I. FLORIDA STATE CASES - JOURDAN HAYNES

  • Insurance/Ambiguity: insurance policy ambiguity must be construed against insurer and in favor of coverage without resort to consideration of extrinsic evidence – Washington Nat’l Ins. Corp. v. Ruderman, No. SC12-323 (Fla. July 3, 2013) (answering certified question from 11th Circuit)
  • Foreclosure Sale: proof of inadequate bid price is not a necessary requirement in an action to set aside judicial foreclosure sale but is only one of the equitable factors to be considered – Arsali v. Chase Home Finance, LLC, No. SC12-600 (Fla. July 11, 2013) (affirming judgment vacating foreclosure sale)
  • Implied Warranties: implied warranties of fitness and merchantability apply to subdivision improvements that supply essential services to home – Moronda Homes, Inc. of FL v. Lakeview Reserve Homeowners Ass’n, Inc., Nos. SC10–2292, SC10–2336 (Fla. July 11, 2013) (reversing summary judgment)
  • Service of Process/Publication: in face of borrower’s motion to dismiss for improper service, trial court required to hold evidentiary hearing to determine whether bank conducted adequate search to support service by publication – Peysina v. Deutsche Bank Nat. Trust Co., No. 3D13-16 (Fla. 3rd DCA July 10, 2013) (reversing foreclosure judgment)
  • Eviction: tenant contesting eviction is required to deposit rent into court registry under Fla. Stat. § 83.232 in any type of case involving claim of possession, in order to insure against tenant occupying property rent-free during pendency of lawsuit – Misha Enterprises v. GAR Enterprises, LLC, No. 4D11–3619 (Fla. 4th DCA July 10, 2013) (reversing summary judgment)

II. 11TH CIRCUIT CASES - LAUREN SEMBLER

  • FCCPA: lender may offset judgment for violations of FCCPA against amounts owing on pre-petition bankruptcy claim - In re Claudia Acosta-Garriga, No. 8:12-cv-00731-SDM (M.D. Fla. July 1, 2013) (reversing order of bankruptcy court and remanding) [Congratulations to Carlton Fields Shareholders Bob Quinn, Fentrice Driskell, and Kelly Bittick, who represented Chase Bank in this matter]
  • FDCPA: incorporating the FDCPA notice required by 15 U.S.C. 1692(g) into a mortgage foreclosure summons and complaint does not effectively convey notice of rights to the "least sophisticated consumer" - Battle v. Gladstone Law Group, P.A., No. 2:12-cv-14458-JEM (S.D. Fla. June 28, 2013) (order denying defendant's motion to dismiss)

III. TITLE INSURANCE CASES - CHRIS SMART

  • Reformation: where genuine issue of material fact as to whether policy endorsement should be reformed based on mutual mistake, reformation claim must be considered before determining insurer’s duty to defend – Regions Bank v. Commonwealth Land Title Ins. Co., No. 11-23257 (S.D. Fla. June 26, 2013) (order denying cross motions for summary judgment)
  • Reformation: parole evidence is available to establish a claim for reformation – Regions Bank v. Commonwealth Land Title Ins. Co., No. 11-23257 (S.D. Fla. June 26, 2013) (order denying cross motions for summary judgment)
  • Duty to Defend: where amended complaint brings cause of action within policy exclusion, allegations of amended complaint control and insurer’s duty to defend terminates – Regions Bank v. Commonwealth Land Title Ins. Co., No. 11-23257 (S.D. Fla. June 26, 2013) (order denying cross motions for summary judgment)
  • Escrow Agent: escrow instructions do not necessarily need to be in writing – Strohbach v. United General Title Ins. Co., No. G046362 (Cal. App. June 27, 2013) (affirming judgment)
  • Escrow Agent: but for agent’s failure to follow lender’s closing instruction to procure commitment for performance bond, loan would not have closed; thus, agent’s defense that lender’s loss was caused by uncreditworthy borrower rather than malfeasance of agent fails – Strohbach v. United General Title Ins. Co., No. G046362 (Cal. App. June 27, 2013) (affirming judgment after trial)
  • Duty to Defend: title insurance policies do not protect against insured’s alleged tortious conduct in acquiring title to property and insurer has no duty to defend such claims – Liberty Nat’l Enterprises, L.P. v. Chicago Title Ins. Co., No. B234341 (Cal. App. June 13, 2013) (reversing judgment after trial)
  • Closing Agent: title company owes no tort duty under Washington law to refrain from recording instruments that may cause harm to third party's interests – Centurion Props., III, LLC v. Chicago Title Ins. Co., No. 2:12-cv-05130 (E.D. Wash. July 3, 2013) (order granting summary judgment)