June 28

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has appointed three insurance defense attorneys to the state’s workers’ compensation bench.

  • Jacobs (Linkedin)Jill Jacobs has worked as deputy city attorney for Palm Beach for the last seven years, handling many workers’ compensation claims from city workers. She was in private practice for 25 years before that. She is a board-certified workers’ comp attorney who has handled complex, catastrophic comp claims, according to her Linkedin web page. Jacobs, who earned her law degree at the University of Miami, will fill one of the vacancies in the Orlando office of the Judge of Compensation Claims, DeSantis’ office said Friday.
  • Sanceri (Facebook)Also filling a vacancy in the Orlando district is Lourdes Sanceri, of Gainesville. Since 2013 she has been with Moore, Ingram, Johnson & Steele, a law firm with offices in Orlando, Jacksonville, and in three other states. Before that, she was with McConnaughhay, Duffy & Coonrod, one of the largest comp defense firms in the state. Sanceri gained her law degree from the University of Florida.
  • Case (Linkedin)Barbara Case, of North Palm Beach, has been in private practice for a number of years, primarily practicing workers’ comp defense, from mediation through appeal. She will fill the open spot in the West Palm Beach office.

The lawyers were three of several nominated for the bench by the state’s judicial nominating commission. They are appointed to four-year terms.

The new judges come into a comp court that is undergoing a slight reorganization, including a pay raise for the jurists. The Legislature this year, after several years of failed attempts, approved a salary increase of as much as 24% for the comp judges, bringing them in line with county court judges.

Lawmakers also dissolved the requirement that the Office of Judges of Compensation Claims maintain 17 districts in the state and 31 judges, allowing the consolidation of some district offices. Mediators also will no longer be assigned to specific judges but will be assigned on a statewide basis and may conduct sessions remotely via videoconferencing, according to information from the OJCC.