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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.
ACEVEDO v. STATE, 174 So.3d 437, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D1752b (Fla. 4DCA 2015). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-1873 (Acevedo v. State). Order dated March 16, 2016. Oral argument set by separate order. Criminal law--Sentencing--Correction--Mandatory minimum twenty-five year sentence as a dangerous sexual felony offender--Qualifying offenses--Offense under former statutory designation which is similar in elements to a qualifying offense--Former version of section 800.04, Florida Statutes (1981) is similar in elements to sections 800.04(4) and 800.04(5), Florida Statutes (2005)--Conflict certified.
AHF-BAY FUND, LLC v. CITY OF LARGO, 169 So.3d 133, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D939d (Fla. 2DCA 2015). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-1261 (City of Largo v. AHF-Bay Fund, LLC). Order dated December 8, 2015. Oral argument set by separate order. Contracts--Municipal corporations--Taxation--A PILOT agreement which requires that a nonprofit organization which provides affordable housing for low to moderate income families, and is exempt from ad valorem taxes on the property, make payments in lieu of taxes to a local government violates Florida public policy and article VII, section 9(a) of the Florida Constitution, which permits municipalities to impose taxes only as authorized by law--Question certified: Do PILOT agreements that require payments equaling ad valorem taxes that would otherwise be due but for a statutory tax exemption violate section 196.1978, Florida Statutes (2000), and article VII, section 9(a) of the Florida Constitution?
ALLSTATE INSURANCE COMPANY v. HOLMES REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER, INC., 171 So.3d 163, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D1713a (Fla. 5DCA 2015). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-1555 (Holmes Regional Medical Center, Inc. v. Allstate Insurance Company). Order dated June 10, 2016. No oral argument. Torts--Equitable subrogation--Action by tortfeasor and its liability insurer against whom judgment has been entered finding tortfeasor liable in personal injury action, seeking equitable subrogation from medical providers who are allegedly responsible for a substantial portion of the damages in the underlying personal injury action--Trial court erred in dismissing equitable subrogation action on the basis that tortfeasor and tortfeasor's insurer have not paid the entirety of injured party's damages--Right to equitable subrogation arises when payment has been made or judgment has been entered, so long as the judgment represents the victim's entire damages--Question certified to Florida Supreme Court: Is a party that has had judgment entered against it entitled to seek equitable subrogation from a subsequent tortfeasor when the judgment has not been fully satisfied?
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.
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.
BORDEN DAIRY COMPANY OF ALABAMA, LLC v. KUHAJDA, 171 So.3d 242, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D1902a (Fla. 1DCA 2015). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-1682 (Kuhajda v. Borden Dairy Company of Alabama, LLC.). Order dated November 30, 2015. No oral argument. Torts--Attorney's fees--Offer of judgment--Error to award attorney's fees to plaintiff based on offer of judgment where plaintiff failed to strictly comply with rule 1.442--Plaintiff failed to strictly comply with rule when she failed to state in offers of judgment whether the offers included attorney's fees and whether attorney's fees were part of the legal claim--Finding that there was no ambiguity because plaintiff never sought attorney's fees in her complaint not basis for excusing failure to strictly comply with rule--Supreme court has held that strict compliance with rule is proper test, not ambiguity--Supreme court holding applies even to cases where attorneys' fees were not sought in complaint--Conflict certified.
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.
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?
CZAJKOWSKI v. STATE, 178 So.3d 498, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D2464b (Fla. 4DCA). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-2313. (Czajkowski v. State). Order dated March 24, 2016. Oral argument to be set by separate order. Criminal law--Unlawful compensation or reward for official behavior--Conspiracy--Trial court did not err in denying motion to dismiss information on ground that statute was unconstitutional as applied to defendant because of vagueness of phrase "not authorized by law"--Although phrase is not defined in statute itself, its meaning can be ascertained by reference to other statutory provisions, case law, and plain and ordinary meaning of its words of common usage.
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.
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.
