The Florida Bar Appellate Practice Section names Allen Bonner CLE Committee Vice-Chair
March 3, 2023 (Miami, Florida). Following three years of service on the Appellate Practice Section’s monthly webinar programming, Allen Bonner of South Florida Appeals was appointed Vice-Chair of the CLE Committee by the incoming APS leadership. With the assistance of fellow appellate lawyers Geneva Fountain of Boyd & Jenerette and Diane DeWolf of Akerman LLP, Mr. Bonner will be responsible for carrying out the Appellate Practice Section’s 2023-24 monthly webinar series. For more information about the APS’s upcoming CLEs, please visit: www.flabarappellate.org/cle.
South Florida Appeals would like to give special thanks to the APS’s President-Elect, Kansas Gooden, and to the outgoing CLE Committee Chair, Elaine Walter, for entrusting Mr. Bonner with this role.
DBR reports $6.6m settlement in catastrophic trucking accident stewarded by the Drury Law Firm, BLucas Law, and South Florida Appeals
January 5, 2023 (Miami, Florida). South Florida Appeals PA was among three law firms recognized by the Daily Business Review for securing a $6.6 million settlement in the lawsuit Diaz v. Bulk Express, Inc., et al., a catastrophic trucking accident that took place on July 4, 2018, in the Florida Keys. South Florida Appeals successfully fended off two certiorari petitions filed in the Third District Court of Appeals before the settlement was reached. Outgoing MDTLA President Chris Drury of Drury Law and Ben Lucas of BLucas Law represented the plaintiffs at the trial level.
For more, visit: www.law.com/dailybusinessreview/2023/01/05/6-6-million-south-florida-settlement-meet-plaintiff-counsel/
Miami Dade Bar awards Chief Judge Ivan Fernandez its inaugural John Marshall Award for Commitment to Public Service
October 28, 2022 (Miami, Florida). The Miami Dade Bar bestowed its inaugural John Marshall Award for Commitment to Public Service to Chief Judge Ivan Fernandez of the Third District Court of Appeal following the Florida Bar’s semi-annual Practicing Before the Third District Court of Appeal conference. The award recognized Chief Judge Fernandez’s over 40-year career in public service. Before handing out the award, Allen Bonner of South Florida Appeals spoke on the Chief Judge’s career.
Broward Circuit Court vacates judgment and orders new trial.
September 14, 2022 (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida). Following a final judgment that disposed of his insurance claim, the Plaintiff in Muhammad Mukati v. Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (Case No. CACE19009465), secured an order vacating the judgment and setting his cause for a new trial. The decision turned on whether the trial court had authority to enlarge the time for requesting a trial de novo following a mandatory non-binding arbitration hearing. Allen Bonner handled the post-judgment motion for rehearing, with Matthew Baldwin and Andrew Vargas of Vargas Gonzalez Baldwin Delombard representing the Plaintiff, Muhammad Mukati.
Third DCA rules that whether to award punitive damages is for “the jury to decide.”
July 27, 2022 (Miami, Florida). In a unanimous written decision, the Third District Court of Appeals dismissed a petition for certiorari seeking in Bulk Express et al. v. Diaz (Case no. 3D22-0506), turning away an argument that the trial court failed to follow the procedural requirements applicable to punitive damages claims. The ruling disposed of the second of two certiorari petitions that challenged the same punitive damages order, both of which were unsuccessful. Ben Lucas (of BLucas Law), Chris Drury (of the Drury Law Firm), and Allen Bonner represented the Respondents, Luis and Maria Diaz.
The Miami Dade Trial Lawyers Association names attorney Allen Bonner to its Executive Board.
July 5, 2022 (Coral Gables, Florida). The Miami Dade Trial Lawyers Association (MDTLA), an organization dedicated to protecting the rights of people harmed by malicious, careless, or criminal behavior, named South Florida Appeals attorney Allen Bonner as a member of its Executive Board. Allen will serve the remainder of the 2022-23 two-year term. The MDTLA hosts numerous events throughout the year that promote access to justice and trial advocacy, and which provide continuing legal education to the Greater Miami community. For a list of upcoming events, or to join, visit www.MDTLA.com.
