Brian Willis

Brian Willis

Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP

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Summary Judgment overturned on finding that material facts in dispute

The case involves the appeal of final summary judgment in a suit for civil forfeiture of $2,470.00. The currency was seized based on allegations that the currency’s owner (“Owner”) sold cocaine....more

5/19/2015 - Appeals Civil Forfeiture Genuine Issue of Material Fact

Mortgage Foreclosure Rules Amendments

Pursuant to an out of cycle amendment, Rule 1.110 has been modified to remove certain language specific to mortgage foreclosures and Rule 1.115 has been created to address specific pleading requirements for mortgage...more

12/29/2014 - Amended Regulation Foreclosure Mortgage Lenders Mortgage Servicers Mortgages

Failure to Check DMV Records Rendered Search for Defendant Inadequate

In this Home Owners Association (HOA) lien foreclosure case, the Plaintiff was unable to locate the Defendant for service. HOA’s attorney filed an affidavit for service by publication, alleging...more

12/1/2014 - Foreclosure HOA Homeowners' Association Liens Service of Process

E-Portal, EPortal, or e-Portal? None of the Above

Recently I have noticed significant confusion about what, exactly, to call the Florida Courts e-filing Portal. Just check out this email from the “Florida Courts E-filing Portal Team.” I count 3 different names for the...more

9/23/2014 - E-Filing Portal

Counsel Not Required to Check Online Docket as Alternative to Service

The trial court dismissed Plaintiff’s claims after the Plaintiff (1) failed to serve one of the parties and (2) failed to submit a joint status report. The trial court claimed the authority to dismiss the case based on...more

5/5/2014 - Failure to Report Service of Process

Foreclosure Magistrates Rule Change

The Florida Supreme Court has created a new Rule 1.491 that is intended to govern the use of magistrates in all residential mortgage foreclosure cases. Sections of Rule 1.490 that dealt exclusively with residential mortgage...more


E-filing: Amendments to Florida Rules of Judicial Administration

Last week, the Florida Supreme Court amended Florida Rules of Judicial Administration 2.515, 2.516, and 2.525. These amendments are effective immediately. ...more

12/4/2013 - E-Filing Filing Requirements

Improper to Enter Dismissal with Prejudice on Motion to Amend Complaint

In this medical malpractice case, the Plaintiff sought to file an Amended Complaint to, in part, add additional Defendants, which were referred to as the “Potential Defendants.” The Potential Defendants, through counsel,...more

11/12/2013 - Amended Complaints Complaint Procedures Dismissal With Prejudice Dismissals

Two Requirements for Trial Court to Order Mental Evaluation of Party

In this family law case, the father sought to compel the examination of the mother by a psychologist pursuant to Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.360(a)(1). The trial court granted the motion and the mother filed a petition...more

11/5/2013 - Functional Capacity Evaluations Mental Health

Personal Jurisdiction Over Judgment Debtor Not Necessary to Domesticate Foreign Judgment

A judgment creditor sought to domesticate and enforce foreign judgment in Florida. The judgment debtor challenged enforcement on the grounds that Florida lacked personal jurisdiction over the judgment debtor...more

9/30/2013 - Debtors Foreign Judgments Judgment Debtors Personal Jurisdiction

After One Year, Judgment Can Only Be Set Aside for Extrinsic Fraud

On February 25, 2010, an agreed final judgment of foreclosure was entered pursuant to a settlement agreement between the original lender and the defendants/appellees. ...more

8/2/2013 - Final Judgment Foreclosure Fraud Lenders Settlement

Matter Not At Issue – Reversible Error

In this mortgage foreclosure case, the trial court set the matter for trial within twenty days of the date on which the defendant answered the Complaint...more

7/22/2013 - Foreclosure Mortgages Reversible Error

Plaintiff estopped from denying liability for attorneys’ fees

The Plaintiff in this Homeowner’s Association case lived and owned a home within a multi-association community. His neighborhood was governed by a Homeowners Association and the collection of neighborhoods in his community,...more

7/16/2013 - Attorney's Fees Estoppel Homeowners' Association

Error to Dismiss for Lack of Prosecution at Case Management Conference

After Plaintiff failed to attend a case management conference, the trial court issued an order which stated in its entirety: Neither plaintiff nor defendant appeared at duly set status conference. Whereas this...more

7/1/2013 - Case Management Court Appearances Criminal Prosecution Motion to Dismiss

Florida E-filing Problems

Question for our attorney readers: Are you having trouble with e-filing? Ever since the switch, I have had numerous delays with the clerk processing basic matters. ...more

6/4/2013 - Delays E-Filing

Amendment to Rule 1.490 re Use of Magistrates in Residential Foreclosures

The Florida Supreme Court has amended Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.490, effective immediately, to streamline the use magistrates in residential mortgage foreclosures....more


Record Evidence Did Not Support Finding of Fraud on the Court – Ford v. Stimpson

In this products liability case, final judgment was entered in favor of the defendant following a four-week jury trial. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant had committed fraud on the court and sought to set aside the...more

5/1/2013 - Evidence Final Judgment Fraud Jury Trial Trials

Effective Immediately – You Do Not Get Extra 5 Days for Mailing of Proposal for Settlement

Effective Immediately – You Do Not Get Extra 5 Days for Mailing of Proposal for Settlement when the proposal is mailed....more

4/15/2013 - Settlement Settlement Offer

Trial Court Could Look Beyond Four Corners of Complaint To Dismiss Case Based on Forum Selection Clause

Plaintiff sued defendant for statutory and tort claims. Defendant moved to dismiss per Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.140 based on forum selection clause in contract signed with Plaintiff that governed all disputes between the parties....more

3/25/2013 - Forum Selection Motion to Dismiss

Defaulted Party Still Entitled to Hearing on Attorneys’ Fees – ZHOU v. CATERPILLAR FINANCIAL SERVICES CORP.

Caterpillar filed a complaint for damages and replevin against three defendants. After service on the defendants, they failed to answer, and Caterpillar secured a clerk’s default against them all. Two of the defendants...more

1/28/2013 - Attorney's Fees Default Replevin

Offer of Judgment Not Valid in Case With Monetary and Non-monetary Claims – Horowitch v. Diamond Aircraft Indus., Inc.

In a case seeking monetary and non-monetary relief, pursuant to section 768.79, Florida Statutes (2011), Diamond Aircraft served Horowitch with an offer of judgment for $40,000. The offer of judgment stated...more

1/18/2013 - Attorney's Fees Damages Equitable Relief Offer of Judgment

Happy New Year – Top 10 posts of 2012

Top 10 posts of 2012: New Rules for Service of Pleadings and Documents by E-mail; Florida Supreme Court implements e-discovery amendments – Effective September 1st; Rules Updates – New E-discovery and E-mail Service...more

1/3/2013 - Attorney's Fees Constitutional Amendment Discovery Email Service of Process Standing Summary Judgment

Amendment 5 Defeated – Election Wrap-up

I will leave it to WPTV for the results: Amendment: 5: A Republican-sponsored proposal to give the GOP-dominated Legislature more control over Florida’s court system has been defeated at the polls. The vote...more


Election Day – Amendment 5 News Coverage Roundup

Its election day and this is the rare election when a civil procedure issue is on the ballot. Florida’s Constitutional Amendment 5 would change how Florida’s courts operate and how Florida’s Supreme Court Justices are...more


Florida Constitutional Amendment 5 News Roundup

As voting gets closer, we are seeing more coverage of Florida’s proposed Constitutional Amendment 5. A few excerpts are below. Follow this link for my post on understanding Florida’s Constitutional Amendment 5. (see alert...more


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