[SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA]
Oral Argument Press Summaries
November 6-10, 2000

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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Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Monday, November 6, 2000
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
Bonnie Rosen v. Florida Insurance Guaranty Ass'n

#95,889

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

9:00 Rosen hired a law firm and later sued it for allegedly overbilling her and negligently handling her lawsuit. The firm was insured up to $1 million, but the insurance company was declared insolvent and went into state receivership. Florida Insurance Guaranty contended it did not have to pay all of Rosen's claims, and the trial court agreed. On appeal, the First District Court affirmed. Duval County
Richard Barry Randolph v. State of Florida

#93,675

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

Approx. 9:40 Randolph was tried and sentenced to death for the August 15, 1988, murder of Minnie Ruth McCollum in Palatka. His sentence was upheld on appeal. He now challenges its validity. Putnam County
William G. Bell v. Janet Snyder

#99-92

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

Approx. 10:30 In 1976, Malvern Bell married Frances Miller Wynn. In 1995, Malvern Bell died while Frances Snyder was living in a convalescence home in Tennessee. In settling Malvern's estate, law suits arose between Janet Snyder, Frances's daughter from a previous marriage, and William G. Bell, the personal representative of Malvern's estate. Ms. Snyder also sued the estate for, among other things, civil theft of a $122,634.59 check made payable to Frances Bell. William Bell counterclaimed against Ms. Snyder for conversion and spoliation of evidence. Bell claimed that Ms. Snyder had removed and concealed Malvern Bell's financial records. Both parties were awarded damages on their respective claims. However, the trial court denied Snyder's request for treble damages on the civil theft charge. The Second District Court of Appeal reversed, holding that Snyder was entitled to treble damages against the estate.  Sarasota County
Thomas Davis Woodel v. State of Florida

#95,110

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

Approx. 11:10 Woodel was tried and convicted for the December 31, 1996, murders of Clifford and Bernice Moody in a mobile home park in Polk County. The jury recommended the death penalty 12-to-0 for Bernice Moody, and 9-to-3 for Clifford Moody. The trial judge imposed death on both counts. This is Woodel's direct appeal. Polk County

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Tuesday, November 7, 2000
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
Charlie Thompson v. State of Florida

#96,641 & #00-473

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

9:00 Thompson was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1986 murders of William Russel Swack and Nancy Walker. The jury recommended death by a vote of 7-to-5, and the trial court imposed the death penalty. His sentence was upheld on appeal. Thompson now challenges its validity. Hillsborough County
Florida Dept. of Transportation v. Angelo Juliano

#99-153

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

Approx. 9:40 Angelo Juliano brought a negligence action against the Florida Department of Corrections after being injured on the job. Although he was collecting workers' compensation benefits, he also filed a negligence suit. FDOT filed a motion for summary judgment raising a workers' compensation immunity defense, which was denied by the trial court and affirmed by the Third District on interlocutory appeal. Upon remand, DOT filed a second motion for summary judgment. The trial court denied the motion. On appeal to the Third District the court held that DOT could not raise or reraise any aspect of its workers' compensation defense on remand after the first appeal.  Monroe County
Fremont Indemnity Co. v. Carey, Dwyer Eckhart Mason & Spring, P.A.

#99-86

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

Approx. 10:30 Freemont filed suit against Carey Dwyer for alleged legal malpractice in representing one of Freemont's insureds, an architectural firm sued over alleged structural failure of a building under construction. Carey Dwyer represented Freemont in the late 1980s before it was fired. On February 21, 1995 Freemont settled one claim allegedly arising from Carey Dwyer's malpractice, and filed suit against the law firm in February 14, 1997. The U.S. District Court dismissed on grounds the two-year statute of limitations had run. On appeal, the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court certified the question to the Supreme Court.  Dade County
Byron Bryant v. State of Florida

#94,902

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

Approx. 11:10 Bryant was convicted and sentenced to death for the December 16, 1991, murder of Leonard Andre, which occurred during the course of an armed robbery of Andre's Market in Delray Beach, Florida. In this direct appeal, Bryant challenges the validity of his sentence arguing that, among other things, the trial court erred in finding him competent to stand trial and in requiring Bryant to be held in restraints during trial based on a chair-throwing incident which occurred in a previous trial. Palm Beach County

 

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Wednesday, November 8, 2000
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: Kenton H. Haymans

#96,830

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

9:00 Judge Haymans has been ordered to appear before the Court to be publicly reprimanded for ethical misconduct. Charlotte County
Elmer Carroll v. State of Florida

#94,611 & #00-46

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

Approx. 9:10 Carroll was tried and sentenced to death for the Oct. 30, 1990, murder and sexual battery of Christine McGowan. His sentence was upheld on direct appeal. He now challenges its validity. Orange County
Enterprise Leasing Co. v. Josiah Jones

#00-219

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

Approx. 9:50 This case involves whether a party must allege with specificity facts in support of a motion to disqualify a judge when another party in the case discloses to the judge confidential communications that have taken place during mediation, or whether disclosure of such information to the judge creates a presumption of bias or prejudice so that the judge may be automatically disqualified. Brevard County
State of Florida v. Freddie Lee Williams

#94,989

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

Approx. 10:30 Williams was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of Mary Robinson. His conviction and sentence were upheld on appeal. He now challenges the validity of his sentence. Orange County
Donna Gracey v. Donald Eaker

#00-153

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

Approx. 11:10 Donna and Joseph Gracey sought emotional distress damages from their psychotherapist for his alleged revealing of confidential communications. The trial court dismissed the Graceys' Fourth Amended Complaint with prejudice, and the Fifth District affirmed. However, the Fifth District also certified a question of great importance to the Florida Supreme Court as to whether there should be an exception to Florida's "impact rule," which sets down certain requirements for the recovery of emotional distress damages that result from a party's negligence, in situations in which a statutorily-imposed duty of confidentiality is breached. Orange County

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Thursday, November 9, 2000
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 Automobile Insurance Co. v. Marisol Rodriguez

#00-111 & #00-112

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

9:00 Rodriguez sued her insurer, United Automobile, over unpaid medical bills incurred in a traffic accident. In the companion case, Juana Maria Perez did he same. On appeal, the Third District Court held that both were entitled to payment and interest for their unpaid bills. Dade County
George Garbutt v. Rosemary LaFarnara

#99-53

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

N/A REMOVED FROM CALENDAR Pinellas County
Harry Butler v. State of Florida

#95,158

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

Approx. 9:40 Harry Butler was convicted and sentenced to death for the March 1997 murder of Leslie Fleming, his ex-girlfriend. He now appeals his death sentence. Pinellas County
State of Florida v. Gregory Maynard

#95,782

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

Approx. 10:40 Maynard pled no contest to the charge of carrying a concealed firearm but reserved the right to appeal the trial court's order denying his motion to suppress the firearm. Maynard was stopped by police after receiving information from a person claiming to be Maynard's mother that Maynard was carrying the firearm in his backpack. The Second District Court found that the police did not have reasonable suspicion to stop Maynard and reversed the trial court's decision.  Pinellas County

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Friday, November 10, 2000
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
VETERANS DAY -- COURT CLOSED



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