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RECENT RELEASES - FLORIDA SUPREME COURT

STANDARD JURY INSTRUCTIONS IN CRIMINAL CASES--AMENDMENTS. The filing of a motion to enlarge the time to accept a proposal for settlement does not automatically toll the 30-day period for accepting the proposal.
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The Court also authorized for publication and use jury instructions for capital cases.
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ATTORNEY'S FEES--PROPOSAL FOR SETTLEMENT--TIMELINESS OF ACCEPTANCE. The filing of a motion to enlarge the time to accept a proposal for settlement does not automatically toll the 30-day period for accepting the proposal.
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PUBLIC EMPLOYEES--LABOR RELATIONS. Section 447.4095, Florida Statutes (2010), which provides the process for modification of a collective bargaining agreement in the event of a financial urgency, is not unconstitutionally vague and does not deny due process or equal protection.
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PUBLIC UTILITIES--ELECTRIC--RATES--INCREASE--SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT--PUBLIC INTEREST. The Public Service Commission properly applied its public interest standard of review in considering and approving a nonunanimous settlement agreement between an electric utility and intervenors in ratemaking proceedings. The Commission correctly applied the public interest standard to the settlement agreement as a whole, without independently and individually discussing the prudence of a particular individual project encompassed by the agreement. Competent, substantial evidence supported the PSC's finding that the settlement agreement was in the public interest.
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CRIMINAL LAW--INDIGENTS--REPRESENTATION BY PRIVATE COUNSEL PRO BONO. Indigent defendants represented by private counsel pro bono are entitled to file motions pertaining to the appointment and costs of experts, mitigation specialists, and investigators ex parte and under seal, with service to the Justice Administrative Commission and notice to the State Attorney's Office, and to have any hearing on such motion ex parte, with only the defendant and the Commission present.
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CRIMINAL LAW--DEATH PENALTY--RETROACTIVE APPLICATION OF HURST--NEWLY DISCOVERED EVIDENCE. The Court held that defendant's claim that a proper cumulative analysis requires that all changes in the law that might apply if a new trial were granted, and in particular Hurst v. Florida, must be considered as newly discovered evidence, is without merit. Viewing decisional changes in the law as newly discovered "facts" would erase the need for retroactivity analysis.
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