[SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA]
Oral Argument Press Summaries
August 27-31, 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.

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[ETCHING: SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA]
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Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Monday, August 27, 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
Lilliana Cahuasqui v. U.S. Security Insurance Co.

SC00-1649

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

9:00 Cahuasqui was injured in an auto accident on Oct. 3, 1995, and sought personal injury protection (PIP) benefits from her father's insurer, U.S. Security. The latter denied her claim on grounds her father failed to list her in his insurance application. She sued and later rejected U.S. Security's offer to settle for $1501.00. The jury found against her, and U.S. Security sought to recover attorneys' fees and costs from Cahuasqui. The trial judge rejected this claim, but the Third District Court reversed.  Dade County
M/I Schottenstein Homes, Inc. v. Nasad Azam

SC00-1582

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

Approx. 9:40 Azam and others purchased homes from Schottenstein. They later sued the developer on grounds that one of its agents falsely told them that parcels of land near their homes were part of a nature preserve. In fact, these parcels were already scheduled for further development, a fact reflected in the public records of Palm Beach County. Azam and the others sued on a variety of grounds, including fraud. Schottenstein filed a motion to dismiss the claims on grounds that the purchasers should have checked the public record. The trial judge agreed. On appeal, the Fourth District Court reversed dismissal of the fraud claim. Palm Beach County
Rolando Garcia v. State of Florida

SC95,136

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

Approx. 10:30 In 1986, Garcia was charged with nine murders. Earlier convictions in some of these cases were reversed due to errors. Eventually, he was acquitted of five, but convicted of the January 1986 murders of Mario Amador and Roberto Alfonso. The jury found Garcia guilty and later recommended death penalties by a vote of 10-to-2 for Amador and 7-to-5 for Alfonso. The jury agreed with the jury recommendation. This is Garcia's direct appeal.  Dade County
Johnny Shane Kormandy v. State of Florida

SC96,197

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

Approx. 11:30 Kormandy was charged with the July 11, 1993, murder of Gary McAdams. He was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death. On appeal, a new sentencing proceeding was ordered due to errors. In the new proceeding, the jury recommended the death penalty 8-to-4, and the judge imposed it. This is Kormandy's direct appeal. Escambia County

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Tuesday, August 28, 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
Amendment to Fla. Rules of Criminal Procedure: DNA Testing

SC01-363& SC01-1649

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

9:00 The Florida Bar has petitioned the Court to adopt new rules related to DNA testing of certain inmates. Arguments were held earlier this year, but the Court requested additional briefing on the relationship of the proposed rules to a DNA testing statute adopted this year by the Legislature. This is the argument after rebriefing. Statewide impact
City National Bank of Florida v. Miami-Dade County

SC00-1764

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

Approx. 9:40 Miami-Dade condemned about a quarter acre of land near Joe Robbie Stadium that was held by a trust controlled by City National. The property owners were awarded $93,600 for the taking of their land, but a dispute arose over costs and attorneys fees. The issue in this case is the entitlement to attorneys fees and expert witness fees in a condemnation proceeding. Dade County
Mary Barley v. South Fla. Water Management District

SC00-1998

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

Approx. 10:30 Barley and others sued the Water Management District on grounds it unlawfully required them to pay for abatement of pollution in the Everglades they had not caused. They contend this occurred under a pollution abatement tax passed in 1994 that taxed all property owners for abatement. However, in 1996 the voters of Florida approved a constitutional amendment stating that polluters themselves should pay, though the amendment did not establish any method of recouping costs from polluters. The trial judge dismissed the suit, and the Fifth District Court affirmed. Orange County

South Florida

State of Florida v. Shelton Scarlet

SC00-2135

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

Approx. 11:10 While on probation for burglary, Scarlet was arrested during a traffic stop after officers found cocaine in his possession. Charges against him on the cocaine charge were dismissed after a trial court excluded the evidence as the fruit of an illegal search and seizure. However, possession of the cocaine was later introduced in a violation of probation proceeding and used against him. As a result, he received a sentence of 54 months in prison. On appeal, the Third District reversed on grounds the evidence could not be used on revocation of probation. Dade County
Charles Anderson v. State of Florida

