.A., Coral Gables, FL, Peter M. Cardillo, Tampa, FL, Donald M. Hinkle of Hinkle and Foran, Tallahassee, FL, Douglas F. Eaton of HomerBonner, Miami, FL, Francisco J. Vinas of Bryan and Vinas, LLP, Coral Gables, FL, Harley S. Tropin of Kozyak, Tropin and Throckmorton, P.A., Coral Gables, FL, Teresita Leon, Miami Beach, FL, Delia Gelb, Hollywood, FL, Jeffrey S. Reynolds, Palm Beach Gardens, FL, Rosanna Gavilan-Wilder, Miami, FL, Janie M. Litt, South Miami, FL, Suzanne Lzzo Ventresca, Boca Raton, FL, Karen DeSanti, Pembroke Pines, FL, Angela Velando, Hialeah, FL, Deborah E. Johnson, Jupiter, FL, Madeline A. Perez, Jupiter, FL, Edward M. Ricci, Jupiter, FL, June A. Cozza, Palm Beach Gardens, FL, Margaret Sadaka, Palm Beach Gardens, FL, Juanita S. Whitaker, Tequesta, FL, Stephanie Lewis-Simon, RN, LHRM, LNCC, Lake Worth, FL, Faith L. Martinez, Miami, FL, Deanna M. Kimbrough, Miramar, FL, Daryl D. Parks, Benjamin L. Crump, Keisha D. Rice, Althea S. Nicholson, Christopher M. O'Neal, Maja S. Holman and Stenise L. Rolle of Parks and Crump, LLC, Tallahassee, FL, Albert Nabut, Jr., Weston, FL, Martha Lozano, Palm Beach Gardens, FL, Jennifer A. Gaughan, Loxahatchee, FL, Joseph W. Little, Gainesville, FL, and Gail Leverett Parenti of Parenti and Parenti, Miami, FL, Responding with comments.


We have for consideration proposals for amending the Rules Regulating the Florida Bar. We have jurisdiction. See art. V, § 15, Fla. Const.

In the November 2004 election, voters of the State of Florida approved the following amendment to the Florida Constitution:

In any medical liability claim involving a contingency fee, the claimant is entitled to receive no less than 70% of the first $250,000.00 in all damages received by...

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