DOCKSWELL v. BETHESDA MEMORIAL HOSPITAL, INC., 177 So.3d 270, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D2141a (Fla. 4DCA 2015). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-2294 (Dockswell v. Bethesda Memorial Hospital, Inc.). Order dated April 14, 2016. Oral argument set by separate order. Torts--Hospitals--Medical malpractice--Action arising out of incident in which nurse allegedly quickly and forcefully removed post-operative drainage tube from patient, unknowingly leaving section of drainage tube inside patient--Jury instructions--No error in refusing to give requested instruction on presumption of negligence arising from discovery of presence of foreign body--Instruction was not appropriate where plaintiffs were able to present direct evidence of negligence--At time of alleged negligence, patient was medicated, but was not unconscious, and patient's wife was in hospital room, and there were no genuine doubts surrounding identity of the allegedly culpable party or the events that led to tube being left inside patient by time case went to trial--Foreign body instruction was not necessary to allow jury to resolve issues in case or supported by facts of case--Whether foreign body instruction may have been properly applied to claim that nurse negligently failed to inspect tubing, although not applicable to claim of negligent removal, not considered by appellate court where parties did not submit proposed instructions differentiating claims despite trial court's request.
DOMINIQUE v. STATE, 171 So.3d 204, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D1828a (Fla. 4DCA 2015). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-1613 (State v. Dominique). Order dated November 25, 2015. No oral argument. Criminal law--Second degree murder--Jury instructions--Lesser-included offenses--Manslaughter by act--Trial court erred in giving standard jury instruction which required jury to find killing was intentional--Error was fundamental where erroneous instruction pertained to disputed element of offense, defendant's state of mind, and error was pertinent or material to what jury had to consider to convict the defendant--Error not cured by instructing jury on manslaughter by culpable negligence--Conflict certified.
DOZIER v. STATE, 175 So.3d 322, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D1946g (Fla. 1DCA 2015). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-2092 (Dozier v. State). Order dated May 2, 2016. Oral argument set by separate order. Criminal law--Speedy trial--Interstate Agreement on Detainers Act--Defendant is not entitled to discharge under speedy trial protections of IADA where, at the time of defendant's IADA request, even though a detainer had been filed, no indictment, information, or complaint yet existed that would trigger IADA's application--IADA cannot be triggered solely by the filing of a detainer pursuant to a felony warrant--Further, defendant's requests were not in substantial compliance with the requirements for a request for a final disposition under IADA--Petition for writ of prohibition denied.
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?
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.
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.
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.
GORDON v. STATE, 139 So.3d 958, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D1203a (Fla. 2DCA 2014). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-1654 (Gordon v. State). Order dated December 7, 2015. Criminal law--Trafficking in and conspiracy to traffic in oxycodone--Sentencing--Excessive fines--Neither $100,000 fine imposed for trafficking conviction nor $500,000 fine imposed for conspiracy conviction was excessive within proscriptions of state or federal constitutions--Appeals--Although defendant did not preserve any error as to fines either by objecting at sentencing or by rule 3.800(b) motion, because defendant challenges a sentencing statute as facially unconstitutional, and no appellate court has already addressed the issue, the issue is reviewable.
GRAHAM v. STATE, 170 So.3d 141, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D1568b (Fla. 1DCA 2015). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-1416 (Graham v. State). Order dated December 14, 2015. No oral argument. Criminal law--Lewd or lascivious molestation--Double jeopardy--Separate convictions for two counts of lewd or lascivious molestation of same victim during same episode were not barred by double jeopardy clauses of state and federal constitutions where charges were predicated on two distinct acts of touching victim's breasts or the clothing covering them and touching victim's buttocks or the clothing covering them--Conflict certified--Witnesses--Cross-examination--Trial court did not abuse its discretion in prohibiting defense counsel from cross-examining victim and victim's mother about prior incidents of sexual abuse--Even if prior incidents of sexual abuse of victim and mother were marginally relevant, probative value of testimony would be substantially outweighed by potential prejudice.
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.
GREEN v. COTTRELL, 172 So.3d 1009, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D2058c (Fla. 1DCA 2015). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-1805 (Green v. Cottrell). Order dated February 19, 2016. Oral argument set by separate order. Torts--Negligence--Corrections officers--Limitation of actions--Action in which inmate alleged that negligence of defendant corrections officers enabled other inmates to attack him was properly dismissed as time-barred--Trial court properly applied one-year limitations period in section 95.11(5)(g), which applies to actions brought by or on behalf of a prisoner relating to conditions of the prisoner's confinement, rather than four-year statute of limitations period set forth in section 768.28(14), relating to claims "against the state or one of its agencies or subdivisions for damages for a negligent or wrongful act or omission pursuant to this section . . .," because section 95.11(5)(g) is the more specific of the two statutes and was more recently enacted--Conflict certified--Civil rights--Dismissal of federal section 1983 civil rights claims for failure to exhaust administrative remedies affirmed without discussion.
