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Cases in which the Supreme Court of Florida has granted review. Subject matter is taken from Florida Law Weekly headnotes and may not directly reflect issues for review.
AMERICAN HOME ASSURANCE COMPANY, INC. v. SEBO, 141 So.3d 195, 38 Fla. L. Weekly D1982a (Fla. 2DCA 2013). Supreme Court Case No. SC14-897 (Sebo v. American Home Assurance Company, Inc.). Order dated October 7, 2014. Oral argument set by separate order. Insurance--Homeowners--All risk policy--Coverage--Damage caused by multiple perils--In the case of a first-party insurance policy, where damage is caused by multiple perils, some of which are covered and some of which are excluded, the efficient proximate cause doctrine rather than the concurrent causation doctrine is applicable to determine whether coverage is provided--Where damage to insured home was caused by rain and wind, which were covered perils, and by defective construction, which was an excluded peril, issue of coverage should have been determined under efficient proximate cause doctrine, and finder of fact should have determined which peril was the most substantial or responsible factor in the loss.
ATWELL v. STATE, 128 So.3d 167, 38 Fla. L. Weekly D2363b (Fla. 4DCA 2013). Supreme Court Case No. SC14-193 (Atwell v. State). Order dated September 16, 2014. No oral argument. Criminal law--Post conviction relief--Sentencing--Defendant not entitled to relief on claim that life sentences without possibility of parole for 25 years for homicide committed while defendant was juvenile constituted cruel and unusual punishment under U.S. Supreme Court's holding in Miller v. Alabama, as Miller applies only to mandatory sentence of life without possibility of parole--Claim that defendant was impermissibly sentenced to life without possibility of parole on armed robbery count was not preserved and may not be raised for first time on appeal.
AUSTIN v. STATE, __ So.3d __, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D1952a (Fla. 1DCA 2014). Supreme Court Case No. SC14-2215 (Austin v. State). Order dated February 13, 2015. No oral argument. Criminal law--Evidence was sufficient to support convictions of first-degree premeditated murder, armed kidnapping with intent to facilitate felony, and armed robbery--Sentencing--Homicide and nonhomicide offenses committed when defendant was juvenile--Appeals--Claim that 99-year sentences for nonhomicide offenses committed when defendant was juvenile amounted to de facto life-without-parole sentences and violated U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Graham v. Florida was not preserved for appeal by either contemporaneous objection or rule 3.800(b) motion--Claim that aggregate sentence of 135 years for nonhomicide offenses committed in two separate cases exceeded any natural life expectancy was not preserved for appeal where defendant failed to raise any argument before trial court that aggregation of sentences imposed in distinct cases at separate times violated Graham or was even subject to Graham--Claim that 90-year sentence for premeditated first-degree murder was illegal because the only statutorily authorized sentence for a juvenile who commits first degree murder is mandatory life imprisonment was not preserved for appeal--Claim that 90-year sentence for first degree murder amounted to de facto life sentence and was imposed without considering information necessary to make findings required by U.S. Supreme Court's holding in Miller v. Alabama was not preserved for review.
BANK OF AMERICA CORPORATION v. VALLADARES, 141 So.3d 714, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D1390a (Fla. 3DCA 2014). Supreme Court Case No. SC14-1629 (Valladares v. Bank of America Corporation). Order dated January 28, 2015. Oral argument set by separate order. Torts--Negligence--Action against bank by plaintiff who suffered personal injuries at the hands of the police when bank mistakenly reported plaintiff to be a bank robber--A person cannot be held liable for simple negligence when contacting police to report suspected criminal activity--Judgment for plaintiff reversed--Because plaintiff elected to go to trial on theory of simple negligence, plaintiff is not entitled to a new trial on a different theory--Remand for entry of judgment for defendant bank.
BLACK v. STATE, 95 So.3d 884, 37 Fla. L. Weekly D593a (Fla. 2DCA 2012). Supreme Court Case No. SC12-1938 (Black v. State). Order dated December 4, 2014. Criminal law--Second degree murder--Attempted second degree murder--Evidence--Malice--Evidence that defendant, who had told a friend that he wanted to kill himself and that he intended to make big headlines and go out with a bang, drove his vehicle into a group of people and then drove his vehicle directly toward a woman on a sidewalk was sufficient to support finding that defendant acted with malice--Trial court did not err in denying motion for judgment of acquittal--Jury instructions--Jury instruction on lesser included offense of intentional act manslaughter, which stated that it was not necessary for state to prove that defendant had premeditated intent to cause death, only an intent to commit an act which caused death, was not erroneous--Further, an erroneous instruction on manslaughter by act does not constitute fundamental error when jury is also instructed of offense of manslaughter by culpable negligence.
BRAGDON v. STATE, 123 So.3d 654, 38 Fla. L. Weekly D2111a (Fla. 4DCA 2013). Supreme Court Case No. SC13-2083 (Bragdon v. State). Order dated July 2, 2014. Oral argument to be set by separate order. Criminal law--Immunity--Stand Your Ground law--Defendant engaged in unlawful activity--Defendant's crime of possession of firearm by convicted felon precludes him from seeking immunity under Stand Your Ground law--Conflict certified on issue of whether defendant engaged in "unlawful activity" is precluded from claiming self-defense immunity from prosecution.
CASTELLANOS v. NEXT DOOR COMPANY, 124 So.3d 392, 38 Fla. L. Weekly D2232a (Fla. 1DCA 2013). Supreme Court Case No. SC13-2082 (Castellanos v. Next Door Company). Order dated March 14, 2014. Oral argument set by separate order. Workers' compensation--Attorney's fees--Statutory formula for attorney's fee awards set forth in section 440.34(1) is constitutional, both on its face and as applied in instant case in which claimant's counsel was awarded fee of less than $200 for over 100 hours of legal work reasonably necessary to secure claimant's workers' compensation benefits--Question certified whether the award of attorney's fees in this case is adequate, and consistent with the access to courts, due process, equal protection, and other requirements of the Florida and federal constitutions.
CHERISMA v. STATE, 86 So.3d 1195, 37 Fla. L. Weekly D1050a (Fla. 3DCA 2012). Supreme Court Case No. SC12-1068 (Cherisma v. State). Order dated March 7, 2013. No oral argument. Criminal law--Evidence--Bolstering of witnesses--No error in allowing officer to testify that he would have arrested defendant despite inconsistencies between victim's initial and subsequent account of the details where testimony was elicited in rebuttal to defense's suggestion that victim was unreliable, and responses did not amount to vouching for victim's credibility or the truthfulness of his testimony--Appeals--General objection to questioning of officer in response to defense questions regarding objectivity of photo line up used to identify defendant was not specific enough to preserve issue for appeal.
CITY OF JACKSONVILLE v. SMITH, 159 So.3d 888, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D516a (Fla. 1DCA 2015). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-534 (Smith v. City of Jacksonville). Order dated May 22, 2015. Oral argument set by separate order. Real property--Bert J. Harris, Jr., Private Property Rights Protection Act--Action against city alleging that city's construction and operation of a fire station on city property inordinately burdened plaintiffs' adjacent property by making it effectively unmarketable as a luxury home site, entitling plaintiffs to relief under Harris Act--Harris Act is not applicable where plaintiffs' property was not itself subject to any governmental regulatory action--Trial court erred in finding that plaintiffs were entitled to relief under act--Question certified: May a property owner maintain an action pursuant to the Harris Act if that owner has not had a law, regulation, or ordinance directly applied to the owner's property which restricts or limits the use of the property?
DAVIS v. STATE, 95 So.3d 340, 37 Fla. L. Weekly D1784a (Fla. 5DCA 2012). Supreme Court Case Nos. SC12-2212 and SC12-2214, Consolidated (State v. Davis; Davis v. State). Order dated December 19, 2013. Oral argument set by separate order. Criminal law--Conspiracy to traffic cocaine--Sufficiency of evidence--Defendant convicted of conspiracy to traffic in cocaine as a result of his selling cocaine to buyer, and then buyer selling that same cocaine to a third person--Evidence was insufficient to support conviction of conspiracy--Agreement that constitutes conspiracy must be an agreement to commit the same criminal offense, and evidence here failed to demonstrate any agreement or concurrent intent between defendant and buyer to join in the same act of selling, purchasing, delivering, or possessing a particular item of cocaine--Evidence demonstrated that defendant intended to possess and then sell cocaine, and that buyer intended to purchase and then possess cocaine--Neither buyer's purchase of cocaine nor his resale to a third party created any inference that defendant agreed with buyer that buyer would resell it--Fact that defendant gave his phone number to another party to give to buyer does not support conviction because although the other party knew the number was for purpose of connecting buyer and defendant for the purchase of cocaine, there was no evidence the other party knew or agreed to any details of any prospective drug transaction--Defendant's allusions to anonymous third parties in phone conversation with buyer were not sufficient where no evidence showed that such parties existed and that defendant conspired with them--Conflict certified.
