Hartleb v. State, Dept. of Transp.

Decision Date27 May 1998
Docket NumberNo. 97-1892,97-1892
Citation711 So.2d 228
Parties23 Fla. L. Weekly D1288 Robert HARTLEB, Appellant, v. STATE of Florida, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, et al., Appellees.
CourtFlorida District Court of Appeals

Douglas R. Bell of Law Office of Bell & Bell, Fort Lauderdale, for appellant.

Pamela S. Leslie, Deputy Counsel, and Marianne A. Trussell, Deputy General Counsel, Tallahassee, for Appellee-State of Florida, Department of Transportation.

STONE, Chief Judge.

We affirm an order taxing attorney's fees and costs. The award is within the trial court's discretion and should not be disturbed on appeal absent a clear abuse of that discretion. B & H Constr. & Supply Co. v. District Bd. of Trustees of Tallahassee Community College, 542 So.2d 382, 388 (Fla. 1st DCA 1989).

The trial court made specific findings to support the award regarding the number of hours reasonably expended and the reasonable hourly rate for this litigation and multiplied these numbers in arriving at the fee award. Such findings are sufficient in the absence of an adjustment to the "lodestar," which the trial court implicitly concluded was not justified. See generally Florida Patient's Compensation Fund v. Rowe, 472 So.2d 1145 (Fla.1985), modified, Standard Guar. Ins. Co. v. Quanstrom, 555 So.2d 828 (Fla.1990).

Appellant claims that the court erred by failing to apportion the attorney's fee award among each stage of the proceeding, including pre-trial and trial proceedings, the first appeal in this case, and this appeal. We find that such apportionment is not required, and to the extent that Altamonte Hitch and Trailer Service, Inc. v. U-Haul Co. of Eastern Florida, 483 So.2d 852 (Fla. 5th DCA 1986) may be interpreted as requiring such apportionment, we certify conflict.

We also find no error in the trial court's refusal to grant interest on the attorney's fee award from the date the entitlement to fees was first determined. In Department of Transportation v. Brouwer's Flowers, Inc., 600 So.2d 1260 (Fla. 2d DCA 1992), the court held that there is "no statutory authority for entitlement to interest on attorney's fees in eminent domain cases before the trial court's determination of the amount of attorney's fees." Id. at 1261. Cases cited by Appellant are distinguishable in that they do not involve eminent domain proceedings. See Fischbach & Moore, Inc. v. McBro, Div. of McCarthy Bros. Co., 619 So.2d 324 (Fla. 3d DCA 1993) (noting the holding in Brouwer's but...

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6 cases
  • Lizardi v. Federated Nat'l Ins. Co.
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • June 11, 2021
    ...was duplicative).4 Federated cites to Gonzalez v. Veloso , 731 So. 2d 63, 64 (Fla. 3d DCA 1999), and Hartleb v. State, Department of Transportation , 711 So. 2d 228, 229 (Fla. 4th DCA 1998), for the argument that fee awards are not defective under Rowe where the lodestar amount is not modif......
  • Black v. BEDFORD AT LAKE CATHERINE ASS'N, INC., 4D01-1127.
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • December 12, 2001
    ...levels to the prevailing party. The standard of review for an award of attorney's fees is abuse of discretion. Hartleb v. Dep't of Transp., 711 So.2d 228 (Fla. 4th DCA 1998). We have held that "[w]here a contract provides attorney's fees for the prevailing party, the trial judge is without ......
  • Seminole County v. Boyle Inv. Co.
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • October 30, 1998
    ...of the fees. The delay time between those events is not attributable to appellant in this case. See also Hartleb v. State, Dep't of Transp., 711 So.2d 228 (Fla. 4th DCA 1998); State of Florida, Dep't of Transp. v. Interstate Hotels Corp., 709 So.2d 1387 (Fla. 3d DCA 1998). The award of inte......
  • HARTLEB v. Florida Dept. of Transp., 93,352.
    • United States
    • Florida Supreme Court
    • October 7, 1999
    ...General Counsel, Tallahassee, Florida, for Respondent. PER CURIAM. We accepted jurisdiction to review Hartleb v. State Department of Transportation, 711 So.2d 228 (Fla. 4th DCA 1998), in order to resolve what appeared to be a conflict with Altamonte Hitch & Trailer Service, Inc. v. U-Haul C......
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