Can Withdrawl and Substitution of Lawyer Dismiss Failure to Prosecute ?
In Gulf Appliance Distributors, Inc. v. Long, 53 So. 2d 706 (Fla. 1951), the Court addressed whether an order allowing the withdrawal and substitution of counsel constituted sufficient activity to preclude dismissal for failure to prosecute under section 45.19(1), Florida Statutes (1949). See 53 So. 2d at 707.
In holding that the entry of such an order was not sufficient, we stated that the requirement is "something more than a mere passive effort to keep the suit on the docket of the court; it means some active measure taken by [the] plaintiff, intended and calculated to hasten the suit to judgment." Id. (quoting Augusta Sugar Co. v. Haley, 163 La. 814, 112 So. 731, 732 (La. 1927)).
The analysis we outlined in Gulf Appliance was an effort to construe the parameters of the term "affirmatively" that was employed in the statute by the Legislature when the statutory provision at issue was originally enacted.