Shareholder Kansas Gooden Recently Obtained a Writ of Certiorari In a Bad Faith Case.
The case arises out of an automobile accident which resulted in a jury verdict of approximately $44 million. The underlying trial court remitted the verdict to $22 million, and no appeal was sought. The Estate filed a bad faith suit for failing to settle and for breaching its duty to defend. During the litigation, the trial court ordered production of the personnel files of numerous adjusters, high-ranking claims executives, the bad faith adjuster, and home office attorneys. Kansas filed a petition for writ of certiorari on behalf of the carrier and all of the affected employees. She argued that the trial court failed to adequately protect the employees’ constitutional right of privacy by not conducting an in-camera review and by not considering their constitutional rights. In addition, Kansas argued that the bad faith adjuster’s and the home office attorney’s personnel files contained work product and attorney-client privileged information. The Second District Court of Appeal agreed. It explained that the employees, who were not parties below, properly filed the petition for writ of certiorari because they were not given the opportunity to object and assert their constitutional rights before the trial court compelled production. The trial court should have conducted an in-camera review to protect the constitutional rights of these employees and the privileged information. Lastly, the Court rejected the Estate’s argument that the carrier waived these privileges by failing to submit a privilege log.
About Kansas R. Gooden
Kansas Gooden is Board Certified in Appellate Practice by The Florida Bar and is AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell. She serves as the firm’s Appellate Practice Group Leader. Kansas is an expert in handling all types of civil appellate proceedings, including extraordinary writs and plenary appeals, in state and federal courts.
Ms. Gooden is active in the Florida Bar’s Appellate Section. Over the past decade, she has served on the Executive Council and has chaired the CLE Committee. As chair, Ms. Gooden is responsible for creating and organizing the CLE programing for the section.
Ms. Gooden is on the board of the Florida Defense Lawyers Association as the President and serves as the chair of the organization’s Amicus Committee. On behalf of the organization, she authors and co-authors amicus briefs in important cases impacting tort, litigation, and insurance issues. She also serves on the board of directors of the Third District Court of Appeal Historical Society.
Ms. Gooden is a frequent speaker on appellate topics, including preservation of error, for both attorneys and adjusters. She is licensed in Florida (2008).