Results matching “florida crist”

The oh-so-civil Robert F. Kennedy Jr., is headlining this year's "Progressive Voices Cruise," touring the Eastern Caribbean on board a Holland American Lines cruise ship. Nothing says progressive like drinks at the Grand Turks and Caicos.

We find it telling that a trial lawyer is featured among the peripatetic progressives, to wit, Mike Papantonio:

Mike Papantonio is a senior partner of Levin, Papantonio, Thomas, Mitchell, Echsner, Rafferty & Proctor, P.A., one of the largest plaintiff's law firms in America , having handled thousands of cases throughout the nation including Asbestos, Breast Implants, Pharmaceutical Drug Litigation, Factory Farming, Securities Fraud, the Florida Tobacco Litigation, and other mass tort cases. "Pap" has received numerous multi-million dollar verdicts on behalf of victims of corporate malfeasance.

Well, since economic redistribution is the hallmark of the current progressivism ...

Former Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) is among the speakers. Should be a civil presentation.

Meanwhile, Kennedy's political ally, former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, has thrown his lot in with Florida's preeminent personal injury lawyers. From Morgan and Morgan via its website,, "Former Florida Governor Charlie Crist joins Morgan and Morgan":

Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist has joined Morgan & Morgan. While serving in office, Crist was often referred to as "the People's Governor." His dedication and commitment to the people of Florida will remain the same as he works with the firm's mass tort and class action department, fighting "for the people." Crist said, "It's truly a privilege for me to have this opportunity to work all over our beautiful state. John Morgan has set up an incredible firm of very gifted people and it's truly an honor and a privilege to have this day come."

Although Tim Carney gets the best headline out it, "Charlie Crist couldn't catch Rubio, so now he's chasing ambulances," for the best summary of how Crist's decision reflects his core principles, we recommend Florida writer Neal B. Freeman's piece in National Review Online, "Charlie Crist, Attorney at Law."

Bet the former governor winds up speaking at this year's winter convention of the American Association for Justice, which takes place next month at the Loews Miami Beach. Enjoy the ballet!

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Around the web, August 30 - PointOfLaw Forum

"Crist's costly populism" - PointOfLaw Forum

The Florida governor's ill-conceived assaults on the property insurance market are an important reason his tour of office will go down as a failure. [Eli Lehrer, FrumForum; earlier here, here, etc.]

Around the web, October 17 - PointOfLaw Forum

  • I'll be on a panel discussion on food safety Tuesday afternoon at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington [details];
  • Metaphorically or otherwise: Massachusetts "can't afford" to take on project of state-sponsored law school [Boston Globe, Legal Blog Watch, Above the Law]
  • If the state knew the score, it wasn't fraud: "blockbuster" Alabama high court ruling throws out state's verdicts against drug companies on wholesale pricing [Frankel, American Lawyer]
  • Now Florida Gov. Crist's going after utilities [Osorio, CEI]
  • "California's landmark med-mal law called a national model" [Rizo, LNL] Does MICRA keep plaintiffs out of court? Glad you asked [Cal Civil Justice]
  • "Canadian Court Allows Indirect Purchaser Antitrust Class Action" [Hartley] Correcting some misconceptions about class actions in Canada [Karlsgodt]

Around the Web, August 28 - PointOfLaw Forum

A politically oriented compendium today, since the interesting law developments escape either our attention or our comprehension.

