It only took Charlie Crist a few months, and was no particular surprise given his record in office [Daily Caller, WSJ Law Blog]. More: Turkewitz.
Florida has staggered towards reform in the last few years under Governor Jeb Bush, bush GOP candidate Charlie Crist’s running mate, Jeff Kottkamp, is a trial lawyer, reform opponent, and plaintiff in a ludicrous suit blaming a hospital construction contractor for medical complications he had following heart surgery. (John Kennedy, “GOP candidate breaks rank on tort reform”, Sun-Sentinel, Oct. 5) (via Childs). Earlier coverage: Sep. 18 and links therein.
Elsewhere in Florida, the Florida Supreme Court has essentially undone a 2004 reform voters passed in a referendum (Nov. 3, Mar. 1: it will allow attorneys to avoid the effect of a constitutional amendment capping medical malpractice attorneys’ fees, so long as their clients sign a waiver saying they’re willing to pay more. (Aaron Deslatte, “Court lets lawyers bypass lawsuit cap”, Tallahassee Democrat, Sep. 29). I actually applaud this step to the free market, but just wish doctors had the same rights to get their patients to sign waivers. Apparently courts and consumer advocates are willing to trust only lawyers with the freedom of contract or speech.
Florida gubernatorial nominee (and incumbent state AG) Charlie Crist (Feb. 3) has picked Jeff Kottkamp, a “mostly conservative” state representative, to be the party’s nominee for lieutenant governor. Kottkamp, a plaintiff’s lawyer, was the only Republican to break ranks and vote against joint-and-several liability reform. (Brian E. Crowley, “Conservative trial lawyer joins Crist on GOP ticket”, Palm Beach Post, Sept. 14). See also Aug. 18, 2005, and other related: May 21 and Jan. 17, 2006, as well as Ted’s of Aug. 22, 2005, etc.
“Attorney general Charlie Crist was an integral player in getting an anti-spam law passed last year in the state of Florida. Under the law, offenders are subject to fines of up to $500 for every e-mail sent. Now running for governor, someone on the Crist campaign is responsible for sending e-mails to promote the candidacy and solicit campaign donations. Recipients have reportedly attempted to unsubscribe without success.” A Crist spokeswoman says the emails don’t count as spam because they’re not deceptive. (Clickz blog, Jan. 9; Adam C. Smith, “Crist e-mail draws ire”, St. Petersburg Times, Dec. 21; “From anti-spam stand to e-mail campaign”, AP/Miami Herald, Dec. 23; Brian McWilliams, Dec. 24; Geek.com). For more on anti-spam laws and related issues, see, e.g., Jul. 25, 2005 and Dec. 3, 2003.