Legal & Judicial
HB 7041 – Relating to Litigation Financing Consumer Protection
On Thursday, February 27, HB 7041, sponsored by the House Civil Justice Subcommittee, was heard by the House Commerce Committee and was reported favorable with 20 yeas and 3 nays. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, stood in support of this legislation.
Litigation financing is a non-recourse transaction in which a third party (“litigation financier”) provides funds to a person bringing a civil action or claim in exchange for an assignment of the person’s contingent right to receive an amount of the civil action or claim’s potential proceeds
The bill establishes various requirements, such as registering with the Department of State and posting a bond, on litigation financers. The bill also establishes requirements regarding the contracts, disclosure to consumers, and prohibited conduct. Specifically, the bill caps the fees for any civil action or claim, regardless of the number of contracts of a litigation financier. Lastly, it provides that violation of the Act is a violation of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.
HB 7041 will now move to the House floor.
AIF supports efforts that create transparency and accountability to prevent malevolent litigation financiers from driving up litigation costs, and; therefore, driving up the cost to do business in Florida.
HB 1165 – Relating to Beverage Law
On Thursday, February 27, HB 1165 by Representative Holly Raschein (R-Key Largo) was heard by the House Commerce Committee and was reported favorable with 12 yeas and 11 nays. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, stood in support of this legislation.
In Florida, the Beverage Law regulates the manufacture, distribution, and sale of wine, beer, and liquor by manufacturers, distributors, and vendors. Since the repeal of Prohibition, regulation of alcohol in the United States has traditionally been based upon what is termed the “three-tier system.” The system requires separation of the manufacture, distribution, and sale of alcoholic beverages. The manufacturer creates the beverages, and the distributor obtains the beverages from the manufacturer to deliver to the vendor. The vendor makes the ultimate sale to the consumer. Generally, only licensed vendors are permitted to sell alcoholic beverages directly to consumers at retail, and manufacturers, distributors, and exporters are generally prohibited from holding a vendor’s license.
The bill provides that a manufacturer or importer of malt beverages and a vendor may enter into a written agreement for brand-naming rights and associated cooperative advertising if negotiated at arm’s length and only at specified venues in the state such as theme parks.
HB 1165 will now move to the House floor.
AIF supports legislative efforts to revise outdated laws that impose burdens and restrictions on any sector of the business community, including vendors and distributors of alcoholic beverages.