Oral Argument Schedule & Briefs

Oral Argument Schedule & Briefs

MARCH 5-7 , 2007

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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, March 5, 2007

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

Wayne Thomkins v. State of Florida

SC06-277

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

9:00

Mr. Tompkins was convicted of the 1983 strangulation murder of 15-year-old Lisa DeCarr. The jury voted unanimously to recommend a death sentence and he was condemned. His conviction and sentence were upheld on appeals until 2001, when the circuit court vacated his sentence. This Court, however, reversed that order and reinstated the death sentence. Mr. Tompkins filed another appeal in circuit court, arguing there was new evidence. The circuit court rejected the motion and Mr. Tompkins filed this appeal to the Supreme Court.

Hillsborough County

In re: Inquiry into Sealed Court Records

SC06-2136

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

Approx. 9:40

The Court considers a proposed rule change that would govern the sealing of court records and dockets. The recommendation, which was approved by committees of The Florida Bar, creates the procedure that parties must follow when they ask a court to make court records confidential. The recommendation also creates the procedure to be followed by anyone who challenges the sealing of records.

Statewide impact

Lumbermens Mutual Casualty Co. v. Ryan Incorporated Eastern

SC05-1816 | SC05-1935

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

Approx. 10:40

Ryan Incorporated, a general contractor building a Naples golf course called "Fiddler's Creek," was sued by the owner of the property over the quality of the grass supplied by a subcontractor. After the dispute was settled at mediation, Ryan and its surety, Hartford Fire Insurance Co., sued Lumbermens and Continental, Ryan's general liability insurers, for recovery of costs. The trial court issued a summary judgment for Lumbermens and Continental. Hartford Fire appealed to the Second District Court of Appeal, which ruled a surety may recover attorneys' fees and costs in a lawsuit against its principal's general liability insurer. The 2nd DCA also found that its decision conflicted with a ruling by the First District Court of Appeal in another case.

Collier County

United States Fire Insurance Co. v. J.S.U.B., Inc.

SC05-1295 | SC06-779

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

Approx. 11:20

U.S. Fire issued commercial general liability insurance policies to First Home Builders of Florida, which was a joint venture of J.S.U.B. and LOGUE Enterprises. First Home tried to recover the cost of repairing structural damage caused by the negligence of its subcontractors in preparing and testing the soil. U.S. Fire rejected the claim and First Home sued. The trial court ruled in favor of U.S. Fire but the Second District Court of Appeal reversed. U.S. Fire argues that Florida law has held consistently for nearly 40 years that there is no coverage under a commercial general liability policy for the cost of repairing or replacing a defective product or contractor's faulty workmanship. A similar legal issue is presented in Auto-Owners v. Pozzi Window.

Lee County

 

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

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 – Legislature convenes

 

 

 

 

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

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

Aircraft Holdings, LLC v. XL Specialty Insurance Co.

SC06-1303

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

9:00

Aircraft Holdings owns a Learjet that was insured by XL Specialty Insurance. After the plane was damaged, Aircraft Holdings sued XL, alleging breach of contract and bad faith. Aircraft Holdings sought access to correspondence between XL Specialty Insurance and its lawyers to prepare for the case. The trial court ruled Aircraft Holdings had a right to the documents. Citing attorney-client privilege, the First District Court of Appeal overturned that decision and certified the issue to this Court as one of great public importance.

Leon County

Billy Leon Kearse v. State of Florida

SC05-1876 | SC06-942

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

Approx. 9:40

Mr. Kearse was convicted of the 1991 murder of Fort Pierce Police Officer Danny Parrish, who was fatally shot. Mr. Kearse was condemned. On direct appeal, this Court vacated his death sentence and ordered a new penalty hearing. The jury voted unanimously to recommend a death sentence and Mr. Kearse was again condemned. That sentence was upheld by this Court on direct appeal and Mr. Kearse filed a post-conviction appeal in circuit court. It was denied and he filed this appeal. He raises several issues.

St. Lucie County

State of Florida v. Dean Kilgore

SC06-1763

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

Approx. 10:30

Mr. Kilgore was sentenced to death for the 1989 murder of fellow prison inmate, Emerson Jackson, who was fatally stabbed. At the time, Mr. Kilgore was serving two life sentences for a 1978 murder and kidnapping. Those crimes were part of the justification for his death sentence in the 1989 murder. During public records litigation in the collateral attack of the capital murder conviction and sentence, state attorney notes of interviews from the 1978 case were turned over to Mr. Kilgore. On the basis of these notes, Mr. Kilgore challenged the validity of his 1978 convictions and sentences. The state opposed that effort, arguing state law did not allow Mr. Kilgore's state-paid lawyers to challenge a non-capital conviction. The trial court agreed with the state and dismissed the challenge; the Second District Court of Appeal overturned the trial judge and asked this Court to rule on the issue.

Polk County

Troy Merck, Jr. v. State of Florida

SC04-1902

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

Approx. 11:10

Mr. Merck was convicted of the 1991 murder of James Newton, who was fatally stabbed. Mr. Merck was condemned. On direct appeal, this Court reversed the death sentence and ordered a new penalty hearing. After that hearing, Mr. Merck was condemned a second time. On direct appeal, this Court reversed the second death sentence and ordered another penalty hearing. After that hearing, the jury voted 9-3 to recommend a death sentence and Mr. Merck was condemned. This is his direct appeal.

Pinellas County

 

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

Thursday, March 8, 2007

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

 

 

 

 

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

Friday, March 9, 2007

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