Author Topic: CIVIL LAW SUITS  (Read 15665 times)

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Offline cboldt

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Re: CIVIL LAW SUITS
« Reply #45 on: April 08, 2013, 06:11:08 PM »
If he has given copies to Judge Nelson, Angela Corey, Bernie de la Riondo, and Mark O'Mara that should violate the terms of the contract.

but what do I know...

Well, the law isn't always or only about the law.  Rules are meant to be bent and broken, and so forth.  While it is literally true that disclosure against terms is a breach of contract, disclosure against terms to people who will respect the confidentiality is not an issue.

At this point, assuming there has been a breach of confidentiality contract, it is up to the other parties in the contract to sue.  Ask if they would sue if Crump breached by giving a copy to Judge Nelson, Angela Corey, Bernie de la Riondo, and Mark O'Mara.  Without broader disclosure, the answer is "no," because the HOA and insurer don't care if those few  people know, and keep mum.

I think the HOA and insurer are effectively stymied from suit by Crump/clerk shenanigans.

Offline TalkLeft

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Re: CIVIL LAW SUITS
« Reply #46 on: April 08, 2013, 08:27:31 PM »
So according to the Orlando Sentinel today, the settlement was agreed to without having to file suit.

Quote
Trayvon's parents did not sue the homeowner's association. They settled before their wrongful death claim reached that point.

And the Sentinel interviewed Crump about the settlement a month ago.  I wonder how they found out. They didn't find out from a court file because there was none.

It is odd that Crump would file the settlement with the court at all  if there was no lawsuit attached to it. And stranger he would file it in the criminal case.

Also, the Sentinel says Crump blacked out the dollar amount before filing it with the court. So even if the whole thing is made public, there won't be a dollar amount.

I don't handle civil cases except forfeitures related to criminal cases, but I just did a quick check of Florida's statutes and rules. Wrongful death claims are brought only by the personal representative of the estate. Mediation is available prior to filing a lawsuit. If mediation is not successful, the lawsuit is filed. When the insurance company offers policy limits, there's a greater chance of no suit ever being filed. The money is delivered to the personal representative's trust account. The personal rep then substracts the legal fees and costs and distributes the rest to herself and the other survivors. I assume this means just Tracy and Sybrina since Trayvon didn't have a will and died intestate.

If there's a million dollar settlement, and Crump takes 1/3 to 40%, and the Martins split the rest, they each get around $300,000.

Homeowner's associations are required to use pre-filing mediation when it comes to disputes over accounting and those between residents and the association. But the statute doesn't mention negligence claims or wrongful death, so I'm assuming it's just optional in such events. The Martins write a notice of intent to sue to the Association, and/or its insurance company, and either one apparently can ask for pre-filing mediation.

The estate is opened in the county where the decedent lived. In this case, Miami. Wrongful death cases that proceed to lawsuit are usually brought in that county, but they can be brought where the negligence occurred.

So my question is, why would Crump file anything with the court, let alone the court handling GZ's criminal case. GZ wasn't a party to the mediation or settlement. What business is it of the trial court whether a civil claim between the Martins and homeowners' was settled?

If there are any personal injury/probate lawyers reading, please feel free to correct any of my assumptions .
« Last Edit: April 08, 2013, 08:30:03 PM by TalkLeft »

Offline FromBelow

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Re: CIVIL LAW SUITS
« Reply #47 on: April 08, 2013, 08:36:46 PM »
So my question is, why would Crump file anything with the court, let alone the court handling GZ's criminal case. GZ wasn't a party to the mediation or settlement. What business is it of the trial court whether a civil claim between the Martins and homeowners' was settled?

Welcome to the conversation. LOL

Offline DebFrmHell

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Re: CIVIL LAW SUITS
« Reply #48 on: April 08, 2013, 08:37:43 PM »
Trying to use a little influence on the judge?  See, the HOA paid out so the Defendant is guilty?  Might go aways if O'Mara goes for immunity before, during or after the trial since she is the one who would decide...

IANAL.  There has to be a benefit or it wouldn't have happened.  Cui Bono.

