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Daily Legislative Brief from May 2, 2019

Legal & Judicial

HB 829 – Relating to Attorney Fees and Costs

On Thursday, May 2, HB 829 by Representative Anthony Sabatini (R-Clermont) was read a third time on the House floor and passed with a vote of 77 yeas and 31 nays.

Florida law states that a court may impose sanctions on a party or attorney who raises a frivolous claim or defense or unreasonably delays a judicial proceeding. This bill entitles a party to attorney fees and costs if the party prevails in an action challenging a local government ordinance as preempted. However, attorney fees and costs may not be awarded if the local government withdraws or repeals the ordinance within 30 days after receiving a claim that the ordinance is preempted or the filing of a motion seeking attorney fees and costs under the new statutory section, whichever occurs first. The bill prospective and only applies to cases commenced on or after July 1, 2019. 

HB 829 will now go to the Governor.

AIF supports legislative attorney fee reform that helps prevent onerous fees imposed on businesses post-litigation.