[*] Judge, Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal. B.A., University of Michigan, 1962; J.D., University of Florida, 1964; L.L.M., University of Virginia, 1998. This Article is adapted from a thesis submitted by the author to partially fulfill the requirements of the degree of Master of Laws in the Judicial Process at the University of Virginia. Return to text.

[1] Nelson v. Reliance Ins. Co., 368 So. 2d 361, 361 (Fla. 4th DCA 1978). Return to text.

[2] See id. Return to text.

[3] See id. at 362. Return to text.

[4] See id. Return to text.

[5] See Borden, Inc. v. Young, 479 So. 2d 850, 851 (Fla. 3d DCA 1985). Return to text.

[6] See id. Return to text.

[7] See infra Part III.A. Return to text.

[8] See Gary D. Fox, Objectionable Closing Argument: Causes and Solutions, FLA. B.J., Dec. 1996, at 43; Bradley R. Johnson, Closing Argument: Boom to the Skilled, Bust to the Overzealous, FLA. B.J., May 1995, at 12; John W. Reis, Improper Jury Argument: Guilding the Lustre of the Golden Rule, FLA. B.J., Jan. 1995, at 60. Return to text.

[9] Hammond v. Mulligan, 667 So. 2d 854, 855 (Fla. 5th DCA 1996) (Antoon, J., concurring). Return to text.

[10] Olbec v. Kraut, 650 So. 2d 1138, 1139 (Fla. 5th DCA 1995) (Griffin, J., concurring). Return to text.

[11] See Edson R. Sunderland, Improvement of Appellate Procedure, 26 IOWA L. REV. 3, 9 (1940). Return to text.

[12] 678 F.2d 453 (3d Cir. 1982). Return to text.

[13] Id. at 457 n.1 (noting that requiring an objection "gives the adversary the opportunity either to avoid the challenged action or to present a reasoned defense of the trial court's action; and it provides the trial court with the alternative of altering or modifying a decision or of ordering a more fully developed record for review"). Return to text.

[14] United States v. Seigel, 168 F.2d 143, 146 (D.C. Cir. 1948) (footnote omitted). Return to text.

[15] See Castor v. State, 365 So. 2d 701, 703 (Fla. 1978).

The requirement of a contemporaneous objection is based on practical necessity and basic fairness in the operation of a judicial system. It places the trial judge on notice that error may have been committed, and provides him an opportunity to correct it at an early stage of the proceedings. Delay and an unnecessary use of the appellate process result from a failure to cure early that which must be cured eventually. Id. Return to text.

[16] See Tyus v. Apalachicola N.R.R., 130 So. 2d 580, 587 (Fla. 1961). Return to text.

[17] See Newton v. South Fla. Baptist Hosp., 614 So. 2d 1195, 1196 (Fla. 2d DCA 1993). Return to text.

[18] See, e.g., Roundtree v. State, 362 So. 2d 1347, 1348 (Fla. 1978). Return to text.

[19] See Ed Ricke & Sons, Inc. v. Green, 468 So. 2d 908, 910 (Fla. 1985). Return to text.

[20] See id. Return to text.

[21] 468 So. 2d 908 (Fla. 1985). Return to text.

[22] See id. at 909. Return to text.

[23] See id. at 910. Return to text.

[24] See id. Return to text.

[25] See id. Return to text.

[26] 479 So. 2d 850 (Fla. 3d DCA 1985). Return to text.

[27] Id. at 851. Return to text.

[28] See id. at 851 n.2. Return to text.

[29] 88 So. 2d 519 (Fla. 1956). Return to text.

[30] See Borden, 479 So. 2d at 851. Return to text.

[31] See Seaboard, 88 So. 2d at 521. Return to text.

[32] See id. at 522 ("Giving his version of the accident in which the plaintiff was injured and while speaking of a demonstration of it staged during the trial at the place of its happening in the yards of the defendant Railroad, counsel in his argument to the jury in effect gave the following testimony . . . ."). Return to text.

[33] See id. at 523. Return to text.

[34] Robinson v. Pennsylvania R.R., 214 F.2d 798, 802 (3d Cir. 1954). As in Seaboard, some improper argument objections were made in Robinson; however, the lack of objections was not fatal to finding error. See id. Return to text.

[35] 124 Fla. 701, 169 So. 372 (1936). Return to text.

[36] See Baggett, 124 Fla. at 716, 169 So. at 379. Return to text.

[37] 86 Fla. 564, 98 So. 609 (1923). Return to text.

