Thursday, March 31, 2022

Debunking Work Comp. Myths

Legal issues are often confusing, filled with hard language, and can cause one of the most stressful times in your life. That is why it is important to understand fact vs. fiction when dealing with a legal claim, especially ones related to Workers’ Compensation. You may run a quick google search only to be bombarded with answers from all sides of the spectrum and this may lead you to misunderstand what a Work Comp. claim really means for you.

So today I have decided to debunk some common myths for you!

First, it is important to remember that, “In the state of Florida, workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. What this means is that it doesn’t matter what or who caused the accident and injuries, you will be able to file a claim. The most important detail is if the situation occurred while you were working. If you suffered the injury while you were doing anything that fell under the umbrella of your employment, you may have the right to claim workers’ compensation benefits.”

1.) Myth: Filing for Workers’ Comp. Means You will be Fired

- Reality = Employees have a LEGAL right to file for Workers’ Comp. It is illegal for employers to fire employees for using this right. Now, your job may ultimately be terminated due to your inability to work, or permanent injury, but filing Workers’ Comp. does not mean you will then be fired on the spot.

2.) Myth: Filing for Workers’ Comp. Covers ALL Work Injury Losses

- Reality = Most states provide coverage for all or a portion of your medical expenses as well as adjustments for lost wages.

- What it doesn’t cover are those losses that could be recovered by filing a personal injury claim (ie. Emotional trauma, pain, suffering, etc.)

3.) Myth: Your Employer Will Handle Your Claim Paperwork

- Reality = It is true that your employer files a report about your injury with the state. However, they are not required, nor do they usually complete the paperwork necessary to ensure you receive the benefits that you are entitled to as a result of your injury.

- You will need to work with your attorney to address this paperwork, as well as any questions or confusion you may have about filing the paperwork and the benefits that you will get.

4.) Myth: Only Large Businesses Need Workers’ Compensation Insurance

- Reality = Small or large, it is always best for your business to have some form of Workers’ Comp. insurance. In Florida, depending on the type of business you have, you may be mandated to obtain and hold Work Comp. insurance regardless of the size of your business.

5.) Myth: You Don’t Need a Lawyer to File for Workers’ Compensation

- Reality = It is ALWAYS in your best interest to hire a lawyer to help you navigate the complicated field of Workers’ Compensation. This ensures that you obtain all of the benefits that you are entitled to as well as aid in your recovery and claim to move smoothly and efficiently.

I hope this blog has helped sort out what is true and what is false when it comes to the world of Workers’ Compensation. Remember, not everything on the internet is true and it is ALWAYS best to consult your attorney if you have any confusion or additional questions regarding your case.

**The content, thoughts, and facts in this blog are meant to be informational only and do not constitute legal advice of any form. Should you have any further questions regarding Workers’ Compensation, please fill out our contact form to schedule your free consultation with Marcie Baker.


Thursday, March 24, 2022

What to Know About Mediation

        Mediation is an area I don’t often write about. However, given that Marcie is a mediator as well as the fact that mediation plays a big role in legal disputes, I thought I would take some time today to share some fast facts and “what to knows” about mediation.

1.) Get Advice

- Know the pros and cons of mediation and what it means for your case

- Talk with your attorney about who to select as your mediator

- Discuss with your attorney what the process entails so you can enter mediation with an understanding and goals of what you hope to have as a result

2.) Keep it Civil

- The goal of mediation should be to try and compromise or settle the dispute. You should not use this time to have another argument. Rather, you should seek to make this as beneficial for both parties as possible so that it doesn’t become a waste of time.

- That being said, sometimes agreements just are not reached. This is okay, but it is also important to enter with an open mind to see if an agreement can possibly be reached.

3.) Don’t Sign if you don’t Agree

- An agreement that you sign is BINDING. Before you sign, make sure to take some time to discuss with your attorney to understand everything in the agreement and how it will affect your case.

4.) What are the Advantages?

- It allows for problem-solving outside of court that can benefit both parties.

- It gives parties more control in the overall decision making

- Agreements are made that benefit the parties to their specific case based on the needs and compromises of both parties.

5.) It is much less formal than going to court

- Think of mediation as a conversation to yield the best possible result. Instead of being in front of a judge, you will be in a more informal setting, like your attorney’s office. This allows you to feel more comfortable as well as gives you more confidence to have a say in the agreement that you hope to reach.

