Oral Argument Schedule & Briefs

Oral Argument Schedule & Briefs

January 5-9 & 27, 2009

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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, January 5, 2009

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

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

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: Michael E. Allen

SC07-774

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

9:00

First District Court of Appeal Judge Michael E. Allen has been summoned beforethe Court to receive a public reprimand for ethical misconduct. (Justices Canady& Polston recused.)

Leon County

 

Escambia County Connection

Florida Association of Professional Lobbyists v. Divisionof Legislative Information Services

SC08-791

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

Approx. 9:10

A lawsuit by lobbyists and others alleged that a 2005 state law regulating lobbyistsgives the Legislature the power to investigate and punish infractions of the lawand thus violates the separation of powers provision in the Florida Constitution.The lawsuit also alleged the law was invalidly passed and infringes on this Court'sexclusive authority to regulate the practice of law. A federal trial court upheld thelaw. The lobbyists appealed to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which hasasked this Court to determine if the law violates the Florida Constitution.

Leon County

Gerhard Hojan v. State of Florida

SC05-1687

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

Approx. 9:50

Mr. Hojan was convicted of the first-degree murders of Christina De La Rosa and Willy Absolu, who were fatally shot during a restaurant robbery in 2002. The jury voted 9-3 to recommend death sentences for each murder and he was condemned. This is his direct appeal. He raises several issues.

Broward County

In re: Florida Bar Rules – Computer Access to Communications

SC08-1181

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

Approx. 10:50

The Florida Bar is asking the Court to approve proposed changes to the rules regulating the way lawyers advertise using websites, e-mail and other computer-accessed advertisements. The recommendation concerning websites proposes a position in between full application of all lawyer advertising rules and no regulation. Under the Bar's proposal, a lawyer's homepage would have to comply with all substantive lawyer advertising regulations, while other portions of the website would only have to comply with some of the lawyer advertising requirements.

Statewide impact

 

 

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

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

Joseph Smith v. State of Florida

SC06-747

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

Approx. 9:00

A jury convicted Mr. Smith of the kidnapping, sexual battery and first-degree murder of 11-year-old Carlie Brucia, who was strangled in 2004. The jury voted 10-2 to recommend a death sentence and Mr. Smith was condemned. This is his direct appeal. He raises several issues.

Sarasota County

Mark Allen Geralds v. State of Florida

SC06-761 | SC07-716

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

9400

Mr. Geralds was convicted of the first-degree murder of Tressa Pettibone, who was fatally beaten and stabbed during a home robbery in 1989. Mr. Geralds was condemned to death but the sentence was overturned on direct appeal and another sentencing hearing was ordered. In that hearing, the jury voted unanimously to recommend a death sentence and Mr. Geralds was again condemned. This Court upheld the death sentence on direct appeal and Mr. Geralds filed a post-conviction challenge in trial court. It was denied and this appeal followed. Mr. Geralds raises various issues.

Bay County

The Florida Bar v. Noah Daniel Liberman

SC06-1874

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

Approx. 10:40

In this disciplinary case, The Florida Bar accuses Mr. Liberman of violating the ethical standards for attorneys. In circuit court, Mr. Liberman pled guilty to one first-degree felony count of drug trafficking. In the ethics case, Mr. Liberman and the Bar agreed to a three-year suspension from the practice of law. The judge assigned to the case as a referee recommended that sanction to this Court. However, the Supreme Court sent the case back to the referee, directing her to provide more details. The referee then held a hearing and following that hearing recommended disbarment. Mr. Liberman argues to this Court that the hearing was not fair and violated due process. He argues the disciplinary sanction should be a suspension of three years. The Florida Bar also supports a sanction of a three-year suspension.

Miami-Dade County

 

 

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

Thursday, January 8, 2009

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: George W. Maxwell, III

SC08-1285

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

9:00

The Supreme Court has ordered Judge Maxwell to appear for administration of a public reprimand for improper conduct.

Brevard County

Shaun Olmstead v. Federal Trade Commission

SC08-1009

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

Aprox. 9:10

The Federal Trade Commission accused Mr. Olmstead of running an advance-fee credit-card scam. The federal trial court agreed that he engaged in unfair and deceptive trade practices. The court ordered him to surrender his membership interest in several single-member limited-liability companies to satisfy the $10 million award. Mr. Olmstead appealed, arguing that Florida law did not allow a judgment creditor, like the FTC in this case, to seize a debtor's interest in a single-member limited-liability company. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has asked this Court to interpret Florida law.

Statewide impact

Kurt S. Browning v. Florida Hometown Democracy

SC08-884

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

Approx. 9:50

Florida Hometown Democracy, a political group that sponsors citizen initiatives, challenged a 2007 state law that allowed voters to revoke their signatures on petitions collected in the citizen initiative process. The trial court upheld the constitutionality of the law but the First District Court of Appeal reversed that decision and found that the law violated the Florida Constitution by imposing an unnecessary regulation on the citizen initiative process. Mr. Browning, the Florida Secretary of State, appealed that decision to this Court.

Statewide impact

Eugene W. McWatters v. State of Florida

SC07-51

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

Approx. 10:30

Mr. McWatters was convicted of the first-degree murder of Jackie Bradley, Christal Wiggins, and Carrie Caughey, who were strangled in 2004. The jury voted 9-3 to recommend a death sentence for the murder of Ms. Bradley and 10-2 to recommend death sentences for the murders of Ms. Wiggins and Ms. Caughey. Mr. McWatters was condemned. This is his direct appeal. He raises several issues.

Martin County

Jeremiah Martel Rodgers v. State of Florida

SC07-1652

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

Approx. 11:30

Mr. Rodgers was convicted of the first-degree murder of Jennifer Robinson, who was fatally shot in 1998. He was condemned to death but this Court overturned the sentence and ordered a new penalty hearing. At the second penalty hearing, Mr. Rodgers waived his right to a jury recommendation. The judge sentenced Mr. Rodgers to death a second time. This is his direct appeal.

Santa Rosa County

 

 

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

Friday, January 9, 2009

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 arguments scheduled 

 

 

 

 

 

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

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

In re: Advisory Opinion to the Governor re:Commission of Elected Judge

SC09-3

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

 9:00

William S. Abramson was a member in good standing of The Florida Bar whenhe qualified to run for election as a circuit judge and when he won the election in2008. Before he received his commission from the Governor, the Florida SupremeCourt suspended his law license for 91 days starting January 2, 2009. To date, theGovernor has not transmitted the commission to Abramson, who argues that hemeets all constitutional requirements to be a judge. As a result, the Governorrequested an advisory opinion as to his duties in this matter. The Florida Bar hasfiled a brief arguing that Abramson is not qualified to be a judge.

Justice Jorge Labarga is recused.

Palm Beach County