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Pitfalls Of Relying On Evidence Previously Filed “For Any Purpose” When Opposing Summary Judgment

Your opponent files a motion for summary judgment. At a hearing on the motion, you point to an affidavit in the record to show that material questions of fact exist. Long before your opponent moved for summary judgment, you...more

Be Wary About A Trial Court's Assurances of Preservation

Imagine a trial judge is trying to move things along at a charge conference. An issue arises, trial counsel begins to voice objections, and the judge short-circuits the discussion by saying, “Your rights are saved on the...more

Avoiding Trouble Following In Limine Rulings

Trials often are preceded or interrupted by hearings on motions in limine, where parties attempt to limit the evidence or arguments that their opponents can utilize in the trial. These hearings are often fast-paced, with...more

4 Ways Not to Preserve Objections to Jury Instructions

The trouble began with an off-the-record charge conference. Both sides proposed standard breach of contract jury instructions, but the defendant added additional language. The trial court gave the defendant’s version. The...more

Proffers 101: When to Make Your Offer of Proof

Where a party challenges a trial court’s ruling excluding testimony, appellate courts generally require the substance of the excluded evidence to have been set forth on the record or else the challenge will not be properly...more

Pre-Trial Problems: Summary Judgment & Evidentiary Rulings

The Fifth Circuit’s decision in Blessey v. Marine Services, Inc., --- F.3d ---, 2014 WL 5837059 (5th Cir. Nov. 10, 2014), highlights two different ways that adverse pretrial rulings can wind up unreviewable. ...more

Pitfalls Of The Verdict Form And The Two-Issue Rule

1. Florida’s “two-issue rule” generally holds that an appellant cannot show reversible error when an error relates to one claim or defense and the verdict does not reveal whether the appellee prevailed on that basis or...more

11/11/2013  /  Appeals , Jury Verdicts , Reversible Error

23 Tips For Improved Jury Instructions

Jury instructions are important in winning the case before the jury. They can also provide grounds for appeal if errors are properly preserved. The following points address the most common problems we appellate lawyers see...more

10 Appellate Commandments For Trial Lawyers

1. Always bring appellate counsel into the case before trial. If the case is important enough to try, it almost certainly will be important enough for the loser to appeal. 2. Always, at the very least, involve...more

8/27/2013  /  Litigation Strategies

New Twists On Florida’s ‘Tipsy Coachman’ Doctrine

A recent Florida appellate decision examines some new twists on Florida’s “tipsy coachman” doctrine. Before we discuss the new decision, though, it may be useful to discuss what the tipsy coachman doctrine is and where it...more

8/27/2013  /  Appeals , Trial Court Orders

22 Tips For Improved Jury Instructions

Jury instructions obviously are important in winning the case before the jury. ...more

Florida Supreme Court Approves Standard Jury Instructions For Use In Contract And Business Litigation

On June 6, for the first time, the Florida Supreme Court approved standard jury instructions for use in contract and business litigation. ...more

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