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    Oral Argument Banner

    Oral Argument Schedule & Briefs

    May 5-9 , 2008

    Printer Friendly Oral Argument Schedule (PDF)

    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

    Monday, May 5, 2008

    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

    United States of America v. Maureen Stevens

    SC07-1074

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

    9:00

    Robert Stevens died after inhaling anthrax sent to his workplace in the fall of 2001. His widow sued the federal government and Battelle Memorial Institute, accusing them of negligently storing, securing and/or transporting the anthrax. The United States and Battelle argued they were not liable for wrongdoing by a third-party when they had no special relationship with Mr. Stevens. The trial court refused to dismiss the lawsuit and the defendants appealed to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. That court asked this Court to answer whether, under Florida law, laboratories that handle ultra-hazardous materials have a duty to the general public to avoid unauthorized release of such materials.

    Palm Beach County

    Statewide impact

    Jerone Hunter v. State of Florida

    SC06-1963

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

    Approx. 9:40

    Mr. Hunter was convicted of the first-degree murders of Erin Belanger, Michelle Nathan, Anthony Vega, Roberto Gonzalez, Francisco Ayo-Roman and Jonathon Gleason, who were all fatally beaten to death with baseball bats or other blunt objects in 2004. By votes of 9-3 and 10-2, the jury voted to recommend death sentences for four of the six murders. The trial court imposed four death sentences on Mr. Hunter. This is his direct appeal; he raises various issues.

    Volusia County

    Stephen Smith v. State of Florida

    SC06-1903

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

    Approx. 10:40

    Mr. Smith was convicted of the first-degree murder of Darla K. Lathrem, who was fatally beaten with a sledgehammer during a prison escape attempt in June 2003. The jury voted 9-3 to recommend a death sentence and Mr. Smith was condemned. This is his direct appeal; he raises various issues.

    Charlotte County

    David M. Deren v. State of Florida

    SC07-1700

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

    Approx. 11:40

    Mr. Deren was convicted of battery and disorderly conduct for his participation in a fight in a bar with a bouncer. He challenged the conviction, arguing his constitutional right to due process had been violated when the state failed to share information about the bouncer's workers compensation benefits. The trial judge denied the motion for a new trial. The Fourth District Court of Appeal upheld the trial court and this appeal followed.

    Martin County

     

     


    Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

    Tuesday, May 6, 2008

    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

    Advisory Opinion to the Attorney General: Land-Use Plans (Fiscal Impact Statement)

    SC06-521

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

    9:00

    As required by statute, the Financial Impact Estimating Conference prepared a statement describing the possible financial impact of a proposed constitutional amendment that would require voter approval of changes to growth management plans. Florida Hometown Democracy, the group sponsoring the amendment, argues that the statement does not accurately describe the financial impact of the proposed constitutional amendment.

    Statewide impact

    Pablo San Martin v. State of Florida

    SC05-831

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

    Approx. 9:40

    Mr. San Martin was convicted of the first-degree murder of Raul Lopez, who was fatally shot in December 1991. The jury voted 9-3 to recommend a death sentence and he was condemned. This Court upheld the death sentence on direct appeal and Mr. San Martin filed a post-conviction challenge in trial court. It was denied and this appeal followed. Mr. San Martin raises various issues.

    Miami-Dade County

    Alvin Leroy Morton v. State of Florida

    SC06-2091 | SC07-1201

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

    Approx. 10:30

    Mr. Morton was convicted of the first-degree murder of Madeleine Weisser, who was fatally stabbed, and John Bowers, who was fatally shot, in January 1992. The jury voted 11-1 to recommend death sentences for each murder and he was condemned. On direct appeal, this Court vacated the death sentences and ordered a new sentencing hearing. The second jury also voted 11-1 to recommend death sentences for each murder and Mr. Morton was again condemned. Those sentences were upheld by this Court on direct appeal and Mr. Morton filed a post-conviction challenge in trial court. It was denied and this appeal followed. Mr. Morton raises various issues.

