May 2020 Summaries

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This webpage for oral argument week is continuously updated. Summaries are provided to assist the press and public better understand each case. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2020 

SC19-2116 Advisory Opinion to the Attorney General Re: Adult Use of Marijuana

Statewide - starts at 9:00 a.m. ET

The Attorney General has petitioned the Court to review a proposed citizens' initiative on the adult use of marijuana, asking whether it meets two legal requirements: (1) It contains only a single subject; and (2) It has a fair ballot summary. The Court will also consider whether a new law affects its review of the initiative.

Appearance for the Attorney General:
Amit Agarwal, Solicitor General, Tallahassee, 850-414-3300

Appearance for the Florida Senate:
Jeremiah Hawkes, General Counsel, Tallahassee, 850-487-5237

Appearance for Opponents, Drug Free America Foundation, Florida Coalition Alliance, National Families in Action, and Smart Approaches to Marijuana:
Jeremy D. Bailie of Weber, Crabb & Wein, P.A., St. Petersburg, 727-828-9919

Appearance for Opponents, Florida Chamber of Commerce, Floridians Against Recreational Marijuana, Save Our Society from Drugs, and National Drug-Free Workplace Alliance:
Jason Gonzalez of Schutts & Bowen LLP, Tallahassee, 850-241-1717

Appearance for Sponsor:
George Levesque of GrayRobinson, P.A., Tallahassee, 850-577-9090

SC18-1390 MRI Associates of Tampa, Inc. Etc. v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company

Hillsborough County - starts about 10:10 a.m.

MRI Associates of Tampa submitted bills to State Farm for medical services provided to individuals insured under State Farm’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policy. MRI Associates of Tampa and State Farm disagreed on the amounts payable and the calculation method used to determine reasonable charges for reimbursement according to State Farm’s PIP policy and Florida law. The trial court ruled against State Farm and its calculation method. State Farm appealed to the Second District Court of Appeal, which reversed the decision of the trial court but certified a question of great public importance to this Court.

Appearance for Petitioner: 
David M. Caldevilla of de la Parte & Gilbert, P.A., Tampa, 813-229-2775

Appearance for Respondent:
Marcy L. Aldrich of Akerman LLP, Miami, 305-374-5600

-- 15-minute break --

SC19-912 State of Florida v. Brian K. McKenzie

Orange County - starts about 11:05 a.m.

Mr. McKenzie was sentenced to six months incarceration, two years community control, and three years probation for engaging in sexual activity with a child. After Mr. McKenzie completed his sentence, the State of Florida filed a notice to designate him as a sexual predator, and the trial court imposed the designation. Mr. McKenzie appealed to the Fifth District Court of Appeal arguing that the trial court did not have the authority to designate him as a sexual predator. The Fifth DCA agreed with Mr. McKenzie. The State of Florida asks this Court to review the decision because it conflicts with another appellate court decision.

Appearance for Petitioner: 
Jeffrey P. DeSousa, Deputy Solicitor General, Tallahassee, 850-414-3300

Appearance for Respondent: 
Terrence E. Kehoe of Law Office of Terrence E. Kehoe, Orlando, 407-422-4147

SC19-1464 Florida Department of Health, Etc., et. al. v. Florigrown, LLC, et. al.

Leon County - starts about 11:45 a.m.

In 2016, voters approved an amendment to the state constitution to allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes. The Amendment requires the Department of Health to issue regulations to implement and enforce its safe use. In 2017, the Florida Legislature amended a Florida statute governing medical marijuana in relation to the constitutional Amendment. Florigrown and others filed a lawsuit in the trial court challenging the constitutionality of the statute. The trial court entered a temporary injunction against the enforcement of the statute based on a determination that Florigrown has a substantial likelihood of success on the merits of its claims. The Department of Health appealed to the First District Court of Appeal, which agreed with the trial court but certified a question of great public importance to this Court for review.

Appearance for Petitioners:
Joe Jacquot, Executive Office of The Governor, Tallahassee, 850-717-9310 and 
Daniel W. Bell, Florida House of Representatives, Tallahassee, 850-717-5500

Appearance for Respondent:
Katherine E. Giddings of Akerman LLP, Tallahassee, 850-224-9634