Oral Argument Schedule & Briefs

Oral Argument Schedule & Briefs

September 18-22, 2006

Briefs in Other Cases
Next Month's Tentative ArgumentsPDF Download
Previous Oral Arguments
Transcripts of Previous Oral Arguments

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, September 18, 2006

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: Richard H. Albritton, Jr.

SC05-851

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

9:00

Circuit Judge Richard H. Albritton Jr. has been ordered to appear before the Court to be publicly reprimanded for judicial misconduct.

Bay County

The Florida Bar v. Francisco Ramon Rodriguez

SC03-909

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

Approx. 9:10

Mr. Rodriguez represented growers suing DuPont for crop damage caused by the fungicide Benlate. After negotiating a $59 million settlement, Mr. Rodriguez entered into a confidential arrangement with DuPont that earned his firm $6.4 million. The Florida Bar alleged this was a conflict of interest. The referee agreed. Mr. Rodriguez argues this Court should dismiss the case. The Bar argues he should be made to forfeit the $1.6 million he earned.

Miami-Dade County

The Florida Bar v. Paul D. Friedman

SC02-2430

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

Approx. 9:30

The Florida Bar filed ethics charges against Mr. Friedman in connection with his firm’s confidential arrangement with DuPont, which paid the firm funds in addition to the lawsuit settlement DuPont offered the firm’s 20 Benlate clients. The Bar and Mr. Friedman agreed to a proposed settlement earlier but now disagree as to what discipline should be imposed.

Miami-Dade County

The Florida Bar v. Roland Raymond St. Louis, Jr.

SC04-49

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

Approx. 9:50

The Florida Bar filed ethics charges against Mr. St. Louis in connection with his representation of 20 growers suing DuPont for damage to crops by the fungicide Benlate. While representing the growers, Mr. St. Louis entered into a confidential agreement with DuPont. The referee found Mr. St. Louis guilty of some but not all of the charges and recommended a $2 million fee forfeiture and other sanctions.

Miami-Dade County

Ronald Lee Williams v. State of Florida

SC05-226 | SC05-1579

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

Approx. 10:10

Mr. Williams was convicted of the 1988 murders of Derek Hill, Mario Douglas, Michael McCormick and Mildred Baker. The jury recommended a life sentence but the judge sentenced him to death. This court upheld the convictions and death sentences on direct appeal and Mr. Williams filed his first post-conviction appeal in trial court. It was rejected and he has appealed that decision to this court, raising several issues. He also filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus.

Escambia County

 

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

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

David Wyatt Jones v. State of Florida

SC04-2217 | SC05-1612

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

9:00

Mr. Jones was convicted of the 1995 murder of Lori McRae, who was kidnaped from a parking lot and likely strangled. His jury voted 9-3 to recommend a death sentence and he was condemned. This court upheld Mr. Jones' sentence and conviction and he filed a post-conviction appeal in trial court. It was denied and this appeal of that decision followed.

Duval County

State of Florida v. Lorenzo Cephus Johnson

SC06-86

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

Approx. 9:40

Mr. Johnson appealed his drug conviction to the Second District Court of Appeal. He argued that the trial judge violated his constitutional right to confront the evidence against him by admitting into evidence a lab report written by an analyst who did not testify. The 2nd DCA agreed with him and certified the issue as one of great public importance for this Court to consider.

Hillsborough County

Robert S. Peters v. State of Florida

SC06-341

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

Approx. 10:30

A trial judge revoked Mr. Peters' community control sentence after the state alleged he tested positive for drugs. Mr. Peters appealed to the First District Court of Appeal, arguing his constitutional right to confront the evidence against him was violated when the judge allowed the state to rely on a report from the lab company. The 1st DCA disagreed and Mr. Peters appealed that decision to this court.

Walton County

Robert Ira Peede v. State of Florida

SC04-2094 | SC05-1885

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

Approx. 11:10

Mr. Peede was convicted of the 1983 stabbing murder of his wife, Darla Peede. The jury voted 11-1 to recommend a death sentence and he was condemned. This Court upheld his conviction and sentence on direct appeal. The governor signed a death warrant in 1988, but Mr. Peede's execution was stayed indefinitely. The trial court summarily denied his first post-conviction motion, and on appeal, this Court remanded for an evidentiary hearing on numerous claims. After the evidentiary hearing, the trial court again denied relief. This appeal follows. He raises several issues, including argument that he was not competent to stand trial or to proceed with the evidentiary hearing in his post-conviction motion.

Orange County

 

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

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

American Honda Motor Corp. V. Jennifer Cerasani

SC05-1907

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

9:00

Ms. Cerasani sued American Honda over rattles, squeaks, vibrations and other problems with her new Civic. A trial judge agreed with American Honda that Ms. Cerasani was not covered by a federal law that allows consumers to sue businesses for breach of warranty because she had leased her car rather than purchased it. But the Second District Court of Appeal overturned that decision, ruling that the federal law did cover consumers who lease cars. The 2nd DCA also certified conflict with the First District Court of Appeal, which had reached the opposite conclusion in an earlier case.

Pinellas County

Omar Blanco v. State of Florida

SC03-1328

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

Approx. 9:40

Mr. Blanco was convicted of the 1982 murder of John Ryan, who was fatally shot during a home burglary. His first death sentence was vacated on federal appeal and he was sentenced a second time. The jury voted 10-2 to recommend a death sentence and the trial court again imposed a death sentence. This court upheld his second death sentence and Mr. Blanco filed a post-conviction appeal in trial court. It was denied and he challenges that decision in this appeal.