    Pasco County

    The Crossings at Fleming Island v. Lisa Reinhardt Echeverri

    SC07-1556

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

    Approx. 11:10

    The Clay County property appraiser challenged the constitutionality of a state law which requires that special government districts be treated like cities when they seek property tax exemptions. The issue arose when a "community development district" sought exemptions for an 18-hole golf course, swimming pools, a tennis center, playgrounds and parks. The trial court ruled that the properties qualified for tax exemptions and also that the property appraiser lacked legal standing to challenge the law. The First District Court of Appeal affirmed the tax exemptions but also ruled that the property appraiser did have legal standing to challenge the law. The development district asks this Court to overturn the 1st DCA on the issue of the property appraiser's standing to challenge the law. The property appraiser asks the Court to overturn the 1st DCA on the issue of the tax exemptions, arguing that the properties are, in essence, private for-profit operations.

    Clay County

     

     


    Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

    Wednesday, May 7, 2008

    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

    Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections v. Kurt S. Browning

    SC07-2074

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

    9:00

    Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections collected enough signatures to put an amendment on the 2006 ballot in Sarasota County requiring the county to use paper ballots in future elections and requiring mandatory audits by an independent auditing firm prior to the certification of election results. The county Board of Commissioners and elections supervisors went to court, questioning the constitutionality of the amendment. The trial court ordered the paper ballot amendment on the ballot and Sarasota voters approved it. But the county officials appealed the trial court ruling and the Second District Court of Appeal concluded the amendment was unconstitutional, agreeing with the county that state law pre-empted local law in this area.

    Sarasota County

    Rodney Calabro v. State of Florida

    SC07-1105

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

    Approx. 9:40

    Mr. Calabro was indicted on a charge of second-degree murder and at his arraignment said he was guilty and wanted a plea agreement. He later pleaded not guilty and asked to have his statements suppressed, arguing they could not be used at trial because he had made them as part of an offer to plead. The trial court suppressed his statements. The Third District Court of Appeal, however, ruled that part of what he said could be used at trial. In this appeal, Mr. Calabro argues the statement cannot be used because he believed he was offering to plead and that belief was reasonable. The state argues Mr. Calabro's statement was unsolicited and not part of any plea negotiation and therefore admissible at trial.

    Miami-Dade County

    Larry Liner v. Workers Temporary Staffing, Inc.

    SC07-1470

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

    Approx. 10:30

    Mr. Liner, a day laborer, filed a class-action lawsuit against Workers Temporary Staffing. The suit alleged the company violated a state law that limits how much labor pools can charge workers for transportation to work sites. The company argued the law violated its due process rights. The trial court found that the law was unconstitutionally vague and its damages provision unconstitutionally excessive. It also found that Mr. Liner did not have a sufficient claim for liability against Workers Temporary Staffing. The Fourth District Court of Appeal upheld the ruling that the law was unconstitutionally vague but did not decide the other issues. This appeal followed.

    Broward County

    James Armando Card v. State of Florida

    SC06-1383

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

    Approx. 11:10

    Mr. Card was convicted of the first-degree murder of Janis Franklin, who was fatally injured in a knife attack in 1981. The jury voted 7-5 to recommend a death sentence and he was condemned. Mr. Card, however, won a new sentencing proceeding in his post-conviction challenge in the trial court. After the new penalty phase, the jury voted 11-1 to recommend a death sentence. He was condemned and this Court affirmed the death sentence on direct appeal. He filed a post-conviction challenge in trial court. It was denied and this appeal followed.

    Bay County

     

    Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

    Thursday, May 8, 2008

    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 Eugene Hunter v. State of Florida

    SC07-161

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

    9:00

    Mr. Hunter was convicted of the first-degree murder of Wayne Simpson, who was fatally shot in 1992. The jury voted 9-3 to recommend a death sentence and he was condemned. This Court upheld the death sentence on direct appeal and Mr. Hunter filed a post-conviction challenge in the trial court. It was denied and this Court upheld the denial. Mr. Hunter filed another post-conviction challenge in the trial court. It was denied and this appeal followed. Mr. Hunter raises various issues.

    Volusia County

     

     


    Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

    Friday, May 9, 2008

    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