[38] Baggett, 124 Fla. at 717, 98 So. at 379. Return to text.

[39] See Seaboard, 88 So. 2d at 522-23. Return to text.

[40] 493 So. 2d 539 (Fla. 3d DCA 1986) (medical malpractice action). Return to text.

[41] See id. at 540. Return to text.

[42] 622 So. 2d 151 (Fla. 3d DCA 1993) (personal injury action). Return to text.

[43] See id. at 152. Return to text.

[44] 655 So. 2d 151 (Fla. 3d DCA 1995) (negligent hiring and retention of county employee). Return to text.

[45] See id. at 152. Return to text.

[46] 683 So. 2d 552 (Fla. 3d DCA 1996) (wrongful death action). Return to text.

[47] See id. at 555. Return to text.

[48] 647 So. 2d 296 (Fla. 3d DCA 1994) (claim for legal services rendered). Return to text.

[49] See id. at 296. Return to text.

[50] See, e.g., Brafman v. Rybalka, 673 So. 2d 525, 526 (Fla. 3d DCA 1996) (concluding that the trial court did not abuse its discretion by granting a new trial because the cumulative effect of the inflammatory remarks in the closing argument was fundamental error); Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corp. v. Morse, 653 So. 2d 409, 411-12 (Fla. 3d DCA 1995) (affirming the trial court's grant of the defendant's motion for a new trial and stating that derogatory comments that attacked the integrity of opposing counsel constituted fundamental error); Bolufe v. Ramirez, 626 So. 2d 286, 286 (Fla. 3d DCA 1993) (finding that the trial court's grant of a new trial was proper because of the counsel's golden rule arguments in which counsel urged the jury to put themselves in the place of one of the parties); Kaas v. Atlas Chem. Co., 623 So. 2d 525, 526 (Fla. 3d DCA 1993) (affirming the trial court's grant of a new trial because of an attorney's egregious comment that opposing counsel was a liar). Return to text.

[51] See S.H. Inv. & Dev. Corp. v. Kincaid, 495 So. 2d 768, 771 (Fla. 5th DCA 1986) (fraudulent misrepresentation). Return to text.

[52] See id. Return to text.

[53] See Schubert v. Allstate Ins. Co., 603 So. 2d 554, 554 (Fla. 5th DCA 1992) (personal injury action). Return to text.

[54] See, e.g., Superior Indus. Int'l, Inc. v. Faulk, 695 So. 2d 376, 380 (Fla. 5th DCA 1997) (products liability action); Hammond v. Mulligan, 667 So. 2d 854, 855 (Fla. 5th DCA 1996) (Antoon, J., concurring) (personal injury action); Walt Disney World Co. v. Blalock, 640 So. 2d 1156, 1157 (Fla. 5th DCA 1994) (personal injury action); Silva v. Nightingale, 619 So. 2d 4, 4 (Fla. 5th DCA 1993) (personal injury action). Return to text.

[55] 603 So. 2d 554 (Fla. 5th DCA 1992). Return to text.

[56] A "conscience of the community" argument is impermissible in cases in which punitive damages are not being sought, where it can send a message to the jury that they are to punish the defendant. See Erie Ins. Co. v. Bushy, 394 So. 2d 228, 229 (Fla. 5th DCA 1981). Return to text.

[57] See Schubert, 603 So. 2d at 555. Return to text.

[58] 640 So. 2d 1156 (Fla. 5th DCA 1994). Return to text.

[59] See id. at 1157.

A lawyer shall not:

. . . .

(e) in trial, allude to any matter that the lawyer does not reasonably believe is relevant or that will not be supported by admissible evidence, assert personal knowledge of facts in issue except when testifying as a witness, or state a personal opinion as to the justness of a cause, the credibility of a witness, the culpability of a civil litigant, or the guilt or innocence of an accused.

R. REGULATING FLA. BAR 4-3.4(e). Return to text.

[60] See, e.g., Hammond v. Mulligan, 667 So. 2d 854, 855 (Fla. 5th DCA 1996) (showing that the panel of judges was split concerning fundamental error with regard to closing argument); Walt Disney World Co. v. Blalock, 640 So. 2d 1156, 1159 (Fla. 5th DCA 1994) (Griffin, J., concurring in part and dissenting in part) (stating that "[i]t is anomalous that the more objectionable the comment, the less the incentive to object"); Schubert v. Allstate Ins. Co., 603 So. 2d 554, 555 (Fla. 5th DCA 1992) (Sharp, J., dissenting) (stating that "improper comments by trial counsel, which are unobjected to at trial, only constitute reversible error if they are so outrageous they impaired the jury's calm and dispassionate consideration of the evidence and resulted in an unfair trial"). Return to text.

