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Recent Changes to Florida Appellate Rules of Procedure

February 18, 2020

By: Jennifer R. Dixon

In January 2020, the Florida Supreme Court adopted three subtle, but significant changes to the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure:

  1. Rule 9.130(a)(3)(C) was amended to clarify language regarding nonfinal orders denying certain categories of immunity (i.e. qualified immunity in a federal civil rights claim, immunity under § 768.28, Florida Statues, and sovereign immunity). The amendment eliminates any requirement that a challenged order expressly deny immunity “as a matter of law.” The result is that any order denying entitlement to the specified immunities is immediately appealable as a matter of right. This amendment did not address orders denying workers compensation immunity. Instead, the court referred that issue to the appellate rules committee for further consideration. This amendment was effective on January 23, 2020.
  2. Rule 9.130(a)(3)(C) was further amended to add to the growing list of reviewable nonfinal orders. Effective April 1, 2020, nonfinal orders for permanent guardianships for dependent children pursuant to § 39.6221, Florida Statutes, will be immediately reviewable by appeal, as a matter of right.
  3. 3. Rule 9.200 was amended to allow attorneys and parties to obtain unredacted records without having to first obtain an order from the appellate court in every case. This amendment will also go into effect on April 1, 2020.

This article is informational only. You should consult an attorney before acting or failing to act. The law may change rapidly and no warranty is given. LOWNDES DISCLAIMS ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES AND WITHOUT LIMITATION, ANY WARRANTY OF FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. ALL ARTICLES ARE PROVIDED AS IS AND WITH ALL FAULTS. Consult a Lowndes attorney if you wish to establish an attorney/client relationship.

Jennifer R. Dixon is a pragmatic problem-solver. A shareholder in the firm’s Litigation & Trial Practice Group and board certified in Appellate Law by the Florida Bar, she enjoys working closely with clients to determine the best solutions for their business or personal needs and strategizing how to achieve the best outcome possible.

An experienced and versatile civil litigator, Jennifer innately understands when an issue must be decided by a jury or a judge. She is also a certified mediator who recognizes when creative solutions can be used to effectively resolve a dispute on the parties’ terms. Whether in the courtroom or at the settlement table, Jennifer is a zealous advocate who works tirelessly on behalf of her clients.

Jennifer handles civil, family law, and probate appeals on behalf of litigants and amicus curiae, and she has successfully defended judgments and obtained reversals in both state and federal appellate courts. She is also experienced handling administrative appeals before the Florida Division of Administrative Hearings.

Acting as outside general counsel for several private enterprises, Jennifer regularly provides recommendations on issues related to risk assessment, litigation and compliance oversight, and contract administration. Her clients come from a wide variety of industries, including real estate, hospitality, construction, themed entertainment, healthcare and outdoor advertising.

Jennifer is also an experienced family and marital lawyer, frequently handling matters concerning divorce, child custody, support, and prenuptial agreements.

The depth and diversity of Jennifer’s legal experience affords her perspective in working with clients across all industries with varying legal needs.

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