  • Wall Street Journal, "Chrysler Agrees to Take on Pre-Bankruptcy Product Liability Claims." New York Times Wheels blog, "Chrysler Reverses Stance on Product Liability." Public Citizen claims victory (statement).
  • Howard Dean continues to draw attention for his admission that Congress isn't talking tort reform in health care because the trial lawyers are too politically powerful. Charles Krauthammer, a doctor in his past life, observes: "You got to love Howard Dean. He is our best friend. He speaks the truth -- on this he did."
  • Philip K. Howard comments in The Atlantic online, "Stonewalling Legal Reform," on the difficulty of finding numbers to make the case for medical malpractice reform -- or any health care reform, for that matter: "Congress should listen to doctors and patients. They see these problems with modern healthcare. The fact that it's hard to 'score' the precise savings doesn't mean that the changes are unimportant."
  • Lisa Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, has a commentary, "Who Really Speaks for Consumers in the Arbitration Debate?," arguing that the motive behind the campaign against arbitration by "consumer activists" and lawyers is to stimulate creation of large class actions: "[The] plaintiffs' lawyers want first to cripple consumer arbitration. And next, they want to skim those few lucrative class action lawsuits from the sea of consumer disputes."
  • Florida Governor Charlie Crist has named the successor to Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL), who is retiring early from his term. Crist tabbed his former chief of staff, George LeMieux, who will resign from the law firm law firm of Gunster Yoakley & Stewart. Mark Wilson, president of the Florida Chamber of Commerce issued a statement: "We appreciate Governor Crist's decision to pass on applications from trial lawyers and other agendas which would be detrimental to future job creation during this important time." Martinez, of course, was a trial lawyer as well.
  • Still in Florida, the hot political race has attacks and counterattacks being levied over trial lawyer connections. Former House Speaker John Thrasher is running for Senate District 8 in a special election, with all the action on the Republican side. An amorphously ad hoc group, Conservative Citizens for Justice Inc., has attacked his character; the group appears to be funded by politically active personal injury lawyers. (Jacksonville News story and column.) Former Gov. Jeb Bush has just cut an ad in response, saying lawyers are attacking Thrasher because he had the courage to rein in frivolous lawsuits.

From the AP:

ST. PETERSBURG - Gov. Charlie Crist appointed Cuban-born lawyer Jorge Labarga to the Florida Supreme Court on Friday.

Labarga, 56, a state circuit judge who Crist appointed to an appellate court position just last month, was named to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Harry Lee Anstead. It was Crist's third appointment to the state's high court since late August.

Here's Labarga's CV from the 15th Judicial Circuit of Florida's website.

Anticipating the appointment, Ed Whelan of the Ethics and Public Policy Center notes the current 5-4 liberal majority, writing at Bench Memos, "There is intense pressure on Crist from the media, left-wing activists and plaintiff's bar to preserve the liberal majority on the Court." Whelan cites a knowledgeable observer of the court who describes Labarga as "journeyman trial judge" who "has shown no evidence of having a well-formed conservative judicial philosophy."

The conservatives' candidate to come out of the judicial nominating commission was Frank Jimenez. The usual editorial and political calumnies were lodged against him -- a "[Jeb] Bush acolyte" -- drawing a response in the St. Petersburg Times by Raoul G. Cantero III, a former Supreme Court Justice.

The Times condemns his nomination despite Jimenez's sterling credentials: distinguished Yale Law School and Wharton Business School graduate, partner at a well-respected Miami law firm, deputy chief of staff and acting general counsel to Gov. Jeb Bush, chief of staff to then-HUD Secretary Mel Martinez, top litigation counsel at the U.S. Defense Department, and now general counsel of the Navy, one of six civilians of four-star rank who help the secretary of the Navy oversee the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.

Whelan also praised Jimenez here.

The process for nominating Jimenez came under harsh criticism.

Republican Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who keeps mysteriously appearing on lists of possible veep picks for Sen. McCain, has repeatedly defied economic logic and fairness in his interventions into the deeply troubled market for homeowners' hurricane insurance in his state. In a paper (PDF) for Washington Legal Foundation, Victor Schwartz and Phil Goldberg of Shook, Hardy and Bacon note that Crist "has personally solicited mass tort lawyers to investigate and sue the industry" -- the latest of many reasons to suspect that future catastrophes to hit the Sunshine State will be not entirely meteorological in origin.

P.S. Steve Bousquet of the St. Petersburg Times reported last month that "trial lawyers are back in force" in Florida's capital, with the enthusiastic support of Gov. Crist, who announced early in his term that "Lawyers are back!"; they've scored victories that include the deep-sixing of an Orlando mass transit plan (on the grounds that it shielded railroads from litigation) and the defeat of proposed limits on contingency fees chargeable by outside lawyers to the state as plaintiff.