[61] See Blue Grass Shows, Inc. v. Collins, 614 So. 2d 626, 629 (Fla. 1st DCA 1993) (holding that the "conscience of the community argument" was not sufficiently egregious to be fundamental error). Return to text.

[62] See Pippin v. Latosynski, 622 So. 2d 566, 568 (Fla. 1st DCA 1993). Return to text.

[63] See Baptist Hosp., Inc. v. Rawson, 674 So. 2d 777, 777 (Fla. 1st DCA 1996) (reversing and remanding for new trial because of egregious personal opinions and reference to matters outside the evidence); Muhammad v. Toys "R" Us, Inc., 668 So. 2d 254, 255 (Fla. 1st DCA 1996) (reversing and remanding for new trial because counsel expressed his personal opinion during closing argument and suggested that the plaintiff's claim was fraudulent); Sacred Heart Hosp. v. Stone, 650 So. 2d 676, 677 (Fla. 1st DCA 1995) (reversing in part and remanding for a new trial because counsel referred to a matter outside of the record that was not included as evidence and expressed personal opinions as to the merits of the case). Return to text.

[64] See Hagan v. Sun Bank, 666 So. 2d 580, 584 (Fla. 2d DCA 1996). Return to text.

[65] 668 So. 2d 1016 (Fla. 4th DCA 1996). Although the author sits on the Fourth District Court of Appeal, he did not participate in the Norman decision. Return to text.

[66] 368 So. 2d 361 (Fla. 4th DCA 1978). Return to text.

[67] See id. at 362. Return to text.

[68] LeRetilley v. Harris, 354 So. 2d 1213, 1215 (Fla. 4th DCA 1978). Return to text.

[69] See Norman, 668 So. 2d at 1018. Return to text.

[70] See id. Return to text.

[71] See id. at 1020. Return to text.

[72] See id. Return to text.

[73] Id. at 1021-23. Return to text.

[74] Id. at 1020. Return to text.

[75] 354 So. 2d 1213 (Fla. 4th DCA 1978). Return to text.

[76] See Norman, 668 So. 2d at 1024. Return to text.

[77] See id. at 1025 (Farmer, J., dissenting); see also id. at 1033 (Stevenson, J., dissenting). Return to text.

[78] See id. at 1024-25. Return to text.

[79] See id. at 1024 (Stone, J., concurring specially with opinion in which Dell, J., concurs) (Stevenson, J., dissenting with opinion in which Shahood, J., concurs). Return to text.

[80] See id. at 1018 (reversing because of improper unobjected-to argument and improper contact between a juror and an employee of the defendant). Return to text.

[81] See, e.g., Murphy v. International Robotics Sys., Inc., 710 So. 2d 587, 591 (Fla. 4th DCA 1998), rev. granted, No. 92,837, 1998 Fla. LEXIS 1617, at *1 (Fla. Aug. 7, 1998) (stating that "a party who does not object to counsel's comments in closing should not be allowed to complain of those comments on appeal"); Rutherford v. Lyzak, 698 So. 2d 1305, 1306 (Fla. 4th DCA 1997) (stating that even where there is improper argument an objection must be made); Weise v. REPA Film Int'l, 683 So. 2d 1128, 1129 (Fla. 4th DCA 1996) (emphasizing that a new trial should be requested at the time of objection); Donohue v. FPA Corp., 677 So. 2d 882, 883 (Fla. 4th DCA 1996) (stating that no fundamental error occurred when defense counsel implied that a video introduced by the plaintiff was doctored). Return to text.

[82] 692 So. 2d 254 (Fla. 1st DCA 1997) (holding that an attorney's communication of his personal opinion in closing argument is not always fundamental error). Return to text.

[83] See R. REGULATING FLA. BAR 4-3.4(e). Return to text.

[84] 650 So. 2d 676 (Fla. 1st DCA 1995) (personal injury action). Return to text.

[85] See id. at 679-80 (holding that the combined effect of unethical remarks pervading the entire trial was fundamental error but unobjected-to unethical remarks were not per se fundamental error). Return to text.

[86] See Winterberg, 692 So. 2d at 255. Return to text.

[87] See id. (citing the concurring opinion in Rockman v. Barnes, 672 So. 2d 890, 892 (Fla. 1st DCA 1996), which suggested that Sacred Heart Hospital was different because the conduct was "so egregious as to affect the fairness of those proceedings"). Return to text.

