Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Preservation of Error for Appeal

In Reznik v. FRCC Products Inc. (4D08-774), the Fourth District affirmed the trial court's judgment because the issue was not preserved for appeal. The court stated:

FRCC argues that Reznik waived the issue because he failed to raise it with the trial court. We agree that the issue was not preserved.

Sunset Harbour Condominium Ass’n v. Robbins, 914 So. 2d 925, 928 (Fla. 2005), states, “As a general rule, it is not appropriate for a party to raise an issue for the first time on appeal. In order to be preserved for further review by a higher court, an issue must be presented to the lower court and the specific legal argument or ground to be argued on appeal or review must be part of that presentation if it is to be considered preserved.” (internal citations omitted). Murphy v. International Robotic Systems, 766 So. 2d 1010 (Fla. 2000), addresses the similar issue of failure to object to closing arguments in the trial court. The Florida Supreme Court held the issue was not preserved for review and explained, citing Castor v. State, 365 So. 2d 701 (Fla. 1978), the reasons for the requirement that a contemporaneous objection be made in the trial court.


In the present case Reznik raised in the trial court the issue of whether he had the ability to sign the settlement agreement on behalf of the company since he is not an attorney. He did not argue that the stipulated amount was illegitimate, unconscionable, or a penalty. Thus, the issue was waived and was not preserved for review.


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