Florida Senate - 2012                          SENATOR AMENDMENT
       Bill No. CS for CS for SB 1860
                                Barcode 847780                          
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              
                  Floor: WD            .                                
             03/06/2012 05:06 PM       .                                

       Senator Diaz de la Portilla moved the following:
    1         Senate Amendment to Amendment (435312) (with title
    2  amendment)
    4         Delete lines 772 - 776
    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 are for work performed by
   15  an attorney which does not duplicate work performed by a
   16  paralegal or legal assistant; and
   17         3. Not overstate or inflate the number of hours reasonably
   18  necessary for a case of comparable complexity which requires
   19  comparable skill.
   20         (b) Notwithstanding s. 627.428 and this subsection, any
   21  attorney fees awarded under ss. 627.730-627.7405 shall be
   22  presumed to be calculated without regard to a contingency risk
   23  multiplier. This presumption may be overcome only if the court
   24  makes findings of fact based upon competent evidence in the
   25  record which establishes that:
   26         1. The party requesting the multiplier would have faced
   27  substantial difficulties finding competent counsel to pursue the
   28  case in the relevant market but for the consideration of a fee
   29  multiplier;
   30         2. Consideration of a fee multiplier was a necessary
   31  incentive to obtain competent counsel to pursue the case;
   32         3. The claim would not be economically feasible to hire an
   33  attorney on a noncontigent, fixed-fee basis;
   34         4. The attorney was unable to mitigate the risk of
   35  nonpayment of attorney fees in any other way; and
   36         5. The use of a multiplier is justified based on factors
   37  such as the amount of risk undertaken by the attorney at the
   38  outset of the case, the results obtained, and the type of fee
   39  arrangement between the attorney and the client.
   40         (c) Paragraph (b) does not apply to a case where class
   41  action status has been sought or granted, and a contingency risk
   42  multiplier may be applied in such cases, notwithstanding
   43  paragraph (b).
   44         (d) Upon request by either party, a judge shall make
   45  written findings, substantiated by evidence presented at trial
   46  or any hearing associated with the trial, that an award of
   47  attorney fees complies with this subsection.
   49  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
   50         And the title is amended as follows:
   51         Delete line 946
   52  and insert:
   53         are reached; providing criteria for the award of
   54         attorney fees; providing that attorney fees are
   55         presumed to be calculated without regard to a
   56         contingency risk multiplier; providing exceptions;
   57         requiring that a judge make written findings that an
   58         award of attorney complies with the law, under certain
   59         conditions; consolidating provisions relating to