[88] See supra notes 64-81 and accompanying text. Appellate courts in Florida are not required to write opinions. Statistics furnished by the five district courts of appeal for 1996 reflect that, on the average, about 40% of all final appeals are affirmed without opinion. Accordingly, there are likely more appeals produced by unobjected-to error in closing argument than the opinions cited in this Article. Return to text.

[89] See, e.g., Norman v. Gloria Farms, Inc., 668 So. 2d 1016, 1022 (Fla. 4th DCA 1996). Return to text.

[90] See Wasden v. Seaboard Coast Line R.R., 474 So. 2d 825, 832 (Fla. 2d DCA 1985). Return to text.

[91] See, e.g., Eichelkraut v. Kash N' Karry Food Stores, 644 So. 2d 90, 91 (Fla. 2d DCA 1994) (holding that the closing argument at trial did not deny the defendant a fair trial); Gregory v. Seaboard Sys. R.R., 484 So. 2d 35, 36 (Fla. 2d DCA 1986) (disagreeing with the trial court's conclusion that the closing argument was fundamental error). Return to text.

[92] See Hagan v. Sun Bank, 666 So. 2d 580, 585 (Fla. 2d DCA 1996) (personal injury action). Return to text.

[93] See, e.g., Goutis v. Express Transp., Inc., 699 So. 2d 757, 764 (Fla. 4th DCA 1997) (finding that an attorney's questions and comments were not golden rule arguments or improper personal opinions); Rutherford v. Lyzak, 698 So. 2d 1305, 1306 (Fla. 4th DCA 1997) (stating that an objection must be made even where there is improper argument). Return to text.

[94] See FLA. R. APP. P. 9.110(a)(4). Return to text.

[95] 237 So. 2d 134 (Fla. 1970). Return to text.

[96] Id. at 137 (citing State v. Heisler, 272 P.2d 660, 670 (N.M. 1954); Holman v. State, 262 P.2d 456, 457-58 (Okla. 1953); Goodhue v. Fuller, 193 S.W. 170, 172 (Tex. Civ. App. 1917)). Return to text.

[97] See Rubin v. Sanford, 218 So. 2d 177, 178 (Fla. 3d DCA), quashed by 237 So. 2d 134 (Fla. 1970). Return to text.

[98] See Sanford, 237 So. 2d at 138. Return to text.

[99] See Seaboard Air Line R.R. v. Strickland, 88 So. 2d 514, 523 (Fla. 1956). Return to text.

[100] See Sanford, 237 So. 2d at 137. Return to text.

[101] 130 So. 2d 580 (Fla. 1961). Return to text.

[102] See id. at 587 (noting that the First District Court of Appeal stated that the improper remarks made by counsel deserved timely objection). Return to text.

[103] See Apalachicola N.R.R. v. Tyus, 114 So. 2d 33, 37 (Fla. 1st DCA 1959). Return to text.

[104] Tyus v. Apalachicola N.R.R., 130 So. 2d 580, 587 (Fla. 1961). Return to text.

[105] See id. at 591-93 (O'Connell, J., dissenting). Return to text.

[106] See id. at 591-92. Return to text.

[107] Id. at 592. Return to text.

[108] See id. Return to text.

[109] Id. Return to text.

[110] Id. at 593. Return to text.

[111] Id. at 588. Return to text.

[112] See id. Return to text.

[113] 630 So. 2d. 1080 (Fla. 1994) (appealing the death penalty). Return to text.

[114] Id. at 1084 (quoting State v. Johnson, 616 So. 2d 1, 3 (Fla. 1993)). Return to text.

[115] See id. at 1083-84. Return to text.

[116] 403 So. 2d 956 (Fla. 1981). Return to text.

[117] Id. at 960 (citing Sanford v. Rubin, 237 So. 2d 134, 137 (Fla. 1970)). Return to text.

[118] See id. at 959. Return to text.

[119] See id. at 958. Return to text.

[120] Id. at 960. Return to text.

[121] See supra Part III.B. Return to text.

[122] OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES, THE COMMON LAW, reprinted in THE COMMON LAW AND OTHER WRITINGS 1 (Legal Classics Library 1982) (1881). Return to text.