        I hope that you have found this blog informative. Mediation can be an incredibly helpful way to settle legal disputes amicably, save you money, and maybe even keep you out of the courtroom. Feel free to contact our office to learn more, or to ask any follow-up questions that you may have!

***This blog is meant to be informational only and does not constitute any form of legal advice. If you have any further questions about mediation or a legal manner, please fill out our contact form or call our office and we would be happy to assist you.


Thursday, March 10, 2022

What is Discovery?


There are many aspects to a legal proceeding. One that frequently comes up during the course of your case is something called discovery.

So what is discovery? The legal definition of discovery is, “the fact-finding process in legal proceedings. The function of discovery is to allow all parties to prepare a case for a trial.”

While discovery is generally similar throughout the legal world, there can be slight differences across practice areas, especially the areas Marcie Baker specializes in. Today, I wanted to take some time to explain what each practice area entails when it comes to discovery and show you what you can expect for your legal case.

Workers’ Comp.

The discovery phase of a Workers’ Comp. proceeding has many elements. You will need to keep and maintain thorough records to help support your case. Examples of records and items that will likely be used in discovery are:

- Copies of medical records

- A report from the day you got injured that details what happened and what type(s) of injuries that you sustained

- Any important medical procedures to treat the injury like surgery

- Medical bills and any other supporting documentation

Family Law/Divorce

The discovery phase of a family law proceeding allows each attorney to gather relevant information to the case and make sure that there are no “surprises” at trial. Information that is gathered for discovery can also assist in determining child support, property distribution, and alimony. Examples of discovery items that can come up in a family law case are:

- Financials such as, income, assets, debts, and bank accounts

- Documents such as text messages, photos, and video recordings

- Statements regarding specific facts or allegations relating to your case


Bankruptcy is slightly different because you are required to submit forms and documents to initiate the Bankruptcy process in Florida. As the process continues, your attorney and trustee could ask for more in order to assist you in the best possible way. Some of these documents you will need to complete/produce are:

- A list of all of your property (personal items and real estate)

- A list of your creditors and the debt that you owe to each of them

- A showing of your income – to file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Florida you have to pass the means test and earn below a specific income to qualify.

I hope this blog has helped you gain a better understanding of what discovery is and how it can affect your case. Please do not hesitate to reach out should you have any further questions or wish to discuss your case.

***This blog is meant to be informational and in no way constitutes legal advice. Should you have any questions regarding your legal claim please fill out our contact sheet below and we would be happy to schedule you for a free consultation. 


Thursday, March 3, 2022

Behind the Blog

Hello all! It’s been a while since I have filled you all in on how my life is going as I navigate the legal world and all that law school has to offer.

I have been busier than I ever thought possible. The saying goes “second year of law school they work you to death,” and I think I have to agree with them. This semester I am taking four classes, as well as serving as a Teaching Assistant and as a member of Stetson’s renowned Moot Court Board.

In addition to my coursework, I work part-time for Marcie, and I also serve as a Research Assistant for a Constitutional Law professor at Stetson. Did I mention I pet sit on the side too?

I had a very exciting February. Being on Stetson’s Moot Court Board is an incredible honor and I wanted to take today to explain what exactly Moot Court is, what I do, and what exciting things have been happening for my team and me.

Moot Court is a simulated court hearing experience at the appellate level. Teams/individuals write briefs and then present oral arguments before a panel of judges against an opposing team. Stetson is ranked one of the top advocacy schools in the nation, and our Moot Court board has a long history of winning and representing Stetson at some of the highest levels.

On Moot Court you can be a part of many teams. The Veteran’s Team, Environmental Law Team, Bankruptcy Team, and many more.

I was given the incredible honor of being chosen to be a part of Stetson’s prestigious Jessup team. Jessup is unlike any other team, as it deals with public international law. It is one of the longest, and dare I say hardest Moot Court teams to be a part of.

Jessup is quite different than other competitions. Here, teams of four (plus a researcher) are split into two sides and each must write a memorial detailing four issues that will be argued before the International Court of Justice. My teammate Tabby and I are on the Applicant side, and our teammates Remee and Lilly are on the Respondent side. We argue the same four issues, but each side argues that the other has violated international law. Issues can range from cybercrime, diplomatic status, sovereignty, and many other topics in the public international law sphere. Sara is our incredible researcher who helped fill the gaps and bolster arguments as we wrote our memorials and prepared for the competition. She is quite literally the glue that holds the team together. From last-minute printing to extra research, to just being there for moral support, we couldn't do this without her. 

