Press Release – The Time to Organize is Now!


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 27, 2013

House Bill 909 (2013) may affect home owners and Florida restoration contractors

The time to act is now! Florida’s restoration industry will unite against HB 909 (2013)

Orlando, Florida, February 27, 2013 – Cohen Battisti Attorneys is joining with the restoration industry and Florida Justice Associations in an attempt to defeat HB 909 (2013). This bill would prohibit assignments under homeowner’s policies. This would be a major blow to the industry and completely give all the power back to the insurance companies. For instance, a restoration company will no longer be protected against insurance companies for jobs that have been performed without being paid up-front. No restoration company will want to do these jobs for free because without an assignment of benefits restorers have no protection. Therefore, if a hurricane were to hit the state of Florida, all the homes that are damaged will go un-repaired until restoration companies receive payment upfront. After that, the damage will be so extensive, insurance companies will deny claims and all the homeowners in Florida will be in a much worse position.

The time to organize is now! Homeowners and the restoration industry should contact their local representatives and tell them how this bill will negatively affect their businesses and homes.

For more information about House Bill 909 (2013) please contact Cohen Battisti Attorneys at (407) 478-4878.

Contact Information: 

Carol M. Palacio
Cohen Battisti Attorneys at Law
1211 Orange Avenue Winter Park, FL 32789
(407) 478-4878



How House Bill 909 (2013) Can Affect Your Home Insurance Policy and Restoration Company

Mobilize against House Bill HB 909 (2013)

This proposed bill may completely give all of the power back to the insurance company! Every restoration company has an interested in seeking this bill defeated.

A bill was just filed in the Florida House which would prohibit assignments under homeowner’s policies. This would be a major blow to the industry and completely give all of the power back to the insurance companies. Please reference House Bill HB 909 (2013):

Any homeowner’s insurance policy may prohibit the assignment of rights or benefits under the policy,and a third party beneficiary any not accept an assignment or recover against any policy that prohibits assignment. Any Assignment of rights or benefits under a homeowner’s insurance policy that prohibits assignment renders the coverage void.

We need to mobilize political support against this bill immediately. Every restoration company has an interest in seeking this bill defeated.The house bill must be passed before it becomes effective. Restoration contractors should still continue to use contracts for emergency services that includes the Assignment of Benefits. If you do hot have our most updated contracts and documents click here to download them.


The time to organize is now! Contact your state representative and tell them how you feel about this bill and how it will affect your business and or home. Below is a link with the representative in your area.

The time to organize is now! We need an association to represent the interests of all Florida restoration companies.  The RIA, IICRC, CRA, Indoor Air quality and other organizations should help with our efforts to defeat House Bill 909 (2013). This bill is just an example of how the insurance carriers try to walk all over the restoration industry.

The time to organize is now! Our firm is joining with other attorneys and associations to go to Tallahassee during the committee session in April in an attempt to defeat the bill.

   “It’s about justice!” and together we will defeat this bill. 

For more information, please contact Cohen Battisti at (407) 478-4878 or email

Crime and Over-Punishment? Woman’s Bail Doubled, Sentenced to 30 Days for Flipping-Off Judge

A Miami woman arrested for illegal possession of Xanax was sentenced to 30 days in jail and had her bail amount doubled, but it had nothing to do with her drug charge.  After her bond was set at $5,000, the young lady told the Judge “adios” as she walked out. The judge called her back and reset her bail at $10,000. Surprised at the increase, the Defendant walked away for the second time, she flipped her middle finger to the judge and said, “F – you.” Hearing this, the judge summoned her back a third time. She was charged with criminal contempt of court, and given a 30-day sentence.

Although it is common for judges to change or revoke bail, there is a question whether the increase of the Defendant’s bail amount was an abuse of discretion. The purpose of bail is to guarantee that a defendant will appear for all scheduled court dates, but is not to be used as a punishment to prevent release. The Eighth Amendment provides that “excessive bail shall not be required.” In Kennedy v. Mendoza-Martinez, 372 U.S. 144 (1963), the U.S. Supreme Court set out factors to determine when a government act is punitive or regulatory, such as whether the act is “retribution”. Furthermore, the Court held in U.S. v. Salerno, 481 U.S. 739 (1987) that the government’s conditions of release or detention “not be ‘excessive’ in light of the perceived evil” or danger to the community posed by a defendant.

In this matter, whether the court’s pretrial release powers were being used for punitive purposes is now a non-issue. On Feb. 8, the accused apologized to the court, the judge and her family. She told the judge that her behavior was irrational and that she had taken Xanax prior to her initial court appearance. The Judge vacated the 30-day sentence and the accused has agreed to attend a drug rehabilitation program.

 By Winston Taitt, trial attorney practicing civil litigation and criminal defense, and Isabel Arias, practicing insurance litigation for plaintiffs.


Picture retrieved from the TT- Tenis Warehouse