[SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA]
Oral Argument Press Summaries
May 8-12, 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, May 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
Amendments to Florida Rules of Judicial Administration

#99-162

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

9:00 A Court committee has proposed new Rules of Court to implement the Kayla McKean Act, which deals with children who are the victims of abuse, abandonment, or neglect. Statewide impact
David R. May v. Illinois National Insurance Co.

No. 96,652

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

Approx. 9:40 On Sept. 21, 1991, a vehicle driven by Oscar Bradley in Holmes County collided with another vehicle, injuring Donald J. Prockup, Sr., and killing Inez Prockup. Mr. Prockup later petitioned the Escambia County Probate Court to appoint Robert May as administrator ad litem of Bradley's estate. Prockup alleged he had a claim against Bradley's estate because of the accident. After a complex series of legal proceedings, May filed a "bad faith" action against Illinois National based on an insurance policy it had issued to Bradley. The federal district court granted summary judgment in favor of Illinois National, and on appeal, the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals certified a question to the Florida Supreme Court regarding the interpretation of Florida law. Escambia County

Holmes County connection

Carlton Francis v. State of Florida

No. 94,385

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Approx. 10:30 On July 24, 1997, two 66-year-old twin sisters-Claire Blunt and Bernice Flegel-were stabbed to death during a robbery of their home on Ware Drive in West Palm Beach. Francis was arrested, tried, and convicted of the murders, and the jury recommended the death penalty 8-to-4. The trial judge imposed it. This is Francis' direct appeal. Palm Beach County

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Tuesday, May 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
Milo A. Rose v. State of Florida

No. 95,227

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9:00 Rose was convicted and sentenced to death for the October 1982 murder of Robert "Butch" Richardson. His conviction and sentence were upheld on appeal. He now challenges the validity of his sentence. Pinellas County
Michael George Bruno, Sr. v. State of Florida

No. 92,223

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Approx. 9:40 Bruno was convicted and sentenced to death for the August 1986 murder of Lionel Merlano. His conviction and sentence were upheld on appeal. He now challenges the validity of his sentence. Broward County
Becky S. Torrey v. Leesburg Regional Medical Center

No. 95,841

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Approx. 10:30  Torrey sued Leesburg Regional and others for damages allegedly sustained in the death of Helen Rose Woodard, whose estate she represented. The suit was not signed by Torrey, however, but by a Michigan attorney not licensed to practice law in Florida. The trial court dismissed the suit. On appeal, the Fifth District Court held that the signature was not legally sufficient. Lake County
Bryan Frederick Jennings v. State of Florida

No. 93,056

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Approx. 10:50 Jennings was convicted and sentenced to death for the May 11, 1979, murder of Rebecca Kunash. On appeal his conviction and sentence were upheld. He now challenges the validity of his sentence. Broward County

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Wednesday, May 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
Inquiry Concerning a Judge: Alan R. Schwartz

No. 95,422

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9:00 The Supreme Court has ordered Schwartz, a judge on the Third District Court of Appeal in Miami, to appear for administration of a public reprimand for improper conduct. Dade County
The Natural Parents of J.B. v. Florida Dept. of Children & Family Services

No. 96,171

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Approx. 9:05 The natural parents of J.B. were accused of child abuse allegedly involving Munchausen's Syndrome by Proxy in a case extensively reported in the media. The Department eventually brought proceedings to terminate parental rights. The parents asked that the proceedings be open to the public despite a state statute closing all such proceedings to the public. The trial court declared the statute unconstitutional. On appeal, the Fourth District Court reversed but certified the question to the Supreme Court. Broward County
Bryan Gordon v. State of Florida

No. 96,834

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Approx. 9:45 After he shot a man during a robbery outside the Full Moon Saloon, Gordon was charged with four separate crimes. A jury found him guilty, but Gordon argued he could not be sentenced for multiple offenses based on a single incident because of the constitutional prohibition against double jeopardy. The trial judge found that he could only be sentenced on two of the crimes, but the Fifth District Court reversed and ordered him sentenced on all four. Orange County
Arthur Dennis Rutherford v. Michael W. Moore

#99-150

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Approx. 10:30 Rutherford was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1985 murder and armed robbery of sixty-three-year-old Stella Salamon, whose body was found in the bathtub of her home in Milton, Florida. His conviction and sentence were upheld on appeal. He now challenges the validity of his sentence.  Santa Rosa County
State of Florida v. Paul W. Kirby

No. 96,428

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Approx. 11:10 Kirby was convicted of DUI and, based on his three prior DUI convictions, was sentenced for felony DUI. On appeal, he argued that one of his prior convictions could not be used against him on grounds he pled to the charge without benefit of an attorney. The First District Court agreed and ordered his conviction reduced to misdemeanor DUI.  Gadsden County

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Thursday, May 11, 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
Rob Turner v. Hillsborough County Aviation Authority

No. 96,674

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9:00 The Aviation Authority leases property to the New York Yankees for use as a minor league training facility. Both applied for a property tax exemption on grounds the training facility served a governmental purpose under the law. Turner, the property appraiser, denied the exemption. The Value Adjustment Board later reversed the denial, and Turner sued. The trial judge dismissed the suit, and the Second District Court agreed with that result. Hillsborough County
Lawrence Fuchs v. Joel W. Robbins

Nos. 96,182 & 96,183

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Approx. 9:40 In the early 1990s, Miami Beach Ocean Resort acquired and began renovating a hotel built in the 1940s. Renovation were not completed by Jan. 1, 1992, the date at which property is assessed for tax purposes. The tax appraiser, Joel Robbins, assessed the property at more than $6 million for the tax year, but the Value Adjustment Board reduced this to $50,000. Robbins sued, and the trial judge reinstated his assessment. The Third District Court affirmed. Dade County
Raymond P. Murphy v. Lee County

No. 96,997

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Approx. 10:30 In May 1999, Lee County filed suit to validate a bond issue to purchase an existing private water system in the Town of Fort Myers Beach. Murphy, a citizen, objected on grounds the Town needed to give its consent before the County could buy the water system. The trial judge disagreed and validated the bonds. Lee County
Lawrence Singleton v. State of Florida

No. 93,035

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Approx. 11:10 Singleton was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for the Feb. 19, 1997, murder of Roxanne Hayes. In the penalty phase, the jury recommended the death penalty 10-to-2, and the judge imposed it. This is Singleton's direct appeal. Hillsborough County

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Friday, May 12, 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
NO CASES SCHEDULED



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