Florida: First DCA Certifies Constitutional Question After Affirming $165 Fee for 107 Hours of Work

Reluctantly affirming a decision by a Judge of Compensation Claims that had awarded claimant’s counsel an attorney’s fee of only $164.54 for 107.2 hours of legal work reasonably necessary to secure the claimant’s workers’ compensation benefits and indicating further that it was constrained both by precedent [see Kauffman v. Community Inclusions, Inc., 57 So. 3d 919 (Fla. 1st DCA 2011)], and also by the fact that § 440.34, Fla. Stat., had been amended in 2009 in response to the state supreme court’s decision in Murray v. Mariner Health, 994 So. 2d 1051 (Fla. 2008), on Wednesday, the First District Court of Appeals, in Castellanos v. Next Door Co./Amerisure Ins. Co., Case No. 1D12-3639 (Oct. 23, 2013), certified to the Florida Supreme Court the following as a question of great public importance:

Whether the award of attorney’s fees in this case is adequate, and consistent with the access to courts, due process, equal protection, and other requirements of the Florida and Federal Constitutions.

I’ll keep you posted.

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