The other thing I am thinking is that with the response times for Crump/Blackwell and then a reply from the Defense that puts it really close to the start of the trial.  Would this be another way to get an extension of the court date?

Offline FromBelow

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Re: CIVIL LAW SUITS
« Reply #49 on: April 08, 2013, 11:54:20 PM »
I'm not sure Jeralyn is going to be any happier than Diwataman about having the Sundance/MOM thing brought to her 'house'.

Offline TalkLeft

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Re: CIVIL LAW SUITS
« Reply #50 on: April 09, 2013, 01:46:44 AM »
I don't recall Sundance being mentioned nor any mentions of a conflict between him and MOM until your post. Could you link me please?

There's a pm feature for personal messages between commenters. You can pm each other with stuff about Sundance or anything else we haven't discussed here. It's one of the few features  a forum has that blogs don't. You don't need an email address to pm, you just send the pm via these forums to the user name of the person you want to talk to. When you get a pm there will be a pop-up as soon as you log on letting you know you have a pm. I cannot read other people's pm. I think you can pm up to 4 people in one message.


Offline cboldt

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Re: CIVIL LAW SUITS
« Reply #51 on: April 09, 2013, 03:24:42 AM »
So my question is, why would Crump file anything with the court, let alone the court handling GZ's criminal case. GZ wasn't a party to the mediation or settlement. What business is it of the trial court whether a civil claim between the Martins and homeowners' was settled?

There is a legal tactics/strategy theory in the criminal case, that Crump filed this to bolster the finding that he is opposing counsel (of sorts) in the criminal case against Zimmerman.  This finding changes the legal analysis for purposes of being compelled to testify in a deposition.  I don't find that theory appealing because the record is sufficient on that point now.  Crump's assertions are enough.

There is a PR theory, that the filing was intended to produce a news report of the settlement agreement.  The press would not run a "Crump disclosed a settlement agreement" story, because (I speculate) the agreement includes a promise from Crump to not disclose the existence of agreement.  But, if Crump files a confidential paper with the court, and somehow part of that conveniently leaks to the Orlando Sentinel, then the story of the settlement agreement comes out, but it's not coming from Crump, it is coming from a breach of confidentiality by the clerk of the court.

The motive for filing could be a combination of both legal tactics and a scheme to make the existence of a settlement agreement into a news item.

Offline unitron

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Re: CIVIL LAW SUITS
« Reply #52 on: April 09, 2013, 03:37:20 AM »
There is a legal tactics/strategy theory in the criminal case, that Crump filed this to bolster the finding that he is opposing counsel (of sorts) in the criminal case against Zimmerman.  This finding changes the legal analysis for purposes of being compelled to testify in a deposition.  I don't find that theory appealing because the record is sufficient on that point now.  Crump's assertions are enough.

There is a PR theory, that the filing was intended to produce a news report of the settlement agreement.  The press would not run a "Crump disclosed a settlement agreement" story, because (I speculate) the agreement includes a promise from Crump to not disclose the existence of agreement.  But, if Crump files a confidential paper with the court, and somehow part of that conveniently leaks to the Orlando Sentinel, then the story of the settlement agreement comes out, but it's not coming from Crump, it is coming from a breach of confidentiality by the clerk of the court.

The motive for filing could be a combination of both legal tactics and a scheme to make the existence of a settlement agreement into a news item.

Well, at least that makes more sense than the notion that O'Mara would involve himself in the civil case in any way, shape, manner, or form.

If for no other reason than when would he find the time.

Offline cboldt

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Re: CIVIL LAW SUITS
« Reply #53 on: April 09, 2013, 05:34:11 AM »
So according to the Orlando Sentinel today, the settlement was agreed to without having to file suit.

And the Sentinel interviewed Crump about the settlement a month ago.  I wonder how they found out. They didn't find out from a court file because there was none.

Rene Stutzman also reported that O'Mara disclosed the existence of a settlement.  This disclosure was reported to have been made in a February interview with O'Mara.  News of the settlement did not come out following that interview.  News of the settlement followed disclosure by the clerk of the (criminal court) of five pages of a confidential filing made by Crump.