[123] See Garren v. State, 528 So. 2d 353, 359 (Fla. 1988) (stating that the prosecutor made several remarks which were so egregious that mistrial was the only remedy and that violations of the golden rule are clearly prohibited); Goutis v. Express Transp., Inc., 699 So. 2d 757, 760 (Fla. 4th DCA 1997) (stating that golden rule arguments are impermissible because they encourage jurors to decide cases on personal interest and bias rather than on the evidence). Return to text.

[124] See Bullock v. Branch, 130 So. 2d 74, 77 (Fla. 1st DCA 1961). Return to text.

[125] See Miku v. Olmen, 193 So. 2d 17, 18 (Fla. 4th DCA 1966). Return to text.

[126] See Cleveland Clinic Fla. v. Wilson, 685 So. 2d 15, 15 (Fla. 4th DCA 1996) (holding that a golden rule argument is subject to the harmless error doctrine because a golden rule argument may not result in a miscarriage of justice). Return to text.

[127] 693 So. 2d 1068, 1069 (Fla. 4th DCA 1997). Return to text.

[128] 685 So. 2d 15 (Fla. 4th DCA 1996). Return to text.

[129] See Grushoff, 693 So. 2d at 1069 (citing Cleveland Clinic Fla. v. Wilson, 685 So. 2d 15, 17 (Fla. 4th DCA 1996) (Farmer, J., concurring)). Return to text.

[130] See Tremblay v. Santa Rosa County, 688 So. 2d 985, 986 (Fla. 1st DCA 1997). Return to text.

[131] See Kaas v. Atlas Chem. Co., 623 So. 2d 525, 526 (Fla. 3d DCA 1993). Return to text.

[132] See Forman v. Wallshein, 671 So. 2d 872, 873 (Fla. 3d DCA 1996). Return to text.

[133] See Pacifico v. State, 642 So. 2d 1178, 1183 (Fla. 1st DCA 1994); Bass v. State, 547 So. 2d 680, 682-83 (Fla. 1st DCA 1989); Redish v. State, 525 So. 2d 928, 930 (Fla. 1st DCA 1988). Return to text.

[134] R. REGULATING FLA. BAR 4-3.4(e). Return to text.

[135] Compare Forman, 671 So. 2d at 874-75 (noting that the use of "I think" or "I believe" is often a figure of speech) with Muhammad v. Toys "R" Us, Inc., 668 So. 2d 254, 257-58 (Fla. 1st DCA 1996) (objecting to a lawyer's use of "I think" in closing argument). Return to text.

[136] See Forman, 671 So. 2d at 874-75. Return to text.

[137] See Muhammad, 668 So. 2d at 257-58 (holding that comments by retailer's counsel in closing argument violated the rule of professional conduct prohibiting an attorney at trial from offering personal opinion as to justness of a cause or credibility of witnesses). Return to text.

[138] 671 So. 2d 872 (Fla. 3d DCA 1996). Return to text.

[139] See Goutis v. Express Transp., Inc., 699 So. 2d 757, 763 (Fla. 4th DCA 1997) (discussing a number of different comments that prompted the trial court to grant a new trial). Return to text.

[140] See id. at 760-65. Return to text.

[141] Id. at 765. Return to text.

[142] See John J. Parker, Improving Appellate Methods, 25 N.Y.U. L. REV. 1, 1 (1950). Return to text.

[143] See Tyus v. Apalachicola N.R.R., 130 So. 2d 580, 588 (Fla. 1961). Return to text.

[144] Castlewood Int'l Corp. v. LaFleur, 322 So. 2d 520, 522 (Fla. 1975) (quoting Cloud v. Fallis, 110 So. 2d 669, 672 (Fla. 1959)). Return to text.

[145] See id. at 522. Return to text.

[146] See id. at 524 (Overton, J., concurring). Return to text.

[147] See id. at 523. Return to text.

[148] See Robert J. Martineau, Considering New Issues on Appeal: The General Rule and the Gorilla Rule, 40 VAND. L. REV. 1023, 1057-58 (1987). Return to text.

[149] See id. at 1061. Return to text.

[150] Id. Return to text.

[151] See id. at 1059. Return to text.

[152] Id. Return to text.

[153] Id. at 1060. Return to text.

[154] See id. Return to text.

[155] See id. Return to text.

[156] See Rhett R. Dennerline, Note, Pushing Aside the General Rule in Order to Raise New Issues on Appeal, 63 IND. L.J. 985, 1010 (1989) (advocating a uniform system for hearing issues on appeal when the issues are not raised at the trial level). Return to text.

[157] See id. at 1011. Return to text.

[158] See Martineau, supra note 148, at 1058. Return to text.

