41 Fla. L. Weekly D1857a
Civil procedure — Dismissal — Error to dismiss action because of plaintiff’s counsel’s failure to appear for case management conference without finding that counsel’s actions were willful, flagrant, deliberate, or otherwise aggravated
SPECIAL K INVESTORS, INC., etc., Appellant, vs. RICHARD MEIMAN, et al., Appellees. 3rd District. Case No. 3D 15-2242. L.T. Case No. 11-13837. Opinion filed August 10, 2016. An Appeal from the Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County, Jorge E. Cueto, Judge. Counsel: Steven Mark Greenberg (Tamarac), for appellant. Espinosa Law Group and Daniel Alberto Espinosa, for appellee, Richard Meiman.
(Before SHEPHERD, LAGOA and SALTER, JJ.)
(SHEPHERD, J.) Special K Investors, Inc. appeals an order that dismissed its action against Richard Meiman and other defendants.1 We reverse.
The trial court dismissed the case against Richard Meiman and the remaining defendants because Special K’s counsel failed to appear for a case management conference. A trial court may dismiss an action for a party’s failure to appear at a scheduled case management conference. Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.200(c). However, “[b]ecause dismissal of an action is ‘the harshest of all sanctions,’ the trial court must explicitly find that the party’s actions were willful, flagrant, deliberate, or otherwise aggravated.” U.S. Bank Nat’l Assoc. v. Martinez, 188 So. 3d 107, 108 (Fla. 5th DCA 2016); see also Jenkins v. Allstate Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co., 185 So. 3d 675 (Fla. 2d DCA 2016); Giemme USA, LLC v. La Sala Group, Inc., 92 So. 3d 920 (Fla. 4th DCA 2012); Paris Int’l Records & Filmworks, Inc. v. Rodriguez, 539 So. 2d 5 (Fla. 3d DCA 1989). The record in this case does not contain any evidence that counsel’s failure to appear at the case management conference was willful, flagrant or deliberate.
Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of dismissal and remand for further proceedings.
Reversed and remanded.
1The dismissal of the claims against defendants, James and Eric Goldberg, previously was affirmed by this court. Special K Investors, Inc. v. Meiman, 155 So. 3d 359 (Fla. 3d DCA 2014).
* * *