The Florida Supreme Court just handed down its highly anticipated decision in Next Door Company, et al., vs. Marvin Castellanos, No. SC13-2082, (Fla. 2016). The Court held that the irrefutable presumption of reasonableness of the mandatory attorney fee schedule in Section 440.34, Florida Statutes, is unconstitutional under the Florida and the United States Constitutions, as a violation of due process. The fee structure will likely return to prior versions of the statute, where the reasonableness of attorney’s fees were based on an hourly rate expended in pursuing benefits actually recovered. However, the Court said that the statutory percentage scheme should be the starting point. Workers’ compensation practitioners anticipate an increase in litigation to follow the Castellanos decision.
Fortunately, Boyd & Jenerette, P.A. is fully prepared to handle the litigation this decision will likely bring and we are available to provide CEU classes on the topic of attorney’s fees for our clients.