Broward County

The Florida Bar v. Elizabeth Martinez-Genova

SC04-2365

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

Approx. 10:30

Ms. Martinez-Genova was suspended from the practice of law in 2004 following an examination of her use of client funds. The Florida Bar filed ethics charges against her, and the judge hearing the case found her guilty and recommended as discipline a three-year suspension followed by two years of probation if she were reinstated to the practice of law. The Bar argues that she should be disbarred. Ms. Martinez-Genova argues the judge's recommendation should be approved.

Miami-Dade County

Steven Maurice Evans v. State of Florida

SC05-161 | SC05-1526

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

Approx. 11:00

Mr. Evans was convicted of the 1996 murder of Kenneth Lewis, who was fatally shot. The jury voted 11-1 to recommend a death sentence and he was condemned. This court upheld his conviction and sentence and he filed a post-conviction appeal in trial court, which was denied. In his appeal to this Court, Mr. Evans raises several issues, including an argument that execution would be cruel and unusual because of his physical handicap of blindness and his mental illness. The state argues that he has been found competent and that blindness resulted from a disease that developed after the crime and is unrelated to his sentence.

Orange County

 

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

Thursday, September 21, 2006

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

James Frank Pizzo v. State of Florida

SC05-1951

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

9:00

Mr. Pizzo was convicted of several counts of mortgage fraud and grand theft and one count each of organized fraud, conspiracy to commit racketeering and racketeering. The convictions stemmed from operations of his family-owned business, which sold windows, siding and other home-improvement materials via telemarketing and direct sales. He was sentenced to prison for 15 years. On appeal, the Second District Court of Appeal affirmed the racketeering conviction and reversed the mortgage fraud and conspiracy to commit racketeering convictions because of erroneous jury instructions Because the 2nd DCA was unable to determine whether grand theft or organized fraud was the lesser offense in the double jeopardy context, it reversed both and remanded the determination to the trial court.

Sarasota County

Demello Bolware v. State of Florida

SC04-12

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

Approx. 9:40

Mr. Bolware's drivers license was suspended for five years after he pleaded no contest in county court to driving with a suspended or revoked license. He appealed to circuit court, arguing that his attorney did not advise him of the five-year suspension and that, consequently, his plea cannot be considered voluntary. The circuit court agreed with Mr. Bolware. The state appealed that decision to the First District Court of Appeal, which overturned it and reinstated the county court's decision.

Bay County

Chadwick Willacy v. State of Florida

SC05-189 | SC05-2021

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

Approx. 10:30

Mr. Willacy was convicted of murdering Marlys Sather, who died of smoke inhalation after being beaten, strangled and set on fire during a home burglary in September 1990. The jury voted 9-3 to recommend a death sentence and he was condemned. His sentence was overturned on direct appeal and he was given a second sentence hearing. The jury voted 11-1 to recommend a death sentence and he was condemned again. That sentence was upheld by this Court on direct appeal and he filed his first post-conviction appeal in trial court. It was denied and he has appealed that ruling to this Court, raising several issues.

Brevard County

Ronnie Keith Williams v. State of Florida

SC04-857

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

Approx. 11:10

Mr. Williams was convicted of the murder of Lisa Dyke, who was attacked in January 1993 and died in early February. He was condemned to death. Both the sentence and conviction were reversed and Mr. Williams was tried a second time and convicted. The jury voted 10-2 to recommend a death sentence and he was condemned again. This is his direct appeal of that conviction and sentence.

Broward County

 

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

Friday, September 22, 2006

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: Brandt C. Downey III

SC05-2228

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

8:30

Circuit Judge Brandt C. Downey III has been ordered to appear before the Court to be publicly reprimanded for judicial misconduct.

Pinellas County

Echevarria McCalla Raymer etc. v. Bradley Cole

SC05-564

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

Approx. 8:40

The issue in this case is whether a recent decision by the First District Court of Appeal is in conflict with decisions of other DCAs on the issue of litigation immunity privilege. That common-law doctrine means attorneys and other participants in a lawsuit cannot be held liable for statements or acts made in connection with a lawsuit. This case stems from a lawsuit brought by Mr. Cole against the Echevarria law firms. In the lawsuit, Mr. Cole alleges that the law firm violated state law by lying about fees and expenses incurred by the law firm as part of its mortgage foreclosure business. The Echevarria law firms deny the charges were false.

Leon County

The Florida Bar v. Joseph Francis Keeley III

SC04-48

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

Approx. 9:20

The Florida Bar charged Mr. Keeley with misconduct related to the record-keeping and trust accounting procedures he used in representing the personal representative of an estate. The judge appointed to hear the case recommended that he be found guilty and disbarred. Mr. Keeley argues in his appeal to this Court that the judge's findings of act and conclusions were clearly erroneous.

Palm Beach County

Glen Edward Rogers v. State of Florida

SC05-732 | SC05-1730

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

Approx. 9:50

Mr. Rogers was convicted of the November 1995 murder of Tina Marie Cribbs, who was fatally stabbed. The jury voted unanimously to recommend death and he was condemned. This Court upheld the conviction and sentence on direct appeal and Mr. Rogers filed his first post-conviction appeal in trial court. It was denied and he has appealed that judgment to this Court. He raises several issues.

Hillsborough County

State of Florida v. Ransom Louis Collins

SC05-108

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

Approx. 10:30

Mr. Collins entered an open no contest plea to the charge of robbery and was sentenced as a habitual felony offender. At sentencing, Mr. Collins' attorney objected that the evidence presented by the State was insufficient to demonstrate that his prior convictions met the statutory requirements for habitual felony offender sentencing. The Second District Court of Appeal reversed Mr. Collins' habitual felony offender sentence and remanded for resentencing under the Criminal Punishment Code. The Second District held that, because an objection was raised in the original sentencing, the State is not permitted an opportunity on remand to produce new evidence that Collins qualifies for a habitual felony offender sentence

Lee County