Miami Dade Bar announces its annual Above and Beyond awards.
June 21, 2022 (Miami, Florida). In her final Board of Directors meeting as president of the Miami Dade Bar, outgoing president Sabrina Puglisi presented the MDB’s Above and Beyond awards to committee chairs Lenny Elias (County Courts), Elizabeth Hughes (Probate & Guardianship) and Allen Bonner (Appellate Courts). Past president Jane Muir was also recognized with the MDB’s Outstanding Service Award for her work leading the MDB’s Building Committee, which is heading up the association’s building renovations.
To learn more about the MDB, or to join, visit: www.miamidadebar.org.
Third DCA dismisses cert petition challenging punitive damages claims
June 20, 2022 (Miami, Florida). A unanimous Third District Court of Appeals dismissed a petition for certiorari seeking to bar a claim for punitive damages in Ramos v. Diaz (Case no. 3D22-0512). The case, which is set for trial in November 2022, stems from a horrific trucking accident in the Florida Keys involving a tractor trailer and an armored truck. Ben Lucas (of BLucas Law), Chris Drury (of the Drury Law Firm), and Allen Bonner represented the Respondents, Luis and Maria Diaz.
Miami Dade Bar, Miami FAWL, & Dade Legal Aid raise $3800 for foster children
June 11, 2022 (Hialeah, Florida). The Miami Dade Bar, along with Miami FAWL and Dade Legal Aid, collectively hosted the 2022 Gear Up For Summer fundraiser for Miami-area foster children. Fifty families were invited and treated to a day of games, prizes, food, and fun. All foster children who attended received backpacks full of summer supplies and other goodies, including bikes, skateboards, and scooters. Over $3800 was raised for the children and their families. Thank you to all who participated!
Third DCA reverses judgment in $1.25m mortgage foreclosure dispute.
June 15, 2022 (Miami, Florida). In an unanimous written opinion, Levy v. FMF&J (Case no. 3D20-0931), the Third District Court vacated a foreclosure judgment in an approximately $1.25 million dispute alleging mortgage fraud. The reversal centered upon an order denying a continuance on the day-of-trial, which the Respondents sought when their only two defense witnesses failed to appear. Stephanie and Patrick Hopple (of the Hopple Law Firm), and Allen Bonner represented the Appellants, Georges and Valerie Levy.
U.S. Federal District Court denies motion to strike jury demand
February 18, 2022 (Miami, Florida). U.S. District Court Judge Beth Bloom denied a motion to strike Plaintiff Havana Docks’ jury demand, which had been joined by four other defendant cruise lines. The Court concluded that the statutory cause of action created under the Libertad Act, which prohibits the trafficking of certain property seized by the Cuban government, sounds in law and thus triggers the Seventh Amendment right to a jury trial. Bob Martinez and Stephanie Casey lead the Plaintiffs’ trial team, along with Tom Kroeger and Aziza Elayan-Martinez. Allen Bonner assisted with this motion. Havana Docks v. Norwegian Line Holdings (Case No. 1:19-CV-23591-BB (S.D. Fla.)
Eleventh Circuit vacates summary judgment in multimillion dollar bad faith claim
February 14, 2021 (Miami, Florida). The Eleventh Circuit reversed and vacated summary judgment in Cawthorn v. Auto-Owners, 853 F. App’x 637 (11th Cir. 2021), a bad faith case that the appellate court previously ruled in 2018 was not ripe to proceed. Citing its earlier opinion, the Eleventh Circuit concluded that summary judgment was improper and ordered the case to be dismissed without prejudice for the Plaintiff to refile. Allen Bonner handled the appeal with the assistance of Joe Kalbac and Denise Georges of Colson Hicks Eidson and Steve Marino and Michal Meiler of Ver Ploeg & Marino.