Last month Florida’s First District Court of Appeals held that certain portions of the Florida Workman’s Compensation Statutes are unconstitutional. Florida Statute 440.105(3)(c) and 440.34 no longer prohibit a claimant from paying an attorney for legal services performed in defense against an employer or carriers motion to tax costs. However, this holding is limited to this specific application, the defense of a motion to tax costs. Additionally, Judges of Compensation Claims’ are not prohibited from approving a fee agreement for the defense of a motion to tax costs under Fla. Stat. 440.34. In other words, if an employer moves to tax costs against a workman’s compensation claimant, that claimant may hire legal counsel with or without approval from the JCC. The case is Jacobson v. Southeast Personnel Leasing Inc./ Packard Claim Administration, Inc., 38 Fla. L. Weekly D1242a.
(FL Law Weekly)