Let me just take a moment to say I have the absolute BEST team. Lilly is a 3L and the rest of us are 2Ls. I could not have asked for a better group of advocates, colleagues, and friends to take this journey with. We have laughed together, cried together, and learned more about international law than any of us ever expected to. We have two incredible coaches who go above and beyond to make sure that we are prepared, act as soundboards, and give up time out of their busy schedules to make sure that we are preparing to be the best advocates to represent Stetson.

Teams write their memorials during the fall and then submit them in January. We have been working since September to prepare for this competition. After that, the hard, but fun, work begins. Each half of the team must prepare to speak for 45 minutes on the issues. Stetson’s oral argument practices started in January with 2-hour practices during the week in the evenings and 3-hour full team practices on the weekends. At practice, teams argue against one another to prepare for facing our opponents at the competition.

The Jessup is conducted worldwide, with each country holding qualifying rounds with only the top teams advancing to the International/Worlds rounds where countries will compete against each other. Due to COVID-19, this year’s Jessup is completely virtual using an online platform. Because Jessup is more prestigious each speaker is referred to as “agent” instead of “counsel” and each judge is referred to as “your excellency” instead of “your honor”

On February 18th, my teammates and I gathered with our two coaches and Stetson/Jessup alums for a long weekend of competition. The preliminary rounds consisted of 87 schools from all over the United States. On Friday night Remee and Lilly competed against a team from New England Law School. Saturday morning, Tabby and I competed against New York Law school and later that day Remee and Lilly competed against Brooklyn Law School. Tabby and I would go on to close out the weekend Sunday morning as we competed against Case Western Reserve University.

Each round had judges from all over the world who would test our skills, bring out the best in us, and end each round with feedback, constructive criticism, and advice moving forward. After Tabby and I finished, the anxious wait began. In order to move to advanced rounds, each team’s presentation would be scored, the four performances averaged, as well as each individual speaker scored. This would then be added with the memorial score from the memorials submitted in January. The top 32 teams were to be announced Sunday evening, and they would move on to advanced rounds the following weekend.

That night, on Zoom, we were thrilled to find out that Stetson had made the cut to move on to advanced rounds! The following week was chaos, as we scrambled to refine our arguments, practice, attend class, and prepare for another long weekend of competition.

The advanced rounds are slightly different from the preliminary rounds. In preliminary rounds, Tabby and I performed twice, and Remee and Lilly performed twice with our scores averaged. In advanced rounds, it is single elimination so one-half of our team competes in each round that we move on to. Tabby and I found out that we had the honor of competing Friday evening. If we could win the round, we would make it to the top 16.

Top 16 in the United States sounds pretty great, but it gets even better. If you advance to the top 16, you automatically make it to the International/World rounds in March regardless of whether you are #1 or #16 in the nation. Needless to say, Tabby and I were quite nervous going into Friday. After what was a tough but hard-fought round against Suffolk University, we waited with anticipation while the judges deliberated. After they returned and gave their feedback, we found out that in a 2-1 vote we had won and made it to International rounds!

This also meant that we would advance to the octo-final rounds to determine what our ranking would be in the nation. Remee and Lilly represented Stetson and made our team proud Saturday afternoon. They had formidable opponents from George Washington University, and gave excellent arguments, but sadly we were eliminated. Though we were finished competing for that weekend, we were still going to Internationals!

This is Stetson’s first time moving to the International rounds since 2015 and only the fourth time the Stetson’s Jessup team has made it to Internationals!

We are taking the week off practice to refocus and refine our arguments, but next week its back to the grind as we prepare to represent Stetson, and the United States at the International rounds at the end of March.

This has certainly been one of my hardest law school undertakings yet, but I have learned so much and made incredible friends along the way. It has truly tested my limits, but I know that it is making me a better lawyer in the long run, and wouldn’t trade the sleepless nights or team bonding for anything.

I can’t wait to update you all after we compete at the end of this month. Internationals, here we come!

Hope you enjoyed this update from the girl behind the blog. Have a wonderful March all!

Time to Say Goodbye

Happy Thursday, all! Enjoy this upcoming long weekend and the unofficial start to summer! Sadly, all good things must come to an end, and to...