GRESHAM v. STATE, 181 So.3d 1207, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D2706b (Fla. 1DCA 2015). Supreme Court Case No. SC16-359 (Gresham v. State). Order dated May 24, 2016. No oral argument. Criminal law--Post conviction DNA testing--Trial court did not err in denying motion for post conviction DNA testing without a response from state where motion was facially insufficient--Motion was facially insufficient where it did not allege that identification was a genuinely disputed issue at trial or explain how DNA testing would exonerate defendant.
GRETNA RACING, LLC v. DEPARTMENT OF BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONAL REGULATION, DIVISION OF PARI-MUTUEL WAGERING, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D2242a (Fla. 1DCA 2015). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-1929 (Gretna Racing, LLC v. Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation). Order dated December 1, 2015. Oral argument set by separate order. Administrative law--Pari-mutuel wagering--Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering properly denied license for slot machine gaming at a horsetrack facility in Gadsden County after approval by a countywide vote--There is no legislative authorization for counties other than Miami-Dade and Broward to hold slot machine referenda in their jurisdictions without passage of additional authority--Further, the Gadsden County vote was not an authorized "referendum"--Question certified: Whether the Legislature intended that the third clause of section 551.102(4), Florida Statutes, enacted in 2009, authorize expansion of slot machines beyond Miami-Dade and Broward Counties via local referendum in all other eligible Florida counties without additional statutory or constitutional authorization after the effective date of the act?
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.
HOOKER v. HOOKER, 174 So.3d 507, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D1986a (Fla. 4DCA 2015). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-1881 (Hooker v. Hooker). Order dated March 18, 2016. Oral argument set by separate order. Dissolution of marriage--Prenuptial agreement--Equitable distribution--Marital/non-marital assets--Gifts--Where husband purchased two properties with funds that could be traced to his pre-marital assets, which were kept separate by the parties' prenuptial agreement, and prenuptial agreement provided that any appreciation of those assets would remain separate, the only way wife could claim interest in either property was by interspousal gift--With respect to property that constituted parties' primary marital residence through vast majority of marriage and was site of business in which wife was extremely and directly involved, none of the facts found by trial court evidenced a clear and unmistakable intention on part of husband to make a gift, as required to establish donative intent--Trial court erred in finding that wife had interest in this property by virtue of interspousal gift--With respect to second home, facts evidenced sufficient donative intent to uphold trial court's determination that wife had interest in this property--Husband bought this property in a location where wife desired to live, told wife home was for both of them, and sent wife a card for their tenth wedding anniversary with picture of the property, and wife purchased some furnishings and incidentals for the home from her separate funds--Evidence was sufficient to establish two remaining elements of gift, delivery or possession and surrender of dominion and control--Trial court did not abuse its discretion in finding that delivery was made at time wife obtained keys to property and began to possess property as her summer home according to intention of husband--Evidence was uncontroverted that wife had unfettered access to home and made decisions on care and maintenance of property with ability to incur expenses on behalf of husband--Disproportionate distribution--Trial court made appropriate findings regarding statutory factors to support unequal award to wife of only 25% interest in this property--Equitable distribution schedule to be reconsidered on remand after awarding 100% of first property to husband as his own non-marital property.
HUNTER v. SHAW, 182 So.3d 784, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D43d (Fla. 1DCA 2016). Supreme Court Case No. SC16-118 (Shaw v. Hunter). Order dated May 25, 2016. Oral argument set by separate order. Torts--Sheriffs--Venue--Home venue privilege--Action against sheriff is his official capacity, alleging sheriff's vicarious liability for negligence of deputy sheriff in rear-end collision with plaintiffs' vehicle--Sheriff and deputy sheriff were not joint tortfeasors, and joint tortfeasor exception to home venue privilege was not applicable--Florida law does not recognize a co-defendant exception.
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.
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.
KELSEY v. STATE, __ So.3d __, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D1291b & D2523a (Fla. 1DCA 2015). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-2079 (Kelsey v. State). Order dated November 19, 2015. No oral argument. Criminal law--Sentencing--Nonhomicide offenses committed by juvenile--De facto life sentence--Defendant whose initial sentences for nonhomicide crimes violated Graham v. Florida, and who was resentenced to concurrent forty-five year terms, was not entitled to a new resentencing under the framework established in chapter 2014-220, Laws of Florida--Question certified--Forty-five year sentence is not de facto life sentence to which Graham applies.