DAUGHERTY v. STATE, 96 So.3d 1076, 37 Fla. L. Weekly D2145e (Fla. 4DCA 2012). Supreme Court Case No. SC14-860 (Daugherty v. State). Order dated December 17, 2014. Oral argument set by separate order. Criminal law--Second degree murder--Attempted second degree murder--Jury instructions--Manslaughter--Trial court did not reversibly err in giving standard jury instruction on lesser-included offense of manslaughter where jury was also instructed on lesser-included offense of third degree murder, making manslaughter two steps removed from second degree murder charge for which defendant was convicted--Trial court did not, under circumstances, fundamentally err in instructing jury on attempted voluntary manslaughter as lesser included offense of attempted murder charges--Conflict certified--Sentencing--Cruel and/or unusual punishment--Although sentence of life imprisonment without possibility of parole for homicide committed when defendant was seventeen years old was permissible sentence, sentencing judge had responsibility of expressly considering whether any of the numerous "distinctive attributes of youth" referenced by U.S. Supreme Court in Miller v. Alabama diminish the "penological justifications" for imposing a life-without-parole sentence upon defendant--Trial court not precluded from again imposing life term without parole if court, upon reconsideration, deems such sentence justified.
DEMOTT v. STATE, 160 So.3d 520, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D759b (Fla. 5DCA 2015). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-868 (Demott v. State). Order dated August 18, 2015. Oral argument set by separate order. Criminal law--Probation--Conditions--Condition of probation requiring defendant to abstain entirely from associating with anyone who is illegally using drugs is a valid condition--Conflict certified.
DEPARTMENT OF HIGHWAY SAFETY AND MOTOR VEHICLES v. FUTCH, 142 So.3d 910, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D1403a (Fla. 5DCA 2014). Supreme Court Case No. SC14-1660 (Futch v. Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles). Order dated April 24, 2015. No oral argument. Licensing--Driver's license--Suspension--Refusal to submit to breath test--Administrative review hearing--Circuit court did not err in determining that hearing officer denied licensee due process when hearing officer refused to give licensee's counsel an opportunity to examine licensee's expert witness beyond two questions, but court misapplied the law when it directed that Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles set aside the suspension and reinstate licensee's license rather than remanding matter to hearing officer for further proceedings.
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION v. CSX TRANSPORTATION, INC., 128 So.3d 209, 38 Fla. L. Weekly D2616a (Fla. 2DCA 2013). Supreme Court Case No. SC14-69 (Florida Department of Transportation v. Schwefringhaus). Order dated April 3, 2014. Oral argument set by separate order. Torts--Indemnity--Department of Transportation--Agreement by which Department of Transportation's predecessor agreed to indemnify railroad for losses at railroad crossing in consideration for license to use railroad's land for crossing is enforceable--Trial court properly found that DOT was obligated to indemnify railroad for amount of settlement paid by railroad to resolve a negligence action arising from an accident at the railroad crossing--Because DOT's liability was based on an express contract, DOT's liability was not limited to $200,000 under waiver of sovereign immunity statute--Questions certified: Is DOT bound by a railroad crossing agreement under which it received a revocable license to use land as right-of-way if the sole consideration for the license was an agreement to indemnify the railroad for losses arising out of DOT's activity on the land? If so, is DOT's liability under the crossing agreement limited by section 768.28(5), Florida Statutes (2002)?
DIAZ v. STATE, 106 So.3d 515, 38 Fla. L. Weekly D320a (Fla. 2DCA 2013). Supreme Court Case No. SC14-2385 (Diaz v. State). Order dated December 10, 2014. Criminal law--Sentencing--Considerations--Trial court erred in considering the alleged untruthfulness of defendant's testimony in its sentencing determination--Remand for resentencing before a different judge.
EVANS v. STATE, __ So.3d __, 38 Fla. L. Weekly D217f (Fla. 5DCA 2013). Supreme Court Case No. SC13-282 (State v. Evans). Order dated April 18, 2013. Oral argument to be set by separate order. Criminal law--Sexually violent predators--Civil commitment under Jimmy Ryce Act--Jurisdiction--Lawful custody--State did not have jurisdiction to initiate civil commitment proceedings under the involuntary Civil Commitment of Sexually Violent Predators Act against an inmate who is entitled to immediate release based on a corrected award of time served--Question certified.
FINR II, INC. v. HARDEE COUNTY, 164 So.3d 1260, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D1355a (Fla. 2DCA 2015). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-1260 (Hardee County v. FINR II, Inc.). Order dated August 18, 2015. Oral argument set by separate order. Real property--Private property rights--Bert J. Harris, Jr. Act provides a cause of action to an owner of real property that has been inordinately burdened and diminished in value due to governmental action directly taken against an adjacent property--Conflict certified--Trial court erred in dismissing property owner's action under Harris Act against county which granted a special exception to adjacent property to allow phosphate mining activity closer to owner's property than that allowed by setback provision of comprehensive plan.
FLORIDA INSURANCE GUARANTY ASSOCIATION v. DE LA FUENTE, __ So.3d __, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D123a (Fla. 2DCA 2015). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-519 (De La Fuente v. Florida Insurance Guaranty Association). Order dated April 14, 2015. Oral argument set by separate order. Insurance--Homeowners--Sinkhole claim--Florida Insurance Guaranty Association--Trial court erred in applying the statutory definition of "covered claim" in effect when insurance policy was issued to determine scope of FIGA's liability instead of the more restrictive definition in effect when the insurer was adjudicated insolvent, and confirming appraisal reward and entering judgment in favor of the insureds--New definition governs scope of FIGA's liability and prohibits any direct payment to the insureds--Appraisal award as provided for in homeowner's policy is not the functional equivalent of the "actual repair of the loss" which FIGA pays; hence trial court's erroneous requirement that FIGA participate in appraisal process is at odds with its statutory mandate--Questions certified: Does the definition of "covered claim" in section 631.54(3), Florida Statutes, effective May 17, 2011, apply to a sinkhole loss under a homeowners' policy that was issued by an insurer before the effective date of the new definition when the insurer was adjudicated to be insolvent after the effective date of the new definition?--Does the statutory provision limiting FIGA's monetary obligation to the amount of actual repairs for a sinkhole loss preclude an insured from obtaining an appraisal award determining the "amount of loss" in accordance with the terms of the homeowners' policy of insurance?
FLOYD v. STATE, __ So.3d __, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D1800a (Fla. 1DCA 2014). Supreme Court Case No. SC14-2162 (State v. Floyd). Order dated December 16, 2014. Oral argument set by separate order. Criminal law--Second degree murder--Self-defense--Stand Your Ground Law--Jury instructions--Trial court committed fundamental error in giving conflicting jury instructions which stated that defendant had no duty to retreat if he reasonably believed that it was necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or another, or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony, but also that defendant had to exhaust every reasonable means of escape--In effect, jury instruction provided that defendant did not have duty to retreat before meeting deadly force with deadly force if in fear of death or great bodily harm and did have a duty to try to retreat before using deadly force if in fear of death or great bodily harm.
FRANCE v. FRANCE, 90 So. 3d 860, 37 Fla. L. Weekly D1299c (Fla. 5DCA 2012). Supreme Court Case No. SC12-1370 (France v. France). Order dated November 6, 2012. Oral argument will be set by separate order. Torts--Florida Security of Communications Act--Interception of communications without consent--Jurisdiction--Action arising out of defendant's recording of phone calls with plaintiff without plaintiff's consent while defendant was in North Carolina and plaintiff was in Florida--Trial court erred in granting defendant's motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction--Tortious act occurred in Florida because the interception occurred where the communication was uttered, not where it was heard--Conflict certified.
GARRETT v. STATE, 148 So.3d 466, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D1783a (Fla. 1DCA 2014). Supreme Court Case No. SC14-2110 (Garrett v. State). Order dated May 6, 2015. Oral argument set by separate order. Criminal law--First degree murder--Possession of firearm by convicted felon--Self-defense--Jury instructions--Trial court improperly instructed jury that possession of firearm by convicted felon constituted unlawful activity, which triggered evaluation by jury of whether defendant had duty to retreat--Error was not preserved for review by objection--Error did not rise to level of fundamental error where, under complete set of instructions given, jury was not precluded from excusing defendant for his deadly act if it believed that the evidence supported his claim of self-defense, irrespective of whether defendant was engaged in unlawful activity at the time.
GAULDEN v. STATE, __ So.3d __, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D379a (Fla. 1DCA 2014). Supreme Court Case No. SC14-399 (Gaulden v. State). Order dated April 2, 2014. No oral argument. Criminal law--Leaving scene of crash resulting in death--When a passenger separates from a moving vehicle and collides with the roadway or adjacent pavement, but the vehicle has no physical contact either with the passenger, after the passenger's exit, or with any other vehicle, person, or object, the vehicle is "involved in a crash" so that the driver may be held criminally responsible for leaving the scene--Question certified.
GEICO GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY v. PATON, 133 So.3d 1071, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D132b (Fla. 4DCA 2014). Supreme Court Case No. SC14-282 (Paton v. Geico General Insurance Company). Order dated October 8, 2014. No oral argument. Attorney's fees--Insurance--Discovery--Attorney's billing records--Orders permitting discovery of billing records of counsel, which were sought by opposing party in support of her own claim for attorney's fees, quashed.
