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Carlton Fields’ Bruce J. Berman and Peter D. Webster Co-Author Latest Edition of “Berman’s Florida Civil Procedure”

Miami, Fla. – Carlton Fields Shareholders Bruce J. Berman and Peter D. Webster published the latest edition of the book Berman’s Florida Civil Procedure, 2020 ed. (Vol. 4., Florida Practice Series™) (Thomson Reuters). The book, published annually since 1998, is considered one of the most authoritative treatises on Florida state practice and procedure.

The latest edition can be purchased by clicking here. 

The book addresses civil procedure on a rule-by-rule basis, with all the rules cross-referenced to modern case law. The text provides the latest procedural issues, rule amendments, and references to the local rules of each of the three federal district courts in Florida, with thousands of citations to the most recent cases. It also analyzes significant differences between Florida’s procedural rules and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Particularly ample coverage is provided on Florida class actions and Florida’s rule and statute governing proposals for settlement.

In this latest edition, which was updated through December 31, 2019, the most significant changes include:

  • Detailed discussions of key 2019 Florida Supreme Court decisions and the latest amendments to the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure;
  • Commentaries on a completely rewritten provision for sanctions based on failure to preserve electronically stored information; and
  • A new chapter on newly added Rule 1.535 addressing, for the first time, a trial court’s use of the doctrines of remittitur and additur.

Substantial new material is also included regarding class actions, such as a new section addressing the requirement that the class be adequately defined and clearly ascertainable, along with extensive commentary regarding whether, and to what extent, an opposing party may obtain financial information regarding the relationship between expert witnesses and the retaining party. 

Additionally, cases pending before the Florida Supreme Court on key procedural issues, including the applicability of the “apex doctrine” in Florida to requests to depose the top officer of a corporation, and whether Florida should adopt the federal standard to determine motions for summary judgment are highlighted.

Berman focuses his nationwide practice on large and complex commercial disputes in federal and state trial and appellate courts, and in domestic and international arbitration tribunals. He represents U.S. and international clients in cases spanning a wide range of substantive law including aviation, corporate finance, securities, mergers and acquisitions (including post-acquisition representations and warranties), health law, and intellectual property (copyright, trademark, and unfair competition). Berman was a long-time member and two-term Chair of The Florida Bar’s Civil Procedure Rules Committee, among others.

Berman has been recognized as a leading lawyer internationally, nationally, and locally by Chambers USA (for commercial litigation since first issuing Florida rankings), the National Corporate Counsel Edition of Super Lawyers (for Florida Business Litigation), Florida Trend’s Legal Elite, and Florida Super Lawyers. He has also been selected for biographical reference in Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in America, and Who’s Who in American Law. He received his J.D. from Boston University School of Law, his M.B.A. from Columbia University, and his B.A. from Williams College.

Webster focuses principally on appellate practice, as well as handling significant legal issues at the trial level. He has had a distinguished career in judicial service, spanning more than 25 years. Webster served as a circuit judge in Florida’s Fourth Judicial Circuit from 1986 until his appointment to the Florida First District Court of Appeal in 1991. He remained on that court until his retirement in 2011, authoring hundreds of opinions. He also earned numerous honors, including three nominations to the Florida Supreme Court and a nomination to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida.

Webster has served on numerous bar and court committees, including as a member of the American Bar Association House of Delegates and a Trustee of the American Inns of Court Foundation. He received his LL.M. from the University of Virginia School of Law, his J.D. with distinction from Duke University School of Law, and his B.S.F.S., magna cum laude, from Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service.


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