Yesterday, the First District issued an opinion illustrating the importance of preserving issues for appeal in 1st DCA13-1698 opinion. In this case, a trial judge entered a completely wrong ruling on the merits in a case, and that ruling was never appealed, and a later order in the case awarded attorney fees against the plaintiff’s attorney based on that completely wrong ruling. The appeal of the award of attorney fees was filed, and the Court agreed the legal fees should not have been awarded, but held that the legal argument as to why they should not have been awarded was not preserved at the trial court, so the Appellate court could not grant relief.
The most embarrassing thing about this case is that the Appellee never even filed a brief in opposition to the appeal because the Appellee was a corporation, and tried to file a brief without hiring an attorney, which a corporation cannot do. Corporations cannot file prose. So the Appellant, who was an attorney, lost the case on appeal when arguments were not preserved below, even when no brief was filed in opposition to her appeal.