[SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA]
Oral Argument Press Summaries
May 3 to 7, 2004

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.

Via Satellite: Telstar 4, KU Band, 89 degrees west, transponder 13 lower, virtual channel 804,
downlink frequency 12081.750 MHz,  L-band frequency 1331.750 MHz
The satellite may be preempted during legislative sessions and emergencies.

Check with Suzanne Smith
at WFSU for last minute changes (800) 322-WFSU Ext. 335.

Some local cable systems in Florida usually carry our broadcasts live or tape-delayed.
See the partial list of these systems.

Watch us on the Web in RealVideo at http://wfsu.org/gavel2gavel/ If you miss a live case, view it from our archive at http://www.wfsu.org/gavel2gavel/archives.html

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

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



Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Monday, May 3, 2004
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 schedule

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Tuesday, May 4, 2004
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
Gregory Allen Kokal v. State of Florida

SC01-882

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

9:00 Kokal was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for the September 1983 murder of a Jeffrey Russell. He now challenges the validity of his sentence. Duval County
Jeffrey Lee Weaver v. State of Florida

SC00-247

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

Approx. 9:40 Weaver was arrested and charged with the January 1996 murder of Bryant Peney.  After finding him guilty, the jury recommended life in prison 8-to-4, but the trial imposed the death penalty.  This is Weaver's direct appeal. Broward County
Lawanda Byrd v. State of Florida

SC03-284

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

Approx. 10:40 Byrd was arrested on charges of murder and armed robbery, but the trial court found she was incompetent to stand trial due to mental retardation. She was then committed to a state institution. After two years, her attorney moved to dismiss the criminal charges under a state statute authorizing this in cases of mental retardation, and asked that she be civilly committed. The State argued that the Florida Supreme Court had adopted a rule of procedure extending the period to five years and that this rule superseded the statute. The trial court agreed, as did the First District Court of Appeal. Gadsden County
State of Florida v. Anthony Frierson

SC03-1528

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

Approx. 11:20 Frierson was driving a car stopped at a red light in July 2001 when a police officer pulled up behind him. The officer noticed that a tail light on the car was cracked, although it was lit. When the traffic light turned green, Frierson turned left without signaling. The officer pulled Frierson over because of the failure to signal and the cracked tail light. After checking Frierson's identification, the officer learned there was an outstanding warrant for his arrest. It later turned out that the warrant was intended for someone else who had wrongfully used Frierson's name and date of birth. After the stop, a weapon was found in the car and Frierson was charged with illegal possession because he was a felon. At trial, the judge let the state use this evidence even though it concluded that the initial stop was unlawful, on grounds that the outstanding warrant was sufficient cause and that the officer relied upon it in good faith. The Fourth District reversed on grounds that the outstanding warrant did not "cure" the initial unlawful stop. Palm Beach County

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Wednesday, May 5, 2004
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
Stacey Robinson v. Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Co.

SC03-1670

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

9:00 Robinson and her husband were injured when an uninsured drunk driver rear-ended their car and then fled the scene. They offered to settle with their insurance company for $35,000, but Nationwide countered with an offer of $20,000. When the case went to trial, the jury awarded the Robinsons $243,900 compensation plus $250,000 in punitive damages because of the drunk driver's conduct. Because of lengthy court proceedings and appeals, the Robinsons later sought to have Nationwide pay their legal fees and costs. The trial court agreed and awarded $444,535 in fees and costs. The Fourth District Court of Appeal reversed on grounds that the initial $35,000 settlement offer had not been properly made. Palm Beach County
Rick Beber v. State of Florida

SC03-1765

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

Approx. 9:40 Beber was convicted of several counts of sexually abusing a child based in part on evidence permitted under the rule allowing the use of out-of-court hearsay from children in such cases. Under oath in court, however, the child-victim gave testimony that tended to contradict the hearsay. The Fifth District Court upheld the conviction. Brevard County
Betty Jones v. Florida Insurance Guaranty Association

SC03-1259

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

Approx. 10:30 Jones filed suit as personal representative of the Estate of Althea Jones, who had been killed in an accident involving a vehicle owned by a company whose insurance company had become insolvent. As a result, FIGA had taken over claims against the company. FIGA denied it had an obligation to defend against the lawsuit, and Jones later received a judgment of $75 million. Jones attempted to collect the judgment from FIGA, and FIGA raised a number of objections. The trial court ruled in favor of Jones, but on appeal the First District Court reversed. Leon County

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Thursday, May 6, 2004
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 schedule

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Friday, May 7, 2004
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


Check the Florida Supreme Court Home Pages on the Internet for Latest Information & Live Audio/Video of Arguments and Satellite Transmission Information