Florida Senate - 2012                          SENATOR AMENDMENT
       Bill No. CS for CS for SB 1860
                                Barcode 230376                          
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              
                Floor: 4/AD/2R         .                                
             03/06/2012 05:01 PM       .                                

       Senator Diaz de la Portilla moved the following:
    1         Senate Substitute for Amendment (202446) (with title
    2  amendment)
    4         Delete lines 1236 - 1240
    5  and insert:
    7         (a) With respect to any dispute under the provisions of ss.
    8  627.730-627.7405 between the insured and the insurer, or between
    9  an assignee of an insured’s rights and the insurer, the
   10  provisions of ss. s. 627.428 and 768.79 shall apply, except as
   11  provided in subsections (10) and (15), and except that any
   12  attorney fees recovered must:
   13         1. Comply with prevailing professional standards;
   14         2. Ensure that the attorney fees for work performed by an
   15  attorney does not duplicate work performed by a paralegal or
   16  legal assistant; and
   17         3. Not overstate or inflate the number of hours reasonably
   18  necessary for a case of comparable skill or complexity.
   19         (b) Notwithstanding s. 627.428 and this subsection, it
   20  shall be presumed that any attorney fees awarded under ss.
   21  627.730-627.7405 are calculated without regard to a contingency
   22  risk multiplier. This presumption may be overcome only if the
   23  court makes findings of fact based upon competent evidence in
   24  the record which establishes that:
   25         1. The party requesting the multiplier would have faced
   26  substantial difficulties finding competent counsel to pursue the
   27  case in the relevant market but for the consideration of a fee
   28  multiplier;
   29         2. Consideration of a fee multiplier was a necessary
   30  incentive to obtain competent counsel to pursue the case;
   31         3. The claim would not be economically feasible to hire an
   32  attorney on a noncontingent, fixed-fee basis;
   33         4. The attorney was unable to mitigate the risk of
   34  nonpayment of attorney fees in any other way; and
   35         5. The use of a multiplier is justified based on factors
   36  such as the amount of risk undertaken by the attorney at the
   37  outset of the case, the results obtained, and the type of fee
   38  arrangement between the attorney and client.
   39         (c) Paragraph (b) does not apply to a case where class
   40  action status has been sought or granted, and a contingency risk
   41  multiplier may be applied in such cases notwithstanding
   42  paragraph (b).
   43         (d) Upon the request of either party, a judge must make
   44  written findings, substantiated by evidence presented at trial
   45  or any hearings associated with the trial, that an award of
   46  attorney fees complies with this subsection.
   48  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
   49         And the title is amended as follows:
   50         Between lines 75 and 76
   51  insert:
   52         providing criteria for the award of attorney fees;
   53         providing a presumption regarding the use of a
   54         contingency risk multiplier;