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.
LEDOUX-NOTTINGHAM v. DOWNS, 163 So.3d 560, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D799a (Fla. 5DCA 2015). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-1037 (Ledoux-Nottingham v. Downs). Order dated December 1, 2015. Oral argument set by separate order. Child custody--Time-sharing--Visitation--Grandparents--Domestication and enforcement of foreign court order awarding visitation to grandparents--Because foreign court order was final judgment and emanated from a "child custody proceeding" within meaning of section 61.503(4), Florida Statutes, it became enforceable in Florida pursuant to Full Faith and Credit Clause and section 61.526--Enforcement not barred by Florida's public policy of guaranteeing fundamental right of privacy in child-rearing autonomy--Conflict certified--Modification--Trial court did not abuse its discretion by denying mother's petition for modification of time-sharing schedule after determining that there had not been a substantial and material change in circumstances during the 13 days between entry of the foreign court order and filing of mother's modification petition--Make-up visitation or time-sharing--Grandparents' argument on cross-appeal that trial court erred in denying them make-up visitation or time-sharing is not ripe for review where trial court specifically reserved jurisdiction to consider grandparents' motion for enforcement/contempt and make-up visitation--Attorney's fees--Error to deny grandparents' request for attorney's fees without considering whether assessing attorney's fees against mother would be "clearly inappropriate."
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.
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.
MARTINEZ v. STATE, 169 So.3d 170, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D1313a (Fla. 4DCA 2015). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-1620 (Martinez v. State). Order dated March 11, 2016. Oral argument set by separate order. Criminal law--Sentencing--Correction--Mandatory minimum--10-20-Life law--Where defendant knew he was charged with armed robbery and was on notice that his actual possession of firearm was factual issue to be submitted to the jury, and jury made express finding of "actual possession," defendant was not prejudiced by defect in charging document, which alleged that defendant "carried" a firearm--Defendant waived alleged charging defect by failing to object to special interrogatory or imposition of mandatory minimum sentence or to raise these issues on direct appeal.
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.
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.
MORRISON v. STATE, 161 So.3d 564, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D2255b (Fla. 2DCA 2014). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-1526 (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.
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.
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.
RAMROOP v. STATE, 174 So.3d 584, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D2065a (Fla. 5DCA 2015). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-1816 (Ramroop v. State). Order dated April 8, 2016. Oral argument set by separate order. Criminal law--First degree murder--Evidence--Trial court erred in admitting into evidence an inflammatory photograph of victim's body in intersection where crash occurred where defendant and state mutually stipulated to identity of deceased and fact that victim had died from injuries sustained when he was ejected from his vehicle after vehicle was struck by defendant's car--Error was harmless under circumstances--Argument--Comments by prosecutor disparaging defense counsel and theory of defense, although improper, did not rise to level of fundamental error and were not preserved for appellate review by objection--Attempted second-degree murder of law enforcement officer engaged in lawful performance of duty--Sentencing--Knowledge of victim's status as law enforcement officer is prerequisite to enhanced penalty pursuant to section 782.065--Because jury instruction pertaining to jury's special finding that victim was law enforcement officer engaged in performance of duties at time of offense failed to also require the jury to find that defendant had knowledge of victim's status, jury's special finding must be vacated--Section 782.065 is reclassification statute, rather than a statute creating a substantive offense--Under U.S. Supreme Court precedent, any fact that elevates defendant's maximum possible sentence, other than prior conviction, must be found beyond reasonable doubt by jury, rather than by judge--Appropriate remedy is resentencing on attempted second-degree murder conviction without reclassification--Extensive discussion of section 782.065.
RICHARDS v. STATE, 128 So.3d 959, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D46a (Fla. 2DCA 2014). Supreme Court Case No. SC14-184 (Richards v. State). Order dated May 26, 2016. No oral argument. Criminal law--Attempted second degree murder--Jury instructions--Giving of flawed standard jury instruction on attempted manslaughter as lesser included offense of attempted second degree murder did not constitute fundamental error where next lesser included offense on which jury was instructed was aggravated battery, so that offense for which defendant was convicted was two steps removed from attempted manslaughter--Error was not fundamental for additional reason that defendant's sole defense was self-defense, and he never claimed that he did not intend to kill victim--Even if error had been fundamental, error was waived because defendant affirmatively requested the jury instruction.