SC95,773

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

Approx. 11:50 Anderson was charged with the January 1994 murder of Keinya Smith. He was tried and convicted, and the jury recommended the death penalty 8-to-4. The trial judge agreed. This is Anderson's direct appeal. Broward County

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Wednesday, August 29, 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
Henry W. Cook v. City of Jacksonville

SC00-1745& SC00-1908

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

9:00 These two cases involve legal challenges to amendments to home-rule charters imposing term limits on certain officeholders in Duval and Pinellas Counties. The district courts of appeal upheld these term limits, resulting in the present appeal. Duval County

Pinellas County

Thomas Lee Gudinas v. State of Florida

SC00-954& SC00-2495

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

Approx. 9:40 Gudinas was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for the May 1994 murder of Michelle McGrath outside Barbarella's Bar. His sentence was upheld an appeal. He now challenges its validity. Orange County
Rosalyn Ann Sanders v. State of Florida

SC00-1688

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

Approx. 10:30 On Feb. 1, 1997, Felix Parker was shot and killed near the intersection of Berwick and Park streets in Pensacola during a dispute over a drug deal. Sanders was arrested, tried and convicted of the murder, and sentenced to life in prison. On appeal she for the first time argued that the State had not proven all the elements of the offense. The First District Court rejected this claim but certified that its decision was in conflict with decisions of other district courts.  Escambia County

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Thursday, August 30, 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
The Florida Bar v. F. Lee Bailey

SC96,767

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

9:00 The Bar charged Bailey with alleged misconduct involving a transfer of corporate stock to Bailey from his client Claude Duboc in a federal criminal case. The Bar contends Bailey later misappropriated proceeds from the stock. The case was assigned to a hearing officer, who recommended that Bailey be disbarred.  Lee County

Tallahassee & South Florida connections

Dusty Ray Spencer v. State of Florida

SC00-1051& SC00-2588

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

Approx. 9:30 Spencer was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for the January 1992 murder of his wife Karen Spencer. His sentence was upheld on appeal. He now challenges its validity. Orange County
Noel Doorbal v. State of Florida

SC93,988

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

Approx. 10:10 Doorbal was charged with a variety of offenses involving the kidnapping and torture of several victims and the murders of Frank Griga and Krisztina Furton. He was tried, convicted and sentenced to death based on an 8-to-4 recommendation of the jury. This is his direct appeal. Dade County
Daniel Lugo v. State of Florida

SC93,994

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

Approx. 11:10 Lugo was charged with the same offenses allegedly committed by Noel Doorbal (above). He was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death based on an 11-to-1 recommendation of the jury. This is his direct appeal. Dade County

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Friday, August 31, 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
Maggie Knowles v. Beverly Enterprises-Florida, Inc.

SC00-1910

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

8:30 Knowles represents the estate of Gladstone Knowles, who allegedly received improper care in a nursing home operated by Beverly in violation of Florida's Nursing Home Statute. He later died of unrelated causes. Knowles sued after his death based on the alleged statutory violation. Beverly moved to dismiss the claim, and the dismissal was granted and eventually upheld by the Fourth District. Broward County
Barry I. Hechtman v. Nations Title Ins. of New York

SC00-2242

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

Approx. 9:10 Hechtman and others sued for alleged theft of their funds held in trust by Nations Title through its attorney, Jorge Hernandez. Their claim was based on a statute making insurance companies liable for thefts by their agents who were licensed by the Department of Insurance. Nations Title moved for summary judgment based on the fact that, as an attorney licensed by The Florida Bar, Hernandez was not subject to licensure by the Department. The trial judge granted the motion, and the Third District Court affirmed. Dade County
Charles W. Finney v. State of Florida

SC00-1351

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

N/A Removed from calendar Hillsborough County
Daniel O. Conahan, Jr. v. State of Florida

SC00-170

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Approx. 9:50 Conahan was charged with the April 1997 murder of Richard Montgomery. He waived jury trial and was later convicted by the court. During the penalty phase, the jury recommended the death penalty unanimously, and the trial judge imposed it. This is Conahan's direct appeal. Charlotte County



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