November 2019 Summaries

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November 6, 2019

SC19-1341 Advisory Opinion to the Governor Re: Implementation of Amendment 4, The Voting Restoration Amendment

Statewide - starts at 9:00 a.m.

In November 2018 voters approved a constitutional amendment, known as Amendment 4, to automatically restore voting rights for some convicted felons “upon completion of all terms of sentence including parole or probation.” Governor Ron DeSantis requests an advisory opinion of this Court as to the question of whether “completion of all terms of sentence” under Article VI, section 4 of the Florida Constitution includes the satisfaction of all legal financial obligations—including fees, fines, and restitution—ordered by the sentencing court.

Appearance for The Office of The Governor:
Joseph W. Jacquot, General Counsel, Tallahassee, 850-717-9310

Appearance for Secretary of State:
Mohammad O. Jazil of Hopping Green & Sams, P.A., Tallahassee, 850-222-7500

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

Appearance for The Florida House of Representatives:
Jonathan L. Williams of Lash & Goldberg LLP, Miami, 305-347-4040

Appearance for American Civil Liberties Union of Florida:
Anton Marino, Miami, 786-363-2714

Appearance for Interested Parties, Raysor, Sherrill, and Hoffman:
Molly E. Danahy, Campaign Legal Center, Washington D.C., 202-736-2200

SC17-2050 The Florida Bar v. Peter G. Herman

Starts about 10:10 a.m.

In this attorney disciplinary case, The Florida Bar accused Mr. Herman of violating the ethical standards for lawyers, including misconduct in his personal Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. The judge-referee recommends that this Court suspend Mr. Herman from the practice of law for 18 months. The Florida Bar is seeking disbarment. Mr. Herman argues that he did not act dishonestly because he relied on the advice of his bankruptcy attorney.

Appearance for Respondent:
David B. Rothman of Rothman & Associates, P.A., Miami, 305-358-9000

Appearance for The Florida Bar:
Joi L. Pearsall, Sunrise, 954-835-0233

-- 10-minute Break --

SC18-42 Delmer Smith v. State of Florida

Manatee County – starts about 10:50 a.m.

Mr. Smith was convicted of the first-degree murder of Kathleen Briles, who was beaten to death in 2009. The jury unanimously recommended a death sentence, and the trial court sentenced Mr. Smith to death. This Court upheld the conviction and sentence on direct appeal. Mr. Smith filed post-conviction challenges in the trial court, which were denied. This appeal followed.

Appearance for Appellant:
Rachel P. Roebuck, Asst. CCRC, Temple Terrace, 813-558-1600

Appearance for Appellee:
Timothy A. Freeland, Asst. Attorney General, Tampa, 813-287-7910

SC19-84 Marvin Cannon v. State of Florida & SC19-727 Marvin Cannon v. Mark S. Inch, Etc.

Gadsden County – starts about 11:30 a.m.

Mr. Cannon was convicted of multiple felonies including the first-degree murder of Zechariah Morgan, who was fatally stabbed in 2010. The jury voted 9-3 to recommend death and the trial court condemned him to death for first-degree murder and sentenced him to prison time for the remaining charges. This Court upheld the convictions and sentences on direct appeal but vacated the conviction for attempted robbery. Mr. Cannon filed post-conviction challenges in the trial court and was granted a new penalty phase pursuant to Hurst v. State for the first-degree murder charge, which remains pending. The trial court denied the remaining challenges, and this appeal followed. Mr. Cannon has also filed a habeas corpus petition.

Appearance for Appellant/Petitioner:
Kara Ottervanger, Asst. CCRC, Temple Terrance, 813-558-1600

Appearance for Appellee/Respondents:
Lisa A. Hopkins, Asst. Attorney General, Tallahassee, 850-414-3300

November 7, 2019

SC18-1646 The Florida Bar v. Elizabeth Jayne Anderson

Starts at 9:00 a.m.

In this attorney disciplinary case, The Florida Bar accused Ms. Anderson of violating the ethical standards for lawyers, including misappropriating client trust funds and neglecting client matters. The judge-referee recommends that Ms. Anderson be found guilty of violating multiple Rules Regulating the Florida Bar and that she be suspended from the practice of law for three years, make restitution, be placed on probation for five years upon reinstatement, and that she pay the Bar’s costs in the disciplinary proceedings. The Florida Bar is seeking disbarment. Ms. Anderson argues that her trust account mismanagement was unintentional and merely negligent and that the judge-referee’s recommended sanction is enough. 

Appearance for Respondent:
Warren W. Lindsey of Lindsey & Ferry, P.A., 407-644-4044

Appearance for The Florida Bar:
Carrie C. Lee, Orlando, 407-425-5424

SC19-140 Eric Kurt Patrick v. State of Florida

Broward County – starts at 9:30 a.m.

Mr. Patrick was convicted of the first-degree murder of Steven Schumacher, who was beaten to death in 2009. The jury voted 7-5 to recommend a death sentence, and the trial court condemned Mr. Patrick to death. This Court affirmed the convictions and sentences on direct appeal. The trial court denied Mr. Patrick's post-conviction motions, and he appealed to this Court raising multiple issues. In 2018, this Court granted Mr. Patrick a new penalty phase pursuant to Hurst v. State and denied other challenges except to the trial court’s denial of a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel for failure to challenge a biased juror. This Court remanded the issue to the trial court for an evidentiary hearing, and the trial court denied the claim. Mr. Patrick appeals the ruling and asks this Court to grant a new trial.

Appearance for Appellant:
Suzanne M. Keffer, Asst. CCRC, Ft. Lauderdale, 954-713-1284

Appearance for Appellee:
Lisa-Marie Lerner, Asst. Attorney General, West Palm Beach, 561-837-5000

-- 10-minute Break --

SC19-211 Hector Sanchez-Torres v. State of Florida & SC19-836 Hector Sanchez-Torres v. Mark S. Inch, Etc.

Clay County - starts about 10:20 a.m.

Mr. Sanchez-Torres pleaded guilty to and was convicted of the first-degree murder and armed robbery of Erick Joel Colon in 2009.  The trial court condemned him to death, and this Court upheld the conviction and sentence on direct appeal. Mr. Sanchez-Torres filed a post-conviction challenge in the trial court raising several claims of ineffective assistance of counsel. His claims were denied, and this appeal followed. Mr. Sanchez-Torres has also filed a habeas corpus petition.

Appearance for Appellant/Petitioner:
Robert R. Berry, Asst. CCRC, Tallahassee, 850-487-0922

Appearance for Appellee/Respondents:
Jennifer A. Donahue, Asst. Attorney General, Tallahassee, 850-414-3300