[159] 322 A.2d 114 (Pa. 1974). Return to text.

[160] Id. at 116-17 (footnote omitted). Return to text.

[161] See id. Return to text.

[162] Martineau, supra note 148, at 1033. Return to text.

[163] Federal Rule of Evidence 103, which provides for objections to evidence and the proffering of it, does not preclude courts from applying plain error. See FED. R. EVID. 103(d). Return to text.

[164] United States v. Caputo, 978 F.2d 972, 974 (7th Cir. 1992). Return to text.

[165] Arizona v. Fulminante, 499 U.S. 279, 310 (1991). The United States Supreme Court has found plain error in other cases as well. See, e.g., Sullivan v. Louisiana, 508 U.S. 275, 280 (1993) (finding error in an erroneous reasonable-doubt instruction to the jury); Vasquez v. Hillery, 474 U.S. 254, 262-63 (1986) (finding unlawful the exclusion of grand jurors of the defendant's race); Waller v. Georgia, 467 U.S. 39, 43 (1984) (dealing with error in the right to a public trial); McKaskle v. Wiggins, 465 U.S. 168, 186-87 (1984) (dealing with error in the right to self-representation at trial). Return to text.

[166] See Mark Hansen, If the Claim Doesn't Fit, A.B.A. J., June 1997, at 18 (illustrating the increasing number of argument abuses and the unwillingness of judges to tolerate improper argument). Return to text.

[167] See Hall v. Freese, 735 F.2d 956, 959, 962 (5th Cir. 1984) (involving physical injury and economic damages of $500,000). Return to text.

[168] See Rojas v. Richardson, 713 F.2d 116, 117-18 (5th Cir. 1983). Return to text.

[169] See id. Return to text.

[170] See Griego v. Conwell, 222 P.2d 606, 609 (N.M. 1950). Return to text.

[171] See Dilliplaine v. Lehigh Valley Trust Co., 322 A.2d 114, 117 (Pa. 1974). Return to text.

[172] See Lopez v. Southwest Community Health Serv., 833 P.2d 1183, 1185 (N.M. Ct. App. 1992). Return to text.

[173] See Critcher v. Rudy Fick, Inc., 315 S.W.2d 421, 428 (Mo. 1958). Return to text.

[174] See, e.g., Long v. Twehous Contractors, Inc., 904 S.W.2d 285, 290 (Mo. Ct. App. 1995) (affirming the lower court's decision even though the plaintiff made no objection to a possibly prejudicial argument); Hammer v. Waterhouse, 895 S.W.2d 95, 107 (Mo. Ct. App. 1995) (holding that an argument is not preserved for review when counsel fails to object to inappropriate comments). Return to text.

[175] R. REGULATING FLA. BAR 4-4.3(e); accord Bellsouth Human Resources Admin. v. Colatarci, 641 So. 2d 427, 429 (Fla. 4th DCA 1994) (stating that "[t]he remarks of both counsel are in direct violation of [Rule] 4-3.4(e)"); Pippin v. Latosynski, 622 So. 2d 566, 569 (Fla. 1st DCA 1993) (stating that "[c]ounsel's expression of personal outrage amounts to a personal opinion clearly in breach of the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar, Rule 4-3.4(e)"); Silva v. Nightingale, 619 So. 2d 4, 5-6 (Fla. 5th DCA 1993) (holding that a lawyer's comments violated Rule 4-3.4(e) as improper argument). Return to text.

[176] 666 So. 2d 580 (Fla. 2d DCA 1996). Return to text.

[177] See id. at 584. Return to text.

[178] 619 So. 2d 4 (Fla. 5th DCA 1993). Return to text.

[179] Id. at 4. Return to text.

[180] See id. at 5 (citing Borden, Inc. v. Young, 479 So. 2d 850 (Fla. 3d DCA 1985)). Return to text.

[181] See supra notes 55-59 and accompanying text. Return to text.

[182] 668 So. 2d 1016, 1023-24 (Fla. 4th DCA 1996). Return to text.

[183] See, e.g., Goutis v. Express Transp., Inc., 699 So. 2d 757 (Fla. 4th DCA 1997); Hagan v. Sun Bank, 666 So. 2d 580 (Fla. 2d DCA 1996); Pacifico v. State, 642 So. 2d 1178 (Fla. 1st DCA 1994); Schubert v. Allstate Ins. Co., 603 So. 2d 554 (Fla. 5th DCA 1992). Return to text.