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. MAROTTA, __ So.3d __, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D100b (Fla. 4DCA 2016). Supreme Court Case No. SC16-218 (R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company v. Marotta). Order dated March 8, 2016. Oral argument set by separate order. Wrongful death--Product liability--Tobacco--Engle progeny case--Federal preemption--Federal law does not implicitly preempt state law tort claims of strict liability and negligence by Engle progeny plaintiffs based on sale of cigarettes--Question certified--Engle progeny cases do not support conclusion that strict product liability claims amount to a ban on the sale of cigarettes--Further, federal tobacco laws expressly preserve a state's ability to regulate tobacco in ways other than manufacturing and labeling while declining to "modify or otherwise affect any action or the liability of any person under the product liability law of any State."
R.J. REYNOLDS TOBACCO COMPANY v. SCHOEFF, 178 So.3d 487, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D2477a (Fla. 4DCA 2015). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-2233 (Schoeff v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company). Order dated May 26, 2016. Oral argument set by separate order. Wrongful death--Product liability--Tobacco--Engle progeny case--Action against tobacco company alleging causes of action for strict liability, fraudulent concealment, conspiracy, negligence, and gross negligence arising out of death from lung cancer caused by decedent's addiction to cigarettes--Damages--Trial court erred in denying defendant's motion for remittitur of $30 million punitive damages award--Award was excessive in light of $10.5 million compensatory damages award--Even if not unconstitutionally excessive, remittitur should have been granted where award exceeded amount sought by counsel for plaintiff and trial court found that there was "no logical or sound reason" for jury to exceed the amount sought by plaintiff's counsel--Remand with directions to grant motion for remittitur and, if defendant does not agree with remitted amount, to hold new trial on punitive damages--Compensatory damages--Reduction--Comparative negligence--Trial court did not err in reducing compensatory damages award under comparative fault statute despite plaintiff's argument that comparative fault reduction was barred because jury found defendant had committed intentional tort of fraudulent concealment--Waiver--Trial court did not err in finding that plaintiff waived right to assert intentional tort exception to comparative fault where, although complaint specifically stated that plaintiff was seeking apportionment of fault for only negligence claims and not intentional tort claims, plaintiff's counsel represented to jury that plaintiff accepted that decedent was partially at fault for smoking-related illness and death and jury was likely misled that its award would be reduced by its determination of comparative fault--With respect to trial court's alternative finding that intentional tort exception did not apply to plaintiff's case because it was a product liability case at its core based on conduct grounded in negligence, appellate court agrees with this finding--Appeals--De novo standard of review applies to trial court's determination of whether certain conduct qualifies as negligence.
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.
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?
SELLS v. CSX TRANSPORTATION, INC., 170 So.3d 27, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D1044b (Fla. 1DCA 2015). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-1639 (Sells v. CSX Transportation, Inc.). Order dated February 19, 2016. Oral argument set by separate order. Wrongful death--Railroads--Action against railroad under Federal Employers Liability Act by personal representative of conductor on train who suffered cardiac arrest while train was in a rural area--Trial court did not err in setting aside jury verdict in favor of plaintiff and entering directed verdict in favor of defendant railroad--Defendant did not have duty to make automated external defibrillators available or to train its employees in CPR in anticipation of decedent's cardiac arrest--There was no showing that defendant's failure to procure prompt medical assistance contributed to decedent's death--Defendant did not have duty to require that its employees administer medical care in the form of life-saving techniques that require training or certification.
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.
SHANDS TEACHING HOSPITAL AND CLINICS INC. v. ESTATE OF LAWSON, 175 So.3d 327, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D2000b (Fla. 1DCA 2015). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-1827 (Estate of Lawson v. Shands Teaching Hospital and Clinics Inc.). Order dated June 17, 2016. No oral argument. Wrongful death--Hospitals--Medical malpractice--Presuit requirements--Applicability--Action alleging ordinary negligence against hospital arising out of death of psychiatric patient who apparently took employee's unattended keys and badge, escaped hospital, made her way onto nearby interstate highway and into the path of a truck, which struck and killed her--Because claims arose from services and care hospital was giving to patient who was confined within hospital's locked unit, which was the service that decedent's condition allegedly required, action was one for medical negligence and was subject to presuit requirements of chapter 766--Trial court departed from essential requirements of law by denying defendant's motion to dismiss--Allowing noncomplying medical negligence litigation to proceed frustrates purposes of Medical Malpractice Reform Act and imposes material and irreparable harm to medical defendants.
