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    Oral Argument Schedule & Briefs

    March 3 & 7-11, 2011

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    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.

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    Names & phone numbers of attorneys in these cases are available in Acrobat format.

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    Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

    Thursday, March 3, 2011

    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

    Thad Altman v. Hon. Rick Scott, Governor

    SC11-396

    View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here 

    3:00

    Two Florida state senators sued Gov. Rick Scott over his decision to reject federal funding for a high-speed rail system in central Florida. The Florida Supreme Court has expedited the case and scheduled arguments.

    Statewide impact

     

    Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

    Monday, March 7, 2011

    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

    David Byron Russ v. State of Florida

    SC09-923

    View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here

     

     

     

    9:00

    Mr. Russ pled guilty to the first-degree murder of Madeleine Leinen, who was fatally stabbed in 2007. He waived a penalty hearing before a jury and the trial court condemned him. This is Mr. Russ' direct appeal. He raises two points.

    Seminole County

    Paul Christopher Hildwin v. State of Florida

    SC09-1417

    View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here 

    Approx. 10:00
    Mr. Hildwin was convicted of the first-degree murder of Vronzettie Cox, who was strangled in 1985. His first death sentence was overturned by this Court and, after a second penalty hearing, the jury voted 8-4 to recommend a death sentence. The trial court again condemned Mr. Hildwin to death. This Court upheld the second death sentence on direct appeal and Mr. Hildwin filed a post-conviction challenge in trial court attacking his sentence of death. It was denied and this appeal followed.
    Hernando County

    James Earl Rippy v. James Shepard

    SC09-1677

    View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here 

    Approx. 10:40
    Mr. Rippy sued Mr. Shepard, alleging he was liable for injuries that Mr. Rippy sustained when he was struck by a farm tractor owned by Mr. Shepard. The trial court dismissed the lawsuit, holding that Mr. Shepard was not liable because a farm tractor was not covered by Florida's "dangerous instrumentality" doctrine. Mr. Rippy appealed to the First District Court of Appeal, which upheld the trial court. This appeal followed.
    Levy County

    John K. Vreeland v. Danny Ferrer

    SC10-694

    View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here 

    Approx. 11:20

    Jose Martinez, a passenger in an aircraft leased by Mr. Ferrer, was killed in a crash in 2005. Mr. Vreeland, the personal representative of Mr. Martinez's estate, filed a wrongful death action alleging that the plane's owner, Aerolease of America, was vicariously liable under Florida's "dangerous instrumentality" doctrine. The trial court ruled that federal law preempted Vreeland's vicarious liability claim against Aerolease. The Second District Court of Appeal agreed.

    Chief Justice Canady is recused.

    Polk County

     

     

    Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

    Tuesday, March 8, 2011

    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

    Michael Joseph Griffin v. State of Florida

    SC09-1 | SC09-1894

    View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here 

     

    9:00

    Mr. Griffin pled guilty to the first-degree murders of Thomas and Patricia McCallops, who were shot in 1995. He waived a penalty hearing before a jury and the trial court condemned him. This Court upheld the death sentences on direct appeal and Mr. Griffin filed a post-conviction challenge in trial court. The court denied his motion to withdraw his guilty plea but vacated the death sentences, granting the motion for a new penalty hearing. Both sides appealed to this Court.

    Pinellas County

    Harrel Franklin Braddy v. State of Florida

    SC07-2174

    View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here 

    Approx. 9:40
    Mr. Braddy was convicted of the first-degree murder of Quatisha Maycock, a 5-year-old who suffered a fatal head injury in 1998. The jury voted 11-1 to recommend a death sentence and the trial court condemned him. This is Mr. Braddy's direct appeal. He raises various issues.
    Miami-Dade County

    West Florida Regional Medical Center, Inc. V. Lynda S. See

    SC09-1997

    View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here 

    Approx. 10:40
    Mrs. See sued West Florida Regional Medical Center for negligence after she was injured in surgeries at the hospital. She asked the hospital to supply records under a section of the state constitution that grants patients access to documents about adverse incidents. The hospital argued that this state provision violated the U.S. Constitution but the trial court disagreed. The hospital appealed to the First District Court of Appeal, which upheld the trial court's ruling. This appeal followed.
    Escambia County

    Tiara Condominium Association, Inc. V. Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc.

