[SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA]
Oral Argument Press Summaries
February 5-9, 2001

The following summaries are drawn from briefs and lower court judgments. They are meant to provide a general idea of facts and issues presented in cases, and should not be considered official court documents. Facts and issues presented in these summaries should be checked for accuracy against records and briefs, available from the Court, which provide more specific information.

[ETCHING: SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA]
Robert Craig Waters, Director of Public Information
(850) 414-7641



Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Monday, February 5, 2001
Arrive early. Times & order of appearance are tentative and subject to change with no notice. Cases may be postponed due to exigent circumstances.
Case Time Facts & Issues Place of Origin
In re: Report of the Family Law Steering Committee

SC00-1410

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9:00 The Florida Supreme Court asked the Family Court Steering Committee to develop a model family court for Florida. In June 2000 the Committee released its report and petitioned the Court to adopt it. Statewide impact
United Services Automobile Ass'n v. Raymond J. Behar M.D.

SC00-595

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Approx. 9:40 A traffic accident occurred involving vehicles driven by Dr. Behar and Francis Bassano. Bessano was only insured for $10,000. Dr. Behar later sued his own insurer, USAA, for the underinsured motorist benefits of his policy. USAA offered to settle for $125,001, but Dr. Behar and his wife requested $395,000. Neither party accepted. The case went to trial, and the jury found that Bassano was not negligent and that the Behars were entitled to nothing. USAA asked the court to order the Behars to pay its costs and attorneys fees, but the judge declined to do so on grounds USAA had not fully complied with rules governing offers to settle. The Second District Court affirmed. Pinellas County
Florida Dep't of Corrections v. Tony Randall Watts

SC00-1591

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Approx. 10:30 Watts was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for the February 1988 murder of Simon Jurado. His sentenced was upheld on appeal. In 1999 in later collateral challenges to his sentence, Watts was found mentally incompetent and was committed to the Corrections Mental Health Institute at Florida State Hospital pending further court order. The State later challenged the continuing commitment of Watts, but the trial court declined to end it. The State appeals. Duval County
Linda Hagan v. Florida Coca-Cola Bottling Co.

SC00-287

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Approx. 11:10 Hagan and others sued for alleged physical and emotional injuries caused after consuming beverage from a soda container later found to contain a used condom. After trial, the judge awarded a total of $58,000 in damages. Coca-Cola appealed on grounds that Florida follows the "impact rule," which requires that damages for emotional injuries cannot be awarded in the absence of some sort of physical injury. The Fifth District reversed the award but certified the case to the Florida Supreme Court. St. Johns County

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Tuesday, February 6, 2001
Arrive early. Times & order of appearance are tentative and subject to change with no notice. Cases may be postponed due to exigent circumstances.

Case Time Facts & Issues Place of Origin
James Floyd v. State of Florida

SC97,043& SC00-1533

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9:00 Floyd was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for the January 1984 murder of Annie Bar Anderson. His sentence was reversed on appeal due to errors, and at resentencing he again received the death penalty. This sentence was affirmed on appeal. Floyd now challenges the validity of his death sentence. Pinellas County
John Castillo v. E.I. Du Pont de Nemours & Co.

SC00-490

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Approx. 9:40 The Castillos' son John was born with microphthalmia, a condition in which a baby is born without eyes. They sued DuPont and others on grounds that the mother was exposed to the fungicide Benlate during pregnancy, allegedly causing the child's condition. At trial the jury awarded the Castillos a combined judgment of $4 million. On appeal, the Third District reversed. Dade County
Oscar Ray Bolin v. State of Florida

SC95,774

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Approx. 10:30 In 1990, Bolin was charged with the January 1986 murder of Natalie Holley. He was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death, but his conviction was overturned due to errors. At retrial, he again was convicted, and the trial judge imposed the death penalty on an 11-to-1 jury recommendation. This is his direct appeal. Hillsborough County
T.M. v. State of Florida

SC00-1194

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Approx. 11:30 T.M. was arrested for violating the City of Pinellas Park's curfew ordinance. Before trial, T.M. moved to dismiss the charges. The trial judge agreed, finding that the ordinance interfered with a parent's right to rear children without governmental interference. The Second District reversed. Pinellas County

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Wednesday, February 7, 2001
Arrive early. Times & order of appearance are tentative and subject to change with no notice. Cases may be postponed due to exigent circumstances.

Case Time Facts & Issues Place of Origin
Olen Clay Gorby v. State of Florida

SC95,153& SC00-405

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9:00 Gorby was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for the May 1990 murder of W.J. Raborn. His sentence was upheld on appeal. He now challenges the validity of his sentence. Bay County
Luis John Cruz v. Broward County School Bd.

SC00-1550

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Approx. 9:40 Cruz, who suffered brain damage caused by premature birth, was a student at Miramar High School. One day at school, he became involved in an incident with another student that resulted in his head falling onto a hard surface. He and his mother sued the school board, his mother seeking damages for loss of the companionship of her son. The jury found the school board negligent and awarded Cruz $2,697,725 and his mother $3.5 million. However, the trial judge reduced the mother's award to $1 million on grounds that awards for lost companionship could not extend beyond the time Cruz became an adult. The Fourth District Court reversed the entire judgment for other reasons, but agreed that at retrial the jury could not award lost companionship damages for Cruz's adult years. Broward County
State of Florida v. James E. Brake, Jr.

SC00-119

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Approx. 10:30 Brake was charged with violating a statute making it illegal to lure children into a structure, dwelling, or conveyance for "other than a lawful purpose." The particular statute applies only if the accused was previously convicted of certain sexual offenses. Brake was such a person. At trial, he challenged the statute's constitutionality, but the judge upheld it. The Second District disagreed and reversed.  Sarasota County
Alex Pagan v. State of Florida

SC94,365

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Approx. 11:10 Pagan was charged with the February 1993 murders of Freddy Jones and his son Michael during a home invasion robbery that also left Jones' wife and infant child seriously injured. At trial in 1996 and 1997, Pagan was found guilty and sentenced to death based on a jury recommendation of 7-to-5. This is his direct appeal. Broward County

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Thursday, February 8, 2001
Arrive early. Times & order of appearance are tentative and subject to change with no notice. Cases may be postponed due to exigent circumstances.

Case Time Facts & Issues Place of Origin
NO ARGUMENTS SCHEDULED

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Friday, February 9, 2001
Arrive early. Times & order of appearance are tentative and subject to change with no notice. Cases may be postponed due to exigent circumstances.

Case Time Facts & Issues Place of Origin
NO ARGUMENTS SCHEDULED



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