S.M. v. DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES, __ So.3d __, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D2592a (Fla. 4DCA 2015). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-2127 (S.M. v. Florida Department of Children and Families). Order dated February 10, 2016. No oral argument. Dependent children--Termination of parental rights--Least restrictive means--Where agency proved, and mother did not contest, the grounds for termination and that reunification would be harmful to children, constitutional test for termination of parental rights was met, and court was not required, as mother argued, to consider permanent guardianship as less restrictive alternative to termination of parental rights--Conflict certified.
SPENCER v. STATE, __ So.3d __, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D2819a (Fla. 1DCA 2015). Supreme Court Case No. SC16-54 (State v. Spencer). Order dated February 19, 2016. No oral argument. Criminal law--Attempted second degree murder--Jury instructions--Instruction given by court on lesser included offense of attempted manslaughter constituted fundamental error because court failed to instruct on justifiable or excusable homicide--Question certified: 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 from which the jury could find justifiable or excusable homicide?--Carrying concealed firearm--Evidence was sufficient to support finding that firearm carried by defendant was concealed.
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. CARPENTER, 158 So.3d 693, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D348b (Fla. 1DCA 2015). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-1830 (Carpenter v. State). Order dated November 19, 2015. Criminal law--Traveling to meet minor--Solicitation of minor--Transmission of harmful material to minor--Search and seizure--Cell phone--Where at time of search, binding appellate precedent expressly permitted warrantless search of cell phone incident to arrest, and search of defendant's cell phone in instant case was conducted in objectively reasonable reliance on this binding precedent, search fell under good-faith exception to exclusionary rule--Trial court erred in granting motion to suppress evidence obtained from warrantless search of cell phone based on subsequent supreme court ruling that warrant was required before searching data and contents of cell phone.
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. GAINESVILLE WOMAN CARE, LLC, __ So.3d __, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D498a (Fla. 1DCA 2016). Supreme Court Case No. SC16-381 (Gainesville Woman Care, LLC v. State). Order dated May 5, 2016. Oral argument set by separate order. Abortion--24-hour waiting period--Enforcement--Temporary injunction--Order granting preliminary injunction was legally and factually deficient--Moreover, record before trial court was inadequate to support injunction--Taken together, inadequate record; inadequate factual findings regarding three of four disputed elements of preliminary injunction, including likelihood of irreparable harm, substantial likelihood of success on merits of challenge to constitutionality of waiting period, and public interest; and failure of trial court to demonstrate that it applied the proper legal analysis with respect to restrictions imposed by law and state's compelling interests, render temporary injunction invalid and thwart meaningful appellate review--Order is also deficient in failing to address legal requirements for facial constitutional challenge to statute, an issue which was in dispute--Temporary injunction reversed.
STATE v. MYERS, 169 So.3d 1227, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D1660b (Fla. 5DCA 2015). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-1486 (Myers v. State). Order dated December 30, 2015. No oral argument. Criminal law--Murder--Evidence--Statements of defendant--Custody--Error to grant motion to suppress statements made by defendant to law enforcement during two station-house interviews on ground that defendant was in custody at time statements were made but had not been issued Miranda warnings prior to being interviewed--Although one purpose of interviews was to get defendant to tell officers her motive for participating in her husband's murder and officers spent most of the time during both interviews confronting defendant with evidence they claimed to have had against her, under totality of circumstances, reasonable person in defendant's position would have felt free to terminate interviews.