So, it appears the Orlando Sentinel found out at least twice.  Once in February via O'Mara, and now in April via a disclosure of some of the contents of confidential papers filed in the criminal case.

Offline AJ

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Re: CIVIL LAW SUITS
« Reply #54 on: April 09, 2013, 07:43:28 AM »
A recent DiwataMan post advises that Sundance, master of CTH, was a (the?) source for the rumor that O'Mara advised the HOA and their insurance firm to settle.

Sundance has been trashing O'Mara for some time.

"We don’t know the details surrounding any settlement between the homeowner’s association and the Martin family,” O’Mara says. “[W]e haven’t yet received the documents that Mr. Crump filed with the court, and we would have no other way to verify that there was, in fact, a settlement.”

http://blogs.lawyers.com/2013/04/trayvon-martins-parents-settle-with-homeowners-assn/


Just to kinda put this rumor to bed... if you believe O'Mara - and I do.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2013, 07:45:03 AM by AJ »

Offline nomatter_nevermind

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Re: CIVIL LAW SUITS
« Reply #55 on: April 09, 2013, 12:59:41 PM »
http://blogs.lawyers.com/2013/04/trayvon-martins-parents-settle-with-homeowners-assn/

From the linked article:

Quote
A newsletter reportedly circulated by the HOA there listed Zimmerman as the contact for neighbors concerned about crime.

Copies of three issues of the newsletter are in the discovery (150-167/184) The issues are in reverse chronological order. The pages within each issue are in regular order.

Zimmerman is named as the contact person for NW in two of the three issues, pp. 155 and 159.

Offline nomatter_nevermind

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Re: CIVIL LAW SUITS
« Reply #56 on: April 09, 2013, 01:51:03 PM »
Has anyone seen an estimate from a knowledgeable, neutral source of how large the award would be if the HOA lost a wrongful death suit?

Offline leftwig

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Re: CIVIL LAW SUITS
« Reply #57 on: April 09, 2013, 02:06:20 PM »
Anybody's guess, but in a quick internet search, it looks like wrongful death awards for things like medical services negligence to business negligence are in the $7M range, but could be much higher.  I don't know if the award for a minor's death would be higher or lower, but here is one example of an award for wrongful death in PA.


Pennsylvania wrongful death award tops $100 million

On behalf of Conner Riley Friedman & Weichler posted in Wrongful Death on Thursday, March 7, 2013

An Allegheny County woman died in 2009 when she was electrocuted in her yard. The 39-year-old mother was struck by a downed power line, which a wrongful death claim said was improperly maintained by West Penn Power Co. Relatives watched helplessly as the victim suffered repeated 7,200-volt electric shocks.

During the recent civil trial, a jury awarded compensatory and punitive damages in the sum of $109 million. The utility company immediately vowed to fight the personal injury ruling. West Penn Power recently chose to abandon further litigation and settle with plaintiffs for $105 million, an agreement that awaits a court's approval.

The jury award stands in the minds of many legal observers as the largest personal injury award in state history. Sixty-one million dollars was awarded during the trial in punitive damages as a punishment and deterrent for the defendant. The jury used the utility company's retained earnings as a barometer to calculate the punitive award.

The plaintiffs were awarded $48 million for the mother's death.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2013, 02:08:43 PM by leftwig »

Offline nomatter_nevermind

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Re: CIVIL LAW SUITS
« Reply #58 on: April 09, 2013, 02:35:28 PM »
I wonder how likely it would be for the HOA or its representative to intevene, since they kind of have dueling interests (i.e. protecting other negotiations by keeping the terms of this one secret vs. any disclosure penalty).

Wouldn't they forfeit the penalty if they didn't oppose disclosure?

Offline FromBelow

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Re: CIVIL LAW SUITS
« Reply #59 on: April 09, 2013, 04:19:39 PM »
Is it possible that the confidential part of the settlement is just the amount of the settlement (already redacted) and not the rest of the paperwork?

EDIT: If so, maybe nobody will object to the redacted document being released.

 

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