GERACI v. SUNSTAR EMS, 93 So.3d 384, 37 Fla. L. Weekly D1545b (Fla. 2DCA 2012). Supreme Court Case No. SC12-2073 (Sunstar EMS v. Geraci). Order dated April 23, 2013. Oral argument to be set by separate order. Estates--Claims--Exempt property--Homestead--Condominium that is subject to a long-term leasehold may qualify as homestead to be protected from forced sale to pay creditors of deceased owner--When a lessee's interest in leasehold estate includes right to use and occupy the premises for a long term, and the lessee has made the residence his principal and exclusive residence, such an interest is entitled to Florida's homestead exemption from forced sale--Trial court erred in declining to apply homestead exemption based on its determination that the homestead protection at issue was actually that of descent and devise.
GODWIN v. STATE, 160 So.3d 497, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D651d (Fla. 2DCA 2015). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-563 (Godwin v. State). Order dated October 21, 2015. Oral argument set by separate order. Criminal law--Post conviction relief--Counsel--Ineffectiveness--No error in denying claim that defense counsel was ineffective for failing to object to trial court's improper consideration of defendant's assertion of innocence and failure to show remorse when determining appropriate sentence--Trial court's remarks in instant case were made for legitimate purpose of refuting defense counsel's request for mitigation.
GRANICZ v. CHIRILLO, 147 So.3d 544, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D400a (Fla. 2DCA 2014). Supreme Court Case No. SC14-898 (Chirillo v. Granicz). Order dated December 17, 2014. Oral argument set by separate order. Wrongful death--Suicide--Medical malpractice--Trial court erred in granting final summary judgment against plaintiff based on its determination that defendant, a primary care physician who treated decedent for depression, did not have legal duty to prevent unforeseeable suicide of an outpatient where complaint alleged that defendant had duty to exercise reasonable care in his treatment of decedent and plaintiff provided expert testimony setting forth applicable standard of care for physician treating a patient for depression, how the standard of care was breached, and how the breach proximately caused decedent's suicide--Proper inquiry court should have made to determine legal issue of duty is whether defendant's conduct created foreseeable zone of risk, not whether defendant could foresee specific injury that actually occurred--Conflict certified.
GUZMAN v. STATE, 110 So.3d 480, 38 Fla. L. Weekly D617b (Fla. 4DCA 2013). Supreme Court Case No. SC13-687 (Guzman v. State). Order dated April 24, 2015. No oral argument. Criminal law--Probation revocation--Sentencing--Cruel and unusual punishment--Imposition of 60-year sentence for violation of probation which had been imposed for crimes committed when defendant was a juvenile, was not cruel and unusual punishment in light of U.S. Supreme Court's opinion in Graham v. Florida--Graham strictly addressed actual life sentences, not lengthy term-of-years sentences that might constitute a de facto sentence of life--Conflict certified--Question certified whether Graham v. Florida applies to lengthy term-of-years sentences that amount to de facto life sentences and, if so at what point does a term-of-years sentence become a de facto life sentence?
HATTEN v. STATE, 152 So.3d 849, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D2599a (Fla. 1DCA 2014). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-22 (Hatten v. State). Order dated October 14, 2015. Oral argument set by separate order. Criminal law--Sentencing--Conflict certified on issue of whether trial court may impose a sentence in excess of mandatory minimum term imposed under the 10-20-Life statute unless such sentence is authorized by some other statute--Conflict certified with decisions which held that trial court may not impose a sentence in excess of 30 years for a first-degree felony under the 10-20-Life statute when the court imposes a mandatory minimum term of less than 30 years--Costs--Imposition of costs above statutory maximum--Imposition of cost of prosecution without citing statutory basis.
HEADLEY v. CITY OF MIAMI, 118 So.3d 885, 38 Fla. L. Weekly D1559a (Fla. 1DCA 2013). Supreme Court Case No. SC13-1882 (Headley v. City of Miami). Order dated August 28, 2014. Oral argument set by separate order. Labor relations--Public employees--Unfair labor practices--Public Employees Relations Commission did not err in finding that city did not commit an unfair labor practice by unilaterally modifying collective bargaining agreement pursuant to section 447.4095, Florida Statutes (2010), on the basis that the city was facing a financial urgency that required the modification--Financial urgency is a dire financial condition requiring immediate attention and demanding prompt and decisive action, but not necessarily a financial emergency or bankruptcy--Section 447.4095 may only be invoked if the financial condition requires modification of the agreement--If financial condition can be adequately addressed by other reasonable means, modification of the agreement is not required--If other reasonable alternatives available to local government are not adequate to address the financial condition facing the government, section 447.4095 permits the local government to unilaterally modify the CBA--PERC properly found that city was not required to proceed through the impact resolution process before modifying the CBA.
HILTON HOTELS CORPORATION v. ANDERSON, 153 So.3d 412, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D48e (Fla. 5DCA 2015). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-124 (Anderson v. Hilton Hotels Corporation). Order dated August 18, 2015. No oral argument. Torts--Attorney's fees--Offer of judgment--Trial court properly found that language in demands for judgment that "plaintiff agrees to settle any and all claims asserted against defendant," rendered demands vague, ambiguous, and unenforceable because it is unclear whether the intent of the demands was to resolve only claims of plaintiff or to resolve both plaintiff's claims and loss of consortium claims of plaintiff's spouse.
HORWITZ v. STATE, __ So.3d __, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D474a (Fla. 4DCA 2015). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-348. (State v. Horowitz). Order dated March 27, 2015. Oral argument set by separate order. Criminal law--Evidence--Statements of defendant--Pre-arrest silence--Trial court erred in admitting evidence of defendant's pre-arrest, pre-Miranda silence in interactions with police because she did not testify at trial and such silence is only admissible under Florida law to impeach defendant's testimony at trial--Question certified whether, under Florida Law, the State is precluded from introducing evidence of a defendant's pre-arrest, pre-Miranda silence where the defendant does not testify at trial?
JACKSON v. STATE, 137 So.3d 470, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D635a (Fla. 4DCA 2014). Supreme Court Case No. SC14-842 (Jackson v. State). Order dated July 8, 2014. Oral argument to be set by separate order. Criminal law--Youthful offender act -- Constitutionality of statute--Equal protection claim--Argument that 2008 amendment changing eligibility for youthful offender sentencing from being under 21 at the time of the offense to being under 21 at the time of sentencing violates equal protection in treating two classes of similarly situated people differently, since, of two defendants who commit crimes the same number of days before turning 21, one may be eligible and the other ineligible depending on when sentencing occurs -- Youthful offender sentencing is not a fundamental right; hence, rational basis analysis applies -- Ensuring the population in the youthful offender program remains "youthful" is a sufficient rational basis for the statute; hence, equal protection argument fails -- Due process claim -- Argument that 2008 amendment violates substantive due process in that it may cause a youthful defendant to make defensive concessions in an effort to hasten his sentencing also fails.JANIE DOE 1 v. SINROD, 117 So.3d 786, 38 Fla. L. Weekly D1022a (Fla. 4DCA 2013). Supreme Court Case No. SC13-1834 (Palm Beach County School Board v. Janie Doe 1). Order dated June 11, 2014. No oral argument. Torts--School boards--Civil rights--Sex discrimination by recipient of federal education funding--Limitation of actions--Amended complaint--Relation back--Impact rule--Action against teacher and school board brought by parents, individually and on behalf of children who were allegedly sexually abused by teacher--Trial court did not err in dismissing parents' claims of negligent infliction of emotional distress on ground that claims were barred by impact rule--Trial court erred in dismissing children's Title IX claims, asserted for the first time in third amended complaint, on ground that claims were time-barred--Children's Title IX statutory claims related back to negligence claims alleged in original proceeding where claims arose from same conduct and resulted in same injury.
JBK ASSOCIATES, INC. v. SILL BROS., INC., 160 So.3d 94, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D616a (Fla. 4DCA 2015). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-977 (JBK Associates, Inc. v. Sill Bros., Inc.). Order dated October 12, 2015. Oral argument set by separate order. Creditors' rights--Homestead exemption--Trial court properly granted motion to dissolve garnishment writ directed at brokerage account that contained proceeds from sale of recently-divorced debtor's marital home--Debtor's investments of proceeds in securities accounts did not destroy their protected status as proceeds from sale of homestead.
JOHNSON v. STATE, 108 So.3d 1153, 38 Fla. L. Weekly D626f (Fla. 5DCA 2013). Supreme Court Case No. SC13-711 (Johnson v. State). Order dated August 2, 2013. No oral argument. Criminal law--Burglary of dwelling while armed--Sentencing--100-year sentence for burglary of dwelling while armed, committed when defendant was under 18 years of age, does not violate Graham v. Florida--Conflict certified.
