by Rob Pritchard
For those of you who have not yet added Bruce J. Berman’s Florida Civil Procedure Treatise to your library, I highly recommend you do so. Berman has formatted and annotated the Treatise in a manner that simplifies its use and which provides citations to the relevant authorities in a helpful and efficient manner. Importantly, Berman’s knowledge regarding the typical issues and disputes that have arisen over the years with respect to the Rules, results in a comprehensive treatise that addresses most issues imaginable. As a result, Berman’s Treatise will greatly reduce the time needed to thoroughly address any procedural issue you may encounter.
As a member of the Florida Bar’s Civil Procedure Rules Committee over the last seven years, I have had the privilege of becoming acquainted with Berman and have come to appreciate the depth of his knowledge in this area as well as his familiarity with the history of the Rules. I cannot recall a meeting of the Committee in which he has not been asked to shed some light on an issue at hand. While I would like to say I am looking forward to working with Berman on the Committee in future years, my term will end next week as a result of the term limitations enacted by the Florida Bar (Hank, were you snoozing behind the wheel on this one or what?).
In addition to Berman’s extensive expertise, the 2001-02 edition of the Treatise incorporated the efforts of Judge Webster of the First District Court of Appeal, and Lori Terens, who has served on the Civil Procedure Rules Committee of The Florida Bar for many years, including chairing the Committee in the last four-year cycle leading to the 2001 amendments to the Rules. Finally, Pedro Martinez-Fraga of Greenberg Traurig, P.A. in Miami assisted in updating the Federal/State comparison material throughout the Treatise.
The Treatise is organized by rule and within each rule, Berman has done a very admirable job of discussing the practical and theoretical concerns and issues that have been raised in the past with exhaustive cites to each of the primary cases. Whether a first year attorney or an elder statesman who fondly reminisces over Berman’s cite to Fair v. Tampa Electric Company, 27 So.2d. 514 (Florida 1946), Berman’s Treatise will be a very helpful addition to your library and will allow you to pinpoint answers to issues that arise within minutes.
Of course, for the Bobby Farnells of the world whose intellectual superiority makes such reference materials unnecessary, the Treatise provides a quick resource for correcting and browbeating young associates who have not yet learned your word is gospel.