Florida Governor Appoints Insurance Defense Attorney to Court of Appeals

Florida Governor Appoints Insurance Defense Attorney to Court of Appeals

Florida Governor Appoints Insurance Defense Attorney to Court of Appeals

Florida’s property and casualty insurance industry, which has seen both wins and losses in appellate courts in recent years, will soon have a familiar face on the court hearing appeals from a heavily litigated part of South Florida.

Governor Ron DeSantis announced last week that he has appointed Miami insurance defense attorney Kansas Gooden, a former president of the Florida Association of Defense Attorneys who has been involved in some high-profile cases, to the 3rd District Court.Third District Court of Appeals.

“Most civil cases in Florida involve insurance in some way,” Gooden said in an email last week. “My civil trial and appellate practice often involved insurance contracts, regulation and indemnification. I know my knowledge of the law in these areas will be helpful to me and my new colleagues on the bench.”


Gooden, leader of the appellate practice at regional law firm Boyd & Jenerette, was nominated by the 3Third District Judicial Nominating Commission, whose members are appointed by the governor. She will fill the vacancy left by the death in February of Judge Eric Hendon, a former public defender and prosecutor.

Gooden is a member of the Federalist Society. She earned her bachelor’s degree from James Madison University and her law degree from St. Thomas University.

As president of the Florida Association of Defense Attorneys in 2022, Gooden is credited with reviving the association’s amicus curiae committee, a colleague told The committee has drafted many “friend of the court” briefs, often on the side of insurers.

One such amicus brief was written in a high-profile case that ended in a significant Florida Supreme Court decision in March. Gooden co-wrote the brief for the FDLA, arguing that a well-known Tallahassee bar that had served alcohol to a driver should be allowed a comparative fault clause, sharing blame with other people involved in an accident. The court agreed.

Other important cases Gooden worked on include:

Suarez Trucking FL Corp. v. Souders, 2022. The Florida Supreme Court resolved a conflict over when a settlement agreement arises. The court ruled that the language of the state statute provides that filing the notice of acceptance creates the contract. Gooden represented Suarez Trucking.

Allstate Insurance vs. Ray, 2022. The 2North Dakota The U.S. District Court of Appeals partially reversed a lower court’s decision that Allstate must produce information from its employees’ personnel files and other privileged documents. The trial court must first conduct a private review of the records, the appellate judges said. Gooden represented Allstate.

Boozer v. Stalley, 2014. Florida 5He The District Court of Appeals overturned a 21-year-old precedent and applied the plain text of the attorney-client privilege law. The justices held that an insured did not waive her attorney-client privilege with her defense attorney when the injured party filed a bad faith lawsuit. Gooden represented Emily Boozer, who was involved in a car accident and was covered by Allstate insurance policies.


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