Paton v. Geico Gen. Ins. Co.Annotate this Case
Plaintiff prevailed in an action filed against GEICO General Insurance Company. Thereafter, Plaintiff moved for attorney’s fees. Plaintiff sought discovery related to her opposition’s attorneys’ time records and propounded Lodestar/Multiplier Fee Determination Interrogatories. GEICO objected to the discovery requests, but the circuit court overruled the objections. GEICO filed a petition for writ of certiorari requesting that the Fourth District quash the orders relating to the request to produce and the interrogatory. The Fourth District granted the petition, concluding that Plaintiff failed to establish that the billing records of opposing counsel were actually relevant and necessary and that their substantial equivalent could not be obtained elsewhere. The Supreme Court quashed the decision of the Fourth District, holding that hours expended by counsel for a defendant insurance company in a contested claim for attorney’s fees filed pursuant to Fla. Stat. 624.155 and 627.428 is relevant to the issue of the reasonableness of time expended by counsel for the plaintiff, and discovery of such information, where disputed, falls within the sound decision of the trial court.