Legal Reformers Praise Ron DeSantis, Florida Supreme Court

On Tuesday, the American Tort Reform Association (ATRA) released its annual “Judicial Hellholes” report and for the third year in a row Florida made progress.

Legal reform advocates praised Gov. Ron DeSantis’ efforts to improve the legal climate in the Sunshine State.

“From ensuring businesses could reopen after the COVID-19 shutdown without fear of an avalanche of lawsuits, to combatting frivolous property insurance litigation, to the downstream effects of his judicial appointments, Governor DeSantis continues to pull Florida out of the judicial hellhole we were in not so long ago,” said William Large, the president of the Florida Justice Reform Institute.

Large pointed to the report stating that “Governor Ron DeSantis has turned the state of Florida around, [by] appointing a Florida Supreme Court that is poised to correct the course set by the prior activist court,” and praised Florida’s top court.

“By adopting the federal summary judgment standard, the Florida Supreme Court dramatically improved the fairness and efficiency of Florida’s civil justice system, saving the work of juries for cases where there are real facts in dispute,” said Large.

The Florida Supreme Court also ruled that Florida’s “apex doctrine” extended to high-ranking corporate officers, protecting them from depositions and discovery meant to harass and force meritless settlements.

“By using their exclusive rulemaking authority to address entrenched, systemic problems, the Florida Supreme Court is remaking our judicial system for the better,” said Large. “We have Governor DeSantis to thank for it.”

Still, the report gave lower marks to the Florida Legislature.

“Despite all the work done by the Florida Supreme Court and Governor Ron DeSantis to mitigate lawsuit abuse, much-needed reform continues to stall in the Florida Legislature,” the report noted. “Without these reforms, the trial bar is still able to capitalize, and they know it.”

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