[184] See Fox, supra note 8, at 43; Johnson, supra note 8, at 12; Reis, supra note 8, at 60. All three articles point out that the lawyers are not getting the message regarding improper argument. Return to text.

[185] See Fox, supra note 8, at 46-47. Return to text.

[186] See id. at 48. Return to text.

[187] Bellsouth Human Resources Admin. v. Colatarci, 641 So. 2d 427, 430 (Fla. 4th DCA 1994). Return to text.

[188] See Marc Garamter, Anyone Can Fall Down a Manhole: The Contingency Fee and Its Discontents, 47 DEPAUL L. REV. 457, 474 (1998). Return to text.

[189] See Richard M. Birnholz, The Validity and Propriety of Contingent Fee Controls, 37 UCLA L. REV. 949, 979-82 (1990) (exploring the contingency fee and the propriety of capping the fee). Return to text.

[190] 572 So. 2d 942 (Fla. 5th DCA 1990). Return to text.

[191] See id. at 944-45. Return to text.

[192] See id. at 944. Return to text.

[193] See id. at 945. Return to text.

[194] See id. Return to text.

[195] 666 So. 2d 1045 (Fla. 4th DCA 1996). Return to text.

[196] See id. at 1046. Return to text.

[197] See id. at 1047. Return to text.

[198] See Sanchez v. Sanchez, 435 So. 2d 347, 350 (Fla. 3d DCA 1983). Return to text.

[199] See Roadway Express, Inc. v. Piper, 447 U.S. 752, 766 (1980). Return to text.

[200] See Richard W. Painter, Litigating on a Contingency: A Monopoly of Champions or a Market for Champerty?, 71 CHI.- KENT L. REV. 625, 668 (1995) (illustrating the conflict of interest attorneys confront when they bill on a contingent fee basis). Return to text.

[201] See R. REGULATING FLA. BAR 4-3.4(e). Return to text.

[202] R. REGULATING FLA. BAR 4-3.5(a). Return to text.

[203] See The Florida Bar v. Kelner, 670 So. 2d 62, 63 (Fla. 1996) (public reprimand); The Florida Bar v. Schaub, 618 So. 2d 202, 204 (Fla. 1993) (suspension from the practice of law). Return to text.

[204] See The Florida Bar v. Newhouse, 498 So. 2d 935, 937 (Fla. 1986) (reprimanding an attorney for contacting jury members after an adverse verdict to find out why the jury found against his client). Return to text.

[205] See Borden, Inc. v. Young, 479 So. 2d 850, 850-51 (Fla. 3d DCA 1985); Donohue v. FPA Corp., 677 So. 2d 882, 883 (Fla. 4th DCA 1996) (Klein, J., concurring); Baptist Hosp., Inc. v. Rawson, 674 So. 2d 777, 778-79 (Fla. 1st DCA 1996). Return to text.

[206] See Borden, 479 So. 2d at 851 n.2. Return to text.

[207] In re Florida Supreme Court Comm'n on Professionalism, Fla. Admin. Order (Fla. July 19, 1996) (on file with Clerk, Sup. Ct. of Fla.). Return to text.

[208] Letter from Daniel T.K. Hurley, Judge, United States District Court, Southern District of Florida, to Larry A. Klein, Judge, District Court of Appeal, Fourth District (Aug. 10, 1996) (on file with the author) [hereinafter Letter]. Return to text.

[209] See id. Return to text.

[210] 641 So. 2d 427 (Fla. 4th DCA 1994). Return to text.

[211] Letter, supra note 208. Return to text.

[212] See State v. Murray, 443 So. 2d 955, 956 (Fla. 1984). Return to text.

[213] See FLA. CODE JUD. CONDUCT, Canon 3D(2). Return to text.

[214] See Bellsouth, 641 So. 2d at 429. Return to text.

[215] See id. Return to text.

[216] Id. at 428. Return to text.

[217] Nelson v. Reliance Ins. Co., 368 So. 2d 361, 361 (Fla. 4th DCA 1978). Return to text.

[218] Id. at 361-62. Return to text.

[219] Borden, Inc. v. Young, 479 So. 2d 850, 852 n.6 (Fla. 3d DCA 1985). Return to text.

[220] See D'Auria v. Allstate Ins. Co., 673 So. 2d 147, 147 (Fla. 5th DCA 1996) (Antoon, J., concurring). Return to text.

[221] Norman v. Gloria Farms, Inc., 668 So. 2d 1016, 1021 (Fla. 4th DCA 1996). Return to text.

[222] Id. at 1024. Return to text.