KNIGHT v. STATE, 107 So.3d 449, 38 Fla. L. Weekly D157a (Fla. 5DCA 2013). Supreme Court Case No. SC13-564 (Knight v. State). Order dated July 29, 2014. Oral argument set by separate order. Criminal law--Possession of cannabis--Sufficiency of evidence--Standard of review--Trial court properly denied motion for judgment of acquittal grounded on claim that evidence was insufficient to sustain the knowledge element of possession where defendant's theory of innocence was that passenger inside defendant's car could have slipped marijuana into defendant's suitcase while defendant was out of car and just before a K-9-initiated vehicle search occurred--Florida's "special standard of review," applicable to convictions "wholly based on circumstantial evidence," holding that the state must have presented evidence to rebut any reasonable hypothesis of innocence, is inappropriate here because only the knowledge element is supported wholly by circumstantial evidence, with officer testimony providing direct evidence that cannabis was within defendant's dominion and control--Even if the special standard applies, reversal is inappropriate because whether defendant's hypothesis of innocence is "reasonable" should be a question for the jury--Under the special standard a reasonable fact-finder could reject the hypothesis of innocence based on circumstances--Florida's special standard with regard to circumstantial evidence cases should be reconsidered by the Florida Supreme Court because it is misleading, confusing, unhelpful as an analytical tool, and adds to the general standard no substantive protection against improper convictions--Conflict certified.
KOO v. STATE, 149 So.3d 693, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D1850a & 40 Fla. L. Weekly D283a (Fla. 1DCA 2014). Supreme Court Case No. SC14-2347 (Koo v. State). Order dated March 19, 2015. Oral argument set by separate order. Criminal law--Burglary with a firearm--New trial--Newly discovered evidence--Post-trial letter from victim, stating that defendant's intent in taking firearms from victim's storage unit may have been more benign than appeared at trial--Trial court did not err in denying defendant's motion for new trial without evidentiary hearing--Letter did not qualify as newly discovered evidence where information in letter was known by parties at time of trial--Evidence in letter was not material because it did not recant victim's testimony at trial that established elements of crime.
KOPEL v. KOPEL, 117 So.3d 1147, 38 Fla. L. Weekly D666a (Fla. 3DCA 2013). Supreme Court Case No. SC13-992 (Kopel v. Kopel). Order dated June 11, 2014. No oral argument. Contracts--Limitation of actions--Unjust enrichment--Plaintiff's breach of contract claim was barred by statute of limitations where claim was first raised in amended complaint after limitations period had run, and amended complaint did not relate back to initial complaint because it raised a claim that was new, different, and distinct from initial claim--Error to enter judgment for plaintiff on unjust enrichment claim where plaintiff's investment of funds into a jointly held corporation did not benefit either individual defendant directly, but only indirectly benefitted one individual defendant through a corporation which he happened to partially own.
LEE v. BOARD OF TRUSTEES, JACKSONVILLE POLICE & FIRE PENSION FUND, 113 So.3d 1010, 38 Fla. L. Weekly D889b (Fla. 1DCA 2013). Supreme Court Case No. SC13-1315 (Board of Trustees, Jacksonville etc. v. Lee). Order dated June 18, 2014. Oral argument set by separate order. Attorney's fees--Public records--Lower court erred as matter of law by concluding that plaintiff was not entitled to attorney's fees, despite agency's violation of section 119.07 by refusing to disclose certain records, because agency's violation was neither knowing, willful, nor done with malicious intent--Refusal by an entity that is clearly an agency within meaning of chapter 119 constitutes an unlawful refusal.
LEE v. STATE, 117 So.3d 848, 38 Fla. L. Weekly D1521c (Fla. 5DCA 2013). Supreme Court Case No. SC14-1073 (Lee v. State). Order dated October 20, 2014. Criminal law--Robbery with firearm--Aggravated battery with firearm--New trial--Verdict against weight of evidence--Defendant entitled to new hearing on motion for new trial founded on claim that principal testimony against defendant at trial was fatally inconsistent where it is unclear whether trial judge applied correct standard in denying the motion.
LUCAS v. STATE, 147 So.3d 611, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D1925a (Fla. 4DCA 2014). Supreme Court Case No. SC14-1925 (State v. Lucas). Order dated January 8, 2015. No oral argument. Criminal law--Post conviction relief--Counsel--Ineffectiveness--Trial court erred in finding claim that counsel was ineffective for failing to consult and hire ophthalmologist expert to rebut state's claim that victim suffered "permanent damage" as an element of aggravated battery was legally insufficient because defendant did not identify specific witness--Motion sufficiently explained relevance and substance of expected testimony and alleged that outcome of proceedings would have been different.
M.A.B. v. STATE, 957 So.2d 1219 (Fla. 2DCA 2007). Supreme Court Case No. SC07-1381 (M.A.B. v. State). Order dated August 21, 2007. Oral argument set by separate order. Criminal law -- Juveniles -- Evidence -- Statements of juvenile -- Claim that postarrest statements should have been suppressed because Miranda warnings failed to inform juvenile of right to have attorney present during questioning -- Adjudications affirmed -- Question certified: Does the failure to provide express advice of the right to the presence of counsel during questioning vitiate Miranda warnings which advise of both (a) the right to talk to a lawyer “before questioning” and (b) the “right to use” the right to consult a lawyer “at any time” during questioning?
MARKUS v. STATE, 160 So.3d 488, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D548b (Fla. 1DCA 2015). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-801 (State v. Markus). Order dated July 8, 2015. Oral argument set by separate order. Criminal law--Possession of firearm by convicted felon--Search and seizure--Residence--Warrant--Exceptions--Exigent circumstances--Hot pursuit--Observation of defendant smoking what officer believed was marijuana cigarette and defendant's flight on foot after officer ordered him to stop were not sufficient to suggest the safety and time concerns required to excuse warrant requirement under hot pursuit exception to warrant requirement--Error to deny motion to suppress firearm found in defendant's waistband after officer and fellow officers followed defendant into open garage of his residence, an area which trial court found was part of defendant's residence.
MAUNA LOA INVESTMENTS, LLC. v. SANTIAGO, 122 So.3d 520, 38 Fla. L. Weekly D2176a (Fla. 3DCA 2013). Supreme Court Case No. SC13-2194 (Santiago v. Mauna Loa Investments, LLC.). Order dated May 22, 2014. Oral argument set by separate order. Torts--Premises liability--Trip and fall on allegedly unsafe walkway--Error to enter default judgment against defendant who was not the owner of the property on date when plaintiff's injury occurred--Default judgment may not be entered against defendant on a complaint which wholly fails to state a cause of action against the defendant--Because complaint failed to state a claim against defendant, trial court erred in failing to grant defendant's motion to vacate judgment as void.
McADAMS v. STATE, __ So.3d __, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D431a (Fla. 2DCA 2014). Supreme Court Case Nos. SC14-788 and SC14-826 (State v. McAdams, McAdams v. State (Consolidated)). Order dated May 7, 2014. Oral argument set by separate order. Criminal law--Murder--Search and seizure--Residence--No error in denying motion to suppress evidence seized during search of residence of defendant's wife where wife had been reported missing by other family members and, in any event, search was done with defendant's consent--Confession--No error in finding that defendant was not in custody at time he confessed to murders--Officers did not violate defendant's due process rights by refusing to interrupt noncustodial interview upon the arrival at the police station of an attorney whom defendant's parents had retained on his behalf--No error in denying motion to suppress evidence collected during non-custodial portion of interview--Question certified: Does an adult suspect who is not in custody but voluntarily engages in a lengthy interview in an interrogation room at a law enforcement office have a due process right to be informed that a lawyer has been retained by his family and is in the public section of the law enforcement office and wishes to talk to him?--Evidence collected after detectives read defendant his Miranda rights until they told him about the attorney was collected in violation of defendant's right to due process and should have been suppressed.
McCLOUD v. STATE, 139 So.3d 474, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D1158b (Fla. 5DCA 2014). Supreme Court Case No. SC14-1150 (McCloud v. State). Order dated December 17, 2014. Oral argument set by separate order. Criminal law--Second degree murder--Jury instructions--Trial court's error in giving faulty instruction on manslaughter by act as lesser included offense was harmless where manslaughter was two steps removed from second degree murder conviction due to inclusion of third degree felony murder charge in jury instructions and on verdict form.
McNEIL v. STATE, 162 So.3d 274, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D647b; and 163 So.3d 661, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D964a (Fla. 5DCA 2015). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-979 (McNeil v. State). Order dated August 18, 2015. No oral argument. Criminal law--Sexual battery on child under age twelve by person under age eighteen--Lewd and lascivious molestation--Mandatory costs and surcharges--Trial court did not err in imposing costs and surcharges for each of the four counts of which defendant was convicted--Language of statutes at issue reflects Legislature's intent that costs be assessed per count rather than per case--Question certified: Are the costs imposed pursuant to sections 938.085, 938.08, and 938.10, Florida Statutes (2006), assessed "per case" or "per count"?
MENDEZ v. HAMPTON COURT NURSING CENTER, LLC., 140 So.3d 671, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D1191a (Fla. 3DCA 2014). Supreme Court Case No. SC14-1349 (Mendez v. Hampton Court Nursing Center, LLC.). Order dated December 16, 2014. Oral argument set by separate order. Torts--Nursing homes--Arbitration--Enforceability of arbitration clause--Non-signatory who is third-party beneficiary--Nursing home resident was bound by arbitration provision in nursing home admission agreement that was signed by his son after doctor at nursing home determined that resident lacked capacity to give informed consent or make medical decisions because resident was the intended third-party beneficiary of agreement.