    SC10-1022

    View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here 

    Approx. 11:20

    After sustaining severe damages from two hurricanes in 2004, Tiara Condominium Association filed a federal lawsuit against Marsh, its insurance broker, alleging negligence, breach of fiduciary duty and three other counts. The federal trial court rejected all the counts. On appeal, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the scope of Florida law concerning lawsuits against insurance brokers was unclear. The federal appeals court certified the issue to this Court to be answered.

    South Florida

     

     

    Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

    Wednesday, March 9, 2011

    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

    Gary Bernand McCray, II v. State of Florida

    SC08-2434

    View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    9:00

    Mr. McCray was convicted of the first-degree murders of John Ellis Jr., John Whitehead, Phillip Perrotta and Robin Selkirk, who were fatally shot in 2004. The jury voted unanimously to recommend death sentences and the trial court condemned him. This is Mr. McCray's direct appeal. He raises various issues.

    Clay County

    Victor Marcus Farr v. State of Florida

    SC08-1406 | SC09-1010

    View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Approx. 10:00
    Mr. Farr pled guilty to the first-degree murder of Shirley Bryant, who was fatally injured in a 1990 car collision caused by Mr. Farr. Mr. Farr waived his right to a penalty hearing before a jury and the trial court condemned him to death. This Court overturned that death sentence. Mr. Farr was sentenced to death a second time. This Court upheld the second sentence on direct appeal and Mr. Farr filed a post-conviction challenge in trial court. It was denied and this appeal followed.
    Columbia County

    Banco Industrial de Venezuela C.A. Miami Agency v. Esperanza de Saad

    SC10-21

    View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here 

     

    Approx. 10:40

    The trial court ordered Banco Industrial de Venezuela to pay Ms. de Saad $4.5 million to cover her expenses in defending herself against federal money-laundering charges relating to her actions as a manager of the bank. The court rejected arguments by the bank that Florida's indemnity law did not apply to Ms. de Saad because she later pled guilty to lesser charges. The Third District Court of Appeal upheld the trial court and this appeal followed.

    Miami-Dade County

    Donald Wendt v. La Costa Beach Resort Condominium Association, Inc.

    SC09-1914

    View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here 

    Approx. 11:20

    Mr. Wendt and others, who were unit owners and board directors of La Costa Beach Resort, sought to be compensated after defending themselves against allegations of negligence and misconduct by La Costa Beach Resort. The trial court dismissed their lawsuit and the Fourth District Court of Appeal upheld that ruling. This appeal followed.

    Justice Pariente is recused.

    Broward County

     

     

    Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

    Thursday, March 10, 2011

    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

    Derrick Tyrone Smith v. State of Florida

    SC09-2063

    View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here 

     

     

    9:00

    Mr. Smith was convicted of the first-degree murder of Jeffrey Songer, who was fatally shot in 1983. Mr. Smith was condemned but this Court overturned his conviction. He was again convicted and condemned to death. This Court upheld the second sentence on direct appeal and Mr. Smith filed a post-conviction challenge in trial court. It was denied and this Court upheld that ruling. The trial court denied another post-conviction challenge and this appeal followed.

    Justice Quince is recused.

     

    Clay County

    Roy Phillip Ballard v. State of Florida

    SC08-2041

    View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here 

    Approx. 9:40
    Mr. Ballard was convicted of the 2006 first-degree murder of Autumn Traub. The jury voted 9-to-3 to recommend a death sentence and the trial court condemned him. This is Mr. Ballard's direct appeal. He raises various issues.
    Polk County

    State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. V. Gilda Menendez

    SC10-116

    View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here 

    Approx. 10:40
    Ms. Menendez sued State Farm for a declaration that it would provide coverage for claims made on her auto insurance policy by her daughter and son-in-law, who were hurt when they were passengers in her car during a 2006 collision. State Farm argued the injuries were not covered because of the policy's "family/household exclusion section." The trial court ruled the claims were valid because the policy was ambiguous. The Third District Court of Appeal upheld that ruling.
    Miami-Dade County

    Chemrock Corp. V. Tampa Electric Co.

    SC09-2263

    View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here 

    Approx. 11:20
    Tampa Electric asked the trial court to dismiss a lawsuit Chemrock had filed against it in 2002, based on lack of record activity in the case. Chemrock challenged the motion but the trial court agreed with Tampa Electric. On appeal, the First District Court of Appeal upheld that ruling based on its interpretation of an amended rule of civil procedure. This appeal followed.
    Duval County

     

     

     

    Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

    Friday, March 11, 2011

    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 cases scheduled