IN THE CIRCUIT COURT, SIXTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
IN AND FOR
ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. 2011-043 PA/PI-CIR
RE: Tobacco litigation management
Engle v. Liggett Group, Inc., 945
So.2d 1246 (
Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.270 allows the court to hear issues pertaining to common questions of law or fact in related cases. In Engle, the Florida Supreme Court referenced with approval Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(c)(4)(A), which allows trial courts to develop imaginative solutions to the challenges posed by class action suits and individualized damages.
Administrative Order 2008-017 was adopted to provide for a “common issue judge” to help manage these cases. The Florida Supreme Court recently decided not to exercise its discretionary jurisdiction in R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. Mathilde Martin, SC 11-483 (July 19, 2011). Additional matters are expected to be brought before the “common issue judge.” In order to designate a “common issue judge” and modify the calendar for such hearings, and in accordance with Article V, § 2, Florida Constitution, Rule of Judicial Administration 2.215, and § 43.26, Fla. Stat.,
IT IS ORDERED:
This order applies to the cases listed in Attachment
A. Any person may petition the Chief
Judge to have a case from
2. A “common issue judge” continues to be available for the limited purpose of resolving pre-trial issues that present either common questions of law or common questions of fact in some or all of the cases listed in Attachment A. The Chief Judge hereby designates The Honorable John A. Schaefer as the common issue judge.
3. When some or all of the parties agree to have a pre-trial issue resolved by the common issue judge, a joint motion shall be submitted, as follows:
4. The resolution of the joint motion shall be binding only on those cases that were part of the joint motion.
5. Upon receipt, the Clerk will copy the order issued by the common issue judge and file a copy of it in each individual case file involved in the joint motion.
Administrative Order 2008-017 PA/PI-CIR is hereby rescinded.
DONE AND ORDERED in Chambers at Clearwater, Pinellas County, Florida on this ______ day of August 2011.
ORIGINAL SIGNED on August 23, 2011
BY J. THOMAS MCGRADY, CHIEF JUDGE
cc: All Judges
The Honorable Ken Burke, Clerk of the Circuit Court, Pinellas County
The Honorable Paula S. O’Neil, Clerk of the Circuit Court, Pasco County
Myriam Irizarry, Chief Deputy Director, Pinellas County Clerk’s Office
Debbie Gay, Assistant Court Services Director Pasco County Clerk’s Office
Lillian Simon, Director of Administrative Services for Pasco County
Bar Associations, Pasco and Pinellas Counties
Law Libraries, Pasco and Pinellas Counties
Gregory D. Prysock, Esq. Keith R. Mitnik, Esq.
Brenda S. Fulmer, Esq. James D. Clark, Esq.
Don Greiwe, Esq. Steven C. Ruth, Esq.
Eric D. Roslansky, Esq. C. Calvin Warriner, III, Esq.
David J. Sales, Esq. Benjamin H. Hill, III, Esq.
Troy A. Fuhrman, Esq. Kelly Anne Luther, Esq.
Stephanie E. Parker, Esq. John F. Yarber, Esq.
John M. Walker, Esq. Hendrik Uiterwyk, Esq.
Stephen A. Barnes, Esq. Brent R. Bigger, Esq.
Kenneth J. Reilly, Esq. Howard M. Acosta, Esq.
Wayne L. Thomas, Esq. Frederick H.L. McClure, Esq.
Lewis J. Conwell, Esq. Kent G. Whittemore, Esq.