[SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA]
Oral Argument Press Summaries
June 2-6, 2003

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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[ETCHING: SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA]
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Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Monday, June 2, 2003
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
Naji Nehme v. SmithKline Beecham Clinical Laboratories, Inc.

SC02-1680

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

9:00 Nehme died in 1997 of cervical cancer that allegedly could have been prevented if SmithKline's staff had correctly read a pap smear performed some years earlier. Her estate sued. The trial court dismissed the lawsuit, and the Fifth District affirmed. Orange County
Amendment to Rules Regulating The Florida Bar: Unbundled Legal Services

SC02-2035

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

Approx. 9:40 This cases involves the question whether Florida lawyers should be permitted to provided limited legal services to clients in certain circumstances, such as where a client wishes to pay for only a part of what would constitute full legal representation. This is called unbundled legal services. Statewide impact
Miami-Dade County v. Omnipoint Holdings, Inc.

SC02-815

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

Approx. 10:30 Omnipoint applied for a variance of County zoning regulations in order to erect a telecommunications tower in Miami-Dade County. The zoning board denied the variance. On certiorari review, the circuit court reversed the board's ruling and the County appealed to the Third District Court, which held that portions of the Miami-Dade County zoning ordinances are facially unconstitutional.  Dade County
Robert Patton v. State of Florida

SC02-423 | SC02-2158

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

Approx. 11:10 Patton was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for the 1981 murder of a police officer. He now challenges the validity of his sentence. Dade County

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Tuesday, June 3, 2003
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
John Ruthell Henry v. State of Florida

SC02-804

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

9:00 Henry, a death-sentenced defendant, appeals from the lower court's denial of his motion for postconviction relief alleging ineffective assistance of counsel and resulting prejudice in both the guilt and penalty phases of his retrial for the murder of his estranged wife. Pasco County
Gary Kent Kirby v. State of Florida

SC02-1511

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Approx. 9:40 Kirby was found guilty of driving under the influence and causing serious bodily harm to another. The victim received payment for losses and signed a release of liability. Based on this, the trial court declined to order restitution. The Fifth District reversed. Putnam County
James Guzman v. State of Florida

SC02-860| SC02-2131

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Approx. 10:30 Guzman was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for the 1991 murder of David Colvin. A new trial was ordered because of errors, and he again was convicted and sentence to death. This sentence was affirmed on appeal. He now challenges the validity of his sentence. Volusia County
Lamar Z. Brooks v. State of Florida

SC02-538

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

Approx. 11:10 Brooks was charged in the 1996 murder of Rachel Carlson and her infant daughter, Alexis Stuart. He was tried, convicted of both murders, and sentenced to death for each. This is Brooks's direct appeal. Okaloosa County

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Wednesday, June 4, 2003
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
Inquiry Concerning a Judge: Sheldon Schapiro

SC01-2419

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9:00 Judge Schapiro has been summoned to appear before the Court to be publicly reprimanded for ethical breaches. Broward County
State of Florida v. City of Clearwater; Times Publishing Co. v. State of Florida

SC02-1694| SC02-1753

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Approx. 9:10 Times Publishing made a public records request to the City of Clearwater asking for copies all e-mail either sent from or received by the government computers used by two employees. The employees reviewed their respective e-mails and sorted them into two categories, personal and public, and the City provided copies of the e-mails determined to be public. The Times filed an action in the circuit court, arguing that it was entitled to all of the e-mail generated by and stored on the City's computers. The circuit court and district court disagreed. The Second District held that "personal" e-mail falls outside the current definition of "public records" and certified a question of great public importance.  Pinellas County
Lancelot Uriley Armstrong v. State of Florida

SC01-1874 | SC02-1122

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

Approx. 9:50 Armstrong was convicted of the February 17, 1990, murder of Deputy Sheriff John Greeney and attempted murder of Deputy Sheriff Robert Sallustio in Broward County. He was sentenced to death, and his conviction and sentence were affirmed on direct appeal. He now appeals the denial of his motion for postconviction relief and petitions this Court for writ of habeas corpus. Broward County
Curtis Windom v. State of Florida

