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OCT 14
Florida Supreme Court Agrees with the Florida Justice Association’s Argument

On October 14, 2021, the Florida Supreme Court issued opinions in Younkin v. Blackwelder  (SC19-385) and Dodgen v. Grijalva (SC19-1118). In both cases, Creed & Gowdy submitted amicus curiae briefs on behalf of the Florida Justice Association (FJA) in support of the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs and the FJA argued that the financial relationship between a defendant's law firm or insurer and a retained expert witness was discoverable.  In opposition, the defendants argued such discovery was prohibited by the rationale of Worley v. Central Florida Young Men's Christian Ass'n, a decision of the Florida Supreme Court that prohibited discovery between a plaintiff's law firm and a plaintiff's treating physician. While the defendants were urging the Court to extend Worley's rationale to different factual circumstances, some amici supporting the defendants urged the Court to overrule Worley. The FJA argued the Court lacked the authority to either extend or overrule Worley: "This Court must decide this case, and only this case, based on the facts of this case, and it may not decide abstract questions of law or issue advisory opinions." Dodgen FJA Amicus Br. 2. The Court ultimately agreed with the FJA's argument: "[W]hether Worley was wrongly decided or whether some other factor has caused the purportedly uneven playing field [between plaintiffs and defendants], is not properly before us. The holding of Worley should be reexamined only in a case in which it is actually at issue." Dodgen Op. 15.

The opinions and briefs can be found on the Court's docket:  Younkin  and  Dodgen.