Florida insurance debacle - PointOfLaw Forum

David Rossmiller sketches in some background behind the state of Florida's move to yank Allstate's license to write new auto business, not long after its governor announced that he was hiring trial lawyers to make life difficult for home insurers:

If you haven't kept up with the Florida insurance market, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist has been in a long-running battle with insurers over the state's high property insurance rates. A year ago, Florida lawmakers passed the latest in the state's legislative and regulatory "fixes" to the system -- officials pushed Florida's state-backed property insurer further into the market as a competitor, and added billions to a state fund for a reinsurance pool for the private market. All this, and more, was supposed to lead to rates coming down, but whoops, they didn't. Instead most insurers have filed for big rate increases, sending Crist into episodes of table-pounding.

Earlier: here, here, here, etc.

Jeb Bush knocks successor's risky insurance policies - PointOfLaw Forum

When he was campaigning for governor of Florida, Charlie Crist pledged to do something about skyrocketing property tax rates in the state. And do something he has -- unfortunately, none of it has worked. Crist backed the Legislature's insurance "fix" in January that put Florida government into the insurance business big time, dramatically increasing the amount of risk taxpayers will have to bear if a major hurricane hits the state. The trade-off for this risk was supposed to be that premiums for homeowners insurance rates would tumble. Crist has also lit into insurance companies every chance he gets, calling them out as robber barons and vowing to bring power to the people.

Not surprisingly, central planning and name calling haven't worked -- insurers are even more keen to avoid risk in the state and have dumped coastal policies by the hundreds of thousands, forcing the state-run property insurance program to take on even more taxpayer-backed risk -- Citizen's Property is the state's biggest insurer and keeps on growing. Property insurance rates not only didn't go down by as much as Crist and lawmakers said, most insurers have filed for rate increases, causing Crist to engage in further episodes of table banging and name calling.

Residents of Florida have begun to notice this is getting embarrassing, and one very influential resident -- Jeb Bush, Crist's predecessor as governor -- spoke out against Crist's policies this week, although Bush was careful not to denounce Crist by name. This Wall Street Journal editorial applauded Bush's statements. The Journal quotes from a story by Ray Lehmann, a reporter for A.M. Best who broke the story. Lehmann's original story, and more, is avaiable at this post I wrote at Insurance Coverage Law Blog earlier this week.

'F' is for Florida and fiasco - PointOfLaw Forum

The property insurance problem in Florida, which Gov. Charlie Crist and legislators supposedly improved earlier this year with new regulations and new government involvement in the insurance market, is looking decidedly unfixed. In fact, it looks more broken than ever. According to this story in the Miami Herald, legislators are stumped as to why, after all the government intervention, property insurance premiums not only didn't go down by as much as forecast, but in many cases are going up.

Hmmmm, do you think Gov. Crist or the Legislature will listen to what the market is telling them: that their insurance fix is like one of those mail-order Acme rocket packs so favored by Wile E. Coyote? You know, the ones that always blow up, whether from defective design or user error, it is not entirely clear.

It looks like the answer is no, and what's worse, that some legislators are ready to order another rocket pack. According to the story, even though lawmakers are perplexed as to why the new regulations have had the opposite effect of that intended, "some wonder whether government should take even a bigger role in the insurance market -- possibly taking over all windstorm coverage, for example." What was it Clausewitz said? "Never reinforce failure," I think is what it was. For more on this and other developments on Florida's insurance woes, check out this post and others I've written in recent months.

