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Florida First DCA sides with Second and Fourth DCAs, rules that compliance with Fla. R. Jud. Admin. 2.516 not required for service of proposal for settlement

On December 21, 2017, in Oldcastle Southern Group v. Railworks Track Systems, No. 1D17-48, the Florida First DCA ruled that compliance with Fla. R. Jud. Admin. 2.516 was not required for service of a proposal for settlement under Section 768.79, Florida Statutes, and Fla. R. Civ. P. Rule 1.442. Rule 2.516 generally provides that documents filed in court proceedings must be served by electronic mail upon a party’s attorney of record and include a subject line beginning with the words “SERVICE OF COURT DOCUMENT” followed by the case number of the proceeding. The body of the e-mail also must identify the court in which the proceeding is pending, the case number, the name of the initial party on each side, the title of each document served with that e-mail, and the name and telephone number of the person required to serve the document. The plaintiff in Oldcastle was seeking to enforce a proposal for settlement that failed to comply with the aforementioned requirements. The First DCA affirmed the trial court’s finding that Rule 2.1516 does not apply to proposals for settlement because proposals for settlement need not be filed when served. The Court thereby adopted the view of the Second and Fourth DCAs in Boatright v. Philip Morris USA, Inc., 218 So. 3d 962 (Fla. 2d DCA 2017) and McCoy v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2281, 2017 WL 4812662 (Fla. 4th DCA October 25, 2017) and certified conflict with the Third DCA’s decision in Wheaton v. Wheaton, 217 So. 3d 125 (Fla. 3d DCA 2017), rev. granted, 2017 WL 4785810 (Fla. October 24, 2017).

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