In re Guardianship of Leon Bloom, an incapacitated person.
DOROTHY B. BLOOM; MARSHALL BLOOM; and ROBERT M. ELLIOTT, as Trustee of the Leon Bloom Revocable Living Trust u/a/d 11/18/1988, as Restated on 10/22/2009, Respondents. JAMES L. ESSENSON, Petitioner,
FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE REHEARING MOTION AND, IF
Petition for Writ of Certiorari to the Circuit Court for
Sarasota County; Charles E. Williams, Judge.
L. Essenson, Barbara J. Welch, and Matthew J. Kelly, of the
Law Firm of James L. Essenson, Sarasota, for Petitioner.
F. Baily of the Law Offices of Baily & Baily P.A.,
Sarasota; and Marc J. Soss, Lakewood Ranch, for Respondent
Dorothy B. Bloom.
appearance for remaining Respondents.
certiorari proceeding, Attorney James L. Essenson seeks
review of a trial court order granting Dorothy B. Bloom's
(Dorothy) motion to compel production of Essenson's
billing records in connection with his representation of
Marshall Bloom (Marshall) in the underlying proceeding
relating to the guardianship, estate, and trust of Leon Bloom
(Leon). This court stayed this certiorari
proceeding pending the outcome of a related appeal, and
Essenson has filed a notice of voluntary dismissal because
his petition has become moot in light of subsequent
proceedings on remand from that appeal. Before this court
stayed the proceeding, however, Dorothy had filed a
"motion for attorney's fees and costs on
appeal." Consequently, along with his notice of
voluntary dismissal, Essenson has also filed a "motion
to preclude costs on appeal."
accept Essenson's notice of voluntary dismissal, dismiss
Essenson's petition, and deny Dorothy's motion for
appellate attorney's fees without further comment, but we
explain why, pursuant to Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure
9.400(a), we strike Dorothy's motion for appellate costs
and grant Essenson's motion to preclude the trial court
from taxing appellate costs in favor of Dorothy.
court's opinion in In re Guardianship of Bloom,
227 So.3d 165 (Fla. 2d DCA 2017), details the procedural
history of Marshall's and Dorothy's involvement in
Leon's guardianship and trust proceedings and, following
Leon's death, his probate proceedings. During the
pendency of Dorothy's claim for reimbursement from
Leon's trust for funds she allegedly had used to care for
Leon, Marshall successfully removed the successor trustee of
Leon's trust. Based on the successful removal, Marshall
sought an award of attorney's fees and asserted three
bases for relief. The trial court denied the fee motion but
in doing so only addressed two of Marshall's three bases
for relief. Marshall's appeal of the order denying fees
was the subject of Bloom, 227 So.3d 165.
that appeal was pending, Dorothy moved to compel Essenson to
produce billing records that she claimed were relevant to
Marshall's previously denied request for attorney's
fees. Essenson objected, arguing, in part, that his billing
records were not relevant because the court had denied
Marshall's fee motion. He acknowledged, however, that
they would become relevant if Marshall's appeal were
successful and if the trial court were to determine on remand
that he was entitled to fees. Essenson represented that were
that to happen, then he would produce the requested billing
records without objection. Nonetheless, the court granted
Dorothy's motion to compel and ordered Essenson to
produce his billing records, as redacted for attorney-client
and work-product privileges. Essenson timely sought
petition, Essenson contends that the trial court departed
from the essential requirements of law by compelling
production of billing records that were not relevant to
anything in the proceeding in light of that court's
determination that Marshall was not entitled to an award of
attorney's fees. Essenson acknowledged, however, that if
this court reversed the trial court's determination on
entitlement and if the trial court ultimately determined that
Marshall was entitled to fees, this certiorari proceeding
would become moot, and he again represented that, in such a
case, he would willingly produce the records that Dorothy had
requested. Accordingly, this court stayed this certiorari
proceeding pending the outcome of Marshall's appeal of
the order denying entitlement to fees.
in Bloom, 227 So.3d at 170, this court remanded for
the trial court to consider Marshall's previously
overlooked third basis for fees, and we continued the stay of
this certiorari proceeding. On remand, the trial court
determined that Marshall was entitled to attorney's fees.
promised, Essenson acknowledges that his billing records are
now relevant, and he has filed a notice of voluntary
dismissal of his certiorari petition as moot. But pursuant to
rule 9.400(a), he also moves for this court to preclude the
trial court from awarding ...