A Partner at Butler since 2005, Diane M. Barnes-Reynolds practices law in our Tampa office. Her litigation practice mainly focuses on first-party coverage, which includes water damage, windstorm, sinkhole, collapse, builder’s risk, business interruption claims, jewelry, and theft. She also has experience in inflated claims and insurance fraud.
Diane graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 2000. She received her Juris Doctor from Florida State University College of Law in 2003. While in law school, Diane was vice president of the Mock Trial Team and received numerous accolades, including the Best Advocate Award at the 2002 State Champion of Academy of Florida trial Lawyers Mock Trial Competition. She also interned in Washington, D.C. for a telecommunications law firm in addition to interning for the Children’s Advocacy Center in Tallahassee and the Second Judicial Circuit, Felony Division. Before joining Butler, Diane practiced franchise law in Tallahassee where she focused on relationships between automobile manufacturers and dealers.
Since becoming a lawyer, Diane has published “Punitive Damages – The Rationale of Ratios” for Mealey’s Litigation Report: Insurance Bad Faith (Vol. 21, #16, December 18, 2007). She is also an experienced public speaker, having presented at several claims conferences.
- Best Advocate Award at the 2002 State Champion of the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers Mock Trial Competition
- University of Florida
Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
- Florida State University College of Law
- Former Board Member of Tallahassee Women Lawyers
- Hillsborough County Bar Association
- The Florida Bar
- All State Courts of Florida
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan
- United States District Court, Colorado
- United States District Courts for the Northern, Middle, and Southern Districts of Florida
December 18, 2007
PUBLICATIONPunitive Damages - the Rationale of Ratios
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Since the Supreme Court’s decision in State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company v. Campbell,1 courts have struggled to define when the Campbell court’s presumptive limit of 9 to 1ratio of punitive damages to compensatory damages is appropriate.2 The Supreme Court stated that the "most important indicium of the reasonableness of a punitive damages award" was the highly subjective measure of the "degree of reprehensibility."3 Wrestling with such an amorphous concept trial courts and appellate courts have sought to justify various punitive damage awards on the basis of a sliding scale, doing little more than subjectively comparing the "reprehensibility" in the case being reviewed, to other recent cases decided before it. The result is a marked disparity from one court to the next as to what constitutes behavior falling within the five (5) factors of reprehensibility discussed in Campbell.