[223] See Tyus v. Apalachicola N.R.R, 130 So. 2d 580, 586 (Fla. 1961). Return to text.

[224] See Hagan v. Sun Bank, 666 So. 2d 580, 582 (Fla. 2d DCA 1996). Return to text.

[225] See id. Return to text.

[226] See id. at 582, 585-86 (citing Tyus, 130 So. 2d at 587); Akin v. State, 86 Fla. 564, 98 So. 609 (1923)). Return to text.

[227] Hagan, 666 So. 2d at 586. Return to text.

[228] Id. Return to text.

[229] See id. Return to text.

[230] See id. Return to text.

[231] Walt Disney World Co. v. Blalock, 640 So. 2d 1156, 1159 (Fla. 5th DCA 1994) (Griffin, J., concurring in part and dissenting in part). Return to text.

[232] Hagan, 666 So. 2d at 586. Return to text.

[233] See Reynolds v. State, 580 So. 2d 254, 255 (Fla. 1st DCA 1991). Return to text.

[234] See id. Return to text.

[235] 652 So. 2d 354 (Fla. 1995). Return to text.

[236] See Powell v. Allstate Ins. Co., 652 So. 2d 354, 356 (Fla. 1995). Return to text.

[237] Id. Return to text.

[238] See id. at 355-56. Return to text.

[239] Hagan v. Sun Bank, 666 So. 2d 580, 586 (Fla. 2d DCA 1996). Return to text.

[240] See Royal Indem. Co. v. Muscato, 305 So. 2d 228, 229 (Fla. 4th DCA 1974) (limiting a new trial in a personal injury action to the question of liability). The plaintiff in Royal Indemnity Co. was injured while sitting on a parade float. See id. at 228. Although the defendant's attorney objected to the plaintiff attorney's repeated questions about whether the float driver received a traffic citation after the accident, the trial court sustained the objection and instructed the jury to disregard what they heard. See id. at 229. The Fourth District reversed because "[t]he trial court's instruction to the jury to disregard the allusions to the traffic citation could not possibly erase the effect of the prejudicial question from the mind of the jury in their consideration of liability." Id. Return to text.

[241] O'Rear v. Fruehauf Corp., 554 F.2d 1304, 1309 (5th Cir. 1977) (quoting the trial judge). Return to text.

[242] See Moore v. Taylor Concrete & Supply Co., 553 So. 2d 787, 791-92 (Fla. 1st DCA 1989) (reversing and remanding because, through questioning, defendant's counsel suggested that his client had not been cited for a traffic violation); Royal Indem. Co., 305 So. 2d at 229. Return to text.

[243] See Royal Indem. Co., 305 So. 2d at 229. Return to text.

[244] See, e.g., Henry v. Beacon Ambulance Serv., Inc., 424 So. 2d 914, 915 (Fla. 4th DCA 1982) (holding that a mistrial should have been granted after counsel disclosed a prior settlement). Return to text.

[245] See e.g., Parry v. Nationwide Mut. Fire Ins., 407 So. 2d 936, 937 (Fla. 5th DCA 1981) (stating that the failure to object was a waiver as to irrelevant evidence that the insured had previously made a fraudulent insurance claim); Swan v. Florida Farm Bureau Ins. Co., 404 So. 2d 802, 803 (Fla. 5th DCA 1981) (stating that the failure to object was a waiver as to irrelevant evidence of the insured's drug violations in his fire insurance claim). Return to text.

[246] Martineau, supra note 148, at 1030. Return to text.

[247] See Akin v. State, 86 Fla. 564, 571, 98 So. 609, 612 (1923). Return to text.

[248] See supra notes 188-89 and accompanying text. Return to text.

[249] See Ed Ricke & Sons, Inc. v. Green, 468 So. 2d 908, 910 (Fla. 1985). Return to text.

[250] See id. Return to text.

[251] See LEARNED HAND, A Personal Confession, in THE SPIRIT OF LIBERTY: PAPERS AND ADDRESSES OF LEARNED HAND 302, 306-07 (Irving Dilliard ed., 3d ed. 1960) (1958). Return to text.

[252] Castlewood Int'l Corp. v. LaFleur, 322 So. 2d 520, 523 (Fla. 1959) (Overton, J., concurring) (quoting BENJAMIN CARDOZO, THE NATURE OF THE JUDICIAL PROCESS 141 (1921)). Return to text.

[253] Bertolotti v. State, 476 So. 2d 130, 133-34 (Fla. 1985). Return to text.