The Florida Supreme Court is set to consider how far defendants in personal injury suits can pry into possible referral relationships between doctors and attorneys, a move that defense attorneys say is necessary to peel back inflated costs for medical care in these cases. They agreed to hear the appeal after Worley made a valid argument that there was a conflict regarding whether a plaintiff must provide the production of information protected by attorney-client privilege.
Many of us have always admired Justice Scalia. When reading his opinions not only in law school but as practicing attorneys, we always admired his writing, his prose and his wit. Additionally, he will be remembered for his commitment to the principle that judges should be guided in deciding cases by the original public meaning of the texts that they are interpreting. As an op-ed in the USA Today put it so eloquently, he has totally reshaped the legal culture so that today there is much less use of legislative history and much more reliance on the constitutional text than there was prior to his elevation to the Supreme Court in 1986. As lawyers, that is what we want. We want judges to look at the plain text of the law, not reshape it. Here is a look at what we see as some of Justice Scalia's significant opinions:
Crab Island is a popular sandbar to go to and is probably one of the most beautiful places in Destin. During the summer, you see hundreds, or even thousands of boats carrying people to Crab Island to anchor in the shallow water and enjoy the scenery. According to Deputy Daryl Culberson of the County Sheriff's Marine Division, that's where a lot of the tourists go. They want to see the beauty of the water but in reality, that beautiful hides many hidden dangers. Culberson told WEAR Channel 3 "They're not thinking that the really nice area that looks so great, that I just anchored up in ankle deep water is dangerous, and it could kill you if you're not careful. They're not listening to that. They only see what they see and unfortunately it gets them in trouble some times." Most of those who find themselves in trouble are around the edge of the sandbar, where the depth of the water can increase very quickly. There are other things that can surprise people in that area. The tides that cross Crab Island can also overpower swimmers. This is when they panic, start to struggle and end up drowning after tiring out. Another thing Culbertson sees which leads to needing to be rescued - swimmers chasing down cheap rafts. Since May, two swimmers, a 20-year-old Pace man and a 24-year-old Tuscaloosa man, have drowned. Others have had to be pulled from the water.
According to the Florida Department of Health, drowning is the leading cause of death in Florida among children between ages one and four. Thus, you can imagine my dismay when I read about two children who recently died as a result of drowning in a residential pool. One of the drownings happened in Bay County. WJHG reports 911 dispatchers received a call from a mother in the north end of the county (Southport area) who said she could not find her two-year-old son on Monday morning. Just before help arriving, however, one of the deputies learned that the child had been found in the pool. Family, friends and the deputy performed CPR until paramedics arrived. They then pronounced the child dead at the scene. Sheriff's deputies have not yet released the name of the boy or the family.
WEAR TV is reporting that Mitsubishi is recalling more than 130,000 cars because of two issues that could lead to reduced visibility for drivers and raise the risk of a crash. According to the station, nearly 77,000 cars are being recalled because the windshield defroster might fail as a result of a faulty blower motor. As NHTSA says in its defect report, "If a driver experiences reduced or complete loss of blower performance, and defrosting of the windshield is required, this may affect driver visibility and increase the risk of a crash". The cars affected include Lancer model years 2009 to 2011, Lancer Sportback model years 2010 to 2011, Lancer Evolution model years 2010 to 2011 and Outlander Sport model year 2011. About 53,400 cars are affected by the other recall. Mitsubishi says head lights, tail lights and windshield wipers may not work because of an unstable electronic control unit. The affected cars include Lancer model years 2009 to 2010, Outlander model years 2009 to 2010, Evolution model year 2010 and Sportback model year 2010. Mitsubishi says it will notify owners, and dealers will replace the affected parts for free.
A new research project showed driving in Florida will cause your insurance costs rank to among the nation's highest. According to insuranceQuotes.com, lorida drivers pay 12 percent above the national average. The report makes it calculations using quotes from carriers representing 60 percent to 70 percent of the market. Why? One factor is a state requirement that forces Floridians to buy at least $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection coverage that duplicates medical insurance drivers already have through Medicare or private health plans. That tends up to push rates in the few remaining no-fault states like Florida and Michigan, analysts say. Also, there's geography - which involves things like a higher risk of catastrophic weather, analysts say. Throw in some accident fraud and bad driving and there you have your above average premium
Having knowledge of boat safety is important in our area. It is getting warmer, and as it gets warmer, more people want to start enjoying the Bay and the Gulf. This past Saturday, Northwest Florida Daily News reports that boaters and paddleboarders went to Rocky Bayou on Saturday to support a cause close to their hearts: water safety. There also were canoes, kayaks and other vessels.
According to a new study that was reported in the Wall Street Journal, we are only a decade or two away from owning a driverless car. By owning a driverless car, it could help us save billions of dollars and spending far less time dealing with auto accidents. The study found that widespread use of self-driving cars could eliminate 90% of all car accidents in the U.S. and decrease the costs related to accident damage and health issues by around $190 billion each year. Safety is a chief selling point, since self-driving cars - thanks to an array of sensors - promise to have much greater road awareness and quicker reaction time than people. Plus, they won't text, drink or doze off.