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[SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA]
Oral Argument Press Summaries
October 31 to November 4, 2005

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, October 31, 2005

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

Michael Gordon Reynolds v. State of Florida

SC03-1919

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

9:00

Reynolds was convicted of the 1998 second-degree murder of Danny Ray Privett, the first-degree murder of Robin Razor and the first-degree murder of Privett's and Razor's 11-year-old daughter, Christina Razor. The jury voted unanimously to recommend that he be sentenced to death for the first-degree murders and he was condemned. This is his first appeal. He raises several issues.

Seminole County

Timothy Thomas Koile v. State of Florida

SC05-132

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

Approx. 10:00

Koile pleaded guilty to the second-degree murder of Sean Cousins and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Cousins' family sought restitution and the judge ordered Koile to pay $2 million to Cousins' estate for lost future income and $19,000 to his parents for lost wages and expenses connected to their attendance of Koile's trial. The 5th District Court of Appeal reversed the restitution for Cousins' parents. The District Court upheld the restitution for the future lost income but reversed the award to be recalculated. The District Court also asked the Supreme Court if state law authorizes restitution for those two reasons.

Osceola County

 

 


Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

Tuesday, November 1, 2005

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

Randy Schoenwetter v. State of Florida

SC04-53

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

9:00

Schoenwetter confessed to the August 2000 murders of Ronald Friskey and his 10-year-old daughter, Virginia. A jury voted 10-2 to recommend death for Virginia's murder and 9-3 to recommend death for Ronald's murder. Schoenwetter was condemned for both. This is his first appeal. He raises several issues. Amicus briefs were filed by MAAP Services for Autism and Asperger Spectrum and two professors from Yale and Oxford. The amici argue Schoenwetter suffers from Asperger's Syndrome, a neurologically-based development disorder similar to autism. They argue that people with Asperger's may not be able to form the intent needed for a capital murder. At a minimum, they argue, it must be given serious weight at sentencing.

Brevard County

District Board of Trustees v. Don R. Morgan

SC05-304

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

Approx. 10:00

A contract dispute between St. Johns River Community College and Morgan, an architect hired to design a theater, resulted in a jury finding Morgan guilty of fraud and the college guilty of breach of contract. The jury found that both parties were damaged. After balancing those two findings, the trial court awarded damages to Morgan. The college appealed to the 5th District Court of Appeal, which upheld the award. The District Court also certified conflict with a 1991 ruling by the 1st District Court of Appeal regarding whether a statutory violation of the requirement to obtain a certificate of authority renders a contract for architectural services void or voidable.

Putnam County

Vector Products, Inc. V. Hartford Fire Insurance Co.

SC05-168

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

Approx. 10:40

Vector, a Florida company, was accused of false advertising by Schumacher Electric Corp. in a federal lawsuit filed in Illinois. Both companies make portable battery chargers. Vector was insured by Hartford, but Hartford refused to defend Vector in the case. Hartford argued Schumacher's claim that Vector intentionally made false advertising claims triggered an exclusion provision in Vector's insurance policy. Vector sued Hartford in state court alleging breach of contract; Hartford transferred the case to federal court. The federal judge granted Hartford's motion for summary judgment. Vector appealed to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The 11th U.S. Circuit sent the case to the Florida Supreme Court to decide how state law determines the duty of an insurer to defend a customer in a strict liability cause of action under the Lanham Act.

Broward County

 

 


Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

Wednesday, November 2, 2005

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: David M. Gooding

SC04-133

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

9:00

Circuit Judge David M. Gooding has been ordered to appear before the Court to be publicly reprimanded for judicial misconduct.

Duval County

Anthony Mungin v. State of Florida

SC03-780 | SC03-1774

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

Approx. 9:10

Mungin was convicted of the September 1990 murder of Betty Jean Woods, who was shot during a convenience store robbery. His jury voted 7-to-5 to recommend death and he was condemned. His conviction and sentence were upheld on direct appeal. This is his second appeal.

Duval County

Robert Consalvo v. State of Florida

SC04-520

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

N/A

Removed from Calendar

Broward County

Robert Lavon Sanders v. State of Florida; State of Florida v. Solomon Willis

SC03-640 | SC03-642

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

Approx. 9:50

In Columbia County, Sanders was charged and convicted of aiding and abetting an armed robbery with a firearm and one county of burglary while armed. In Broward, Willis was charged with armed kidnaping but convicted of false imprisonment, a lesser-included offense. He was also charged and convicted of robbery with a firearm. Sanders challenged his convictions, arguing his trial attorney was ineffective for failing to ask that the jury be instructed on the lesser included offense of robbery with a weapon. Willis made a similar challenge regarding his robbery convictions. The 1st District Court of Appeal disagreed with Sanders; the 4th District Court of Appeal agreed with Willis and sent the issue to the Supreme Court to settle.

Columbia County

Broward County

Beth Linn v. Basil D. Fossum, M.D.

SC05-134

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

Approx. 10:30

Linn sued Fossum for medical malpractice; the jury ruled in favor of Fossum and the 1st District Court of Appeal upheld that verdict. The issue now before the Supreme Court deals with testimony from an expert witness. Linn argues the witness relied so heavily on other experts that her testimony amounted to hearsay. Linn also argues the decision by the 1st District Court conflicts with a decision by the 4th District Court of Appeal in a similar case.

Okaloosa County

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

Thursday, November 3, 2005

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

Anthony Lamarca v. State of Florida

SC03-1815 | SC04-847

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

9:00

LaMarca was convicted of the December 1995 murder of Kevin Flynn, his son-in-law. After the sentencing hearing, in which LaMarca acted as his own attorney and refused to present mitigating evidence, the jury voted 11-to-1 to recommend a death sentence and he was condemned. The Supreme Court upheld his conviction and sentence and LaMarca filed an appeal in circuit court. It was denied and the appeal is now before the Supreme Court.

Pinellas County

John M. Buzia v. State of Florida

SC04-582

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

Approx. 9:40

Buzia was convicted of the murder of his 71-year-old employer, Charles Kersch, who was fatally beaten in his home during a robbery. The jury voted 8-to-4 to recommend death and he was condemned. This is his direct appeal.

Seminole County

State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. V. Margaret Roach

SC04-2313

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

Approx. 10:40

The issue is whether Florida law dictates the scope of insurance coverage for auto policies that are sold to "snowbirds' in other states but then relied on in Florida. Margaret Roach was injured in a car crash in Lake Wales in January 2001. She was a passenger in a car owned and driven by an Indiana man who spent about half of each year in Florida. She sued State Farm, seeking underinsured motorist benefits. State Farm denied benefits, citing the terms of the policy and Indiana law. Roach argued the benefits would be provided under Florida law. The trial judge ruled in favor of State Farm. But the 2nd District Court of Appeal reversed, based on the length of time the policyholder spent in Florida.

Polk County

Gulfstream Park Racing Association, Inc. v. Tampa Bay Downs, Inc.

SC05-251

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

Approx. 11:20

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has asked the Florida Supreme Court whether state law bans a thoroughbred racetrack in Florida from obtaining exclusive rights to disseminate the broadcast simulcast signal from an out-of-state track to other tracks and jai-alai frontons in Florida. An answer is needed to settle the federal lawsuit between Gulfstream Park Racing Association and Tampa Bay Downs.

Hillsborough County

 

 


Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

Friday, November 4, 2005

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

 

 

 

 

 



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