The Cook Group Legal Litigation Attorneys

Florida Supreme Court Issues Amendments to the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure

Hanson Horn/David Gordon

May 23, 2024

The Florida Supreme Court has issued its long-awaited amendments to the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure. The new rules are effective January 1, 2025. The court is allowing comments on the new proposal to be filed on or before August 6, 2024.  A few of the highlights can be found below:

Of main importance is the change to the Trial Scheduling rules.  A case no longer has to be "at issue" to be set for trial: “The failure of the pleadings to be closed will not preclude the court form setting a case for trial.” Furthermore, motions to continue trial are now deemed to be disfavored, and should rarely be granted, and only with a showing of good cause. Motions to continue trial must state with specificity why a continuance is needed and supply a proposed date that the case will be ready for trial.

Rule 1.200 on case management has been fully rewritten. Most civil cases must be assigned to a streamlined, general, or complex case management track. A case management order must be issued for each case that specifies a projected or actual trial period and specifies various case management deadlines. Deadlines in the case management order must be strictly enforced unless changed by court order. Parties may submit agreed orders to extend deadlines if the extension does not prevent compliance with the remaining deadlines in the case management order.

The scope of discovery in Florida will now incorporate federal rule 26(b)(1)'s proportionality language. Parties are required to make initial discovery disclosures within 60 days of service of the complaint. Initial discovery requirements include names of individuals likely to have discoverable information, copies of documents that a party may use to support its claims or defenses, and computation of each category of economic damages claimed by a party.  Rule 1.280 will now impose a duty to supplement discovery.

A written response to a motion for summary judgment will be due 60 days after service of the motion for summary judgment. The deadline for a response is no longer tied to the hearing date.

Conferral with opposing counsel is now required (created new Rule 1.202). The parties must now confer before filing non-dispositive motions. Non-dispositive motions must have a certificate that the movant has conferred with the opposing party, and whether the opposing party agrees on the resolution of the motion. 

The new Opinions can be found on the Florida Supreme Court's website, SC2023-0962 (In Re: Changes to the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure, and SC2024-0662 (In Re: Amendments to Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.510 and New Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.202).

For more information or questions regarding the new amendments or other recent developments in the toxic tort, product liability, catastrophic injury, and environmental litigation landscape please email Hanson Horn at Hanson Horn is a trial attorney with The Cook Group and Managing Partner of the firm’s Fort Lauderdale office where his practice focuses on product liability, toxic tort, environmental claims, and property and casualty defense litigation. He contributes significantly to the firm’s New York practice and is also licensed in Louisiana and Mississippi.