Tallahassee–Sans personal tragedies this inaugural 2021 posting comes on the heels of the worst year most of us can remember. Ask anybody what they’d like to tell 2020 and the predominant response would be “Good Riddance!” No need to belabor. [Read more…] about Goodbye Cruel Year
Florida’s property insurers are losing money like nowhere else in America—and lots of it. In 2019 the industry wide net underwriting loss was $701 million. Through the second quarter of 2020 another $501 million vanished. That’s for one line of insurance in just one state.
Collectively the combined ratio year-end 2019 was 111%. That deterioration persisted at least through 2nd quarter 2020 at 129%. Every dollar coming in crosses path with $1.30 going out. (See: The Troubled Florida Market) [Read more…] about Litigation Reality Check- “Stick & Carrot”
First timers to this series can catch up by scrolling down the home page to “Collapse of an Evil Empire! Part I” and continuing on to Part VII.
In Part VI, “The Sentence,” you’ll find reactions to the recommendation of referee, Judge Dawn Denaro, that Scot Strems should receive only a two year suspension of his license to practice law and one year of supervised probation. This, in lieu of permanent disbarment which many, including the Florida Bar, thought he deserved.
Regardless of any alleged light sentence, I said Strems troubles were far from over. [Read more…] about Collapse of an Evil Empire! Part VIII—Patterns of Deceit
Florida’s property market is in total free fall and there are only two culprits. One is something we can’t do anything about. The other is not only something we can do something about, it’s also something that makes the first one much worse.
The first culprit is reinsurance—it reimburses carriers for hurricane losses and can sometimes be as much as 60% of the total homeowners premium. The second culprit (the one that also makes reinsurance more costly) is frivolous, sometimes downright fraudulent litigation, proffered by a litany of complicit players, including public adjusters, roofers, rebuild contractors and dishonest attorneys. [Read more…] about Collapse of an Evil Empire! PART VII—Market Impact
Among those I’ve informally polled there’s a strong sense of disappointment, mixed with very little surprise that referee Dawn Denaro did not accede to the Florida Bar’s request to permanently disbar Scot Strems for his very bad behavior. Instead she recommended that his license be suspended for two years, followed by one year of supervised probation.
Some have told me it could be a death sentence. Other’s called it a slap on the wrist. I say… “Strems troubles are far from over!” [Read more…] about Collapse of an Evil Empire! PART VI—The Sentence
I’ve now listened to all eighteen plus hearings (or portions thereof) regarding the disbarment proceedings against Scot Strems. You can learn about this landmark case and my perspectives beginning with Part I here, Part II here, Part III here, Part IV here and Part IV ½ here. (See NOTE #1 below)
According to the referee, Judge Dawn Denaro in her Oral Ruling on September 23rd, The Florida Bar has proven that Scot Strems violated fourteen rules enumerated in The Bar’s June 5th Petition For Emergency Suspension. (See NOTE #2 below).
My layman’s view is that many key allegations are now facts, albeit those likely to be contested by the defendant–if not in a tribunal then certainly in his court of public opinion. My opinion, however, is this ugly saga has finally morphed from finger pointing to proven “contumacious” behavior.
Next up…sentencing. [Read more…] about Collapse of an Evil Empire! PART V–Guilty as Charged!
Most of my subscribers know that Jeff Grady, President and CEO of the Florida Association of Insurance Agents (FAIA), recently retired. Deserved accolades have circulated; well-earned awards have been presented.
Listed below are some of Jeff’s accomplishments and recent acknowledgements–this, so you can know a little more of what FAIA’s volunteer leaders and myself know about his tenure at America’s best agents association. [Read more…] about Point of Personal Privilege–Jeff Grady’s Retirement
This is PART IV ½ because it falls about halfway between part IV and V—the latter is the next report regarding the Supreme Court trial of Scot Strems. For those just joining read Part I here, Part II here, Part III here and Part IV here. [Read more…] about Collapse of an Evil Empire! PART IV ½–Update
Until proven true, accusations referenced in this series of articles are only allegations made by various parties including the Florida Bar in its petition to suspend Scot Strems license to practice law. (Read Part I here, Part II here, and Part III here)
To get a sense of how these alleged activities harm both clients and the general administration of justice, I looked through the 700 pages of the Bar’s complaint and found what I think is the most instructive case study of what’s been going on in the litigation known as McEkron vs. Security First (McEkron). In fact, it consumes over 400 pages of the Bar’s documentation and though it’s already been to trial, the parties in McEkron are still arguing over attorney fees—for good reason, as you’ll see. [Read more…] about Collapse of an Evil Empire! PART IV–A Case Study
NOTE: Until proven true, accusations referenced in this series of articles are only allegations made by various parties including the Florida Bar in its petition to suspend Scot Strems license to practice law. (Read Part I here, Part II here)
This Part III of “Collapse of an Evil Empire” begins with the remarkable observation that… the empire may not be collapsing! [Read more…] about Collapse of an Evil Empire! PART III