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The post below was published on Monday, October 25th, 2010 at 8:47 AM.

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Second District: Absent Witnesses, Mary Carter Agreements

This case presented some interesting fact patterns. A defendant’s corporate representative — a former employee who lived out of state and who had previously testified in the case — elected not to attend a trial. He obtained a South Carolina court order quashing a local subpoena commanding his attendance. At trial, however, the court held the defendant responsible for the non-attendance and directed liability against it as a sanction. The trial court also prohibited the defense from introducing evidence of an agreement between the plaintiff and another defendant by which the plaintiff agreed not to hold other defendant liable in excess of his insurance coverage in return for admitting liability and not contesting damages.

The Second District reversed in both respects. The decision reminds us all that litigation over “Mary Carter” agreements originated here in Florida over 40 years ago.

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