SC01-2706| SC02-2142

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Approx. 10:30 Windom was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for the February 1992 murders of three people in Winter Garden. His sentences were affirmed on appeal. He now challenges their validity. Orange County
Robert R. Gordon v. State of Florida

SC02-1212

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Approx. 11:10 Gordon was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for the January 1994 murder of Dr. Louis A. Davidson. His sentence was affirmed on appeal. He now challenges its validity. Pinellas County

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Thursday, June 5, 2003
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
Jack Kephart v. Jerry Regier

SC02-936| SC02-2280

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9:00 Petitioners, similarly situated offenders who were in pretrial detention in proceedings to commit them as sexually violent predators, filed petitions for writ of habeas corpus in their respective counties. The trial court denied the petitions, and petitioners appealed. On appeal, the Fourth District Court of Appeal reversed, holding that probable cause petitions verified by assistant state attorney was insufficient to support pretrial detention, but the State should be given time to cure the defects in the petitions. Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee, & St. Lucie Counties
Kenneth Friedman, M.D. v. Heart Institute of Port St. Lucie, Inc.

SC02-502

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Approx. 9:40 After filing a civil action against Dr. Friedman alleging breach of his employment contract and seeking an injunction or $300,000 in liquidated damages, the Heart Institute amended its complaint to include a claim that Dr. Friedman was fraudulently divesting himself of assets in an effort to frustrate any judgments obtained against him in the underlying contract action. Dr. Friedman sought to have the progression of the fraudulent transfer portion of the action stayed pending resolution of the underlying contract action, but his motion was denied by the trial court. The Fourth District Court of Appeal agreed, and Dr. Friedman is now before this Court seeking review of the district court's decision. St. Lucie County
Leonard Northup v. Herbert W. Acken, M.D., P.A.

SC02-2435

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

Approx. 10:30 In the context of a medical malpractice action, Northup sought to obtain through civil discovery all prior deposition testimony of one of his medical experts possessed by Dr. Acken. The trial court ordered Dr. Acken to turn over the documents to Northup. The Second District Court of Appeal reversed, concluding that the selection and gathering of the documents by Dr. Acken's attorneys protected them from pretrial discovery. Northup seeks review based upon conflict between the decision of the Second District and a previous decision of the Fourth District Court of Appeal. Polk County
Elizabeth Sullivan v. Landon Cole Sapp

SC02-2490

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Approx. 11:10 Sullivan's daughter, Adrienne, and Sapp had a child together out-of-wedlock. Adrienne filed a paternity action against Sapp. After the trial court had issued a judgment in the paternity action, but during the pendency of a motion for rehearing filed by Adrienne, Adrienne died in an automobile accident. Sapp took custody of the child and Sullivan filed a motion to intervene in the paternity action, seeking grandparent visitation pursuant to a Florida statute. The trial court denied the motion to intervene. The First District affirmed, and expressly declared the statute unconstitutional as violative of the father's right of privacy. Madison County

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Friday, June 6, 2003
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
NAACP, Inc. v. Florida Board of Regents

SC02-1878

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8:30 The NAACP challenged administrative rules that eliminated affirmative action in Florida's state university system. An administrative law judge affirmed the rules change, but on appeal the First District determined that the NAACP lacked standing to challenge the rules and ordered that the action be dismissed on that basis. Leon County

Statewide Impact

American Home Assurance Co. v. National Railroad Passenger Corp.

SC02-709

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

Approx. 9:10 In November 1993 a tractor trailer carrying a $12 million, 82-ton generator became immobilized on CSX train tracks near the Kissimmee Utility Authority plant, which had purchased the generator. An Amtrack train hit the trailer, destroying the generator. KUA had entered into an agreement with CSX to build a road over the track for delivery of the generator, and it included an agreement to indemnity CSX for any damages associated with use of the road. A complex lawsuit arose in federal court over who should pay for the resulting damages. An issue arose whether KUA as a municipal agency had any authority to waive sovereign immunity by agreeing to indemnify CSX, which is the subject of this appeal.  Kissimmee



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