Florida to take on yet more state insurance risk - PointOfLaw Forum

Florida's insurance "fix" just keeps getting more and more broken. Earlier this year, legislative measures backed by Gov. Charlie Crist were supposed to reign in supposedly abusive practices by insurers (attempts to limit their exposure in a state beset by hurricane losses) and lower insurance rates. Well, the legislative fix so far has been disappointing, lowering rates for homeowners insurance a disappointing 10 percent or so, instead of the hoped for 30 percent or more. That hasn't worked, so Florida is now working on making its next insurance crisis: as Martin Grace points out at RiskProf, one problem is that developers keep putting more and more high-priced property where it is most likely to be damaged by hurricanes, and these properties are unlikely to be attractive to insurers, who have been dropping property policies in the highest risk areas. The result? The state-run insurer, Citizens Property, has to step in, taking on more and more risk. Where does this all lead to? No one knows for sure, but one thing is for sure: Florida will continue to pray to the hurricane gods.

"Pray to the hurricane gods" - PointOfLaw Forum

Spectacular irresponsibility from Florida lawmakers on homeowner's insurance, as reported in the Washington Post:

Last month, state legislators voted in an emergency session to lower insurance rates, primarily in South Florida, by pledging tens of billions in public money to affected homeowners if a major hurricane or two strikes again.

Since neither the state's catastrophe fund nor the state-chartered insurance company has anywhere near enough money on hand to pay the claims they may now be required to pay after a major hurricane, the measure is considered a gamble, even by proponents....

Critics have decried the measure as irresponsible. Under the legislation, in the event of a major hurricane, the state will pay claims by taxing home, automobile and some other types of insurance policies sold in the state.

The measure promises as much as $32 billion from the state's catastrophe fund to pay homeowner's claims after a storm, although the fund currently has less than $1 billion in it. It also decrees a rate cut for the state-run insurer that handles a lot of coastal homeowner business, although current rates are already considered too low to reflect risk and the company ran out of money in 2004 and 2005. Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R), a former attorney general of his state, is a backer of the new scheme. More discussion at Reason "Hit and Run": Ronald Bailey, Radley Balko.

Storm of demagogy - PointOfLaw Forum

It isn't just Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood who's undermining the future interests of insurance policyholders, argues the W$J today -- better keep an eye on Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R-Caracas) as well.

Florida: AG race, Supreme Court retentions - PointOfLaw Featured Discussion

The Florida attorney general's office is opening up because of Republican incumbent Charlie Crist's bid for the governor's mansion (in which he appears to be narrowly ahead as of this writing). The battle to succeed him pits Democrat state senator Skip Campbell, a plaintiff's trial lawyer, against longterm U.S. Rep. Bill McCollum. Liability reform is said to be the chief issue in the race. A poll last week had the two tied, but a new one shows McCollum with an eleven-point lead.

Meanwhile, three members of the Florida Supreme Court's liberal majority (Barbara Pariente, Fred Lewis and Peggy Quince) are on the ballot for retention, and are expected to cruise to easy wins with few if any voices raised in opposition. Scripps columnist Kenric Ward finds this peculiar given the justices' record of questionable, and deeply controversial, decrees on matters ranging from the Gore recount to the striking down of school vouchers (he might have added a number of the court's liability rulings).

State AGs and the flu vaccine shortage - PointOfLaw Forum

A shortage of something will cause the market price for that thing to rise. Not surprisingly, the shortage of flu vaccine seems to have had this effect. Comes now the attorney general of Florida to police just how high the price can go:

State Attorney General Charlie Crist announced Wednesday that his office filed a lawsuit against a Florida flu vaccine company for alleged price gouging. Crist charged the company with violations of Florida's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act regarding pricing of flu vaccines.

Fort Lauderdale-based ASAP Meds, Inc., doing business as Meds-Stat, is named in the suit.

. . .

Following the announcement of a severe shortage, Meds-Stat sold vials of flu vaccines to a Kansas City pharmacy at a rate of $900 per vial (10 doses per vial). The vaccine is usually priced at $63 to $85 per vial, amounting to a markup exceeding 900 percent.

"This behavior is totally unacceptable, raw exploitation," said Crist. "While millions of Americans will be forced to do without vaccines this year, some businesses are attempting to take advantage of children, the elderly and the frail by unfair and unconscionable business acts. Preying on the fears of the consuming public is not a description of good corporate citizens."

The complaint is available online. The AG of Kansas announced a similar suit against the same company, apparently for the same sale, the day before.