Disorbo v. American Van Lines, Inc.—(J. Gross; 4DCA; 1/4/23). This is a lengthy opinion that does not pertain to personal injury specifically. The opening paragraph, however, is important for any civil practitioner. It states, “Article I, Section 22 of the Florida Constitution guarantees a jury trial as to those issues triable by a jury at common law, before the first state constitution became effective in 1845. Complications arise when legal and equitable causes of action travel in the same complaint; in that situation, a jury must decide common issues of fact to honor the guarantee of Article I, Section 22.” In the case, the trial court severed a breach of contract claim and trying various equitable claims first. The court’s factual determinations necessarily foreclosed relief on the pending breach of contract claim that had to be resolved by a jury. In other words, do the jury trial first.
Terry P. Roberts
Director of Appellate Practice Fischer Redavid PLLC