Kansas Gooden recently prevailed in the Fourth District Court of Appeal. The plaintiff was granted leave below to add a claim for punitive damages. The proffer included allegations that the defendant was speeding, ran a stop sign, and had a habit for speeding through the neighborhood. On appeal, the Fourth District reversed and found that the proffer was insufficient to show gross negligence. The plaintiff, at most, demonstrated that defendant’s convinced amounted to ordinary negligence.
This appeal is under the amended Rule 9.130 which allows for the parties to seek an immediate appeal on a grant or denial of a motion for leave to add punitive damages.
About Kansas R. Gooden
Kansas R. Gooden, a Board Certified Appellate Specialist and AV Rated attorney, serves as the firm’s General Counsel and Appellate Practice Group Leader. Ms. Gooden currently works remotely for the firm in Miami. Through her remote work, she efficiently and cost-effectively serves her client’s needs.
Ms. Gooden has extensive experience handling all types of civil appellate proceedings in the Florida Supreme Court, all Florida District Courts of Appeal, and the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. She is often retained in cases at or headed to the Florida Supreme Court or is retained to develop statewide litigation strategy to effectuate change in the common law. She is one of the only attorneys—and likely the only woman—who has argued back-to-back cases on the same day before the Florida Supreme Court.
Many of Ms. Gooden cases are those of first impression, and those involving insurance coverage and bad faith issues. Clients trust Ms. Gooden to handle their high-profile appellate litigation.
In addition to handling appeals, she also provides litigation and trial support to attorneys throughout the state. She is often called upon to attend trials and hearing to assist in preserving the error for later appeal.
Ms. Gooden is highly involved in the state and local bar associations and has served in many leadership roles. Ms. Gooden served as the President of Florida Defense Lawyers Association, the statewide civil defense bar, in 2021-2022. She still chairs the organization’s Amicus Committee and has since 2017. On behalf of the organization, she authors and co-authors amicus briefs in important cases impacting tort, litigation, and insurance issues.
Ms. Gooden is the Chair-Elect of the Florida Bar’s Appellate Practice Section. She has been active in the Appellate Practice Section for over a decade. She has served on the Executive Council and previously chaired the CLE Committee for several years. Ms. Gooden will become chair of the Appellate Practice Section in June 2023.
Ms. Gooden also currently serves on the Florida Bar’s Board of Legal Specialization and Education. This committee oversees the certification committees and CLE accreditation for the bar. She previously served on and chaired the Florida Bar’s Appellate Board Certification Committee, which writes and grades the appellate board certification test. The examination tests an applicant’s knowledge of state and federal appeals in the areas of civil, criminal, administrative, worker’s compensation, probate, and family law. The committee also examines the fitness of the candidates for board certification and those applying for recertification.
In 2022, Ms. Gooden was appointed by Governor Ron DeSantis to serve as a commissioner on the Judicial Nominating Commission of the Eleventh Circuit, in and for Miami-Dade County. Her term is three years. In this role, she vets and interviews applicants for county and circuit court vacancies. Along with her fellow commissioners, she recommends a list of candidates for the Governor to select from.
While in law school, Ms. Gooden interned for the Third District Court of Appeal Chief Judge David Gersten. It was there that she developed her passion for appellate practice.
Lastly, Ms. Gooden played nationally competitive junior, amateur, and collegiate golf. She was the Virginia State Girls Golf Champion in 1997 and 1999 and was awarded the Marion Miley Bracelet by the Western Women’s Golf Association in 1997.