MLINAR v. UNITED PARCEL SERVICE, INC., 129 So.3d 406, 38 Fla. L. Weekly D2542a (Fla. 4DCA 2013). Supreme Court Case No. SC14-54 (Mlinar v. United Parcel Service, Inc.). Order dated April 30, 2014. Oral argument set by separate order. Contracts--Torts--Carriers--Federal preemption--Action against carrier by shipper whose valuable oil paintings she had created were not delivered to destination by carrier, but were sold by carrier to its lost goods contractor and eventually auctioned--Trial court properly found that claims against carrier were preempted by federal Carmack Amendment--Claims are excepted from Carmack Amendment only if the claims are based on conduct separate and distinct from the delivery, loss of, or damage to goods--Claim against carrier for conversion is preempted because it is predicated on failure to deliver goods--Claim of unauthorized use of plaintiff's name and likeness in resale of paintings is preempted because it is directly related to carrier's course of conduct in failing to deliver the paintings--Claims of fraud and deceptive and unfair trade practices are so closely related to the performance of the shipping contract that they are preempted--Conflict certified.
M.M. v. DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES, 170 So.3d 840, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D1517a (Fla. 3DCA 2015). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-1544 (M.M. v. Florida Department of Children and Families). Order dated November 2, 2015. No oral argument. Dependent children--Termination of Department of Children and Families' supervision of children may be requested by a motion or in a written report to the court--Trial court departed from essential requirements of law by restricting decisions concerning father's future contact with his children solely to the discretion of the children.
MONROE v. STATE, __ So.3d __, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D2234c (Fla. 1DCA 2014). Supreme Court Case No. SC14-2296 (Monroe v. State). Order dated December 17, 2014. Oral argument set by separate order. Criminal law--Sexual battery on child under 12 years of age by defendant 18 years of age or older--Lewd or lascivious molestation of child under 12 years of age by defendant 18 years of age or older--Evidence--Statements of defendant--Trial court did not err in denying motion to suppress statements made to investigator during interrogation at which defendant was not read Miranda rights where defendant was not in custody at time of interrogation--Defendant was not in custody where interview took place in an unlocked conference room on a college campus, defendant was escorted into room by his football coach rather than a law enforcement officer, investigator did not use coercive measures to elicit information, and defendant was repeatedly told that he was free to leave the room at any time--Fact that investigator already had a warrant for defendant's arrest did not conclusively establish that defendant was in custody--Appeals--Claim that evidence was insufficient to prove that defendant was 18 years of age or older at time of offense was not properly preserved for appellate review and did not rise to level of fundamental error--Failure to prove that defendant committed charged offense did not constitute fundamental error where evidence was sufficient to prove that defendant committed a lesser included offense--Question certified: Do F.B v. State, 852 So. 2d 226 (Fla. 2003), and Young v. State, 141 So. 3d 161 (Fla. 2013), require preservation of an evidentiary deficiency where the state proved only a lesser included offense and the sentence required for the greater offense would be unconstitutional as applied to the lesser offense?
MONTES-VALETON v. STATE, 141 So.3d 204, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D544a (Fla. 3DCA 2014). Supreme Court Case No. SC14-1672 (Montes-Valeton v. State). Order dated March 20, 2015. No oral argument. Criminal law--Driving under influence causing serious bodily injury--Evidence--Blood alcohol test results--Contention that trial court erred by admitting blood test results because state failed to present evidence that blood was drawn by a qualified person was not preserved for appellate review where defense counsel failed to make this specific argument when objecting to admission of blood test results--There is no merit to claim that trial court erred by admitting blood test results because law enforcement officer did not have probable cause to believe that defendant was under influence of alcoholic beverages--Law enforcement officer did not require defendant to submit to blood test, but rather obtained blood sample after defendant voluntarily consented to blood draw--Further, blood draw was supported by probable cause--Under fellow officer rule, officer other than officer who smelled odor of alcohol coming from defendant's breath and determined that defendant was driver of vehicle involved in single-vehicle accident, had probable cause to request that defendant provide blood drawn by fire rescue--Autopsy photographs--Although trial court abused discretion in admitting autopsy photographs where their probative value was outweighed by prejudicial effect, error was harmless in light of overwhelming evidence of guilt.
MOORE v. STATE, 114 So.3d 486, 38 Fla. L. Weekly D1263a (Fla. 1DCA 2013). Supreme Court Case No. SC13-1236 (State v. Moore). Order dated December 16, 2014. Oral argument set by separate order. Criminal law--Second degree murder--Jury instructions--Trial court erred in instructing jury that in order to find defendant guilty of lesser included offense of manslaughter it must find that defendant intentionally caused the death of the victim, but the error was waived where defense counsel specifically requested the erroneous language from the standard jury instruction--Trial court erred when it failed to instruct jury that defendant could not be guilty of manslaughter if the killing was either justifiable or excusable homicide--Error was not waived where defense counsel did not affirmatively agree to an instruction that he was aware was incomplete--Questions certified: In order for counsel to waive an error in a jury instruction that would otherwise be fundamental, is it only necessary that counsel affirmatively agree to the instruction, or is it also necessary for counsel to affirmatively agree to the portion of the instruction that is error and/or to be aware that the instruction is erroneous?--When a defendant is convicted of either manslaughter or a greater offense not more than one step removed, does the failure to instruct the jury on justifiable or excusable homicide constitute fundamental error not subject to harmless error analysis even where the record reflects there was no dispute as to this issue and there was no evidence presented from which the jury could find justifiable or excusable homicide?
MORRISON v. STATE, 161 So.3d 564, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D2255b (Fla. 2DCA 2014). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-214 (Morrison v. State). Order dated August 20, 2015. Criminal law--Evidence--Hearsay--Exceptions--Excited utterance--Trial court erred by failing to conduct hearing or make required predicate findings before admitting 911 recording of domestic violence victim as excited utterance, but because defendant was convicted of battery on a law enforcement officer and obstructing or opposing an officer with violence, and not of the domestic violence charge, the improperly admitted evidence was not relevant to the charges for which the defendant was convicted, and the error was harmless.
NOEL v. STATE, 127 So.3d 769, 38 Fla. L. Weekly D2494a (Fla. 4DCA 2013). Supreme Court Case Nos. SC14-274 and SC14-1952 (Noel v. State). Order dated December 5, 2014. No oral argument. Criminal law--Racketeering--Conspiracy--Grand theft--Convictions arising out of scheme to steal advance fees from victims who sought to obtain funding for business projects--Sentencing--Sentence of ten years in prison followed by 10 years' probation, with provision that if defendant made restitution of $20,000 within 60 days, his prison sentence would be mitigated to 8 years, did not give rise to any constitutional violation--When deciding sentence to initially impose, sentencing judge may consider entire background of defendant, including employment history, financial resources, and ability to make restitution--Constitution does not preclude judge from actively using sentencing process to encourage payment of restitution to victims of crimes, nor does it prevent judge from showing mercy by reducing severity of a previously imposed sentence--Court recedes from opinion entered in case of one of defendant's co-conspirators in which court held that trial court violated defendant's equal protection rights by proposing to consider reduction in prison sentence if he paid specified restitution within sixty days of sentencing hearing--Conflict certified.
NORVIL v. STATE, __ So.3d __, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D520a (Fla. 4DCA 2014). Supreme Court Case No. SC14-746 (Norvil v. State). Order dated December 15, 2014. No oral argument. Criminal law--Sentencing--Considerations--Trial court did not err in considering subsequent charge pending against defendant at sentencing--To extent appellate court's prior holding in Seays v. State can be interpreted as prohibiting consideration of subsequent arrests in sentencing, court clarifies that sentencing court may properly consider subsequent arrests and related charges, if relevant, in determining appropriate sentence, although sentencing court must remain mindful that arrests and pending charges are not convictions or findings of guilt--In case at issue, new charge involving burglary of vehicle was relevant to instant sentencing for armed burglary, allegations of criminal conduct were supported by evidence in record, defendant had not been acquitted of the charge that arose from the subsequent arrest, record did not show that trial court placed undue emphasis on subsequent arrest and charge in imposing sentence, and defendant had opportunity to explain or present evidence on issue of his prior and subsequent arrests--Court recedes from prior case law to extent that it is inconsistent with opinion in this case.
OCHOA v. STATE, 120 So.3d 70, 38 Fla. L. Weekly D1672a (Fla. 2DCA 2013). Supreme Court Case No. SC13-1830 (Ochoa v. State). Order dated December 8, 2014. Criminal law--Double jeopardy--Separate convictions and sentences for both grand theft and dealing in stolen property were improper where offenses arose from single course of conduct--Possession of drugs--Challenge to facial constitutionality of applicable sections of Florida Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act is without merit.
O.I.C.L. v. DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES, 169 So.3d 1244, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D1690a (Fla. 4DCA 2015). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-1570 (O.I.C.L. v. Department of Children and Families). Order dated October 30, 2015. Oral argument set for February 2, 2016. Dependent children--Abuse, abandonment, or neglect--Private petition for adjudication of dependency by undocumented immigrant shortly before his eighteenth birthday alleging abandonment and neglect by parents in foreign country, which adjudication would assist child in securing Special Immigration Juvenile Status visa that would enable him to apply for lawful permanent residency and secure a path to possible citizenship--Trial court did not err in denying petition based on finding that child did not qualify as dependent and was admittedly being well-cared-for by uncle who was ready, willing, and able relative and against whom no allegations of abandonment, abuse, or neglect were made--Discussion of factors trial court should consider when evaluating private dependency petitions filed on behalf of alien child--Although determination of child's status as dependent should be made independent of motivations for seeking that status, courts are cautioned to consider these sorts of petitions carefully.
