TALLAHASSEE, FL, January 31, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Recently, Paul Hawkes was retained as co-counsel in an appeal on behalf of Eugene Jacobson. The Florida First District Court of Appeal issued its opinion in Jacobson's case with the best of results: Jacobson won. The case was the first time a successful challenge had been made to the strict attorney fee guidelines adopted by the Florida legislature in the 2003 workers' compensation reforms. The argument raised was based on Jacobson's First Amendment rights, to have the assistance of counsel and to pay counsel a reasonable fee in the defense of an effort by the insurance carrier to recover their cost. Paul Hawkes joined as co-counsel with Michael J. Winer.
Eugene Jacobson benefited greatly by having Paul Hawkes and Mike Winer represent him in this serious case. The case was heard before the Florida First District Court of Appeal. Paul Hawkes' knowledge of law, his familiarity with the existing case law, and his passionate belief in this unique argument was the perfect complement to Mike Winer's extensive workers' compensation experience and devotion to this field of law. Paul Hawkes
' deep understanding of the Constitution, and his tireless work ethic would commend Paul Hawkes quite enough to make him a worthy addition as co-counsel.
Paul Hawkes served for nine years as an appellate judge at the First District, the only district court to hear workers' compensation appeals. This experience had allowed Paul Hawkes numerous opportunities to think, study and write on the complex issues in workers' compensation. In 2003, Paul Hawkes was appointed to this position by Governor Jeb Bush. Paul Hawkes spearheaded the effort to create a dedicated workers' compensation unit to improve the court's expertise in deciding workers' compensation cases. During his 9 years on the court, Paul Hawkes
was elected by the other judges to serve as Chief Judge, the youngest person to be elected to this position in this district court's history.
Paul Hawkes' service as co-counsel not only added knowledge of how the court operated and an intimate knowledge of its procedures, but Paul Hawkes added a unique view of the law based on his unique experiences while serving on the court. "I was so pleased to be asked," Paul Hawkes stated, "I have spent many years listening to novel, creative arguments, now I had the chance to participate in putting one together for the court to consider. It is certainly more difficult to be behind the podium versus in front of the podium."
It was Michael Winer and Paul Hawkes
' task to show Judges William A. Van Nortwick Jr., James R. Wolf, and T. Kent Wetherell II that certain provisions in Florida law, in certain circumstances infringed upon First Amendment rights. Eugene Jacobson had found himself struggling to retain counsel when his employer filed a motion to tax costs against him after the Judge of Compensation Claims had ruled against him on a worker's compensation case. Trying to retain counsel, Jacobson agreed upon a reasonable fee with attorney Michael Winer, at which time the Judge of Compensation Claims said that the agreement, although reasonable, was prohibited under the workers' compensation statute. Jacobson, with Winer's and Paul Hawkes' help, appealed the court's decision.
"The case was by no means cut and dry," Paul Hawkes
noted, "It took a great deal of persuasion, but I am proud that we were able to help Mr. Jacobson and add some clarity to this important area of law."
The court ruled in Jacobson's favor, that the construction of Florida Statues Section 440.105(3)(c) and Section 440.34 infringed upon a person's right to retain counsel, a right protected by the United States Constitution. Paul Hawkes couldn't be happier for Mr. Jacobson on his win.About:
Paul Hawkes wins case for Paul Hawkes on appellate level.