Review proceeding dismissed 1-14-2016) 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 v. PERRY, __ So.3d __, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D714c (Fla. 5DCA 2016). Supreme Court Case No. SC16-547 (Perry v. State). Order dated April 6, 2016. Oral argument set for June 7, 2016. Criminal law--First degree murder--U.S. Supreme Court decision in Hurst v. Florida, which held that certain aspects of Florida's capital sentencing scheme are unconstitutional, struck down Florida's procedure for imposing death penalty, not the death penalty itself--Trial courts erred in striking state's notices of intent to seek death penalty in two different cases on ground that Florida no longer had death penalty statute or statutory authority under which state could seek death penalty--Ex post facto laws--New capital sentencing legislation enacted in response to Hurst applies to pending prosecutions--Legislative acts effecting changes in criminal procedure, including procedural changes that disadvantage a defendant, generally do not violate ex post facto clause, and the new sentencing statute altered process used to determine whether death penalty will be imposed, but made no change to punishment attached to first-degree murder--Questions certified: 1) Did Hurst v. Florida declare Florida's death penalty unconstitutional? 2) If not, does chapter 2016-13, Laws of Florida, apply to pending prosecutions for capital offenses that occurred prior to its effective date?
STATE v. POILLOT, 173 So.3d 1070, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D1845a (Fla. 5DCA 2015). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-1691 (Poillot v. State). Order dated December 30, 2015. No oral argument. Criminal law--Escape--Work release program--Information alleging that defendant, a participant in work release program, left his place of employment without permission and was unaccounted for until he returned to work release center within time prescribed was sufficient to withstand motion to dismiss--Work release program was an extension of defendant's confinement, and his deviation from the program established a prima facie case for escape, although defendant returned to work release center in timely manner--Error to grant defendant's motion to dismiss.
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.
STATE v. WILEY, __ So.3d __, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D2603a (Fla. 1DCA 2015). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-2389 (State v. Wiley). Order dated March 7, 2016. No oral argument. Criminal law--Sentencing--Guidelines--Downward departure--Appeals--State's claim that downward departure sentence was erroneously imposed was not preserved for appellate review where prosecutor argued against downward departure sentence at sentencing hearing, but did not also object to sentence after it was imposed--Conflict certified.
STATE v. YEE, 177 So.3d 72, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D2332a (Fla. 3DCA 2015). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-1925 (Yee v. State). Order dated March 16, 2016. Oral argument set by separate order. Criminal law--Search and seizure--Residence--Warrantless search--Exigent circumstances--Trial court improperly granted defendant's motion to suppress physical evidence found in home he was renting where, given broken window that neighbors told officer had not been broken the night before and nonresponse to officer's call to anyone who might be inside, the possibility of an ongoing or recent burglary created an exigency making the warrantless entry into the home reasonable.
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?
WEAVER v. MYERS, 170 So.3d 873, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D1676f (Fla. 1DCA 2015). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-1538 (Weaver v. Myers). Order dated April 13, 2016. Oral argument set by separate order. Wrongful death--Medical malpractice--Presuit requirements--Statutory amendments which allow for presuit ex parte interviews between potential defendants and potential claimants' treating health care providers, and require potential claimants to sign a written waiver of federal privacy protection concerning relevant medical information prior to instigating a medical malpractice lawsuit, are constitutional and are not preempted by Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act--Amendments do not violate separation of powers doctrine by intruding upon Florida Supreme Court's procedural rule-making power--Amendments do not constitute a special law--Amendments do not burden right of access to courts--Amendments do not violate right to privacy.
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, 167 So.3d 483, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D1337a (Fla. 5DCA 2015). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-1417 (Williams v. State). Order dated December 30, 2015. Oral argument set by separate order. Criminal law--Refusal to submit to breath alcohol test--Search and seizure--It is not unconstitutional to punish a person criminally for refusing to submit to a breath alcohol test when the officer conducting the test does not have a warrant--Although warrantless search of defendant in the form of a breath alcohol test following arrest for driving under the influence does not fall under exceptions to warrant requirement as a consent to search under statutory implied consent law or as a search incident to arrest, such a warrantless search satisfies general reasonableness requirement of Fourth Amendment.
WONG v. STATE, __ So.3d __, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D2122e (Fla. 2DCA 2015). Supreme Court Case No. SC15-2192 (Wong v. State). Order dated March 9, 2016. Oral argument set by separate order. Criminal law--Lewd or lascivious molestation--Lewd or lascivious battery--Evidence--Other crimes, wrongs, or acts--Prior acts of molestation--Trial court did not err in admitting Williams rule testimony of four other minor victims--Jury instructions--Lesser included offenses--Claim that trial court erred in denying request for instruction as to permissive lesser included offense of committing unnatural and lascivious act was not preserved for review where trial court did not explicitly deny request and defense counsel otherwise failed to object contemporaneously to trial court's failure to give the requested instruction.
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.