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Amicus Curiae Activity

Amicus curiae is Latin for "friend of the court." An amicus curiae is a person or organization with special expertise or interest in a matter before the court whom the court allows to file a brief in a case to assist the judges in understanding the full implications of the what they must decide.

Rick Johnson has written more than a dozen amicus curiae briefs. He has overseen completion of more than 30 amicus curiae briefs as Amicus Coordinator of the National Employment Lawyers Association, Florida Chapter. The following are a few examples of the amicus curiae briefs Rick Johnson has authored or co-authored in which the court opinions show the influence of the amicus curiae brief.

  • The Golf Channel v. Jenkins, 752 So. 2d 561 (Fla. 2000). This is the case where the Florida Supreme Court vindicated the rights of employees under the Florida Private Whistleblower Act. It is the main case under that law.
  • Woodham v. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, Inc., 829 So.2d 891 (Fla. 2002). This is the most important case in the history of the Florida Civil Rights Act. Wrote a separate amicus brief in the companion case, Bach v. United Parcel Service, Inc., 837 So.2d 395 (Fla. 2002), treating many similar issues.
  • Klonis v. Department of Revenue, 766 So. 2d 1186 (Fla. 1st DCA 2000). The Court rejected a claim by the State of Florida that government employers should be exempt from the Florida Civil Rights Act.
  • Chapman v. Laitner, 809 So.2d 51 (Fla.3d DCA 2002). Court held that Florida offer of judgment statute may not be applied to a federal civil rights claim. A technical issue with great importance for protecting civil rights in Florida.
  • In Re T.W., 551 So. 2d 1186 (Fla. 1989). Florida Supreme Court established an independent right to abortion under the Florida Constitution.
  • Department of Children & Families v. Rosa, 954 So. 2d 82 (Fla. 1st DCA 2007). Opinion written in companion case, Florida Dept. of Education v. Garrison, 954 So.2d 84 (Fla. 1st DCA 2007). The court beat back an attempt by the State of Florida to gut the Public Whistleblower Act by capping monetary recovery at a level that would make those cases unprofitable and imposing a burdensome extra set of pre-suit procedures.
  • Bruner v. GC-GW, Inc., d/b/a Jackson-Cook, 880 So. 2d 1244 (Fla. 1st DCA 2004). Appeals court reversed a lower court and held that employer may not take adverse action against employee for filing worker's comp claim, whether the claim was filed against a past or present employer.

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