OMEGA INSURANCE COMPANY v. JOHNSON, __ So.3d __, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D1911a (Fla. 5DCA 2014). Supreme Court Case No. SC14-2124 (Johnson v. Omega Insurance Company). Order dated April 15, 2015. Oral argument set by separate order. Insurance--Homeowners--Sinkhole claim--Attorney's fees--Insured prevailing in action against insurer--Confession of judgment--Where insured filed claim for damage to home caused by sinkhole activity; insurer commissioned professional engineer whose presumptively correct report found that damage was not caused by sinkhole activity; insured commissioned her own engineer's report which disagreed with insurer's report; insured filed breach of contract action against insurer without disclosing her engineer's report; insurer opted to pursue neutral evaluation procedure; and insurer paid claim after neutral evaluator rendered report concluding that damage was caused by sinkhole activity, it was error to award attorney's fees to insured on the basis that insurer confessed judgment by paying claim--Insurer's actions in investigating and handling claim pursuant to pertinent statutory provisions, and in relying on the presumptively correct report it commissioned to deny the claim, did not establish a wrongful or unreasonable denial of benefits that forced insured to file suit to obtain policy benefits.
PATTERSON v. STATE, 153 So.3d 307, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D2435a (Fla. 1DCA 2014). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-228 (Patterson v. State). Order dated May 4, 2015. No oral argument. Criminal law--Arson--Insurance fraud--Double jeopardy--Convictions and sentences for various arson charges and charges of insurance fraud did not violate double jeopardy where convictions were either based on separate, distinct criminal acts or authorized by clear legislative intent--Evidence--No error in permitting state's expert witnesses to testify concerning vehicle allegedly used to start fires, although state allowed vehicle to be destroyed before defendant's expert could examine it--There was no record evidence establishing that state acted in bad faith, and State Fire Marshal investigator took several hundred photographs of vehicle and garage, all of which were made available to defendant and allowed defendant's experts to refute testimony of state's experts--Court notes that state did not argue to jury that its experts' opinions were more credible than defendant's because they physically inspected truck.
PFEFFER v. LABOR READY SOUTHEAST, INC., __ So.3d __, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D1336b (Fla. 1DCA 2014). Supreme Court Case No. SC14-1325 (Pfeffer v. Labor Ready Southeast, Inc.). Order dated November 7, 2014. No oral argument. Workers' compensation--Attorney's fees--Statutory formula--Constitutionality.
PLANK v. STATE, 130 So.3d 289, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D227a (Fla. 1DCA 2014). Supreme Court Case No. SC14-414 (Plank v. State). Order dated April 17, 2014. Oral argument set by separate order. Criminal law--Contempt--Counsel--Trial court did not err in failing to appoint counsel or failing to give opportunity to seek counsel for defendant charged with direct criminal contempt--Defendant does not have right to counsel under Sixth Amendment or Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure when charged with direct criminal contempt--Conflict certified.
PLANNED PARENTHOOD OF GREATER ORLANDO, INC. v. MMB PROPERTIES, 171 So.3d 125, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D1215a (Fla. 5DCA 2015). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-1655 (Planned Parenthood of Greater Orlando, Inc. v. MMB Properties). Order dated November 3, 2015. Oral argument set by separate order. Injunctions--Violation of restrictive covenant--Trial court did not err in entering temporary injunction prohibiting defendant from performing abortions in violation of medical park restrictive covenant which prohibits property from being used as an "Out Patient Surgical Center" or a "Diagnostic Imaging Center" unless ancillary and incidental to a physician's practice of medicine--It is not necessary to prove irreparable harm in order to obtain an injunction to enforce restrictive covenants on real property--Error to enjoin defendant from performing sonograms where that relief was not sought in pleadings or tried by consent--Trial court to strike vague language prohibiting defendant from performing other unspecified procedures--Neither party is entitled to attorney's fees under attorney's fee provision in covenants.
QUEIOR v. STATE, __ So.3d __, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D325a (Fla. 2DCA 2015). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-367 (State v. Queior). Order dated April 14, 2015. No oral argument. Criminal law--Probation revocation--Use of drug or narcotic not prescribed by a physician--Error to revoke probation where state failed to present competent, nonhearsay evidence of defendant's use of a drug or narcotic not prescribed by a physician--Probation officer's testimony about field test results from Drug Check Dip Drug test was not competent, nonhearsay evidence that defendant used an opiate in violation of his probation--Conflict certified.
RICHARDSON v. ARAMARK/SEDGWICK CMS, 134 So.3d 1133, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D388a (Fla. 1DCA 2014). Supreme Court Case No. SC14-738 (Richardson v. Aramark/Sedgwick CMS). Order dated November 7, 2014. No oral argument. Workers' compensation--Attorney's fees--Statutory fee schedule--Constitutionality.
R.J. REYNOLDS TOBACCO COMPANY v. CICCONE, 123 So.3d 604, 38 Fla. L. Weekly D1729a (Fla. 4DCA 2013). Supreme Court Case No. SC13-2415 (R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company v. Ciccone). Order dated June 13, 2014. Oral argument set by separate order. Wrongful death--Product liability--Tobacco--Engle progeny case--Manifestation of disease for purpose of inclusion in Engle class membership--Trial court did not err in instructing jury that decedent's manifestation of peripheral vascular disease occurred when he had symptoms of the disease, instead of when decedent was on notice of the causal connection between his smoking and the disease--Conflict certified--Trial court did not err in denying defendant's motion for directed verdict on the basis that plaintiff failed to introduce reliable medical evidence demonstrating that decedent experienced symptoms of PVD prior to class membership cutoff date--Trial court erred in allowing plaintiff to recover punitive damages under theory of gross negligence since that cause of action was not pled in original Engle class case and jury found for defense on concealment and conspiracy claims.
R.J. REYNOLDS TOBACCO COMPANY v. TOWNSEND, __ So.3d __, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D853a (Fla. 1DCA 2015). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-722 (Townsend v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company). Order dated May 12, 2015. No oral argument. Interest--Interest on judgment--The 2011 amendment to section 55.03, Florida Statutes, applies to any interest that accrued after the effective date of the amendment on a judgment entered before the effective date of the amendment--Question certified: Does the language of section 55.03(3), Florida Statutes (1998), provide that the Legislature intended to abandon the common law rule that post-judgment interest rates change on existing judgments when the legislature changes the rates such that the 2011 amendments to section 55.03, Florida Statutes do not apply to a judgment entered prior to July 1, 2011?
ROBINSON v. STATE, 153 So.3d 313, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D2449b (Fla. 1DCA 2014). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-233 (Robinson v. State). Order dated June 12, 2015. Oral argument set by separate order. Criminal law--Limitation of actions--Running of statute of limitations was tolled while defendant was continuously absent from state--Where defendant is continuously absent from state, express language of section 775.15(5), Florida Statutes, does not require that state undertake a diligent search or that defendant's absence hindered the prosecution for the statute of limitations to be tolled.
RODRIGUEZ v. STATE, 129 So.3d 1135, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D34a (Fla. 3DCA 2014). Supreme Court Case No. SC14-160 (Rodriguez v. State). Order dated May 22, 2014. Oral argument set by separate order. Criminal law--Search and seizure--Residence--Inevitable discovery--Trial court properly denied motion to suppress, based on inevitable discovery doctrine, where bail bondsmen located grow operation while searching defendant's home in an attempt to locate their client and notified police of grow operation, and officers arrived and searched home based on probable cause, which defendant acknowledges existed, and on verbal and signed consent that trial court determined were coerced, but the search was conducted before the process of obtaining a warrant was initiated--Facts provided by bondsmen triggered the police investigation and assured that inculpatory evidence would have been found--Inevitable discovery exception to exclusionary rule does not require that police be in the actual process of seeking a warrant when a nonconsensual search occurs.
ROUGHTON v. STATE, 92 So.3d 284, 37 Fla. L. Weekly D1662a (Fla. 5DCA 2012). Supreme Court Case No. SC12-1719 (Roughton v. State). Order dated April 18, 2013. Oral argument to be set by separate order. Criminal law--Double jeopardy--Separate convictions for sexual battery on victim under twelve years of age and lewd or lascivious molestation of victim under twelve years of age arising out of the same act do not violate double jeopardy--Conflict certified.
