Perez-Borroto v. Brea, PEREZ-BORROT

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Florida
Writing for the CourtOVERTON; EHRLICH
Citation14 Fla. L. Weekly 271,544 So.2d 1022
Parties14 Fla. L. Weekly 271 Maria Isabeletitioner, v. Cesar BREA, M.D., Respondent.
Decision Date08 June 1989
Docket NumberPEREZ-BORROT,P,No. 73007

Page 1022

544 So.2d 1022
14 Fla. L. Weekly 271
Maria Isabel PEREZ-BORROTO, Petitioner,
v.
Cesar BREA, M.D., Respondent.
No. 73007.
Supreme Court of Florida.
June 8, 1989.

Page 1023

Gerald E. Rosser of Gerald E. Rosser, P.A., Miami, for petitioner.

Lanza, O'Connor, Armstrong, Sinclair & Tunstall, P.A., Coral Gables, and Rhea P. Grossman of Rhea P. Grossman, P.A., Miami, for respondent.

OVERTON, Judge.

We have for review Brea v. Perez-Borroto, 529 So.2d 824 (Fla. 3d DCA 1988), in which the district court certified the following question as one of great public importance:

Is the trial court limited by the non-contingent fee agreement between attorney and client when the trial court applies the principles set forth in Florida Patient's Compensation Fund v. Rowe, 472 So.2d 1145 (Fla.1985), to determine an attorney's fee award pursuant to section 768.56, Florida Statutes (1983) (repealed ch. 85-175)?

Id. at 824. We have jurisdiction. Art. V, § 3(b)(4), Fla. Const. We answer the certified question in the affirmative and quash the district court's decision.

In this case, Dr. Brea prevailed in a medical malpractice action, entitling him to an award of attorney's fees pursuant to section 768.56, Florida Statutes (1983). Citing our decision in Florida Patient's Compensation Fund v. Rowe, 472 So.2d 1145 (Fla.1985), the trial court awarded a fee of $43,000, which was the amount defense counsel had billed Dr. Brea's insurance carrier under their fee agreement providing for payment of $60 per hour and $700 per trial day. Defense counsel contended he was entitled to a fee computed at $125 to $250 per hour, which is the amount expert testimony established as a reasonable fee for a single representation. On appeal, the district court agreed with that position and reversed the trial court, finding that our decision in Rowe "limits fees in contingent fee cases but does not impose the same limitations in non-contingent fee matters," 529 So.2d at 824 (citing Maserati Automobiles, Inc. v. Caplan, 522 So.2d 993 (Fla. 3d DCA 1988), and Alston v. Sundeck Products, Inc., 498 So.2d 493 (Fla. 4th DCA 1986)).

We recently addressed the other side of this question in Miami Children's Hospital v. Tamayo, 529 So.2d 667 (Fla.1988). In that case, we limited plaintiff's counsel to a forty percent contingent fee agreement where plaintiff recovered a $5,000 judgment in a medical malpractice action, applying the Rowe principle, that "in no case should the court-awarded fee...

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22 practice notes
  • Genetti v. Caterpillar, Inc., No. S-99-813.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Nebraska
    • 26 Enero 2001
    ...But see, Maserati Automobiles Inc. v. Caplan, 522 So.2d 993 (Fla. App.1988), disapproved on other grounds, Perez-Borroto v. Brea, 544 So.2d 1022 (Fla.1989) (stating that election is not required between revocation of acceptance and breach of warranty and concluding that election was not req......
  • First Baptist Church of Cape Coral, Fla., Inc. v. Compass Constr., Inc., Nos. SC11–1278
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • 30 Mayo 2013
    ...attorney's fees than the plaintiffs would owe their attorney under their contingency fee contract. Moreover, in Perez–Borroto v. Brea, 544 So.2d 1022, 1023 (Fla.1989), we held that “the principles of Rowe must apply equally to both plaintiff and defendant” and limited the fees awarded to th......
  • Orlando Regional Medical Center, Inc. v. Chmielewski, Nos. 89-691
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • 6 Diciembre 1990
    ...Medical Center, Inc. v. Kennedy, 554 So.2d 8 (Fla. 3d DCA 1989), rev. denied, 563 So.2d 632 (Fla.1990). See also Perez-Borroto v. Brea, 544 So.2d 1022 (Fla.1989) (noncontingency contract). Cases involving recovery of a reasonable attorney fee for a prevailing party which fall under a differ......
  • Alvine v. Mercedes-Benz of North America, No. 21187
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • 3 Enero 2001
    ...fee exceed the fee agreement reached by the attorney and his client." Maserati, supra, at 503 (citing Perez-Borroto v. Brea, 544 So.2d 1022, 1023 (Fla.1989)). When an attorney and a client agree upon a fixed hourly rate, it would be unjust to allow that attorney a higher rate because of the......
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22 cases
  • Genetti v. Caterpillar, Inc., No. S-99-813.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Nebraska
    • 26 Enero 2001
    ...But see, Maserati Automobiles Inc. v. Caplan, 522 So.2d 993 (Fla. App.1988), disapproved on other grounds, Perez-Borroto v. Brea, 544 So.2d 1022 (Fla.1989) (stating that election is not required between revocation of acceptance and breach of warranty and concluding that election was not req......
  • First Baptist Church of Cape Coral, Fla., Inc. v. Compass Constr., Inc., Nos. SC11–1278
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • 30 Mayo 2013
    ...attorney's fees than the plaintiffs would owe their attorney under their contingency fee contract. Moreover, in Perez–Borroto v. Brea, 544 So.2d 1022, 1023 (Fla.1989), we held that “the principles of Rowe must apply equally to both plaintiff and defendant” and limited the fees awarded to th......
  • Orlando Regional Medical Center, Inc. v. Chmielewski, Nos. 89-691
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • 6 Diciembre 1990
    ...Medical Center, Inc. v. Kennedy, 554 So.2d 8 (Fla. 3d DCA 1989), rev. denied, 563 So.2d 632 (Fla.1990). See also Perez-Borroto v. Brea, 544 So.2d 1022 (Fla.1989) (noncontingency contract). Cases involving recovery of a reasonable attorney fee for a prevailing party which fall under a differ......
  • Alvine v. Mercedes-Benz of North America, No. 21187
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • 3 Enero 2001
    ...fee exceed the fee agreement reached by the attorney and his client." Maserati, supra, at 503 (citing Perez-Borroto v. Brea, 544 So.2d 1022, 1023 (Fla.1989)). When an attorney and a client agree upon a fixed hourly rate, it would be unjust to allow that attorney a higher rate because of the......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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