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Paul Jess

Personnel note: Debra Henley out at FJA, Paul Jess in

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Debra Henley left her job as executive director of the Florida Justice Association last month and is temporarily being replaced by her deputy, Paul Jess, according to a Tuesday press release. Jess, who was called a “veteran association executive and attorney,” is now interim executive director, the release said. The news comes just a couple of months after rumblings about Henley’s leaving the state’s trial lawyers organization were reported in SUNBURN. At the time, FJA spokesman Ryan Banfill declined comment about any change in personnel. Now, Florida Justice Association…

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Workers comp rate hike ruling gives trial lawyers reason to cheer. But how long will it last?

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This Thanksgiving, a Leon County judge gave trial lawyers one more reason to be thankful. But that may not last long. On Nov. 23 – just one day before Thanksgiving — Circuit Judge Karen Gievers put the brakes on a 14.5 percent workers’ compensation rate increase, scheduled to go into effect Dec. 1. Gievers ruled that in setting the new rate, state officials and the insurers’ rating organization were not in compliance with Florida’s Sunshine Laws and open meeting requirements.…

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House panel snuffs bill to limit lawsuits against tobacco companies

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With little to no fanfare the House Civil Justice Subcommittee early Monday deferred action on a bill aimed at snuffing out the lawsuits of 4,500 smokers and their families who have sued cigarette manufacturers but still are awaiting trial. Committee Chair Kathleen Passidomo announced at the beginning of the meeting that the bill, HB 1067, would be temporarily deferred and that she would not bring it back up during Tuesday’s meeting. A bill that is temporarily deferred must be brought back up…

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