SAFECO INSURANCE COMPANY OF ILLINOIS v. FRIDMAN, 117 So.3d 16, 38 Fla. L. Weekly D1159c (Fla. 5DCA 2013). Supreme Court Case No. SC13-1607 (Fridman v. Safeco Insurance Company of Illinois). Order dated April 14, 2014. Oral argument set by separate order. Insurance--Underinsured motorist--Bad faith--Where insurer refused to pay on uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) claim to its insured, insured filed Civil Remedy Notice alleging bad faith, then filed one-count complaint seeking damages under insurance policy, and shortly before trial insurer tendered a check to insured for the policy limits and filed confession of judgment and motion for entry of confession of judgment, which trial court denied, resulting in jury trial with determination of $1 million in damages, entry of judgment in favor of plaintiff for policy limits, and reservation of jurisdiction to determine insured's right to seek and litigate bad faith damages, trial court was in error to require the parties to proceed to trial and should instead have merely entered the confessed judgment in favor of insured, reserving jurisdiction to award only costs, interest and reasonable attorney's fees--When insurer agreed to entry of judgment against it in the amount of policy limits, the issues between the parties as framed by the pleadings became moot--No merit to insured's claim that entry of confessed judgment renders remedies for insurer's failure to act in good faith "impotent and obsolete"--There is no legal impediment to insured's pursuing bad faith action against insurer--An insured is not required to obtain a jury verdict in excess of the applicable UM coverage as condition precedent to bringing first party bad faith action.
SEARCY, DENNEY, SCAROLA, BARNHARDT & SHIPLEY v. STATE, __ So.3d __, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D1647a & D2148b (Fla. 4DCA 2015). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-1747 (Searcy, Denney, Scarola, Barnhardt & Shipley v. State). Order dated October 14, 2015. Oral argument set by separate order. Guardianship--Attorney's fees--Amount--Limitation--Claims bill--Appeal from refusal of guardianship court to authorize payment of $2.5 million in attorney's fees to firms involved in litigation of medical malpractice lawsuit, appeal, and subsequent lobbying effort to secure claims bill on behalf of ward and his parents--Guardianship court did not err in denying motion for attorney's fees above $100,000 limit placed on legal fees and costs by the legislature claims bill--Florida Supreme Court has held that limitation of attorneys' fees in private relief act/claims bill is constitutionally permissible exercise of legislative authority and does not constitute an unconstitutional impairment of contractual obligations--Question certified: After the enactment of section 768.28 and the adoption of Florida Senate Rule 4.81(6), is it constitutionally permissible for the Florida Legislature to limit the amount of attorneys' fees paid from a guardianship trust established by a legislative claims bill?
SHANDS JACKSONVILLE MEDICAL CENTER, INC. v. STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY, __ So.3d __, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D1447a (Fla. 1DCA 2015). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-1257 (State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company v. Shands Jacksonville Medical Center, Inc.). Order dated September 2, 2015. Oral argument set by separate order. Insurance--Personal injury protection--Discovery--Trial court abused discretion in ordering health care provider to produce confidential contracts between health care providers and health insurance entities which PIP insurer sought because they contain information regarding negotiated reimbursement rates that health care provider agreed to accept for services rendered on behalf of each entity's insureds--Order exceeds scope of discovery provided by statute--Trial court also abused discretion by ordering health care provider to make a designated corporate representative available for deposition--Conflict certified.
SOFFER v. R.J. REYNOLDS TOBACCO COMPANY, 106 So.3d 456, 37 Fla. L. Weekly D2498a; 106 So.3d 465, 38 Fla. L. Weekly D83b (Fla. 1DCA 2012, 2013) (Soffer v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company). Order dated February 28, 2014. Oral argument set by separate order. Wrongful death--Product liability--Tobacco--Punitive damages--Plaintiff who is member of class in Engle v. Liggett Group, Inc. is not entitled to seek punitive damages for negligence and strict liability counts--Because lead plaintiffs in Engle did not timely assert claims for punitive damages as to negligence and strict liability counts, the claims were barred by the statute of limitations, and they are unavailable to Engle progeny plaintiffs--Question certified: Are members of the class in Engle v. Liggett Group, Inc., 945 So 2d 1246 (Fla. 2006) entitled to pursue an award of punitive damages under theories of negligence or strict liability?
ST. PAUL FIRE AND MARINE INSURANCE COMPANY v. LLORENTE, 156 So.3d 511, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D67a (Fla. 3DCA 2015). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-508 (Llorente v. St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company). Order dated August 18, 2015. Oral argument set by separate order. Insurance--Professional liability--Exclusions--Policy provision which excluded "claims arising out of the inability or failure to pay, collect, administer or safeguard funds held or to be held for others," unambiguously excluded coverage for insured's negligent disbursement of funds being held in her trust account while acting as escrow agent in real estate transaction.
STAHL v. HIALEAH HOSPITAL, 160 So.3d 519, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D718a (Fla. 1DCA 2015). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-725 (Stahl v. Hialeah Hospital). Order dated October 13, 2015. Oral argument set by separate order. Workers' compensation--Medical benefits--No merit to claimant's assertion that 1994 addition of $10 copay for medical visits after claimant attains maximum medical improvement and 2003 elimination of permanent partial disability benefits make Workers' Compensation Law an inadequate exclusive replacement remedy for a tort action--Copay furthers legitimate stated purpose of ensuring reasonable medical costs after injured worker has reached MMI, and PPD benefits were supplanted by impairment income benefits.
STAPLES v. STATE, __ So.3d __, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D2279a (Fla. 5DCA 2014). Supreme Court Case No. SC14-2485 (Staples v. State). Order dated April 14, 2015. No oral argument. Criminal law--Probation revocation--Trial court did not abuse discretion by finding that defendant willfully violated condition of sex offender probation that he successfully complete sex offender treatment program when defendant was terminated from program because of his continuous denial of sexual misconduct.
STATE v. D.A., 939 So.2d 149 (Fla. 5DCA 2006). Supreme Court Case No. SC06-2100 (State v. D.A.). Order dated February 12, 2008. No oral argument. Criminal law -- Juveniles -- Lewd and lascivious molestation -- Speedy trial -- Amendment of charging document during speedy trial recapture period -- Trial judge correctly applied binding precedent when it dismissed petition pursuant to juvenile speedy trial rule because state amended petition during recapture period to change erroneous citation to statute which applies to a defendant 18 years of age or older to citation to statute which applies to a defendant under age 18 -- Court is compelled by supreme court's decision in Glover v. State to conclude that age of defendant is element of crime of lewd or lascivious molestation -- Trial court correctly concluded that amended delinquency petition charged a new crime -- Conflict certified -- Questions certified: In light of the ruling in Glover v. State, 863 So. 2d 236 (Fla. 2003), is the age of the offender an element of the offense of lewd or lascivious offenses under section 800.04, Florida Statutes? -- If so, does Williams v. State, 791 So. 2d 1088 (Fla. 2001), require dismissal of an amended delinquency petition, filed after expiration of the speedy trial period, which changed the age of the offender?
STATE v. DEBAUN, 129 So.3d 1089, 38 Fla. L. Weekly D2266a (Fla. 3DCA 2013). Supreme Court Case No. SC13-2336 (Debaun v. State). Order dated April 3, 2014. Oral argument set by separate order. Criminal law--Knowingly having sexual intercourse with another person without informing the other person of positive HIV status--Trial court erred in interpreting "sexual intercourse" as used in statute as meaning only contact between genitals of a man and a woman, and dismissing charges against defendant for having uninformed HIV infected sexual intercourse with another man--"Sexual intercourse" applies to behavior other than contact between the genitals of a man and a woman, including that between two men--Conflict certified.
STATE v. ENGLISH, 148 So.3d 529, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D2130a (Fla. 5DCA 2014). Supreme Court Case No. SC14-2229 (English v. State). Order dated April 10, 2015. No oral argument. Criminal law--Search and seizure--Vehicle stop--Error to suppress evidence obtained at stop, conducted by officers who noticed tag light and attached wires were obstructing license plate, based on the single fact that during a turn, the wires shifted and license plate became momentarily unobstructed and readable--Plain reading of statute requires license plate to be plainly visible at all times--Stop was proper.
STATE v. MIRANDA, 137 So.3d 1133, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D693a (Fla. 3DCA 2014). Supreme Court Case No. SC14-888 (Miranda v. State). Order dated December 17, 2014. Oral argument set by separate order. Criminal law--Competency of defendant--Where examining experts concluded that defendant was incompetent to proceed, and that his incompetence was due to intellectual deficits rather than mental illness, it was error for experts to fail to perform any standardized intelligence tests on defendant to ascertain the nature or extent of his intellectual deficits or whether defendant met statutory definition of retardation--If examining expert concludes that defendant is incompetent to proceed due to a mental illness or an intellectual disability, expert's report is required to identify the mental illness or intellectual disability that is causing the incompetence; recommend the treatment or training needed; and address the likelihood that, with recommended treatment or training, defendant will attain competency in the foreseeable future--Trial court erred by finding defendant incompetent to proceed without holding evidentiary hearing as requested by state to determine whether defendant is competent to proceed; if defendant is incompetent to proceed, whether he meets criteria for involuntary commitment; what treatment or training, if any, defendant needs to attain a level of competency to proceed; how long the treatment or training would take; and what facilities are available to provide the necessary treatment or training--There is no requirement that defendant must be released if he is incompetent to proceed but does not meet the criteria for involuntary commitment under Chapter 916, as Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.212 provides court with other options.
STATE v. NORMAN, 159 So.3d 205, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D458b (Fla. 4DCA 2015). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-650 (Norman v. State). Order dated October 6, 2015. Oral argument to be set by separate order. Criminal law--Firearms--Open carrying of weapon--Prohibition--Constitutionality of statute--Florida's ban on open carry of firearms, while permitting concealed carry under a "shall-issue" licensing scheme, does not infringe on Florida's constitutional guarantee or infringe on central component of Second Amendment, the right of self-defense--Intermediate scrutiny is proper standard to apply to Section 790.053, which generally prohibits the open carrying of firearms, and statute passes this test--State has substantial interest in regulating firearms as matter of public safety--Declaration of Policy expressed in section 790.25, which addresses lawful ownership, possession, and use of firearms and other weapons, sufficiently establishes that a reasonable fit exists between challenged law and Legislature's asserted objectives--Court declines to consider challenge to statute using overbreadth analysis--Exceptions to the prohibition against open carry constitute affirmative defenses to a prosecution for a charge of open carry--Holstered gun in plain view is not concealed weapon--Court need not address whether "brief and open display" exception unconstitutionally infects the open carry law by its vagueness because this exception did not apply to defendant under facts of case--Extensive discussion of right to bear arms.
STATE, DEPARTMENT OF HIGHWAY SAFETY AND MOTOR VEHICLES v. WIGGINS, __ So.3d __, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D1894a (Fla. 1DCA 2014). Supreme Court Case No. SC14-2195 (Wiggins v. Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles). Order dated December 17, 2014. Oral argument set by separate order. Administrative law--Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles--Licensing--Driver's license--Appeals--Certiorari--Circuit court, in its appellate capacity, departed from essential requirements of law when it concluded that its independent review and assessment of events on a video of traffic stop trumped hearing officer's factual findings, which were based on arresting officer's testimony and report--Under clearly established legal principle, circuit court applies the "wrong" or "incorrect" law when it reweighs or reevaluates conflicting evidence and decides the merits of the underlying dispute anew--Not applying correct law results in miscarriage of justice--Question certified whether a circuit court fails to apply the correct law by rejecting as non-credible the entirety of an arresting officer's testimony and report concerning a traffic stop, upon which the hearing officer's factual findings relied, based solely on the circuit court's own independent review and assessment of events on the video of a traffic stop.
U.S. BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION v. BARTRAM, __ So.3d __, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D871d (Fla. 5DCA 2014). Supreme Court Case Nos. SC14-1265, SC14-1266, SC14-1305 (Bartram v. U.S. Bank National Association; The Plantation at Ponte Vedra v. U.S. Bank National Association). Order dated September 11, 2014. Oral argument set by separate order. Mortgage foreclosure--Limitation of actions--Acceleration of payments due under a note and mortgage in a foreclosure action that was dismissed for failure of mortgagee to appear at case management conference does not trigger application of statute of limitations to prevent a subsequent foreclosure action by the mortgagee based on payment defaults occurring subsequent to the first foreclosure suit--Question certified.
VILLANUEVA v. STATE, 118 So.3d 999, 38 Fla. L. Weekly D1783a (Fla. 3DCA 2013). Supreme Court Case No. SC13-1828 (Villanueva v. State). Order dated January 14, 2014. No oral argument. Criminal law--Probation--Conditions--Trial court had authority to impose as a special condition of probation for offense of misdemeanor battery that defendant undergo sex offender therapy where facts in record indicate that the non-consensual physical contact underlying the battery involved the touching of a juvenile female's breasts and buttocks--Sex offender therapy as a condition of probation is not restricted to statutorily enumerated sexual offenses--In imposing sex offender therapy as a condition of probation, court is not limited to considering only the face of the conviction, but may also consider the facts underlying the conviction--Scrivener's error in probation order to be corrected--Written sentencing order to be corrected to conform to oral pronouncements.
WALTON v. STATE, 106 So.3d 522, 38 Fla. L. Weekly D333a (Fla. 1DCA 2013). Supreme Court Case No. SC13-1652 (Walton v. State). Order dated April 3, 2014. Oral argument set by separate order. Criminal law--Sentencing--Mandatory minimum--Consecutive sentences--Trial court may properly impose consecutive mandatory minimum sentences under 10-20-Life statute where defendant discharges a firearm during single episode involving multiple victims, and also where there are multiple victims in a single episode and defendant does not discharge a firearm--Trial court did not err in imposing consecutive mandatory minimum sentences on two counts of attempted armed robbery with possession of a firearm where the offenses were committed on two different victims in a single episode--Conflict certified--Trial court erred in resentencing defendant in his absence--Defense counsel's consent did not serve to waive defendant's right to be present at resentencing.
WEATHERSPOON v. STATE, __ So.3d __, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D1470a & D1915a (Fla. 4DCA 2015). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-1542 (Weatherspoon v. State). Order dated October 15, 2015. Oral argument set by separate order. Criminal law--Attempted murder--Jury instructions--No error in instructing jury on attempted felony murder although information charged attempted premeditated murder--Statements of defendant--Statements made subsequent to request to contact counsel--Equivocal request--Question certified: In light of the legislature's creation of section 782.051, which created a crime called "attempted felony murder," that was previously declared by State v. Gray to be a nonexistent crime under section 782.04(1)(a), does the state need to specifically allege the elements of and cite to section 782.051 or does an allegation of attempted premeditated murder automatically include attempted felony murder, just as an indictment for premeditated murder automatically includes felony murder?
WEBER v. MARINO PARKING SYSTEMS, INC., 100 So.3d 729, 37 Fla. L. Weekly D2576a (Fla. 2DCA 2012). Supreme Court Case No. SC12-2507 (Weber v. Marino Parking Systems, Inc.). Order dated April 23, 2013. Oral argument to be set by separate order. Wrongful death--Negligence--Valet service--Action against valet parking service by estate of decedent who was killed in automobile accident while riding in vehicle being driven by vehicle owner to whom valet service had returned car keys while owner was obviously intoxicated--Trial court properly dismissed action on ground that valet parking service owes no duty to third parties to refrain from returning car keys to an obviously intoxicated customer--A valet service, a bailee, cannot be liable for negligently entrusting a car to its rightful owner.
WEEKS v. STATE, 146 So.3d 81, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D1798a (Fla. 1DCA 2014). Supreme Court Case No. SC14-1856 (State v. Weeks). Order dated December 15, 2014. No oral argument. Criminal law--Possession of firearm by convicted felon--Replica of antique firearm--Section 790.23, Florida Statutes, is unconstitutional with respect to the possession of a replica of an antique firearm by a convicted felon--Statute is unconstitutionally vague as to antique replica firearms because the phrases "firearm" and "antique firearm" defined in chapter 790 do not give adequate notice of what constitutes a permissible replica of an antique firearm which may be lawfully carried by a convicted felon--Conflict certified.
WILLIAMS v. STATE, __ So.3d __, 38 Fla. L. Weekly D912a (Fla. 4DCA 2013). Supreme Court Case No. SC13-1080 (Williams v. State). Order dated July 16, 2013. Oral argument set by separate order. Criminal law--Sentencing--Aggravated assault with firearm--Consecutive sentences--Single criminal episode--Trial court did not err in finding it was statutorily required to impose consecutive sentences for multiple convictions arising from single criminal episode--Question certified: Does section 775.087(2)(d)'s statement that "The court shall impose any term of imprisonment provided for in this subsection consecutively to any other term of imprisonment imposed for any other felony offense" require consecutive sentences when the sentences arise from one criminal episode?
WORLEY v. CENTRAL FLORIDA YOUNG MEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION, INC., 163 So.3d 1240, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D1158a (Fla. 5DCA 2015). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-1086 (Worley v. Central Florida Young Men's Christian Association, Inc.). Order dated September 1, 2015. No oral argument. Torts--Premises liability--Trip and fall--Civil procedure--Discovery--Relationship between plaintiff's treating physicians and her attorneys--Attorney-client privilege--Disclosure of a referral of a client by an attorney to a healthcare provider is not always protected by attorney-client privilege--Conflict certified--Plaintiff made prima facie showing that order required production of information protected by attorney-client privilege and created irreparable harm--However, portion of order requiring plaintiff to produce names of any and all cases where client was referred directly or indirectly by any attorney employed by law firm to relevant treating physicians, which necessarily includes information on whether plaintiff was referred to physician by attorneys, does not depart from essential requirements of law, especially considering that defendant has sufficiently demonstrated good-faith basis for suspecting that a referral relationship exists between treating physicians and plaintiff's attorneys--Trial court did not depart from essential requirements of law by requiring plaintiff to produce any and all documents reflecting formal or informal agreements, arrangements, and understandings regarding billing for patients or any direct or indirect referral of a client by any attorney employed or affiliated with law firm to any of the treating physicians in this case--Existence of a referral relationship between plaintiff's attorneys and her treating physicians is relevant, not privileged, and essential to truth-seeking function of court system--Trial court could properly require law firm, a nonparty, to conditionally produce the discovery if plaintiff could not where doctors provided nebulous testimony about their past dealings with referring law firm--Fact that order does not include provision for costs and that compliance may be overly burdensome not basis for reversal, as order does not prevent plaintiff from seeking reasonable compensation for costs at end of case--Order did not improperly expand scope of bias-related discovery that is otherwise permissible under Allstate Insurance Co. v. Boecher, in which supreme court held that party may propound discovery requests directly to party regarding extent of that party's use of and payment to particular expert.